Lightroom Training Videos

Don’t try editing your photos with LIGHTOOM until you have watched our Tutorials

Fantastic Location Ideas

Stop going to boring locations!

Our location guides have fantastic ideas for you next shoot

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

How to turn flat, dull photos into masterpieces.

If you can’t do it in LIGHTROOM, then Photoshop is for you

Photography for Business

Poor photography may be dangerous to your business’ bottom line

Read about how great photography can win you more business

General Musings on all things Photography

Read our thoughts on anything photographic…


Salford Quays

Salford Quays Workshop

Salford Quays Workshop Media City is right on the canal network  –  so where better to teach night photography skills, a location where you get amazing architecture as well as stunning reflections in each shot. The workshop started at sunset and went on well past the 10PM finish time… when you’re in the zone, may as well keep going! The Technical Bit The main skills we showed people were the basics of night shooting – which on my workshops, uses…

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Commercial Photography - Out Takes!

Commercial Photography Should Be Fun

God, I hate having my photo taken…. That’s the most common thing photographs hear, pretty much everyone, on every job, says it – you’d think it was root canal treatment we were administering. Photography should be fun – especially commercial work That’s definitely the case with our friends over at ABL Business, we’ve updated their photo stock a few times and each time, it’s always a fun session with Alex, Andy and the team – getting them to pretend to work, whilst making them laugh.…

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See How Easily Focus Stacking You Gives Ultimate Sharpness In Your Landscape Photos

Focus Stacking in Landscape Photos If you like to get everything pin sharp in your landscapes, Focus Stacking is for you. If you shoot low with foregrounds which are very close to the lens, then it can be hard to get the background AND the foreground pin sharp. Focussing 1/3 of the way into a scene if often recommended, or using a “hyperfocal” calculator app on your phone can give you the best focus distance for a given aperture and focal…

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7 Top Tips for Low Light Photography

Low Light Photography for Beginners 2015’s summer looks to be ebbing away – certainly in the evenings as it’s dark by 8PM now! So last night we started our summer-winter transition and showed a group how to shoot at night. What we did… Kicking off at Clarence Dock, or New Dock Leeds, as the re-brand calls it, we created:- dusk shots of the old docks. night shots of the docks – 30 second exposures, to smooth the water a bit…

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Car Photography Workshop 3

Grand Finale Car Photography Workshop for 2015 We’ve done 3 great Car Photography workshops this summer, the final one was at Temple Newsham in Leeds – where we have a huge car park full of puddles and a gritty feel. Something to contrast to the other workshops. The cars were TVR T350 TVR Wedge – 2 of these TVR Tuscan Porsche 911 – 2 of these A great mix of colour, style and shape – all organised by Richard Lee,…

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Retouching in Photoshop

Retouching in Photoshop – Skin and Eyes Lightroom has so many great tools that Photoshop is fast becoming redundant for most tasks. Retouching is one area where Lightroom still needs development. There are tools for skin softening and bumping eyes, but they don’t really have the same accuracy or fine results. For most commercial work I do, Lightroom is fine – the shots are usually small and on websites, a little negative clarity does the trick. But if you’re competing…

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How to take better travel photos on your smartphone

How to take better travel photos on your smartphone

Sunrise and sunset provide the best light for photography: Lauren Bath AS THE saying goes, the best camera to have is the camera you have with you. And for must of us, that’s a smartphone. Mobiles with built-in high-resolution cameras have changed the way we shoot holiday snaps. For […] Click here to view original web page at Here are the tips in summary….. 1. Light it up 2. Pick and choose 3. The professional touch 4. The phone…

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Photos from the Old Town in Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia – The Old Town

Capital of Latvia, Riga – The Old Town From the Riga, Latvia WIKIPEDIA entry :- Hot Summer Visit to Riga, Latvia In Newcastle, “Baltic” means “very cold”. Nothing could have been further from the truth when we visited in August 2015. It was in the high 20’s, cloudless skies and a light, refreshing breeze made it perfect for walking around with the camera. Our hotel was on the edge of the Old Town, the small 800 year old centre of…

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how to hold your camera properly

How do you hold your camera?

