Spittal Beach? Northumberland 2010 150mm Sigma Macro Lens

The feature picture above – here (right) is the unprocessed shot in Lightroom. My first instinct was to crop out the highlights on the edge of the frame. After further consideration, they were left in and darkened with a Graduated Filter to the top and right-hand side. The Radial Filter was used to darken everything that was not the pink pebble. In this case, the Contrast instead of Saturation was increased to make the picture work. Increasing the Contrast in a colour picture is a way of expressing photographic seeing.

In This Post 


The Importance of Skies 




Positioning The Horizon 


Graduated Filters or Not




Further Suggestions 

1st Diversions, Hold-ups and Road Blocks

As many of you will know, I have been writing about photography online and in print for many years now. Over the years, there have been some minor and major diversions to the photographic theme. Diversions in the theme have been caused by other interests and writers’ block on photo related subjects. I know there has been mixed support for non-photography subjects. Those comments have been equally divided between strongly in favour and those decidedly against the ideas put forward.



2nd Reaffirming The Photographic Faith

From a photographic point of view, my basic style and thinking have not changed in the last twenty years. Watching the Arena Seminar online last weekend it struck me how all photographers strive for the same basic qualities in a picture through widely differing methods. I found the seminar as ever, useful for “reaffirming the faith”. What I mean by “reaffirming the faith” is the repetition of the values held to be true amongst those photographers I admire. As a giver rather than a receiver on the subject of photography I was happy to be in the audience for a change.



3rd I Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know

As I have said many times at camera talks “I don’t know, what you don’t know” as a statement of fact. I can only tell you the way I see photography and what works for me. I am not saying my way is the only way to getting it right. That would be reminiscent of the pompous Captain Mainwaring! Whether what I suggest works for you is up to you to assess. We are all on a different part of our photographic journey without a metaphorical map, so speak! There are many roads to your destination, the route I have chosen for me, may not be the most suitable for you.


Anyway, I am getting off the point I was trying to build up to.


Spittal Beach? Northumberland 2010 150mm Sigma Macro Lens



“Judge a man (or woman) by their questions rather than the answers.”


French Philosopher

4th The ABC of CameraWork Manual – How to see photographically

Back to the plot, the basis of my photographic practice is explained in my book The ABC of CameraWork Manual, of which I have a few copies left. The Manual is printed digitally so I can have one or a thousand printed at a go. The essential core of the Manual has been online for a while in a series of pages called Encouraging Articles. The beauty of a book about the art of seeing photographically is that it does not date.


5th Any Thoughts From You?

Therefore, if you have a photographic question or topic you would like me to try to explain or investigate in a blog post, please leave a comment below. If I can, I will try to help.

6th Viltrox Lens Firmware Update Problems

A few weeks ago, Viltrox brought out Firmware updates for two our their AF Fujifilm fit lenses. In my case, these are the 56mm f1.4 and the 85mm f1.8.

Subsequently, I downloaded the firmware and updated the lenses via a cable in the usual way. However, to my surprise both lenses became unusable. Instead of fixing a problem that I didn’t know existed with the lens, they continuously hunted to try to find focus and the viewfinder flashed on and off.

Firstly, I tried rolling back the firmware to the previous version that worked to no effect. Secondly, I tried rolling back another version to no effect. Thirdly, I contacted Viltrox in China after some to-ing and fro-ing they sent me a version of the development firmware not on their website and it worked.

Fourthly, I had exactly the same issue with the 56mm lens that was also fixed by the responsive and helpful attitude of the Viltrox team.

Finally, The only slight downside to this tale is in the process of trying to get the lenses to work. In desperation, I reset one of my bodies back to factory default settings. This was done in the vain hope that there was a miss-communication somewhere. There wasn’t. Now I had to try to remember all the nuances of the camera set-up and menus to put it back to as it was! However, getting the Exposure Compensation to work on the Front Command Dial took a little fiddling around.