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Photography tutorials and 'How-to' articles

Digital imaging and photography related tutorials

There are a growing number of entirely free tutorials and 'how to' articles on this site. This page provides links to all of them. 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.

Photography Training

Northlight Images provides training for commercial organisations in subjects like property photography , product photography and colour management. Keith Cooper offers specialist photography training for individuals in the Leicestershire area. We also have a directory of other Pro photographers who offer teaching services.

Article categories

Photography Composition Printing
Image editing Diversions, hacks & experiments Colour management
Personal training Training for businesses Images on the web


Please feel free to suggest anything you'd like to see Keith write about?
Keith gets our all his UK used camera equipment and lenses from:

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Better holiday scenic photos
Keith 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. [July 2016]

Macro photography with a 100D
Testing out the EOS 100D (SL1) for macro photography of small objects. When a cheap 18MP crop sensor DSLR can outgun a top of the range full frame camera. [December 2013]

Making a picture - from idea to print - A look back at all the stages of making a large black and white print. Includes all the other photos taken at the scene, and why one particular view 'worked'. Also covers the editing and print preparation techniques used. [February 2013]

Better photography - without the expense - After two photo lectures this week for photography groups, Keith has written brief notes about some effective ways of improving your photography without breaking the bank [October 2012]

3 (9) quick tips for better B&W photographs

Hyperfocal focusing - Why hyperfocal focusing often isn't the best approach. Keith explains a simpler technique he commonly uses.

Better pictures for your web site
Keith was recently asked for advice on getting better pictures on a web site. His top ten tips cover the process of taking the pictures in the first place, through to sharpening and saving for web use.

An Introduction to Black and White digital photography
The basics of producing high quality black and white images from your digital camera. An extended version of an article that Keith first wrote for Canon in their CPS magazine.


Vertical lines and movement in photographic composition - Looking at some aspects of how vertical lines affect the feel of a photograph. [August 2010]

Black and white photography - thoughts and influences
From a specialist black and white photography magazine article, this extended version discusses some of Keith's thoughts about his approach to black and white landscape photography. [September 2010]

Image manipulation

Producing a 3 metre print - from an 11MP image - From RAW conversion to final print editing. Making a 2m x 3m print, for Innova to display at 'The Photography Show'. Since it's from an 11MP image, there are quite a few subtleties in the processing that can have a huge impact on final print quality. [March 2014]

Making of the large 14m Leicester print Keith's May 2012 exhibition in Leicester features a single print just over 14 metres long. This article covers all aspects of creating this image, from Keith's initial experiments with panoramic photography, through to the problems of printing and mounting such a photograph [May 2012]

Nik Silver Efex for colour photos
A way of using a specialist Black and White conversion pluginn for contrast enhancement of dull colour photos. [January 2012]

Jane Fonda and Me... A print from previously unseen photographs taken on the set of the making of Barbarella in 1967 - points out how producing prints from scanned film needs different techniques to images from digital cameras.

Producing a black and white print
An article describing the full process Keith went through in producing a black and white landscape print. From taking photographs, through editing the image and final printing. Includes a downloadable version of the original colour image as an example to work on.

Move your mouse over the image below to see the effects of altering a curve on a masked adjustment layer. An example from the article.[May 09]

altering adjustment curves

Converting Colour images to Black and White
A collection of examples showing different ways of converting a colour image into Black and White. There are many subtle differences that can produce much more satisfying results than simple desaturation. Some of the methods are covered in our Photoshop Elements tutorials

Photoshop Elements -basics
A collection of tutorials based on Keith's locally taught courses. Eight simple techniques enable you to dramatically improve many digital images. Takes a pragmatic results based approach, rather than the usual description of all the functionality and features. Applicable to older and current versions of Elements

Photoshop Elements - removing colour casts and converting to black and white
Two more examples from Keith's courses. Correcting colour casts caused by awkward lighting and an introduction to getting black and white from colour

Digital after two years
Keith has written about his travels in Colorado in April/May 2006. The article includes examples of how he went about producing some black and white photographs from the colour originals from his Canon 1Ds

Colour management

Viewing tips
Our Monitor set-up page with greyscale test images and information on monitor calibration.