So Many Different Ways to Hold a Camera… How do you hold your camera…. whilst walking in Riga, I saw so many photographers holding their cameras in a weird variety of styles, I thought I’d get a few shots of them. The majority seem to use the little screen on the back of the camera, so hold the camera about 6-12 inches in front of their face. Many cameras have no other option – my phone certainly doesn’t. But lots…

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Why Photography is a Game of 2 Halves

Can we have all the RAW files, we don’t need anything editing… I’ve been asked this from time to time, most recently on a job to capture the “essence of Sheffield’s shopping experience”. It had to be on a certain day and time due to some portraits we had to take – so I couldn’t really choose a bright sunny day, so as you can expect – a lot of the images were pretty overcast and dull. Which is “to…

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Travel Photography – Literally!

Ever travel long distances as a passenger? I do – as a member of a touring band, we sometimes cover hundreds of miles – and a few weeks ago, that involved going from Leeds to Inverness… and back! Naturally I took the camera – for photos of the lovely Scottish city, but also to capture the band in action… Then it occurred to me that the highlands were beautiful from the main roads, no need to actually go on country…

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15 Essential Stone Circle Photography Tips

15 Essential Stone Circle Photography Tips

Photo by David Clapp 1. Lens Choice Use a wider angle lens 16-20mm (about 24-30mm in 35mm terms) 2. Focus On Parts Of The Circle Try isolating two or three of the stones and shoot from a low angle. 3. Get Up High Find a vantage point at a […] Click here to view original web page at

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Photos of Bristol

Bristol Photos… from day 3 of a Rock N Roll weekend…. This weekend, The Chicago Blues Brothers, for whom I play keyboards, gigged in Crawley, Wimbledon and finally hit the biggest theatre of the weekend in Bristol. The Hippodrome. Blues Brothers Website Review of the show we did We arrived pretty early, got set up and had an hour to kill before sound check, so decided to head out for look at the city. There was a festival going on – a…

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An Hour in Inverness

Its not often we get time to walk around the towns and cities we visit with the Blues Brothers band, but I got an hour in Inverness this Saturday. It’s a lovely city, large fast flowing river, castle looming over the banks, highland architecture everywhere and a friendly vibe to the whole place. I took just the camera, 16-35mm lens and a 2 stop ND grad filter with me – and wandered around looking for a spot of food. Here…

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Why I Bought the Canon 16-35 F4L

[message type=”info”]….this thing isn’t just a “settle for lens” for those who can’t afford the 2.8, but a real contender.[/message] Just invested in the new canon 16-35 F4 – part of the new range of canon F4 L lenses, as opposed to the F2.8 L range, with new generation Image Stabilisation. These are smaller, lighter and cheaper than their f2.8 cousins – so why did I end up with this over the f2.8? Here’s the through process behind it… 1 – I needed…

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HDR Photography is DEAD!

Is HDR Photography Dead? In many situations, new cameras do indeed render HDR Photography redundant. We use HDR to increase the “dymanic range” of our work – capturing extra detail in the highlights and shadows. Older cameras had a limited range, was was proved by lightening an under exposed shot. The “noise” would be intolerable, making a mosaic like pattern in the dark areas. However, newer cameras allow you to brighten darks areas, and to an extent, recover burned highlights…

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Creating Vintage Photos Made Easy in LIGHTROOM

How to Create That Vintage Look in LIGHTROOM In this short tutorial video, we look at editing a beach shot at Alnwick, Northumberland. It was a bright day with strong clouds, so lots of mid tones and some crisp shadows to play with. There are many ways to process such a shot, in this session we’ll take you through the whole process of using Split Toning to add that lovely vintage feel, a process that is surprisingly easy in Lightroom. The Vintage look…

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9 Affordable Gadgets To Transform Your Photography

Photography Kit Which Doesn’t Cost The Earth 1 – Angle Finder – £20 – £200 If you shoot low down, maybe for landscapes or createive atchitecture shots, so see through your camera, you’ll either have to lie fly on the floor or guess your compoisition. This is where your “angle finder” comes into play. It allows you to look “down” through your camera – so you don’t have to get quite so low. It saves your back, knees and I find…

