Lenscraft in Focus September 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to the Lenscraft in Focus September 2019 newsletter.
I will start this month’s newsletter with an apology. A lot of people received the email announcing the launch of my new book three times. I only sent the email once, but for an unknown reason, it created three copies. I’m very sorry for any frustration this caused and I’m working hard to trace the issue.
On a lighter note, it’s been a good season for heather this year, but I mistimed it. In the past, the end of August has always seemed to be the peak, but it was a few weeks early this time.
Here’s one of the shots that I did manage before the flowers died away.
It’s something I need to update in my diary for next year and keep a closer watch on.
New Lenscraft Content
I’ve been busy over this past month adding new tutorials and rewriting old ones. Here are a couple you may find interesting.
Post Processing Landscape Photography Workflow
This is a four-part tutorial explaining the start to finish workflow for one of my photographs. It includes four separate videos, each demonstrating a different workflow stage. https://lenscraft.co.uk/photo-editing-tutorials/post-processing-landscape-photography-workflow/
Affinity Photo Personas Explained
If you’re thinking about trying Affinity Photo or are new to the software, this tutorial and video may help. The video’s been on the Lenscraft Affinity Photo Tutorials page for a while, but I decided it needed a short tutorial of its own https://lenscraft.co.uk/photo-editing-tutorials/affinity-photo-personas-explained/
Improvements to the Lenscraft website have continued. In the past month, I’ve noticed there’s been a sizable shift from people reading the site with a tablet to using mobiles. This concentrated my attention on making the site easier to use for everyone. You should now find the page layout clearer and easier to use. There’s also a new larger font which is better spaced and easier to read om a screen.
I’ve also tried a couple of new layouts for a few tutorials whilst I decide which to adopt. Again, it needs to be easy to use. There’s no point making it look nice if people struggle to read it.
Landscape Photography Quick Tip
It may sound an obvious tip – “Learn to use your camera”.
But before you dismiss this and skip ahead, please understand what I’m trying to say. This doesn’t mean you should learn all the features of your camera (although you should understand the most useful ones to you). Instead, it means learning how your camera reacts under different conditions. Let me give you an example.
Recently I was shooting in the Peak District in the early evening. The conditions were bright but not excessively. Despite having shot in similar conditions many times and using ND Graduate filters, I couldn’t capture a good exposure. I was finding the exposure was either too dark or too bright and the camera appeared to be jumping between the two extremes. Because I knew this was unusual behaviour, I decided to check the metering setting on the camera. That’s when I found the level had moved to spot metering by accident.
Knowing your camera means learning to understand how it responds under different conditions. Once you can to do this, you can control your camera to capture a better image.
Camera Club Presentations
My next presentation will be the 19th of September when I’m at Lytham St. Annes Photographic Society. I’ll be delivering my “Lessons for Landscape Photographers” presentation. If you’re in the area and would like to attend, please contact the club through their website.
From Around the Web
Snippets of news from around the internet.
Alien Skin Exposure X5 & Name Change
Alien Skin, who develop the excellent Exposure software have announced they will soon be releasing Exposure X5. Exposure contains a huge range of excellent film simulations and is a capable all-around photo editor. The next release develops the software further as a photo editor, although I can’t say what those features are yet. I’ll be doing a review when the software’s available.
The other big news is that they are changing their name to Exposure Software. I think this is a great move and makes the company sound like the professionals they are.
On1 Photo RAW 2020
It’s that time of year when all the photo editing companies announce the next version of their software. On1 Software is one of these, announcing they will release Photo RAW 2020 at the end of October. I’ve already placed my pre-order for the upgrade but I’m not sure what to expect. You may think that its odd I would upgrade like this, but I want to keep up to date with all the main packages.
I will be doing a review once the new release is available.
Skylum Luminar 3.1.3
I might complain about the annual round of new software releases, but it’s good to see new developments. One company that stands out for me is Skylum. They’re making regular enhancements to their software in the form of AI. Whilst I’ve been a critic of AI in the past, the Skylum tools perform well. What’s also notable is that these enhancements continue to be a free upgrade.
Visit the Luminar 3 page on Skylum.
Photographers You May Not Know – Art Wolfe
As I write this, I can already hear the cries “Art Wolfe is one of the best known photographers alive today”. Whilst I accept this, I still come across lots of people that don’t know his name. That’s why I must share his work.
If you’re not familiar with Art’s work you should visit the Showcase section of his website. I find the images in the “Edge of the Earth Corner of the Sky” gallery particularly appealing, though I’m sure you’ll recognise lots of others. I should also mention that he’s published some excellent photography books on Amazon.
Books & Course News
Essential Adobe Photoshop CC is now available. You can find the eBook on Amazon as well as Google Play and in Apple Books by searching for “Robin Whalley”. If you would like to purchase directly from me you’ll find it in the Lenscraft Shop.
I’m now working on the print version of the book which I expect to release in the next few weeks.