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An Important Note about Secure Customer Authentication

On the 14th of September a new EU wide directive will come into force regulating online transactions inside the EU. Basically, Secure Customer Authentication, or SCA will require that online transactions will require two factor authentication. This means that any online store has to support this in order to continue to take orders. This store is already set up for this, and it may already be in effect.

So what does this mean?

Basically when you go to check out, at the payment stage, your bank will require an additional layer of authentication in order to authorise the payment. This can be anything from a code the bank texts to you, to authentication through a smartphone app. An example of this that has been in place for sometime is 3d secure.

This takes place between you and your bank and is provided by your credit or debit card provider. The authentication is not actually directly part of this store, but rather comes from your payment provider, and is handled by the payment processors that I use on the site, which are Stripe and PayPal. The stated idea of this is to make payments more secure and reduce fraud.

While I appreciate that many people will be frustrated by an additional layer of interaction when making a purchase, it is completely out of my hands. It is a required law, and is done at the payment processor stage, not by the website. However, to add a wrinkle to this, some payments are exempt and some will be automatically allowed, so the user experience may well be different depending on your bank and the cost of the order. Orders below €30 may be exempt, and in this case you shouldn’t see any difference, but this is up to the payment providers to decide. It’s important to note, that this isn’t just for my store, or similar stores, it’s for any online transaction inside the EU.

The upshot of all this is that if you’re purchasing from this store, you may get an additional pop-up from your bank at the payment stage. Your own bank should have details of this too. If you are outside the EU it is unclear how this will affect you. It is supposed to affect users whenever one end of a transaction is in the EU, however, with PayPal, it’s not clear, as they may consider PayPal one end of the transaction. Critics of this new law are concerned that it will affect online sales in Europe, and I can understand the concern. I am curious to see if it has a majorly negative effect on my sales.

I do apologise for the extra hassle, although, as I said its out of my hands. I regularly get people complaining at even having to enter the standard legally required information, so I assume the same people will be extra frustrated at this. While this is currently an EU thing it should be noted that several other countries outside the EU are considering similar legislation.

For more Information, here is a good article from Visa explaining what SCA is and how it will affect you.

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All of my Fuji Guides have now been updated for 2019

Fuji X-Trans Processing Guides

Over the past few months I’ve been busy bringing all of my current Fuji guides up to date for 2019. This included free updates to three of the guides, and one new edition. The exception is my old Iridient Developer guide, which I will no longer be supporting (more on that below)

Over the course of the time since I first wrote these guides, there have been various changes, and for the most part I’ve provided free updates to those.

My Fuji Lightroom Guide, Fuji Jpeg Guide, and X-Transformer Guide have all received free updates over the past couple of months, I’ve yo’ve purchased any of these before 2019 and missed the update notification, check to see that you have the latest versions.

In addition, I released a new guide for Capture One. The old guide was discontinued some months ago, and the new guide is a rewrite and a significant change. It’s available now, and is currently at version 1.0

Future update plans

As with all things, my plans for future versions of these guides depends on a number of factors, including the development of software etc. For now though, here is a rough guide to what I have in mind:

  • Fuji Lightroom Guide: This will probably no longer get free updates, and a 2nd edition is in the planning stage. I have no time frame for this yet, but hopefully some time this year (2019).
  • Fuji Jpeg Guide: This will continue to receive free updates.
  • X-Transformer Guide: This will depend on future updates to the software itself. I am considering combining this with the Lightroom guide for its second edition.
  • Capture One Guide: As this is only just released, I will continue to provide free updates as long as it makes sense to do so. This will depend on how many changes there are in version 13, but unless there are major changes, I will continue to update it through the 13 release cycle. This may change if version 13 is significantly different, or affects the information in the guide.

Iridient Developer Guide – No longer being updated (for now)

My Iridient Developer guide is no longer being updated. The reason for this is that there has been a significant falloff in interest in this over the past year and also there has been a significant amount of time since the software has been updated. If there is a major 4.0 release of the software, I may reconsider, and do a new version, but if so it will be a second edition and not a free update. I will continue to make the eBook available, and I’ve reduced the price to €3 for the rest of the year at least, and then see what happens in 2020.

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My X-Transformer Guide Updated

I’ve released a minor update to my X-Transformer guide that addresses some of the recent changes in the application. This is a free update to anyone who had previously bought the guide.

