You don’t have to go to school to be a photographer, but you do have to educate yourself. This involves more than just going out and shooting. If you go on one hundred shoots and don’t learn anything, then you’re just running in circles. So in this post, I hope to share with you the sources I turn to for education and inspiration. When I wrote about my top blogs to follow, I was hoping you would find some blogs to follow yourself. So in this post I’m sharing the main sources I turn to to learn about photography.
1.) Scott Kelby. If you’ve never heard of him, Scott Kelby is the president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and a best selling author of photoshop and photography books. He tours the country giving photoshop seminars and publishes a blog which I follow every single day. He also heads up KelbyTV; the central location for episodes of Photoshop User TV, D-Town TV and more…and it’s all FREE. D-Town TV just launched it’s third season. I highly recommend going back to watch the first two. The first season was Nikon-centric, but the principles and tips are universal. The weekly online show talks about gear, how to use it and great tips.
But wait, there’s more. KelbyTraining.com is where I learned photoshop. It’s a subscription service; $24.99 per month or $199 per year. The first three lessons of each course are free. If you look at the list of courses, not only is it comprehensive, but they are taught by the best known names in their fields.
I mentioned Kelby is a best-selling author; for photography check out his Digital Photography books. There are three volumes. It’s great for beginners, but even more experienced shooters can pick up some helpful time-saving tips.
2.) David Hobby. He is better known for his blog Strobist.com. If you want to learn about off-camera flash, this is the place to go. Start with Lighting 101; watch the 8-minute video and continue reading the series.
3.) Joe McNally. When it comes to using off-camera flash, Joe is a master. He’s shot for Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. Whether it’s one flash or four, his approach is simple, but the results are amazing. Joe’s coming to Orlando this weekend and I am psyched to see him in person. Joe is also a good writer and his blog is always insightful and entertaining.
His first book, “The Moment it Clicks,” is more inspirational than educational. His second book, “The Hot Shoe Diaries,” is more educational, though Nikon-centric. I liked how the chapters were divided up by how many flashes he uses. So Chapter 2 shows you what you can do with just one flash. Chapter 3 progresses with two or more flashes etc.
Those are my top three heavy-hitters. But I consume photography information everyday; from blogs, articles and even twitter links. Go back and check out my top blogs on AllTop. I scan those everyday the way someone would scan a newspaper. If routinely read at least 10 articles from those blogs, provided there is new content.
This is a list, for example, of the articles on one site I visit: Virtual Photography Studio. As you can see, the articles about building a photography business are extensive…and that’s just one site!
If you’re interested in wedding photography, check out David Ziser’s Digital Pro Talk blog. David is a renowned wedding photographer and his blog features techniques and business tips.
The Still Image with Crash Taylor is an awesome site for inspiration. It features one or two photographs from a photographer who explains what equipment they used, the creative process and post processing.
I subscribe via email to the Digital Photography School. It is packed with quick-read articles on photography, gear and post-processing.
I’m sure I’m leaving something out, so I’ll be sure to update this post as I come across other useful resources.