50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Photography Skills

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Photography is a wonderful hobby enjoyed by lots of people all over the world. It’s a very enjoyable passtime, but also a very technical one. There’s a bewildering range of cameras, lenses and accessories, and photographers also have to get to grips with computers and image editing software packages. It can get very confusing, especially for newcomers to the hobby, and there always seems to be something to new to learn, even for experienced photographers.

With this in mind we’ve put together a list of over 50 free resources that will be useful to anyone involved in photography. We’ve compiled a list of the best and most comprehensive websites that will help you get the most out of your photography equipment. You’ll find a gold mine of articles on equipment and technique, plus advice from some of the most active and well-known professional photographers practising today.

We’ve divided these websites into categories for easy reference, but please bear in mind that many of these websites deal with more than topic. Many talk about both photography techniques and camera equipment, for example. We’ve categorised them according to how we think you will find them most useful. The resources section at the bottom of the article has links to more articles about photography websites, so check them out.

Beginner’s Zone

These websites are an excellent place to start for beginners. They have content for more advanced users too.

Digital Photography School1
Very comprehensive photography resource. Lots of inspirational and informative articles.

Free Photography Resource2

Photodoto3
Click on the Photography 101 link for an excellent set of articles for beginners.

Free Photography Resource4

About.com: Photography5
Photography articles and techniques from the team at About.com.

Inspiration

The EOScars6
More and more digital SLRs are coming with a movie recording mode. The highest spec models rival the quality of high end movie recording equipment and have been used to shoot music videos and movie trailers. The EOScars compiles the best movies recorded with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Free Photography Resource7

Photography Now8
Portfolios from past masters and contemporary greats.

Free Photography Resource9

World Press Photo10
Anyone interested in photojournalism needs to check out this website. You can look at the winning images from the annual World Press Photo Contest and read interviews with professional photojournalists.

Free Photography Resource11

National Geographic Photography12
Beautiful showcases of inspirational photography plus tips and advice from National Geographic photojournalists.

Exposure Compensation13
Focusing on the work of inspirational photographers from around the world.

Technical Stuff

Cambridge in Colour14
A series of very technical tutorials about aspects of digital photography such as camera sensors, histograms, colour management and autofocus.

Luminous Landscape15
Another website with a comprehensive series of technical articles. One of the oldest and most prestigious photography websites around.

Depth of Field Master16
Depth of field is commonly misunderstood. This website explains depth of field very well. You can also print out depth of field tables for your lenses – a must for landscape and architecture photographers.

Free Photography Resource17

Ken Rockwell18
Straightforward technical advice from a pro photographer.

Canon Professional Network19
Lots of technical advice for Canon users and inspiration from Canon’s Ambassadors – pro photographers using Canon equipment.

Free Photography Resource20

Canon Digital Learning Centre21
More technical advice and tutorials for Canon users.

Nikon Digitutor22
Camera specific tutorials for Nikon users.

Pentax User Magazine23
The website of Pentax User Magazine, brought to you by the publishes of ePhotozine24 (another great photography resource), lots of useful info for Pentax camera owners.

Photo Notes25
Technical articles. Some excellent summaries of camera specs – click the Lookup link to see them.

Photography Equipment

It’s stating the obvious but photography is impossible without the basic equipment of a camera or camera body and lens. There are hundreds of pieces of equipment and many brands to choose from. These websites will help you make sense of the choices.

Digital Photography Review26
Comprehensive reviews on just about every new piece of digital photography equipment released over the last few years. The first stop for anyone interested in purchasing new gear or understanding more about the features of what they already own.

Radiant Lite27
Lots of equipment reviews.

Photography and Photoshop Technique

Photo Answers28
The official website of UK photography magazines Practical Photography and Digital Photo. Lots of news and technique to complement the magazines.

Free Photography Resource29

Strobist30
All the information you need to use your camera’s portable flash unit to its full advantage.

Free Photography Resource31

Joe NcNally32
Joe McNally built his reputation as a commercial photographer specialising in the use of Nikon’s portable flashes. He passes on his knowledge in his blog.

Free Photography Resource33

Photoshop Daily34
Photoshop tutorials from the publishers of UK magazine Photoshop Creative.

Free Photography Resource35

Apogee Photo Magazine36
Articles, tips, techniques and portfolios.

Photojojo37
Technique and creative ideas.

Free Photography Resource38

Photography Blogs

Discussion about the topics and techniques that matter most to contemporary photographers.

The Online Photographer39
Lots of articles about equipment, technique and the concepts behind photography.

Free Photography Resource40

Epic Edits41
Lots of techniques and advice. The recent series about making fine art prints is very useful.

