Cordweaver camera neck and wrist straps.

Hi everyone,

I’ve standardised on these great camera neck and wrist straps by a company called “Cordweaver” – . The straps are very light and strong and are available in a choice of two colours, red and black and various lengths, the leather ends are hand-sewn with strong polyester waxed thread. Connection to the camera is via the fitted 16mm diameter split rings and the wrist straps are made out of Type III 550lb Paracord with 7 internal strands.

Great service, very quick dispatch and very high quality merchandise. I used one on my EM-1 and one on my TG-5 for my recent trip to Porto and it was great, so good I’ve since bought another two,  🙂 very comfortable to wear and also it would be very hard to cut through should someone try and grab the camera.

Cameras small with cordweaver straps2

Additional: The wrist straps come in two types, with Peak Design style connectors (as fitted to my EM-5 on the right) and, without, (as fitted to my TG-5). It is also supplied with a spare connector as also  fitted to my EM-5 Mk II Ti on the left.

Lastly, I really like how flexible they are and tuck in nicely in my camera bags unlike some of the stiffer and more bulky neck straps I’ve used. The wrist straps act like slip knots at either end so they tighten at both the camera end and the wrist end should the camera slip from your grip, the addition of a rubber grommet is another nice feature.

Kind regards


Skylum Software latest free update for Luminar 3 (v3.1.0) with Accent AI 2.0

Hi everyone,

Here it is the latest update for Luminar 3   including the new Accent AI 2.0 feature. and a host of other new useful features. I’ve been fortunate to have been testing a beta release of these features for a few days now and they are great.

You’ve got to love these guys 🙂


Luminar Updates for Windows Users

The Windows version of Luminar receives several updates with version 3.1.0 We hope you enjoy this new release of Luminar and appreciate your feedback and reports.

New features

IMPORT IMAGES. You can now import images from a memory card or hard drive and copy them to a folder. You can also choose to include subfolders when importing

SMUGMUG SHARING. The ability to post images to SmugMug has now been added to Luminar for Windows.

SHORTCUTS. Folders and user albums can be added to the Shortcuts list. Just right-click for a context menu or drag & drop them into the list.

IMPROVED SELECTIONS. Want to choose a range of photos in the Gallery view? Try the Shift or Ctrl key to select a range or group of images. You can also deselect images from a multiselection by Ctrl+clicking on an image.

ROTATE IN GALLERY. Images selected in the gallery can be quickly rotated left or right by 90 ̊increments with no need to switch to edit view. Just use the Image > Rotate menu or just right-click.

PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS SUPPORT. We’ve added Photoshop Elements support to the Windows platform. Just choose the Install Plugins command if you want to load Luminar as a plugin. For future versions of Luminar, plugin users should switch to Luminar Flex.

Performance Improvements

Get additional speed and performance from the Luminar update.

IMPROVED HISTORY. Undo a Sync/Copy/Paste adjustments with one step in the History list.

HIDDEN FILES. Luminar does a better job of filtering hidden folders and photo. Additionally, unwanted items like Backups, History, Previews, and Caches won’t be shown when opening Luminar Catalogs.

Luminar Updates for Mac Users

Several performance improvements, as well as new features, await Mac users. We hope you enjoy this new release of Luminar and appreciate your feedback and reports.

PROGRESS BAR. Keep better track of what’s happening when working with Luminar. You’ll see a progress bar when using tools like Erase or when running Luminar as a third-party filter.


Kind regards

leigh sig 2

Our fridge is a shrine :)

Hi everyone,

Our fridge-freezer has gradually turned into a shrine. My wife is a huge Elvis fan. Hang on, I could have phrased that better, by that I mean she’s a huge fan of Elvis. 🙂 . Oh and somehow we’ve managed to squeeze in a few momentos of our travels but, sadly, not as yet, one of Graceland.


Original shot (no white balance correction applied) –


I really took this shot at ISO 6400 to demonstrate the incredible power of Topaz DeNoise AI in getting rid of noise. I don’t usually shoot at such high ISO settings but it’s a valuable tool in my software toolbox box for the occasions when I have to.

