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Lenscraft in Focus Newsletter December 2018

Welcome to the Lenscraft in Focus Newsletter December 2018.

If you’re paying attention you will know that I skipped publishing the November newsletter without much explanation. I can share now that I was in New Zealand for much of that time. Whilst I was there, I noticed more than ever what I think is a worrying trend. Take this image as an example.

This is the Wanaka Tree which became an overnight sensation after featuring in a major travel guide. I will bet quite a few of you reading this will know of the tree and some of you may even follow it on Instagram. As a result of this fame, there’s almost always a crowd of people photographing the tree. What’s worrying about this is not the genuine photographer but what I will call the “Social Media Photographer”. There seems to be a surge in people looking for more extreme photographs to post on their social media accounts. In the case of the tree, they are prepared to wade out to climb it. If you Google the Wanaka Tree you will find lots of examples. Here are a few of the other things that I witnessed:

  • People trying to take a selfie next to boiling mud, getting close as possible to the explosions.
  • People climbing on a wall to get their picture next to a lake of hot acidic water. It was a sheer drop from the wall into the lake.
  • People flying drones in a no drone area. It was a no drone area because it was the helicopter flight path taking tourists over a glacier.
  • At many of the tourist locations, you are fighting your way past a sea of selfie sticks, especially if a tourist coach arrived. I was caught on the head on more than one occasion.

I hope what I experienced was extreme and that this isn’t the future of photography. Fortunately, once away from the general tourist hot spots, people started to behave more rationally. Take the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for example. There wasn’t a selfie stick in sight.


The Forgotten Accessory

As I write this, I’m sat on the interisland ferry between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. I’ve already been travelling for a few weeks and have another couple of weeks still to go. For equipment, I’m packing the Fuji X-T2 with 18-135 lens together with the Fuji 18-55, 10-24 and 50-200mm lenses. I have a set of 8 Kase Wolverine glass filters, Lee Seven 5 filters, 7 spare batteries, memory cards, and a tripod. Why am I telling you about all this equipment? It’s because I want to talk about the forgotten accessory. No, I don’t mean something I forgot to bring. I’m talking about something that’s very important to the landscape photographer but which we largely ignore. That’s our camera bags. Continue reading on Lenscraft…


Camera Club Presentations


If you’re near to Chester on the 18th December, I’m at the Chester Photographic Society in the evening. I’m talking about my approach to Landscape Photography which includes photo editing using the Nik Collection. The presentation starts at 7:30 pm and if you’re interested, please contact the club through their website. https://chesterps.org/ Following this, my next presentation will be the 29th January at the “85 Group” in Hazel Grove, Stockport. Again, you can contact the club through their website. www.85groupphotography.org.uk/


Affinity Photo Tutorial Video Series


I hope you managed to see my video series for Affinity Photo users. This is something a lot of Lenscraft Members asked me to produce. Although I love that people follow me on YouTube, this series is too valuable to just have on YouTube. I don’t want to leave finding it to chance so I’ve created a new page on Lenscraft. This draws together the six videos in the series onto a single Affinity Photo Tutorials page. I hope you find this useful. And don’t forget, you can download the RAW file to follow the videos from the Lenscraft members area.


From Around the Web

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


Shumon Saito

What I like about Shumon’s work is not just excellent composition but that it retains a sense of reality in the processing. The images appear natural rather than synthetic but are still very impressive. https://shumonphotography.zenfolio.com/


Martijn Van Der Nat

Whilst the composition and photography are very good, it was the post-processing that caught my attention. There appear to be some excellent examples of exposure blending. All the images display a wonderful use of light as well. http://www.martijnvandernat.nl/


On1 Photo RAW 2019


Whilst I was away this past couple of months, On1 released the 2019 version of their Photo RAW editor. As a long-term customer, I prepaid for the upgrade prior to travelling. Now that I’m back I wanted to check what I got for my money to see if it was worth the cost. If you’re interested, I published this short article and video in which I also demonstrate the new software. https://lenscraft.co.uk/photography-blog/on1-launches-photo-raw-2019/


Book, Course & Video News

What I’m currently working on.


Lenscraft Christmas Gift


If you’ve been a member of Lenscraft for more than 12 months, you will know that I like to give members a Christmas Gift and this year is no different. I’m not going to say much more at this stage other than the gift will include a book and video package which relates to the image above. I’ll be sending out details mid-December, so keep your eyes open for the email.  


Affinity Photo Book

The Affinity Photo book that I’ve promised for a while is progressing well. Progress hasn’t been quite as fast as I would like as I needed to take a break for my trip and to produce the Christmas Gift above. I expect the book to be available early in the New Year and if the demand is high, I will produce an accompanying video course. I will include an update on progress in the January newsletter.


Discount Reminder

Don’t forget to use the discount codes if you’re purchasing books or courses from Lenscraft. You can find the discount codes on the Members Discounts page. The next newsletter on the first Saturday in January.

Robin Whalley

Landscape Photographer


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Lenscraft Newsletter Lenscraft Newsletter December 2018