At the time I didn’t think this image would work. I was certain the conditions were too bright, and the dynamic range of the scene was too high. These were just a couple of the challenges that almost made me not bother taking the image. In the end, I decided to just take the shot and see what I could make of it in post-processing. Boy am I pleased that I did.
If you want to read more about what I learned and see the
starting image, you can read about it in my November newsletter. The newsletter
goes out overnight tonight. If you don’t already receive this, you can
You’ll also be able to read my November newsletter after the
2nd of November on this page.
The image is of Derwentwater in the Lake District, taken near to the landing stage for the boats at Keswick. I used my Fuji X-T3 with the new Fuji 16-60 lens. I shot this handheld and without filters at ISO160 (the base ISO for the Fuji X-T3). This gave a shutter speed of 1/280” at f/11.0.
Post capture processing was in Capture One for the RAW conversion which allowed me to do a lot of the shadow and highlight recovery. I then used Nik Viveza to improve the light after which I softened the image with a faint blur to the highlights.
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
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.
It’s been a good year for shooting in the Peak District. If
I look back a few years, I almost never ventured into the Peaks. Instead, I
preferred to make a 2 hour drive up the motorway to the Lake District. These
days I would much rather drive 45 minutes to locations like this. Ladybower reservoir.
My original intention in visiting this spot was to shoot the
heather in the evening sun. But as the sun became lower the light on the
distant water and hillside caught my attention. I couldn’t resist popping the 55-200
lens on the Fuji X-T3 and taking a shot.
Peak District Processing Miniseries
If you haven’t already watched these, I’ve now produced two sets
of videos demonstrating my photo editing workflow. Both use images shot in the
Peak District and I’ve now posted these to my website in short articles.
I did think about using the image above as the Friday image but
decided not to. I cover the above image in the video and wanted to include a
different image here.
This is from a recent trip to the Peak District. I captured it
around 40 minutes before sunset when the sun was low and the light warm. What I
like, besides the lovely warm light is the contrast between the “colder”
background hill and the “warmer” foreground. It’s also nice the way the solitary
barn in the field acts as a focal point.
In terms of technicalities, I was using the Fuji X-T3 with
the Fuji 55-200 lens set to 86mm. The camera was set to ISO160 which gave a
shutter speed 1/17” at f/13. I could probably have used a wider aperture than
f/13 but I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time. I was more interested
in capturing the light before I lost it. I could see the sun heading for a bank
of hazy cloud on the horizon which damage the crisp direct light you see here.
I mounted the camera on a tripod because the shutter speed
was slow, and I didn’t use any filters. I was shooting at around 90 degrees
from the sun and the shaded hillside wasn’t dark enough to require I use a
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
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.