The update is relatively minor, and includes a small addition, as well as changing and deleting sections that are no longer relevant. The changes included in this update are as follows:

  • Version number of the guide changed to 1.6 (to correspond to software version number)
  • Added section on the new compression options introduced in v.1.5.
  • Mentioned changes to the default colour profile in v1.6
  • Updated some screenshots
  • Added section on installing presets, and updated it for latest versions of Lightroom.
  • Deleted references to controls no longer in the software
  • Tidied up language in various places.

The bonus presets that come with the guide have not been updated, so if you are downloading the new version, you don’t need to re-download the presets. I have changed the structure of the preset download to make them easier to install on newer versions of Lightroom, but the presets themselves haven’t changed.

To download the update, you need to go to your account on the store, log in, and then go to the “My Orders” section and then the “Downloads” tab. I have complete instructions on the help centre which shows you how to download updates, including a video if you’re having trouble.

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Summer Sale Now On

Sale Now On

To celebrate summer, I’m having a flash sale on selected Lightroom presets and Capture One styles from my digital download store. There’s up to 50% off on some presets, and I’m heavily discounting my older 1st Lightroom preset collection, so you can get it for just €25 (regular price €65). You can see all of the products on sale here on the “on sale” section.

Please note that prices vary slightly depending on your location and the local VAT rate.

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My Fuji Lightroom Guide Updated

I have just released a minor upgrade to my Fuji Lightroom Guide. The book entitled “Workflow and Settings For Processing Fuji X-Trans images in Lightroom” has been updated to take into account some of the more recent changes to Lightroom, including some of the different terminology and so on. It also adds mention of newer 26mp X-Trans cameras. The version number for this is now 1.8. This will probably be the last free upgrade for this guide, as I am now working on a second edition. Here is a list of the specific changes:

  1. Updated information on the release version.
  2. New Cover!
  3. Added note about the addition of “Enhance Details”.
  4. Added details on how to set the colour profile in Lightroom 7.4 or later.
  5. Added details on how to save settings as defaults.
  6. Changed some terminology regarding sharpening guidelines.
  7. Specific mention of 26mp X-Trans cameras.
  8. Added section on Enhanced Details.
  9. Updated information on how to install presets for the newer version of Lightroom.

Please note that the accompanying presets download has been reorganised to make it easier to install on different versions of Lightroom, but there are no new presets. If you have already installed these, you don’t need to re-install them.

This is a free update for anyone who has already purchased the guide. You can download the updated version from your account. See this help centre article for detailed instructions on how to download updates. 

If you are updating, Please make sure to follow the instructions carefully.

As this is my most popular guide, I expect a high level of support requests relating to the update, so if you need to contact support, please expect a delay in getting a response. The most common problems are all covered on my extensive help centre. You can also ask questions or discuss the guide on the Forums in the help centre. This is the best place to ask questions not relating to the download or install of the eBook and presets.

If you haven’t previously purchased this guide and are interested in checking it out, I have put it on sale until the end of the month. You can find out more details here in the store.

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Store News & Updates for 2019

Greetings and welcome to the first update for 2019 of what’s going on on my store! I have a few new and updated products in the works that I wanted to tell you about, and also to give you an opportunity to give me feedback should you wish to.

eBook Updates

I will be updating some of my eBooks over the next little while. I have also taken my Capture One guide out of circulation for the moment, as I am writing a new version. So here’s what’s currently planned:

Capture One Fuji Guide

The original version of this was quite old and with the release of version 12 of Capture One, it was getting too out of date to update. With that in mind, I am working on a completely new guide, specifically for version 12. It will be a complete re-write. It may take a little while, but I hope to have it out in the first half of 2019.

Fuji Lightroom Guide

I will be putting out a minor update to this in the near future. The changes will be relatively minor, and will focus on updating terminology for newer versions of Lightroom. It will also add mentions of newer Fuji cameras such as the X-T3. While the advice and settings for the X-T3 are pretty much the same as older versions, this is causing confusion to some readers, so I will be adding specifics to address that confusion.

This will be a free update, but it will be the final update to this version of the guide. Any future version will be a “second edition” and will be a new book effectively. This is free update is currently scheduled for sometime in February 2019 but this is only an estimated date. It may be delayed.

X-Transformer Guide

There hasn’t been any significant change to the software that warrants re-writing or updating the guide at the moment. I will be examining it to see if there is anything that needs to change in the future, but for now, this will remain at the current version.

