Category Archives: Photography

Manfrotto Active Backpack III review – Compact and Practical!

Welcome to my review of the Manfrotto Active Backpack III review which retails for £108. However, if you look around you will see offers from £71.

Key Features / Specifications

  • Versatile backpack for camera and laptop, or a travel daypack
  • Holds DSLR or mirrorless cameras with up to 3 lenses
  • Tripod connection for compact tripods for when you need it
  • 14 inch padded laptop compartment
  • Water repellant fabric with added protective rain cover included
  • M-Guard internal divide protection 
  • 3D cushioned back
  • Weight – 1.03 kg
  • Internal Dimensions – 26 x 16.5 x 42 cm
  • Camera Insert Dimensions – 24 x 14 x 11 cm
  • External Dimensions – 29 x 18.5 x 46 cm
  • Laptop Compartment Dimensions – 21 x 1 x 35 cm – 14 inch laptop
  • Personal Compartment Dimensions – 18 x 14 x 21 cm
  • 13 litre capacity

Video Review


A very well built and useful backpack from Manfrotto. Lots of versatility and rugged for the outdoors. Highly recommended 9/10.

Useful Links

Manfrotto website –


Pixel 6 Pro – 7 Reasons Not To Buy

Welcome to my Pixel 6 Pro long term review. In this review I detail 7 reasons not to buy the phone.

I also discuss the January and December updates, and showcase photos throughout the video.

In addition, at 11 minutes 30 seconds into the video, the photography showcase section starts and continues until the end of the video. It is approximately two minutes long. The showcase shows you some of the best photography from a smartphone. Don’t miss this whatever you do!

JOBY PodZilla Large Flexible Tripod Kit review

Welcome to my review of the Joby Podzilla Flexible Tripod Kit which retails for £45.

My journey using Joby tripods goes back 9 years to 2013. Thereafter, I bought a different style of Joby tripod in subsequent years; 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and now I have the Joby Podzilla. All of the Joby items still work today like they did when I bought them new, apart from one tripod as I lost this on a hike across Dartmoor. In my video review, I show some of these older items. To give you an idea of what I purchased, in 2013 I bought the Joby Gorillapod Micro 250 Folding Tripod, then in 2014 the Joby Gorillapod Ball Head for SLR Cameras, followed by in 2015 the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom tripod. In 2017, I acquired the Joby GripTight One Magnetic tripod followed by in 2018 the Joby Griptight Pro for Smartphones.

Key Specs & Features

  • JOBY PodZilla Large Kit – Flexible Tripod with Ball Head, GripTight 360 Phone Mount, for Smartphones and Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices up to 2.5Kg
  • Flexible structure with a solid aluminum core and rubber exterior 
  • Includes a quick release plate for easy attachment of the camera thanks to the standard 1 / 4-20″ attachment 
  • The plate with ball head integrates a spirit level for precise adjustment
  • GripTight 360 Phone smartphone clamp with double sled attachment suitable for smartphones with a width from 6.7 cm to 8.8 cm

Video Time Index

00:00 Intro & My 9 Year Journey using Joby tripods
02:47 Specs
03:24 Demo / How To
05:22 Adding Mics and Lights
07:00 Comparison & Summary

Video Review


A superb versatile tripod kit from Joby, ideal for phones and camera. Highly recommended 9/10.

Useful Links

Nik Collection 4 by DxO – full details on the new incredible update!

The Nik Collection 4 has just been released. This is a substantial update over the previous version.

An industry leader in the field of creative photography, Nik Collection 4 by DxO now features Meta Presets, improved U Point technology, and more seamless interactions with Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®.

Packed with a palette of over 250 professional-grade presets, the unparalleled power of U Point local adjustment technology, and sophisticated editing tools, Nik Collection 4 targets every aspect of creative photography. From colour photography to black-and-white images, HDR, and analogue film simulation, Nik Collection 4 redefines the limits of creative photography. 

A new, user-friendly design for an even more thrilling experience

The easy-to-use design of the software plugins Nik Viveza, dedicated to tone and colour local adjustments, and Nik Silver Efex, the ultimate solution for black-and-white conversion, has been completely revamped to offer an optimal user experience. Both plugins now feature a modern interface that is more beautiful and functional than ever. They also allow users to directly access all available presets, filter for type and favourites more seamlessly, and identify tools more easily through its newly redesigned palettes. That means photographers can concentrate on the essentials—expressing their creativity.

Next-level U Point technology

U Point technology, the first system to allow users to apply local adjustments without masks, has revolutionized photo editing. Nik Collection 4 now makes it possible to incorporate Control Points into personalized presets. 