I’ve also finalised the gear for my next trip with the emphasis as usual very much on weight, total weigh of bag and gear, approx. 2.5 Kg!.

travelling gear new with tg-5 small

Olympus E-M1, Lumix 12-60 mm, M.Zuiko 9-18 mm, Lumix 12-35 mm. Olympus tough TG-5 and Forevercam,, Anker Astro 6700 mAH powerbank and cable, Newer battery case, 2 x  E-M1 batteries, memory card case, Holux data logger, spare Holux battery and 2 x spare TG-5 batteries. All I need to travel light.



BUBM case, 2 x USB charger for EM-1 batteries, USB charger for TG-5 battery, Anker five-port USB charger, Olympus backup/USB charger for TG-5, mains cables, USB cables, memory card case, USB LED torch.

Best wishes,

leigh sig 2


I’ve had a Tough morning 😀

Hi everyone,

As I left this morning to take some shots I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing, my camera!, no it wasn’t in my camera bag, I didn’t have a camera bag, it wasn’t draped from my neck either, it was in my jacket pocket!.

The purpose of this morning’s brief outing locally to the river was to put my new camera through its paces. My latest purchase, an Olympus TG-5 Tough, this TG-5 Tough, fitted with Forevercam adaptor, 52 mm filter and one of my Olympus lens caps:

TG-5 and forevercam small

For some while now I’ve been looking around for a modern replacement for my very elderly Canon G-10 backup/pocket camera. I settled on the TG-5 as it’s small and fully featured. I know that it is rugged, waterproof, drop-proof, sand-proof, freeze-proof, crush-proof etc. but that’s not the main reason why I got it.

I’m not in to what I believe the collective term for is “adventure sports”, white-water rafting, kayaking, mountain climbing, scuba diving, skiing, hang gliding etc. etc. but I do like the idea that this camera will survive being drenched, dropped or crushed. The fact that this camera is claimed to be waterproof down to 50 foot isn’t a consideration, as a non-swimmer, if I ever found myself 50 plus feet underwater it wouldn’t be my camera that I would be worried about. 🙂

When I’m away I’m tired of carrying around a second camera body all day and I wanted something light and pocketable to take out in the evenings after I’ve freed myself of the weight of my camera gear. On the whole I’m quite impressed with my first findings, the camera performed well, it’s a little soft at the telephoto end but nothing to be over concerned about. The 24-100mm (in 35mm terms) zoom range is perfectly adequate for my requirements. I did find using the LCD screen and not a viewfinder a little strange but that’s just my preference and years of using viewfinders dating back to my film camera days. Although it was a sunny morning and it was okay,  I can’t help but wonder how visible the display will be in strong sunlight. My wife’s point and shoot is more like point and hope as one can’t see a darned thing on the screen in bright sunlight! and it’s a hit and miss (more miss than hit) affair 🙂

The camera will do 4K video but this doesn’t interest me and I’ve not got anything to view 4K videos on if  I took them, I’m not in to videos at all. What did impress me was the GPS recording feature which made it easy to geotag my photos on my return. I didn’t feel inclined to test it with their mobile app but I will be doing so. Instead I used GPS Track Editor on my PC to convert the .log format file in to .gpx format fle and  Geosetter to  geotag the images using the .gpx file.

I really like the macro mode, what they call the microscope mode which allows the lens to be as close as 1cm from the subject. I’m not in to macro much but it was fun to try out. Another great feature for me is USB charging, as it’s something that I’ve come to love when travelling and, in my opinion, something that should be a feature of all cameras. Apart from all of these useful features it does look incredibly sexy in red. 🙂 , chosen really because, if I drop it it’s more visible than black.

In my experience  like all Olympus cameras the menu system can be a steep learning curve for those starting out but fortunately, courtesy of my years of experience with their Micro four Thirds cameras, I consider myself to be pretty much at the top of the learning curve so it came fairly naturally and intuitively to me.

A few test shots, all from RAW files @ISO 100, with a bit of fairly basic processing. I’ve yet to see a straight out of the camera shot that wouldn’t benefit from at least a few basic adjustments. This post isn’t a review as such, there’s plenty of them on the web,  I like to show what the camera is capable of rather than what comes straight out of the camera. That’s not to say that the camera doesn’t produce good quality images but, processing is my “thing”. 🙂


Click above for a full-size image.







spring flowers.jpg

Best wishes,

leigh sig 2





An interesting post regarding colour profiles.


I’ve been using DXO Labs camera-specific colour profiles and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them but I stumbled across this article and decided to follow the stages described and made my own DCP profiles for my different camera bodies for use with DXO PhotoLab and Lightroom.

Kind regards

leigh sig 2



Topaz Labs release Gigapixel AI version 4.

Topaz Labs release Gigapixel AI version 4.

Topaz Labs have released Gigapixel AI 4.0, a major upgrade to their machine-learning enlargement product.

Existing customers can update for free by launching the product. For new users, they’re offering $20 off until 1/4/2019. Here’s some results with the new algorithm:

Topaz Labs 15% discount coupon code

Hi everyone,

I have setup a permanent 15% discount coupon code which can be used on all Topaz Labs products. The code is leightopazIf you are wishing to use the code please us my Topaz Labs affiliate link  and apply the code at the checkout.

Kind regards

leigh sig 2


An example workflow using Topaz Labs and Skylum Software.

Hi everyone,

I thought I’d post a workflow example using one of my shots from my recent visit to All Saints Church, Kingston Upon Thames.

Original image.


Lens corrections and corrected verticals in DXO PhotoLab 2 + Viewpoint 3, my standard RAW editing software.

dxo processed image.jpg

As this image was shot at ISO 1600 I used Topaz Labs’ A.I Clear to remove the noise, more apparent in the full sized crops below.

workflow 1

workflow 2.jpg

After A.I clear

after AI clear.jpg

Sharpened using Topaz Labs’ Sharpen A.I. The effect is quite subtle but noticeable in full size image. Full sized crops:

workflow 3.jpg

workflow 4.jpg

After Sharpen AI

sharpened image.jpg

HDR from Skylum Software”s Aurora HDR 2019

aurora image.jpg

A few adjustment made to taste using Sklyum Software’s Luminar 3 including White Balance correction and here’s the final result. I also wanted to restore some of the colour and contrast in the stained glass window over the doorway.


This was a quick edit but I think that it shows the awesome power of these Artificial Intelligence software products from these companies and the original image again for comparison.


Kind regards

leigh sig 2




Skylum Software and Topaz Labs affiliate information – sticky post





Hi everyone,

Regulars to my blog will have noticed my recent postings regarding my membership of Skylum Software and Topaz Studio affiliate programmes.

This blog, my website/Pixels account, my domain names, my online gallery and my Flickr PRO account are, and have always been, paid for entirely out of my own pocket.

In joining these affiliate programmes anyone who decides to purchase any of their software products using one of my affiliate links provides me with a small commission which will help with my running expenses. I only associate myself with  products that I personally use and that I’ve found to be well-designed, innovative and useful. Both companies offer trial versions of their software products on their websites.

I have a US$10 discount code which can be used when purchasing Skylum Software using my Slylum affiliate links and a 15% discount code which can be used when purchasing Topaz Labs software using my Topaz affiliate link.

I’ll keep everyone posted on any software updates, new products. deals, promotions, coupon codes etc.  that come my way from both companies. I have added two new pages to my site menu so that I can publish information on Skylum and Topaz products.

Affiliate links:

Skylum Software – Aurora HDR 2019

Skylum Software – Luminar 3

Topaz Labs Software Products

Coupon codes:

Skylum Software products US$10 discount code – LEIGH10SKYLUM

Topaz Labs products 15% discount code – LEIGHTOPAZ

Please use my affiliate links to visit their websites to use these codes at the checkout.

Kind regards

leigh sig 2