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My New Iridient X-Transformer Guide is now available

I’ve been promising this for a little while now, and I’m happy to announce that my guide for Iridient X-Transformer is now available. It took me a bit longer to get it finalised that I had thought because I kept doing different tests and tweaking the results and I also kept tweaking the text till I was happy. Called “Processing Fuji X-Trans Files with Iridient X-Transformer and Lightroom”, This guide is designed to help you understand and get the best results from using Iridient’s X-Transformer Software in Conjunction with Lightroom to process Fuji X-Trans raw files.

This guide is based on my own personal use and opinion. I wrote it because I like the software, and personally find it very useful. While it may seem like a simple application, the number of parameters available make for a lot of possible options when using it. This guide aims to provide you with a roadmap through those options, and provided you with some recipes to get you started with the software.

The guide is not too long, and is 30 pagers, broken down into 3 chapters and an introduction. It also contains a set of bonus Lightroom presets which are designed to work with some of the suggestions included in the book.

You can find full details on my store, including a low res version that you can page through to see what’s in the book before you buy it.

It’s on sale now for just €3 (Price may vary depending on your local VAT rate)

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New Black and White Lightroom Preset Bundle Available

New Monochrome Lightroom Preset Bundle Available

I currently have three sets of black and white presets available for Lightroom and based on popular request, I’m now making them available as a single bundle. The three sets of presets are: Monolith, MonoLux and T-Pan. Each has a different style and different approach to creating the black and white look, and together I think they make a good range of styles for creating black and white images in Lightroom.

The bundle contains the following three sets:

Monolith

Monolith is a more stylised set of black and white looks. The results you get from Monolith are typically the high contrast type of black and white Image that’s popular with some street photographers.

MonoLux

MonoLux is a more varied set of styles and is more filmic than Monolith. The set was designed with the aim of creating a rich but natural black and white filmic feel.

T-Pan

T-Pan for Lightroom is a more film like set and is a more subtle look than the other two packs. The look is aiming to re-create the experience of shooting with a professional grade black and white film stock, and creates a rich film like monochrome image.

I think the bundle is a good deal too. It could normally be €28 to buy them all separately, and with this bundle you can get them for just €20, so you’re basically getting one of the sets for free.

(Note that the price includes VAT which can change depending on your country of origin, so the price may vary depending on where you are)

You can see the bundle now here on the digital download store, which also shows some samples and links to the original presets which has more details.

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Pay Pal Temporarily Disabled on the Store – Fix Coming Soon

[UPDATE – Jan 30 – PayPal Restored]

I have restored PayPal functionality to the store, and I’ve changed the store theme to make the checkout process less confusing. Hopefully this will resolve any long standing issues.

 

[Previously….]

I have disabled Paypal as there continues to be problems with PayPal integration on the store. I understand that this is frustrating to a lot of people as that is the only way that they can pay. I am working to restore Paypal integration as soon as possible. 

I hope to have PayPal back online by the end of the first week in February (Feb 4th) – within the next seven days at the time of writing this article.

What is the problem exactly?

The reason that I have disabled PayPal is due to a conflict with the way PayPal is integrated with the system that powers the store (WoooCommerce). What was happening was that a small number of customers would find that when the entered their Paypal details, which happens in a pop-up window, PayPal would occasionally not return control to the store server, and it would result in a customer not being able to compete an order. 

I have tried many things to resolve this, in conjunction with server specialists. We have the issue narrowed down to a potential issue with a theme conflict and the PayPal integration. In order to fix the issue (hopefully) I need to change the current theme on the store (the design, basically) but in order to do that, I have to prepare the replacement, then take the store online and make the necessary changes. 

Hopefully, I should be able to do that in the next several days. I will keep you updated here once the service has been restored.

If this doesn’t work, I’m working on a backup plan which involves moving the store to Shopify. If you have experienced PayPal issues with the store I’d really like your feedback to let me know what exactly happened to you, and how you were able to resolve it (if at all) so that I can tell the support staff who are trying to help me resolve the issue.

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The New Store, Same as the Old Store. Mostly

Before Christmas I talked about my plans for moving to a new store platform. I had been having numerous problems, and I put them down to issues with WordPress and WooCommerce. The plan was to move to Shopify. This was in my mind the only solution, but it wasn’t something to which I was looking forward. Luckily I found a better alternative, and so here’s an update as to what’s happening.

To move to Shopify meant having to re-create my whole store from scratch, and I would probably put it on a new domain. This was going to be a royal pain, both for users and for me. It would mean that all of my set work and traffic building would be lost, but it would also mean that customers from the old store would no longer have the convenience of logging back into their accounts to get their downloads. Despite the obvious downsides, I felt that I had no choice, and so I had started building the new store. Then, by complete chance, I came across an interesting bit of information.

