Where do you go if you want to learn more about becoming a better photographer on the internet?
I met this Q on LinkedIn and I am quite thankful for it. Based on personal experience, one can learn A LOT on the internet, as long as internet learning is part of a wider self improvement process.
1. One has to have before ANYTHING ELSE a ‘learning question’ a ‘learning quest’. That learning question will guide both, your experiments and your search for the wisdom, the know-how on the internet.
2. Online learning should be anticipated and followed by practical experimentation. You will have to try out a new idea for at least hundreds of times, in hundreds of variations, make hundreds of mistakes before you will see the light…
There are two main ways to improve your understanding and skills using the internet:
– The passive way
– The active way
The passive way: there are tons of tutorials and blogs on the internet- YouTube and the blog-sphere are packed with them. As mentioned before, you have to be very focused about what you are looking for.
Here’s an example – ‘how do you improve outdoor portrait shooting?’ and this is just one optional tutorial from hundreds of thousands…
You will find a great variety of such tutorials referring to the various aspects of the photographing process and later also to the way you will process these photos with the different programs there are on the market. Gimp is one of them, and it’s for free!
Blogs will help you in very similar way – once you have the right Q you will find the right photographer/ Blogger who writes about it.
You will find soon enough that these bloggers are quite different in shooting/blogging subjects: Macro? Landscape? People? Wildlife? You will have to be very focused referring your learning quest, otherwise it’s quite easy to get confused, lost and quite frustrated…
The other way is the active way: Join photographers’ groups, communities, share your work and ask for feedback. Again, we are talking about ‘blended’ learning: Go out, Challenge yourself, experiment, come back home, post on groups’ walls and be prepared to receive feedback from more experienced photographers.
You could join such groups on good old Flickr, you have to register first (for free), and then join one of the groups that do just that – offer you feedback on your photos – ‘Critique‘ is just one example…
Another option would be joining some photographers’ Facebook community near to the place you live. These groups can not only be a source of feedback and good advice, but also a great party to go out with on ‘photo walks’.
Last but by all means not least – consider joining one of our specialized Trips for Photographers. These are expeditions especially prepared for photographers – one could learn every minute on such an expedition – from the field experimentation, from the mentor and of course from the fellow photographers on the expedition…
I hope this post was useful. Please feel free to comment and add your piece of wisdom and experience:)