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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.

  • Jessop zoom slide duplicator lensJessop zoom slide duplicator lensTesting a 35mm zoom slide copier on a modern digital camera with some slides from the 1970's. Includes image processing and lighting concerns and a quick look at photo image quality from the 70's
  • Using old lenses on a modern DSLR/mirrorless cameraUsing old lenses on a modern DSLR/mirrorless cameraLens adapters allow you to use old lenses on a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera. Many old lenses work very well if you can live without autofocus. Performance varies, but it's possible to learn lot of use for the rest of your photography
  • Using effects lens filtersUsing effects lens filtersAfter being given some assorted lens filters dating back to film days, Keith wonders if they are still of any use with modern digital cameras and how B&W film 'emulation' has its limits.
  • 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
  • Fotodiox tilt-shift lens adapterFotodiox tilt-shift lens adapterReview of the Fotodiox TLT ROKR tilt-shift lens adapter for mounting medium format lenses on mirrorless cameras. M645 to Canon RF tested. Available also for M645 to Nikon Z along with many other lens/body combination.
  • Canon SDK updatedCanon SDK updatedCanon Europe announces a new SDK and API Package for Developers. Software Development Kit (SDK) adds SX70 HS to supported cameras. incl. camera control API
  • Lighting CRI with i1Profiler and the i1ProLighting CRI with i1Profiler and the i1ProLighting CRI measurement using X-Rite i1Profiler software and the i1Pro spectrophotomenter, with the free Osram LED ColorCalculator software
  • Book Review: 52 Assignments Experimental PhotographyBook Review: 52 Assignments Experimental PhotographyBook Review: 52 Assignments, Experimental Photography. 52 project ideas to help you explore different aspects of photography, film and digital. with low and high tech ideas and hacks

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