Coming from a photography tutorial background myself, it’s no surprise that these websites mainly focus on learning, and reader evolvement. You can learn something new everyday with photography, and just when you think you know it all, something else comes along to challenge your abilities. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the top 20 photography websites in the world.
I’m a self taught photographer, and when I first started, websites like these really helped me along, so I know what to look for in a great photography website.
The order of these websites have nothing to do with who writes them, or how many people follow them; it’s all about the content they produce.
This is a sequel to last year’s top 20.
Without further ado, here they are…
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Number one. This is going to need more justification than any of the others, so here it goes… Fstoppers do things a little bit differently; they base their website on videos. Really high quality videos. You may find this odd for someone such as myself, but even though I’ve written 200 articles for this website, I find it really hard to learn by reading on the internet. I’m a much more visual person, so Fstoppers really suit me well, and I hope you’ll find something good from them too.
This isn’t a traditional tutorial website like many of the others on this list, but I find their content to be just as interesting.
Here’s an excellent example of the type of content that you can expect from Fstoppers: The iPhone Fashion Shoot By Lee Morris.
If you viewed last year’s Top 20 Photography websites, then you’ll know that PopPhoto came out at number one, but this year, they’ve dropped one place, to number two. It’s just a really good all-round website, full of tutorials, photos, news, and reviews. I’ve found myself lost on their homepage for hours, delving into articles ranging from portrait photography, to the legal aspects of photography.
Here’s some reading to get you started: 12 Things You Didn’t Know Your DSLR Could Do.
3 – Pixiq – WEBSITE CLOSED DOWN SINCE THIS POST WAS WRITTEN
You have more than likely heard of Pixiq before, and if you haven’t, then I’m willing to be that you’ve read something by one of their writers, somewhere on the internet. They’ve invested in a team of contributors, many of which could (and do) run websites themselves. Names like Damien Franco, Alex Koloskov, and Haje Jan Kamps all spring to mind.
But enough name dropping, it’s the content that really matters. The first thing you’ll notice is that there’s a lot of posts on the legality of taking photos, and current cases, but this can make for some pretty heavy reading. I like to flick through their homepage scroller and explore the vast array of new content which is posted regularly.
David Hobby is the man. No question about it, when I want to know something to do with lighting, this is my first (and usually only) stop. Sure, it’s not the most attractive website in the world, and perhaps a little bit hard to work around, but it’s the content that speak for itself. I know that I’m not the only one who would say that his Lighting 101 course has changed the way I use my flash. David is also a fairly active Twitter user too and you can follow him here.
Same as last year, I recommend reading: Lighting 101.
Here’s another website that needs no introduction. I know you’ve visited before, because lets face it, you can’t really Google anything to do with photography without ending up here. The site was started by Darren Rowse (a very highly respected blogger and photographer) in 2006, and it’s amassed an incredible 888,000 subscribers since then. It’s not about numbers though, it’s about the content, and DPS has plenty of it. With a huge range of guest writers, over many years, there’s barely anything that’s not been covered here. Be sure to check out their forum too.
Start here: Giving Film a Go.
The thing I love about PictureCorrect is their diversity. Just have a look at their homepage, it ranges from cat photography, all the way down to the study of what makes one photographer different to another. I often frequent this website when I’m bored, because there’s always something just a little bit different on there. It’s also an excellent resource for finding reviews for camera gear, and shopping guides. Be sure to check out their photographers network.
This is good: Photographing Smoke.
Love him or hate him; pick one… That seems to be the general consensus at least. He’s a photographers with a big personality and even bigger hair, from which the name of the site came. Seriously though, he provides some really good content, and if you shoot in RAW (you do, don’t you? You’d better), then you will find his website really useful.
I don’t really know where to start, he has such an extensive selection of content, ranging from quick tips, beginner’s advice, and hands on with the new Lytro camera (the one where you can select the focus later), to videos of him chatting with his grandma.
The site is run by Jared Polin, who I met back in March and ending up losing a dance-off to (not even joking). You’ve probably seen his ‘I Shoot RAW’ T-Shirts about before, and although I didn’t really like his old designs, he’s brought out some really cool ones recently. And I know for a fact that he throws from freebies in with the package too. I’m still waiting for the one he said he’d give me though (I’m a medium Jared)…
Click on the ‘Random’ slot machine at the top of the page.
Light stalking focuses on beautiful photography, so if that’s your thing (and I’m assuming it is), then this is the site for you. I regularly find my newsfeed on Facebook filled with posts like ’50 Beautiful photos of…’ and ‘100 photography links…’, so although they focus slightly less on tutorials (there’s still plenty), they still make for a great resource.
