Well done, you brave digital wanderers for alighting on this bit of seasonal guff....happy festive season to one and all, maybe even a successful Winterval as well...I do hope Santa empties his sack with the things you want....I had a quiet word with the Elves and lo.....a Fuji TCL 100 will be in my cold wintery fingers by this very evening...(thankyou DPD)...as ever I ummed, arred and procrastinated until the only option was to take a trek to mpb.com and get myself a sparkling slightly used piece of Fuji glass. Excellent condition it says...the proof is in the Christmas pudding. I do miss a bit of nifty fifty shooting and this chunk of glass should fit the bill nicely. Lots of trips planned ( in my head) for some Stock image shooting for the upcoming year, Adobe Stock and also a wodge of stuff for Getty now that I don't use Capture One and get rejections for 'Technical Issues' like what they did this last year. but a big up for Getty and its DACs system which has had a trawl about the web and garnered some outstanding royalties for some of my image licences, cheeky peeps trying it on, who'd have thought people would cheat on their licence contracts...…
Anyhow the resultant windfall has meant I have upgraded my computer with a new Graphics card, no longer do things grind to a halt when Lightroom and Photoshop are crunching through the gears and of course a chunk of glass for the X100v....looking at a 1.33x Anamorphic for the phone but that can wait....I need to have a play with Resolve to learn how to unsqueeze the footage first, it's easy apparently, hmmmmmm...so still stumbling up that learning curve, classic comedy moments as I fitted the new graphics card and the computer reverted to some 2006 driver which meant my double monitor set up became a single set up and as I asked the interweb for my help I got to the stage where 2 monitors were back but the mouse had to traverse around the room behind me and then onto the other screen, what joy but with some 'very calm' and thoughtful mangling it's all back and Tesla smooth in all it's actions. So now to relax, just peeping through the net curtains waiting for the DPD chappie to skip joyfully down the steps with a teeny package of joy. Happy snapping out there and meanwhile I need to go and see if I have a battery for this Olympus mju...oh yes …film days may be back as well....
One of the unknown shocks of moving from a Nikon system over to Fuji was trying to get my new X-Trans files processed in my usual way.....Lightroom to Photoshop to Internet...BOOM...so simple so easy and then....
Lightroom , well it's iteration in October 2020 was not a fan of my Fuji Raw files, showing artefacts and unsharpness that initially, I thought were operator error (me)….that was until I did a quick internet search and the horror unfolded before my eyes. Seems like Adobe products were not optimised for the processing of Fuji Raw data and that led me on to downloading the FREE Capture One basic for Fuji. Okay a new software package to get my head around in a format that I found not as intuitive as the offering from Adobe and worst of all there was no option to move the basic files onto another programme in anything but Jpeg or TIFF format....no DNG or RAW options …..but if that was the only way of doing it , then that was the way it would have to be done.
Now after a raft of updates it appears that Fuji files are welcome on board the Adobe bandwagon and that means the binning of Capture One. I know a lot of folk out there in Photo-land get along fine with it, but it feels like a home coming being able to load straight into Lightroom , batch process and move things on to their new life on the Internet or digital death in the recycle bin.
East coast beach down in Suffolk that is just falling into the sea. Strong coastal erosion here on a beach interspersed with great chunks of driftwood. Another flat grey day given a helping hand in Lightroom.
This was another stop off in our 1200 mile trek around England.
Probably best to do a bit of cut and paste for the historical bit......
This very unusual lighthouse resembling a 1940’s sci-fi movie space craft is located on a small groyne in the river mouth at South Shields.
It was built in 1882 and was at the mouth of the river before the north and south piers were built. It still acts as a navigational aid to ships entering the River Tyne.
So back to wandering around subject matter taking multiple images...in the old days it used to be in the gift of the Nikon D700 to mash them together internally and squirt out a surprisingly usable layered image...but with the Fuji X100v the multiple image option is a tad on the wheezy side so it's multiple shots hoicked through Lightroom or in the above case Camera RAW...must be a decade since I last used that...anyway...just a couple more of these given a spank in Photoshop and placed here for your attention.
