Hi {name},

Welcome to Lenscraft in Focus for September 2022.

As I write this, the heather season has just finished. It wasn’t the best that I’ve seen, probably because of the extremely dry weather, but it was great to be out photographing it. I did manage a few shots that I like although this one is probably my favourite.

Lenscraft in Focus September 2022 Newsletter title image

I captured this using a Panasonic G9 micro four thirds camera and Leica 8-18 lens. It’s a tripod mounted exposure of 1/8” at f/8.0 and ISO200. I used a 2-stop reverse ND graduated filter on the sky and it’s a single shot.

I love the intensity of colour and like many of my favourite images, this was taken after sunset. The other photographers around me had all packed up and gone whilst I kept shooting. My only real regret is that I didn’t have the Panasonic G9 in high-resolution mode for this.

I’m also hoping said all this that everyone can see the image.

It looks like after all the problems and testing, I may have traced the issue with the missing images. I’ll be explaining more shortly. You’ll also find a link to the final (I think) video lesson for learning Affinity Photo. And if you don’t use Affinity Photo, hopefully some of the other articles I’ve published are of interest.

I hope you enjoy September’s newsletter.


Missing Images Update

My test in last month’s newsletter worked for all but two people. I received well over a hundred emails saying that you could see the images at last. I’ve had some temporary success in the past but this time I think it’s fixed.

For those with an interest in these things, it wasn’t the newsletter software that was at fault. Instead. It was a different service that I use to optimise images for the website. This takes the JPEG images I upload and replaces them with the newer WebP format. It appears this replacement service is causing the problem. When I remove the optimised images and replace them with the original JPEGs, it fixes the problem for almost everyone.

There were a few people still reporting issues, but these seem to have other causes. For example, I traced one to using daisy chained email addresses. This is where an email is automatically forwarded to another email address which is then forwarded to another (and so on) before reaching the intended email. Somewhere along the chain the images were stripped out.

Fingers crossed this is the end of the missing images problem.

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.

Take Better Photos Using Depth of Field Control
As photographers, one of the most valuable tools for taking better photos is the depth of field. Being able to control and use depth of field correctly is often what…
Lightroom 11.4 Masking and Selection Changes
In a recent newsletter, I mentioned that Adobe had made changes to the Masking and Selection tools in Lightroom 11.4. Because of this, I went through the exercise of updating…
Interview With Steve Gosling on Becoming a Professional Photographer
I would like to introduce you to Steve Gosling, a professional photographer based in the North of England. Steve recently agreed to an interview with me to share some of…
3 Easy Affinity Photo Tools For Removing People from Photos
In this tutorial, we look at three easy tools for removing people from photos using only Affinity Photo. Today everywhere is busy. It’s extremely rare that you have an opportunity…

Learn Affinity Photo Free Course

Here is the final (I think) list of videos in the course:

Last month I asked for your ideas for further lessons. A few readers contacted me with some great ideas, but they were advanced topics and not for beginners. I’ll therefore end the course with the Selections lesson and have added the ideas to my list of possible future videos.

Amazon Switches to ePub

Did you know that Amazon has switched away from their Mobi eBook format and now use ePub?

Authors guessed this was on the cards for a while when Amazon removed the option to upload new book releases in Mobi. What this means for the customer is that you can still read the old books in your Amazon library. But when you purchase any new books, they will be delivered in the ePub format. Amazon expects this to be seamless and go unnoticed for most customers.

When it comes to my Lenscraft website, I will stop offering the Mobi option on new books. Older books will still have a Mobi option, but I suggest any purchases are made using the “all formats” option. You can then also upload the ePub version to read on Kindle devices.

If you use the Amazon email service to send books to your Kindle account, the Mobi option has now been removed and ePub added.

12Tb Expansion Desktop

Seagate 12Tb Desktop Drive

Last month I shared the story that Drobo had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. This was worrying me as my Mac is already complaining the Drobo software won’t be compatible with a future OS release.

