Hi {name},

Welcome to Lenscraft in Focus for March 2023.

February was a remarkably quite month for photography, at least it was for me. I had hoped for cold weather, frost and perhaps some snow. In the end it wasn’t to be. Even a snowshoeing trip to the mountains of Austria didn’t produce much snow as you can see in this shot.

Lenscraft in Foucs March 2023

This was captured using a Panasonic Lumix G9 with Leica 12-60 lens at 14mm. It’s a handheld exposure (snowshoes and tripods don’t mix) at 1/15” at f/8.0 and ISO200.

I’m finding the G9 is a great outfit for trekking and now prefer it to my Fuji system for this kind of work. I’ve also decided to hold off making the upgrade I previously mentioned of the Fuji XT3 to an XT5. Having read several reports, some people are finding the older Fuji lenses produce soft images on the XT5. How true this is I don’t know, but I’m waiting until the situation becomes clear. In the meantime, my existing equipment is fine.

It’s also been a quite month in the photography press. I suspect most of the new camera and software launches are behind us now as we head into the Spring. I’ve therefore busied myself writing new articles and updating a couple of old ones. You will find these later in this month’s newsletter, along with news about my latest book projects, the winner of last month’s competition and another free prize draw you can enter.

I hope you enjoy it.


Affinity Universal License Competition

Affinity Universal License Logo

Last month, I launched a free prize draw to win an Affinity Universal License v2. The license covers Affinity Photo, Affinity Publisher, and Affinity Designer for the Mac, Windows, and iPad platforms. These are professional level products and a true alternative to using Adobe. I even use Affinity Publisher to do the layouts for my print books.

Congratulations to the winner of last month’s prize draw which was David Joyce from Cumbria in the UK.

If you entered the draw and didn’t win, don’t worry. You now have a second chance because I have another Universal License to give away. If you would like to enter, you can find out how on my competition page. And whilst you’re there, please take a moment to share it with someone who might benefit.

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.

Create Amazing Selections With the Affinity Photo Pen Tool
One of the most accurate selection methods in Affinity Photo is the Pen Tool. Unfortunately, many people using Affinity Photo to edit their photography avoid using it. That’s probably because…
How to Sharpen an Image in Photoshop
There are lots of ways to sharpen an image in Photoshop. You’ll find some of these in the Filter menu, although there are some other less obvious techniques like High…
How Does Image Sharpening Work?
Have you ever stopped to wonder just how image sharpening works? One minute your photo is soft, but by moving around a few sliders it seems to snap into focus.…
Learn How to Turn Day Into Night in Affinity Photo
In a recent tutorial, I explained how to turn a daytime photo into a night-time scene using Adobe Lightroom. This caused a lot of people to ask, “can you do…
How to Create Fine Art B&W Photography in Lightroom
I’m sure you will have seen many examples of fine art black and white photography in the past. The ones where the sky is black, and the buildings are in…

From Around the Internet

A selection of interesting photography related resources from the internet.

Software Updates

Several of the photo editing products that I cover (and personally use) have seen new releases over the past month. These are what I would call minor releases, so there isn’t much in the way of new features. It’s more about enhancements to what’s already there, together with bug fixes and support for new cameras and lenses. Here are the links to the release pages:

Then there is Topaz Labs with the excellent Topaz product line. They seem to have a new update to one or more of their products each week. In all honesty I struggle to keep up with the changes, but the products just keep getting better.

Photography News 104

If you want to keep up to date with developments in cameras and lenses, Photography News is a great resource. Edition 104 is now available to read for free online at


Wikimedia Images of Earth

Wikimedia Wiki Loves Earth

I can’t remember how I found this link, but it features some great landscape and nature photography. It’s well worth a look.


Photographers You May Not Know – Dan Ballard

Dan Ballard website

Dan Ballard is a Pro Landscape and Travel photographer from Colorado. I don’t know much about him myself other than what you can read on the About page of his website. I found his work on Instagram and followed the link to his website, where he has a great landscape portfolio. But strangely (for me as a landscape photographer) I found his Western portfolio more interesting. Perhaps it’s because the images reminded me of the western films I watched as a child.

You can check out Dan’s work on his website or Instagram. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

New Book Published

The revised version of my Lightroom Masking book has just been released. It’s now called “Mastering Selections & Masks in Lightroom Classic CC 2023” to reflect coverage of the latest version of Lightroom (v12). I’ve been able to hold the price at £4.99 (similar in other currencies) and you can purchase it from either Amazon or my Lenscraft shop. The book’s been expanded to cover the new Select Object and Select People tools and includes two new full-length examples.

Mastering Selections and Masks in Lightroom Classic CC 2023 ebook cover

A few people have also asked if I will be publishing a print version. Unfortunately, the answer is no, as the book has never sold in sufficient quantities to cover the cost. Also, when I published the previous edition, I released an Adobe Camera RAW version. Regretfully I won’t be able to update this as I wasn’t able to cover my costs on the original book. I hope you understand.

Next Book Project

I’m now underway with my next book project which is “Mastering Photoshop Luminosity Masking”. This is one that I started some time ago and then paused. I’ve decided that it’s now time to resurrect this because of the importance of this subject. I use the techniques in this book in almost all my photo editing work and they can bring a huge improvement to your photography. And if this book proves to be popular, I intend to publish a version for Affinity Photo, later in the year.

I’ll share more about the project in the next newsletter.

Until next month, enjoy your photography.


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Unit 8693, PO Box 4336, Manchester M61 0BW
Copyright: Robin Whalley 2020