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Photography tutorials and how-to articles

Articles aimed at helping you improve aspects of your photography

Site update: Thanks for everyone's support - work is still very sparse, but at least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please just let me know - Keith & Karen
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not visit Keith's YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.

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

  • Keith Cooper’s City Light Luminar presetsKeith Cooper's City Light Luminar presetsKeith'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 standMacro 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 loftPrint 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.
  • Tutorial: A large black and white print of the harbour at StaithesTutorial: 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.
  • Better scenic and landscape holiday photosBetter scenic and landscape holiday photosKeith 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 reviewKaiser tabletop photo kit review'Easyfit' tabletop product photography kit with shooting table and two continuous lights with diffusers. Basic product photography setup along with examples of use showing how care with lighting impacts even basic product photos
  • Basic Photoshop Elements tutorialsBasic Photoshop Elements tutorialsBasic image adjustment tutorials with Photoshop Elements. Using just the most basic tools that are essential parts of image editing
  • Why I use the Fisheye-Hemi pluginWhy 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

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.

  • Photosniper 300mm with Canon 100DPhotosniper 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 – PF05Cleaning 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 SL1Macro 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 ProUse 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 lensesTesting 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 conversionCanon 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 lensesMake 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 lensesThe 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.

  • Book Review: Mastering Macro PhotographyBook Review: Mastering Macro PhotographyBook Review: Mastering Macro Photography by David Taylor. Equipment, lighting and technique for photographing small things
  • Book Review: Mastering ExposureBook Review: Mastering ExposureBook 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 ExposureBook 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 DuskBook 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 LeicesterAerial 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 cameraHow 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 youTaking 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 cardsProGrade 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.

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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Site update: Thanks for everyone's support - work is still very sparse, but at least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please just let me know - Keith & Karen
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not visit Keith's YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.