As I’m sat here looking for a Friday Image to post, I realise I haven’t been out with a camera all week. The weather’s been grey and wet, although it’s been trying to snow this afternoon. I’ve also had my head buried in the second draft of my Affinity Photo book. I want to finish this and get it off for editing so that I stand a chance of launching later in the month or early February.
Anyway, I thought I would look through some of my recent shots and found this one from mid-December. It’s two images captured on my Fuji X-T2 and stitched in Lightroom.
It’s funny because I remember this sunburst at the time but forgot that I had shot it. It was quite an amazing scene and I noticed it as soon as we arrived at the parking. I thought I would miss it by the time I had walked up and onto the edge, but I didn’t. In fact, it went on for almost 30 minutes before the clouds cleared.
Shooting the image was straightforward. I used a long lens to crop in on the sunburst and a soft 0.9 ND Grad on the sky. I set the metering to use the centre of the frame which was quite bright. I figured that if I let it expose that area to a midtone it would intensify the colours in the sunburst and send the foreground hill into silhouette. The trickiest part was trying to focus as the camera wouldn’t lock onto anything. In the end I focussed manually on the horizon, slightly out of frame. I then recomposed and captured the frames I needed.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
Last weekend I ventured up into the Peak District, where not surprisingly I’m having far more luck photographically. I say not surprisingly because I’m visiting the area far more frequently. I think it was Samuel Goldwyn who once said, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”. Although I know the golfer Lee Travino once said it when accused of winning by luck.
Anyway, I have been visiting a few times each month and I’m starting to have more opportunities to take shots I like. The one above was shot from Bamford Edge which is around 50 minutes’ drive from my house and about 15 minutes’ walk. It was near to sunset and I didn’t expect much because there was a log of fog and low cloud swirling around. Then I noticed the low sun hitting this distant hill and lighting it up with a warm glow. If you look carefully you can also see faint colour around the edge of the cloud above it.
I used my longest lens on the Fuji X-T2 to isolate the area. I also used a 0.9 Kase Soft Graduated filter on the sky. Without the filter, I found the foreground trees which were already in shadow, were becoming too dark. What really surprised me was that in all the fog and cloud, this event lasted about 10 minutes and I managed lots of shots.
WOW! Frequency Equalizer
The image you see above is probably the one I like best, but I used another in my latest YouTube video. Previously I shared a video of a product called Mask Equalizer. I said at the time that I had purchased it bundled with another product and would reveal that in another video. That product was WOW! Frequency Equalizer and this is the video, where I demonstrate some of its power.
I hope you like the video and image and have a great weekend.
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.
I do hope you aren’t getting tired of these Peak District and heather images. The season for shooting heather is past us now but I still wanted to share another photo. I captured this in the Peak District, just above the Surprise View car park. I couldn’t resist the clump of heather, trees and bracken all blowing in the wind.
It was quite tricky to find all the elements in a composition that worked where I could place a rock in the foreground. The reason I needed the rock is to emphasise the movement in the other elements and show that the camera is steady. The still rock makes a nice contrast to the foreground heather blowing in the wind.
When I shot this, I had in my mind that I would convert it to black and white. I’m not sure why but I had a black and white image in my head. Now that I’ve seen it I’ve completely changed my mind; it’s a colour image. I did briefly toy with the black and white conversion, but it looked dreadful.
To boost the image colour and exaggerate the movement I used a polarising filter and 3 stop Kase Wolverine filter. I’ve been using Kase filters for almost a year now and I must admit they have exceeded all my expectations. I do still have my Lee 100mm and Lee Seven 5 filters, but I only use the Seven 5 filters. The Seven 5 system is so convenient for the smaller format cameras.
I’m off now to continue working on the Lenscraft Newsletter for tomorrow.
I’ll start with an apology that I haven’t posted to the blog this week. I’ve been out taking photos (that’s what I’m supposed to do after all) and working on the Lenscraft website.
If you follow my YouTube Channel you will already have seen todays Friday Image. I won’t make any apologies for this though as I really like the shot. I’ve wanted to photograph this scene with heather for some years, but I never seem to time it quite right. This year is probably the best I’ve managed, but the heather isn’t brilliant, probably because of all the dry weather we had earlier in the year.
