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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

  • Why I use the Fisheye-Hemi plugin Why I use the Fisheye-Hemi pluginFisheye lenses are great, with their extreme wide angle and their distinctive perspective, but sometimes you want a bit more. The Fisheye hemi plugin provides some interesting variations
  • Making a giant print from an 11MP image Making a giant print from an 11MP imageProducing a very large 3m x 2m print from an 11 megapixel camera image. Looks at the whole workflow, and how different types sharpening at different stages is vital
  • Replacing Canon large format printheads – iPF8300 / PF05 Replacing Canon large format printheads - iPF8300 / PF05Replacing a Canon large format printhead on the 44" iPF8300 / PF05 printer after one fails. Canon large format print heads are a consumable part and fully user replaceable.
  • Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100D Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100DUsing 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
  • Using a shift lens – why not just fix verticals in software Using 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 prints Using 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 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

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.

  • Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100D Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100DUsing 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 Cleaning Canon printheads - iPF8300 - PF05Cleaning 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.
  • Macro on the Canon EOS 100D SL1 Macro on the Canon EOS 100D SL1Using 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 Use a survey tripod for the GigaPan Epic ProMaking 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 Testing add-on tele and wide angle convertor lensesTrying 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 Canon 5D mk2 Infrared conversionUsing 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 Make 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
  • The wonders of bad lenses The 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

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • Diminishing returns – the new photo equipment question Diminishing returns - the new photo equipment questionHow much better is new photographic equipment compared to the previous version. Have big jumps in performance gone for ever? New reviews are getting more difficult.
  • Older photographers – let them use DSLRs Older photographers - let them use DSLRsPhone cameras fail in a big way if you have forgotten your glasses - why camera design needs to consider older people. Good viewfinders matter for everyone
  • 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.
  • After the Photokina 2012 show… After the Photokina 2012 show...What's really new at Photokina in 2012 and what will make a real difference to photography, Keith picks a few items...
  • Re-using the zone system? Re-using the zone system?With its origins in the exposure and development of film, do aspects of the zone system still work in today's digital black and white photography?
  • Just what does ‘Pro’ mean for camera equipment? Just what does 'Pro' mean for camera equipment?Does the 'Pro' label make camera equipment any better - how will it help me take better photos? The camera really does make a difference when you are earning a living, but how often should you believe the marketing?
  • Photographing tiny stuff Photographing tiny stuffMacrophotography reveals an unfamiliar world - sometimes more common objects are needed in the frame to give a sense of scale. Photographs of tiny things that help you realise just how tiny they really are

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.