This week’s Friday Image comes from the Peak District. Now although I’ve recently been showing more images from the Peak District, it’s not an area of the UK that I’ve had much success with. I don’t know why because there are some spectacular locations, but the weather has usually thwarted me.
For a long time, I even avoiding visiting the area, thinking it was inferior to the Lake District where I shoot a lot. This is rather a shame though as it takes me at least 1.5 hours to travel to the Lakes whilst the Peak District is literally on my doorstep.
To shoot the location above, it was only a 50-minute drive from my house and a 5-minute walk across a field. Everything feels just that bit more accessible and I’m determined to shoot there much more in 2019.
I probably won’t be sharing a Friday Image next week because of the Christmas holidays and having visitors. But then again, you never know.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a great one and I’ll be back in 2019.
Today I was going to share an image of the Franz Joseph Glacier. But having published two mountain images in the past two weeks I decided I wanted a change. Looking through my recent collection of images from New Zealand I picked this image from Punakaiki with its famous pancake rocks.
I just finished reprocessing it and I’m very happy with the results. When I say reprocessing, it’s because this is my second attempt at the image. The reason I decided to do this is that I just finished watching a video on YouTube from Glyn Dewis in which he discusses Frequency Separation. Glyn’s a brilliant portrait photographer and if you want to view the video, you’ll find it on his channel here.
My version of frequency separation is a little more complex and uses a Photoshop Extension Panel called “Wow! Frequency Equalizer Pro”.Interestingly I just reviewed their Masking Panel on my YouTube Channel the other day. If you want to simplify Luminosity Masking, you should watch my video.
I captured the image using a Fuji X-T2 and Fuji 10-24mm at16mm. The camera was tripod mounted and I used a 3 stop Kase Soft ND Grad filter angled over the sky and sea.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
Last week I shared the first image from my New Zealand trip.It was a mountain scene from a trek I did along the Hooker Valley. For today’s Fridayimage I want to share another scene from the same trail. In all honesty, Icould probably share 100 images from that trail. Now that I’m semi recoveredfrom the journey, I’m seeing lots of shots I took that I really like.
This one in particular took me by surprise as I don’t recall
taking it. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a very good memory for
each of the shot I take, even over a couple of years. I can’t usually recall
them with crystal clarity or recognise them when I see them. That’s not the
case with this one so I suspect it was a grab shot.
It’s taken using the Fuji X-T2 and a 55-200mm lens. The lens is set to 55mm and the camera was handheld. With the aperture at f/11.0 and using ISO200, I achieved a shutter speed of 1/680” which is more than fast enough to handhold. I didn’t use any filters either and this isn’t a multiple exposure, just a single RAW file.
In terms of post-capture processing, I did most of the work in Photoshop using curves and luminosity masks. I did take the image into On1Photo RAW 2019 (if you haven’t seen my review, here’s a link) but then applied the adjustments through a luminosity mask to target the mid tones. To finish I applied dodging and burning to lighten the cloud and darken the rocks in the bottom third of the frame.
I hope you like the photo and have a great weekend.
My last post was back at the end of September. At the time I said I was taking a few weeks out but didn’t explain why. Now that I’m back I can share that I have been down in New Zealand which is where I captured the above image. I’m not going to say too much as I’m suffering from jet lag and finding it hard to be coherent.
For those of you who don’t like black and white, here is the colour version prior to conversion.
Personally, I like the colour version best. I would be interested to hear what others think.
I hope you like both images and have a great weekend.
Exposure from Alien Skin is one of my long-time favourite processing tools and yesterday they launched Exposure X4. I’ve already got my upgrade and I can see a few enhancements and new tools. You can find out more about the enhancements on the Alien Skin website where you will also find a free trial version to download.
Despite the new tools and features, I’m not really blown
away by any of them and I didn’t know if they justified the price of the
upgrade. The Smart Collections is a nice addition and I can see Exposure is becoming
more of a Lightroom replacement, but it’s not exciting me. Then I found the
exception which is hard to quantify; Alien Skin has just described it as RAW
Having processed the shot you see above with the software I
thought that’s not bad. The RAW file came from a Nikon D800, so I thought I
would try some RAW files from the Fuji. And that’s when I the results stopped
me dead. The RAW conversions are incredibly clean. There isn’t a wiggly worm
pattern anywhere to be seen and the detail is incredible. Even RAW files shot
with the 18-135 lens look amazingly sharp and detailed.
If you’re a Fuji RAW file shooter, do look at the trial
version of Exposure. I would be interested to know if others also like the
Tomorrows YouTube Video
To celebrate Exposure X4’s launch I decided to answer the
question I’m often asked about Exposure “what’s a good workflow”. The video
will demonstrate this using Exposure X4 and goes live around 15:30 UK time.
Recently, I decided to buy a Lensbaby for my Fuji X-T2. I’m not really sure why, but I had this idea that I wanted to do some macro work with it. I’ve seen some great flower shots done with a Lensbaby in the past and thought, with all the nice weather it would be good to try my hand at some.
If you’re not familiar with Lensbaby, they started life selling a very simple lens which you can tilt. This distorts much of the image except for a sharp area which you can position. If you know about the Holga plastic film cameras, the effect isn’t too dissimilar. As the Lensbaby became popular they brought out more variants as well as serious lenses.
The model I purchased was the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Sweet 35. The Sweet is the lens that has a sweet spot that you can move around the frame. What I like about the Composer Pro is that you can buy separate optics to use with it. That’s fortunate as I now think I would have preferred a 50mm lens rather than the 35mm I purchased. I also bought the macro adapter, so I can use the lens close for flower shots. This is a nice idea and is nothing more than a simple extension tube.
Did I do the right thing?
Currently I’m undecided. I realise it’s a gimmick and so needs to be used carefully. It’s well made but at the same time expensive for what it is.
I think ultimately what’s bothering me is that I have only been out with it once and it rained all day. In fact, since I bought the Lensbaby, the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse and there’s no flowers out. Perhaps it will come in handy for photographing the heather.
After a short break in Amsterdam last week, I’m now getting back into the groove of doing some work.
This week’s Friday image is one I shot whilst I was in Amsterdam (what a great city and nice people by the way – I’m definitely going to return for another visit). This shot isn’t what first springs to mind when you think about Amsterdam, but the view really caught my attention.
These stairs were inside the maritime museum. As you walked out onto the landing there were stairs leading down both sides before meeting on the landing of the next floor. As I walked down the stairs I couldn’t help but feel I had stepped into the Relativity drawing by Escher.
Correcting the perspective on this image was a little tricky and I can’t quite get it perfect. I did the conversion to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro and tried hard to emphasise the lines of the stairs.
I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.