Hi {name},

Welcome to Lenscraft in Focus for March 2021.

As I write this month’s newsletter, there has been a distinct improvement in the UK weather. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword though. My local countryside has become more accessible and enjoyable but at the same time there are large numbers of visitors crowding into areas where I wouldn’t normally have seen anyone. I suspect I will miss much of the best landscape photography conditions and may need to wait until the end of Summer.

That said, I do have a secret weapon. This year I’m intending to do more infrared photography so bright summery conditions will suit that. Even when the weather is dull or cloudy, an infrared camera can transform the landscape.

Lenscraft in Focus March 2021 Newsletter main image

This shot is one that I recently found on my hard drive. In fact, there were several thousand images that had escaped cataloguing for some reason. For a while, I didn’t even know where this was shot (Nether Wasdale in the Lake District). This goes to show that a good cataloguing workflow is important in photography.

I have a few interesting things to share in this month’s newsletter. There are my recently published tutorials, interesting things I’ve found on the internet as well as a new photographer you may not know. There’s also news about the print edition of my latest book as Amazon is offering discounts on it.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter.


New Lenscraft Content

Here’s a list of the new articles and tutorials published on Lenscraft over the past month.

Non-Destructive Editing in the Nik Collection
When DxO launched the Nik Collection 3, they included one of the most widely requested features, non-destructive editing. In this article I’ll be explaining how this works in the Nik…

How to Use the Nik Collection Standalone
You probably already know that the Nik Collection is a great Photoshop plugin and that you can use it in other tools like Affinity Photo. But what about trying to…

My Digital Photo Editing Workflows
Something I receive a lot of email queries about is the digital photo editing workflow I use. I’m often asked what software I use and how do I combine my…

How to Blend Layers in Affinity Photo
Being able to blend layers together in Affinity Photo is an important skill for photographers. Once learned, there are many ways you can apply this skill. In this tutorial I’ll…

Using Photoshop Plugins in Affinity Photo
In this tutorial we look at how you can use Photoshop Plugins in Affinity Photo. I’ll explain: Where to install your Plugins so that Affinity Photo finds them. The steps…

Photo Editing Software: To Upgrade or Not
What I want to do in this article is share some observations about software that you might not realise. It may not sound like an exciting topic, but I think…

Capture One Lens Correction Advice for Landscape Photographers
This is the first in a series of articles where I’m sharing my photo editing tips and advice for working with Capture One. In this article we look specifically at…

From Around the Web

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

On1 Release Photo RAW 2021.1

On1 Photo RAW 2021

I’ve been using On1 for a long time alongside my other photo editing tools and applications. Whilst the Nik Collection continues to be my default plugin, I’ve recently found myself using On1 more frequently. On1 Effects has some great filters to use with landscape photography and it maintains image quality very well.

In this past month, a new version was released and it’s nice to see the inclusion of new features rather than these being held back for the annual update. Here’s a link to the On1 website listing the new features. There’s a useful short video demonstrating each of these.


I am an On1 Affiliate, and this is an affiliate link.

Equipment to “Last a Lifetime”

Gitzo Crowd Funding Product Launch

I hate the idea of throwing something away that’s perfectly usable. I also hate not being able to repair my equipment when it breaks (I think I’ve turned into my dad). That’s probably why I found the following crowd funding launch of interest.

The website statement says “Légende, travel photography gear designed to last. Made from premium eco-friendly materials and offering free spare parts and an unlimited warranty. Our throwaway culture is destroying the places we as photographers hold most dear.  So we set out to make a more sustainable tripod, one that is fully-featured but forever repairable.”

But what surprised me even more is who was behind this. It isn’t a tiny start up, it’s the renowned tripod manufacturer Gitzo.

It’s great to see new, high quality equipment launched that’s you can maintain. I also love that this uses a crowd funding approach to provide a substantial discount for pre-orders (limited numbers available so be quick). If you like the idea of equipment you can service and that lasts, it’s worth visiting https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gitzo-legende-tripod-and-camera-backpack#/

Affinity Photo 1.9

Did you notice that Serif released the new version of Affinity Photo (version 1.9) in early February? I’ve been looking through the new features and whilst some are useful, I don’t think a lot of them will help me. One feature that I do like the look of is the photo stacking for Astrophotography. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to try but it could be a year or two before I get the time to shoot some images. That said, it could take me that long to understand the technical details.

Here’s an interesting demonstration video from the Affinity Website.


Despite my lukewarm reception of the new features, Affinity Photo remains one of the best photo editing tools. And at the current discounted price, I think that it’s an exceptional bargain.

Kase filters at the AP Awards 2021

Congratulations to Kase Filters. Their Kase Wolverine K9 filter system has won Accessory of the year at the Amateur Photographer AP Awards 2021.

Some of the benefits listed were:

  • Weight and size of the holder.
  • Magnetic polariser.
  • Quality of the glass.
  • Variety of kits and overall design.

You can read more and watch the video on the Amateur Photographer website. I’ve been using Kase Wolverine since 2017 since switching from Lee and find them exceptional.

Another Interesting Photo Competition

Audubon photos

Despite being a landscape photographer and loving the outdoors, I don’t shoot nature images. Being able to capture a bird in flight or some other split-second event is beyond my skill and more importantly, patience. If you like great bird photography, here’s an interesting page of 100 awards.


Photographers You May Not Know – Sapna Reddy

Sapna Reddy website

This month I have another young photographer to share with you. Sapna Reddy is a professional landscape photographer based in Northern California. The “About” page on her website says that she is currently pursuing dual careers as a photographer and a physician. Part of me wants to scream give up the medical career having seen her photography (I know this is wrong and that I’m a bad person for thinking it).

Do take a few minutes to visit her website and enjoy the Gallery.


Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

“Affinity Photo How To” in Print

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my new Affinity Photo book. If you missed the announcement (which came out after last month’s newsletter) the print version of the book is now available.

Affinity Photo How To Print Book

Importantly, Amazon appears to be discounting the book because it’s sold well (for an independent author.) Looking today on Amazon UK, I can see the price is reduced from £24.99 to £18.01 which is a sizable discount. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long that will last or if it will vary. You can see the print version on your local Amazon store with this link (https://geni.us/c9tGBqS).

What’s Next

Having finished “Affinity Photo How To”, I’m now revisiting some of my old titles. The first of these is Nik Color Efex Pro and I’m busy doing a rewrite of the book. This will bring it up to date as well as include new material for things that I’ve learned since I published the first edition. I hope to share more information in next month’s newsletter.

Until next month, stay safe.

Robin Whalley

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Copyright: Robin Whalley 2020

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