Recommended photography learning sites/books

roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member
edited January 2014 in General Discussions

Hey Nikon Rumors friends, would you share your recommendations for photography sites/books/videos from which to learn? I am always looking to improve my technique, both technical and artistic. Other than here, where do you go for learning? For inspiration?

Please share, we would all benefit! Thank you and happy new year!
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Comments

  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 464Member
    edited January 2014
    Disclaimer: I'm a complete noob.

    A friend who photographs weddings for a living recommended "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It seems like a good book to me.
    Before that, I picked up a copy of "Digital Photography for Dummies."

    I spend too much time on line, looking up specific questions about what I want to do on a particular day. I should consider shooting more, and being in front of a computer less.

    :)
    Post edited by HipShot on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,027Moderator

    I spend too much time on line, looking up specific questions about what I want to do on a particular day. I should consider shooting more, and being in front of a computer less.
    :)
    Amen man, amen. There's a New Years resolution in there for most of us!
    Always learning.
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    I agree, I want to get my gear out, but I want to keep learning as well, both from reading and from trial-and-error. Plus I want to expand my expertise and inspirations, rather than keeping doing the same old things.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,027Moderator
    Seriously? Join a club and go out with other photographers. Team up with people who shoot the same make of cameras you do. You will all learn and push/pull each other.
    Always learning.
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    You shall Youtube your particular gear... Is a great beginning.

    It will be difficult not to find, what you presently are using, if you type it in correctly, spelling counts...

    Forum's that allow signatures, Asking questions of those items you use, from others who also share those items in your camera bag's.

    City Walk Around Photo Shoots, is another wonderful place to meet fellow and lady photographers from your particular area. Where you can share techniques and get great ideas and learn from others.

    Many community colleges have photography courses geared towards beginning-amateur photographers.

    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    This forum is the best learning site I have came across.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,535Member
    Check out Tuner Photography at http://www.tunerphotography.com/

    Winston used to teach many of the Nikonian Classes as well as his own workshops, and he does one-on-one teaching. A few months ago he stopped teaching for Nikonian and besides his normal workshop, he is developing training videos and sells them on his web site. His newsletter is excellent.

    Finally, do read your Nikon manual. They are significantly better than 10 years ago.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I am reading Adobe Photoshop Lightroom


    Finally, do read your Nikon manual. They are significantly better than 10 years ago.
    When I bought my Coolpix A and D800, I read each manual cover to cover before doing trying any serious photography. It was hard to do that since I wanted to try my new toys, but I think it paid off in a big way. I would recommend anybody to do the same.
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    edited January 2014
    There are some very helpful entries, that I enjoyed reading at Digital Photography Tips

    Hope you find all the info you can retain, and then make some notes... Bookmarks!!

    For terminology of photography see the Nikon Glossary from Nikon USA.
    Post edited by ChasCS on
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    There many places to learn, but one helpful technique is to look at other's images and try to figure out how they are done. Community colleges offer courses as we'll. and of course, my guess is anyone who posts on PAD would be more than happy to share their thoughts about how they go about producing the final image.

    If one sees an image and attempts to duplicate it, this is also a good learning exercise.

    Many manufacturers have tutorials for their products.
    Msmoto, mod
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    YES,! That's something I use, but had totally forgotten about (momentarily) that can be a great teaching tool.
    If you are using a newer Nikon Camera, check out the Nikon Digitutor
    Which is another great way to learn about your particular model...
    Or to get familiar with a camera model you may like to purchase.
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 722Member
    edited January 2014
    I had typed up a post here earlier and missed the Post Comment button. It contained reference to the Community College courses offered at night for even for what are called "Non Traditional" students. Both my wife and myself were non traditional students when we got around to photography courses. Both B&W in the dark room followed by the digital darkroom. We had a professional photographer as an adjunct so we gained a lot more knowledge from him than was in the text books. Also you learn a lot from fellow students as well. I still have vivid memories of photos classmates took that were inspiring and at critic night it was most interesting to hear how they captured the images that they did. Taking classes in digital darkroom gives you not only image capture but post processing help too. Some colleges do require a semester of B&W darkroom film work before digital. That is the semester where all the fundamentals of photography are taught. One other source that contains a wealth of information about lenses and how they function was written and most likely still available at Amazon is a easy reading paper back by Ansel Adams. Simply titled "The Camera". Last one I bought for a friend was around $12. Lens types and functions are the same on a D800 that they were on his 8x10 Deardorff.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ansel-Adams-Camera-Photography/dp/0821221841/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388649485&sr=1-1&keywords=the+camera+ansel+adams
    Post edited by FreezeAction on
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 613Member
    I usually give a year's subscription to Lynda.com when I sell a system that includes a DSLR. I enjoy it and it gets raves from my clients.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    There are some really good tips on this website. It is tripod oriented, but there are good tips on technique etc.