I was doing some tests on my old store server, and I discovered that the domain wasn’t resolving correctly. It was still working, but there were some issues behind the scenes. Also, the server was using old versions of PHP and MySQL. I contacted them to ask for their assistance (i.e. fix their issue), but they refused and wanted me to upgrade to a new second hosting account. I’ve always had problems with this company, and so, I decided that I would try a better hosting provider. After doing some research, I’ve settled on Pressable. WooCommerce recommends it as a partner for the e-commerce platform, and the price is reasonable, and so that’s what I’ve done.

The transition took a little time, and of course, it wasn’t without hitches. The biggest one being my own stupidity.

Here’s what happened.

I did lots of testing after the move, but it’s hard to test it properly all by yourself, and so you don’t really know until customers start ordering, I had a few sales after the move, and so I figured it was working ok. Then I started getting emails from people as they couldn’t download their purchases. It suddenly dawned on me that I’d forgotten something rather crucial.

The hosting company that I’m now using did the moving of the site for me, which, as it’s based on WordPress took a little while, but it was relatively seamless. However, I forgot one crucial, and in hindsight, kind of obvious thing. The links to the store downloads were hosted in a separate folder outside of the store’s main contents (for security reasons), and I hadn’t realised that it wasn’t moved with the rest of the store. This may own fault for not realising such an obvious thing. Luckily, I was able to fix it without having to re-enter all the links to the individual downloads manually.

If you had any issues, I’m sorry. They should be resolved now (and let me know if they aren’t)

The new site has server level security and caching, and it seems to be much faster. I’m also hoping the modern infrastructure resolves the pay Pal issue. I really didn’t want to have to move to Shopify, and I think this is best for all my customers. I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve visited the store before and found it slow or problematic, I’d like to hear your experiences with the new version.

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Two New Preset Bundles now Available

I’ve added two new bundles of Lightroom Preset packs to the store. Previously I had created a bundle of my first 6 presets, and I’ve been waiting till I had another 6 to do a second bundle. Well, with the recent release of FilmLUX I now had another 6 Lightroom Preset packs, and so I’ve created another Bundle.

The not so subtly named “Lightroom Presets Bundle 2” is a collection of my 6 most recent presets.These include

  • QuickLUX 2
  • MonoLUX
  • FilmLUX
  • BleachedBronze
  • CoffeeTones
  • Film Candy 2

The bundle is on sale now for €45 (which offers a saving over buying them all separately) but to make it even better, for the rest of August, it’s on sale for just €35

I wanted to make things even easier for new customers who may be interested in my Lightroom Presets, and so I’ve created a bundle of the bundles, so to speak.

Called “Lightroom Presets – Complete Collection 2016” (another catchy title) this contains all of my Lightroom Preset packs to date. The bundle contains all 12 of my current Lightroom Preset packs and is priced at €80, which is a saving of €20 over buying the other two bundles separately.

Again, this is on sale for just €70 at the moment. This is a pretty good bargain. You’re saving nearly €40 over buying them all separately.

Both of these bundles are available now in my Digital Download store.

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Store Redesign

A while ago I wrote about some of the things that I had planned for my digital download store, and one of those was to implement an updated theme and a re-design. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve now implemented this, and the store now has a shiny new design. Well, sort of. I’ve updated the theme that runs the store and this includes a lot of the functionality of the individual elements. On the home page, it may not look that different, but there is a new framework there which will allow me to change it over time, and I hope to make it look better.

The most important part of this update though is that it fixes some of the functionality that was broken in the old one. The old theme that I had been using had some bugs in it, especially on the e-commerce side, and as the back-end has been updated, the theme became more and more broken. It got to the point where it was starting to get ridiculous, so I set about replacing it.

I’m not a web developer, so for me this was a fairly mammoth task. I’m pretty good at WordPress, and I know some html and css, but I’m by no means an expert. So, I really didn’t want to go through the process. Usually when you replace a theme, lots of things break and you need to do a lot of manual re-configuration, but luckily this went fairly smoothly. There are still some bugs to work out, but for the most part it’s working and I hope it’s much better.

Fixed

The two main things that are fixed are as follows:

The Checkout

First of all, the checkout has been fixed. There were two big issues with the old one. The first, which is a recent problem, is that for some reason the credit card images were huge and filled the whole page. This seems to have happened with a recent update. The second issue, which is a long running one, is that the option for returning customers to log in on the checkout page wasn’t working. Thankfully, it’s now back, so you don’t have to go away from the check out page if you’ve forgotten to log in.

Mobile

The second thing that the new design fixes, is that it now works much better and hopefully most of the old issues. The menu wasn’t working properly in the old version too, and that works much better too. So now, hopefully the experience of using the store will be much better on an iPhone, or an iPad (or smoother mobile device.

