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Photography tutorials and how-to articles

Articles aimed at helping you improve aspects of your photography

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
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There are a growing number of entirely free tutorials and ‘how to’ articles on this site. This page provides links to all of them.

They range from photo composition to ‘photo-hacks’ or building your own specialist lenses from discarded camera equipment.

Many of our articles and reviews are also written to help explain how and why you would use different equipment and techniques, not just a list of a product’s functionality.

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If you think of something that might be useful, please let Keith know – many articles have come from questions asked by readers.

The sections below split all the articles into three broad categories.

Editing your photos. Tools and tips

  • Upsizing and sharpening for making a printUpsizing and sharpening for making a printEditing, sharpening and upsizing part of an old digital photo from a 10MP camera to make an A2 sized print. Image resizing for larger prints and why your editing workflow matters.
  • Adapted lens – Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens - Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens experiments - Soligor 300mm f5.5 on an RF mount EOS RP mirrorless camera. Using adapters on a manual focus telephoto from 1975 on a modern mirrorless camera
  • A simple black and white printA simple black and white printA simple black and white print workflow aimed at showing just how easy it is to create a black and white landscape print, with a few simple edits.
  • Setting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lensesSetting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lensesSetting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lenses to an arbitrary angle other than vertical or horizontal, so as to match the desired plane of focus for subjects. ideal for product photography where simple untilted depth of field is not good enough.
  • How to use a shift lens on your cameraHow to use a shift lens on your cameraHow to use a shift lens on a camera, the results you get and why you should use one. Perspective control and changing your viewpoint with specialist lenses, Why doing it in camera beats software
  • Keith Cooper’s City Light Luminar presetsKeith Cooper's City Light Luminar presetsKeith's 'City Light' presets for MacPhun's Luminar photo editing software. Developed for architectural images when converting from colour to B&W. Before and after examples, and how they differ from 'straight' B&W conversions. Also using them as a luminance adjustment for colour images.
  • Macro photography for a trade standMacro photography for a trade standMacrophotography setup for producing photographs of small electronic components for the Electronica trade show. Photographs of components along with brightly coloured gummy bears on a polished metal surface.
  • Print of a photo of a sunset from my loftPrint of a photo of a sunset from my loftPhotographing an interesting sunset out of the loft window at home. How a simple photo, basic processing and printing produces a 22 inch by 33 inch print. Why any problems in making great prints probably doesn't come from deficiencies in equipment and software.

There are over 1100 free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.
We appreciate any purchases you make through our partners such as B&H which help us sustain the site.

Using equipment in non-standard ways. Hacks and mods.

  • Jessop zoom slide duplicator lensJessop zoom slide duplicator lensTesting a 35mm zoom slide copier on a modern digital camera with some slides from the 1970's. Includes image processing and lighting concerns and a quick look at photo image quality from the 70's
  • Using old lenses on a modern DSLR/mirrorless cameraUsing old lenses on a modern DSLR/mirrorless cameraLens adapters allow you to use old lenses on a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera. Many old lenses work very well if you can live without autofocus. Performance varies, but it's possible to learn lot of use for the rest of your photography
  • Using effects lens filtersUsing effects lens filtersAfter being given some assorted lens filters dating back to film days, Keith wonders if they are still of any use with modern digital cameras and how B&W film 'emulation' has its limits.
  • Adapted lens – Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens - Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens experiments - Soligor 300mm f5.5 on an RF mount EOS RP mirrorless camera. Using adapters on a manual focus telephoto from 1975 on a modern mirrorless camera
  • Fotodiox tilt-shift lens adapterFotodiox tilt-shift lens adapterReview of the Fotodiox TLT ROKR tilt-shift lens adapter for mounting medium format lenses on mirrorless cameras. M645 to Canon RF tested. Available also for M645 to Nikon Z along with many other lens/body combination.
  • Canon SDK updatedCanon SDK updatedCanon Europe announces a new SDK and API Package for Developers. Software Development Kit (SDK) adds SX70 HS to supported cameras. incl. camera control API
  • Lighting CRI with i1Profiler and the i1ProLighting CRI with i1Profiler and the i1ProLighting CRI measurement using X-Rite i1Profiler software and the i1Pro spectrophotomenter, with the free Osram LED ColorCalculator software
  • Book Review: 52 Assignments Experimental PhotographyBook Review: 52 Assignments Experimental PhotographyBook Review: 52 Assignments, Experimental Photography. 52 project ideas to help you explore different aspects of photography, film and digital. with low and high tech ideas and hacks

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • Make your own macro lensesMake your own macro lensesUsing old lenses and equipment with modern digital cameras to make a high magnification macro lens. Reversing a lens and making a mount for it. Macro photography without the expense of buying a specialist macro lens
  • Film – the numbers say goodbyeFilm - the numbers say goodbyeA few years ago (2003) I wrote some guidelines for people looking for a camera. In it I confidently expected that whilst digital was the future, film would be round for 'quite some time' - how was I wrong?
  • The wonders of bad lensesThe wonders of bad lensesHome made DIY lenses are easy to make for your camera and a great way to see what really matters to you when photographing subjects. A simple lens made with cardboard
  • Artists’ statements – do you ever believe them?Artists' statements - do you ever believe them?Can an Artist's Statement be meaningful and relevant? Is it possible to write one that people believe? Can you do it with a straight face?
  • Do your prints have depth?Do your prints have depth?What is 'Depth'? How do you describe your photo prints? Or, more to the point, how do I actually know what you mean and how can I be sure?
  • Expensive 3rd party primes – are they worth it?Expensive 3rd party primes - are they worth it?Looking at third party prime lenses for DSLRs. When are they a good idea and when would you be better off improving the rest of your workflow from RAW file to print? Just be careful to buy such kit for good reasons rather than the vague but effusive praise from their fan clubs
  • Do you keep a filter on your lens?Do you keep a filter on your lens?Do camera shops look on UV or Skylight protective filters for your camera as just an a source of added margin, or are there times that having a filter in place is essential. Keith looks at where he makes use of filters, and where not.
  • An era passes – the real end of KodachromeAn era passes - the real end of KodachromeThe end of Kodachrome - historically interesting, but of what relevance to today's photographers. Reproduce the effects in software, accept that it was used for some great photos, but time to move on

Training – for companies

These are aspects of training that I provide (on location, not at our offices) as part of Northlight’s business.

We also have a training directory that is freely available for any professional photographer who offers training.

It’s arranged by location, so as long as you are a pro photographer, a free link is available

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Other areas of our site that may be of interest...

All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog 

We've a whole section of the site devoted to  Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews.
For All about using tilt and shift - articles/reviews about tilt/shift lenses

Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1100 articles/reviews here...

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See all of Keith's 1000+ articles and reviews

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Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel