Tag Archives: cornwall

Brilliant Free Luminosity Masking Tool

Godrevy Lighthouse, Cornwall.
Godrevy Lighthouse, Cornwall. Fuji X-T3, Fuji 55-200 at 55mm, ISO160, 1/12″ at f/13.0. Tripod mounted with Kase 0.9 (3 stop) Soft ND GRad filter.

This week I have another image from my recent break in Cornwall. I shot this on the same evening as the one I shared last week. The only difference was that I used a long telephoto lens to capture this image. I must admit that I was being very lazy and didn’t even move my tripod.

The reason I wanted to share this image is that I used it to illustrate my latest YouTube Video. If you haven’t seen the video, here’s the link. The video demonstrates a great free tool for Luminosity Masking in Photoshop.

This is the best free tool that I’ve found. I would even say that it’s better than some of the premium tools on the market. In fact, it’s so good that I used it extensively in my recent Luminosity Masking course.

If you’re interested in Luminosity Masking, you really should try this tool (I included the details and links in the description below the YouTube video).

August Newsletter

If you’re on my mailing list, the Lenscraft August newsletter goes out overnight.

You can also read all the newsletters on this page of my website. The August issue will appear in the list tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.

Photography with the Right Mindset

The last time I published anything to this blog was the 5th July. Apologies for that but I decided to take a holiday and headed off to Cornwall. The scenery there is spectacular but looking through my images (yes I was still working) everything looks like a stock photo. Nice if you received them on a postcard but you wouldn’t say it was great photography.

I think the problem was that although this was a holiday, I was still taking photos. And whilst I was taking photos, I was thinking about how I could use the images. If I’m completely honest with myself, when I took most of my photos I was thinking about stock usage which raises two interesting points:

  1. When you shoot stock photography you change your approach. You approach the scene with a specific mindset that affects your framing, composition and to some degree what you shoot.
  2. After photographing with this mindset for a while it becomes difficult to switch to another. This makes it very tricky to produce creative, innovative and arty shots of the type I really want capture.

Friday Image No.223

Godrevy Lighthouse at sunset, Cornwall. Fuji X-T3 with 10-24 lens. Full details below.

The reason I mention the point about getting your mindset right is because of this Friday photo. Having carried a camera with me most of the days, I decided to head out one evening for the sunset. The weather looked promising, so I headed over to Godrevy Lighthouse. I planned my arrival with an hour to scout out the location and find a shot. This should have been plenty of time to find something good.

Actually, it was plenty of time, it’s just that I couldn’t see any great shots. That’s why I ended up with this OK shot rather than something more creative. Yes, it’s nice, but it’s what I class as a typical postcard or calendar shot. My mind was still in the mode of shooting stock photography. I hadn’t given it time to switch over to being innovative which is one of my big problems.

If you’re interested in the technical details of the shot here they are:

  • Fuji X-T3 with Fuji 10-24 lens at 14.5mm.
  • 14” exposure, at f/13.0 at ISO160.
  • Kase Wolverine 0.9 (3 stop) Reverse ND Grad and Kase 6 stop ND filter.
  • Tripod mounted with a cable release.
  • RAW converter Capture One Fuji (see why I’m switching to Capture One).

If you like the shot do let me know in the comments. Personally, I’m undecided.

Have a great weekend.

Upgrading Exposure

Porth Kidney Sands, Cornwall. Olympus EM5 and 12-40mm lens. ISO200, 1/640″ at f/7.1. Processing in Exposure X2 with the Velvia 100 film simulation.

I have finally taken the plunge and upgraded my copy of Exposure from Alien Skin. This is a great all-purpose piece of editing software which I tend to use as a plug in to Photoshop. What I really like are the film simulations.

I already owned Exposure and was resisting the temptation to upgrade. What really changed my mind was a 40% discount and the other Alien Skin tools thrown in. These were Blow up for enlargement and Snap Art for painting special effects. I’m not really one for painting effects but since upgrading my iPad I have started to draw more. I’m finding packages like this provide a nice yet creative break from work.

I’m now under more pressure to find time to experiment with the new version of Exposure and learn how to best use the new Layers feature.

Friday Image No.143

The sea off Cornwall. Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.6, 1/400″

It’s been said that a picture paints a thousand words. Sometimes though I think it’s enough not to say anything. Just empty your mind and let it drift on a sea of nothing and marvel at the expanse before you.

That’s enough rambling for a Friday evening.

The weeks work is over and I can finish off by posting this shot of the sea off Cornwall. It’s of nothing at all but conveys a feeling of vastness. Despite it not having a point of interest I felt compelled to take the shot. Best of all, I love it even if I can’t explain why.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 142

Olympus EM5 converted to shoot Infrared. Four images merged to panoramic in Lightroom. Panasonic 45-150mm lens at 45mm. ISO200, 1/80″ at f/8.0. Post processing in Alien Skin Exposure.

This week I have come to realise that I’m not getting out to any new locations to photograph. When I do manage to get out, I seem to be repeating many of the scenes and shots I have taken in the past. Or at least that’s the way it feels.

This image was taken on a recent trip to Cornwall and is a case in point. I have visited the location before but have never been happy with the image. That’s why I haven’t shared them. I’m not sure that I’m any happier with this image but I’m forcing myself to share it as I’m not likely to visit again soon to shoot it again.

And that’s the point. I seem to be caught in a loop of not being satisfied with my images and so I keep returning to shoot them again and again, never creating anything new. I’m going to work on this for the next 12 months to see if I can improve. I’m also determined to get out with a camera more often.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.141

Olympus EM5 converted to shoot Infrared. Olympus 12-40mm lens. ISO200, f/7.1, 1/160″

For this week’s Friday image, it’s a shot from my recent trip to Cornwall. I took this whilst walking the coast path. It’s probably about a mile outside Fowey.

At the time, the light was very harsh and the images I was shooting on my standard Olympus EM5 weren’t looking very appealing. As is often the case when the light is harsh in summer, it can be helpful to switch to Infrared.

The image was captured using an infrared converted Olympus EM5 with an Olympus 12-40mm lens. This makes a great pairing although there is a faint hotspot in the centre of the lens. Fortunately, this vanishes once converted to black and white. What surprised me here was the strength of the Infrared effect. The weed in the sea is practically glowing.

The conversion from RAW was performed in Lightroom and then the post production conversion was using On1 Effects.

Have a great weekend.

Back to Work

Porth Kidney Beach Cornwall
Porth Kidney Beach. Olympus EM5 + 12-40mm lens.

You might have noticed that there was no Friday Image or posts this week. If you were wondering why, it’s because I took a much needed holiday. But despite the holiday I still took a couple of cameras along with me to capture the landscape. Here is one from the beach near to where I was staying.

If you’re wondering where this exotic tropical scene is, it’s Porth Kidney Beach in Cornwall, near to St Ives. The sea there is so blue and clear. It’s a wonderful place to take a holiday and get away from everything.

But now I’m back and starting to work through all the emails.