You do have to love these low sun late autumnal days for the clarity of light it offers.
Now that's a road trip...1200 miles around England to see all the folk we have not seen for the past 2 years....it was Covid-19...not being socially outcast....although it seems to be that most folk in England can't be bothered to wear face-masks even in the most crowded of places, seriously crazy....anyway lots of info out there about how airborne viruses infect folk.....
So images , but not many, from around the UK. I just used the Fuji X100V and shot as RAW files and now, surprisingly, uploaded straight into Lightroom as DNG files. It does look like the problems that Adobe had in dealing with X-Trans files seems to have gone although the lens correction algorhythm seems to be a tad strong and leaves a lighter halo around the edges.....so time to bin the free Fuji copy of Capture One and open up a bit more space on the hard drive.
Eroding beaches on the Suffolk coast to the Sage in Newcastle and more importantly the Graduation of my Youngest, The cold snap is here this weekend so I now what I'll be doing, with the assistance of the latest iteration of Lightroom
Quick it's not raining, allez vite off to the Mull of Galloway and a quick Autumnal wander around the Logan Botanic Gardens. Maybe not the best time of year to visit but I could imagine the narrow roads being choked during the summer months. So a few captures from a glorious autumn day here in the Southern tip of Scotland.
Kibble Palace, first came here over 10 years ago, a lot of restoration later and it's a welcome haven of warmth on a chill autumnal day. The plants are fabulous but there again so is the architecture of the place. So a few shots of the curves , glass and water that make this place a must see for anyone who wants to capture some unusual images.
Where would we be without our mobile phones, all those photos to look at, memes, social media and all the rest. This is part of a bit of street photography I did around the West end of Glasgow, the main gallery will involve all manner of folk out and about the Byers road area of Glasgow shot on a crisp autumn day prioir to all the shenanigans that will go on once COP26 kicks off next week.
Shot on a Fuji X100v at f5.6 iso. 400 and shutter on auto
Since we bought our Campervan...or the self isolating Cottage on wheels....we have zipped about all over Scotland...from Scone to Gareloch and Abroath to Speyside, well...we've tootled about all over the place. Now to be honest I've been using my Pixel 4a as a go to image grabber, not much space in the man bag although I can hear a few 'ahems' as my camera kit now consists of a Fuji X100V... but the video on the 4a is stabilised and has panoramic stabilised pan which looks good, especially when uploaded to a stock agency. But I have been taking quite a few shots with the Fuji, never mind my eyebrow raising/ head shaking at Adobes inability to handle X-trans files in a fair and proper way. So here are a few shots from around the Spey Bay area up at Moray north of the Cairngorms, fortifications to keep out the marauding Germans during WW2 and still holding their own against the Scottish elements.
It's been a funny few months and then there was Covid!! . So I do have a backlog of images to process, switching from Nikon to Fuji has been a far bigger learning curve than I anticipated, running the files through Capture One before going down my usual Adobe workflow has been a bit of an eye opener and exploring Acrylic abstracts and now Weaving has taken a lot of my 'creative time'. .with equal amounts of failure and success. I've spent a lot of time touring Scotland in lockdown, having a campervan is as close to a self isolation pod whilst being on holiday as possible and we have just finished our last trip of the season which included over using the fan heater and putting more clothes on to go to bed...well that's Scotland in Autumn.
Although I have been taking a lot of Stock images on my travels I've found that the Fuji files get a bit of a rough ride when it comes to QC stage of submitting, I actually have a 100% acceptance rate with my Pixel 4a but the Fuji files seem to make their algorithms go a bit GaGa. Still everything at the moment is a bit crazy and I just thought I'd let you know there will be a shortage of my images to purchase on Adobe istock, Getty, Alamy and Pond 5 so time to PANIC BUY.........
