Photography, like most arts, is something you can master in concept, but never stop learning, evolving and pushing the limits. If you are just starting out, learning the basics and understanding the principles of photography are important, but as you become more proficient in the craft, you shouldn't stop. As a seasoned shooter, the day you stop learning is the day you fall behind the pack, and when you stop taking the best possible photos you can. If you're a professional shooter, learning the newest trends, techniques and equipment is essential so in turn, you can offer the very best product to your customers.
The web has opened up an amazing resource of knowledge and knowledgeable people who are willing to share for free what they've learned through years of practice, trial and error. Here are seven websites for free photography lessons sure to fill you with the knowledge and information you crave.
Digital Photography School. DPS covers the three main focal points of photographers, shooting tutorials, camera & equipment and post production. Each section offers several updates per week from novice to advanced levels with plenty of sample photographs and great explanations. They also offer an in-depth newsletter the features bonus tips and tricks not always on the website.
Strobist. The Strobist blog and Flickr Group showcase some of the most amazing photographs that feature small, portable flashes. In studio or on location, people, products, objects, interior architectural lighting or even pets, if it needs to be lit by an off camera flash, Strobist will tell you how to not only accomplish the task, but do it on a budget.
Photo.net. If there was a grandfather to photography knowledge websites, Photo.net would be it. To this day I suggest their Making Photographs article to people who ask me how to get started in photography and understand their gear. Because of the time they have been online, the site has amassed a huge collection of articles and hundreds of thousands of postings to their forum, making it a one-stop place for all things photography.
Digital Photography Review. DP Review is a great resource for finding unbiased, factual information on the newest camera gear available. Within there site is a no-nonsense learn section that clearly breaks down functions and purposes of gear and how to use it. The forums on DP Review are also a wealth of knowledge.
PhotographyCourse.net. Bringing you all the secrets of the pros, by professional photographers, for free, PhotographyCourse.net has lessons for photographers of all skill levels in an easy to navigate website. In addition to shooting, they also feature extensive articles on digital post processing.
1MillionDollarPhoto.com. While the name is somewhat misleading and the actual layout of the site isn't entirely user friendly, the content within the pages are worth their wait in gold. You may need to dig a bit deeper to get to the content you want, but it's all here, written well and very informative.
School of Photography. This for fee site offers some great courses, however they do have a rather intensive list of free tips, tricks and lessons available. It's nice to see that a site who charges for so many online courses still maintains an intensive list of free lessons for anyone to learn from.
Never stop learning, when your craving for knowledge slows down or stops, your photography will surely suffer. Inspiration, information and know-how are essential tools that you can never have enough of with photography and hopefully these 7 websites will provide you with some more lessons and concepts to keep moving your photography forward.
What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast
It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.