    http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/s.nl/category.-127/it.C/.f
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Nikon has an iOS app that might be useful. Sometimes I browse flickr and look at technique and exif data to learn or get an idea of how the photo was done. Thats just a random thing I do.

    I tought myself reading magazines, looking online for tutorials. However, this site has some great info that is not found in the tutorials or magazines.

    Stick around and browse some old topics here or new and you will learn something new and even technical one example I wasnt aware of Nikondigitutor but now i am.

    I have not picked up a book but there are several blogs that are dedidcated to flash such as strobist.com and nielvn.com/tangents

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi,

    There are many books about photography, photographers, composition and light and process, and post process. You'll find that you might never end trying to find your answer to your quest or questions.

    If you have access to a good library, I'd start there. While you'll want some books in your personal library, many books can be borrowed for your basis for a foundation.

    Ansel's The Camera , is a good start.

    A complete series of books from Time-Life from the 1970s-80s published under the The Great Themes (Life Library of Photography) . There are seventeen books in all, with titles like The Studio, The Camera, Color: Life Library Of Photography, Documentary Photography: Life Library Of Photography, The Art of Photography: Life Library of Photography, Photojournalism, and so on. They are heavily illustrated and are an easy read and every photographer who wants to be a better photographer will benefit by the short time it will take to read them, and I'm guessing they are available in most libraries.

    On light - Joe McNally's books are great (get over the fact that he's sort of selling Nikon flashes ;-) ). The fundamentals of flash in Nikon lighting are terrific. I've looked for some of the books that I have used over time, but can not find them anywhere. It's a pity. What's to know is terribly important and not that obvious; light lies, and lies when it's most inopportune. Remember that.

    You'll need post processing software. Adobe makes three: Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, and Photoshop CC. Most duffers use Photoshop Elements. Most casual pros use Lightroom. Magazine professionals and those who work across multiple media will need the humph of Photoshop CC. There are many ways to get up to speed for what you do depending on what you want to do and how well you want to do it. Elements can be a few lessons on the Internet's YouTube. Lightroom can be a few classes with Lynda. Photoshop CC, for a complete beginner will be a bust without some sort of classroom experience. I Photoshop CC to DINFOS (Defense Information School) trained media specialists who already have advanced skill sets - it's hard. A local class could save a lot of time in the software.

    There's other software, too, that is very good. Corel's Paint Shop Pro is cheaper and does almost as much and some things better.

    The point is, you'll spend some time just figuring out how to post process just like I had to learn the darkroom, and that's time well spent.

    Finally, and equally if not more importantly, you might very well want to seek a mentor or two or three or more. Chatting with other photographers about how they did it will have a great benefit to you. One of my pictures that I've seen published in a US military journal from Vietnam is a guy running from a helicopter that is often captioned as a guy going to attack (it's an error - we were turned away because the helicopter was too full). I took the picture with the camera over my back, and the picture is blurry, but it gets a bit of the chaos of combat. I didn't focus, frame, anything. The caption's wrong, and it is credited as a Navy photo - Navy gets all the credit. ;-)

    Doesn't matter. I was trying to get the camera out of my way while I was running. :-)

    Many good shots are like that. All the preparation in the world can't beat luck, and I'd rather be lucky than good.

    But preparation can't hurt.

    My best,

    Mike
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,535Member


    Finally, do read your Nikon manual. They are significantly better than 10 years ago.
    When I bought my Coolpix A and D800, I read each manual cover to cover before doing trying any serious photography. It was hard to do that since I wanted to try my new toys, but I think it paid off in a big way. I would recommend anybody to do the same.

