Lenscraft in Focus April 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to the Lenscraft in Focus April 2019 newsletter.
There’s a lot been happening over this past month and a lot to tell you about, so I will keep the introduction brief. This month I have a selection of tutorials to share but I also have a competition to win a Luminar 3 license. I stupidly bought a license I didn’t need, so rather than getting a refund I’ve decided to offer it as a prize.
I hope you enjoy April’s newsletter.
Using a Wide Angle Lens for Dramatic Landscape Photography
It seems a simple thing doesn’t it? Using a wide angle lens for landscape photography is something most people try once they become interested in photographing. Unfortunately, many than fined that it’s not quite as easy as it seems. If you want to make the most of your wide angle lens, consider adopting the simple advice in this article.
Old Articles Updated
Over the past month, I’ve been hard at work updating some of the older tutorials on Lenscraft. When I checked some of my older articles, it shocked me to find they were over five years old. Things in photography move on quickly so I’ve started to update the oldest tutorials. I’ve been lengthening the tutorials as well as bringing them up to date and in some cases, I’ve completely rewritten them. Each time I substantially revise a tutorial I will change the publishing date. This then makes it show up on the front of the Tutorials Page. Here’s the link to the tutorials page where you can find some of the tutorials I have revised this month.
Creating Affinity Photo Luminosity Masks
With the increased popularity of Affinity Photo, something I’ve been frequently asked is how to create Luminosity Masks. Most Affinity Photo users who have tried to create Luminosity Masks using my Photoshop guide have found that the key combinations from Photoshop don’t work. If this is you, watch my YouTube video demonstrating how to create Luminosity Masks without keystrokes. I’ve also produced this full tutorial describing the process to create the Lights, Darks and Midtone series of masks.
Win Luminar 3
Something that I’ve wanted to do for a while is to include some short reviews for my books on the Lenscraft website. But rather than just asking for reviews, I’ve decided all reviews will be entered into a free prize draw. I recently purchased a Luminar 3 license that I didn’t need (this wasn’t deliberate) and haven’t used. As tempted as I was to return the license for a refund, I’ve decided it would make a great prize for this.
If you would like to enter, all you need to do is provide a couple of sentences for any of my books that you have read. You can enter the draw multiple times providing each review is for a different book. My wife will draw the winner at random after the competition closes on the 30th of April.
To enter the competition please use my online entry form.
Camera Club Presentations
This month I will be at Bishopthorpe Camera Club near York presenting “Lessons for Landscape Photographers”. The event is on the evening of the 16th of April and if you would like to attend, please contact the club directly at their website.
I then don’t have any further presentations then until June, when I will be at Billericay Camera Club in Essex. I wouldn’t normally give a presentation so far from home, but I have a special reason for making Billericay an exception. I will publisher more details in a future newsletter.
Kase filters in the UK continue to develop their product line. With the huge success of the Kase Soft Filter Bag, the soft bag will now be included in the Wolverine Entry Level Kit, Wolverine High End Kit, Wolverine Master A Kit and Wolverine Master B Kit. I’m also delighted to begin offering the Kase Wolverine 150mm Soft and Reverse ND Grads in the Lenscraft shop in addition to the “regular” 100mm filters.
If you have a smaller format camera and would like smaller filters, don’t worry. I was talking to the team from Kase at the recent Photography Show in Birmingham and they have a very exciting development in this area. I will announce more in a future newsletter.
Alien Skin Exposure X4.5 Due Soon
The team at Alien Skin has been in touch to announce the next release of the Exposure X4 software (a favourite of mine for effects processing). In fact, by the time you read this, the new version will probably be out.
With the latest release, they are positioning themselves well as a viable alternative to Lightroom. The most significant new features include:
- Look-Up Table (LUT) Support
- Copy Photos from Card
- Configurable Keyboard Shortcuts
- New Overlays
- Additional lens and camera support
You can view a short video of the update on the Alien Skin website.
From Around the Web
Some of the interesting sites and photographers I’ve found this month.
Do you like checking image quality at full resolution? I know that I do, especially if I’m thinking of changing to or buying a new camera. Usually it takes a bit of hunting to find suitable samples but a good first stop is Pixel Peepers. Here you can find full sized images that people have uploaded from all manner of cameras. Visitors also get to vote for the images to say if they are worth “peeping” at.
I will stress that all of this comes with a warning. When I look at some of the images on the site, I think they are JPEG captures rather than RAW. I know not everyone shoots RAW and JPEG quality is important but do check carefully what you are reviewing.
Photographers You May Not Know
This is the section where I like to introduce a photographer that you might not know. If you pay them a visit and like their work, do say hi to let them know. It’s always nice to receive a compliment and I’ve had quite a few of the featured photographers say thank you.
I was in two minds about including Steve in this month’s newsletter. Not because he isn’t a great photographer but because I think a lot of people do know about him and his work. Then I realised a lot of people I speak to don’t know about photographers I consider to be well known.
I discovered Steve early on in my photography career; I think it was whilst reading a photography magazine and Steve had written one of the articles. Later I attended his course about making money with your photography which was excellent. Later I attended an Olympus experience day which he was leading, and it was that which lead me to switch from Panasonic to the Olympus EM5.
He’s a great photographer and genuinely nice guy. If you haven’t seen Steve’s work before do check out his website.
Book, Course & Video News
Learn about the courses and books I’m currently developing.
I’m making good progress with the Luminosity Masking course. I’ve already published an introductory course “Mastering Luminosity Masks” but the new course will go much further. Rather than concentrating on creating the Luminosity Masks, it will focus on using the masks in practical situations to edit landscape photography.
I’m expecting to launch the course in early May on my Lenscraft Training website. I hope to provide further details in the next newsletter as well as being able to confirm the price.
The next newsletter is published on the first Saturday in May. If you missed the March 2019 newsletter you can read it on Lenscraft.