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.
Today I’m returning to an image that I’ve probably shown before. It may not be the same identical file but it’s possible you’ve already seen this. I’m doing this because I’ve been back through my image library and reprocessed quite a few of the RAW files.
The reason for this is because I noticed some of my image quality problems of the past are fixed by changing RAW converter (no, I’m not talking about Fuji). In fact, some of the lens and camera performance problems were so bad I ended up selling the camera/lens. Now I’ve discovered the problem was mostly my RAW converter. If you want to see five examples here’s my video.
But back to the image above.
I shot this with an Olympus EM5 (micro 43) using the Olympus 9-18mm lens at 10mm. The camera was tripod mounted and I used an ND grad on the sky (2 stops I think). In the past when I processed this file it was a struggle. There were noisy shadows which lacked detail and a blown-out sky. The image also had a lot of distortion, especially in the corners of the frame.
The difference is that I used DxO PhotoLab to process the RAW file.
Now I’m not recommending switching to DxO, but it is interesting how good the RAW processing now seems to be. What I am recommending though is to always shoot in RAW format and hang onto your files. At least that way you can take advantage of future developments in software.
An unfortunate side effect of all this though is that it’s made me think of buying another Micro 43 camera.
hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
This week I’m doing something a little different. I’m sharing this image, not because I think it’s great, but because I had to make something out of nothing. If you’re interested, here is the starting image.
The reason for my problem is that I haven’t had much time recently to shoot new work. The weather hasn’t been great but now seems to be improving. I have also been wrapped up in developing and launching a new course (Mastering Photoshop Luminosity Masks); you can watch the first section for free using this link. On top of that, there have been photography club presentations to make, which are great fun but take lots of preparation.
The real reason I wanted to share this though is that I recorded the creation of the image in full. From Lightroom into Photoshop, processing with Nik and then additional dodging and burning in Photoshop. I posted the full video on YouTube.
I will warn you though, it’s about 30 minutes long. If you want to subscribe to the channel, this is the link to use (https://goo.gl/GCZq33).
I’m off to speak at Wilmslow Guild Photographic Society tonight. Fortunately, I managed to publish my latest video tutorial on YouTube before I must leave.
If you watched my previous tutorial about using the On1 Masking tools, this tutorial goes a step further. It demonstrates how impressive On1 can be when using these masking tools. It also demonstrates additional features that I didn’t cover previously.
If you’re a Lightroom user, you may feel that the selection tools aren’t great. They certainly lack the precision you can achieve in Photoshop. As I’ve been writing my latest book (not surprisingly it’s on Lightroom), I’ve been creating some increasingly complex and precise selections. Some even rival what you can achieve in Photoshop using masking.
Rather than just keep this for the book, I decided to publish a couple of videos on You Tube to demonstrate the techniques.
The first shows how to cleanly separate the sky from the ground in an image.
A few blog readers appear to like my recent Trinnacle Rock image, so I decided to publish a video on You Tube demonstrating the editing. But rather than just concentrate on the editing, I have tried to share my thought process around the editing. This explains the how and why of my processing decisions.
I have posted a follow up on You Tube to my “In the field” video. This time I’m shooting Clappersgate Bridge in the Lake District. This is a classic view and especially so in the Autumn when the trees are golden as you can see above. I then go on to show the processing you can use to enhance similar autumnal scenes.
I hope you enjoy the video and find it helpful.
[If you are reading this in an email you won’t be able to see the video. Click the following link to watch the video on You Tube]