Challenge! Digital Darkroom Derby #007 - Winner announced


Top Veteran
Start Date 11 Jan, 2022, 18:00 UTC
End Date 14 Jan 2022, 18:00 UTC

Herewith, the next Digital Darkroom Derby of 2022 which is a digital image editing/processing challenge. The rules are here. Please read them.

The basic idea is the challenge host provides a source image and participants process it to taste and post one or two entries. The host selects the winner and that winner becomes the host for the next challenge.

RAW and JPEG images are here DDD007.
Took this picture in 2018 as I was driving Route 50 from Sacramento, CA, to Ocean City, ML, it was taken at Black Canyon, CO.
Hope you enjoy this!
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Super Moderator Emeritus
Here's my effort. I kept the 4:3 ratio but cropped it to vertical since I think it reflects better the verticality of the image, strengthens the tree lined diagonal from the top of the cliff about one third in from the left down to the curving river, and puts the focus more on the river in the canyon. I darkened the sky a little and boosted the texture to bring out the clouds. I added some texture in the rocks and also boosted the luminance. I increased saturation and luminance in the green and yellow channels to push attention to the river. I increased exposure of the river itself, added some more texture and boosted clarity in the small section of white water. All done in Lightroom.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Great scene. Immediately I saw it two things popped into my head - vertical crop and perspective correction. All accomplished in Adobe Camera Raw.
General exposure tweaks along with some work in the HSL panel to bring up the vegetation and darken the rock faces. A short linear gradient to develop the sky. A full-height linear gradient to balance the bright foreground with the more muted rear wall of the canyon. This gradient mask was brushed to allow the river banks to shine through. Further work on the river and its banks with the adjustment brush tool.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Whidbey Island
Entry 1

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

DxO PL5 plus Gimp/G'mic/Nik. Used DxO to convert the raw and bring out the sky detail, as well as some local contrast in the canyon walls. Switched to Gimp for resize, sharpening and some more local contrast (Nik Color Efex).

PS: I'm finally home from Sunny Shores, back in the Drippy and Dreary.
Last edited:
I was curious what a less aggressive crop (3:2) would look like in black and white.
P1020273 BnW.jpg

GIMP desaturate + tone curves → G'MIC local contrast → more GIMP tone curving. Suspect I leaned more on the green channel than the other monochrome versions.


Top Veteran
Thanks to all who participated, nice entries all around!

Well, 14 entries from 10 persons is not bad and few enough that judging went quickly.
A part of what I had in mind when choosing this picture is that it is the Black Canyon, so I have had a bias for B&W pictures this time.

2nd Runner ups: @kae1 #1 colour and @archaeopteryx B&W.
1st Runner up: @WhidbeyLVR #2 B&W

And the Winner is: @kae1 #2 B&W.

So over to you @kae1!