Month: October 2015

Friday Image No.71

Posted on Updated on


Sony RX10, f/4.5, 1/30" at ISO400. Handheld.
Sony RX10, f/4.5, 1/30″ at ISO400. Handheld.

I love trees and last weekend went for a walk in the Peak District, above and then along the banks of Derwent reservoir. The autumn colours were quite spectacular but it’s this tree that captured my attention. The bark was a wonderful silver blue colour and seemed so smooth. I’m not sure that it comes across clearly in the image but I still wanted to share it.

Have a great weekend everyone.

A New Brush for Lightroom

Posted on


View above Derwent Reservoir in the Peak District. The long focal length used for this image created a lot of haze which the new Dehaze feature in Lightroom removed. Sony RX10, ISO80, f/4.5, 1/125".
View above Derwent Reservoir in the Peak District. The long focal length used for this image created a lot of haze which the new Dehaze feature in Lightroom removed. Sony RX10, ISO80, f/4.5, 1/125″.

Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for your support with yesterday’s problem. A number of people also emailed me to say don’t worry about 1 star reviews where there is no comment (“no one ever pays attention to these”). Unfortunately the sales data suggests people are swayed strongly by a 1 star review, even with a low priced book. I guess they don’t want to waste valuable time and I can’t blame them. Fortunately the problem is now resolved so thank you.I would like to emphasise that I am always open to new ideas for future books and articles so please feel free to contact me.

Now to the subject of today’s post – Lightroom. Have you noticed there has been a new release of Lightroom over the past few weeks? If not and you are using version 6 (or are a CC subscriber) you might want to take a closer look.

When Lightroom 6 launched there was a lot of publicity about the new merge to HDR and to a lesser extent merge to Panorama. What didn’t receive much attention the new “Dehaze” feature.
Now if you are a Landscape Photographer this is a great tool. It seems to cut through the atmospheric haze that can often occur. But equally and very usefully, it can also introduce the appearance of haze. Unfortunately the slider control (found under Effects) is a global adjustment and so will act on all areas of your image.

What this latest release of Lightroom has introduced is a Dehaze control into the Gradient and Brush tools. This means you can now apply the adjustment to selected areas of the image which opens up a lot of new options. The global control is great for removing haze but isn’t good for introducing it. But make a selection with the Brush tool and you can increase the feeling of depth in your image or even simulate fog.

If you haven’t tried this tool yet you really should.

I Need Your Help Please

Posted on Updated on


Salar de Uyuni salt flats at dawn, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni salt flats at dawn, Bolivia

I recently published a book on Amazon called “Photoshop Layers: Professional Strength Image Editing”. It took many hours and days of effort over a 6 month period to develop the end product and I was very pleased with the end result. It was actually doing quite well until it received its first review. The review gave it 1 star and quite simply said “Do not waste your money in this book.”

In all honesty I believe the book is a lot better than 1 star but the review, as you can imagine is putting people off despite the very modest pricing.

If you have you have purchased the book from Amazon.com and you like it, please help me out and post an honest review. I’m hoping this will help give potential readers a little more confidence and means that it’s worth my time spent developing these books.

Thank you

Friday Image No.70

Posted on


Tunupa, Bolivia.
Tunupa, Bolivia.

I have been rather tied up this week by all sorts of things (such as earning a living) that have prevented me from blogging and I’m feeling very guilty. This is in stark contrast to last year when I was away, trekking in Bolivia at this time. In fact I’m pretty sure the hardest thing I was doing is climbing the volcano you see in the picture above. Actually this is just one side of it and at over 5,300m it was a pretty impressive sight. And if you’re wondering are the colours real, yes they are.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday Image No.70

Posted on


Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales. Olympus EM5, f/7.1, 15mm, 1/1000"
Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales. Olympus EM5, f/7.1, 15mm, 1/1000″

I shot this image back at the beginning of April. At the time there were no images that I liked but now that I return to review them I find quite a few that I like, including this one.

For those who don’t know the area, this is Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s an amazing place but incredibly difficult to capture the essence of the location in a single image. For anyone wanting to know more there is a brief entry on Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordale_Scar

Have a great weekend everyone.

Are We Being Fleeced

Posted on Updated on


Sony A7r
Sony A7r

As some regular readers may be aware, I have recently added to my equipment with a Sony A7r. It’s an impressive piece of equipment and is capable of resolving an amazing amount of detail with the right lenses. If you’re not aware of the specification, the sensor is 36Mpixels and it has no antialiasing filter so that you can achieve optimal sharpness. The image you see at the top of this post was captured using the Sony.

Of course, all this resolution places huge demands on your lenses so that any softness will become immediately evident. I’m sure if you are a Canon or a Nikon user you will have heard the comments that with the top of the range cameras you need top class professional lenses. I recall when I bought a Canon 5D MKII a number of years back it was deemed necessary to use L series lenses. With the Nikon D800, I read similar comments about needing the best Nikkor lenses.

Now take a look at the image below. Be sure to click the image to review it at full resolution. It’s of a section of the above image viewed at 100% magnification. There is also a second image shown, also magnified to the same location. Before reading on I would like you to decide which image has resolved the best.

Lens Comparison
Lens Comparison

Both images have been sharpened and processed similarly. The one on the left was shot using a Canon 24-70L f/4.0 at f/11 mounted onto the Sony (zoomed to 35mm). The full retail price of this lens is £1,100. The other image was shot using a Canon 35mm FD lens bought on ebay for less than £35. This isn’t even a late version of the lens. It’s an early example and it’s only single coated.

Now you might be thinking surely this is a fluke but we repeated the experiment using an old 24mm FD prime and also a 70-210 zoom. The results are all similar. Even the zoom lens matched up to the 70-200L zoom.

So, what was that line we were all being fed about needing top of the range lenses.

Friday Image No.69

Posted on


North Wales, Nikon D800
North Wales, Nikon D800

It’s strange how a negative experience whilst taking photographs can compel us to dislike an image. It’s only when the emotion of the day has been dulled by time that we can see the image for what it is. But when the emotion was strong, its effect can linger.

The image I’m sharing today is one I shot during my ill-fated Nikon D800 experiment last year. When I shot this I was suffering from a trapped nerve in my neck which caused a searing pain in my back. The pain took around 3 months to subside and prevented me from sleeping. It also caused damage to the nerve controlling the triceps muscle down my right arm. Even now, some 12 months later, I can’t flex this muscle in my right arm.

I tell you this detail so that you can appreciate the strong negative emotion I had when I captured the image. This negative emotion is probably why I don’t like this image. In fact, I actually feel a little ill when I look at it. It’s only when I momentarily catch a glimpse, before I can connect it with the events of that day that I thinks it’s a nice shot.

I therefore share this with interest to see how others feel about it.