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Alex Cooke
Cleveland, OH

Articles written by Alex Cooke

Can You Successfully Use LED Lights for Portraits?

LED lights are all the rage these days. Though they're already used quite a bit in the video industry, they're starting to make their way into the stills side of things, with folks like Peter Hurley embracing them. This great video examines the process of shooting portraits with LED panels, as well as the pros and cons of using them over strobes.

How Film Makes Us Confront the Meaning of Our Existence

There is something about the medium of film that predisposes it to tackling weighty questions of existential meaning in a manner that prompts the viewer to undertake their own journey. Whether used to disconcerting or enlightening effect, it's incredible how films can make us contemplate the very meaning of our existence.

Making the Most of Taking a Day to Shoot Landscape Photos

Light, like life, is fleeting. Whoa, that was unintentionally deep for a Tuesday afternoon. Nonetheless, this great video shows how the fickle mood of the weather means a landscape photographer has to be flexible both to work and be happy and why that makes the moments of success worth it.

Pay Attention to How Clothing Reflects Light and Causes Color Casts

When you're shooting portraits, whether in studio or outdoors, you're probably used to controlling your lighting to avoid undesired casts, but there's a potentially surprising source of such casts you might be missing. Check out how much what your model wears and what even what you wear can affect your final images.

How to Correct Lens and Perspective Distortion Using Only Lightroom

If you've ever been out and about and taken a photo of a tall building with a wide angle lens, you've probably noticed a weird phenomenon in which buildings appear to be falling away from you or into the center of the frame. This helpful video will show you how to correct perspective distortion using only Lightroom.

Try Shooting Photos With Both Eyes Open for Better Results

Think about what you do when you take a photo. Do you press one eye to the viewfinder and shut the other eye? While that seems to be the natural thing for most of us to do, it turns out that keeping the other eye open may yield some interesting benefits.

A Beginner's Guide to Retouching Portraits in Photoshop

If you're just starting with shooting portraits and retouching them, learning and subsequently mastering the myriad of techniques used in Photoshop can be a bit daunting. This helpful video will get you up and running.

A Beginner's Guide to Flying a Drone

The first time I wanted to fly a drone, my friend suggested I buy a $20 version on Amazon to practice with, because they tend to be much harder to fly without all the advanced navigation and stabilizing features of more expensive models and teach you good skills. My first flight lasted four seconds and ended with a bent prop and me prying the drone out from the slats of a park bench. I did get really good at flying it eventually. Having a beginner's guide would have been a bit more helpful, though. Luckily, you have this!

Watch What Happens When a Model and Photographer Switch Roles

Photographers stand behind the camera and models stand in front of it. It's been that way since the dawn of time (or at least cameras). This fun video examines what happens when you switch those roles and the kind of results you'll get.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the DOF Preview Button

If there's one button on your camera that you could go your entire photographic career without ever pressing, it's the depth of field preview button. Nonetheless it turns out that that weird little button is rather useful. This helpful video explains its function, quirks, and best uses.

How to Use Lightroom to Hunt Down Chromatic Aberration in Your Images

Chromatic aberration is an extremely common lens problem that can leave your images with weirdly colored edges. In its more subtle incarnations, it can be easy to miss until you've already exported the image, but it turns out Lightroom has some helpful tools to help you see where it might be hiding.

You'll Never Be Happy as an Artist If You're Not True to Yourself

The whole "artists don't care what others think" thing is a giant lie. Most artists care what others think of their work more than anyone else in the world. Creativity is an unsure and scary thing, and a little validation makes us feel good. It's poisonous.

A First Look at the Canon 6D Mark II Camera

Canon recently released both the 6D Mark II and SL2 cameras. The 6D Mark II was particularly anticipated, as it is Canon's cheapest and lightest full-frame DSLR. Here's a helpful and practical first look at the newest DSLR in the Canon family.

Examining Gender Disparity in the Filmmaking Industry

The filmmaking industry has historically been a male-centric one, and though the scales have started to tip back toward equal representation in recent years, the disparity is still very much real. This interesting videos examines the data, causes, and consequences of the current state of affairs.

A Quick Beginner's Guide to Astrophotography

If you're interested in trying out astrophotography, it's a fun, but very different genre to get into. This helpful video will give you some quick tips to ensure you get it right and get those entrancing shots of the stars.

The FAA Is Developing a System for Remote Identification of Drones

Consumer drones continue to grow both in capabilities and sheer numbers at a rate that seems to be outpacing the government's ability to find a way to properly integrate them into the national airspace. As the FAA works to catch up, their newest proposal could be a big step forward.

How to Create a Demo Reel Using Premiere Pro

If you've got scattered clips of your videos hiding in disparate corners of your hard drive, it might be time to bring them together and create a demo reel to show off all your best work. This helpful tutorial will show you how to do just that.

Don't Overlook the Importance of Pupil Size When Working With Strobes

We talk a ton about different lighting setups and how they affect tonal transitions, strength of shadows, etc., but rarely do we investigate how the way we work with our lights affects our subjects' pupil size, and yet, that plays a large role in a person's perception of a portrait.