Digital Photography

Friday Image No.116

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Olympus EM5, ISO200, 12-40mm lens, 1/250" at f/8.0
Olympus EM5, ISO200, 12-40mm lens, 1/250″ at f/8.0

I can hardly believe it. This time last week I was in the Lake District, sat in a pub enjoying a nice meal. The weather was turning very cold and the next day I was greeted by a very thick frost. I was staying near to the iconic hill known as Catbells with the intention of walking the Newlands Horseshoe. This image was shot near to the summit of Catbells and is a three-image stich using the Olympus EM5.

In the end, we didn’t make it around the horseshoe. We reached High Spy which is a little short of half way when we turned back. It looked like we would run short of daylight and the conditions underfoot were poor. The big mistake was forgetting my crampons. There was a lot of ice and snow about so walking in just boots was slow going and a little tricky at times. I didn’t mind turning back though as the walk (which I have done several times) gave great views in the first half.

Have a great weekend.

Shooting Autumn in the Lakes Part 2

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Clappersgate Bridge, The Lake District. Fuji XT2 + 10-24mm lens.
Clappersgate Bridge, The Lake District. Fuji XT2 + 10-24mm lens.

I have posted a follow up on You Tube to my “In the field” video. This time I’m shooting Clappersgate Bridge in the Lake District. This is a classic view and especially so in the Autumn when the trees are golden as you can see above. I then go on to show the processing you can use to enhance similar autumnal scenes.

I hope you enjoy the video and find it helpful.

[If you are reading this in an email you won’t be able to see the video. Click the following link to watch the video on You Tube]

Friday Image No.115

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Silver Birch on Place Fell, The Lake District. Olympus EM5 converted to shoot Infrared. Olympus 12-40mm lens, ISO 200, 1/320" at f/7.1.
Silver Birch on Place Fell, The Lake District. Olympus EM5 converted to shoot Infrared. Olympus 12-40mm lens, ISO 200, 1/320″ at f/7.1.

It’s another tree in Infrared. Sometimes, when the light is right, shooting infrared becomes addictive. It’s hard, actually very hard to put the camera down. And so, it was when I visited the Lake District at the start of November. As a result, you will need to suffer more infrared images.

I do hope you like this one and have a great weekend.

Shooting Autumn in the Lakes

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Captured using a Fuji X-T2. Processing using Lightroom and Viveza. Watch the whole thing on You Tube.
Captured using a Fuji X-T2. Processing using Lightroom and Viveza. Watch the whole thing on You Tube.

In case you haven’t yet seen, I have uploaded my latest video to You Tube. This shows an element of the location where I was shooting, including the location details (I am listening). This is then followed by how I processed the image using Lightroom and Viveza.

The feedback on You Tube seems quite positive so far. Do let me know if you like this style as I will create a few more.

If you are reading this as an email, the video won’t display. Please visit the blog post or my You Tube channel to view the video.

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Roll Your Own Camera Profiles

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Have you ever wanted to tweak the camera profiles in Lightroom? Or perhaps you have wondered how Camera Profiles are created? Perhaps you don’t like the profiles that ship with your camera and want to create something better.

This short video introduces you to a great free tool from Adobe that allows you to generate new, bespoke camera profiles and install these to Lightroom. I demonstrate the process using RAW files from a Fuji X-T2 but you can apply this to any camera which shoots RAW. Just watch the video, download the software and in 5 minutes you will have created your own profile.

If I had to take a guess, I suspect 98% of you reading this will never have seen this technique before. Don’t miss out.

[This post includes an embedded video. If you are reading this as an email you will need to visit my blog]

If you have a You Tube account and want to subscribe to my channel you can access it with the link below. Just click on the subscribe button in the upper right of the screen.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYMWL3WXU9QMeOUhD3lOpEw

The Big Decision

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Infrared image captured using a converted Olympus EM5 and 12-40 lens. Processed in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro.
Infrared image captured using a converted Olympus EM5 and 12-40 lens. Processed in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro.

When I recently made the switch to Fuji I had a plan. I knew the release of the XT2 was imminent. I knew I could buy a used XT1 for a good price. So my plan was to buy the XT1 and use it until the XT2 came out. I would then buy the XT2 and have the XT1 converted to shoot infrared. Then I could sell the Olympus Micro 43 equipment. Great plan but it hasn’t quite worked out and I have a big decision…

I was out shooting landscapes at the weekend with the Fuji XT2. As the weather conditions threatened to be dangerously bright, I decided to take my EM5 infrared conversion along. I spent the day predominantly shooting with the XT2 which performed well (as expected) but I also shot a few infrared images. This that’s made me question my plan for the EM5.

The results from the infrared EM5 are simply superb. I can’t see what more I would gain by converting a Fuji XT1 to shoot infrared. The images won’t be any sharper, they won’t be any larger and I also run the risk of the Fuji lenses suffering hotspots. I know my Micro 43 lenses are fine with a couple of exceptions. In short, I want to keep my infrared EM5.

This decision means that I will also need to keep at least the Olympus 12-40 and Panasonic 45-150 lenses. It then doesn’t make sense to sell the standard EM5 body as the prices are quite low now. It would therefore be better to keep this as a backup body. And if I’m keeping the EM5 I may as well keep the Olympus 9-18 lens.

In short, I concluded that I should keep half my micro 43 kit, possibly sell the Fuji XT1 and sell all my Olympus prime lenses (I tend not to us them). I also took a closer look at the quality of the images from the Sony A7r with my Canon L series lenses. The image quality from this kit is nothing short of exceptional so I won’t be selling those either.

Looking at my other kit I still have a Sony RX10 which I love. A Canon G7X which fits nicely in my pocket. A Hasselblad X-Pan three lens kit and a Bronica SQAi with 4 lenses. These last two are film cameras and whilst I don’t use them often, I don’t want to part with them.

What I can conclude from this is that I either have too many cameras or that I don’t get out enough to use them all. I have decided that the problem is that I don’t get out often enough. Apologies for my ramblings but sometimes the best therapy is sharing a problem.

B&W Conversion Video

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You asked to see how it was done. Here is the video to explain. This shows how you can achieve quite dramatic black and white conversions using only Lightroom. You don’t need any other software or filters. What limits you is your imagination.

I hope you find this video useful and don’t forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel if you haven’t already.