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).
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.
Last week I wrote that I had been out, but I failed to shoot
any usable images. I’ve changed my mind and decided to share this one. It’s not
as I imagined at the time but there is something about the hillside that I like.
What I don’t like is the strong orange of the sky, but then again that was the
scene. It just goes to show that sometimes you need to get some distance from a
shoot before you can appreciate your images. I will probably need to go through
these again in a few weeks once the memory of the evening has faded.
I captured this scene from Derwent Edge in the Peak
District. The body of water you can see is Ladybower reservoir. I haven’t used
any filters but did mount the camera, a Fuji X-T3, on a tripod. The lens is a
Fuji 16-55mm which is super sharp but lacks image stabilisation, making the tripod
essential at times.
I processed the image from a RAW file using Capture One for Fuji (Pro edition). I’ve decided to invest in the Capture One software after being so impressed by the results from the Express version. You can read about my reasons for switching on my website blog.
My latest newsletter is also out if you haven’t seen it. In there I share some tips about avoiding lens flare ruining your images when shooting into the sun. One of the techniques involves shooting two versions of an image and in one of these, you use your finger to block the sun. This removes the lens flare and allows you to merge the two images later. If you would like to see how I’ve just released a YouTube video explaining the technique.
I hope you like the photo and have a great weekend.
I headed out last night to meet up in the Peak District a
good friend. The intention was to visit one of the dramatic stone formations on
Derwent Edge and shoot this for tonight post. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn
out quite as planned.
The first problem I found was the weather. It was a clear
blue sky with not a cloud in sight. This doesn’t make for good images
especially when you’re facing the sun.
But my bigger problem by far was that I hadn’t shot any
landscapes since my trip to Scotland at the start of April. I found myself
struggling to see compositions and then when I found one, I just couldn’t capture
it. Looking at my images this morning, most if not all are dreadful. That’s why
I’ve fallen back on yet another of my shots from Scotland, but I love this one.
Unusually I needed to prepare next week’s YouTube video a week in advance. This is a big review, but I can’t reveal any more at this time. The video goes out on Wednesday at 14:15 UK time so if you don’t already subscribe to my YouTube channel you may want to consider it.
But let’s get back to the image.
This is yet another image from my Scotland trip. I shot it
just after dawn and as you can see the sun is just creeping up over the
horizon. It’s a stitch panoramic created from 4 shots with the X-T3 in a
I had the camera mounted on a tripod that I had spent quite
a bit of time getting level. This allowed me to pan the camera across the range
without it dipping to one side. This was important because the lens, a Fuji
55-200 was at the 200mm end because I was so far from the mountain range. I had
my doubts that this would create a usable image, but I’m really pleased with
the finished result.
In terms of filters, I was using a Kase 0.9 (3 stop) soft graduate over the sky. Ordinarily, I don’t like to use a filter when there is a lot of clear sky in the frame as it can make it appear unnatural. But in this shot, I needed anything to help me prevent the image from having too much contrast. I also had to tackle the problem of potential underexposure which I did by having the camera in manual mode.
The finished image is sizable. If I printed it at 240dpi it
would be 47” x 17” without any resizing.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
I have a new favourite lens for my Fuji X series cameras, but I can’t explain why. It’s the Samyang 12mm. That’s right, a Samyang lens.
It’s sharp, I mean really sharp and it feels very well made.
It’s manual focus only but at 12mm, there is so much depth of field you stop it
down to f/8.0, focus on infinity and click away. When you shoot into the sun,
as in the image above, the Samyang creates a wonderful 6-point starburst effect.
Best of all, I couldn’t see any flare.
This lens has made me want to buy more wide-angle primes. I
know it’s silly because I already have the excellent Fuji 10-24, but the prime
is a joy to use in the landscape.
The Friday Image
In all honesty, I’ve lost count of the number for the Friday
Images so I’m just going to keep publishing an image along with updates. It’s
yet another from my Scotland Trip. I couldn’t tell you the name of this bay,
but I could take you there. It was a rather opportunistic shot; we were just
driving past, and I asked to stop whilst I shot this. With the Samyang 12mm of
If you want to see other shots from the trips with a few location details, I published this video to You Tube recently. You may recognise some of the shots but there are a few new ones that I haven’t shared.
I said in my previous post that I had a few more images from
my recent Scotland trip. This shot is one of them. I took it at a location
called Mellon Udrigle which was around an hour drive from Ullapool in daylight.
That might not sound like much but when you want to be in position by 6:00am,
it makes for a long day. The drives also lengthened by the need to keep a look
out for deer which emerge from the side of the road at an alarming frequency.
Putting all these difficulties aside, this was an excellent location to visit. I took the shot around 20 minutes before sunrise when the sky was nicely coloured by the sun below the horizon and everything was a strong blue/pink. I used a 0.9 (3 stop) Kase Wolverine soft grad filter on the sky and a 16-55 Fuji lens on my Fuji X-T3. The shutter speed was 20” at ISO160 and f/11.0.
I think this demonstrates the need to start shooting before
the sun comes up. Once the sun came up the colours turned quickly to orange and
yellow and the contrast in the scene increased sharply.
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.