When I first began doing photography, there weren't a lot of places to turn to for support, encouragement, inspiration and general camaraderie. I joined a photography group and went on a number of photo group outings, but on a day-to-day basis, I was pretty much on my own.
But I can happily say that that's no longer the case. The web has changed all that.
There's a whole community of photographers out there, happy to share their knowledge. There are now dozens of photography blogs, hosted by wonderfully talented people who routinely publish helpful posts—tips, techniques, how-to's—and help you to keep up with the newest gear and latest happenings in the photography world. And many of these sites also feature forums, places that you can go to share your ideas, look for inspiration and feedback and enjoy the work of others.
I myself follow a number of photography blogs, mostly on Facebook, some on Twitter and a few via RSS feed.
Whatever the medium you prefer, I highly recommend following at least a few talented photographers via their blog so that you can see what they're up to, learn from their experiences and participate and become part of the photography community.
Here are 8 of my favorites, listed in no particular order.
Digital Photography School is a big one with tons of tips, tutorials and info on the latest photography-related equipment. DPS has been around since 2006 and, in the years since, with the help of lots of guest writers, has amassed a massive amount of high-quality content. DPS also has an active forum where you can go to ask questions and interact with other photographers.
If you have been browsing around in the photography world for any time at all, you've heard the name Scott Kelby.
Mr. Kelby is probably the best-known professional photographer on the scene today. He is the author of scores of top-selling photography and photography-related books, heads up the online training sites KelbyOne, an amalgamation of what was once Kelby Training and the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals)and KelbyTV.
Mr. Kelby is a busy man!
But all that doesn't stop him from posting frequently on his blog, Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider, where he shares great tips on photography and post processing.
Petapixel is the place to go for all the latest camera-related info.
It's a great place to go for photography-related tutorials and product reviews. And, beyond that, it's just a fun read, especially if you enjoy quirky, offbeat photography news.
Joe McNally is a world-renowned American photographer and photojournalist. He is an author of several photography books, was LIFE magazine's staff photographer from 1994 to 1998, and is a 20-plus year contributor to National Geographic.
Joe McNally is probably best known for his Polaroid portrait series, "Faces of Ground Zero -- Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th". This series, which was presented as both an exhibit and a book, raised nearly $2 million for 9/11 relief organizations.
Mr. McNally's blog details his photography and his many travels. His writing style is warm, friendly and fascinating and his photos are stunning. His videos are fun too! I can't recommend it enough!
Photography Life is run by a group of top-notch photographers who all pitch in to bring you helpful articles on photography and post processing, tutorials and tips, equipment reviews and travel guides. It's a great resource for beginners and more advanced photographers alike.
This is the Photoshop Guy!
Matt is a Tampa-based outdoor photographer, the former Director of Education at KelbyOne and currently the Vice President of Photography for onOne Software. He is the author of 20-plus books, with most of them focusing on software education. And that's for good reason. Matt is a talented and passionate educator who has taught Lightroom, Photoshop and photography in seminars all over the country.
His blog is fun, educational and engaging. I especially like his many instructional videos where his explanations are always straightforward. These videos are published under several different names and organizations, so the easiest way to find them is to search on his name at Youtube.com.
Created by two wedding photographers in 2010, Fstoppers enlists a talented team of contributors—photographers and videographers—to create it's high quality educational and inspirational content. And there's lots of it. You'll find plenty of engaging reading here, from equipment reviews, tips and how-to’s, the latest news and behind-the-scenes videos. In fact, if you haven't already seen their infamous iPhone Fashion Shoot video, it's definitely worth ten minutes of your time!
In addition to all this, Fstoppers features an active and lively online community if you are looking for some interaction with other photographers and videographers.
The Phoblographer was started by Chris Gampat, a self-described former paparazzi who previously worked with some of the biggest names in Photography. He has gathered a group of talented writers/photographers who routinely create high-quality, smart, motivating and instructive content.
It's another great resource for photography–related news, reviews of the latest gear, tips, tutorials and how-to's.
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f you are just getting started in photography, exposure is one of the first things you need learn.
But even beyond that, getting a good handle on exposure and how the different components of exposure work together is essential if you want to take control of your photography and the images that you are creating.