Lightroom Presets

I will be tidying up the numerous presets available on my store. I am considering bundling all of the older presets into a single bundle, and the older individual packs will be discontinued. This will apply to the oldest presets that were originally designed for version 4 through 6. I understand that some people are still using this version of the software, but it is not possible to continue to provide support for this, as there is no way to create older presets from the newer versions of Lightroom.

As I am only a small independent photographer, I don’t have the resources to maintain multiple versions of Lightroom. If you had previously downloaded some of these stand alone packs, they will still be available from your account, but they will no longer be available for sale outside of the bundle. I don’t have a set date for this yet, but it will be sometime in the first half of next year.

Capture One Training on YouTube

I have been doing a number of screencasts and tutorials for Capture One on YouTube lately, and these cover the express version as well as preliminary videos on Capture One 12. I am updating these regularly, so check them out if you’re looking for more Capture One information.

What do you want to see?

If there is anything that you want to see, or content that you feel like would make some good training please let me know. Leave a comment on this blog post or comment in the support forums here.

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Capture One Guide Discontinued: New version Coming Soon

With the release of Capture One 12 at the end of November, there have been significant changes to the software, especially for Fuji X-Trans users. With that in mind, I have decided to discontinue selling my old Capture One X-Trans guide. I am however starting work on a new book, which I hope to have out in the next two to three months.

Why not just keep selling the old version?

The original guide was getting quite old. It was originally written for version 8 of Capture One, and then amended with each additional version. It had become something of a hodge-podge of edits and advice built on top of old advice, and it was getting quite confusing. With the release of Version 12 of the software, which has entirely new interface, and adds Fuji film simulation modes, having the old version still available, in my opinion, could confuse new readers. I had put a notice up on the guide that it was being discontinued and reduced the price for the month of December, but now that it’s January, I felt that it’s time to end the sale of it.

Will the new version be free to customers of the old version?

No. I sell these guides very inexpensively, and to cover the cost of writing an entirely new book, I need to charge for it. The old guide was on sale for several years, and the average price has been just €3. The new book will be a completely different guide and re-written from scratch.

When will it be available?

I hope to have the new version available in the first quarter of 2019. I hope to have it even sooner than this, but I don’t want to set unrealistic targets. If you follow my blog, or sign up for the newsletter, you will be notified of new releases.

Where can I learn about the new software in the meantime?

I will continue to cover Capture One on my blog. I will also be providing a work in progress update to the new guide on Patreon for Patreon supporters. Patreon supporters will also get the new guide for free. I also cover Capture One on my YouTube channel.

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An important Note About Preset Visibility in Lightroom 8.1

For the past few versions of Lightroom, Adobe has continued to refine the way Presets work in the develop module. In 8.1, there is yet another change, which may affect the way some of my Presets show up or work in Lightroom. Don’t worry though, most presets still work fine. 

Let me explain…

What’s the issue?

In version 8.1 Adobe added an option to highlight presets they list as “Partially Compatible”. If a preset is showing up in the preset panel in italics and greyed out, it’s because the software considers it only partially compatible with the image. There can be a few different reasons for Presets to be labelled as partially compatible, but the main one is due to the colour profile used when the preset was created. 

As you probably know, Adobe has supplied colour profiles to match the camera picture modes for most cameras, since the earliest versions of Lightroom. However, some cameras have different modes, and picture profiles might be labelled differently. For example, the “standard” picture profile on a Canon camera is called “Standard” but on a Fuji camera, there is no profile labelled “standard” and the equivalent mode is “Provia”. Furthermore, a Jpeg file will have no picture modes at all and just uses the embedded colour profile. Because the colour profile can be included as part of a preset, if you apply one of those presets to an image that doesn’t have a corresponding colour profile, Lightroom now flags this as “partially compatible”.

In older versions of Lightroom, if the preset was applied to an image without a corresponding profile, Lightroom would just ignore it and apply the Adobe Standard” profile. However, now they have chosen to label these presets is only partially compatible. While this is useful for letting users know that there may be some incompatibilities, it is perhaps a bit confusing, as it leads users to think that there is something wrong with the presets, when there isn’t.

How it affects my presets

Some of my presets have a Picture Profile included in the preset information. In the past, this was ok because even if the image didn’t have a corresponding colour profile available, it would revert to the default, and there was no need for the user to be aware because it wasn’t an issue. Now, however, they are flagged, and this may become a source of confusion for users.

