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Alex Cooke
Cleveland, OH

Articles written by Alex Cooke

One of Lightroom's Oldest and Best Tools

Lightroom has made some remarkable steps forward in recent years, bringing an array of innovative new features that can automate many tasks that used to be quite tedious to perform manually. And as impressive as many of those new capabilities are, one of its most effective tools is a simple one that has been around for quite some time. This great video tutorial features an experienced Lightroom pro showing you how to get the most out of the tool in your work.

5 Powerful Lightroom Masking Techniques for Landscape Photography

When you edit landscape photos, you will often make use of a variety of masks to target adjustments to different areas of the frame. Lightroom has made some major steps forward in its masking capabilities in recent iterations, making it far easier to efficiently and precisely process your photos. This excellent video tutorial will show you five uses for Lightroom's masking capabilities when working with landscape images.

A Review of the Fujifilm XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR Lens

The Fujifilm XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR offers an intriguing combination of an extremely wide focal length suitable for a lot of applications in tandem with weather resistance and a decent price, making it an option many photographers will be interested in. This fantastic video review takes a look at the new lens and the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice.

A Review of the Venus Optics Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D Lens

Venus Optics has established a reputation for impressively unique and interesting lenses. The Laowa 17mm f/4 GFX Zero-D continues in that tradition, giving Fujifilm medium format users a particularly wide angle of view, making it appealing for genres like landscape and architecture photography. This excellent video review takes a look at the lens and the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it.

5 Common Landscape Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Landscape photography is a challenging genre that requires good planning, solid technique, strong creative vision, and often, just a bit of luck. As such, there are a lot of places where things can go wrong. If you would like to improve your images, check out this excellent video tutorial that features an experienced landscape photographer discussing five common mistakes and how to fix them.

How to Use Negative Space in Landscape Photography

A lot of landscape photography tends to be maximal, using intricate collections of elements in the frame to create lush balances that convey the grandeur of scenes at least partially through their sheer overwhelming nature. Of course, that is not the only way to approach the craft, however. Embracing negative space can help provide more balance in your images. This great video tutorial features an experienced landscape photographer discussing negative space and how to apply it to photos.

A Review of the Canon RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM Lens

135mm lenses have long been a popular second option to 85mm lenses for portrait photography, where their longer focal length and higher levels of telephoto compressions offer flattering renderings. Canon’s EF 135mm f/2L lens was long one of the company’s best hidden gems, offering fantastic image quality in tandem with deep contrast and colors and snappy autofocus. It’s successor, the RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM is here, and it looks like an awfully impressive lens. This great video review takes a look at the lens and the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in usage.

The Craft of Telling Stories With Photos

As photographers, we work hard to create photos with technically accurate exposures, balanced compositions, and skilled edits, but what often separates a good photo from a truly compelling one is storytelling. Storytelling can be a difficult thing to develop, though. This helpful video tutorial features two experienced photographers sharing their thoughts and advice on what makes for good storytelling in photography.

Why You Should Embrace Difficult Locations in Landscape Photography

Landscape photography often requires a large amount of physical exertion simply to get to a location, particularly when you are carrying a heavy bag of gear. While you might want to stick to the trails and the paths of least resistance, sometimes, it pays to embrace the more difficult locations. This great video tutorial discusses why you should head off the beaten path every once in a while.

A Review of the Impressive New BenQ PhotoVue SW272U 27" 4K HDR Monitor

BenQ is one of the most respected monitor manufacturers in the industry, offering an array of devices for professionals and hobbyists alike. The new PhotoVue SW272U 27" 4K HDR offers a huge range of features sure to please most users and does so at a reasonable price. This excellent review takes a look at the new monitor and the sort of performance and quality you can expect from it in usage.

Here's What's in the Sky This Month

The night sky is a surprisingly active place, and it helps to know what is on deck for the next few weeks. If you want to enjoy a nice summer night or two with your camera, check out this fantastic video tutorial that discusses some of the most exciting astrophotography opportunities coming up in July and offers some useful for getting the most from your images.

5 of Photoshop's Most Important New Features

Photoshop has been evolving at a breakneck pace lately, with a number of groundbreaking features expanding and even completely changing the ways in which photographers approach editing their images. If you have not had a chance to catch up on everything that is new yet, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you five of the biggest changes, what they can do, and how to use them.

Fstoppers Photographer of the Month (June 2023): Petri Damstén

The Fstoppers community is brimming with creative vision and talent. Every day, we comb through your work, looking for images to feature as the Photo of the Day or simply to admire your creativity and technical prowess. In 2023, we're featuring a new photographer every month, whose portfolio represents both stellar photographic achievement and a high level of involvement within the Fstoppers community.

Why You Only Need Two Lights to Start as a Portrait Photographer

Getting started with flash can be both exciting and intimidating; it is an entirely new set of techniques, but it also enables a wide variety of creative opportunities that simply would not be possible otherwise. If you are ready to tackle artificial lighting, it is important to get off on the right foot. This great video tutorial features an experienced beauty and portrait photographer discussing why it is best to start your lighting journey with no more than two lights.

How to Increase Your Photo Bookings

Being good with a camera and having great creative ideas is, of course, crucial to finding success as a professional, but it is not enough. Knowing how to attract clients and convince them to book with you is a crucial skill. If that is something you have trouble with, check out this fantastic video tutorial that offers three actionable tips for increasing your bookings.

Is This the Ultimate Nikon Portrait Setup?

The Nikon Z8 has lit the photography world on fire, offering almost all of the benefits and advanced features of the highly respected Z9 at an aggressive price. Paired with the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S and NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, the combo becomes a formidable setup for portraits. So, what can you accomplish with it? This excellent video takes a look.

How to Use Fill Flash for On-Location Portrait

Shooting portraits outside of the studio can be a great way to add context to an image, tell a story, or simply generate a bit more visual interest. Bringing along a flash for fill can often help you create a higher-quality image with a more balanced exposure. This great video tutorial will show you how to use a fill flash on location for better portraits.

A Review of the New Fujifilm INSTAX Square SQ40 Camera

The Fujifilm INSTAX line of instant film cameras has been a runaway hit for the company, tapping into the nostalgia of instant photography and introducing a new generation to the technology. The INSTAX Square SQ40 is the latest entry in the line, and this excellent video review takes a look at the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from this fun and affordable little camera.

How to Shoot Film at Night

If you heard a modern digital camera could only reach as high as ISO 1600 or 3200, you might think it was a very limited device. Such is the case with film, though. That does not mean you can't shoot it a night, though; in fact, it can be quite rewarding, especially if you enjoy long exposures. This great video tutorial discusses shooting film at night (particularly long exposures) and how to go about it to come home with the best images possible.

How Good Is a $5,000 35mm Lens?

For some people, the thought of spending over $5,000 on a 35mm lens, let alone one without autofocus, is an absolutely absurd proposition. On the other hand, Leica users often swear by the company's optics. Costing over $5,000, the Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. promises amazing optical performance. Can it live up to that promise? This excellent first look video takes a look at what you can expect.