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Alex Cooke
Cleveland, OH

Articles written by Alex Cooke

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.

Landscape Photography in the Middle of the Day

Most of the time, when you think of landscape photography, you probably think of golden hour, with soft and warm light spilling across the scene. And while that can make for fantastic images, if you restrict yourself to just a few hours a day, you are missing out on quite a few opportunities. This great video tutorial shows you the benefits of landscape photography in the middle of the day.

How to Use Depth and Perspective for Better Landscape Photos

One of the most fundamental challenges of landscape photography (and many other genres) is taking a three-dimensional scene and translating it to two dimensions in a way that still conveys the depth of the environment. Mastering this will significantly improve your landscape images. This excellent video tutorial will show you the ins and outs of controlling depth and perspective in landscape photos.

Is This the Best Affordable Bird and Wildlife Photography Setup?

Wildlife and bird photography can be tremendously exciting and rewarding work, but the combination of fast action, faraway subjects, and frequent low light often necessitates the use of extreme cameras and lenses that can quickly put serious stress on your bank account. Thankfully, nowadays, we have a bevy of impressively capable budget options. This excellent video review takes a look at one of the best affordable setups for wildlife and bird camera and lens setups.

Which of These Two Supertelephoto Zoom Lenses Is Better?

In the past decade, we have seen an explosion of highly capable supertelephoto zoom lenses, and the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS and Nikon NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR are two of the most versatile options. How do they compare? This great video review takes a look at both lenses, their various characteristics, and how they match up with each other.

8 Tips for Getting More Battery Life From Your Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras are superior to DSLRs in many ways, offering a wide range of modern features and capabilities that DSLRs do not or even cannot. However, one area where they still lag woefully behind is battery life. While they have certainly improved over first-generation options, battery life can still be a hindrance. If you find yourself sometimes struggling with that, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you eight different tips for getting a little more life out those batteries.

How Good Is This Affordable Canon Full Frame Lens?

Canon makes some awfully impressive lenses, but those options (particularly the full frame ones) are often quite expensive. That is what makes the RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, which sits at $299, a refreshing prospect. Can this affordable and portable option keep up with the demands of modern sensors? This excellent video review takes a look at the performance and image quality you will be able to expect.

An In-Depth Review of the New Fujifilm X-S20 Mirrorless Camera

The Fujifilm X Series of mirrorless cameras has become quite popular and respected, upending the traditional paradigms of the sensor size, body design, and shooting experience that constitute a professional camera. The X-S20 is the latest entry in the line, and it offers an excellent balance of features and price, which should make it worth a look for many creatives. This great video review takes a look at the new camera and the sort of performance and image quality you can expect from it in practice.