Learning photography is easy these days. I’m not referring to one’s ability to comprehend the various concepts and rules that are central to good photography, but rather the ease of access to information.
Thanks to the internet, you have the option of learning about photography as you sit in front of a screen and sip coffee. Some people prefer to read their way through any given lesson/tutorial, while others prefer a more visual mechanism. For the more visually inclined, YouTube can be a veritable treasure-trove of helpful information for photographers of all skill levels.
Of course, as with anything online, YouTube can also be a mentally draining experience. You just have to know where to look to find the good stuff. With that in mind, I’d like to share three of my favorite photography focused YouTube channels. I think you will find them as valuable as I do.
Hosted by Ibarrionex Perello, The Candid Frame (also available as a podcast) revolves primarily around two of my favorite things: street photography and natural light. Ibarrionex doesn’t take the “do what I do” or “allow me to show you why I’m so good” approach that is all too common in the YouTube photography community; instead, he chooses excellent community-submitted photos to illustrate a given topic.
Yes, Ibarrionex manages to break street photography down into numerous facets and walk viewers through why each is important and how each works: “Shapes and Lines,” “Dynamic Silhouettes,” “Light Transitions,” “Moving Beyond Cliche,” and “Paying Attention” are just a few of the topics covered in The Candid Frame’s weekly updates.
The channel also features interviews and photo chats with other photographers, in addition to an occasional (thankfully) gear review and post-processing tutorial.
Ibarrionex posses a wealth of wisdom and insight and delivers it all in a voice that you’ll never grow tired of. Just one episode will have you wanting to drop what you’re doing and go shoot some street photography.
I consider Ed Verosky something of a “cyber friend” but I’m not just blowing smoke when I say he’s the one photographer who can demystify studio lighting for just about anyone in 5 minutes or less. Usually less. Just watch one of his lighting tutorials and tell me I’m wrong.
Much like Ibarrionex, Ed Verosky is easy to listen to and presents himself as a man of the people while covering all manner of photography topics (and even waxes philosophically about them at times), from portraiture to still life to boudoir. No matter what the topic, good lighting (natural or otherwise) remains the centrepiece.
You will learn something from this channel.
Plus, Ed, like me, shoots lots of medium format film with a Bronica.
Sean Tucker describes himself as being more interested in the “why” rather than the “how” of photography and his videos most certainly live up to that billing. And it’s an important endeavor, as there are countless videos out there telling you how to do something.
Sean’s videos will encourage you to think about issues revolving around creative authenticity, finding the best light, personal style, social media expectations and so much more.
Of course, things like post-processing workflow and camera gear come up, but these topics are hardly the crux of the matter for Sean. Sean is all about vision — trying to get photographers to think more clearly and more creatively about their own work. In my estimation, he is succeeding.
Obviously, there are more than these three YouTube channels that would be worth your time. The ones listed here simply represent a starting point — they are my go-to sources and they never disappoint. I also appreciate that the personal calibre of each host is such that they attract viewers of a similar character, thus decreasing the absolute ugliness of the comments section typically associated with YouTube.
Give them all a few minutes of your time. You won’t regret it.
What are some of your favorite YouTube photography channels?
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