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

    Great list!

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

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  2. 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.

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  3. 103

    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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  4. 154

    thankk you so much,great link and article

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  5. 205

    Great list here thanks, some really useful sites

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  6. 256

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

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  7. 307

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

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  8. 358

    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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  9. 409

    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.

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  10. 460

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

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  11. 511

    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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  12. 562

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

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  13. 613

    Thanks for so many good resources!

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  14. 664

    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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  15. 715

    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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  16. 766

    Thanks for the information – very helpful!

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  17. 817

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

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  18. 868

    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

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  19. 919

    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!

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  20. 970

    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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  21. 1021

    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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  22. 1072

    nice,,,

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