We thought it would be helpful to put together a list of resources that photographers generally use and how they use them. This is a bit of a “living document” so expect new things to appear and old things to fall off. Do note that a lot of these links (not all) are referral links. That means that we get a commission if you buy through them (at no extra cost to you). We still think these companies and websites rock or we wouldn't mention them at all.
Image by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, on Flickr
How to Take Better Photographs
Here is a categorized list of photography websites and resources to help you take better photographs.
Photography Tutorial Websites
- Light Stalking – Yup – we like to think we have a pretty good resource right here!
- Digital Photography School – One of the biggest and best, this great resource is run by Darren Rowse. It is the standard by which all photography blogs are measured.
- The Photo Argus – A great site by Bill Jones that deals with similar tutorials to Light Stalking.
- PictureCorrect – A great tutorials site with some great writers.
- ePhotoZine – A great site from the UK that has fantastic tutorials and a friendly community.
Photography Books and eBooks
There are also some books that you might like to have in your library. These are more “reference” and never really go out of date.
- Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansell Adams – A must read for any photographer.
- Digital Photography: Expert Techniques – A great resource from O'Reilly Media.
- Photo Hacks by Light Stalking – Get the most improvement in your photography in the shortest time. 100% practical advice for new photographers.
- The Focal Encyclopaedia of Photography by Michael R Peres (Ed). – The ultimate reference book for photographers.
- Mastering Digital Photography by Michael Freeman – An excellent resource with the basics of practically every type of photography.
- On Photography by Susan Sontag – The classic theoretical background to the craft.
- Photo Nuts and Bolts by Digital Photography School – All the information you need to get to grips with the basics of photography.
- Photo Nuts and Post by Digital Photography School – The basics of post production.
- DSLRs: The Basics by Ed Verosky – Another very handy guide to using a DSLR.
- 8 Ways To Accelerate Your Photography: How To Speed Up The Learning Curve – Very handy guide by Anne McKinnell
If you like to keep up with the latest in photography techniques and fashionable styles, then magazines are a must. There are a few you should consider.
- SilverShotz – The ultimate inspiration magazine. Professionals read this one to get inspiration and you should too.
- C'T Digital Photography – Incredibly detailed technical tutorials. Our current favourite.
- Popular Photography – One of the staples of the photography world.
- American Photo – Some amazing shots and inspiration from the US.
- Black & White Magazine – The definitive magazine for shooting B&W.
- ShutterBug – Tutorials and inspiration.
- British Journal of Photography – Arguably the most respected photography journal in existence.
- Black and White – The magazine for B&W photographers.
Specializing in a Photography Niche
At some point, you're going to come to the realisation that you are simply better at a certain type of photography or would like to specialise. At that point, you might want to look at some of the following resources.
- Portraits: Making the Shot by Gina Malicia
- The Art of Self Portraits by Anna Gay
- Click! How to Take Gorgeous Photos of Your Kids by Rachel Devine
- Everything Everywhere – While this is nominally a travel blog, Gary Arndt is actually a full time travel photographer.
- Stuck in Customs – Trey Ratcliffe travels the world spreading the gospel of HDR photography. Well worth a read.
- Rabari – Encounters With the Nomadic Tribe by Mitchell Kanashkavich is published here at Light Stalking and takes you through the process of how Mitchell took these amazing travel portraits.
- Digital Masters: Travel Photography: Documenting the World's People & Places – A perfect read before you go on your next trip.
Outdoor, Landscape and Nature Photography
- Outdoor Photographer – Started as a magazine, but has an amazing website for outdoor photography too.
- Sheen's Nature Photography – Sheen Watkins who writes for Light Stalking also has a very useful site dedicated to nature photography.
- The Making of Landscape Photographs: A Practical Guide to the Art and Techniques – For many, Charlie Waite's book is “the” tome on landscape photography.
- Behind the Action by Dan Bailey – Another Light Stalking publication that takes you into the exact steps to some amazing shots with high commercial value.
- Wildflower Photography by Steve Barardi – An excellent guide to a specific shooting topic by The Photo Naturalist.
- Inner Game of Outdoor Photography Galen Rowell's book is one of the must-reads in the outdoor photography genre.
- Extreme Macro – This site by Johan Ingles-Le Nobel rocks. If you love macro (especially bugs) then you will want to see his wonderful shots and tips.
Urban and Street Photography
- Street Photographers – A cool collective of photographers.
Studio Photography and Using Artificial Light
- Strobist – David Hobby's site is the measure by which other studio lighting websites are judged.
- Smoking Strobes – A very cool resource for artificial light shooting.
- Home Studio Photography – If budget is a big concern for you, then this is the book that you want. It will teach you how to make a lot of the stuff you need for studio photography on the cheap (and how you want it).
- Trick Photography by Evan Sharbonneau – An extremely popular ebook and video course on all types of trick shots.
Getting Feedback on Your Photography
- Light Stalking Shark Tank – The only place we know of that you get actual constructive criticism. Only constructive negative feedback is allowed.
- Flickr – The photo sharing site by which all others are mentioned. Make sure you post to the forums to start getting feedback.
- 500Px – A gorgeous site to share your photographs.
Staying Up to Date
If you want to keep up with day-today happenings in the world of photography, then check out these great sites:
- Photography Blogger – A very cool site for amateurs and enthusiasts alike.
- Petapixel – Probably the biggest photography news site around at the moment.
- FStoppers – Concentrates mainly on photo news, but they also share a lot of videos about improving your photography.
Camera Gear Reviews and News
- DPReview – A great site for the gear nut.
- Nikon Rumours – What's coming up from Nikon.
- Canon Rumours – What's coming up from Canon.
Online Camera Gear Suppliers
These are the three biggest supplies at the moment online.
- Lightroom – The industry standard for photographic workflow. (You can also get the cloud version for a monthly subscription).
- Aperture – A very good Lightroom rival from Apple.
- Dark TableOpen source (free) workflow software.
- Photoshop – The industry standard for image manipulation.
- Photoshop Elements – A limited functionality version of Photoshop.
- GIMP – An open source (free) image manipulation program, similar to Photoshop.
- The Nik Collection – Great software for image manipulation. The company was bought by Google.
- PhotoMatix – The most popular HDR software for photographers.
While this is a long list, it is by no means exhaustive. If you think we have left something out – a resource or even a whole sections, then let us know in the comments and we will update the list. (Note: We will only link to quality resources that have been around longer than a few years and update regularly).
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.