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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 completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be 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.


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

  • 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
  • Making a 14 metre photographic print Making a 14 metre photographic printThe GigaPan photography and image processing and editing needed to make a 14 metre panoramic sequence print of Leicester city centre at dusk
  • Black and white from Colour Black and white from ColourLarge collection of methods and techniques for converting colour images to black and white. Photoshop techniques and references to specialist plugins

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.

  • 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.
  • Canon 5Ds is fine with old lenses Canon 5Ds is fine with old lensesDespite worries that many more megapixels might mean old lenses needed replacing, some tests with a 5Ds show that it benefits all lenses. A rising tide floats all boats
  • Canon EW-73C lens hood from modifying an EW-73B Canon EW-73C lens hood from modifying an EW-73BLens hood for the EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS Modifying a cheap third party EW-73B lens hood to match a Canon EW-73C lens hood at a fraction of the price.
  • Zeiss MC S 135mm f3-5 on Canon 100D Zeiss MC S 135mm f3-5  on Canon 100DTesting an M42 screw fit Zeiss MC S 135mm f3.5 manual focus telephoto lens on a Canon 100D/SL1 crop sensor camera with an M42-EF adapter.

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • Book Review: Mastering Long Exposure Book Review: Mastering Long ExposureBook Review: Mastering Long Exposure - A definitive guide for photographers by Antony Zacharias. Looking at uses for and the techniques needed for long exposure photography in any lighting conditions.
  • Book Review: From Dawn to Dusk Book Review: From Dawn to DuskBook Review: 'From Dawn to Dusk' - Mastering the light in landscape photography, Technique and practice by Ross Hoddinott and Mark Bauer. The importance of planning and timing. Ammonite Press
  • Aerial views of Leicester Aerial views of LeicesterThis collection of aerial photos of Leicester, shows some of the highlights of Keith's recent trip over the city. It is intended to give anyone who knows the city a very different angle on its 2000 years of history. Prints are available.
  • How to use a shift lens on your camera How 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
  • Taking better photos is up to you Taking better photos is up to youTaking better photos is up to you and why better kit is mostly an illusion. Looking at some simple ways to get more out of your photography and thinking about why you are doing it. The problem of wondering what to photograph next.
  • ProGrade card reader and cards ProGrade card reader and cardsReview: Looking at the ProGrade USB 3.1 Gen. 2 card reader and SDXC cards. Why faster memory cards and readers make a difference and why you should consider updating your old cards. What all those little symbols on SD cards mean to you.
  • Architectural photography lens choices Architectural photography lens choicesLooking at lens choices for architectural photography. How Keith Cooper uses a nearby award nominated building to explore options when testing lenses - not on the time of clients
  • K&F ND1000 filter review K&F ND1000 filter reviewReview from testing the K&F Concept ND1000 10 stop neutral density filter for longer exposures. 82mm low profile glass lens filter

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...

Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)


Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be 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.