Sharpening Fuji files in Photoshop vs Lightroom by Laura Daly

Fuji RAF files have been long plagued by sharpening "worms" when using the Camera Raw algorithms for processing.  At first glance the files look lovely, but when you apply any form of zoom to check and correct sharpness, the dreaded wormy artifacts appear.  Many people have suggested using other raw processors, such as Capture One Pro, Irident etc, but if you've already committed to Creative Cloud this is not the best option.  Many other people have suggested instead using Photoshop's sharpening filters to add sharpness.  Nothing I am about to say is new or has been discovered by myself, this is just me looking into the different options and deciding (based on my own opinion) which is the best for me.

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Making sunsets look like sunsets by Laura Daly

There's always the moment when shooting a landscape (either at sunset or sunrise), where the light is amazing and the colours are so bright. You set up the tripod, taking time to get it level (damn spirit bubble), lock in the focus, get the composition exactly how you want, and click the shutter. Yes. Done it. get home and upload all the precious images taken over the week. Where is that sunset shot I took on the first night? I remember it, the sky was purple and the air was clear. Then you find it, and it looks like this:

The original UNEDITED raw file, straight out of camera.

Oh crap. But then you remember, you shot it in raw! Your mouse immediately moves towards the tint slider. And you start scrolling. And you keep going. And there it is - the image you saw with your own eyes starts to appear. Your mouse moves away from basic and you run through the usual adjustments. Maybe you use a preset. Finally, you sit back and compare the before and after.

After a bit of work, many images can undergo a massive transformation in Lightroom.

It's not groundbreaking, but it's a start. That's why I love digital photography, the ability to work on a raw file and help make it look like what you saw with your own eyes. Now, I'm not talking about heavy digital manipulation (I'm not a massive fan, especially when it comes to landscapes) - all the information was there as it was all recovered from the raw file in Lightroom. The only major adjustments I carried out were (as I said) some tweaking of tint and white-balance, along with obligatory sharpening and local contrast adjustment. Being completely honest, I did add a graduated filter in LR to focus the eye more on the city, but this is no different to when people would dodge and burn in their own darkroom.

This result I achieved just wouldn't have been possible with film (which is a medium I would LOVE to try out), and it allows people of all abilities to get a result they can be happy with. Anything that helps keep people interested in making images is fine by me.

Le Tour en Cambridge! by Laura Daly


The Tour de France had its Grand Depart this past week in the UK. The third stage left from Cambridge, my home city and luckily my place of work closed for the day! So I got into town early and pitched up outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. This is the photo story of the day, enjoy! [All images captured with a Nikon D90 and either a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 or Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens]

People arrived early in Cambridge to grab the best vantage spots.

A few lucky cyclists were allowed to cycle part of the course a few hours before the race came through.

The caravan is a tour favourite - the cars of the sponsors speed through a couple of hours before the cyclists, chucking out freebies (sort of) towards the spectators.

The French sent over everything with the tour - their own police escort included!

The crowds slowly built up throughout the morning. Every cyclist that came through got a big cheer!



And was time for the tour to come by. So many photomotos accompanied the peloton.

Hours of waiting for around 30 seconds of seeing the tour. But completely worth it - the atmosphere was amazing. The cyclists looked like they were really enjoying seeing all of us by the road to send them on their way.

Team Sky in particular got the biggest cheers of the day, being our home team.

A huge fleet of support cars followed the peloton through. All of them trying to keep close to the cyclists led to a few close calls...

Some vehicles were lagging behind.

And then it was all over. Time for everyone to make their way home.

Cokin filters at the seaside by Laura Daly


Hunstanton-wide-3450 When I went up to Hunstanton, I knew one of the things I wanted to practice was using filters more to achieve some interesting effects. Now, I know a lot of people go down the route of blurring the incoming seas, but I like the effect and wanted to try it for myself!

One problem - I don't currently own a "big stopper". The darkest ND filter I own is a 1.2, so I could only reduce shutter speed to about 1/2 a second. Even so, I still got some pleasing blur of the tide.

Oh, another problem - the hitech filter was great, nice tones with little colour cast. The cokin filter however; this produced a huge magenta colour cast that had to be removed in Lightroom. So, the tint slider for this image is actually way over to the left in the greens! This is the problem with filters, and the reason I guess why so many people go for the Lee resins. Maybe one day...

[Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/22, 1/5 sec, ISO 200]

Rough Seas by Laura Daly

Hunstanton-mono-3427 The joy (and sometimes, frustration) of shooting outdoors is competing with the British climate!

The north Norfolk coast is almost infamous for the high winds and sudden downpours, and on Monday I experienced a bit of everything! However, this made for a more interesting backdrop to the North Sea. I felt this image was best suited to a mono conversion, with all the white horses in the sea and the clouds behind. [Nikon D90, 50 mm f/1.8 @ f/16, ISO 200, 1/80th sec]

On this trip, I also played around with my ND filters and got some interesting effects. More to come.