Hi {name},

Welcome to Lenscraft in Focus for February 2021.

As there wasn’t a January newsletter, this is the first real opportunity I’ve had to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope that you’re well and that this year will be your best year of photography yet.

With lockdown restrictions now back in place throughout the UK, I haven’t been shooting any new photography as I’m sure a lot of you haven’t. Because of this I’m back to searching through unprocessed photos in my archives. Fortunately, I love doing this as it’s a bit like a treasure hunt. You never know quite what you’re going to find.

Here’s one example from a shoot back in November 2015 which for some reason I had completely ignored.

Lenscraft in focus februray 2021 newsletter main image

Well, it’s not entirely true that I ignored the day. When I shot this, I had two cameras with me. The first was my trusty old Olympus EM5 and the other was a full frame Sony A7R with Canon L series lenses. After the trip I was fixated on the full frame images from the Sony and pretty much ignored the Olympus shots. Now looking back at the images, I can see the truth; the Olympus images are superior. Not in size or quality but in how they look, and that’s what matters.

It doesn’t matter what camera and lenses you use, providing they are good enough to take a decent image (and most are). What matters is the result and that’s an important lesson we should frequently remind ourselves.

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter.

New Lenscraft Content

Over the past month I’ve focused on publishing new tutorials and updating old ones. Here’s the list of what you can find on Lenscraft.

Landscape Photography Exposure Blending in Photoshop
In this tutorial I explain how to do exposure blending in photoshop for landscape photography. Although I shoot most of my landscape photography using graduated neutral density filters, I sometimes…

How to Take Sharp Photos
In this article we look in detail at how to take sharp photos. This is an important subject for most photographers, but especially when shooting landscape photography. Often in landscape…

How to Avoid Camera Shake in Photography
For most photographer’s camera shake will ruin otherwise great shots. There’s nothing more frustrating than capturing a single great image on a shoot, only to find that it’s blurred and…

How to Fix a Blurry Photo
In this tutorial I want to share how I fix a blurry photo. But before we get into the details there’s something important to understand. Fixing a blurry photo should…

Exploring the Exposure Triangle in Landscape Photography
When starting to landscape photography, one of the first things you should learn about is controlling your camera. But this mean learning to use all those fancy features manufacturers stuff…

Blue Hour Landscape Photography Advice
Blue hour photography in the landscape can be some of the most rewarding and beautiful. In this tutorial I share some of the things I’ve learned over the years.

How to Use the Affinity Photo Refine Selection Tools
In a previous tutorial I explained the Affinity Photo Quick Mask and how you could use this with the Selection Brush Tool to create more accurate selections. But as useful…

From Around the Web

This month, I’ve discovered a few things that you might find useful or interesting.

Affinity Photo Trial & Sale

Affinity Photo

Last week I received an email from Serif announcing a new 90-day trial period for their software to help support creatives through the pandemic. This is unusual (and good) as they don’t usual offer a trial version. In addition, they have a 50% price reduction on all their software and many of their other products. If you have been considering a switch to Affinity Photo, there probably isn’t a better time to try out the software.


Kase Filters e-Zine

Kase Filters

Over the New Year (I think – I’m losing track of time) Kase Filters published an e-zine. It features a selection of photographers talking about their work and shares some wonderful photography. It’s free to download and a great read even if you don’t use Kase Filters.


DxO Free Webinars

DxO is resuming its program of free photography webinars and offering new sessions throughout February that can be accessed directly online. This month’s webinar schedule includes:


The Basics of Starting Out With Silver Efex Pro — Part 1

Presented by Dan Hughes

Friday, February 5, 2021 - 8pm BST

REGISTRATION: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4062436392043215887


Easy and Efficient Workflow with DxO PhotoLab 4 and Nik Collection 3 by DxO

Presented by PhotoJoseph

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 6pm BST

REGISTRATION: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6333615098168500239


Advanced Tips and Techniques With Silver Efex Pro — Part 2

Presented by Dan Hughes

Monday, February 15, 2021 - 9pm BST

REGISTRATION: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8652499414799002383


Adding Vintage Effects To Landscape Images With Analog Efex by DxO

Presented by PhotoJoseph

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 6pm BST

REGISTRATION: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3785933406914113295

International Landscape Photographer of the Year

In Decembers newsletter I shared a link to “40 Epic Landscape” photos on the National Geographic website. At the time I said that whilst I thought the photos were good, I wouldn’t class them all as epic. Since then, someone has shared a link with me to the International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020. This time I think there are many “epic” images here, although I’m not sure how well they will stand the test of time. Will we be impressed if we look at these again in 10 years? I don’t know. See what you think.


Photographers You May Not Know – Alex Nail

Alex Nail website

I can’t remember how I came across Alex Nail’s website, but it was quite recent. I love a good mountain photo and his “honest” approach to photography really suits this subject matter. All the galleries on his website are worth viewing but I found the Scottish mountain shots particularly good.


Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

Affinity Photo How To Published

In January I published the eBook version of Affinity Photo How To. This generated a lot of questions asking, “is this a new version of Essential Affinity Photo” and “what’s the difference between this and Essential Affinity Photo”. In short, this is a completely different book. If you already have Essential Affinity Photo, think of this latest book as expanding your knowledge and skills.

Affiity Photo How To eBook Cover

Because of the questions, I produced this short article to answer the most common. But two popular questions that I want to answer here are:

  • Yes, there will be a print version of the book.
  • Yes, I will be sending out an email to announce when this is available.

I’ve just finished the page layouts and ordered the first proof copy for checking. If all is well the book will be available in early February.


Until next month, stay safe.

Robin Whalley

Landscape Photographer & Author

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