Tag Archives: Friday image

Sunrise at Higger Tor

Rocks on Higger Tor at sunrise, The Peak District. Fuji X-T3. See text for technical details/settings.

Yesterday morning I managed to drag myself out of bed at 05:00am and drove over to the Peak District. I had been watching the weather for weeks waiting for the right conditions. It had been warm during the day but then the temperature was forecast to drop overnight, with only thin cloud cover and no wind for the next morning. The conditions were perfect for Landscape Photography and all being well there would  be mist/fog in the Peak District.

As I drove past Ladybower on my way to Higger Tor I ran into a few fog banks. I could also see the mist rising off the surface of the reservoir. As I passed the fishery, the high cloud was turning pink and reflecting on the calm surface of the water. I decided to stop and shoot a couple of frames, but I’ll save that for another time once I’ve processed them properly.

When I arrived at Higger Tor, the sunrise was in full swing and unfortunately, I think I missed the best of it having stopped at Ladybower. This shot was my second frame, the first being a reference shot to check the camera setup. As the sun was now just above the horizon and starting to catch the ground, I found this position where I could capture the light on the rocks and still retain a good sky.

Capturing a good shot was relatively easy as the sun wasn’t in the frame, but I still needed to use a ND Grad filter on the sky. Without it the ground and rocks just became too dark. I also took the opportunity to shoot the image with exposure bracketing. This would give me 5 frames from which I could select the best exposure to work with and if necessary, do some exposure blending.

In the end, the best image was a single exposure without any exposure compensation. This had a nice sky, but the rocks were a little too dark. I was able to correct this during my RAW conversion in Capture One. I’m now a huge fan of Capture One for processing the Fuji RAW files and swear by it.

Following RAW conversion, I applied additional adjustment using the Nik Collection and a little Dodging and Burning in Photoshop.

I shot the image using a Fuji X-T3 and the newly released Fuji 16-80 lens. This gives a focal range of 24-120 in full frame terms which is very useful. I like the lens and have a few observations to make in a future article. I had the camera set to ISO160 which is the base ISO. The aperture was f/11.0 which gave a shutter speed of 0.7”. I had the camera mounted on a tripod for this and used a Kase 0.6 (2 stop) hard ND grad on the sky.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

The Nik Collection 2 Review

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 host.

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.

4 image stich using Fuji X-T3, 50-200 Lens, ISO160, 1/12″ at f/11.0 Tripod mounted, 3 stop soft ND Grad on the sly.

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 sunrise.

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 sky.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Have You Tried Topaz Gigapixel?

Scottish Highlands, Lake Assynt. Fuji X-T3, 18-55, ISO80, 1/6″, f/14.0. Tripod and Kase 0.9 Soft Grad.

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.

Lenscraft Newsletter

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.

Friday Image No.122

Trees on the mountain. Sony A7r + Canon 70-300 USM lens.
Trees on the mountain. Sony A7r + Canon 70-300 USM lens.

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.

Friday Image No. 105

Scalber Force, Settle, The Yorkshire Dales.
Scalber Force, Settle, The Yorkshire Dales.

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.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday Image No.101

Swanage Pier, Dorset.
Swanage Pier, Dorset.

Here’s one for all you fans of Black and White. If you’re wondering what the colour image looked like at the start or the processing I used, it’s all covered in a short You Tube video.

View You Tube Channel

You might find it rather surprising if you haven’t seen it before.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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Friday Image No.95

Haystack Rock, Canon Beach, Oregon. Sony A7R with Canon 24-70 lens.
Haystack Rock, Canon Beach, Oregon. Sony A7R with Canon 24-70 lens.

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.