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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

  • Setting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lenses tilting the plane of focusSetting 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 camera 55mm shiftedHow 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 presets city-light SeattleKeith'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 stand macro photography rig setupMacrophotography 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 keith cooper and large printPhotographing 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.
  • Tutorial: A large black and white print of the harbour at Staithes staithes fine art print tutorialLooking 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.
  • Better scenic and landscape holiday photos Aspen Eye 2Keith was recently asked for a few quick and -simple- tips for better scenic vacation photos by a local business group. A few basic ideas that have stood the test of time and help create better looking landscape photos.
  • Kaiser tabletop photo kit review basic product photography'Easyfit' tabletop product photography kit with shooting table and two continuous lights with diffusers. Basic product photo setup and examples of use.

If you find the articles and reviews on our site interesting, any help towards the upkeep of the site would be great. Buying anything via our links costs you no more. Our articles will always be free so please consider supporting our site in some way?

If you get anything whatsoever from Amazon (not just what's listed) via one of our links below, it helps myself and Karen keep the site going. We really do appreciate this - Keith 
Link for: Amazon UK | Amazon US

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

  • Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100D 100d and photosniperUsing the Russian Tair 3 phs Photosniper 300mm f4.5 lens and rifle stock with a Canon EOS 100D/SL1 DSLR. Includes modification to use external trigger
  • Cleaning Canon printheads – iPF8300 – PF05 pf05 cleaner readyCleaning and replacing the printheads - on a Canon iPF8300 large format printer, with the PF-05 printhead. Canon large format print heads are a user replaceable part. Whilst cleaning might help, it could be that you need a new print head.
  • Using old lenses on a modern digital DSLR camera assorted lensesLens adapters allow you to use old lenses on a modern digital DSLR 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
  • Macro on the Canon EOS 100D SL1 100D macro setupUsing the 18MP Canon EOS 100D (SL1) for macrophotography. Tested with extension tubes and a tilt/shift lens and the specialised MP-E65 Macro lens. Showing some benefits of a crop sensor camera with small pixels
  • Use a survey tripod for the GigaPan Epic Pro tripod adapterMaking use of a survey tripod and tribrach with thread size adapters to level and mount a GigaPan Epic Pro. Very solid and easy to set up and accurately level for GigaPan photos
  • Testing add-on tele and wide angle convertor lenses large lensTrying out a range of tele and wide angle converter attachments for the front of lenses. Converters increase or decrease the focal length of a lens. Quality differs widely, but the effects can be interesting
  • Canon 5D mk2 Infrared conversion tree in infraredUsing an Infrared (IR) modified DSLR camera for digital infrared photography. Looking at exposure and lens choices, along with image processing options. Testing an IR modified Canon EOS 5D mk2 - it it just about luminous trees
  • Make your own macro lenses macro view of componentsUsing 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

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • Book Review: Mastering Macro Photography mastering-macro-cover-pageBook Review: Mastering Macro Photography by David Taylor. Equipment, lighting and technique for photographing small things
  • Book Review: Mastering Exposure mastering exposure bookBook Review: Mastering Exposure by David Taylor. Looking at the basic principles of photographic exposure, shutter, aperture and ISO. A great starting point for moving away from camera auto modes.
  • Book Review: Mastering Long Exposure 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 dawn to dusk photo bookBook 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 Leicester clock towerThis 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 55mm shiftedHow 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 Keith at fish creek fallsTaking 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 128 card and readerReview: 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.

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.

Categories include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 800 articles/reviews here...

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


If you start your buying of anything whatsoever from Amazon (not just what's listed) via one of our links below, it helps myself and Karen to keep the site going. We really do appreciate this - thanks 

[link for Amazon UK | Amazon US]