So, I have a camera. I’ve got the gear. So what’s next?  Taking photos of course. But I don’t even know how to turn my camera on!

Thank you cards
This is my first table-top collection I have liked. I think it’s because I choose bright colours.

Over the next couple of months,  I spent almost every waking hour on the internet researching this artistic medium. I studied composition and ‘the rules.’ I read I should shoot in RAW format and that these photos need some post-processing because they are a little flat straight out of the camera. I learned how to set the shutter speed up so I didn’t have camera shake. As for everything I was learning, I practised, practised and practised some more.

I am not going to bore you with my learning process and curve. I approached photography much like I do a video game – to solve the puzzle, conquer the bosses and eventually master the game. And all within the weekend, because I’ve got to get back to work on Monday, don’t you know. So, although I know I’ve not been shooting photography for very long, I have learned a lot, and been able to implement that learning, in a short time. I spent lots of time and some money making purchases over the internet. What I’m going to do here, is take it down to the bones. What, who and where were the most helpful for me. There’s an old saying – if you want what I’ve got, follow in my footsteps. If you are struggling, try any one of these resources. They’ve certainly been good for me!

My first ‘find’ was Udemy,  an on-line video library. Do not be concerned if you see courses for $200.00. When you see a course you like, put it on a wish list. I found they offer $10 and $15 prices on most classes about every two weeks via email.  I watched many more courses then listed here, but I found these the best in terms of content, explanation and engagement.

John Pullos  –  Beginner Nikon DLSR Photography (Free)
Karl Taylor’s Free Photography Course (Yes Free)
Jerad Hill – Photography: Ditch Auto and Start Shooting in Manual
*Infinite Skills – Mastering Adobe Lightroom 5 – A Definitive Tutorial
Phil Ebiner – Photography Masterclass – Your complete Guide to Photography
*If you want to learn Lightroom, I can’t recommend Infinite Skills enough for this job. They take you step-by-step through the entire process. And they send you identical catalogues and photos that they use so you can follow along completely with them.

Udemy is a wonderful resource, for all sorts of material beyond photography, if you’re one of these people that have other interests too! I thank all the people, mostly enthusiasts, some professionals, for taking the time to make these web classes. They were a great help.

The next group of people have web based blogs and/or weekly emails. I spent hours and hours on these sites, learning more and more about photography. On some, they are selling books,. video courses and post processing presets. I scoured over their sites, sometimes every day, their content so rich with information.

Digital Photography School – many contributors,  and a web-store, they offer information on photography, post-processing and gear review
Digital Photography Mentor is the blog of Darlene Hildebrandt who also is a Managing Editor at DPS above. It is chalk full of information.
David DuChemin is a prolific educator, from books to conferences to videos. I have purchased many of his products. I learn each time I read or watch him. I can’t recommend his products enough.
Brian Matiash is a former Google employee who is going it on his own this year. Besides tons of information and great photos, he imparted his philosophy, which had huge impact on me. “Until it has been photographed by me, it hasn’t been photographed.” This helped me stop comparing my photographs against yours.
Tim Grey is the answer to everything Adobe; Lightroom, Photoshop & Elements. Five days a week, he sends out via emails, Adobe questions and answers. Value = priceless!  His training videos are also reasonably priced.
Light Stalking and their sister site Photzy are a wealth of information and resources from many different authors. They have a store, but they also give away many, many e-books on photography. The real kicker for me here was the Shark Tank. The first place I came across that will give real and honest input on your photography. It goes beyond the ‘like’ category.

I can’t say enough about how these websites and the people behind them have helped this newbie in the world of photography. It is their passion for this craft that comes through in their websites, blogs, newsletters and through their photography. I thank all of you for your contributions to the world of photography.

And just to be fair, there were and are many, many photographers and websites out there that I have not encountered in my journeys thus far. One that comes to mind is  I choose Udemy  because at the time, had a paid subscription. However, it is now offered free with a Toronto Public Library Card. My point here, these recommendations are based on my experience of where I investigated. There are plenty more out there. If you know, or have used a site or resource that has been especially useful, please drop me a line via email or the contact menu. I’d love to do more exploring….

So for clarity, the opinions expressed here are clearly my own and I have no stake or standing in any recommendations, nor do I receive anything in kind from any or because of any of these recommendations..

So please, visit their sites. Sign up for their newsletters. Whether you are new or old at this hobby, I’m sure they have something to offer you.


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