Sometimes people ask how I learned photography. First of all, I have many friends who are as enthusiastic as I am about photography. I went out shooting with them and step by step I learned about my camera, the principles of composition and lighting. Also I read books and attended a handful of seminars on photography. But the main source from where I learned photography (besides taking photos myself) was and still is the internet. There are numerous excellent free learning resources available. You just have to know where to go and start sucking up the knowledge. I will present a few jewels today which I find helpful and entertaining. Of course there are endless other great photography sites, blogs, podcasts and so on besides from my list, but I will stick to naming only a handful. Google is always your friend in finding more
- Photofocus.com – A great blog and podcast on photography. Scott Bourne, Richard Harrington and many guest writers talk about all things related to being a photographer. The posts cover not only reviewed gear, lighting tips and shooting strategies but also “behind the scenes” knowledge on how to successfully establish yourself as a commercial photographer. Updated daily.
- Strobist.com – David Hobby introduces you to the world of flash lighting. I always wrote about that in a previous post. The site contains a blog and the “Lighting 101” learning section. Highly recommended, Lighting 101 will teach you everything you need to know to effectively use strobe flashes. The blog mostly contains posts which discuss the lighting concept of the images presented.
- Scott Kelby’s blog – Scott is another veteran of the photo industry and a photoshop crack. He wrote countless books on Lightroom, Photoshop, lighting and photography. On his blog (also many guest writers) he lets one peek behind the scenes of his work.
- Happy Shooting (German Podcast). Photographers Chris Marquardt and Boris Nienke dive into everything related to photography once a week. They have produced around 320 episodes (!!!) at the time this post is written. Topics in the podcast are widespread. Being techy guys they often talk about gear and photo technology but also about composition, lighting, image enhancement, Lightroom usage etc etc. There is nearly not one topic they leave out. Very entertaining and informative, but only in German.
- Tips from the Top Floor is the other podcast of Chris Marquardt, this time in English. Chris has produced over 600 (!!!!1111eleven) episodes so far and still goes on. Seems this guy is never getting tired talking about photography. Again, superb podcast to enhance your photographic knowledge both on the technology and creative side.
- Joe McNallys Blog. Joe is a true dinosaur of photography. He is a standing photographer for National Geographic (tired of exclamation marks), a strobe flash junkie and an entertaining teacher and author. I once reviewed one of his books (see here). On the blog Joe shares his thoughts and discusses the making of his work. It’s worth listening to that man, he truly knows how to portrait people.
- DigitalRev TV is a Youtube channel of the DigitalRev company based in HingKong. The show is totally entertaining and sometimes even informative, but most of the time it should not be taken too seriuosly. These guys, especially presenter Kai, are totally nuts. One monumental episode is the camera durability test where they torture a Nikon D70 and a Canon EOS 400D to the extremes (e.g. wearing the bodies as shoes). See for yourself.
- Adorama TV is another Youtube channel which I only discovered recently. Here pro photographers show you in very well made tutorials how to set up studio lights, use a light meter, set your white balance, interact with a model, achieve this and that effect, you name it. Since it is sponsored by Adorama, a big camera store, you will have some occasional links in the video to their products, but that is part of the marketing and in fact does not disturb. The quality of the tutorials is excellent and both beginners and experienced photographers will find videos to learn.