news

Some Bits and Pieces

Some Bits and Pieces

I've been a bit remiss with posting here lately and I have a few ongoing subjects that I know I've promised which have been getting delayed. I'm still working on a detailed report on Capture One Pro 8 for Fuji users, but I've been swamped with work so it's taking a bit longer than I had anticipated. I am writing a first impressions report thought, and I'll have that up shortly. I'm going to be doing a lot of design and animation work for the next few months, so the blog might be a bit quieter than usual for a while, but I'll do my best to keep the updates coming. In the mean time, I do have some random bits and pieces of news to report, so in no particular order...

The Lightroom Diary is Back in action

The Lightroom Diary is Back in action

When I was having problems with this blog a little while ago, which caused me to move it to squarespace, it effected all my sites, including my recently launched Lightroom Diary blog. I had originally re-posted lots of content from here on the site so as to populate it but when I moved to squarespace, all the links got broken. It's been on my list to fix for a while, and it ended up taking a bit longer than I wanted, but I'm happy to say that it's finally back up and running, and there's already some new content on it. 

Steely Blue and Monolith now Available for ACR

Steely Blue and Monolith now Available for ACR

Ever since I've started releasing presets for Lightroom, I've been getting requests for Photoshop ACR versions. I've been promising people for a long time that I would release Camera Raw compatible presets, and so I'm delighted to announce that my first sets are now available! The first two sets that I've ported to ACR are my two most popular: Monolith and Steely Blue. Depending on the demand, I'll look at porting the rest of the sets in the coming weeks. 

Weekly Photography News Roundup for August 8th

This weeks featured photo is “Yellow Door” - Shot on a Sony NEX–7. If you missed it earlier in the week, check out my retrospective review of the NEX–7

Welcome to another weekly roundup, my weekly series highlighting the eclectic mix of interesting photography related news from around the web that I’ve come across during the previous week. There’s lots of news and interesting blog posts this week, so unfortunately I’ve no inspirational artists to share, but there’s lots of interesting things to check out…

The Beatles famous Abbey Road cover picture was taken 45 years ago today. Hundreds of people gathered at the crossing to celebrate the anniversary. DpReview has more.

“A Hip Way to Take Street Photos” is a great piece from the New York Times’ Lens blog, about 83 year old street photographer Ken Heyman. Well worth a read.

The Phoblographer highlights the beautiful conceptual Photography of Josh Malik

“Photos of Earth from space resemble paintings” is a nice blog post from Silicon Republic highlighting some photographs from International Space Station Astronaut Alexander Gerst

Philip Bloom Reviews the video capabilities of the Sony A7S in a great (and long) video review of the camera. A really great and enjoyable review. It’s almost like watching a tv show episode it’s that well put together. Good camera too!

Video review of the Sony A7S from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

David Cleland talks about the Fujji gear he uses when on holidays. His choice of lenses might surprise you.

Photography as a Balm for Mental Illness - another fascinating article from the New York Times looking at how a photography collective is helping some overcome depression and other mental illness.

Please Help Support This Site

I am a fine art Photographer and do not shoot commercial projects. I do my best to keep this site regularly updated with lots of tips, reviews, news and photography advice, all for free. If you like what you read here and want to help support the site, then please consider buying a Print, checking out my Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets by Thomas Fitzgerald
Lightroom Presets by Thomas Fitzgerald

More Examples of Landscape Gold for Lightroom in Action

Just some quick preset news. When I launched Landscape Gold for Lightroom last week, I didn’t expect that it would become so popular. In the space of a week it has become my most popular set of presets and I’m blown away by the response. So I want to give a big thanks to everyone who bought the set.

I had created a collection full of images to use as samples and I only posted some of them for the product demos, so here are some more examples of the preset in action. Landscape Gold is available now from my Digital Download store for €10.

My next two sets will be “Steely Blue” and “Bleached Bronze” and then I will have finished porting over my Aperture presets.

Speaking of Aperture Presets, I’ll soon be closing my Aperture Blog preset store, now that Aperture has been discontinued, and I’ve reduced the price of my Aperture presets significantly for the last little while till the Aperture Blog store closes.

I’ll be taking a little break from presets for a while as I want to concentrate on a few book projects that I have in progress. I will be bringing my existing presets to ACR (Adobe camera raw) though, and I hope to have that project completed sometime this month.

