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Lenscraft in Focus Newsletter May 2019

Welcome to the Lenscraft in Focus May 2019 newsletter.

In this month’s newsletter, I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Luminar 3 license competition. I’ve also found a very interesting landscape photographer from Scotland to share. There are a few enhancements to the Lenscraft website and a couple of free photography magazines to tell you about.

Let’s start though with a landscape photography article. I felt compelled to write this following a recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland. It presents a different approach to capturing the landscape. For one, I now find my smartphone an essential accessory, but not to take pictures. You can find out why in the article.

Tips for Produce Your Best Landscape Photography

In order to produce your best landscape photography, there are several things that need to come together. If you’re serious about landscape photography, it’s worth thinking about the five points in this article in a little more depth. Even if you are an experienced landscape photographer there may be something to help you improve. You’ll also find out why my phone has become an essential accessory to my landscape photography.

Read the full article…


Luminar 3 Winner

Before I announce the winner of the Luminar 3 license, I would like to say a huge thanks to everybody who took the time to enter the competition. Whilst there are far too many entries to thank everyone individually, I have read them all. It was very rewarding to read all the book reviews and it’s strengthened my commitment to creating the best value photographic education on the market.

But enough of that, the winner of the license is John Taylor from Sydney, Australia.

Congratulations to John and thank you all again for entering and for your kind feedback.


Website Changes

If you haven’t visited Lenscraft in the past month, you might notice a few changes when you next visit. I’m hoping these will make the site easier for you to use.

Cleaner Design

You may recall the old website had a central “raised” area that looked like a page within the browser. This was looking a little dated but more importantly, causing issues on mobile devices. The raised area is now gone, allowing the page to spread across the screen. Another problem with this is that it was causing some page to display at random widths which I’ve fixed.

New Pages & Menu Changes

There are a couple of new pages grouping together tutorials. These include Photoshop Tutorials and Lightroom Tutorials both of which appear in the “Learn” menu. Importantly, the “Downloads for Books” page which contains all the example files for my books has moved. This is now in the Learn menu rather than the Members Area. The direct address for the page remains the same so if you have it bookmarked, the bookmark will still work.

Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation now appears on most of the site’s pages. The breadcrumbs are at the top of each page to the left, just below the menu. These show where in the site you are, but they also include useful links. For example, if you’re reading a Photoshop tutorial and wonder what other similar tutorials there are in this category, you can click the link “photoshop-tutorials” in the breadcrumbs. This then displays a page listing all the other Photoshop tutorials.

I hope you find the changes helpful in using the Lenscraft site.


Camera Club Presentations

I recently visited Bishopthorpe Camera Club near York on the 16th of April. They are a very friendly club and I would like to say thank you to the members for making me so welcome. It was also very nice to meet Lenscraft members who visited the club to see my presentation.

My next club presentation will be at Photofold Camera Club in Billericay, Essex where I will be delivering my presentation “Landscape Photography: Lightweight Tools & Techniques”. It’s a long way for me to travel to make a presentation but I owe a debt of thanks to the club (that they aren’t yet aware of). It should make for an interesting evening. If you are in the area and want to come along, please get in touch with the club through their website.


From Around the Web

Some of the interesting sites and photographers I’ve found this month.

Light & Landscape Magazine

In the March issue of Lenscraft in Focus I shared details of the free Light & Landscape Magazine app. It appears quite a few Lenscraft readers downloaded the app because Matt from the magazine got in touch. After a lengthy phone conversation about Lenscraft he asked if he could interview me for a future copy of the magazine.

If you haven’t already downloaded the app for your phone or tablet it’s well worth doing as there are some great articles in there (including an interview with yours truly).


Landscape Photography Magazine

Another good landscape photography magazine that’s only available online is Landscape Photography Magazine. I’ve subscribed to Landscape Photography Magazine since issue 3 when they published an article about photographing Saddleworth (where I live). Whilst the magazine has an annual subscription, they do publish a free annual edition which you can download. If you’re interested, this year’s edition is now available here.

They also publish a free monthly edition of the magazine with limited content. Even if you don’t subscribe to the magazine, it’s worth getting onto their mailing list for the free version.


Sharp 8K Prototype Camera

Sharp recently displayed an interesting prototype that could have implications for photographers. If you look to the bottom of the following article you will see mention of the prototype.


I find two things interesting about this:

  1. Sharp has adopted the Micro 43 mount for the camera mentioned. If this translates into a production model it should ensure the camera and lens combination are very compact.
  2. The 8K video would give a resolution of 7680 × 4320 pixels at 30 fps. This really does open the door for selecting the best frame from a video to use as a still image.


Angus Bruce

Over the past month, I spent a week in the Highlands of Scotland with a friend, staying in Ullapool. We knew the photography would be tough in April, but we didn’t know quite how tough. We had hoped for rain and showers but instead faced the dreaded clear blue sky and haze. On most days the best of the light was over by 10 am and didn’t come good again until 7:00 pm.

Our answer (having been up since 4:00 am to shoot the sunrise, was to take refuge in a local café above the outdoor shop in W. Argyle Street. This is where we came across the photography of Angus Bruce who has a large display of his excellent work there. Although we were never going to get the best light in April, we did get a couple of new ideas for locations to visit by looking at his work.

Whilst you may not be able to visit Ullapool it’s well worth visiting Angus’s website. His panoramic photography is brilliant. But if you are considering a trip to Ullapool or the Highlands for some photography, be sure to check the accommodation page of his site. We didn’t stay there but looking at the website I wish we had.



Book, Course & Video News

Learn about the courses and books I’m currently developing.

Latest Project – Luminosity Masking Course

I’m making good progress in developing the Photoshop “Using Luminosity Masking” course. It’s taking slightly longer than anticipated but I want this to be the best course on the subject. I expect to have the course ready in May and will send out details once it’s launched.

Do you have any Questions?

I’m also looking for any questions that Lenscraft readers might have regarding Luminosity Masking. I want to ensure the course answers as many of these as possible and there may be an opportunity to address specific problems in the course.

If you do have any questions or points you would like to see covered by the course, please email me at [email protected].


Withdrawn Topaz Plug-ins and Books

I’ve recently discovered Topaz Labs has withdrawn two of its plug-ins from sale. These are Topaz Texture and Topaz Detail, both of which I have published books about. The features of the two plug-ins are still available in Topaz Studio as paid enhancements but the interface and workflow are very different. I’ve therefore removed my books from sale.

Book & Course Directory

I often encounter Lenscraft members who are unaware of all the books and courses I’ve published and are surprised by the numbers. To help, I have a page on the Lenscraft website where I list all my books and where they can be purchased.

Online Courses

The following video based online courses are available at Lenscraft Training.

Sharpening Photos with Adobe Lightroom

Mastering Viveza for Beautiful Colour Photography

Mastering Photoshop Channel Masking

Mastering Photoshop Luminosity Masks

Each month I publish the Lenscraft in Focus newsletter. It shares interesting news about Lenscraft and Photography. Read the April 2019 newsletter here.

FREE Book Offer


Get your FREE copy of "6 Steps to Shooting Brilliant Landscape Photography"  by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.

Follow the advice in this deceptively simple book to significantly improve your landscape photography. Organised into 6 simple lessons, this valuable and detailed guide provides information that’s often overlooked. In fact, lesson 3 is so obvious that most photographers ignore it completely.

If you want to improve your Landscape Photography fast, follow this book.



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