Free Photography Resource42

All Day I Dream of Photography43
Lots of interesting photography articles.

Toy Cameras

Toy cameras have become very popular over the last few years. Learn all about them at these websites:

Holga Blog44
All about holgas.

Free Photography Resource45

Toy Camera46

Light Leaks47
Print magazine featuring the best toy camera photography from around the web.

Free Photography Resource48

Square Frog49
Life through a plastic lens – techniques and tips.

Free Photography Resource50

Four Corners Dark51

Free Photography Resource52

Professional Photographers

One of the best ways to learn about photography is to study the work and ideas of professional photographers. Luckily, the trend for pros to blog about their work has created some priceless educational resources. Here are some of the best:

Chase Jarvis53
Professional commercial photographer Chase Jarvis on the latest developments in the industry.

The Digital Trekker54
Travel photographer Matt Brandon talks about his work and the ideas behind his photos.

Free Photography Resource55

Pixelated Image56
Humanitarian photography David duChemin discusses his career and work.

Free Photography Resource57

Pixsylated58
Syl Arena’s photography web magazine. Includes the excellent ‘Lessons I didn’t learn in photo school’ series.

Free Photography Resource59

Photo Smudger60
London based snapper Tom Miles shares his real world experience. Essential reading for any student or photographer aspiring to work in London.

Free Photography Resource61

Digital Pro Talk62
Social photographer David Ziser blogs about making a living in the competetive world of social photography.

Free Photography Resource63

Photocrati64
Articles for photographers, by photographers. A wealth of information and insights from some of the world’s best pro photographers.

Interviews by Crash Taylor65
Social and wedding photographer Crash Taylor interviews some of the best known names in the business. Essential reading for anyone who wants to break into wedding or social photography.

Free Photography Resource66

Other Useful Resources

Photo Compete67
Once you’ve polished up your photography skills no doubt you’ll be tempted to enter a few photography competitions. Photo Compete has a listing of current photography competitions.

Photo Competitions68
Even more photography competitions including the big name competitions from companies like Sony and National Geographic.

Pro-Imaging Photo Competitions69
But make sure you read this before entering a photography competition. There are competitions that take away your copyright – this website lists the competitions that don’t.

Photopreneur70
A ton of ideas for making money from your photos.

Photo Netcast71
Photography podcasts bought to you by a team of passionate photographers.

Free Photography Resource72

Photographers who photograph need models, stylists and make-up artists. You can search for them at Model Mayhem73 and Purestorm7574. You can also search by geographical area there.

Purestorm7574

Free Photography Resource76

In light reports of photographers being harassed by security guards and police, it’s a good idea to know your rights. These websites have the information that you need:

Photographers’ legal rights – UK77

Photographers’ legal rights – United States78

Photographers’ legal rights – Australia79

Last Click

JPG Mag80
The magazine that publishes your photos and your articles.