For now, enjoy some more examples of Landscape Gold in action.

Dragonfly - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Dragonfly - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
More Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
More Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
A Canopy of Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
A Canopy of Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Garden at Washington Square Park - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Garden at Washington Square Park - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Tall Grass by the Canal
Tall Grass by the Canal
Reeds - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Reeds - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Grand Canal in Dublin - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Grand Canal in Dublin - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Little fish swimming in the canal - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Little fish swimming in the canal - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Walk by the Canal
Walk by the Canal
LEaves
LEaves
Dublin Liffey - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Dublin Liffey - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Flowers outside a shop - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Flowers outside a shop - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Marshmallow Soft Vignete
Marshmallow Soft Vignete
Autumn ivy - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Autumn ivy - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Autumn Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Autumn Trees - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Lens Flare
Lens Flare
Lamp Post - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Lamp Post - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
White Butterfy - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
White Butterfy - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Shamrocks - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied
Shamrocks - With Landscape Gold Lightroom Presets Applied

Photography News and Inspiration - August 1st Edition

Postman walking against a grafitti covered wall

Featured Image: "Postman by the wall" - Nikon D700

It’s a lovely fresh Autumn day here in Ireland, as the first official day of my favourite season of the year begins. I didn’t do a roundup post last week as I hadn’t come across that much of note. This week, there’s a few interesting news and website tidbits and I’ve some great inspiration sites to follow.

I’ve had a busy and somewhat surprising week. Over the last whole I’ve been working on making this little short film about Dublin City from some of the footage that I’ve been collecting over the years. I posted it yesterday as part of my Streets of Dublin project, and it was picked up by several local tourist websites which was pretty good, but then the local news media picked up on it and it kind of snowballed. It was the first thing that I’ve ever done that’s gone viral, which is pretty exciting. Anyway, a big thanks to everyone who said such kind words and helped get the video noticed.

I also launched my latest set of Lightroom Presets, Landscape Gold this week. In the space of a week, it’s already become my most popular set of presets. There’s still a chance to get it for the special launch discount, and I want to thank everyone for the great enthusiastic response. My next set, “Steely Blue” will be available next week (hopefully!)

Right, on to the news!

First up, Sony Alpha Rumors reports that Sony posted a surprise first-quarter profit. Sony’s camera devision has been on fire lately so it’s great to see the company’s fortunes turning around.

Speaking of Sony, Sony Alpha Rumors also has a roundup of the large number of Sony Rumours floating around about Sony’s upcoming announcements at this years Photoikina exhibit in Germany.

If you’re a mac user, Apple has posted a handy technical support document on how to avoid Image Persistence on Apple displays. While this is kind of general information for any computer user, there’s some MacOS specific tips in there.

DpReview covered an interesting story this week, that a group of Hollywood producers got together to convince Kodak to keep producing Motion Picture Film. With Fujifilm dropping out of the business last year, it’s great to see that kodak is going to keep producing film in the near term. While advances in digital cinematography have come a long way, there’s still something special about movies shot on film.

I recently wrote about a new app that was in development to help Aperture users move their Libraries to Lightroom called Aperture Exporter. The app had been in beta, but it’s now available for purchase in the Mac App Store or directly from the developer’s own site for $14.99 (which seems a little steep to me for a single purpose tool, but anyway)

If you’ve been trying out the Yosemite public beta from Apple and the use of translucency has been bothering you, the Mac Observer has a tip on how to disable it. (Ok, I know this isn’t directly photography related, but it’s still a handy thing to know ;-) )

Inspiration

I have two great photographers for you to follow this week, with some wonderful photography on their websites:

Sarah Beth Photography Sarah Beth is a pet photographer from Minnesota and her work is simply gorgeous. If you like animals you have to see some of the great images on her site.

Poems without Words A really great photo blog by Rebecca Lilly with some really beautiful images. Rebecca is a fellow Irish photographer and she also develops some popular Lightroom presets and Photoshop Actions.

Lightroom 5.6 Now Available

Lightroom5.6-screen

Adobe has released the latest version of Lightroom, 5.6. This release release is provides support for additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom. Lightroom 5.6 adds support for the following cameras:

  • Nikon D810
  • Panasonic LUMIX AG-GH4
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000

There have been lots of new lens profiles added to this release too, including a lot of Sony Alpha lenses. You can see the full list of lenses on Adobe’s Lightroom Journal blog.

