Some of you may already know that, over the years, I taught numerous classes in photography and post-processing For Dixie State Community Education. It was a great run for all of us. Truth be told, I’ve done this across the country for most of my adult life. What very few people know is that it is my goal to help folks improve quickly and painlessly. The end result of that is a book that I published: “Getting There: discover the best approaches to boost your personal skills in Photography and Processing.”
One of the chapters in my book suggests a number of sources for online photography training. I consider training to be the second most important factor in bettering your photography (lens, training, tripod, camera, in that order). Why is the camera in fourth place? Simply because they are all good, you really can’t go wrong. Check out my earlier article: “Buying a new camera after the local camera store closes.”
Online photography training sources
Let’s get back to our topic. I have presented several options for online photography training here.
There are many video and audio podcasts regarding all forms of photographic interests. About half of them specifically discuss online photographic training topics. Normally, they are posted on a scheduled basis; however, past episodes are always available. Previously, I utilized these podcasts as a prime resource. Recently, I have departed from that for a few reasons. All of them have YouTube channels associated with them that actually have more available content and earlier publication. Secondly, some are audio. I see no point listening to a podcast about photography. This is a visual topic. If you want to access these podcasts, the expedient way is to use an aggregator wherein they are all listed and accessible. The most readily available aggregator is the iTunes app on your PC, tablet, or smartphone. Just go to “podcasts,” search for “photography,” and start looking around.
Commercial training sites
These are large, well-respected online photography training websites that present anything and everything. Once you sign up, you get to choose from thousands of course topics and courses that range from one to about ten hours. You have no usage limits. You can follow a specific track that hones in on your specific level and interests. Monthly charges for access range from about $20 to $30. The two online photography websites that are most popular are KelbyOne and Lynda Training. The thing you want to remember is that, while these are the tried and true approaches, the monthly fee allows unlimited usage. If you don’t avail yourself of the training, you aren’t getting the benefit you are paying for.
The main reason I have stopped using podcasts is because there is much more content available on YouTube, and it is organized very well. In order to teach, I must learn. YouTube is now where my training comes from. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t sit through at least one episode of interest to me. I highly recommend YouTube channels. They are all video, they are free, and you can search for your topic. Sooner or later, you will start to recognize certain channels that you keep returning to. Subscribe to your favorite channels and they will appear at arm’s reach with no search required. Did I mention they’re free?
I won’t leave you without a glimpse of what channels I personally find useful. Just bear in mind that these are my interests. I am seeking deep understanding suitable to my years of experience. You can start here, but if these are too challenging, start your own search, ok?
Adobe: an overview of Adobe software offerings
Adobe Creative Cloud: how to use the Adobe software offerings together.
Adobe Photoshop: the official channel from Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: from Adobe. Really this should be your main photo software right from the start.
(Had enough of Adobe channels? Let’s move on.)
Adorama: an online retailer that offers exceptional training.
Anthony Morganti: this well-regarded trainer posts complete training courses in digestible episodes.
B and H: the other big retailer that pulls out all the stops for free training.
Bernie Sanders 2016: see, one way or another, now I have your attention!
Serge Ramelli: entertaining (and magnificent) French photographer who explains his special techniques.
Terry White: an Adobe evangelist who is also an accomplished photographer and knows how to explain things.
The Art of Photography: varied topics, not only on technique, but also photo-art and historical presentations.
Zack Arias: listen to this guy, he’s not as crazy as he sounds. Very cool stuff.
I leave you now to your own devices. Let us all know what you discover. Leave a comment below. Don’t forget, training is number two! A good camera does not make you a good photographer, nor does it give good results unless you learn and understand photography and post-processing. I hope this helped!