Best Free Resources for Photographers

On every given day, Facebook reports over 300 million photos being uploaded by users worldwide. When it comes to Instagram, that number is somewhere around 95 million. While this doesn’t mean that all of these photographs are professional, it does stand to show that photography is, at least, a favorite hobby and pastime for many of us. We can all agree that this art form is among the most popular and creative ways to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

If we think about it, photography helps us enhance our experiences, while it offers a diverse form of self-expression. And we all know it also provides much popularized social media attention as well to many people who can take creative photographs from their smartphone cameras from anywhere nowadays. And with that, and in fact, probably the most important of all, photography can be learned at any point in time. As long as you have the necessary passion for it, you can expand your knowledge and expertise on the craft, no matter where you are or how old you may be. To that end, we’ve put together a list of several free resources that photographers can use to learn photography techniques, find online photography courses, or participate in a photography challenge. So whether you are looking for beginner photography classes, technical and business tips for an event photography, or find the best image editing software to improve your skills, this is the guide for you.

Photo by Genessa Panainte from StockSnap

Specific Photography Tutorials and Techniques

As most of us know, not all photography is the same. From black and white to panoramic photography, flash photography, HDR, night, macro, motion blur, and everything else in between, each of these has its own principles and techniques that you need to learn and master if you ever wish to become a professional. There are also different styles of photography such as street photography, portrait photography, landscape photography, and so on – with each area demanding unique photography skills and often specific photography equipment. Below, we will provide you with several resources for these different styles of photography.

Black & White Photography

  • Digital Black and White  – This is a photography website that features a whole host of photography articles, tools for photographers, techniques, and camera reviews on black & white photography.
  • The Top 5 Black & White Photography Tips – This is an article that provides five handy tips for improving your photography,such as how to use color filters, focus on contrast, texture, and more.
  • Black and White Photography GuideIn this guide, you’ll learn more about camera settings and filters for black and white landscapes.

Night Photography

  • The NocturnesThis is an excellent site to get night photography ideas. Founded in 1991 by Tim Baskerville in San Francisco, the Nocturnes is an organization dedicated to night photography. Not only will it act as a great source of information on the topic, but it will also help you come in contact with other night photographers around the world.
  • Learn Night PhotographyThis is an excellent introduction to night photography, offering a quick guide on exposure time on common night subjects.

Macro Photography

Panoramic Photography

  • Panoramic Photography Tutorial – A comprehensive tutorial for panoramic subject focused beginners. This tutorial provides great tips to improve your skills with panoramic photography such as depth of field.
  • 15 Impressive Panoramic Images And Tutorials on How to Create Them Yourself – With the popularity of digital cameras now, creating panoramic images is exponentially easier than it was during the film era. To get started with panoramic photography, these tutorials will provide you with everything you’ll need to get going.
Photo by Markus Spiske from StockSnap

High-Speed Photography

Motion Blur Photography

Smoke Art Photography

Infrared Photography

  • Infrared photographyA large website containing several useful links that contain a full list of IR filters and digital cameras used in infrared photography.
  • Beyond VisibleThis website offers a lot of information on infrared adaptors for flashlights. There’s also a collection of links used on invisible light photography.

HDR

RAW Processing Photography

Sometimes known as digital negatives, RAW image files contain minimally processed data. But unlike their negative counterparts, these files will require a greater deal of processing.

Photo by shahram jahansooz from StockSnap

Other General Photography Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Techniques

  • Architecture Photography, a Beginners’ Guide -This is a guide that offers some great tips on how to photograph stationary objects and large buildings.
  • DIY Lighting Hacks for Digital Photography – How to provide great lighting for your photos without spending “an arm and a leg.” This is an excellent resource for lightroom presets and lightroom tips.
  • 9 Top Photography Composition Rules You Need To KnowNine essential rules that every aspiring photographer needs to know.
  • The International Center of Photography – This is a world-leading institution dedicated to visual culture and photography. Their resource directory provides an immense source of information, education, community outreach, public programs, and more.
  • The Ethical Design HandbookEven though it’s not free, this handbook informs you about all the ethical and legal issues surrounding digital media.
  • ARTDEX – Afree cloud-based website and mobile app that not only allows you to manage your photography portfolio but also as a professional network that helps you come in contact with other artists, peer photographers, and collectors, sharing ideas and digital collections. The blog section also offers various other useful tips for artists, such as how to write the perfect artist statement.

Useful Websites for Photographers

  • Digital Camera World – A site that provides photography blogs on tips and tutorials for things like photo editing and photo overlay. This site also has reviews on products for photographers, and daily news regarding photography.
  • Cambridge in Colour – An online learning community for photographers.
  • British Journal of Photography – In existence since 1854, the journal (now, also in digital photography forum) provides a fresh perspective as well as an additional way of getting recognized by the community.
  • 500px – A great online photography community to gain inspiration and exposure, connect with like-minded photographers, and have access to millions of photos.
  • Photography Life – A great source of news, photography articles, how-to guides, tutorials, and reviews. Gain insight into the world of photography business.
  • The Spruce: Photography – A true repository and advice center for everything photography related.
  • Fstoppers – A huge photography resource that offers news, tutorials, opinion pieces, and the opportunity to submit shots for feedback.
  • Camera Jabber – Is also a great place to find how-to materials, news, reviews, tips, and everything else in between.
  • DIY Photography – Written by photographers for photographers, this site is tutorial heavy, offering hundreds of how-to tutorials on everything from how to edit photos with image editing software to achieving depth of field to photography techniques.
  • Eye Stocker – A YouTube channel with plenty of photo and video and Photoshop tips and tutorials, gear reviews and more.
Photo by Burst from StockSnap

Takeaway

Whether you take family portraits, focus on fine art photography, or part of a team of wedding photographers, being a professional photographer can be an extremely rewarding and lucrative business. However, it also has its own downsides. Like most other artists, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time on your own. Between waiting for the perfect moment to take your shot and editing every single photo, countless hours can go by. Particularly in the beginning, it can also be a scary experience, filled with uncertainty and a lot of unpaid work.

Nevertheless, the long-term benefits will almost always surpass the negative elements of being a photographer. This is a medium that not only allows you to be creative and live in the moment, but it’s also one where you can truly express yourself, tell a story, and capture memories that will last forever.

It’s also an artistic medium that can change the way you see things. With some time and experience behind the camera, you will start noticing lights, shapes, textures, colors, people, architecture, and all the nature around you from a different perspective. In other words, you will start seeing the world through the lens of a photographer. This is something that most everyday people don’t have the luxury of experiencing in their lives. After all, it’s the small details that really bring out the beauty in everything, but most people don’t have the time, patience, or possibility to notice.

As long as you dedicate yourself to your craft, continue to learn, and love what you’re doing, photography can be one of the best jobs in the world.

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