Keen eyed readers of this stuff will have noted that the venerable Nikon D700 was celebrated by using it's menu system to take 10 in camera multi exposures to celebrate ownership for the, aforementioned 10 years. Now I like this old skool Digital behemoth, weighs a ton but it's still going so I've gone and mated it up to a 50mm F1.8 and had a rummage in the menu system to set it up to what I want.
So, first of all I've set it to Fine quality Jpegs......Jpegs!!!! Well if you shoot Mono in Raw when you download them then the colour is hoicked back and all that Mono moodiness will have to swiped back in with Lightroom or over in Photoshop...let's not bother...Phasers on stun...set to Jpeg Fine. Now then in the Monochrome setting there is a submenu, so now you can get a bit tricksy, so I've added a Red Filter, other colours are available and reduced the sharpness just a tad. I really don't want to be over faffing in LR or PS trying to drag highlights back or nudging shadows into play I want something that out of the can looks and feels like old worldy mono.
Okay note to those who care, you can shoot Raw and Jpeg...I don't want to, my other cameras are set up for colour, RAW and Video so I'll just leave this as it is, I may, however slip in the odd bracketed or manual exposure depending on those tricksy autumnal lighting conditions.
Let's See what I can capture over these next few weeks as we scoot around Scotland
I was asked by a neighbour last month if I was doing any photography at the moment, well the answer was NO....but in recent weeks things have changed. We all know the effects Covid has had and the restrictions it has imposed on all of our daily lives. But as lockdown eases it has made it easier to go out and try and remember settings that were once instinctive and natural. Now I mentioned in an earlier blog post this year Panoramas, I used to do a lot of wide angle panos, 20mm on an FX sensor used to give some eye boggling results. Now though I have settled on a standard 50mm, still shooting 7 images, always left to right....always RAW, faffled in Lightroom with the odd exception being given a tickle in Photoshop. So here are a few, all of my output is heading onto online image libraries, time is a bit of a killer at the moment so I may post a link to all the new stuff in a while.I also have a pile of ICM multi long exposure madness breathing deeply on it's own hard drive so will tickle those into something sensible once winter appears, Anyway here are a few Pano landscapes from around the West Coast of Scotland.
So here we are, the dying embers of Round 1 of covid lockdowns, more on the way probably.....so in those moments between downpours we are off out and exploring. Bumbling down the A77 towards Stranraer lies the little coastal village of Ballantrae, at this point the road sweeps away from the coast so this time we took a right and ended up at a car park overlooking an enormous shingle/pebble beach. Always amazed at this bit of Ayrshire coast in the diversity of it's beach structures. As ever , there was hardly anyone there, the complete opposite to those scenes from Bournemouth the other week. So besides collecting some more Driftwood (have a look on my instagram account) it was a 50mm lens beachcombing bumble. Now I only explores a small part of this coast so this is just a snapshot of what was there. Bisous.
Well after all these years of posting Image and Video files off to Getty images, I honestly had no idea that they sold the image files as Prints and framed goods, well I don't think it has been at the top of their promotional drive but hey....they do. A quick google search shows they have been doing it since 2015..must have passed me by. I'll have to build a link into this site as I sometimes (rarely) get asked for framed pictures.
Well here's a link to some of those wafting around in the digiverse....
Lots of other stuff under the maxblack monicker as well as a stack of Video and b-roll clips on there as well
Well I wrote previously about the demise of Fotolibra, an image library that had over 5,000 of my images lifting their skirts and winking at prospective buyers. Gone now as of the 1st of June but what it made me do was dig out all the old hard drives (there's one that has gone missing) and see if there was anything relevant and useful that I could work on and post to another online library. Turns out there is. Libraries will almost invariably ask that they have exclusivity on the image file and I always try and ensure that that is always followed. So this batch dates back to when I was doing all the work for Manchester discovering all the long forgotten rights of way and footpaths across the whole of the Greater Manchester area. It did take years to build a database but along with the Nikon Coolpix they provided....well I took along my gear as well......
