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Photography tutorials and how-to articles

Articles aimed at helping you improve aspects of your photography

Site Notice: Thanks to everyone who has offered support - we're starting to see some work again, but I'm still at home a lot. At least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith & Karen
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...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available for pre-order.

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.

  • Looking at AF and manual focus for the 7DLooking at AF and manual focus functionality for the Canon EOS 7D. Some initial testing with moving objects and old lenses
  • Controlling a 1Ds3 via a WFT-E2 and iPhoneControlling a 1Ds3 via a WFT-E2 and iPhoneUsing the iPhone to connect to a Canon WFT-E2 wireless adapter attached to a Canon 1Ds Mk3. Remote control of the camera with a web browser over an ad hoc network.
  • Deactivate the ink level counter on the Epson 7600 and 9600Deactivate the ink level counter on the Epson 7600 and 9600How to make cartridges always read full by deactivating the ink level counter on the SP7600 and SP9600 Epson large format printers. To be used with care, but useful if you wanted to re-fill your ink carts
  • Using 645 MF lenses as shift lensesUsing 645 MF lenses as shift lensesUsing Mamiya 645 medium format lenses with a shift adapter with Sekor 35/55/80/210mm lenses. MF lenses work well too with a simple adapter, but have enough image circle to be shifted on any smaller sensor camera full frame or crop. Tested on a Canon 1Ds3 full frame 35mm DSLR.
  • Black ink swap on the Epson 7880 and 9880Black ink swap on the Epson 7880 and 9880An unofficial method for swapping photo black and matte black inks on the Epson SP7880 and SP9880 printers, reducing ink waste. Use with care
  • Olympus Zuiko 24mm f2-8 on Canon DSLROlympus Zuiko 24mm f2-8 on Canon DSLRTesting the Olympus Zuiko 24mm f2.8 lens mounted on a Canon 1Ds mk3 full frame DSLR with an adapter. Quick comparison with EF24-70 2.8L
  • Zeiss Flektogon 20mm f2-8 lens reviewZeiss Flektogon 20mm f2-8 lens reviewTests and review of using a manual focus Zeiss Flektogon 20mm f/2.8 lens on a Canon 1Ds mk3 DSLR with an M42-EF mount adapter. Includes discussion of adjustments for correct infinity focus
  • Black ink swap on the Epson 7800 and 9800Black ink swap on the Epson 7800 and 9800An unofficial method for swapping photo black and matte black inks on the Epson 7800/9800 printers, reducing ink waste.

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • 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
  • Is digital too easy? – that film thing (again)Is digital too easy? - that film thing (again)Has digital photography taken the 'real skills' out of photography? I'm very much inclined to say no, but it has made it more difficult for many people to know why they are taking photos and what they want to achieve.
  • Review of Kuuvik Capture V1.3Review of Kuuvik Capture V1.3Review of Kuuvik Capture V1.3 camera tethering software. Apple Mac app that allows for direct control of Canon cameras, with many novel workflow features
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • PPL TSE-Adapter – lens shift reviewPPL TSE-Adapter - lens shift reviewThe PPL TSE Adapter attaches Canon TS-E shift lenses directly to a tripod mount. This lets you shift the camera not the lens, eliminating parallax errors

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: Thanks to everyone who has offered support - we're starting to see some work again, but I'm still at home a lot. At least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith & Karen
...Sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to hear about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available for pre-order.