Tag Archives: lightroom

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 April 2017

Weight: 239.5 pounds (17 stone 1.5 pounds, 108.6 kg)
Steps: 2,534

Bother. Up another wee bit today.

Here’s another photo from last weekend’s wiiiiiiiiiiiiide angle fun and games. This is the old All Saints Church, which isn’t being used for anything currently, as far as I’m aware. I’ve fiddled about with this one in Lightroom to get a rather more vivid view than was available on the day…

All Saints

All Saints

Camera X-T2
Aperture ƒ/1
Shutter speed 1/1250s
Focal length 8mm
ISO 200
Taken 11:56, 22 April, 2017
Location 54° 58.2103′ 0″ N 1° 36.439′ 0″ W

Lightroom to WordPress in one easy step

Those nice WordPress people have just told me about a nifty new toy – a Lightroom plugin that will export images directly to a WordPress blog’s media library. It needs a wordpress.com login, which if you’re using Jetpack, you’ll already have.

Download the plugin, copy it to your Lightroom plugins folder (on my Macs that’s in the user Library folder under Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Modules) and you’ll find you now have WordPress.com as an alternative export location. The first time you use the plugin, you’ll need to log in with your wordpress.com credentials, and you’ll then see a list of all the sites you have associated with that login. From there on, it’s much the same as normal – set your size, sharpening and watermark options and click the export button. The plugin connects and drops the images into your media library, ready for inserting into a post.

Here’s one I just exported as a test:

I think it's art...

I think it’s art…

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed 1/250s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:03, 1 January, 2017
Location 54° 57.7563′ 0″ N 1° 36.1133′ 0″ W

This is slightly more convenient than exporting images to a folder then importing them to WordPress, so I think I’ll be making use of this. Get it here:

WordPress.com Lightroom plug-in

Weight and Stuff Report – 8 July 2016

Gasp! Down again today! If this goes on, I’ll meet an arbitrary target soon. Well, come to think of it, I have reached the arbitrary target of being below 15½ stone as well as the adjacent arbitrary target of being below 100kg. That’s the fun thing about using multiple units, you get more targets.

Today was the office “Summer Event”, which consisted of free food and drink and a live band at the Tyne Bar. All good fun.

After leaving the event at a sensible time and after a non-lethal amount of alcohol, I got a quick iPhone photo of something interesting parked[1] on the Tyne. This has been cropped and tweaked a bit in Lightroom. Depending on this and that, I may get back down there at the weekend for a closer view

Nice boat

Nice boat

Camera iPhone 6s
Aperture ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed 1/2000s
Focal length 4.15mm
ISO 25
Taken 18:11, 8 July, 2016
Location 54° 58.2592′ 0″ N 1° 35.3933′ 0″ W

And this image shows the white version of my signature logo.

Weight and Stuff Report – 2 July 2016

Gasp! Back down again today. Amazing, or something.

After getting the shopping done unusually early, I took myself to York for a wander around the National Railway Museum. After  bit of a wander, in which acts of photography were committed, I thought I might have a look around the city, but as I left the museum, the rain started to come down heavily enough for that not to be a sensible option, so I got the next train home instead.

Today’s photo is of this nicely restored Deltic which may have been naughty, as it’s been told to sit outside:



Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 25.7mm
ISO 1250
Taken 12:59, 2 July, 2016

(Note for anyone who’s interested – photo taken through not altogether clear glass, and somewhat improved by the Dehaze slider in Lightroom)

Fujifilm XF2X TC WR Teleconverter

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I did the photography happy dance about the Fujifilm 1.4x teleconverter, but it’s near enough six months. And would you believe it, they’ve gone a wee bit better, and produced a 2x converter as well?  Well, I couldn’t resist that, and ordered it from the ubiquitous Wex Photographic at the weekend. It arrived today, and this is what it looks like[1]

Makes things twice the size

Makes things twice the size

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/4
Shutter speed 1/80s
Focal length 38.8mm
ISO 6400
Taken 18:32, 28 June, 2016

Now normally when I get a new toy like this, I’d be giving it a proper test, but it’s a wee bit damp this evening, so not really the best conditions for getting pictures of distant objects. However, I have done a very quick and very rough test to get an idea of the range of the thing. Readers with better memories than me might recall me getting a 150-500mm lens in my Canon days, and getting this shot from my back window:

Telephoto Test (old)

Telephoto Test (old)

Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Aperture ƒ/6.3
Shutter speed 1/400s
Focal length 500mm
ISO 125
Taken 17:32, 13 August, 2009

Well, here’s a rough version of that with the 140-400mm lens and the 2x converter. Unlike the previous one, taken through an open window with some actual sunlight, this was taken through glass, rain and general haze, and not even all that close to the window. Some aggressive treatment in Lightroom shows a similar scene:

Rough Test (Very)

Rough Test (Very)

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/680s
Focal length 800mm
ISO 12800
Taken 18:14, 28 June, 2016

(And if you think that looks bad, you should have seen it before editing)

Proper tests will follow when the weather permits….

[1] Not currently listed on Amazon, so I can’t use their image linky thing

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 April 2016

Gasp, shock, down again, taking me a whisker below the psychologicackle 16 stone mark for the first time in a while. Just need to lose a couple more of those…

Just experienced some odd weather coming home. When I left the office, the sky was mostly clear, the sun was shining, the birds were coughing, etc. As the bus crossed the Tyne, I saw some wet looking clouds in the distance. Then it started to get a bit damp. Then it snowed a bit. And now it’s cleared up again. I think it was a rogue cloud having a bit of fun, or something.