Free Photography Resource81

Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://digital-photography-school.com/
  2. 2 http://digital-photography-school.com/
  3. 3 http://photodoto.com/
  4. 4 http://photodoto.com/
  5. 5 http://photography.about.com/
  6. 6 http://theeoscars.com/5dblog/
  7. 7 http://theeoscars.com/5dblog/
  8. 8 http://photography-now.net/international_photography_index/
  9. 9 http://photography-now.net/international_photography_index/
  10. 10 http://www.worldpressphoto.org/
  11. 11 http://www.worldpressphoto.org/
  12. 12 http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography
  13. 13 http://exposurecompensation.com/
  14. 14 http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
  15. 15 http://www.luminous-landscape.com/
  16. 16 http://www.dofmaster.com/
  17. 17 http://www.dofmaster.com/
  18. 18 http://www.kenrockwell.com/
  19. 19 http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/index.do
  20. 20 http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/index.do
  21. 21 http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=HomePageAct
  22. 22 http://www.nikondigitutor.com/index_eng.html
  23. 23 http://www.pentaxuser.co.uk/
  24. 24 http://www.ephotozine.com/
  25. 25 http://photonotes.org/
  26. 26 http://www.dpreview.com/
  27. 27 http://www.radiantlite.com/
  28. 28 http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/
  29. 29 http://www.photoanswers.co.uk/
  30. 30 http://strobist.blogspot.com/
  31. 31 http://strobist.blogspot.com/
  32. 32 http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/
  33. 33 http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/
  34. 34 http://www.photoshopdaily.co.uk/
  35. 35 http://www.photoshopdaily.co.uk/
  36. 36 http://www.apogeephoto.com/
  37. 37 http://photojojo.com/content/
  38. 38 http://photojojo.com/content/
  39. 39 http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html
  40. 40 http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html
  41. 41 http://blog.epicedits.com/
  42. 42 http://blog.epicedits.com/
  43. 43 http://www.adidap.com/
  44. 44 http://www.holgablog.com/
  45. 45 http://www.holgablog.com/
  46. 46 http://www.toycamera.com/
  47. 47 http://www.lightleaks.org/
  48. 48 http://www.lightleaks.org/
  49. 49 http://www.squarefrog.co.uk/
  50. 50 http://www.squarefrog.co.uk/
  51. 51 http://www.fourcornersdark.com/
  52. 52 http://www.fourcornersdark.com/
  53. 53 http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/
  54. 54 http://www.thedigitaltrekker.com/blog/
  55. 55 http://www.thedigitaltrekker.com/blog/
  56. 56 http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/
  57. 57 http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/
  58. 58 http://pixsylated.com/
  59. 59 http://pixsylated.com/
  60. 60 http://www.photosmudger.com/
  61. 61 http://www.photosmudger.com/
  62. 62 http://digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/
  63. 63 http://digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/
  64. 64 http://www.photocrati.com/
  65. 65 http://www.interviewsbycrashtaylor.com/
  66. 66 http://www.interviewsbycrashtaylor.com/
  67. 67 http://www.photocompete.com/
  68. 68 http://www.photocompetitions.com/
  69. 69 http://www.pro-imaging.org/content/view/135/153/
  70. 70 http://blogs.photopreneur.com/
  71. 71 http://www.photonetcast.com/
  72. 72 http://www.photonetcast.com/
  73. 73 http://www.modelmayhem.com/
  74. 74 http://www.purestorm.com/
  75. 75 http://www.purestorm.com/
  76. 76 http://www.purestorm.com/
  77. 77 http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-and-the-law.html
  78. 78 http://www.krages.com/bpkphoto.htm
  79. 79 http://4020.net/words/photorights.php
  80. 80 http://www.jpgmag.com/
  81. 81 http://www.jpgmag.com/
  82. 82 http://blog.epicedits.com/2007/11/07/87-great-photography-blogs-and-feeds/
  83. 83 http://www.adidap.com/2009/07/17/29-fresh-blogs-and-photoblogs-to-add-to-your-rss-readers/
  84. 84 http://www.diyphotography.net/great-photography-blogs-galleries-and-photography-sites
  85. 85 http://netager.com/post/147796819/great-photography-websites-portfolios-and-resources
  86. 86 http://mashable.com/2007/06/23/photography-toolbox/
  87. 87 http://www.wittysparks.com/2008/08/16/some-great-photography-techniques-tips-tutorials-and-resources-part-1/
  88. 88 http://www.wittysparks.com/2008/08/20/some-great-photography-techniques-tips-tutorials-and-resources-part-2/
  89. 89 http://www.cameraporn.net/2008/05/12/60-photography-links-you-cant-live-without/

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Andrew Gibson is a photographer and writer. He runs Magical Places Fine Art, an online photography magazine and another great photography resource.

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  1. 1

    John (Human3rror)

    August 30, 2009 4:32 am

    Freaking awesome. tahnks so much!

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  2. 2

    WOW THANK YOU FOR THESE. These help a lot. I actually bought mine last June 10, 2009 and I do not even take any lessons. :| So… really, these are awesome. :)

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  3. 3

    Nice list of resources, maybe you should remove the typo from the title :)

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  4. 4

    Great list! Scott Kelby’s blog is also a great place for photography & Adobe Photoshop-related things – http://www.scottkelby.com/

    0
  5. 5

    Great Article!

    Please also post http://www.photoshopusertv.com/

    They have weekly broadcast on photoshop and photography!

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  6. 6

    The best photography site (at least for me) with lots of reviews/tutorials and very good forums covering various aspects of photography as well as equipment is photo.net

    It is so good so it would be helpful to put it in the main article here…

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  7. 7

    Nice list of resources. I can probably spend a whole day going through them all. The Photography Now site is important because you can’t really be a good photographer without knowing something about the history of photography.

    http://www.one-photo-a-day.com

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  8. 8

    Awesome Article!!
    I think http://www.jpgmag.com/ is also a good site. People can review your images and you can connect with other photographers and learn from them. It’s also a super way to get your stuff noticed even if your just a little guy :)

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  9. 9

    Sad to see Scot Kelby wasn’t on there.

    Also, Ken Rockwell…. really?

    0
  10. 10

    belle sélection, merci ;)

    0
  11. 11

    I’m sad to see This Week in Photography (TWIP) – http://www.twiplog.com/ was not on there. Great podcast about photography.