    I agree. I read my D300 manual cover to cover in the first 2 months I had the camera. Not finished with my D7100 manual....got to get back on it now that the New Year is here.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    Thanks all for the suggestions, they are very helpful.

    I think I must not have stated my request very well, I'm sorry. I am looking more for inspiration than for how to use the functions of my camera. (Even though how to use the camera is a big part of it.) I want to put those functions to good use! For instance, I am interested in trying to learn a bit about strobist photography. I hadn't really used flashes at all, but I stumbled on the technique and the look of the images produced and I am interested.

    This site = http://www.iphotocourse.com/ might be more along the lines of what I am looking for, perhaps. The site that ChaseCS mentioned = http://digital-photography-school.com/tips is a good lead too.

    Basically I am looking for sites that could inspire me and show me how to do new aspects of photography. Am I making any sense at all?
  • NoXiNNoXiN Posts: 103Member
    I'll second Joe McNally's books. I'm reading and rereading Hot Shoe Diaries and get tons of ideas from it. I always learn best by trying and he gives me good places to start.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,265Member
    Neil vanNiekirk has a lot of interesting stuff on flash use and other camera technique.
    http://neilvn.com/tangents/

    (scroll down a bit to the article index on the right side of the page)

    Mansurov has some nice articles too for learners
    http://photographylife.com/
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    edited January 2014

    Thanks all for the suggestions, they are very helpful.

    I think I must not have stated my request very well, I'm sorry. I am looking more for inspiration than for how to use the functions of my camera. (Even though how to use the camera is a big part of it.) I want to put those functions to good use! For instance, I am interested in trying to learn a bit about strobist photography. I hadn't really used flashes at all, but I stumbled on the technique and the look of the images produced and I am interested.

    This site = http://www.iphotocourse.com/ might be more along the lines of what I am looking for, perhaps. The site that ChasCS mentioned = http://digital-photography-school.com/tips is a good lead too.

    Basically I am looking for sites that could inspire me and show me how to do new aspects of photography. Am I making any sense at all?

    Hi roombarobot,
    You are most welcome, I'm happy to be of some assistance, & hope this gets you on the right path to discovering those lessons you desire most.
    But,
    After all the lengthy and helpful posts to this thread, then you say you are looking for something more specific?
    Ok, now that we know what you are actually interested in learning, makes the help, easier to direct you to, too.

    Just so you know "Nikon Doesn't Sell Talent" So you'll have to develop those skills on your own, through practice, trial-error and lots of patience.
    The picture's tell the story. ;-)

    Ok, here you go Flashes speedlights strobes lighting
    Here's another great tutorial site

    Enjoy!!
    Post edited by ChasCS on
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • roombarobotroombarobot Posts: 201Member

    What I am looking for is a couple of good sites that I can go to regularly that will give me ideas of things to try, inspiration for projects, techniques I didn't know about that I can practice and learn. I am looking for something, but not something specifically about strobist or one thing in particular. I am sorry if I am not being clear, but I thought a thread with good resources would be useful to many Nikon Rumors members.

    I want to get out and shoot more and continue learning, but I don't have many friends that are into photography and it is tough to generate new project ideas or techniques I need to develop in a vacuum. I am having a bit of trouble making my request understandable, but I am trying. So a handful of sites that I can check regularly would keep me inspired and learning.

    As I look, perhaps this site might be of use:
    http://www.thephoblographer.com/
    Although it is hard to browse, Adorama's Learning Center might be good if one knows what they want to do:
    http://www.adorama.com/alc/
    Dissent is right too, I go to http://photographylife.com/ regularly as well as http://mattgranger.com/ I even like watching Kai and the DigitalRev videos. I am looking to add more options to this list.

    Thank you all!



  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I think that this thread is a great idea and could become a valuable resource if expanded. I think that there are many great potential books out there. I have about 500 in PDF format and you guys have given me insight on what to read first.
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    To all to the already growing list of great references

    Cambridgeincolour.com

    The Strobist has a nice blog for flash photography.

    I enjoyed reading the Scott Kelby books.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited January 2014
    in one of the links provided i found an app called Strobox for ios. It is for lighting setup diagrams. I will add this to my notes and see what works with what and such so that I can setup my "studio" more effeciently everytime instead of memorizing everything.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
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