Adobe Lightroom 4.4 Available

Lightroom 4.4 Available for Download

Lightroom 4.4

Today Adobe have announced another update to Lightroom 4.  Release version 4.4 provides the RAW support for 25 new cameras and several new lens profiles, but significantly provides corrections to the demosaicing algorithms for Fujifilm X-Trans and EXR sensor cameras, so may prove a much welcome upgrade by Fuji camera owners. More information is listed here.

Read More»

Images Published in OnLandscape Magazine

Ice Jewels of Jökulsárlón 4×4 Portfolio

I was delighted to find 4 of my images are featured in the 4×4 portfolio section of the Issue 55 of the web based OnLandscape magazine. The 4×4 Portfolios feature four images selected on a “theme of some sort; that hang together in a creative way”. I chose 4 images from my visit to Jökulsárla beach at Jökulsárlón in Iceland last year, where I spent quite a while photographing ice fragments swirling around amongst the shallow waves of the foreshore of the black volcanic beach.

Read More»

Lightroom Tip: Auto Adjust Individual Tone Sliders

Making Auto Adjustments to Basic Panel Tone Controls in Lightroom 4

Adobe Lightroom 4 LogoI came across this little know Lightroom feature yesterday when preparing a tutorial for my local camera club. However it may only be of any significance if you regularly use the Auto button in the Tone section of the Basic panel of the Develop Module. For those who aren’t  familiar with the Auto Tone button clicking it enables Lightroom to automatically adjust Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, and set the Black and White points.

Read More»

Drive By Shooting in the Snow

Shooting in a Blizzard

Sometimes in photography all that learned technique and acquired methodology just goes out the window and you just have to tailor your photography to the conditions in front of you. Well Friday was one of just one those of days. When much of the UK was beset with heavy snow falls, high winds, blizzards, drifting snow, and the weather forecasters were spouting amber warnings and impressing upon us not to venture out unless absolutely necessary, two photographers did just that and headed off into the Derbyshire Peak district to experiment.

Winnats Pass, Castleton, Derbyshire

Read More»

An Exhibition of Photographs by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea

“Ansel is important to us because he was a good artist; in his best days he was a terrific artist” ~ John Szarkowski, photographer & curator

If you browse any book about “icons of photography“, from photography’s inception to the current day, you’ll be hard pressed to find any mention of pure landscape photographers. It seems such a sad state of affairs that photographs of our beautiful and amazing planet are held in such low esteem by the so called photographic hierarchy. The one exception of course is Ansel Adams.

Read More»

6D vs 5D Mark III Comparison on ePHOTOzine

How does the 6D compare to the 5D Mark-III?

Canon 6D vs 5D Mark III Comparison at ePHOTOzineWell, if you want to find out, ePHOTOzine has just published a rather interesting comparison between the Canon full-frame DSLR’s, the Canon EOS 5D mark-III, and the recently released EOS 6D. Back in September 2012 I suggested that the 6D may have been pitched by Canon to take on the mantle previously held by the 5D, with the latter moving up market. This review seems to suggest the same, with the 6D’s features and pricing offering a very tempting package for 5D and even 5D mark-II owners looking to upgrade.

Read More»

How Long Should My PC Last?

How long should I expext my Photo PC to Last?

Desktop PC in NZXT tower caseOn the 10th January 2013 my Windows Desktop PC reached it’s 5 year anniversary and what was once considered state of the art is now indubitably antiquarian in the computing world. Once able to whiz through Windows at a relatively lively pace, it plods like the PC-pensioner that it has become. It bears little resemblance to the original specifications when first acquired, as I’ve added, replaced and pushed this mysterious black box to the limit, just to cope with my burgeoning library of ever-more-processor-demanding software and an image library that now stretches well over 2 terabytes. To be honest, it’s really struggled through the last couple of years, with a seemingly endless number of failures including several hard drives, the DVD drive, RAM chips, and some odd boot up and BIOS problems to name but a few. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had the PC out from under my desk and the side panels off, but I bet it must be pretty close to a hundred times by now. It’s now got to the stage that when I switch on my PC in the morning, I may as well go and have a cup of tea, because like me, it takes quite a while to wake up and get ready for work.

Read More»

Lightroom 4.3 Released by Adobe

Lightroom 4.3 Available for Download

Lightroom 4.3Lightroom4.jpg

Today Adobe have announced their 3rd update to Lightroom 4. Version 4.3 of Lightroom is to provide additional camera raw and lens profile support and correct a number of bugs that were introduced in previous releases. Lightroom 4.3 also provides support for the new Retina display on the Apple Macbook Pro.

Read More»

Stepping Up to the Mark (5D Mark III)

A Good Time to Upgrade to the 5D Mark III Perhaps?

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III – click Image for full size view

Well I’ve finally given in. Despite the price and stating I’d be unlikely to upgrade so soon, the lure of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III finally got the better of me and I’ve traded in one of my 5D bodies against a new 5D Mark III. Why now you may ask? Well the price of the 5D Mark III has dropped over £600 since the March launch and the other major factor is the impending release of Canon’s surprise package at Photokina, the EOS 6D.

Read More»

Autumn Reflections

Sometimes good photographs come just by chance and that was certainly the case with this one. I’d been up in the Lake District and was out shooting with Doug Chinnery in Borrowdale. We’d just been to the quarry featured in the Joe Cornish DVD With Landscape In Mind, and although a wonderful location, somehow I didn’t feel that I bagged any particular inspiring shots, even though the location, light and autumn foliage had been spectacular. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t seem to work. We’d probably spent the best part of a couple of hours at the quarry and the late afternoon autumnal glow was beginning to subside. Badly in need of a decent cup of tea we headed back down the path towards the village of Grange.

We had just descended the hill and arrived along the banks of the Derwent river, when suddenly these gorgeous golden-orange reflections from the birch tress opposite flooded across the water. That cup of tea would have to wait. I was drawn to the stones amongst the reflections so waded out into the river with my tripod; thank god for my wellies. It was obvious the light wasn’t going to last long, so I shot with the EF 24-105mm f/4.0 lens on my camera, but perhaps not the best choice but it would have to do. I took a few frames in portrait mode but they just didn’t work. Then I spotted a pattern of five stones amongst the reflections so waded a little further. I hastily put on a polarizer, ND (soft) grad upside down to balance the brightness and shot a couple of frames, but 5 stones weren’t working. I re-framed on just four stones; I just liked the way seemed to balance the foreground even though even numbers are not supposed to work. I shot just one frame then the light started to fade. I shot several more frames but the moment had gone and the glow subsided but that one frame was my shot of the day.

From my first shot to the frame above was just 5 minutes. I used a small aperture of F/22 to lengthen the exposure and smooth out the water, but that only resulted in a 2.5 second exposure. I would have liked much longer and wanted to put on a 4-stop ND but if I had I would have missed the shot. Lucky for me I didn’t.

© Copyright johnbirchphotography - Designed by Pexeto
UA-42007738-1