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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

  • Luminar 2018 aims at LightroomLuminar 2018 aims at LightroomLuminar 2018 - image editing update for Mac and Windows. Adds new filters and RAW processing. Faster software and an expansion of editing flexibility
  • Topaz Studio additionsTopaz Studio additionsTopaz Studio additions - new functionality from existing Topaz plugins added to the free Topaz Studio editing application.
  • Macphun Aurora 2018 HDR for Mac and WindowsMacphun Aurora 2018 HDR for Mac and WindowsMacphun Aurora 2018 HDR editing and creation software updated for Mac and Windows platforms. Speeds up processing and adds new features
  • Luminar – now for Windows tooLuminar - now for Windows tooMacphun have announced a free open Beta test version of their Luminar photo editor that work on Windows PCs. Keith has reviewed Luminar (Mac version) in the past, so do have a look for a bit more detail of just what you can do with it, beyond some of the rather 'luminous' examples. It's actually capable of some very subtle adjustments.
  • DxO Optics Pro V11 reviewDxO Optics Pro V11 reviewLooking at DxO Optics Pro V11. Review of the RAW image processing software that Keith Cooper uses for processing many of his images. The review builds on his experiences of using the software since it first came out
  • Luminar Neptune review updateLuminar Neptune review updateLuminar Neptune review update - The MacPhun Image editor version 1.2 adds new features, operating modes and overall performance. Follows on from Keith's full review
  • Topaz Studio image editorTopaz Studio image editorTopaz Studio image editor and plugin that also works stand alone and integrates Topaz plugins. Free and paid versions available
  • Large prints – The Photography Show 2017Large prints - The Photography Show 2017All about making bigger prints. Articles and reviews that expand upon issues covered in Keith Cooper's talks and presentations at the Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham in March 2017

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.

  • K&F ND1000 filter reviewK&F ND1000 filter reviewReview from testing the K&F Concept ND1000 10 stop neutral density filter for longer exposures. 82mm low profile glass lens filter
  • Rogeti TSE frame reviewRogeti TSE frame reviewReview of the Rogeti TSE frame - lens mount for Canon TS-E 17mm and 24mm tilt/shift lenses. Attaches lens directly to a tripod for parallax free image stitching. Accurate image stitching for wide coverage
  • Book Review: The photography exercise bookBook Review: The photography exercise bookBook Review: The photography exercise book by Bert Krages. Training your eye to shoot like a pro. Subjects to study and photograph that will help train your photographic vision and produce the photos you want (and know why)
  • Architecture and the Sigma 12-24mmArchitecture and the Sigma 12-24mmUsing an ultra-wide zoom lens for architectural photographs. Testing the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art lens on a 50MP Canon 5Ds DSLR for architecture photography
  • A shift lens at 50mmA shift lens at 50mmUsing a shift lens at 50mm - adding rise and fall to a standard focal length. Tilt/shift lens use at longer focal lengths. A Mamiya medium format lens used with a shift adapter
  • Moving back to film photographyMoving back to film photographyReturning to film? Rediscovering old film equipment offers a simpler more direct world of photography. Is it time for Keith to buy some camera batteries and rolls of film?
  • Ultra high resolution view of Leicester city centreUltra high resolution view of Leicester city centreAn ultra high resolution view of Leicester city centre from the roof of St George's tower, that you can zoom in to and explore - approximately 4700 megapixels
  • The changing light at sunset – photographing buildingsThe changing light at sunset - photographing buildingsPhotographing buildings as the sun sets - an experiment to look at the changing light, and how a few minutes makes all the difference. A series of photos taken after the sun sets gives a feel for the range of lighting variation you can use

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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