Bugs

There are still a few things that I need to fix. Most of this is because of my afore-mentioned lack of knowledge when it comes to web development. For now, some of the blog posts on the store blog may have double images in them and some of them may have issues on mobile devices. I also had some problems with some products not being responsive (i.e. scaling properly on smaller screens) but I think that I’ve fixed that now.

if you find anything while browsing he store that you think looks out-of-place then please drop me an email.

Coming Soon

Now that I’ve finally replaced the ageing theme and improves some things on the back-end I have the ability to do a lot more things with the store. The next major feature that I want to add, is the much requested PayPal express checkout. With this installed you will not have to fill out your details when paying with PayPal as it will take it from your PayPal account. I know this has been requested by a few customers, and I’m working on implementing it.

I’m also going to be adding a sort of gallery and I’m considering opening it up to users to submit their own images to it. So if yo’e used any of my presets and you want to get your work featured it might be a way to do it. It’s a little ways off just now, but I’m working on it.


That’s about it for now. I just wanted to thank all of my customers for their loyal support over the years I’ve been running the store. I want to apologise for the issues that have been happening lately, but I do all this myself and at times it feels like a full-time job, which of course it’s only part of what I do. So again, thank you for your patience!

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FilmLUX for Lightroom is now available

FilmLUX for Lightroom - Lightroom Presets

FilmLUX for Lightroom - Lightroom Presets

I’m delighted to announce, that after much delay, my latest set of Lightroom Presets, FilmLUX is now available. I came up with the idea for FilmLUX a little while ago when I was in the midst of scanning lots of old slide and transparency film. I noticed that the results I was getting had a really nice quality to them, and they weren’t quite like what I was getting from other presets. With this in mind I set about trying to create my own, paying close attention to the results I was getting from my own film scans.

The result is an artistic impression of the various film stocks I used to shoot with, rather than exact emulations. This set also contains an extensive collection of Grain presets presets to mimic the grain found in various types of film.

Here are a few samples of the presets in action:

FilmLUX for Lightroom is available now for €10 from right here on the digital download store. It’s available at a reduced price of €8 for the first week (until the end of July) and you can find more details and more samples over on the store’s product pages.

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X-Pro 2 Supplement for the Capture One X-Trans Guide now available

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 16.01.39

If you have bought my Capture One Guide for processing X-Trans files, I’ve added a supplement with some guidelines for X-Pro 2 users. As X-Pro 2 support in Capture One is currently listed as “Preliminary” there are a few issues with the current implementation. In this supplement I’ve discussed these as well as some workarounds where possible. I’ve also listed the settings that I’m currently using.

Note that this document is a temporary supplement that is designed to assist you using Capture One with X-Pro 2 files in its current “Preliminary” state. It will be updated as support is improved, and the information in this will be incorporated into a future version of the full guide.

The supplement is a free addition for anyone who has previously bought my Capture One Guide. To download the supplement, log into your account on the store and go to the downloads section. Here you should find the new supplement added to your existing downloads. (You will need to have previously purchased the Capture One Guide)

As with the original guide, an online version is also being made available on my Blog in the near future.

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Short Store Server Outage: Back to Normal Now

There was a problem with the store yesterday (July 7th, 2016), which may have prevented it from working properly. The problem occurred because of a corruption in a configuration file which controls the caching system. This has now been fixed and full functionality has been restored. I wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period. If you were trying to download previous purchases, you should be able to log back in now.

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New Store Changes and More Coming Soon

New Changes to My online Store

I wanted to let you know of some changes that I’m currently working on for the store, and some recent updates. I am always striving to make the store experience as best as possible for my customers, both old and new, and so I’ve been busy adding new features and planning new updates. I have already made one big change and there are more to come.

New Help Centre

I have significantly upgraded the support system for the store. Before the support Q&A was a single page with some questions and answers. I’ve now added a proper zendesk based support system. This includes a new “Help Centre” which features a collection of Frequently Asked Questions as well as some other tip and tricks. It also includes a web based way to submit a request for help. There’s also now a help button at the bottom of the page when you’re actually visiting the store, so you can use that at any time to send me a message.

But there’s more! No matter what way you request help, it will now be handled by a proper ticketed help system. This means that you get a reference number for your request, and it’s handled on the server side by a proper tech support management system, that allows me to track support requests, and make sure that they’re followed up properly. It also means that you can follow up on previous requests and see previous responses.

You can visit the Help Centre at any time for help with your orders or your downloads, by going to the “Help Centre” option from the support menu of the store.

New Design Coming Soon

A number of people have written to me about some design issues with he store, and I am aware of the problem. The store is currently based on WordPress and WooCommerce and uses a theme for it’s design. While I have customised the theme to correct for some issues, the developer doesn’t seem to be updating it any more. There are some minor problems on smaller screens as the responsive design seems to hide certain menu items. It’s also difficult to make purchases on an iPad or other Tablet because of this.

