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Photography tutorials and how-to articles

Articles aimed at helping you improve aspects of your photography


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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.

Never miss new articles/reviews – sign up for our Newsletter (2-4 max. per month)

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

  • Review update – Topaz Glow V2Review update - Topaz Glow V2Topaz Glow version 2 update review. The image editing plugin from Topaz that offers a wide variety of effects, glows, edge and line based enhancements and artistic effects. Update is free for existing users.
  • Review update – Topaz Impression V2Review update - Topaz Impression V2V2 of Topaz impression adds new preset options and improved controls to the software for creating painting or drawing effects for your images. Adds masking and more flexible brush control.
  • Review update Piccure V3Review update Piccure V3Faster processing and finer control over settings. Piccure Plus is an image sharpening plugin and application that can correct for some aspects of lens softness and camera shake. Updated to V3
  • Keith Cooper’s City Light Tonality PresetsKeith Cooper's City Light Tonality PresetsKeith's 'City Light' presets for the MacPhun Tonality Pro plugin. 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.
  • Review of Topaz DeNoise 6Review of Topaz DeNoise 6Review of the DeNoise image editing plugin from Topaz labs. Version 6 can run as a standalone app, and supports preset noise reduction options for many cameras.
  • 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
  • Review – Aurora HDRReview - Aurora HDRMacphun Aurora HDR. Software plugin and standalone app for building high dynamic range (HDR) images from one or more photos
  • Topaz Texture Effects ReviewTopaz Texture Effects ReviewReview of the Texture Effects image editing plugin from Topaz Labs. You can add textured, toned, and lighting effects to images and share preset collections

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.

  • Zeiss MC S 135mm f3-5 on Canon 100DZeiss MC S 135mm f3-5  on Canon 100DTesting an M42 screw fit Zeiss MC S 135mm f3.5 manual focus telephoto lens on a Canon 100D/SL1 crop sensor camera with an M42-EF adapter.
  • 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

Ideas for developing photographic skills and aspects of photographic composition.

  • Preparations for Leicester Peoples’ Photography GalleryPreparations for Leicester Peoples' Photography GalleryGetting ready to show some photos at an exhibition. Preparations for Leicester Peoples' Photography Gallery
  • Photographing tiny thingsPhotographing tiny thingsPhotographing small electronic components with a macrophotography setup. TS-E90mm lens and extension tubes
  • The RomanescoThe RomanescoWhilst spending some time photographing industrial products, Keith stops, to photograph a Romanesco or Roman cauliflower.
  • Canon EF 8-15mm f4 L USM reviewCanon EF 8-15mm f4 L USM reviewDetailed review of the EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye zoom lens from Canon. Tested on a full frame DSLR, including a look at software corrections to expand the utility of the lens.
  • New photography gallery to open in LeicesterNew photography gallery to open in LeicesterA new photography gallery space is opening in Leicester at the old library in Belvoir Street. The Leicester Peoples Photography Gallery
  • Book Review B&W printing by George DeWolfeBook Review B&W printing by George DeWolfeKeith Cooper reviews B&W printing by George DeWolfe - part of the Digital masters series. A 'guide to producing exhibition quality black and white prints'
  • When Hyperfocal focusing is no goodWhen Hyperfocal focusing is no goodWhy hyperfocal focusing often fails to give the depth of field that some suggest. A much simpler method that can be of more general use
  • 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

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

Never miss a new article or review - Sign up for our occasional (ad-free) Newsletter and Keith's YouTube Channel

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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 

tilt-shift book

Keith explains tilt and shift lenses

Keith has written a book that looks at the many ways that tilt/shift lenses can benefit your photography from a technical and creative point of view.

ISBN 9781785007712

Book now available

There is also a specific index page on the site with links to all Keith's articles, reviews and videos about using tilt and shift.

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. Other sections include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1200 articles/reviews here...

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