So what do you need to do?

You don’t need to do anything. The presets still work fine, and still revert to using the standard profile, as intended. You will just see them in italics in the preset browser. 

I’m not seeing the presets at all?

If you’re not seeing the presets at all, it’s because of the option to show partially compatible presets has been unchecked. To fix this, go to the preferences window, and go to the presets tab, and make sure the following option is ticked:

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New Creative Profiles Pack for Lightroom and Photoshop

I’m happy to announce that my newest product is now available. It is a set of creative profiles for use with Lightroom (version 7.3 or later) and Photoshop Camera RAW. “Creative Profile Pack One” is a set of 45 creative profiles for Lightroom and Photoshop.

Creative Profiles were introduced in Lightroom 7.3 and are a one-click way to apply a look to your image. Unlike a preset which adjusts the sliders in Lightroom, Creative Profiles behave more like an overall effect, and with a single button, apply all the adjustments. They have the additional advantage of allowing you to adjust the amount of the effect with a single slider. Creative profiles can also equally be applied to both Jpeg and RAW files.

The profiles in this pack are decided into three collections: Film Lux Profiles, TF-Colour and TF-Mono. Some of these are derived from my popular Lightroom presets but have been specially modified and enhanced so that they work better as Profiles.

CP1-Box.jpgFilm Lux Profiles are loosely based on my “Film Lux” presets, and provide an analogue film feel. TF-Colour contains a number of colour effects, including Vivid effects, and Warming and Cooling effects. They contain some looks inspired by my popular Landscape Gold and Bleached Bronze presets. TF-Mono contains a number of black and white profiles.

Creative Pack One is on sale now for €15 but for the rest of the month, it’s on sale for just €12 (until the 31st July). There are full details and some downloadable sample profiles for you to try on the product page.

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An Update on Lightroom Presets in Version 7.3 and Later

Ever since Adobe updated Lightroom earlier this month and changed the way presets are stored, there has been a lot of confusion around the new system, and I myself have been caught out by this too. In fact, I was so confused by the changes, I mistook one aspect of the new format entirely, and ended up putting out some incorrect information. Luckily a reader set me straight, and so here is the semi-definitive guide to the new preset format.

First of all, if you have upgraded to 7.3, you may want to get the latest point update (released yesterday at the time of writing this) as it fixes some of the bugs that were introduced with 7.3. These were mostly to do with the sorting of presets, but there were a few other bugs too, and this point update is supposed to address those.

Note, if you have any of my presets, and they were installed before you upgraded, then you don’t need to do anything. This information is primarily intended for those who may need to re-install presets at a later date, or are installing them after upgrading to Lightroom 7.3

The new format

In a nutshell, Adobe changed the format that Lightroom presets used from the old .lrtemplate format, which used their own data structure (I think) to a standard .xmp file format. This new format is also shared with Photoshop and Camera Raw, and in fact presets are now shared between the two.

New .xmp presets go into a different location than the old presets, and this new “settings” folder is the same location as you use to store presets for Camera Raw now too. As I said, presets are now shared between Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. The new format also supports some additional things that the old format didn’t. You can now add copyright information for example. The new “creative profiles” that were also announced as part of Lightroom 7.3, also use the same .xmp format and the files go in the same place. In fact, they are a variation of the new preset format. The new files can also have sorting information built into the preset, rather than be based on the folder structure where they’re stored, which I suspect may have been part of the problems with upgrading.

Upgrading & compatibility

It is the process of upgrading older presets that tripped me up at first. I had read from a reliable source that Lightroom only upgraded legacy presets once, at the time of upgrading to 7.3. However, it turns out that this is not the case at all. If you install new legacy .lrtemplate presets, Lightroom will detect the new presets and upgrade these the next time you launch Lightroom. This means that older presets remain compatible, at least for now.

Screenshot 2018-04-25 12.51.38.jpg

So, if you want to install legacy .lrtemplate presets, you can do so, just as you used to. You install them into the original preset destination, and then when you relaunch Lightroom, it will run through the upgrade process again.

I had kind of panicked when this release came out as I thought all my presets would be incompatible, but it turns out I was worrying over nothing. They should all still work as before, with the only difference being the upgrading step which happens automatically.