So this is a selection of things I found that had been dumped...from Wythenshaw to Ashton all the way to Ramsbottom...people dump things
I think I may have mentioned my dislike for High Dynamic Range images (HDR) ascribing most of the images produced to being like Barbara Cartland putting on her make-up in the dark whilst being violently shaken by the shoulders ( younger readers here is a Barbara Cartland link ) Now mainly it was an abuse of HDR , with it's ability to extract heaps of tonal and colour information, far too much usually being applied for dramatic effect and the whole thing looking like a dogs dinner. It does seem to have faded from view though.
But here I've used it to extract the maximum from a very low light level Long Exposure set. Late evening, 3 exposures using an ND100 10 times Neutral density filter, camera perched on a tripod and exposure times of 30 seconds, One minute and 2 minutes. Now you could mess about with each image, select and load as layers in Photoshop and mask and blend until life becomes meaningless and the futility of sitting in front of a computer screen only emphasises the vacuity of existence or you could watch this toot sweet video, starting with the 3 images.
So White balance checked for each image file, all selected, right click and stroll up the menu to Merge_HDR, click auto align and using the default settings, select merge, when it's all merged up clean up any dust (do it on the final image as you only have to do it once!) and a bit of personal faffery and your Father or Mothers brother is called Robert.. Oh Ailsa Craig once the sun had set.
Now this was the first Image Library that I uploaded images to back in the day, we are talking the noughties here but in Digital years that really is a lifetime ago. I really can't quantify how many hours I put into this with the image prep, uploading and keywording, cataloguing and finger crossing....but I managed just short of 5,000 unique images...so yes a lot of the noughties was spent hoping that the upload speed was just a bit faster than an asthmatic one legged chicken trying to cross the road...so here is a link... www.fotolibra.com/seller/portfolio/manage.php?collection_type=0
This was one of the first platforms to offer a totally digital image download platform, no slides or negatives but competition is fierce and with Getty switching to a Royalty Free system and driving down prices there had to be casualties. Always friendly and great communications from the owner and sales team it did feel as though you were part of a small team with a common goal of getting digital images out to an online market, but all this comes to an end on the 1st of June so if you want to have a look at what I spent many an hour mashing into some form of easily found, keyworded file, then bob in now a the 1st of June is almost upon us.
Oh yes I had that is until Ian Dickinson on Facebook posted some Photoshop Twirlers which had me jumping straight into Photoshop and , using the image above, swigged a glass of creative juice and set about...well creating. Now I have to say you can possibly set this up as an action , load a photo and press go and all will be done whilst you sit back with your hands behind your head, probably like me humming The Baked Potato song... But what if that envelope was pushed a bit further...
Now there are plenty of training vids on that Youtube so I'm not doing one but I have given you a screen shot of how the finished video is produced
It all looks more complicated than it actually is....no hissing and booing or throwing things now...I suppose a video might be in order....anyway it's just the worked on image opened in a time line...dragged out a bit and then, using pan in the dialogue box set to motion...which looks like this
Right these seedlings wont pot themselves on and I have some Paul Klee type paint splashing planned. Any questions.....
Rain, we all remember when it used to rain all the time before Covid 19 changed everything, But just as the curve starts to flatten the rain returns, New found freedom from hosepiping all the new plants and seedlings wooohooo, so what better way to use this than to lock and load the D750 and take a wander along a country lane. The Road to Pinwherry, one of Bob Hopes and Bing Crosbys least known road movies....anyway one of those spring mornings when the rising sun in the east met with grey clouds in the west. So mainly wild flowers with added stark spring landscape...stay safe out there mes amis.
A quickish walk along the Water of Gregg here in the village, mainly punctuated by Ewes and Lambs castigating us and sending us on our way. Low sun and not much cloud cover with the added bonus of so many wildflowers poking out through the undergrowth...some of which I've never seen before or, which is more probably the case, have forgotten about in the fugg of old age. So some sunlit macro shots from along the riverbank. Stay safe out there.
What's all this then????
An unyeilding torrent of Photo babbel full of unconfirmed facts and manufactured photo drivel.. take from it what you like, it won't change the world but may leave you feeling nauseous...