To rectify these issues, I’m planning a significant change of the design, by using a newer and better theme. this will also allow me to add some new features to the store too. Unfortunately to do this, I need to take the store offline temporarily, and so I’m waiting for the right time to do this. I hope to have this ready to go in the next few weeks.

PayPal Options

Another popular request is for a single sign on PayPal button. At the moment, you need to fill out your address and so on, when paying by pay pal, but some sites let pay pal supply that information, so you only have to click a single button. I’m investigating ways to do this, and I hope to be able to implement it in the near future.

Free Products

I’ve also started offering some free products on the store. These were previously available on my blog, but they were often buried in old blog posts, and I wanted a way for people to quickly get at them in a single space, so I’m using the store to deliver them. There are two ways to download free products. There is a direct download link, which will download the file directly.

Alternatively, you can add it to your cart and check out the way you normally would, except because it’s free, you don’t need to enter any payment info. The advantage of doing it this way, is that free downloads will be added to your account, so you can see them along with any purchases that you might have made. You can use whichever option suits you.

At the moment, the only free product is my X-Trans sharpening presets, but I’ll be adding more in the future.

Send me your Feedback

If there’s anything els you would like to see on the store, or you have suggestions for other ways I can improve the customer experience, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can use the comments below to leave suggestions also.

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Free Lightroom Sharpening Presets added to the store

Free X-Trans Sharpening Presets for Lightroom

Free X-Trans Sharpening Presets for Lightroom

Over the past few years I’ve written a lot about processing Fuji X-Trans files in both Lightroom and other software. I’ve experimented lots of times with ways to improve the look of files from Lightroom, and in particular, on how to minimise the smearing effect that can sometimes occur with Fuji X-Trans files and fine details, especially foliage.

I’ve worked out some sharpening settings in the past and posted them here, but that was a good while ago, and I’ve updated them several times with various different attempts. In order to save a bit of confusion and make it easier for everyone, I’ve put them altogether into one download, together with some new versions that I haven’t shared in the past. In the past these were hosted on my blog, but to make them easier to find, I’m now hosting them here, on the store as a free download.

the reasons for doing this are twofold. First of all, it was kind of buried on my blog, and I wanted to make it easier to find. A few people have emailed me and asked me about this before. Secondly, If I update it in the future, it will still be in the same place, and so I won’t end up with multiple versions in multiple locations.

Unfortunately, I had a little difficulty implementing this. the way the store back end software works, there’s no problem adding free content to the store, but you still have to go through the process of checking out. Obviously you don’t need payment information, but it’s still a bit of a pain, and I know some people would have an issue with that. There is a software add on though that would let me change this behaviour, so that you could just click a download button and it would download, but I tried it and it wasn’t working.

So, for the moment I’ve added a text link for those who don’t want to go through the process of adding it to a shopping cart, creating an account and checking out. Alternatively, you can use this method also, and if you already have an account, this means that the downloads will be added to your current account once you check out.

I know this all sounds a bit messy and it is. It’s not the way I had hoped to implement this. I am attempting to fix the problem that is preventing a single download button, and hopefully I can get that implemented.

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Important Store Updates

laptop-and-ipad

In order to help create an even better experience on the store, I’ve made some behind the scenes changes to improve the functions on the store. The biggest of which is that I’ve added a second payment processor. I’ve had many requests for this, and so you can now make payments directly by credit card using via Stripe, rather than PayPal.

Stripe Payments

I’ve had a number requests from people who do not like or want to use PayPal to add an alternate payment processor to the store. To that end, the store will now accept payments directly by credit card via Stripe. Stripe is a reputable payment processor, and is the chosen provider for SquareSpace commerce and a number of other premium services.

You can pay by credit card directly in the checkout using the Strip payment option. Note that we still do not store credit cards on the site, and all payment processing is handled on Stripes servers.

For more information on Stripe see their website.

Additional Security

I’ve always taken security seriously on the store. Your payment information has never been stored on our server and we’ve always taken steps to ensure that our back end is kept up to date and has additional security software in place to protect the data on the server.

Now that I’m adding a second payment processor, I’ve also added additional security throughout the store. The entire store is now securely accessed through https, not just the checkout phase. While the credit card entry for the stripe checkout is integrated directly into our checkout page, as mentioned above, we still do not store or handle your credit card information. It will be handled by Stipe’s secure servers, and we never have access to that information.

If you have any questions see the FAQ page for more details.

More to Come

I’m committed to improving the experience even further. In the future I have plans to improve the design, making it easier to use. I also plan to offer additional member benefits for existing customers. I’m also going to offer more tutorials for previous customers, such as how to get the best from our presets and more.