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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

  • Using a shift lens – why not just fix verticals in softwareUsing a shift lens - why not just fix verticals in softwareUsing a shift lens to correct image geometry, such as converging verticals, seems like a lot of expense. Why it's better than doing it in software
  • Using Silver Efex Pro for colour printsUsing Silver Efex Pro for colour printsUsing software to create monochrome images that are blended with colour images using luminosity blending to give more punch to dull photos
  • Why you must sharpen imagesWhy 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 setupOn 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 2Reducing 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 photographMaking 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 MicroadjustmentCamera 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 photographsProducing 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

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.

  • Novoflex lens adapters for EOS R and Nikon ZNovoflex 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 cleaningSimple 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 starLens 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 adapterTechart 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 lensesDIY 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 lensesCanon 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-73BCanon 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 100DZeiss 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: Isle of Skye – Photographer’s guideBook Review: Isle of Skye - Photographer's guideBook Review: Isle of Skye and NW Scotland - Photographer's guide by David Hickey. Locations, maps and tours with detailed photographic tips and suggestions covering equipment, photography and image processing.
  • Looking at the Canon R5 cameraLooking at the Canon R5 cameraKeith Cooper looks at the Canon EOS R5 45MP mirrorless camera, from the POV of an architectural photographer, including extensive use of tilt shift lenses
  • Diagonal lens shiftDiagonal lens shiftDiagonal lens shift - Keith looks at using a tilt/shift or shift only lens by combining horizontal and vertical lens movements. Using an off-set viewpoint in images
  • What goes into a printWhat goes into a printWhat goes into a photo print - getting more from your prints. Looking at printers, image preparation and just what makes a print worth going on your wall. Why are you making prints and who are they for?
  • Tilt-shift and moving beyond the small world lookTilt-shift and moving beyond the small world lookThe model world style of photos taken with lens tilt is but a small part of what can be achieved with a tilt-shift lens. Controlling and using lens tilt is not the black art some seem to think...
  • Helicon Focus focus stacking part 3Helicon Focus focus stacking part 3Review: Helicon Focus for focus stacking part 3. Making highly detailed macro photographs of very small objects, using a stackshot macro rail and MP-E65mm macro lens. Camera options for mirrorless
  • Helicon Focus focus stacking part 2Helicon Focus focus stacking part 2Review: Helicon Focus for focus stacking part 2. Moving the camera to create source images for a stack. Creating depth of field.
  • Helicon Focus for basic focus stackingHelicon Focus for basic focus stackingReview: using Helicon Focus for basic focus stacking of images for increased depth of field for macro and close up photography - Photos taken by stepping lens focus

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