Free Photography Education

Not so Free

Updated: 5/16/2013

A difference a year and almost a half make. I found out some of the information I posted previously is out of date.

For those of you that have stepped up from point-in-shoot cameras to a DSLR or those who just want to have a better understanding of photography, I’ve put together a list of resources you can reference when you’re ready to go beyond the camera manual.

Podcasts

iTunes has both audio & video podcasts that are free to download. When you’re in iTunes go to the Podcast page and type in a search for photography and see what you find. I’ve listed some of the podcasts I subscribed to with links to their original websites in case you don’t want to go through iTunes.

  • Photography Tips & Tricks- Is a video podcast produced by Kelby Media. They cover camera tips & techniques for all skill levels
  • Digital Photo Experience Is an audio podcast hosted by Rick Sammon and Juan Pons. Rick “specializes in not specializing” and Juan is a wildlife photographer/videographer. Their podcast is a combination of answering listener submitted questions and interviews with industry leading photography experts
  • Photofocus Is an audio podcast, founded by Scott Bourne but currently hosted by Rich Harrington. Scott is a frequent co-host and regular contributor to the Photofocus blog. Between them they discuss what is happening in the world of  both still and video photography
  • This Week in Photo  Is an audio podcast hosted by Fredrick Van Johnson and various co-hosts. They talk about photography topics in the news

Blogs

There are all kinds of photography blogs. Some are educational, some are self-promotional, some are somewhere in between, some cover general photography and some are very specific, wedding, portrait, etc.

Once you find a blog you want to continue to read, you have a couple of options. You can add the blog website url to your bookmarks, but then it’s on you to remember to go back and see if they’ve posted anything new.

Some sites (like mine) will allow you to subscribe by email to be notified when something new is posted.

Most sites will allow you to subscribe to an RSS feed, usually by clicking on a icon that brings up a dialog box. On my website, it’s the icon at the top next to “Follow Me”. The dialog box will ask what you want to use as a reader. I was using Google Reader, but Google has announced they will discontinue it  July 1, 2013 so I switched to Feedly.  To use Feedly you will need to install an app in your web browser that will allow you to read or subscribe to new content. Using a web based reader doesn’t clutter my e-mail or store anything on my local machine. I can then go to Feedly and see if anything new has been posted using either my desktop or iPad.

So now for some options

  • Alltop-Top Photography Blogs - Lists the top rated photograph blogs on the web. Look through and see what looks interesting
  • Photofocus – I mentioned Photofocus in the podcast section. Scott Bourne, a professional photographer most recently involved with Bird and Car Racing photography, posts 7 days a week. He recently posted an article on “10 of the Things a Beginning Photographer Should Know About Photography” that is worth a read. Rich Harrington who recently took over the main hosting duties for the podcast also contributes to the blog. Rich is a little more focused on the video side although he covers regular photography as well.
  • Moose Peterson – Moose is a professional wildlife, landscape & aviation photographer with a personality to match his name. :) I like his practical approach to photography and his amazing photographs
  • Digital Photography School  While they cover all aspects of photography, here’s a link to Beginner Tips & Tricks. This is a good source if you are looking for specific instructions on how to do something like How to Shoot Fireworks.
  • Earth Shots - This is a photo of the day site to provide some visual inspiration. Most of their shots are based in nature
  • 500px – Is a photo sharing site that tends to have very good photography. Check out the Popular or Editor’s Choice pages and be prepared to inspired or totally blown away :)
  • Rick Sammon Photography -Rick, of the Digital Photography Experience Podcast, is probably the most enthusiastic photography educator you can find.
  • Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider Scott Kelby is founder of Kelby Media Group, which focuses on Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography education. His blog covers his personal photography pursuits as well as what is going on at Kelby Training and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
  • Peter West Carey who is a contributor to the Digital Photography School has developed a program found on his blog called “31+ Days to Better Photography” and “31 Days of Photography Experiments”. The two work together in that he explains certain concepts then gives you an “experiment” or homework to do. I really like this approach as I believe you learn more by doing. I’ve started with Day 1, so I’ve got another 30 days to work on ;)

Live Internet Shows

  • Creative Live – Creative Live is free as long as you can watch it live (or the re-watch that plays directly after) otherwise you’ll need to pay to watch it online or download. They typically provide 3 day classes on different subjects.
  • The Grid – Is a actually a live talk show hosted by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski of Kelby Media. If you can watch it live, you can send in questions or try and win one of their prizes. If you can’t watch it live you can catch the free video podcast released the following day. I especially like their Blind Critiques shows where they review photographs sent in by viewers. You can learn from hearing what they like or don’t like about the photographs.

Whether you check out any of these options or not, the best way to learn is to go out and shoot.

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