Another Step Forward

Posted on

Steel Step. Sony RX10, f/5.0, ISO 80, 1/125"
Steel Step. Sony RX10, f/5.0, ISO 80, 1/125″

It’s a little over a week since I experienced the catastrophic failure of the Lenscraft website. At the time I was feeling quite desperate and thought that I had lost everything. Since then I have been able to restore the site and many of the problems that plagued me have been reduced or corrected by the installs.

There are still a few people having difficulty logging in with the “cookies issue” but this has been reduced dramatically.

I have been able to get the site security confirmed by S2 and you will now see their banner at the bottom of each page.

I managed to identify many broken links that were leaving people wondering what had happened to some content. I’m now in the process of fixing these.

There are though still issues to fix. One of these is that a lot of the tutorials I had on the original site have been lost, or at least I thought they had. Today I managed to locate some old copies of PDF tutorials but on reading these I realised that much of the information is now outdated. I’m therefore making it my mission over the next 12 months to develop and publish many more tutorials.

As for the picture, this is a steel step I spotted whilst in France a few weeks back. It’s quite surprising how simple everyday subjects can make for interesting photography.

Friday Image No. 52

Posted on Updated on

Jantes Foss Waterfall, Malham. Captured on an Olympus EM5, ISO200, 12-40mm lens (at 15mm), f/7.1, 12" exposure.
Jantes Foss Waterfall, Malham. Captured on an Olympus EM5, ISO200, 12-40mm lens (at 15mm), f/7.1, 12″ exposure.

I’m afraid I’m late again and having to post this week’s Friday image on a Saturday. I had intended to get everything read for yesterday but by the time I got home it was just too late. Hopefully this image is one that you like and which will make up for the delay.

The image was captured at Malham in the Yorkshire Dales (England) a few weeks back. The waterfall (which looks a little tropical) is called Janet’s Foss and is on the path up to Gordall Scar. I also thought it would be nice to show the starting image below prior to making any adjustments. I think this demonstrates how important post capture editing is to bring out the best in your photography.

Janets Foss starting image prior to adjustment.
Janets Foss starting image prior to adjustment.

Have a great weekend.



If you would like to know how I edited this image I have added it as a short free tutorial on my website (

Have fun

Back to Photography

Posted on Updated on

Canon G16 compact camera. It's great to have a quality pocket camera. You never know when opportunities present themselves.
Canon G16 compact camera. It’s great to have a quality pocket camera. You never know when opportunities present themselves.

Following the traumas of the weekend and my Lenscraft website crash, Monday saw me get back to photography. Well talking about photography at least. I was over at the South Manchester Photographic Society giving a presentation on Lightweight Photography and the benefits of using small cameras

The talk went well and seemed to generate a lot of interest from members. My usual test of picking out the Nikon D800 image from two A2 prints (the other was shot on an Olympus EM5) was as inconclusive as ever – no one has ever been able to pick the D800 with a valid reason. But what really stood out for me is the reviews of the prints after the talk. People were genuinely shocked at how good the image quality was from compact cameras when printed at A3, A3+ or even A2. People still don’t view high quality compact cameras as a serious camera with which to create high quality photography.

Providing the tools are good enough a craftsman can work with them. Once the tools achieve the right level, you can produce a masterpiece with them. Improving the tools doesn’t make the masterpiece any better, it just makes the tools easier to work with. Let’s not forget this.

Discount for Topaz Simplify

Posted on

Topaz Simplify
Topaz Simplify now with 30% off

I just received an email from Topaz advising they are running a discount promotion on their Simplify software until the end of May. If anyone is thinking of purchasing this please use the code “MAYSIMP” for a 30% discount. If you aren’t aware of Topaz Simplify here is the link to their product page.

Hooray – Lenscraft is Working

Posted on

I’m happy to report that the Lenscraft website is now back and running. It’s been a very stressful 48 hours and I want to say thank you for your patience. The only difficulty remaining is that I have lost all the changes and user registrations since Saturday 9th May. If you have registered on or since this date and you find that you’re not recognised you will need to re-register for the site. I do apologise for this but I have no way around the problem.

Hopefully I will soon be able to get back to doing some photography.

Just an Apology

Posted on

I am replacing the usual Friday post with an apology for everyone who is having a difficulty logging in to the members area of the Lenscraft website. This isn’t affecting everyone but it is affecting enough people to be a genuine problem.

What’s causing the problem? I don’t honestly know. The membership of the site is managed by a WordPress Plug-in that has a great reputation and that hasn’t changed. In fact Nothing has changed on the site to my knowledge other than a few other plugin’s have updated themselves.

This weekend I will be working hard to trace and correct the problem but I can’t give an estimated time. Please do bear with me. When I switched the website to WordPress it was with the intention of making it easier to maintain, provide more content and a better experience for visitors. I guess learning curve is much steeper than it first appeared.

Update – After several hours with hosting support last night the entire website is a write off and irrecoverable. I am considering options at the moment given even trying to create a fresh installation of WordPress fails. I will post more shortly.

Topaz Detail for Landscape Photographers

Posted on

Topaz Detail for Landscape Photographers
Topaz Detail for Landscape Photographers

I’m pleased to announce that my latest book “Topaz Detail for Landscape Photographers” has been published on amazon. The book is very much in the style of my previous releases. It’s concise (around 170 pages), well illustrated (130 screenshots) and geared to helping you understand how to use Topaz Detail effectively. The book covers the entire program and includes three examples which illustrate how you can use Topaz Detail to create quite dramatic improvements to your photography.

You can download the high resolution example images from my Lenscraft website allowing you to follow along with the book. In the Members Area of Lenscraft you will also find supporting videos which you can view without buying the book. And for anyone who hasn’t already purchased Topaz Detail there is a discount coupon code to be used when making a purchase (or you can download a 30 day trial version from the Topaz Labs website). In all, this is a comprehensive package covering a very useful piece of software.

The book is available from amazon priced USD3.99, GBP2.99 or similar in your local currency. Please note that prices may vary slightly due to recently introduced tax rules. For customers in the US and UK the links to the book are shown below.

For customers in other countries please search for “Topaz Detail for Landscape Photographers” on your Amazon website.