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Best Resources To Improve Your Photography Skills

Updated on July 11, 2014
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


Are you interested in bettering your photography skills? The good news is that in this day and age, there are so many different resources readily available. With options ranging from books to videos to online forums, there is something for everyone. Free resources are great, but don't discount the possibility of paid resources as well. They can be well worth the money. Happy learning!

Where can you go to find great photography information?

Just a Few Ideas
Blog Posts and Articles
Photo Challenges
Reviews and Forums
Photo Hosting Websites
One of the most overwhelming aspects of improving my photography has been learning new software. Books have been a huge help with this learning process.
One of the most overwhelming aspects of improving my photography has been learning new software. Books have been a huge help with this learning process. | Source


With literally thousands of free articles and blog posts available online, many people don't even think about seeking out books anymore. If you have a local library with a great nonfiction section, take advantage of it. You will most likely find a wealth of materials there. Don't be afraid to purchase a few carefully selected titles, too. Books come with the guarantee of research, experience, and editing that you're going to find in very few places online. It can be a refreshing change of pace and can save you a lot of time.

This is not the only Lightroom 5 Manual, but it is certainly one of the most popular and with good reason.

Blog Posts and Articles

With that being said, you should not discount the great range of blog posts and articles online. When it comes to blogs, seek out successful sites, whether or not they're specifically about photography because one of the biggest keys to success in the world of blogging is taking great pictures. I have linked a couple great non-photography examples on the right. I've learned so much about photography from these ladies. I've also linked some of my favorite photography websites below.

5 Reasons Why You Need a 50mm lens...Just One Video From a Great Photography Channel With a Wealth of Videos


The best piece of advice that I can offer for finding great photography videos is to find solid channels with lots of videos and stick with them for the majority of your viewing. It can be frustrating to start a brand new search every time you're looking for photography tutorials, and you often waste a lot of time doing so. There are occasions where you need a tutorial for a specific topic that simply isn't available in any of your regular sources, and you have to resort to a regular search, which is fine. It's worth branching out once in a while because you never know when you'll stumble on a new channel that you love. I've linked a couple of my favorite YouTube channels below.

An example of a photo challenge shot for the prompt "A Favorite Place," taken May 2012.


Photo Challenges

Photo challenges can be a great way to push yourself to try new techniques and shoot new subjects while learning from fellow photographers. Many challenge hosts urge their participants to view the work of the other participants and leave feedback on it. If you expect to get feedback, it's really important that you give feedback. Checking out these posts also gives you the opportunity to view potentially great work. There are a wealth of challenges online these days with new ones popping up every month. Check out the link on the right for just a few ideas to get you started.


There are any number of different photography classes that you can take from community college courses to art school courses to free online courses. There are quite a few free classes online as well as for pay classes, many of which have very affordable prices. The good news is that there is something for everyone. If you get overwhelmed by the notion of teaching yourself how to do something, a class can be a great option.

One popular photography podcast host also posts them on YouTube.


Personally I haven't listed to any photography podcasts (yet...), so I can't get you my personal recommendations, but there are tons of podcasts available. You can search directly through iTunes or can look through lists of recommended podcasts. I've included a couple lists below to get you started. When you do find a podcast that you like, don't forget to subscribe so you can keep up with all of the latest installments.

Reviews and Forums

One of the best parts about the photography community is that there are a lot of really generous individuals who are happy to share their expertise and insight for free. I have done extensive research before I've purchased any type of SLR gear from camera bodies to lenses to software, and it has really paid off. This is largely thanks to all of the photographers who were willing to post so extensively on photography forums and retail (i.e. Best Buy) or online shopping (i.e. Amazon) websites. No matter what stage you're at with your photography, you can benefit from these resources.

Photo Hosting Sites

You can learn a lot from studying the great photos that people post on photo hosting websites, such as Flickr, deviantART, and 500px. Many of these sites have additional resources as well such as groups, forums, and newsletters. For example, I don't post on 500px, but I do get their newsletter, which has links to helpful new articles and blog posts. Take the time to seek out groups that are relevant to you, such as location-specific groups or groups geared around specific interests (i.e. black and white photography, landscape shots).

Don't ever stop learning!


© 2013 Rose Clearfield


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