Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Cliff Palace Details

Cliff Palace Detail

Cliff Palace is one of the more popular attractions at Mesa Verde National Park.

Built by ancient puebloans, it is fairly easily accessible and is open to the public. Cliff Palace is located in the largest cave in the center of the Great Mesa. It was south and southwest facing, providing greater warmth from the sun in the winter. The site had 200 rooms, including storage rooms, open courts, walkways, and 23 kivas. Dating back more than 700 years, the dwelling is constructed of sandstone, wooden beams, and mortar. Many of the rooms were brightly painted.

original image

I liked the composition of the original image and had thought to convert it to monochrome because the colors seemed flatter than I remembered. After opening the image in Photoshop CS6, I wanted to open up the shadow areas in the ceiling of the cave. I ran the file through Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 and it brought out details and color that I liked. So I left the image in color and finished off the image with Color Efex Pro 4’s Tonal Contrast, Brilliance and Warmth, and Darken/Lighten Center.

In the best light…

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