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Photography Art Cafe Resources
The top guides, products, wesbites and services recommended throughout this site!
This is a handy summary of my personal favourite photography resources, mentioned throughout this site, listed together in one place.
Each of the resources below is something that I have used, and become a fan of. As a result, I've found myself mentioning them time and again in relevant sections of Photography Art Cafe!
So I thought it would be helpful for you to see them all grouped together in a single page. If you've read about something that I was recommending, but can't remember what it was called, chances are you'll find it here!
So, here are my recommended resources for...
1. Mastering Photography Basics
This is an outstanding introduction to photography. 13 sections, full of great instruction, tips and 'homework' projects. Designed by professional photographers, who also assess your pictures as you move through the course, offering brilliant insights to help you become a better photographer!
Kelby really knows how to teach. This book covers 10 key areas of photography, in a 1 tip per page format (which makes for very easy reading!). It's written in plain English, with enthusiasm and knowledge. I can't actually imagine a better beginner's guide to photography.
2. Honing Certain Skills
A brilliantly organized course, created by professional photographers, on the art of studio lighting for portraits. Studio portraits are such fun to do, when you know how! This course, which includes 2 hours of instructive video material, will give you the confidence to experiment with and enjoy studio photography.
The art of composing photos. Eliminate the 'randomness' of great photos by learning the secrets of composition and balance. What makes some photos look good, whilst others fail? How do you create a settled composition that draws in the viewer's eye? Freeman is the master of making things seem simple!
3. Conquering Photoshop!
These videos from Learn Photoshop Now are designed for people who are totally new to Photoshop, but want to master the essentials fast! There are 14 videos, which guide you through the key areas and functions of Photoshop. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive the ebook that accompanies this course for free!
This is a course in using Photoshop, only in so far as it is useful for photographers, i.e. no logos and graphic creating tutorials etc. It includes 18 lessons, which give you a really thorough grounding how to use Photoshop correctly, and for some very cool effects. A sure fire way to improve your finished images.
4. Buying and Researching Gear
I know they have a bit of a monopoly, but they just stock almost everything and have such a good service! I've bought photography equipment from them countless times and never had a problem. You'll find just about whatever you want here, and the product descriptions are pretty good. Customer ratings can sometimes be misleading; take note only if there are more than 4 or 5.
B&H's motto is "The Professional's Source" and that is absolutely correct. Why? Because they're so good! You know I said Amazon stock "almost everything", well, B&H actually do stock everything. No, really! I challenge you to dream up something absurdly insignificant and find that B&H don't have it in store! Their support is outstanding (you'll talk to an enthusiastic photographer not a 'typical salesperson'), and their prices are very competitve. Their website is so full of info it's equally as good for researching as purchasing.
DPReview is one of my favourite online haunts. It's a massively comprehensive review site, with exhaustive analysis of cameras and lenses of all makes and categories. If you need info on a camera, lens or even printer, this is a great first place to stop by.
5. Getting Cool Tips
I'm a long time subscriber to Digital Photo Magazine, for lots of reasons. One of the best features of this monthly publication is the free DVD of Photoshop tutorials that comes attached to the cover of each issue. I can't tell you how much I've learnt from these. The subject matter of the magazine is step-by-step tutorials, picture taking tips, equipment guides, reader competitions and so on. It's really good stuff!
This is another fantastic photography magazine, packed full of tips, hints, tutorials and advice. Each edition includes a special feature on a certain theme, with extensive tips and articles on it. There are also equipment reviews and plenty of reader photos to check out.
This is definitely my favourite online photography magazine. Although 'magazine' isn't really a fair description. It's huge resource and community. There is a section called 'ephotozine tv', which features thousands of the best photography videos from across the entire web! There are forums, galleries, competitions, tutorials reviews. It's basically a golmine for photography lovers!
6. Viewing Awesome Photos
American Photo always includes plenty of stunning work by top photographers from around the globe. It's a real pleasure browsing the pages of this publication, and a great way to get inspiration for your own photography. There are competitions that you can enter your best photos in, and articles with thorough analysis of equipment.
