Apologies if you were waiting for last week’s Friday Image that
didn’t arrive. That’s because I was doing a bit of a tour around the UK and
couldn’t fit everything in. Part of my problem was unexpectedly managing to lay
my hands on an early release of the new Nik Collection. This allowed me to
prepare a video review in advance, but I hadn’t factored that into my plans for
the week. Anyway, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have a preview.
If you haven’t seen the new release already, it’s may be
worth viewing my video before deciding whether to buy the release or not.
New Website Host
The other big demand on my time has been switching website
Recently the company hosting my Lenscraft website was taken
over by a major hosting company. Since then the performance has been very
variable and I’ve received increasing numbers of errors. I therefore moved the
site to a different host and whilst it’s early days the performance has improved,
and the errors have vanished. Fingers crossed this continues.
Friday Image No. 219
This is another image from my Scotland trip; unfortunately, I
haven’t done much photography since. I still have quite a few nice shots I haven’t
shared though so I’ll keep working through them.
This image was shot from a single-track road, on top of a
hill, near to Achnahaird. We spotted the view whilst doing an initial drive
around the area and decided to take a chance one morning after shooting the
I stitched the panoramic from 4 frames in Lightroom. I took
these with the camera mounted on a tripod and used a 3 stop soft grad on the
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
Gigapixel from Topaz is an image enlarger. The hype on the website says it uses machine learning to create more detailed enhancements. The website also shows lots of comparisons between Photoshop and Gigapixel. I was intrigued but at the same time very sceptical of the claims, so I decided to try it out on some of my images. You can see one of these in the video below which I just published on my YouTube Channel.
If you decide to try Gigapixel (and I strongly recommend you try it before buying), please use the link on this page. It’s an affiliate link which helps me cover the costs of running the Lenscraft website, this blog and producing YouTube videos, but it doesn’t cost you any more.
Friday Image No.219
This week’s image is another from my recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland. If you subscribe to the Light and Landscape free magazine (it really is excellent) you may already have seen this in my interview.
The image is a great example of matching the content to the
conditions. The conditions at the time were surprisingly calm and the loch
which was usually very choppy became like glass. There was also a thick blue
haze in the air which tended to fade the distant hills. This allowed me to
throw more emphasis onto the island and its reflection.
I captured the image using a Fuji X-T3 camera and a Fuji 18-55 kit lens. I mounted the camera on a tripod, and I set the ISO to 80 and aperture to f/14.0. This was to slow the shutter to 1/6” so that the surface of the loche was smoothed a little and the reflection became more broken by the ripples. I tried other speeds, but they didn’t work as well as this. A Kase 0.9 Soft ND grad was used over the sky to help balance the exposure.
Iridient X-Transformer was used to convert the RAW file to
the DNG format before processing with Adobe Lightroom. The colour image was
then processed to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro.
For members of my Lenscraft website, the latest newsletter goes out on the 4th May. It’s also published on the Lenscraft Newsletter page on the 4th May.
I hope you like the Friday image and have a great weekend.
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.
I love this waterfall. It’s called Scalber Force and is just outside of Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. I actually shot this image back in April and in colour it doesn’t look good. But converted to Blakc and White it seems to work ok.
It seems though as if I were there just yesterday. I can’t believe that Summer has been and gone. I think I need to get out more.
For the Friday image this week, I wanted to share another shot from my recent trip. The rock in the frame is rather famous (I could find a Wikipedia page anyway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haystack_Rock) and is called Haystack Rock. It’s located at Canon Beach in Oregon which is a fantastic place to visit. It’s a little like St Ives in Cornwall but done American style.
Whilst this sea stack is an impressive and imposing sight, it’s not that easy to create a pleasing composition. At a distance and with a wet beach/reflection you can create some interesting arrangements. But when the beach is very busy as it was here, you find yourself quite limited as you try to dodge the many people.
I struggled for some time before I moved sufficiently close to shoot this and have to admit that it was more of a grab shot taken hand held. What was fantastic though was the light. There was a bit of a sea mist rolling in and the low setting sun was catching it; sometimes the light makes compromise worthwhile.
I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.
As some of you may already have gathered, I love Infrared Photography. It’s much more frustrating than traditional photography to create good images but the challenge makes it more rewarding. It also opens up a new world of seeing as scenes can take on a completely different appearance. Also, when the time of day or weather isn’t great for traditional photography you may find that it is great for Infrared.
Here’s one of my Infrared images that I wanted to share. Captured last March on a trip to San Francisco (wow is it really almost a year ago). The scene is very ordinary and the light was a bit too harsh to create a good image. Looks much better in Infrared.