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 captured this image a few weeks back now. At the time I wasn’t sure quite how best to process it and to be honest I’m still not sure.
I captured this from Bamford Edge in the Peak District looking across Hope Valley to the cement works. It was a little before sunset and the conditions were quite challenging. Not because they were unpleasant but because the light was so bright. The valley was filling with fog and the low sun was streaking through the clouds. I couldn’t see the image properly on the back of the camera and even using the viewfinder I was struggling.
At the time it looked like the conditions were so bright that they exceeded the cameras dynamic range, even using a three-stop Kase Soft ND Grad filter. I did bracket the shot (with the filter) using five exposures. My thinking was that I would create an exposure blend, but the image above is a single exposure. With some tweaking in Lightroom, I was able to control the exposure enough to create a good base image. Much of the processing was then with Luminosity Masks (using Lumenzia) before converting to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro.
I’m probably going to revisit the image when I have more time.
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.