National Geographic has long been a magnet for talented, adventurous and original photographers. If you've ever read a copy you'll know how inspiring the photojournalism really is. One of my all time favourite photographers, Steve McCurry, has spent his career with National Geographic, and the current editor is also a photographer. So it's one of the places to view the work of today's great photographers.
Magnum is the most famous photo agency in the world. For over 60 years it has attracted brilliant photographers, whose reports have covered a wide range of places, people and events. A quick warning! Only visit the galleries on the Magnum website if you've got a bit of time to spare, because you will get drawn in!
The range of coffee table photo books at Amazon is pretty impressive. I've recommended several throughout this site, but have a good look around and see what takes your fancy. It's worth taking a look at user reviews and seeing what's said about paper/print quality.
7. Buying Photography Art
AllPosters is the largest fine art poster store in the world. They have a huge collection of photography to choose from, easily navigable through lots of different categories. I've ordered quite a few prints from them and the quality is always excellent (fine art/archival) and delivery times fast. There are extensive options for customizing the mounting and framing options.
It's possible to contact Magnum and order a print, framed or not, of one of their photographs. It's often the only way to get hold of a copy of certain famous images. Magnum have bases across the world, so delivery times are pretty good.
8. Quick and Easy Printing
York Photo are one of the online photo printing services I use a lot. In my opinion, their prices are extremely good for the quality of their products and service. The website is very user friendly, so it's easy to find what you are looking for. Unlike many other similar services, the image upload times at York are very fast, which makes things even easier!
I love MOO! They are far, far, far and away the best service I have used for printing any kinds of cards: business cards, greetings cards, postcards etc. The card and print quality is outrageously awesome: thick, crisp, sharp and rich. They have become the more or less the only resource I use now for personalized cards. You have to try them!
Photobox were one of the first printing companies I tried. They have a decent range of products, a clear website and high standards of printing. I'd describe them as solid, all round pretty good. I've been happy with everything I've produced with them, which includes framed posters, gift cards and photo mugs.
9. Setting Up a Website
SBI! is the resource I have used to build and promote Photography Art Cafe. In short, it's untouchable!It doesn't just provide website templates and hosting. It includes hours of video tutorials on building a small online business, keyword research software, free books on e-business and dozens of other tools for promoting your site. 62% of SBI! sites make it into the top 3% of most visited sites on the entire Web! No other service comes remotely close to matching that level of success.
Although I have only used Squarespace on a 2 week trial basis, it was long enough to convince of the quality of this service. I think it's up there with the best options for hosting creative sites. The templates are very funky - way better than SBI!'s for sure! Plus, there are excellent business features - not up there with SBI!, but no-one is! It's also very easy to add a gallery to your Squarespace site. Further Squarespace have the best support of any hosting service I've used: 24/7 email support with a 15 minute response time!
Wix websites are probably the easiest to set up of the 3 here. They are ideal if you just want a cool site to exhibit your images online, without turning it into an online business. The templates, are cool, lively and fun, with extensive customization features that are simple to get the hang of.
10. Selling Your Photos
This is a downloadable ebook written by professional stock photographer Nick Stubbs. He shares his own methods for making money with stock photography, even providing details of his earnings to back up what he says. I strongly suggest you use this as a reference if you have any intention of profiting from stock photography sites. You simply can't dive in and hope for the best. This guy has been there, done it, and shared his secrets.
This is one of the outstanding resources provided by Proud Photography. The course explains how to start up your business from scratch, get great shots on the day, present work to clients and more. It has been produced by professional photographers with experience shooting weddings, whom you can ask as many questions as you like!
This little book is the best friend of many freelance photographers! Essentially a directory of businesses, magazines, newspapers and other organizations that accept submissions of photographs for publication. It also makes suggestions of the kinds of images you should submit to certain places. Ever though about sending your work to a greetings card company? This is the guide you need!
Redbubble is one of several good sites (my personal favourite) that enable you to effectively sell prints of your work without lifting a finger! You create a gallery/store on their site, and they do all the printing and distributing when orders come in. Clearly they take a decent cut of the profit, but it's a great solution if you don't have the time to set up your own store from scratch!
Have Your Say and Share Your Photos
Sare Your Photos and recommend your own photography resources!