If you haven’t seen my video showing the processing of this shot and you’re a Nik Collection user, it’s worth watching (but I would say that). I do everything in Color Efex Pro, just to demonstrate the potential of the filters.
Now that I think about it, I probably need to reprocess the photo using more tools.
I was out at Bamford Edge last night with a friend. It’s somewhere that I have wanted to photograph for a long time. Despite living only 50 minutes away and walking regularly in the area, I have never been. But with the heather being out, I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve only ever seen one shot from the area which is usually at sunset looking over to Ladybower Reservoir. But what a surprise and what a great location this is. I could have spent many more hours up there except that it went dark. I’m definitely going to be returning.
On reviewing my images, I decided I’m not going to share the usual view. Instead I have this one looking in the opposite direction.
I hope you have a great weekend. I’m off to photograph more heather.
I’m going to start with an apology for not posting earlier in the week. Firstly, I’m trying to finalise my latest book and it’s taking longer than expected. Secondly, I still haven’t recovered my image library on the Drobo.
What’s interesting though is that with the ongoing Drobo saga, I have received a few comments and a lot of email from people saying they won’t buy a Drobo because of this. So, I need to set the record straight. This isn’t a fault with my Drobo and I would still go out and buy a new one tomorrow if I needed to.
Let me explain what’s gone wrong as it may help some readers.
My Drobo was formatted using something called the Windows NTFS format. When I bought it, I only used a Windows PC and the NTFS format was the only realistic option. When I switched to using a Mac, I had too many images to reformat the Drobo, so it continued to use NTFS. What corrupted on Drobo’s disks was something called the Master File Table or MFT. This is the thing that keeps track of all the files on the disk. If it corrupts, you lose track of all your files. They are still on the disk but effectively invisible.
Something that you may not have realised is that it’s virtually impossible to repair a corrupt MFT, which is why there is a mirror copy also held on the drive. This all happens automatically behind the scenes and the only time it’s ever used is if you run Chkdsk in Windows to repair your drive. But if the mirror copy is also corrupt (which can easily happen) it’s bye-bye data. This is what happened to me and it can happen to any drive formatted using Windows NTFS. This is not related to the Drobo design.
So, what caused the MFT corruption?
It was nothing more than the Drobo loosing connection to the Mac whilst data was being written to it. If you aren’t familiar with the Mac, you need to eject any drive before removing it. This ensures all data has been correctly written to the drive before it’s disconnected. Thinking about it, you should also be ejecting drives on a Windows PC or you run the same risk.
So why did the Drobo loose it’s connection to the Mac?
The Mac had something called a Kernel Panic which caused it to crash. That’s why the Drobo lost connection whilst data was being copied to it. And yes, the same thing can happen on a PC; it’s called the Windows Blue Screen of Death.
Tracing the root cause of a Kernel Panic is much more difficult as it can be hardware or software related. In my case I traced the problem to a faulty USB port in a USB Hub I was using. When I tested the port by reading a memory card, I found it would sometimes drop the connection to the Mac.
Initially I was confident the faulty USB port was the source of the problem, but it doesn’t appear it’s the only source. There appears to be something else going wrong as my Mac is still crashing from time to time. This happens whilst I’m trying to copy data from a backup drive to the Drobo. Initially all is well but after around 30-45 minutes the Mac will Crash. After that it crashes more frequently. As there was only a Drobo and it was directly attached to the Mac when this happened, I thought it must be related.
I decided to check the disks using the Drobo tools and they were all reported as being healthy. But, for some reason I decided to pop the front of the Drobo and look at the actual drives. Ultimately, I found that two of the disk drives (the two very old ones) are heating up and one of them becomes very hot to touch. Whilst the drives are cold the Mac is fine but when these drives become very hot the Mac crashes. This seems a little too much of a coincidence.
I’m going to replace the two problem disks in the Drobo and hopefully it will solve the problem. Ultimately, I don’t believe the Drobo is at fault in the slightest here.
As for the image, this is one of the images that I recovered from the crash. These rocks are on Froggatt Edge in the Peak District. As soon as I saw them I could imagine a black and white image. What haven’t yet been able to do is create the image in my head. Hopefully with more time I will be able to. Until then, I hope you like this version.