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13 Snowy Yorkshire Dales Photos

Snowy Settle and Malham – in the Yorkshire Dales It’s not been the snowiest of winters, but on a trip out with Richard Spurdens, we were treated to some great snowy scenes. Add to that fast moving clouds and ever changing light, you get infinite variety without having to move far at all. The trip started near settle where we got the bush and tree shots – lots of walls creating strong shadows on the white snow. Views across to Pen…

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St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

Landscapes in Bright Sunshine You can’t shoot landscapes in the afternoon, you have to wait for sunset  –  right? Well it’s certainly easier to get great shots when the favourable low, warm sunset light is making the sky glow orange, but you can still create something usable when the sun is out. These images were all taken at about 2PM, using the following kit:- Canon 5D 3 Canon 17-40 F4L Hiada 10 stop filter Cokin Z-Pro 2 stop ND Grad…

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England’s Biggest Waterfall

High Force – Teesdale It may only be 70 feet tall, minute compared to the giants in Yosemite or South America, but High Force, high up in Teesdale, is very impressive in flood – as it was on this day! With it being winter, you can see the falls from the road through the leafless trees. Its too obscured to create a decent shot, but adds to the build up. I tried 2 techniques on the day – using the 70-200mm…

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Photos of Newcastle

Back to Newcastle…. Before moving to Leeds, I lived in Newcastle – great city, bit nippy though! I was shooting some hotels for a client who needed some evening and day shots of their property, so had a while to kill before it went dark. Here’s what I got up to – a walk along the quayside, then around the city centre. See how many of these places you can name

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5 Essential Questions for Aspiring Pro Photographers

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Pro I’m sure many pro photographers get asked “How do I become a professional photographer?“. I have and it’s never a straight forward answer – in fact, the answer would be unique for each person. Every photographer is different (personality, experience, confidence, business savvy,  camera skills etc.),  so there’s no “on size fits all” formula for success, or even getting out of the starting blocks. But I do often ask a few questions, so…

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A Souvenir of Sunderland

So we set off early for a gig at Sunderland Empire – with the intention of enjoying the beach, maybe popping to the Angel of the North or Penshaw Monument. The weather had different ideas – it was grim, cold and grey. So we did a pub lunch instead – then went to Roker Beach in Sunderland to see if there was anything worth looking at. Here is what we found…   Some lovely colours in litter – goes well…

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Ten Top Macro Photography Tips

Here are some tips from EPHOTOZINE on how to take better Macro photos… 1. Make Sure Your Subject Is Perfect 2. Get Up Early 3. Try Backlighting 4. Switch To Manual Focus 5. Try Pre-Focusing 6. Pack A Polarising Filter 7. Avoid Shake 8. Windy Days Are Your Enemy 9. Get In Close Then Add Some Space 10. Light Your Shot Well […] Click here to view original web page at

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Fake Blurry Skies… in 2 minutes

10 Stop Filters – All the Rage! I’ve got one, have you? Well no landscape or architecture photographer worth their salt goes out without one these days do they ? 😉 It is the current fad – that surreal sky, those misty sea shores… you simply have to use them… They are genuinely interesting to use, and I have on occasion used one commercially to make “people disappear” from photos. So looking back at this photo of Clarence Dock, which…

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Bookings “go though the roof” with McFade Photos

A New Look Pays Off!   Having recently opened an events space in Leeds, our client needed some fresh shots to promote it. So we created some of our “special HDR images” of Lambert’s Yard – using a mix of angles and styles to show the features, and sell the place as a modern, warm, fun, city centre venue to hold your events. Since releasing the photos their hit-rate on google has “gone through the roof”, they have taken on an unprecedented 25 new bookings in a week.…

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shoot to the right

Why you should “Shoot to the Right”

Shoot to the right… what’s that then? It’s a technique to get better image quality… simple as that really. Why does the “shoot to the right” technique give you better image quality? Well the science is pretty complicated and all to do with how a sensor captures light. Digital cameras sensors are more efficient at capturing the light in the “highlights”, and less efficient at capturing “shadows”, so by getting the exposure more to the highlight end, we are getting the best out of the…

