Photographers’ resources- part 1 – Beginners

Four years ago, I did not know what aperture is nor what HDR means. I was taking unbelievable amount of out-of-focus snapshots and admired the work of Tomasz Gudzowaty. Have you seen his World Press Photo winning image from 1998, by the way?
Back to the point. I thought if I have a real camera, a Nikon camera (must have seen some ads in a magazine), I will be taking better photos. That is what all amateurs think, right? But then- a friend of ours gave me and my husband a Nikon D40 as a Christmas present. And I just had to keep to my words.
It was my husband who pointed me to the Internet as a great source of free resources to learn. This was already the time when static pages were giving the place to blogs, so instead of reading through subpages of some all-inclusive web site, I was setting up RSS feeds in a reader for my favorites and get the content delivered. OK, it was hardly a systematic course, but I was reading something new and learning something new every day. I started from just one blog, and whenever there was a link or reference to another source, I would go and check it out. My list was getting longer and longer, so from time to me I would prune and leave just what interested me in the moments the most. It all payed of in longer time.

Today, I want to share the list of great resources that are available to photographers starting their photographic journey. There are blogs and there are podcasts, delivering great content in a periodical manner (podcasts usually less often then blogs :)). Some of them were not even around when I started almost 4 years ago. For example, since then Twitter and Facebook become popular, and 140 characters of Tweets are great for get-to-the-point tips. That is why I include Twitter links to my favorites list.

1. Digital Photography School – great all-inclusive web page, with photography tips and gear reviews, and worth-taking part weekly photographic challenges which keep you motivated and creative. Check their forums section, too. You can also follow their updates on Twitter.

2. Photofocus – short photography tips and long gear reviews, posted every day, and accompanied with great, professional images by Scott Bourne, leading author on the blog. Many guest posts, expanding the shared knowledge to every corner of photography. You can also follow Scott Bourne or Photofocus on Twitter for additional resources and tips.

3. The Digital Photo Experience – similar in form to Photofocus, posting less often, but also with great tips and guest posts. They also are present on Twitter.

4. Epic Edits -tips, books reviews, single subject photo aggregates. You can also participate in their Flickr group. You can also follow Epic Edits updates of Twitter.

1. Photofocus – released three times a month, the podcast is build around answering listeners questions. You can send your questions to them, and hope they will get answered some day, or just learn from other’s questions. Very often the podcast has a guest, answering questions with the host, Scott Bourne, so you can get different perspective on the issues.

2. Digital Photo Experience podcast and videocast – great tips, often recorded on location and in a company of guests.

3. 7 photography questions – unfortunately not updated anymore, but you can still listen to archived shows. The well-know and popular photographers answer same 7 questions, but as they are coming from different photography types, their provide unique view and great tips and advice. The show also presents some of their favorite photographs (available on the show web page), with photographers describing how and why the image was taken.

1. CreativeLIVE – the only (I know of of) free photography classes and weekend events. The secret? You can watch it on free only when the show is live, so you can keep track of the calendar of shows. But you can buy the archived recordings and watch it any time. Some past worth checking out courses are 10 weeks Fundamentals of Digital Photography with John Greengo (I hope they wil air it again sometime) and weekend with David DuChemin or Jasmine Star.

Any of readers has any other suggestions? Share them in the comments section! And most importantly, don’t just read and listen, but practice a lot. If you don’t, all the theoretical knowledge will have no use.

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