Category Archives: Petroglyphs

Enhancing Rock Art

Although I flip-flop between ghost signs and rock art, I use the same photographic and enhancement techniques for both.


This example is a well-known location in Dinosaur National Monument.  The two enhancements emphasize different things.  The first brings out details such as the texture in the “flower pot”.  The second emphasizes the scratched vandalism.   The second example is from the Rock Art site south of Rangely, Colorado.  This example of Barrier Canyon style painted rock art is both faded and vandalized.  The enhancement emphasizes the red pigment and minimizes the scratches.

Ghost Sign Harvest #12 – Legend Rock, Wyoming

Now for something completely different. Not really. Petroglyphs, drawn by early peoples around the world, are just a much earlier form of ghost signs.  These are some from the amazing location north of Thermopolis, Wyoming, called Legend Rock.  The petroglyphs are visible along a short trail from a parking area.

I am using the same methods I used for ghost signs – mosaicking multiple images together to increase resolution. The result will be very large wall panels that are as clear as the original.

I am also using my enhancement techniques to bring out hidden layers.  There are also some modern letters  that defaced the graphics, visible at lower right.

I found almost identical graphics on a piece of pottery in the archaeology museum in El Salvador, so some of these “legends” were carried a great distance.  They appear to represent various deities, possibly a creation story.  Unfortunately, are are some modern “additions” to the drawings, plus some defacing.

I think the “alien” in the upper right was an add on, as was the letter “B” at the left.