    0
  12. 12

    Nice and useful list, thx.

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  13. 13

    Hi,

    thank you for the very useful and great Collection

    Cheers, Danke Sehr,

    Thorsten

    http://www.PhotoMocha.com
    Great photos from extraordinary Photographers

    http://www.StrongMocha.com
    Your News Source for DFX (Digital Effects), VFX (Visual Effects), Photos, Food and Travel

    0
  14. 14

    Something on Food photography would be nice!

    0
  15. 15

    I think what most “photographers” out there need is not a bunch of Photoshop guides and stuff. What they need is a basic understanding of what makes a good picture, as goes for colors, composition, etc. Also a lot of dudes must understand to limit themselves – instead of posting a gazillion shitty pics, limiting to a few really good ones is key. ALSO many must just stay the f away from Photoshop altogether – I’ve seen soooo many Photoshop murders done to good pictures that should just have been left untouched.

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  16. 16

    I’d recommend Joey Lawrence. A prodigy and I don’t think he’s even 21 yet. http://www.joeyl.com/

    0
  17. 17

    Great list of urls, thank you for taking the time to share.

    0
  18. 18

    Way to sum up everything PhotoTuts will ever do. :D

    0
  19. 19

    Bobby Jr Sr, I definitely agree with you, Sir!
    I hate dealing post-processing with Photoshop when I can do that correctly direct on my JPG from the camera. Why wasting my time with PS?
    I’d rather take another pics than sit all day long PS-ing.

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  20. 20

    thanks for this collection of web links. wondering why dpreview.com did not make it into the list
    regards,
    Arun Sasidharan

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  21. 21

    Having all these resources are definitely a plus, but, the real key it to go out and shoot, shoot, shoot.

    0
  22. 22

    thank you very very much, mate…

    0
  23. 23

    Thank you for your advice.And I also have some photograph for you to improve yout photograph skill.The tool can help you share your photos at all kinds of styles.
    if you want to improve your photograph skil,you can visit at
    improve photograph skill

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  24. 24

    Awesome list, but missing a reference to online art galleries devoted to photography just like http://www.arsfotografika.net. Cheers!

    0
  25. 25

    AlaskaWebDesigner

    August 30, 2009 11:54 pm

    Nice job putting all this together. We have a lot to digest as my wife is working on becoming a pro photographer.

    Alaska Web Design

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  26. 26

    Oh i really thank you so much. This is excellent!

    0
  27. 27

    dpreview is definitely missing – helped me greatly in chosing my equipment

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  28. 28

    Really nice list. I think a lot of people will take from this list as designers are 90% of the time into photography. Visual people will always be visual people! Thanks again Smashing.

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  29. 29

    Nice post

    Thanks men

    0
  30. 30

    Here’s an awesome brazilian photographer website: http://www.oikosimagem.com.br

    0
  31. 31

    Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images

    August 31, 2009 7:31 am

    49 out of 50 isn’t bad. I have to agree with another poster; whenever I see Ken Rockwell included in something like this, the list credibility dips by at least 8 points. (groan)

    Still, that one item not withstanding, it really is a good list, and I’ll be including a link back here from my web site, where I also have a lot other of Professional Photo Business Resourcesprofessional business resources listed on my weblog.

    Cheers,
    – Gary.

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  32. 32
  33. 33

    AWESOME LIST! All my favorites are on here. Also check out for some great beginner explanations of the basics, some photoshop tutorials, inspiration and more.

    Thanks SMASHING MAG! You guys are the best in the biz.

    0
  34. 34

    You forgot to add http://www.slrlounge.com to this site, it is another great resource with a lot of practical tips and tutorials.

    0
  35. 35

    for anyone interested in HDR techinques, http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ is a fantastic site!

    gem :-)

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  36. 36

    Thanks for the resource, I cant wait to go through each site!

    0
  37. 37

    Great list of links and resources, thanks! You covered one of my favorites – Strobist. You left out another one of my favorites – ProPhotoLife. His free video series takes you through logical steps to become a better photographer.
    http://www.prophotolife.com/video-library/

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  38. 38

    Commercial crap

    0
  39. 39

    Ken Rockwell? You’re joking right?

    0
  40. 40

    I love to see the old, outdated, and uneducated complain about photoshop.

    0
  41. 41

    I love the article! Great tools.

    0
  42. 42

    Ken Rockwell?? Oversaturated, poorly composed, absolute rubbish. What ARE you talking about?

    0
  43. 43

    3 favs are Photoshop Insider, Imaging Insider and 1001 Noisy Cameras. But, only a real photographer would know this.

