Hi {name},

Welcome to the Lenscraft in Focus newsletter for April 2024.

I want to start April’s newsletter by sharing an image from one of my favourite UK locations, Cornwall. I have visited Cornwall dozens of times, but always in the Summer when it’s packed with tourists. This time, it was very different but no less beautiful. While the weather wasn’t spectacular, I did capture some photos that I love, like this view from the South West Footpath near to Lands End.

Lands End cliffs Lenscraft in Focus April 2024 newsletter

I’ve photographed this scene many times, but usually in glorious sun. There was some sun this time, but it was breaking through heavy rain clouds to produce dramatic, monochrome light.

This handheld exposure was taken with a Fuji XT5 camera and a Fuji 16-80 lens at 16mm. The shutter speed was 1/240 second at f/8.0 and ISO125, with a 3-stop Soft ND Grad filter to control the exposure of the sky.

I also wanted to share this image because I’ve been receiving emails asking if I’m worried this lens isn’t on Fuji's “Recommended Lenses” list for the XT5. This list includes lenses that Fuji says can resolve sufficient detail to take advantage of the XT5’s 40Mpixel sensor. My answer is no, I’m not worried.

Initially, I was concerned because my images appeared soft and lacked detail. But once I traced the cause to be diffraction, I changed my technique (https://lenscraft.co.uk/photography-tutorials/camera-diffraction/). After changing my technique, the results that I’m now achieving with my “inferior” lenses are fantastic, and I couldn’t be happier.

But before I digress too far, here’s another shot from my trip.

Lands End rocks at sunset

This is Enys Dodnan Arch (centre) and Armed Knight rock (top left), just off Lands End.  As with the previous image, I’ve photographed this location many times, but never at sunset. On this particular day, the sunset didn’t colour up as I had hoped it would, but the colour did reflect off the surface of the sea.

For this shot, I had the Fuji XT5 mounted on a tripod using the same Fuji 16-80 lens, but at 63mm to crop in close on the two rocks. I could see a lot of rough water around the base of the rocks and wanted to capture it with some movement. I used a long shutter speed of 3.2 seconds at f/8.0 and ISO125, which required a 4-stop Kase ND filter. To prevent the water from appearing too milky, I used a Nik Sharpener Pro feature you can read about later in this newsletter.

I hope you like both photos. I have many more to share, and I’m dripping them into my Instagram account over time.

Robin

New Lenscraft Content

Here are the new and updated tutorials you will find on Lenscraft this month.

Colour Managed Workflow Foundations for Digital Photography
On March 26, 2024, I delivered a presentation explaining the foundations of a photographic colour managed workflow. This was the first of two webinars for Datacolor and DxO. The intention…
Read more...
 
My New Approach to Image Sharpening Software in 2024
When it comes to image sharpening, a lot has changed in recent years. Possibly one of the most significant is the use of AI sharpening tools but this could be…
Read more...
 
My Frantic Search for A Drobo Alternative in 2024
Until recently, I’d been a long-time Drobo user and enthusiast. Then, in 2022, Drobo’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy before liquidating in 2023. This marked the end of…
Read more...
 

New YouTube Videos

This month, in addition to publishing tutorials on Lenscraft, I’ve also released the following YouTube videos, which you may be interested in.

DxO PureRAW 4 New Release Reviewed

I share my thoughts about the recently released PureRAW 4 software and its new features.

https://youtu.be/2eM4-v_kVgA

The Lightroom Tone Curve Explained

I look at how it works, how to use it and when.

https://youtu.be/Va-NfZmNXUA

How To Produce the Best Quality Photo Display: Affinity Photo 2

This video looks at a question from a Lenscraft reader asking about how best to prepare a photo for digital display or projection. In it, I explain how I would approach the task and why.

https://youtu.be/ELRBoEO0_vA

 

From Around the Internet

Some of the interesting things I’ve found online this month.

Affinity Joins Canva

On Tuesday, 26th March, I received an email announcing Affinity had joined the Canva family. While the email spoke of the great value and synergies between the two organisations, my reaction was one of disappointment. I’ve seen enough corporate mergers for this to raise a few concerns:

  1. Affinity Designer and Publisher fit well with Canva, but I’m unsure about Affinity Photo. It doesn’t feel like a natural fit. I hope the photo editing tools continue to be developed and that new feature releases don’t slow.
  2. Although Canva is free, that’s only the basic service. You must buy the Pro service, which is £99 per year for more advanced work. Could we see Affinity Photo move to this annual rental model?
  3. The cost will increase. The Affinity products certainly feel underpriced compared to Canva, and software development is an expensive business.

The day after jotting down the above concerns, I received a further email with the following commitments.

Canva-AffinityPledges to the community

I don’t know how this will play out or what plans are already in place. Let’s hope this assures the future of the Affinity family of products and that they continue to challenge Adobe.

Lofoten Photography Guide

Next year, I’m returning to the Lofoten Islands in Norway (if all goes to plan). It’s a beautiful location that I’m sure some of you will have already visited. To help with my planning and ensure I make the most of my limited time there, I purchased an eGuide from Shutter Safari.

Shutter Safari Lofoten Guide book

I haven’t read the entire book, but I’m already extremely impressed with what I have read. It’s a very useful guide with excellent advice and images. If you are planning to visit by yourself or without a guide, I recommend buying this book well before you travel.

I also purchased the accompanying digital map, which seems invaluable in my planning.

Shutter Safari Lofoten Islands Digital Map

It is extremely helpful to visually see the relevant points of interest like this. You then click on the points of interest to view images and information. It seems like the perfect companion to the book. Well done Shutter Safari.

https://www.shuttersafari.com/

Colour Management Webinar

Did you see my colour management webinar?

I’m aware a few people couldn’t get access on the night. It looks like we hit the maximum number of attendees for the event, which we hadn’t anticipated. If you missed the presentation for whatever reason, you may like to know you can watch the recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5Sd9S9beh6U.

All that’s missing from the recording is the questions-and-answer session after the presentation. Remarkably, that went on for longer than the presentation, and there were still hundreds of unanswered questions.

The next Webinar is on April 16th, and you can register using the link  https://lp.datacolor.com/DxO-Webinar-Registration.b2c.html. In it, I’ll be covering Soft Proofing and preparing images for print in DxO PhotoLab. But even if you don’t use PhotoLab, you will be able to apply a lot of the information to other software tools.

Photography News 114

The latest issue of Photography News is out, and you can read it for free at

https://mail.bright-publishing.com/c/AQjN9w8Q8YNlGMedxWIgxanSFfD7m25EMOLA3UR_A1IYLY8i2XQHag29dwPBMrstxQzL

One of the stories is about the launch of the Fuji X100VI. I happened to try one of these out at the Photography Show at the NEC and wish I hadn’t because I now want one.

Photographers You May Not Know – Matt Jackisch

Matt Jackisch website

I came across Matt Jackisch on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/matt_jackisch), where he has a great collection of photographs. Many of the scenes capture beautiful woodland and mountain landscapes, which are a particular love of mine. You can also visit his website if you would like to see larger images.

https://www.mattjackischphotography.com

Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

The Dark Image System for Lightroom

I’ve been working hard on the book and course and had planned for it to be available now. Unfortunately, an unexpected and unavoidable event has delayed things. If you have been waiting for the release, I apologise. All being well, I’m aiming to have it available at the end of April.

Until next month, enjoy your photography.

Robin Whalley

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