The following bugs have been fixed according to the release notes:

Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 5.6

  • Collections with a custom sort order would sometimes not properly sync with Lightroom mobile.
  • Updated the “Adobe Standard” color profile for the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacts customers who used Camera Raw 8.6 or DNG Converter 8.6 to convert NEF raw files from the D810 to DNG
  • Star ratings set in Lightroom mobile did not properly sync to Lightroom desktop. Please note that this only occurred on images that were added to Lightroom mobile from the camera roll
  • Resolved the issues causing the persistent “Syncing … images” state that some of our customers have reported.”
  • Star ratings would sometimes not sync from Lightroom desktop to Lightroom mobile. Please note that this only occurred when attempting to sync a Collection that contained more than 100 photos that already contained star ratings.
  • Added information to the “System Info” dialogue to help designate if the customer installed Lightroom from the Creative Cloud.
  • Unable to open sRaw files from the Nikon D810. Please note that this only impacted customers that converted D810 sRaw files to DNG in either Camera Raw 8.6 RC or DNG Converter 8.6 RC.
  • Images with invalid GPS coordinates would not properly sync with Lightroom mobile
  • Lightroom occasionally crashed when changing image selection on Windows. Please note that this only occurred on the Windows platform.
  • JPEG files exported from Lightroom would not open or be available to edit within Canon Digital Photo Professional application software.
  • Lightroom would run in reduced functionality mode when it should not.

You can upgrade now from the software update function within the software.

Please Help Support This Site

I am a fine art Photographer and do not shoot commercial projects. I do my best to keep this site regularly updated with lots of tips, reviews, news and photography advice, all for free. If you like what you read here and want to help support the site, then please consider buying a Print, checking out my Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets by Thomas Fitzgerald

The End of the Road for Aperture

Aperture-Screenshot

As many of my long time readers and followers know I’ve long been a proponent and advocate of Apple’s Aperture. I write and publish “The Aperture Blog”, a website dedicated to Aperture and last year I released a book “Mastering Aperture” for Aperture users. Despite this, I’ve been mostly using Lightroom for the last year or so. The main reason for this was that Aperture had fallen further and further behind in terms of imaging technology as Apple hasn’t given the software a major update in several years. Finally on friday, in a typical move by firms (and politicians) who want to get bad news out, the company announced that they were killing the software.

On the one hand I’m sad to see it go like this, but I’m not at all surprised. The writing’s been on the wall for Aperture for some time. It’s a shame, but that’s unfortunately the nature of things. I have a big post over on my Aperture Blog with my thoughts on the announcements and what it means for both Aperture users and what it means for me, and the Aperture blog.

Introducing the Lightroom Diary

LR-Diary-Screenshot

I’ve actually been working on this for a while, but Apple’s announcement has forced me to move up my timetable. I’ve started a new blog called “The Lightroom Diary”. Basically it will be a blog for and about Lightroom. I’ve already got it up and running and I’ve already got lots of content on it.

I’ve been writing about Lightroom on this blog for a while now and that’s not going to change. But for people who want a site dedicated to Lightroom without any of the other stuff I publish here, I’m going to use this new site. I’ve republished many of my Lightroom posts form this blog on the Lightroom Diary as a starting point. It will evolve as time goes by, but for the moment I’ll probably be dual posting any Lightroom articles I write here. Over time I want to be able to do for Lightroom users what I’ve done for Aperture users over the years, and that’s to provide my own unique spin on the software, especially for switchers from Aperture.

Weekly Photography News and Inspiration Roundup

Long Grass on the shores of Bull Island

It’s another Friday and that means it’s time for another roundup of photography related news and links that I found interesting during the week. Incidentally this week’s featured photo is “Wild Grass” (by me!) and was taken with the D700 and processed using VSCO Film 4.

Nikon D810

NikonD800

The big story this week is Nikon’s release of the D810. I think many people were expecting a relatively minor upgrade to the D800 but Nikon surprised a lot of people and the new D810 is a little more of a comprehensive upgrade over the D800 that some were expecting.

There’s a lot of good first impressions and reaction on various sites out there, so here’s a selection of posts that I thought were pretty good. I’ll have my own thoughts about the camera next week once I’ve had a bit of time to digest everything.

