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Photography tutorials and how-to articles

Articles aimed at helping you improve aspects of your photography


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

  • Why you must sharpen images Why you must sharpen imagesAn awful lot of uninformed comment about the need for and desirability of image sharpening clutters up forums. Myths and misunderstanding spread far and wide, and the temptation to ignore image sharpening, because it's contentious, is easy to understand.
  • On site product product photography setup On site product product photography setupBasic colour management and photography options for photographing large numbers of products out of the studio. Efficient setup reduces the processing needed
  • Reducing halos with Silver Efex Pro 2 Reducing halos with Silver Efex Pro 2Ways of using colour to black and white conversion software such as Nik Silver Efex Pro that do not produce unwanted halo effects around objects. Ensuring that trees don't make the sky lighter for example
  • Making a black and white photograph Making a black and white photographThe whole process of making a large black and white photograph, right from stopping to take the photo, through to final fine-art printmaking.
  • Camera AF Microadjustment Camera AF MicroadjustmentChecking for front or back focus with camera AF. Fine-tuning camera autofocus setup. AF Microadjustment without special tools or the need to spend any money.
  • Producing better photographs Producing better photographsWhy you probably don't need to rush out and spend money to improve your photography - it about thinking more, and taking more photos. New cameras and lenses are nice but not as essential as you might think
  • Alternative focus technique for tilted lens Alternative focus technique for tilted lensA simple iterative procedure for setting optimal focus for a tilted lens. A step by step approach to set the plane of focus where you want it for a tilt/shift lens.
  • Black and white print linearisation with the i1Pro 2 Black and white print linearisation with the i1Pro 2Using the X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer to measure black and white test print targets to create linearising curves and profile with the QTR software package

There are around a thousand 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.

  • Canon SDK updated Canon 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 i1Pro Lighting 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 Photography Book 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
  • Novoflex lens adapters for EOS R and Nikon Z Novoflex lens adapters for EOS R and Nikon ZNovoflex announce a range of new lens adapters for manual lenses with Canon EOS R and Nikon Z mirrorless cameras.
  • Simple Inkjet printer cleaning Simple Inkjet printer cleaningCleaning old, clogged and dried up ink from inkjet printers using commonly available household cleaning products. Common solvents and additives quickly cut though ink buildup. A look at different household cleaners and how they can help shift dried up printer ink
  • Lens testing for coma with a laser star Lens testing for coma with a laser starTesting lenses for coma with a laser pointer star simulator in the daytime. Simple test setup also shows starburst diffraction spikes
  • Techart EF lens to Fuji GFX lens adapter Techart EF lens to Fuji GFX lens adapterTechart EF lens to Fuji GFX lens adapter with AF functionality. Lens aperture can be set from the camera control dial. Firmware is updateable
  • DIY Telecentric macro lenses DIY Telecentric macro lensesJoining various old lenses together with filter rings and cardboard makes a range of specialist lenses that normally cost thousands of pounds. Simple experiments with telecentric macro lenses.

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • The art of the big photographic landscape print The art of the big photographic landscape printWhat makes for a great looking large 'fine art' print? What differences do you need to consider when deciding to make larger prints (A2 and above). Larger prints are that work are far more than just more megapixels, sharper lenses and big printers.
  • Where is your photography going next year? Where is your photography going next year?New equipment may be fun, but it's making less and less of a difference to the quality of many people's photography. Some thoughts on how to go about improving what you do and just as importantly why you do it. Photography resolutions for next year
  • DxO ViewPoint 3 review DxO ViewPoint 3 reviewDxO ViewPoint software is updated to version 3. Software provides image geometry correction and effects for verticals and horizontals, as well as transformations for shots of groups of people shot with wide lenses
  • Macro photography for a trade stand Macro 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 loft Print 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.
  • Photos for architect’s web sites Photos for architect's web sitesAs an architectural photographer, Keith discusses what photos are for on architect's web sites. Based on a recent interview with a design agency, looking at why many small-medium practices fail to make the best impressions with their work.
  • Tutorial: A large black and white print of the harbour at Staithes Tutorial: A large black and white print of the harbour at StaithesLooking at the whole process, from photography to printing, Keith's tutorisl shows how he produced a 22" x 43" wide angle view of the harbour at Staithes in N. Yorkshire. Includes details on image stitching, B&W conversion and using masked adjustment layers.
  • DIY Telecentric macro lenses DIY Telecentric macro lensesJoining various old lenses together with filter rings and cardboard makes a range of specialist lenses that normally cost thousands of pounds. Simple experiments with telecentric macro lenses.

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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