Lightroom Creative Cloud New Features Worth Noting

Unless you have been living on an iceberg you already know that Lightroom 6 / Creative Cloud was released today by Adobe systems. Amid the buzz and hype of the option to purchase Lightroom outright or move to the subscription “Cloud” option (If you are already a full suite subscriber such as myself its a free download to add Lightroom Creative Cloud) and the somewhat spurious facial recognition and HDR offerings (and did we really need ‘Pet eye correction?’) there are actually a couple of pretty cool new features – One of which I have been wanting for a very long time.

As a landscape and Nature photographer one of the tools I find myself frequently using in Lightroom is the graduated filter. I still use graduated neutral density filters extensively in the field as I prefer to do as much as possible in camera, but I also frequently find a need to use the Lightroom offering as well. The problem up until now has been its been difficult to darken a sky for example without darkening the peaks of a mountain that rise up into the sky.Iceland-7951-Edit22015Take the photograph above as an example. If I apply a gradient filter to this sky in Lightroom 5.x and pull it down over the mountains it very quickly destroys the image as the tops of the mountain peaks are darkened along with the sky. This creates a very unnatural effect. Up until now you had to accept the darkened peaks and then create a local adjustment and paint back in exposure compensation where the peaks had been darkened – it was a real pain. Now in Lightroom 6 / Creative Cloud Adobe has given us the option to paint out areas of the graduated filter and solve this problem of unnaturally darkened peaks without a kludgy work around. Landscape photographers rejoice. Our workflows just got simpler. The technique is quite well illustrated in the video below that outlines some of the new features in Lightroom 6 / CC.

The other new feature I am very pleased to see relates to performance. Lightroom 5.x was notoriously sluggish. Even my 8-core Mac Pro with 64 gig of RAM and a super fast SSD didn’t set any speed records for image processing. In this new release Adobe has finally enabled GPU processing in the develop module which means if your GPU is compatible you should see a fairly significant boost in the responsiveness of the develop module adjustments. Details of how to check this feature are also in the video above.

Spirit of Nature 2016 Calendar features Goðafoss

German calendar company Heye has just released its 2016 Spirit of Nature calendar which includes one of my favourite photographs of Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland in winter. The calendar is available to purchase for 24 Euro onlineCalendar2016

Goðafoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the north of Iceland and one we are looking forward to photographing again next year on my 2016 Iceland Winter workshop. If you are interested in photographing in the spectacular frozen north of Iceland then there are only a few places remaining before the workshop will be sold out. Please just email me if you would like additional information or would like to register for one of the remaining places.icelandwinter-1-holko

Testimonial from Jon Harding – Fine Art Printing One-on-One

”I made a decision to start printing some of my photographs, rather than have a hard drive full of digital images. Joshua’s workshop exceeded all of my expectations. I walked away with some amazing prints and a greater understanding of post production and photography in general. I highly recommend spending a day with Joshua.”

Its always an absolute pleasure to receive this sort of feedback from workshop and expedition participants. The one-on-one Fine Art Printing and post production day is one of my most popular local workshops. These days are on demand and are run around my international workshop and expedition schedule. If you are interested in the craft of post production and fine-art printing you can read more about this workshop on my website – Fine Art Printing or email me to book your session.

Polar Bears of Svalbard Expedition 2016 – Limited Places Only

In July 2016 I am leading a very exciting expedition to the permanent pack ice north of Svalbard to photograph Polar Bears living and hunting in their natural environment on the sea ice. This expedition has been designed from the ground up to provide the very best possible opportunities to Photograph Polar Bears in their natural environment. With the reduction in Arctic sea ice the Polar Bears in Svalbard are dwindling in number and the number of years left to photograph them is unfortunately now extremely limited. Late July and August are the ideal times to photograph Polar Bears north of Svalbard due to the dwindling ice around the archipelago. On this expedition we will be carrying a naturalist/biologist who specialises in locating Polar Bears and an expedition leader and captain who have years of experience in placing us in the ideal position to make the best photographs. Their expertise will allow us to approach the king of the Arctic as closely and safely as possible and make incredible photographs under the spectacular midnight sun.PolarBearsofSvalbardThe expedition is for a strictly limited number of just 12 participants (only four places remaining) plus leader and is dedicated to the photography of Polar Bears living and hunting on the sea ice. Our intention is to sail directly north from the small town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard to approximately 80 degrees North to the very edge of the permanent pack ice. At our northerly most point we will likely be less than 600 miles from the North Pole. Top of the World We will be using the ice hardened expedition ship M.S Origo which will enable us to skirt the edge of the pack ice searching for and photographing Polar Bears. M.S Origo is widely regarded as the best ship in the Arctic for Polar Bear Photography and has been my ship of choice for this expedition for the past three years. With its super low decks and operable portholes a mere 50cm above the water line we can photograph at eye level with wild Polar Bears. Our expedition ship is also equipped with sufficient zodiacs and crew for all photographers to be shooting simultaneously with plenty of room to spare for camera equipment – So bring what you need! On this expedition we will also likely photograph Walrus, Seals, Whales, Arctic Foxes and the many Arctic sea birds including the rare and angelic Ivory Gull. To get an idea of the sort of wildlife photographs you can take on this expedition please visit the Svalbard portfolio on my website. All of the Polar Bear photographs on this website were taken from the very same ship we will be utilising for this expedition.

_H9P3362-Edit-MoabSMR-RelCol32013Due to initial registrations from those who missed out on the 2015 expedition there are only a few places left before the expedition will be sold out (2015 Sold out in just a few days). If you are excited by the idea of travelling to the edge of the permanent pack ice to photograph Polar Bears in their natural environment with a small group of dedicated photographers now is the time to register and secure your place. Places are very limited and once they are spoken for thats it. If you would like more information you can download a detailed PDF itinerary from my website at To register your place please just email me at or use the register link on my website.

VPPY - Gold AwardThis brand new expedition has also just been featured in Hong Kong’s Jetsetter Magazine.


World Photography Cup 2015 – Bronze Medal Reportage Category

The World Photography Cup winners were announced last night at Montpellier in France and I was thrilled and very honoured to receive a Bronze Medal for Australia for my photograph of Penguins on the sea ice near the mouth of the Lemaire Channel in Antarctica. This particular photograph scored a Gold award at the 2014 AIPP Awards and was one of the four images in my winning portfolio in the Science, Nature and Environment Category. Fellow Australian James Simmons also medalled in the Wedding category. Overall, Australia placed third in the World Photography Cup this year. Next year the World Cup is coming down under to Australia. VPPY - Gold with Distinction