Hi there, fellow light writers! I get quite a few requests for where to look for good information on gear or improving one’s photography skills, and so I will share some of my favorite online and in-person resources for deepening your knowledge here. These are both for the art and craft of photography as well as the gear and gadgetry.
Gear and Gadgetry
- B&H Photo–the Mecca of all things photo and video, with a ginormous super store, great return policy and fantastic prices.
- Canon Rumors–for staying up on the latest gossip about upcoming canon gear–and for you other gear heads, check out Leica rumors and Nikon rumors.
- DP Review–for reviews and gear talk, this site is definitely one of the most popular. It includes many sample images from new camera bodies and lenses as they are made available.
- Ken Rockwell–is a professional photographer/product reviewer and blogger who does lots of product reviews and demos. The site is aesthetically challenged, but I find his perspective and opinion well informed and grounded in real world experience.
- Photo Jojo–is a fun boutique site that offers tons of accessories for iPhones, Droids, GoPros and even some DSLrs–it has some fun and quirky products for your camera and photography lover.
There are a whole slew of online trainings for improving your photography, ranging from basic beginning topics to really advanced specialized master classes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Creative Live–-amazing online video training library for creative professionals in multiple fields, covering photography, business, work/life balance, creativity and just generally useful information for all creative solopreneurs, not just photographers. Super reasonable prices and once you purchase a training you can download it and watch it at your leisure.
- Kelby One–created by Scott Kelby, this video training library is focused more specifically on photographers and has in-depth training in Photoshop, Lightroom, lighting and technical tips and tricks for landscape, portrait, and wedding photographers. It is an annual or monthly subscription and is cheaper than creative live.
- Lynda–lynda.com is a little better-known for video and computer based training for popular software programs and also hardware gadgets, but they have an extensive and very impressive array of photography training and tutorials, as well as some mini-documentary/day in the life kinds of content with great photographers like Douglas Kirkland.
- See University–repository of online resources and videos and sheets created by commercial photographer Jeremy Cowart. A more expensive option than the other two, but it is Jeremy’s life work online and can save you tens of thousands of dollars of trial and error. Registration is currently closed but once it opens again it will be well worth a look.
In Person Workshops and Trainings
Most of my training has been through workshops and trial and error in the field. These are a few of the places that offer very high caliber, reputable workshops with master teaches and generally small class sizes and student/teacher ratios. The festivals also offer portfolio reviews and exposure to vendors and all the other paraphanelia that goes with having a vendor village.
- Anderson Ranch Arts Center–I’m not just including this because I was their Marketing Director! Anderson Ranch is an amazing place to be in the summer when the wildflowers are all in bloom in Aspen and the cafe is open and the slide talks are going..it is like being in a creative hive of enthusiasm and great energy. Digital media and photography is just one of six different artistic disciplines taught here so you will get to hang out with ceramists, woodworkers, painters, printmakers and sculptors. Classes are super small and casual and folksy. I was able to work shoulder to shoulder with Greg Gorman in the lab and on a shoot, which was definitely an eye-opener. There is also a competitive ten week residency program in the winter and spring.
- Maine Media Workshops–on the east coast, the Maine Media workshops are the place to up level your visual arts game. They offer photography, film, multimedia, writing, book arts and design curriculum as well as in-depth work-study residencies and MFAs.
- Palm Springs Photo Festival–this six day festival is offered every year in Palm Springs and includes a variety of very intimate and focused optional workshops with world-class photographers like Frank Ockenfels, Mark Seliger, and Gregory Heisler, as well as access to demo and rental gear which is always nice.
- Santa Fe Workshops—some of the most well-known and highly regarded photography workshops and teachers from all disciplines are available year-round at this visual arts community outside of Santa Fe New Mexico. The Santa Fe Workshop also sponsors/provides cultural photography trips both domestically and internationally, to places like Cuba and San Miguel de Allende.
Just for Fun
I really enjoy the video vignettes of the photographers at camerabag.tv. It seems like they are no longer producing new content but I hope that changes as the current content is really captivating.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but these are some of my favorites. Hope it was helpful!