That means photographers can apply a similar style to several images while still preserving a specific area. For example, users can choose to apply a colour effect as well as a blurred background to several portraits. U Point technology also

includes a new Colour Tolerance setting so photographers can regulate the saturation of a specific tone range. Users can not only select the colour they want to change, but also adjust the tolerance of similar colour hues. Lastly, Control Points have been made easier to use than ever. This feature now includes fewer sliders, making the applied effect easier to view, and can be renamed so users can craft an optimized workflow experience.

Combine the settings of several plugins with Meta Presets

A new type of filter has been added for Adobe Photoshop users: “Meta Presets.” Directly accessible from the Nik Selective Tool, the Nik Collection software launch tool for Adobe Photoshop, these presets are Adobe Photoshop actions that combine the filters and settings of several Nik Collection plugins into one. They make it possible to edit photos by applying a series of presets from several plugins in just one click. Nik Collection 4 comes with a series of 10 Meta Presets.

Improved workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

Nik Collection 4 is continuing to expand its selection of lightning-fast retouching features. The Last Edit function, which lets users re-apply the last preset they used in one of the Nik Collection plugins while using Adobe Photoshop, has been extended to include Adobe Lightroom Classic. In addition, the new Smart Copy & Paste feature lets users selectively re-apply the effect of a plugin to one or several images directly in Adobe Lightroom without having to launch the software suite’s interface.

Even more striking black-and-white photos

To help users create even more brilliant black-and-white images, Nik Silver Efex now includes revolutionary ClearView technology, which was first offered in DxO PhotoLab, the market’s leading image-development software. This technology removes haze and enhances local contrast. The results are spectacular: In just one click, users can eliminate haze, all while revealing more natural objects, edges, details, and transitions. Get ready to create even more dazzling black-and-white photos!

Ever more creative

To offer users an even better editing experience, Nik Viveza features 10 native presets designed by professional photographers. And for fans of analogue black-and-white photography, Nik Silver Efex comes with 39 new and incredibly realistic grains that are even better at accurately recreating the look of iconic films than before.

Price and availability

Nik Collection 4 (Windows and macOS) is now available for download on the DxO website for a special price of £88.99 instead of £133, and £54.99 instead of £69 for the upgrade until June 30, 2021. 

Photographers who already own Nik Collection 3 by DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer accounts. A fully functional, one-month trial version of Nik Collection 4 is available on the DxO website:

First Impressions

I have been using the Nik Collection 4 for a week now and have been extremely impressed with the new features and effects. If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen some pretty special images already!

How to edit ProRaw Photos on your iPhone

Welcome back everyone. Today, I am going to show you how to edit ProRaw photos on your iPhone. Currently only the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max support Apple’s ProRAW.

There are 3 parts to the tutorial –

Part 1 – The correct camera settings

Part 2 – The camera app interface

Part 3 – Editing the ProRAW photos

And finally as a bonus, there is a gallery at the end of 60 photos all shot in ProRAW, to show you what’s really possible.

If it helps, below is the time stamp, so you can go back or forth as required. If you are never going to edit ProRAW pics, I thoroughly recommend viewing the gallery.

0:56 The correct camera settings 

3:06 Editing ProRAW 

15:35 ProRAW Photo Gallery – 60+ shots 

I hope you enjoy this video.

Gavin’s new Photography section

Hi everyone. At the request of many of you, I have now started a photography section on  my website. You can access it by going to the index and selecting “Photography”. If you are browsing on a desktop, you will see the option across the screen.

Or just head over to –

Just in case it wasn’t obvious the images are all low resolution and watermarked, but are all available to purchase in a much higher quality.


Darkness strikes at Sunset over Dartmoor National Park – Shot with a Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

Last night, I went out to capture the sunset over Dartmoor National Park. Above Merrivale Stone Rows spanning 268 metres.

A few minutes later the sky turned blue and then this ominous cloud formation appeared over the Merrivale Stone Rows.

About 10 mins later, the skies darkened and I captured the moody view of Great Staple Tor.

The clouds did clear to allow me to capture the sun just as it set behind Great Staple Tor.

Before the sun set, I photographed the Merrivale Stone circle. There are some incredible landmarks around Merrivale on Dartmoor National Park.

Above, Merrivale Quarry and Great Staple Tor.

And finally, a shot of Great and Little Mis Tor. All the photos were taken using the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro.

Sunset and Shadows around Dartmoor National Park – Shot with the Huawei P40 Pro

Last night I went out to photograph the sunset over Dartmoor. It was a risk due to the clouds as to whether I would get the shots I wanted. Above Merrivale Stones, a long line of ancient stones covering a total distance of 264 metres!

Foxgloves are seen growing wild everywhere on Dartmoor. Above view of Great and Little Mis Tors in the background.

Just before the sun set, ominous clouds appeared creating some fantastic shadows over the landscape. Views of Great Staple Tor at sunset shown below.

All the photos were shot on the new Huawei P40 Pro.