This is another X70 shot – unlike the others, I have made some adjustments to this one – the camera had done a good job of getting some detail in the relatively dark interior of Central Arcade, but in doing so, overexposed the bright scene outside. A minor tweak in Lightroom sorted that out.



Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/60s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 400
Taken 13:03, 23 April, 2016

TextExpander: Not much to Smile about

Oh dearie me. I do get a bit annoyed when companies I’ve been doing business with for quite some time lose the plot. And that’s what seems to have happened to Smile, creators of the actually very good TextExpander apps for OS X and iOS.

TextExpander, for those not familiar with it, is, as its name suggests, a utility which lets you store  blocks of text and have them typed in for you at the press of a shortcode – before I had a Mac, I used something similar on Windows, and it’s one of those things I really like to have. TextExpander was an ideal solution for me, and it was one of the first apps I bought for my Mac Mini back in early 2008.

Since then, I’ve been happy to buy an upgrade every couple of years. It’s one of the essential things I install when I get a new Mac.

It can do clever things with variables, so you’re not restricted to fixed bodies of text – I use it for my daily report titles, so I just have to type a code of my choice to get the title filled in with the current date, which saves a bit of time, and avoids typos, me forgetting the date and other such things. It does a lot more that I don’t need, but that’s fine – it does what I need it to and it’s been reasonably priced. It happily syncs all my bits with Dropbox, so I have the same setup on the iMac and the MacBook Air, which is just how I like things to work.

But it seems the developers have decided that they don’t want to do that any more. The new version 6 is now tied to a subscription. You no longer buy software updates, you’ll just get them as they’re ready, so long as you’re a paying customer. This is all tied up with a new website, the ability to share your snippets with other subscribers (not something I need, and I suspect not something most home users particularly need). And while there’s an initial discount, the basic price of this subscription is on the order of $5 a month. With the general volatility of exchange rates, you might as well call it £3. Now that’s not a huge amount of money, but let’s do a comparison with some software I currently have on subscription:

Adobe Creative Cloud Photographer’s plan – that gives me Lightroom and Photoshop for £8.57 a month. This is actually good value, and much less painful than paying for full upgrades every year or two.

Microsoft Office 365 – gives me the latest versions of Office for all my Macs, and I can also install on Windows and other devices, all for £7.99 a month, which is again much easier than paying the eye-watering prices Microsoft used to charge for the full suites.

So, is TextExpander worth a third of Lightroom and Photoshop? Or Nearly half of MS Office? Well, no. Not even close.

It looks like they’re hoping that their even more expensive business package will catch on with businesses who want their users to share text snippets. Perhaps they’re right, and there’s a huge untapped market for this, and they’ll Smile all the way to the bank. And perhaps not…

While Smile have said they’ll continue to support the current version on OS X 10.11 and “the next release”, I’ll be looking for alternatives. I’m quite happy to pay moderate amounts for useful software, and to buy the serious expensive stuff by subscription, but I can’t see that a subscription model makes any sense for an easily replaceable utility.

It’s also worth noting that if you do go for the subscription, your data lives on their servers. If your subscription lapses, it seems the app won’t even let you see the data you’ve entered. That’s not very friendly at all.


HD Tigger

I’ve finally got round to having a play with the Aurora HDR software I bought a while ago. Now I’ve played with HDR a bit in the past, but always found it a bit slow and fiddly, and ended up not bothering very much. So leave it to the nice people at Macphun, creators of the Tonality app I’ve mentioned previously, to make it much quicker and easier while still allowing more fine control than most people are likely to need.

For this test, I had the X-T1 on a tripod and used a remote release. I set the ISO and aperture, letting the camera work out little matters like exposure and focus. I then used the exposure compensation dial and took seven shots ranging from -3 to +3.

I imported the images into Lightroom and then exported the raw files to Aurora. There are, in the usual Machphun way, oodles[1] of presets which you can either use as they are, or as a basis for your own edits. This one’s possibly a bit extreme, but I like it anyway:

HD Tigger

HD Tigger

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/3.2
Shutter speed 1/8s
Focal length 55mm
ISO 400
Taken 12:10, 5 March, 2016

[1] Technical expression

Weight and Stuff Report – 1 January 2016

Errr, happy new thingy and all that.

Today’s weight is up by over two pounds, which is probably the result of not going anywhere, or some kind of random thingyness. Or something. But it’s still (just) lighter than this time last year, so it’s not all bad.

Today, I decided against going anywhere and instead cleared my hideous backlog of ironing and did the washing. What fun, eh?

While I was in Newcastle a few days ago, I pointed my 50-140mm lens with the 1.4x converter at my usual long lens subject:

Obligatory Earl Grey Shot

Obligatory Earl Grey Shot

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/5
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 143.1mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:48, 29 December, 2015
Location 54° 58.4125′ 0″ N 1° 36.7788′ 0″ W

I’ve cropped it a bit, and given it the usual Lightroom tweaks. I’m quite happy with the sharpness and detail of Earl Grey and his traditional headgear.

Weight and Stuff Report – 19 December 2015

Down again today, most odd…

I started the day with a Frankie & Benny’s breakfast. Well, to be precise, I started the day with a free Frankie & Benny’s breakfast, which is even better. How did I manage that? Well, they’ve got these loyalty card thingies, and the current offer is a nice one – get your card signed four times and your next breakfast is free. Yup, one breakfast in five is free, which is more generous than most offers.

After that, various shopping related activities occurred, and then I came home. And here I am.

And here are some bridges. This image has been dehazed by Lightroom:

Dehazed Bridges

Dehazed Bridges

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 66.2mm
ISO 1250
Taken 11:01, 3 October, 2015