If you’re interested in the D810, you can pre-order it now from B&H Photo or Amazon.

Other Gear related News

Fujifilm have released a slew of Firmware updates for the company’s various X-Series cameras, mainly to support the new XF18–135mm lens. Mirrorless Rumors has a full list of the updates and links to the downloads.

The Camera Store TV has a video review of the Sony A7s.

Capture One Special:

If you’re interested in getting Capture One Pro, B&H still have it on sale for the next few days (till the 30th June). It’s a pretty good deal as it’s nearly $100 off. I’m not sure if this is only in the US though.

Inspiration

Here are some good photography and artists that I’ve come across this week to help inspire you!

Check out these beautiful Black and White images from Alpha Whiskey over at Photography Life

I came across this amazing portfolio of work from Japanese Photographer Hideaki Hamada. Beautiful portraits and lifestyle imagery in a lovely bright style. He’s also been featured on VSCO’s journal.


That’s it for this week. If you have any links of interest please send them to me!

Please Help Support This Site

I do my best to keep this site regularly updated with lots of tips, reviews, news and photography advice, all for free. If you like what you read here and want to help support the site, then please consider buying a Print, checking out my Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets by Thomas Fitzgerald

Fujifilm Releases XF18-135mm Weather Sealed Lens

XT1-Lens-Black

It’s been rumoured for a while but this morning Fujifilm officially announced the first X-Series weather sealed lens, the XF18–135mm. This new super-zoom covers a wide shooting range of 27mm wide-angle to 206mm telephoto equivalent, and Fuji is billing it as “Professional Grade”. The lens also features a new advanced image stabilisation engine for an incredible 5 stop image stabilisation. It is also dust proof and features weather sealing, for use with the XT–1.

This new lens is something that many photographers have wanted for the XT–1 for some time. The long focal range makes it an ideal walking around lens, and perfect for Travel photography when you need to travel light. Fuji claims that it will be a high performance lens too. From the press release:

Sharpness and rich contrast from the wide-angle to the telephoto, high-performance glass including 4 aspherical glass lenses and 2 ED glass lenses has been used. Multi-layer HT-EBC, which has high permeability (99.8%) and low reflectance (0.2%), is applied to the entire lens to effectively reduce lens flare and ghosting, which often occur in backlight conditions. Utilising the wide zoom range of the lens, there is more freedom in composition and selecting angles.

18-235-Fujinon-Hero

There are lots of other interesting features of this new XF18–135 lens too, including:

  • Fast Autofocus: Fuji claims that its inner focus mechanism and linear motor technology are capable of delivering a maximum focus time of 0.10sec. when used in combination with the X-T1 and X-E2.
  • 5.0 Stop Stabilisation: This is apparently achieved using a new high-precision gyro sensor with quartz oscillators which detect movement from high frequency to low frequency bandwidths.
  • Weather Sealing: The weather resistance has been achieved by sealing 20 different locations on the lens barrel and also including special ventilated areas of the lens which prevent dust being sucked into the barrel when zooming.

Specifications (Via Fuji)

Name FUJINON LENS XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Lens configuration 16 elements in 12 groups
(4 aspherical elements and 2 ED lenses)
Focal length f=18-135mm
(35mm format equivalent: 27-206mm)
Angle of view 76.5°- 12°
Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture control Number of blades: 7 (rounded diaphragm opening)
Step size: 1/3 step (17 steps)
Focus range Normal: 0.6m - ∞
Macro: 0.45m - ∞
Maximum magnification 0.27×
External dimensions:
Maximum diameter X length (approx.)
(distance from tip to standard mount flange)
φ75.7mm × 97.8mm (Wide-angle) / 158mm (Tele)
Weight (approx.)
(excluding lens cap and hood)
490g
Filter size φ67mm

Image Samples & More Details

You can see full resolution samples of the new XF18–135 mm lens over on Fujifilm’s product information page. I have to say, they look pretty impressive.

The Lens will retail for $899 and is available for pre-order from B&H Photo now.

Rico Pfirstinger has a first look at the lens over on Fuji Rumors.

Please Help Support This Site

I am a fine art Photographer and do not shoot commercial projects. I do my best to keep this site regularly updated with lots of tips, reviews, news and photography advice, all for free. If you like what you read here and want to help support the site, then please consider buying a Print, checking out my Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets by Thomas Fitzgerald