Having thought it through, I’ve decided to wait to see if Drobo release an update to their software. It might also be that only the Drobo dashboard software eventually stops working and the Drobo unit continues to function. But to be on the safe side, I decided to purchase a new larger backup drive.

My current photo library on the Drobo is almost 9Tb and has increased rapidly in the past couple of years. Prior to this, I had been using a couple of small 5Tb Seagate portable drives for backups. But now with a 9Tb library the process is becoming overly complicated.

My new backup is a Seagate 12Tb Expansion Desktop drive which I purchased from Amazon and so far, it seems very good. I’ve already backed up my entire Drobo library and have been adding further images.

The only points that I don’t like compared to the smaller portable drives are:

1.       The physical size. This drive is probably twice the size being based on a 3.5” disk. That said, it’s a fraction of the size of a Drobo.

2.       The drive needs its own power supply with plug. The portable drives are powered by the USB socket used to connect them to the socket.

3.       It’s noisier. You can hear the disk turning as it works where the portable drives are silent.

I now have my Carbon Copy Cloner software set to keep the new backup drive in synch with the Drobo. If one day I can’t launch the Drobo, I will still have my backup.

From Around the Internet

A selection of interesting photography related resources and news from the internet.

Interesting On1 Developments

On1 Tack Sharp AI

I’ve been using On1 software for over 10 years, alongside the Nik Collection, Topaz, and a few others. In recent years I’ve notice On1 invest in developing AI technology. This has allowed them to launch two excellent noise reduction and photo enlargement products. Now it looks like they are developing AI sharpening software as this blog post/video shares (https://www.on1.com/blog/on1-insider-a-sneak-peek-at-tack-sharp-ai/). And if you think their masking tools are outdated, it looks like they are adding a few AI features to that also (https://www.on1.com/blog/on1-insider-a-sneak-peek-at-mask-ai/).

What I really like about On1 is that they don’t only release stand alone products. These developments find their way into the excellent On1 Photo RAW editor.

If you buy any On1 products don’t forget to use the discount code LENSCRAFT20 at the checkout.

Cole Thompson Newsletter

I have been a fan of Cole’s work ever since I saw his “The Ghosts of Auschwitz” series in a photography magazine. In the recent issue 120 of his newsletter, he shares a new series of images titled “Negative Intersections”. It’s a remarkably simple idea (the best always are) where he converts part of an image into a negative. The results may not be to your taste, but I’m sure you will agree they are striking.

You can sign up for his newsletters (and read recent editions including issue 120) on his website.


Photographers You May Not Know – David Ward

David Ward Photography website

I suspect many of you reading this already know of David Ward. After all, he’s been a professional photographer for a long time and has authored a couple of books on the subject. I also don’t mind admitting that he was one of my early photographic heroes and I still admire his work greatly.

The things that draw me to David’s work are:

  1. His brilliant compositions, especially for closeup shots. He seems to see things that the rest of us miss.
  2. The way that he captures light and shadows in a scene.
  3. The deep feeling of natural colour in his work. Even when a scene is almost devoid of colour, the colours come through strongly and appear totally natural.

Please do take some time to appreciate the beautiful photography on his website.


Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

The Easy Way to An Organised Photo Library

Thank you to everyone who has purchased my latest book, and for the great feedback you’ve shared.

The Easy Way to an Organised Photo Library Book Cover

Unlike my earlier Lightroom book, this book doesn’t try to explain lots of the Lightroom library features. Instead, it explains an approach to using several of these features in a way that can help organise your photography. Don’t expect this to cover every detail of Lightroom or every how you can use the software. As I explain in the introduction, it’s a book for people struggling to control and organise their photography.

This is a book is about using a system, explaining how to use that system to create a solid, well organise photo library. You can then use this as the basis to use other Lightroom features as you need. Like most things in life, you need to build on solid foundations.

I can also now share that the book is available on Google, Apple, Kobo and Smashwords as well as Amazon and my Lenscraft website.

As for my next project, I’m tacking the update of Nik Silver Efex Pro to version 3 which many of you have asked for.

Until next month, stay safe and enjoy your photography.

Robin Whalley

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