    0
  44. 44

    Great Post Thanks a bunch….. Ken Rockwell website is sooo poor to navigate and dull, some of his photos are pants but some of the knowledge is good.

    0
  45. 45

    thank you very much for this wonderful list!
    kudos!

    0
  46. 46

    @Missu

    Agreed, TWIP is one of the most informative, accessible photography podcasts I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.

    For any body else who spends the day sat at a desk wishing they could be outside shooting, I’d also highly recommend The Candid Frame, Nikonians and Tips From The Top Floor.

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  47. 47

    LOADS of great ideas here! Thanks…
    shall reblog it here

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  48. 48

    I’m sad to see that lomography didn’t get included in this list. With all the hub bub about holga’s I would’ve figured you would’ve done your homework. Anywho, check out the amazing network over at – http://lomography.com/

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  49. 49

    Very helpful photography links..
    Found one photography site ayofoto.com.
    This site combine community (photographer) social networking and also micro-stock agency (based on it’s community)..
    A lot of great photography articles/blogs although mostly in Indonesian language but I use google translate with no problem :)

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  50. 50

    VERY IMPORTANT FEEDBACK– please open other urls in NEW WINDOW.. or user will loose this great site. Just i had faced the problem by clicking “Inspiration” image with play button.. it directed me to viemo site… please take care of this

    0
  51. 51

    Great list!

    One good website with lot of quotations about photography is http://www.PhotoQuotes.com

    1
  52. 52

    Amazing list and great post, i dont think i’ll bookmark the individual sites i might just keep this post. I must say Digital Photography School not only contains Beginers stuff, it’s content can be also very advanced in many fields.

    0
  53. 53

    Great list, thanks. Lots on there I have never seen before! Also check out my site for a range of tips and inspiration at: http://digitalphotobuzz.com/

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  54. 54

    thankk you so much,great link and article

    0
  55. 55

    Great list here thanks, some really useful sites

    0
  56. 56

    This is very nice article about photography. It’s very useful for new photographers.
    Thanks good post.

    0
  57. 57

    Beautiful!!! I’m definitely using these resources in my journey toward being a better photographer. Thanks Smashing Magazine!

    0
  58. 58

    I wish I had the time to use all of these resources. If I could only absorb them all at once.
    Definitely a fan of Digital Photography School.

    I just found Smashing Magazine and only spent all night exploring it. ( :-o)

    Happy Shooting!
    Digital Photo Tips

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  59. 59

    Great resource, but it will take time to check all of this.
    It’s amazing to have this.

    Check out more Photographer ports and Models.

    0
  60. 60

    I’m honored to have my article: “40 Great Photography Websites, Portfolios and Resources,” featured in the resources section. Thanks!

    0
  61. 61

    Guess the Lighting

    August 31, 2010 6:30 am

    Great list here. If you’re interested in seeing how famous photographers light their just-as-famous images, you should check out: GuessTheLighting.com

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  62. 62

    Awesome list. Muchas gracias. I have to second the notion of GuessTheLighting.com

    0
  63. 63

    Thanks for so many good resources!

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  64. 64

    I am surprised by all the negative comments on Ken Rockwell I read in here. I have found his equipment reviews to be quite useful over the years.

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  65. 65

    Knowing how to use your camera is one thing, and understanding how to take good pictures is another. The best way to take better quality pictures is to PRACTICE! They say practice makes perfect and this couldn’t be more true than with photography. Use your digital camera daily, take pictures regularly, experiment with some of the special features of your camera, and get out of your comfort zone by shooting subjects you don’t normally shoot.

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  66. 66

    Thanks for the information – very helpful!

    0
  67. 67

    Good post, perhaps more guide on photoshop would be good.

    0
  68. 68

    Pashminu Mansukhani

    August 7, 2012 1:14 pm

    As an industrial photographer, with some medium experience, this page truely has great content that will help everyone. Check my work here Digital Studio.in

    0
  69. 69

    Thanks for the long list of such a helpful sources of information for photographers. Even though that I’m experienced photographer I still lie to keep myself updated with the latest trends and tricks within the industry.
    Thanks a lot!

    1
  70. 70

    Totally bookmarking and share with our photography groups! Great list, we love so many of these sites already. May I also recommend http://www.colorvaleactions.com and http://www.rockmyphotography.com … both offer great blogs about photography tips and tutorials!

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  71. 71

    Thanks for that list. I think those lists are a great idea, which will force me to come back. I love the idea of adding rss to them, makes browsing a lot easier for the visitor can easily check if there is valuable content in those sources. From a practical standpoint I think it was a good choice not to describe them all.
    warm regards… photography-2.com

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  72. 72

    nice,,,

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