Isle of Skye

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The world famous Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye.

The Isle of Skye is a beautiful island off the North West coast of Scotland. With it’s rugged landscape, dramatic mountains, gorgeous coastline, lochs, and ever changing light –  it’s a mystical and enchanting destination with something for everyone – a utopia for travellers, walkers, climbers, photographers, fishermen (and fisherwomen), bird-watchers, food-lovers, whisky drinkers and lovers of music amongst the many reasons for visiting. 

I visited for the first time this August – I’m Scottish, so I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get there, but it has. I had heard tales of busy roads, full car-parks and many, many visitors during the busy months of July and August, but I have to say I was truly shocked at the sheer number of tourists, cars and camper-vans on the island. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to dash round the island in a whistle stop fashion – only stopping for a moment for a group photograph at an iconic viewpoint, before moving onto the next. 

Don’t misunderstand me – my intention in writing this it not too deter anyone heading here. However, many of the roads are single-track – the pace of travel is slow and the essential passing places are not to be used for car-parking or no-one can get anywhere. Sadly – especially around the tourist spots – this was a common problem.With travel grinding to a halt and the grass verges on roads being chewed up with drivers having to struggle to pass each other. A little bit of common sense and respect wouldn’t go amiss.

Please go and appreciate the wonder of Skye – but respect is needed, and maybe July and August is not the time to go….


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Luminar is Now Available: Try it today for Free!

Luminar is Now Available: Try it today for Free!

I’ve now had more time to play with Luminar  – the new image editing software from Macphun – and I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed. It offers a serious alternative to Lightroom – without the catalogue functionality, Adobe Camera Raw and some of the flexibility of Photoshop for a very attractive price. It works as a stand-alone application and as a plug-in for Lightroom, Photoshop or even Aperture (if you still have a copy). The interface is slick and fairly easy to learn – slightly quirky when you get to layering and masks if you’re used to Adobe products, but almost immediately a lot of it will seem familiar and for the less experienced user presets are loaded to enable you to add effects simply and quickly as you discover and learn more about Luminars capabilities.

The launch price of $69 – now available with a free trial period – is an absolute steal if you compare it to an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Have a look it may be just what you need.


Continue reading “Luminar is Now Available: Try it today for Free!”

Sleeklens Presets

Sleeklens Lightroom Presets

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A week or so ago I was contacted by Sleeklens – a company based in Denmark specialising in custom Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions – asking me to review their products. The offer was a free set in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Now, I already have a large number of actions I use regularly, but presets in Lightroom is something I seldom use (apart from my own custom ones for mostly basic stuff) so I plumped for a Lightroom set called ‘Through the Woods Workflow’ to see what they could offer and whether my workflow would benefit from using them. So what can the set from Sleeklens do and was I impressed ? Continue reading “Sleeklens Presets”

Tonality by Macphun

 

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Tonality – for BW conversion – by Macphun can be bought as a standalone app or as part of ‘Creative Kit’ which is only for Mac users (sorry Windows users). The interface is simple and uncluttered and should appeal to casual users and more experienced photo-editors as an altermative to Nik and/or Adobe software and is fully compatable with PhotoShop and Lightroom with a straight forward plug-in install. For me a lot of the supplied presets are – not unlike the Nik Collection – a little heavy handed, but with detailed controls and the ability to use masks and layers it can be finessed, and may be a useful addition to your workflow or can be simply used to add instant impact to images.

I’ll add a more detailed review soon.

Further details can be found here: Tonality by Macphun Continue reading “Tonality by Macphun”