Spyder4Express review
Shows how the calibration process works, and why it matters


Printhead (PF-05) replacement on the iPF8300
A faulty printhead finally needs replacement on our Canon 8300 printer [February 2014]

Printhead cleaning on the iPF8300
Unusual errors, but no print problems. Does a printhead need cleaning?[February 2014]

DIY Black and White Inkjet printer profiles
A simple way of generating a 'profile' for better digital black and white printing. Using Photoshop curves and a scanner, Keith explains how to get much better monochrome prints. Not the precision of a full ICC profile, but it works -- and gives an insight into how profiles work.

Using i1Profiler to measure QTR linearising targets. [June 2012]

Using the i1Pro 2 for linearising B&W printing - Making use of ColorPort and QTR. [June 2012]

Test images
Our collection of test images and links for downloading. When you are testing printer systems, it really does help to use a known test image.

Swapping black inks on a 7600 or 9600
How not to waste loads of inks doing it the official 'Epson Way' [See also Printer Info articles for more]

The web

Web colour management and Web photo galleries
A discussion of the various options for compression, sharpening and colour management when putting photographic images on the web.

Diversions - DIY photography equipment and modifications / hacks

The 100D and the Photosniper
Attaching a Canon 100D to a modified 1970's Soviet 300mm lens and rifle mount. A very good quality M42 mount 300/4.5 lens [January 2014]

A Zeiss 135/3.5 M42 lens on the 100D
A quick look at using an old Zeiss 135mm manual focus lens on the 100D/SL1. Sometimes you -can- get interesting results for under £30. [February 2014]

A home made x5 macro lens - making use of old lenses for real work [July 2011]

Making a cardboard lens for your DSLR - experimenting with alternative lenses [June 2011]

assorted optical bits and pieces

Autofocus accuracy check
A method for checking the autofocus (AF) accuracy of your lenses and digital camera body. A (downloadable) test image, when shown on a screen allows precise testing of focus accuracy through the moire patterns caused between the pixels of your screen and camera sensor. For Canon 1Ds Mk3 and 1D Mk3 cameras this enables rapid (15 minutes for 5 lenses) customisation of AF corrections (AF Microadjustment) [February 2008]

How to install Canon EOS software without the original CD - A collection of tips for Mac and PC [current]

Shift lens modification
A short 'How-to' article showing how to modify a Canon tilt/shift lens to line up the tilt and shift axes [May 2007]

Using Old lenses on a DSLR - a series of short tests of assorted old lenses found in an office clearout. Some are surprisingly good, others are on a par with the ends of Coke bottles. [May 2009]

mamiya 55mm lens on canon body - shifted vertically

Canon View Camera
An adapter ($20) to use an old MPP 5x4 view camera with a Canon 1Ds. Article shows details of construction and just what it can be used for. Could be adapted for any DSLR and many old large format cameras.

Using an Infrared converted Canon 5D mk2 - Introduction to digital infrared photography [November 2011]

Photomicroscopy on the cheap
An alternate use for your high cost film scanner. Includes a very nice photo of a Honey bee wing. Based on Keith's experiments one afternoon, when he got bored :-)

The 1Ds digital pinhole SLR camera
Keith converts his Canon 1Ds into a pinhole camera, making a 50mm 'standard' pinhole and a 200mm zoom version - results are compared to a lens £1400 more expensive.

Photography training for Businesses

Northlight Images provides commercial training (and trainers) for a range of photographic skills

Specialist areas include:

Please note - these courses are for commercial organisations, rather than individuals.

Personal Photographic training and teaching

Keith Cooper's '121' photography courses are based around Leicester, in the East Midlands, and Keith is available for one-to-one sessions at locations in the Leicestershire and Rutland area.

We have a directory of other professional photographers offering training is different locations.

If you buy anything whatsoever through the links on this site, it helps with maintaining as a free resource.

Many thanks to anyone who has helped our site - Keith


digital black and white logoKeith runs a LinkedIn group (~7900 members) for people interested in any aspects of modern Black and White photography: Digital Black and White


New on the site

Articles/Reviews/Blog Index page

From Making your own macro lens

Final print on viewing stand from the Producing a black and white print article.

DSLR attached to old view camera


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Explore our site... Digital Black and White photography and printing - some of Keiths thoughts, techniques and tips for those interested in a digital approach to black and white. There are many hundreds of entirely free articles and reviews on the site. New site content appears on the News, articles and reviews page.

Northlight Images is based in Leicester in the UK and supplies Commercial Photography services.

Visiting Leicester? - see hundreds of Keith Cooper's local photos at our Leicester Photos site