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5 Tips to Capture Beautiful Candid Wedding Photos

Video of 5 Tips for Perfect Journalistic Wedding Photos Through the years shooting weddings, I have found that my favorite photos always tend to be those charming candid moments that last ever so briefly. In this video and article I wanted to talk about my technique in how I set up […] Click here to view original web page at

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Tips On Photographing Statues

I learned about flash by using statues as models… they’re more patient than real people, don’t get cold and available 24/7! Just spotted this article about it here so thought I’d share Click here to view original web page at Gear Suggestions: Unless you’re a particular fan of the carvings that decorate the tops of churches you’ll only need a standard zoom lens which means this is a project you can do with your DSLR or compact camera. If…

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6 Essential Steps to Hiring the Right Photographer

Choosing “the right” Photographer For YOU Lets help you with a few simple steps:- 1 – Know what you need BEFORE starting Go online and check out your competition’s websites. Maybe look at a different industry all together, get ideas from that. Collect photos in a folder if you can. Get a mental picture BEFORE you start, this will guide the process   2 – Check Photographers You Know First See if they’ve done the kind of thing you need, and the…

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Lightroom Landscape Workflow – 3 Minute Mono!

Last Ditch Pitstop! The Dales Experience workshop was somewhat spoiled by ice – the 3 roads to get to our favourite spots were impassible! So rather than panic, we grabbed loads of great shots elsewhere and on the way back to base, I remembered these trees on the side of the road near Airton I don’t think anyone else really saw the potential – the sunset had come and gone, very little light and the tree was in the wrong…

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3 Things You Never Think of When Hiring Photographers

I need some photos…. fast! You need some photos, something which is going to make you look great for a press release, or your web developer needs something to fill that website.. Where do you start? Be honest – do you get a few photographer’s “day rates” and plump for the lowest? Or do you just ask a few friends and go with what they say? Well the second one of those is actually a good step – but just because…

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HDR Without Using HDR?

Photography’s Most Divisive Technique Go on any photography forum or facebook group and you’ll get a vocal majority who are not HDR fans. They may have a point in many cases as HDR can turn normal photographers into creatures who love “eye-popping” saturation and massive detail in every nook and cranny. The thing is – HDR is a massively useful technique which overcomes so many issues, but can get abused and end up creating some monstrosities. A Way Around HDR So to…

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Leeds is RUBBISH For Photography!

Who’d Want to do Photography in Leeds ? I’ve heard this said many times – along with classics such as… you’ve not got many great buildings, you’ve not got any sky scrapers costs a fortune to park and they charge you at night its really rough and you’ll get mugged. Ok… Parking is Terrible… Well the one I agree with is the parking issue. It’s a pain to park in the city – it has to be said. Hugely over…

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10 Inspiring Tips for Better Landscape Photos

Landscape Video… If you’re into landscapes, here are some cool tips in a short video – well medium, it’s 8 minutes long.   Photographer Antony Spencer teamed up with Phase One last year to share inspirational tips on how to shoot better landscape images. But these aren’t necessarily any ordinary tips that you’ve heard before. While he mentions some of the essentials, he also lists some less noticeable and unheard tips. For example, he stresses that you remove the strap…

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Why Use Long Shutter Speeds?

Enjoyed this article on EPHOTOZINE so thought I’d some of my Long Shutter Speed shots to illustrate it’s key points! For full details, click on this next link… Click here to view original web page at   Blurry Water Spooky, Atmospheric Shots Northern Lights I’ve not got any of these 😉 Give A City Shot More Interest Capture Movement   Paint A Scene With Light

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Europe’s Highest Waterfall – Krimmler, Austria

  Europe’s Biggest Waterfall! Europe’s biggest waterfall was the highlight of day 2 of our Austria trip, a trip through the usual “breathtaking” landscape (not hyperbole, it really is!) found us at the foot of this monster 1200 foot tall fall. It’s not all in one giant cascade – but over several smaller cascades, many of which would be a few hundred feet in their own right. It’s a fair climb through some woods to see the falls – though they have…

