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A bend in the Virgin River, Zion Canyon

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I took this shot while on a mid-day lunch break from the photo workshop I just took at Zion National Park. Light is crappy at mid-day, so we were let loose for 2.5 hours.

I found this spot near Zion Lodge and took a a few photos; as far as bends-in-a-river goes, this is a good one. The noon light was harsh and puffy white clouds would have been preferable to contrails. But it works. 

I did have one issue: a big smudge on my UV filter smack in the middle of the photo where sky meets rock. Here's how I fixed it: 

•After making all my adjustments in Lightroom, I exported (i.e. saved) the photo as a jpeg. 

•I then opened it in my Photoshop Elements editor and created a duplicate layer. 

•In the new layer, I used the clone stamp tool to lighten up the smudge. 

•I then flattened the two layers at 100 percent opacity, which looked best, and then saved the photo.  

Yes, creating the new layer probably wasn't necessary but I didn't want to mess with the main layer -- by merging the main layer and a new one, I figured I could make the smudge passable. 

It still doesn't look awesome, but I'm not sure folks would notice what's left of the smudge unless they're looking for it. I'm, of coure, completely obsessed with it and can't help but noticing it instead of just saying "fuck it, there will be other photos." 

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This photo ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

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