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Alex Cooke
Cleveland, OH

Articles written by Alex Cooke

The Best One-Light Portrait Photography Setup for Beginners

If you ever watch videos of professional portrait photographers at work, you might them using two, three, or even more lights in complex and intricate setups. And while those certainly have their place, you can still create fantastic images using only one light, and if you are new to artificial lighting, this is actually the better way to learn how to use it. This great video tutorial will show you a straightforward one-light setup for portraits and how to create professional portraits with it.

This Lens Was Way Ahead of Its Time

We take ridiculously powerful autofocus that can lock onto something like a subject's eye and track it through a challenging environment for granted nowadays, and we sometimes forget that there was a time when autofocus did not even exist. However, in the late 1970s, autofocus began to appear, and even though Canon's lens mount at the time did not support it, they found a way to put it in a lens anyway. This neat video review takes a look at that lens.

Is the M1 Max MacBook Pro All You Need for Creative Work?

Apple's M1 chip turned the computing world on its head when it first arrived, and the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips took things several steps further, promising even better performance in tandem with highly impressive battery life. So, how does the latest MacBook Pro perform in practice, under the demands of a professional creative? This great video review will show you what you can expect from it.

5 Signs It's Time to Raise Your Prices

Pricing is a tricky thing and something that a lot of photographers struggle with, particularly since there is less objective guidance on how to go about it than in many other industries. One especially difficult topic is knowing when it is time to raise your prices. This helpful video tutorial will show you five signs that it may be time to charge a bit more for your services.

A Review of the Canon EOS R5 for Landscape Photography

The Canon EOS R5 grabbed a lot of headlines when it came out, mostly for features like blazing fast autofocus, a 20 fps burst rate, and 8K raw video. And while those are all quite impressive, the EOS R5 also came with one of the best sensors the company has ever produced, making it an intriguing option for landscape photographers. This excellent video review takes a look at the EOS R5 for landscape work and the kind of image quality you can expect from it.

How to Deal With Flat Light in Landscape Photography

In some genres, flat, even light can be a real boon for the photographer, but in landscape photography, it can rob a scene of the drama created by the interplay between light and shadow and the natural contrasts across the frame. That does not mean you can't create great images in flat light, though. This excellent video tutorial will show you what you need to know.

Is This 50mm Lens Worth the Upgrade?

50mm lenses run the gamut from under $100 to well over $1,000 and everywhere in between. Almost every new photographer is told to buy one of the budget options, a nifty fifty, but this lens offers a bit of an upgrade in performance and image quality without flirting with the stratospheric prices of top-shelf options. Is it worth the bump in price? This great video review takes a look.

What Actually Makes Us Better Photographers

All of us want to be better photographers, and it seems like the internet is overflowing with methods that claim to help you do that — some legitimate and some not. That being said, there are some dangerous rabbit holes you can go down in this pursuit of improvement, particularly when they involve your wallet. This excellent video essay features an experienced photographer providing a good reminder of what really matters when it comes to becoming a better photographer.

The Thing That Kills Good Photos

It takes the meeting of several factors to create a good photo, and the absence or poor execution of any one of them can often derail the entire image. Some of these factors are obvious, but some can sneak up on us, often not noticed until we are back at home to examine our shots on our computers. This great video essay discusses one of the tricker factors and what you can do to get it right.

What Is Bracketing and Why Is It So Useful?

Modern cameras are incredibly powerful tools, but there are still limitations to what they can do, some imposed by the current state of technology and some forever imposed by the laws of physics. That does not mean you are simply out of luck, though, as there are ways to work around these limitations. Often, this is done via bracketing, and this excellent video tutorial will show you some of the different kinds of bracketing, why they are valuable, and how to use them.

A Look at the Highly Affordable Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8 Lens

Few lenses are more classic than a wide-aperture 85mm, which is often the preferred choice of portrait photographers. Nonetheless, a good 85mm lens can be awfully expensive. There are some quite affordable options out there as well, with one such example being the Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8, and this excellent video review takes a look at the image quality and performance you can expect from it in practice.

A Look at a Camera That Inspires You to Get Out and Shoot

Some cameras are designed to be pragmatic tools, meant to reliably get the shot without fuss no matter what situation you throw them into. Other cameras put form first, offering stylish designs meant to inspire your creativity. It is a rare camera that does both equally well. This excellent video review takes a look at one such camera and why it will make you want to go out and shoot with it.

A Review of the Irix 30mm f/1.4 Dragonfly Lens

Irix has created a name for themselves by manufacturing manual focus prime lenses that are rugged, affordable, and quite sharp, making them a compelling option for any genre where autofocus is not a requirement. This excellent video review takes a look at one of the company's newer lenses, the 30mm f/1.4 Dragonfly, and the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice.

How to Change the Background of an Image Using Photoshop

Changing the background of an image convincingly is about a lot more than simply creating a precise mask for your subject and dropping in a new backdrop. It takes the ability to accurately evaluate and match things like lighting, color, perspective, depth of field, and more. If you are wondering how to do all those things, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know to convincingly change the background of an image using Photoshop.

How to Be a Happier Photographer

Whether hobbyists or professionals, we all became photographers because we enjoy the process of creating images and sharing them with the world. But often, somewhere along the way, things go awry, and we end up unsatisfied and/or unhappy with the pursuit, sometimes turning our back on it altogether. If you find yourself in that place, this awesome video essay discusses how to make yourself a happier photographer.

How to Simplify Overly Busy Landscape Photos

One of the challenges of landscape photography is that unlike many other genres, you do not have control of the elements in the scene, only where you position yourself and how you choose your composition. This can often lead to overly busy compositions, but this helpful video tutorial will give you some good advice on how to counteract that and produce stronger, more compelling images.

Fuji's Workhorse Lens: A Review of the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR

A 24-70mm f/2.8 is the workhorse lens of choice for a lot of photographers and filmmakers, offering a versatile focal length range and wide maximum aperture. One such lens for Fujifilm shooters is the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR, and this excellent video review takes a look at the lens and the sort of image quality and performance you can expect from it in practice.

Should You Put Your Pricing on Your Photography Website?

Should you put your pricing on your photography website? It is a tricky question: on one hand, without it, you might annoy potential customers who want an idea of what they should expect to spend. On the other hand, with it, you might scare aware potential clients before you have had the chance to make your case for why you are worth the money. If you are wondering how to approach this, check out this great video tutorial that will give you some helpful advice on the topic.

Which Nifty Fifty Lens Is Right for Nikon Photographers?

A 50mm lens with a wide maximum aperture is one of the most versatile lenses a photographer can own, offering a relatively neutral focal length suitable for everything from portraits to landscapes and the ability to shoot in low light or leverage subject-isolating narrow depth of field. If you are a Nikon shooter looking for the right 50mm lens, check out this great video comparison that looks at three options at a range of price points.

Can This Affordable 85mm Lens Keep Up With Professional Photographers' Demands?

A wide-aperture 85mm lens is always a popular choice for portrait photography, but such lenses can often run well north of $2,000. However, the Viltrox AF 85mm f/1.8 lens promises a classic optic at a much more affordable price, and this excellent video review takes a look at if it can provide the sort of performance and image quality professionals still demand.