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Kitzbuhel Church, Austria

A Wealthy Town If you’re into classic sports cars and wealthy old german people wandering around streets, this place is for you. Its a playground for the rich, with E-Type Jaguars and classic Porsches along the litterless streets. We did look at property priced and it’s more like Mayfair than Leeds! But as this blog is being created near Xmas – here is a gallery of the church – details on the town and church here The church is 14th…

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Sopot, Poland

Poland’s Blackpool? Sopot is a resort in Poland with a pier, sand and seagulls – yes, it’s just like Blackpool! Actually, it’s more like Penarth in Wales – a more subdued, classy affair than the coastal towns of northern England. Its centre street is spotlessly clean, lots of bars and shops with a bustling student vibe towards to the top end of town. Chicago Blues Brothers Tour The purpose of the visit was to play 2 arena concerts, at Lodz…

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Free Lightroom Tips, Tricks and Photo Critique – Episode 12

Lightroom Tips Episode 12 Architecture, Landscape and a Cyclist This week we’ve got a first – more black and white than colour shots! We have some great shots from Hull, Malham and a desert somewhere – with weird plants! Main tips this week are on cropping, reducing “clarity issues” and adding drama to shots Here’s the video Join in FOR FREE Feedback on your shots is an amazing thing – it’s letting a second pair of eyes appraise what you’ve…

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Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 11

Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 11 This weeks Lightroom tips…. This week we have a night photo, castle, lake and canal. Main tips are on composition, cropping and focussing. It’s not easy focussing on dark subjects at night – so there are a few tips on how to do this. Here’s the video ! Free, anonymous Lightroom Tips – Submit now for next week This is currently a free service for people wanting to improve their photography. To join in…

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Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 10

Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 10 This weeks Lightroom tips…. This week we’ve got Lindesfarne, a fountain, some cool shallow depth of field effects with a toy car and much more. If you want to join in – just send me your email address via any means you can, email to works best, and you’ll get a link to Dropbox so you can add your shots   Free, anonymous Lightroom Tips – Submit now for next week This…

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Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 8

Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 8 This weeks Lightroom tips…. This week we have 5 shots and lots of lightroom tips, including white balance, cropping and using the “whites” slider to correct levels. Free, anonymous Lightroom Tips – Submit now for next week This is currently a free service for people wanting to improve their photography. To join in do the following:- email us at tell us who you are (if we don’t know) let us know which email address…

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Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 7

Free Lightroom Tips and Photo Critique – Week 7 This weeks Lightroom tips…. Welcome to the 7th instalment of video critique – this week we have a set of 7, from a TVR to portraits, beach huts to classic architecture. As ever, these are uploaded to DROPBOX anonymously and imported into Lightroom so we can talk about AND illustrate ideas for edits we’d make Here’s the video – enjoy! Free, anonymous Lightroom Tips – Submit now for next week This is currently a free…

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Drive-by Shooting in India and Why I Love It

Use Your Time – Don’t Let it Pass You By… Inevitably, you will spend a lot of time in cabs if you’re travelling around (or between) cities in India. The roads are horrendously packed and going 10 miles can take 2 hours if you’re unlucky. So as a photographer you are wasting time – right? Well no, actually. You are usually going slowly enough to take in the surroundings and take photos as you travel. As you drive by stuff,…

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5 Tips on Photography in India

Photography in India…. Got a trip to India Planned? Well here are 5 tips for photographing a most wonderful country for photography…. Take as little kit as you can Its the “people” not the “places” which count Don’t bother taking a tripod Don’t go for the obvious shots Be prepared for MAYHEM! Take as little kit as you can India is very hot – especially in Mumbai or the south, you’re into the late 30’s or 40’s temperature wise and high…

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BiY Inspired Awards 2014

The Inaugural BiY Awards 2 years ago, Louise Turner had an idea – to recognise small and micro businesses working in Yorkshire, on Friday 3rd October it became a reality. You can read all about it on her blog     Solopreneur Award   Rather delighted to announce that McFade won one of the awards – the Solopreneur award, and here’s the magic moment. Cheers to Paul Dodd for grabbing the camera off me and taking this photo!   Lots and…

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