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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

  • 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
  • Fine tuning black and white photo printingFine tuning black and white photo printingFine tuning black and white photo printing with a flatbed scanner when using using monochrome print settings such as Epson ABW or Canon Black and White photo print modes. Test for optimal media settings. Print linearisation with curves.
  • Upsizing and sharpening for making a printUpsizing and sharpening for making a printEditing, sharpening and upsizing part of an old digital photo from a 10MP camera to make an A2 sized print. Image resizing for larger prints and why your editing workflow matters.
  • Adapted lens – Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens - Soligor 300mm f5.5Adapted lens experiments - Soligor 300mm f5.5 on an RF mount EOS RP mirrorless camera. Using adapters on a manual focus telephoto from 1975 on a modern mirrorless camera
  • A simple black and white printA simple black and white printA simple black and white print workflow aimed at showing just how easy it is to create a black and white landscape print, with a few simple edits.
  • Setting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lensesSetting the tilt axis for tilt-shift lensesSetting 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.

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.

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • 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
  • Artists’ statements – do you ever believe them?Artists' statements - do you ever believe them?Can an Artist's Statement be meaningful and relevant? Is it possible to write one that people believe? Can you do it with a straight face?
  • Do your prints have depth?Do your prints have depth?What is 'Depth'? How do you describe your photo prints? Or, more to the point, how do I actually know what you mean and how can I be sure?
  • Expensive 3rd party primes – are they worth it?Expensive 3rd party primes - are they worth it?Looking at third party prime lenses for DSLRs. When are they a good idea and when would you be better off improving the rest of your workflow from RAW file to print? Just be careful to buy such kit for good reasons rather than the vague but effusive praise from their fan clubs
  • Do you keep a filter on your lens?Do you keep a filter on your lens?Do camera shops look on UV or Skylight protective filters for your camera as just an a source of added margin, or are there times that having a filter in place is essential. Keith looks at where he makes use of filters, and where not.
  • An era passes – the real end of KodachromeAn era passes - the real end of KodachromeThe end of Kodachrome - historically interesting, but of what relevance to today's photographers. Reproduce the effects in software, accept that it was used for some great photos, but time to move on
  • Vertical lines and movementVertical lines and movementSome thoughts on how the treatment of vertical lines in an image change the relative sense of motion or stillness in a photograph. When vertical being vertical might not be what you want,
  • Keith Cooper and black and white photographyKeith Cooper and black and white photographyBased on a lengthy interview for a magazine article, Keith Cooper talks about his black and white photography, influences and techniques

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.