Category Archives: Workflow

Sharpening RAW files from Small Sensor Cameras

France, somewhere near Nontes. Sony RX10, ISO125, f/5.0, 1/250"
France, somewhere near Nontes. Sony RX10, ISO125, f/5.0, 1/250″

If you shoot with a small sensor camera and use Lightroom for RAW conversion, then it’s a good idea to take care when sharpening. Noise can be a particular problem when at low ISO settings but there are steps you can take. This video demonstrates how to avoid the ugly sharpening artefacts that can result and which tend to become exaggerated in later processing.

I hope you find this useful.

Lightroom Video Published

It appears that quite a number of you want to know more about working with Lightroom and what tips might help save you some time. With this in mind I put together this short 10-minute video demonstrating a few points including History, Snapshots and Integration with Photoshop. These may not be the most exciting features but they could save you a lot of time. Probably much more than the 10 minutes it takes to watch the video.

As always, requests for future video topics are gratefully received.

Processing the Wind Farm Image

The other week I published an image similar to this.

Finished wind farm image
Finished wind farm image

Well for those who are interested (and quite a few people emailed me), here is the starting image.

Starting image of the wind farm prior to any adjustment
Starting image of the wind farm prior to any adjustment

If you want to know the processing steps I posted the tutorial on Lenscraft. Here’s the link.

https://lenscraft.co.uk/processing-wind-farm-photograph/

Better Looking Flickr Images

Simple image with a simple white border to display better on Flickr
Simple image with a simple white border to display better on Flickr

I was recently out with a friend when he showed me some of his work on Flickr. What immediately struck me, other than how good his images were, is that they had a consistent look. All of them had a nice clear white border around them as well as a thin black Keyline. This made all the images really stand out against the dark background of Flickr.

The process of adding the border is done in Photoshop where the image is also resized. If you would like to see what this looks like on Flickr, I have uploaded an example. I would also suggest you take a look at my friends work here.

If you decide that you like this technique and want to know the steps I have prepared a free tutorial on my Lenscraft website.

Don’t do this if you shoot film

Rollei IR400 film rated at ISO 6 and developed in Rodinal 1:100. Hasselblad XPan + 30mm lens.
Rollei IR400 film rated at ISO 6 and developed in Rodinal 1:100. Hasselblad XPan + 30mm lens.

A couple of weeks back I had a clear out in my study. I have shelves full of books and decided to throw out many of the older ones. I also have stacks of old note books full of random jottings so I pulled out and ripped up all the used pages. It wasn’t until I came to develop some Infrared film from my trip to Malham that I realised I had ripped up all my developing notes – gulp.

This was not a good feeling but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case I found mine on the Massive Dev Chart website (http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php).

If you have never used this site it’s a great resource to find out development times for different film and developer combinations. But the real bonus for me was that they now have an App. Whilst I had to buy the paid version in order to record my development notes it’s a really great little app.

If you haven’t seen this before and you still use film, it’s well worth checking out.

Something to Say Again

North Wales would you believe!
North Wales would you believe!

I had a bit of a scare over the holidays that made me realise how sloppy I have become with my backup process. At one time I was pretty rigorous in processing and backing up my images. Everything went into a holding area on my hard drive which was duplicated to a second hard drive. Once the images had been processed and had keywords applied I would then move them to a processed folder set, again duplicated and then also burned to CD.

Over time the image size has increased and so have my storage needs. At some point I seem to have relaxed control and stopped using my complicated, multi copy process. In short, I have become sloppy. I did recognise this a few years ago and took out a little insurance, investing in a Drobo with 4 drive bays. That way if one of my drives dies I still have the data across the others.

Great idea; I love the Drobo and all has been well for the past 4 years.

The only problem I have with this set up is that it’s not very easy to have a backup of 8Tb’s of storage. Sure if one or even two of the disks die I can recover with minimal data loss. But what happens if the whole unit dies. The first thing a Drobo unit does when you insert a new drive is format it.

Gulp!

I had this thought about a week ago and then the unthinkable actually happened. My Drobo wouldn’t boot. Even when I managed to get it started the PC wouldn’t recognise it and the unit would go back to sleep.

I have managed to get the unit started now. I have no idea what caused the problem but it’s made me invest in a second Drobo and hard disks. I am going to spend a lot more time in the coming year developing a sensible archiving policy for all my images. I’m now adding images to the collection far too quickly. I can’t risk losing everything.

Storage may be cheap but the time taken to manage data and image archives isn’t. I think this coming year will be a year of tidying everything up and becoming as streamlined as possible.

How I Created the La Paz Image

La Pas, Bolivia
La Pas, Bolivia

It seems that my previous post created a bit of a stir with a few requests for a tutorial added to the site and many more sent by email. I have therefore bowed to public pressure and added a tutorial to my Lenscraft site describing how the image was captured and then processed. There may be a few surprises in there for some of you. Here is the link

http://lenscraft.co.uk/resource-hub/tutorials/

And for those of you wanting to see the starting image, here it is.

La Paz Starting image
La Paz Starting image

 

Hope you enjoy.