I find it odd that I can seldom pick my best work immediately after a shoot. In fact, I find I often need to leave a batch of images at least 6 months before I can pick the ones I’m happiest with. Often, as is the case with this image, I need to leave the files alone for a couple of years.
I shot this image back in October 2014 when I had my brief experiment with the Nikon D800. Some of you might remember this and how I hated the camera. I now find some of the image were quite good although the lens distortion from the lenses I was using was significant. I suspect my feelings for the camera distorted my view of the images as much as the poor-quality lens.
This image was shot at Penmon on Anglesey in North Wales. I used a 2 stop ND grad to darken the sky. The post processing was performed in Lightroom to convert the RAW file and then On1 Photo RAW. I remember waiting for ages at the time for the man to walk in front of the house so that I could capture him cleanly. I’m not sure if you can see him as it will depend on the resolution of your screen but I wanted him there.
Have a great weekend and I hope you get out with your camera.
This week I thought I would share an image I shot last weekend in the Lake District. This image was captured from the banks of Thirlmere looking across the lake towards the Helvellyn range. I shot the image using my Sony A7r using a Canon 70-300mm lens. It’s a single shot in RAW format, converted in Lightroom and then tweaked a little using Nik Viveza.
At the time I was shooting this I was complaining bitterly about having to use the Sony with an adapter. The adapter is supposed to support auto-focus but it’s so slow its useless. Instead, I was manual focusing by zooming in on a point using the camera display and then trying to set the focus. For some reason, I was finding it difficult to focus and threatening to go back to using a Canon full frame. It was only when I loaded the images onto the computer in Lightroom that I could see they were spot on with focus.
I suspect I was finding life too easy shooting with the Fuji XT2 (which I was using alongside the Sony). I’m very pleased I didn’t give up on the Sony as it produced some excellent images.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget my book is free to download this weekend. Just search for “Mastering your camera” on Amazon.
Today I thought I would share an image I shot back in May2016. It’s taken in one of my favorite countries – America. I love visiting the USA. It’s a vast country with a varied and stunning landscape. I also find the people very friendly and polite so it usually makes for a great trip.
On this occasion, I was doing a three-week road trip down the west coast. Originally I had planned to drive from Seattle to Santa Monica (I still want to visit) but in the end, I went as far as the south of Oregon, headed back inland and visited some more great locations before ending up back at Seattle.
This image was shot at a location called Crater Lake. I was staying at the lodge on the rim of the lake for a couple of nights. This was shot on the second morning before I left. It’s four images from the Olympus EM5 which were then stitched in Lightroom. There was quite a bit of work I Lightroom and Photoshop to ensure a balance of tones across the scene.
I hope you like it and have a great weekend.
Christmas is almost here and I’m going to take a break. I will be back in the New Year with lots more information and videos. I would like to leave you with the image above which I captured the other morning in the Peak District.
Here’s to a great 2017’s photography for everyone.
Every year I like to provide a free Christmas Gift for Photographers. This is my way of saying thank you to all those who have supported and continue to support my work. This year is no exception.
This year the gift is a video course titled “Tools of the Darkroom Masters”. The course is 35 minutes in length and the tools are split into several short sections so that you don’t need to watch the entire course in one sitting. I have provided the course as a video you can view whilst on my Lenscraft website. Alternatively, there is a link to download the video so you can watch it at any time.
So far, the course has gained a lot of positive feedback from members who have watched it. I have even received a request to allow the video to be shown at a camera club (which of course I agreed to). All I ask is that people don’t post the video on the internet as this is a gift for Lenscraft Members. If you would like someone else to benefit, share the link not the video.
If you would like to view or download the video, this is the link.
To access this page, you will need to be logged in as a member of my Lenscraft site but membership is free. If you want to register as a member, here is the link to the members’ area.
I hope you enjoy.
Yet another week over and we are rapidly approaching Christmas. Then it’s soon going to be New Year and I will be beating myself up that I haven’t achieved half of the things that I wanted to with this blog and my website (Lenscraft). When I select the image above to share I thought that I had shot it recently. Now that I look back I realise it was from the 5th November. It seems like yesterday but it’s a month and a half ago.
The image was captured using a Fuji XT2 and the excellent Fuji 16-55 lens. The camera was tripod mounted as the lens, despite being excellent lacks any stabilisation. Despite shooting at ISO 200 I used f/10 to ensure full depth of field. I probably didn’t need to use such a small aperture but I’m really feeling my way with the APSC sized sensor at present. Had I been shooting with the Olympus EM5 I would have been using f/7.1 and been confident of front to back sharpness. The EM5’s smaller Micro 43 sensor makes the increased depth of field at wider apertures possible.
In addition to the above equipment I was also using a Lee 0.3 (one stop) ND Graduated filter to hold the exposure in the clouds. The other filter used was a 105mm polarising filter which screws to the front of the Lee 100mm filter system.
When it comes to post processing, I have recorded the entire thing and posted it as a video on YouTube. Here is the link in case your reading this as an email.
If you’re on the lightweightphotographer website, you will see the video embedded below. I hope you enjoy this and have a great weekend.
I have seen many articles and videos over the years suggesting ways to create infrared simulations using regular colour photographs. Most of these fall short, possibly because the authors don’t appreciate the true characteristics of infrared. One example I read simply suggested using the channel mixer in Photoshop and using it to turn a blue sky black.
The best tool I have seen for simulating the effects of Infrared film a standard colour image is Alien Skin Exposure. This is also one of the tools I turn to when converting my digital infrared images as it allows me to simulate the halation effect often seen with Kodak HIE film. Unfortunately, as great a tool as Exposure is, it’s costly.
So how can we create a simulation using Nik plug-ins? Well, there is an Infrared film simulation in Nik Color Efex Pro but it’s not very convincing and doesn’t produce the halation effect. Nik Silver Efex Pro did once have an optional preset you could download from the Nik website but this has been removed. In any case, the preset wasn’t very believable.
This video features my simple solution based on combining a couple of filters in Nik Color Efex with a monochrome conversion in Silver Efex Pro. It’s quick to do and is quite effective.
[If your reading this as an email you won’t see the video. Please visit the YouTube channel link below to view.]
If you like the video why not subscribe to my You Tube channel and be sure not to miss future videos. Use the link below to access the channel then click the subscribe button in the top right.