Mixing new and old presets

If you are installing both new and old presets, then you need to make sure that you put them into the right location. So here is a handy diagram to help you make sure you put the right ones in the right place.

The root folder location for this diagram (below) is different on windows and macOS. The simplest way to get to this is to open Lightroom, then go to preferences -> presets and click on the show presets button. This will open the Lightroom folder. You need to go up one level in the hierarchy to get to the root Adobe folder. Or you can go to the location directly in either the finder or windows explorer.

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/ PC: C:\ProgramData\Adobe\

To go to a specific folder on a Mac, from the Finder menu choose Go > Go To Folder…

lr presets.jpg
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Major changes to Lightroom in 7.3 – Some important Notes about my Products

Adobe has just released a major new version of Lightroom that includes some significant changes. The biggest and most notable one is the inclusion of new Raw and “Creative” profiles. However, there are also some major changes under the hood. Specifically, they have changed the file format that presets use. If you have any of my guides or presets, you may be wondering what happens.

If you are upgrading and already have presets installed, Lightroom will upgrade the presets for you when you first launch Lightroom 7.3. However, this only happens once. So if you have my presets installed before the upgrade, they should be upgraded without any problems.

However if you try to install my presets after the upgrade using the old instructions, nothing will happen, and they won’t appear. This is because they will need to be upgraded, or newer versions will need to be installed.

I will endeavour to release upgraded versions as soon as physically possible. In the meantime here is, however, a temporary workaround. If you choose to import presets from the + menu at top of the presets panel in Lightroom Classic and select the presets, they will be upgraded as you import. This may take a few minutes. The downside to this is that you can’t select a folder, and they will go to your User Presets folder inside the develop module.

I have been blindsided by this, as Adobe only told a select few developers in advance of today’s release. I’m sure this will cause confusion, so I apologise to anyone who is having difficulty. I will endeavour to upgrade everything as soon as possible, but as I have a lot, I need to take the time to make sure it gets done properly.

I’ll have another post on my main blog shortly about some of the other changes in Lightroom, and what it means, so stay tuned.

See this help centre article for a step by step guide for installing older presets.

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My new Fuji Jpeg Guide is now Available

I’m happy to announce that my latest in a series of guides for Fuji X-Series cameras is now available. The official title is “Fuji Jpegs: A Guide to Shooting and Processing” is a 76-page guide with tips and techniques for getting the best results when shooting with Fuji’s Jpeg engine.

The guide covers both things you can do in-camera and how to treat your images afterwards. I start by discussing why you would want to shoot JPEG in the first place. I outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of shooting the format, and I talk about the pros and cons of shooting Jpeg and RAW to separate cards on cameras with dual card slots.

I then talk about some of the settings that you can change in-camera on Fuji X-series cameras, how things like shadow tone and highlight tone work. I also discuss noise reduction and sharpening settings, and how to optimise the in-camera jpegs for post-production.

This is followed by some more general shooting tips, including how I have my own X-Pro 2 set up, and some tips for avoiding camera shake, how to focus on tricky subjects and so on. I also offer a series of recipes. These are basically some suggestions for combinations of settings that you can use to achieve various effects in-camera.

Finally, I look at some tips for processing Jpegs. I look at ways to sharpen Jpegs based on the settings I had previously suggested, and I look at some other tips and tricks for different software. Specifically, I deal with Lightroom, Photoshop and Apple Photos. I also discuss Fuji’s own X-Raw studio and how to generate new Jpegs from raw files in-camera. The guide also comes with some presets for Lightroom, designed to sharpen Jpegs and some Actions for Photoshop.

It’s the longest in this series of guides that I’ve written yet, and I hope people find it useful. I tried to pitch this guide at a broad audience in terms of experience level. I didn’t want to make it too “beginner” to put off more experienced readers, but I didn’t want to make it too advanced either. Similarly, it covers a broad range of topics, but I didn’t want to go too deep into any one, as not everyone has the same interests. It’s probably a little different from my other guides too, in that it focuses more on shooting rather than editing.

Anyway, I have been quite nervous about launching it, because it is a little different, but it’s done now, so it’s in the hands of the readers!

The guide will normally sell for €6.50 but I’m having a special launch price of €5 for the first two weeks. (The exact price depends on local Vat rates.) You can find out more details about it here on the store page, including a complete chapter breakdown, and a downloadable excerpt.