As someone who shoots with wide angles a lot, I really enjoyed this: What Photographers Must Know About Using Extreme Wide Angle Lenses.
Improve Photography is run by Jim Harmer, who seems to never sleep. By that, I mean not only has he built this very successful website in a little over a year, but written ebooks, created courses, tons of content, photos, and other websites too. Oh, and he’s also finishing a law degree. You may well have been linked to Improve Photography before, because something Jim is really good at, is writing content that gets shared relentlessly on the internet. It’s a really great, young website, that has come far in a very short space of time. Watch out for this one.
Here’s what has to be his most popular article: 22 Things You Can Do Today To Change Your Photography Forever.
Cambridge In Colour have jumped up one place from last year, and for one very simple reason: they’ve redone their website. A simple, yet effective redesign has made it much more welcoming, and easier to browse, and their content has always spoken for itself. I would liken this website to an online textbook, as the resources cover everything you could hope for, and is organized in a way that’s easy to browse. Why’s it not higher on the list? Well, although the content is very good and excels in some areas, I have found it to be lacking in some really important subjects, such as composition.
When it’s good, it’s great: Natural Light In Photography.
PhotoTuts is probably one of the biggest websites on this list, because it’s not just a website, it’s an entire network. Content is posted everyday in their photography section, but it seems that they’ve started to take the website in a different direction. They’ve started charging people to view their premium content. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be worth the money, and I’m certainly not suggesting that the rest of the content is no good, but it’s not really in the same spirit as the rest of the websites on this list. Nevertheless, a great website.
I just found this, and it’s really useful: An Expert Guide to Matting and Framing a Photo.
If you read last year’s list, then you will probably notice the distinct lack of Flickr on this list, which has been replaced with 500px instead. I don’t really think I need to explain why Flickr isn’t that great anymore, and I’ve found that more serious photographers have made the switch to 500px instead. It’s a really nice website to navigate and photos look great on there, with a simple UI.
But wait, there’s more! There’s a really cool blog on 500px, which focuses on taking photos and good photography. Check it out.
Here’s one I’ve featured on this blog before: Almost (I’ll make ya) Famous.
These next three blogs have been the hardest to put them in order, because where do you place three personal blogs, which easily rival any of the other websites on here? I first came across Chase Jarvis a couple years ago when I saw this video on Workflow, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Not only does his blog cover the same sorts of tutorials, news, and videos that the other websites here do, but it also focuses on a behind the scenes look into the world of a professional photographer.
This video changed the way I manage my photos: Chase Jarvis TECH: Complete Workflow for Photo and Video.
Scott Kelby is a name you’re probably very familiar with, maybe because you’ve read one of his 2 books on my Top 20 Photography Books post, or perhaps Scott has taught you Photoshop & Photography at KelbyTraining.com. He is also Editor-in-Chief for Photoshop User magazine and hosts shows at KelbyTV.com. If you’ve not heard of Scott, then that description probably gives you an good indication of what it is he does. Whenever I want to know something about Photoshop, one of Scott’s websites always helps me out.
This is really a pretty big undersell, but we don’t have all day, just be sure to have a browse through his website.
You might know Joe from his 3 books on my Top 20 Photography Books, or perhaps his place in my Top 20 Most Influential Photographer Bloggers, but it’s more likely that you’ve seen his website before. The one thing that Joe has really helped me the most with is portrait lighting, which is a subject he covers often. Again, no description will do him justice, go and click on the link below.
Don’t like reading from a computer too much? Check out his videos.
This is a great website to be creative with your photography and impress your friends with the results (while taking all the credit too). The site’s content ranges from cool photography products, to interesting photography ideas, and of course, DIY Photography. By DIY photography, I mean photos that were taken with a low budget gear, which look like they were taken with much more expensive kit. It’s no secret that studio gear is expensive, so it’s great to see a website which is getting similar results, at a much lower cost.
Here’s a great example of what to expect: How To Build A White Background Home Video Studio.
This is one of the best photography communities on the internet, with over 200,000 fans on Facebook. The tutorials on this website are… alright, but there’s nothing that really stands out too much to me. I think the main selling point of this website is the forum. It’s enormous. I typically don’t like big forums, but this one is actually pretty welcoming, and sometimes you just can’t beat a community of photographers that size. There’s so much knowledge floating around, and people that are happy to help, it’s a great place to go if you’ve got any problems.
Check out the forum.
BJP is THE photography news website on the internet, and with very good reason. Established in 1854, British Journal of Photography is the longest-running photography magazine in not just Britain, but the world. The site is updated daily with news articles, informational resources, community galleries, and forums. This is a proper website, with quality articles; it’s for more serious photographers with a true interest in the industry.
And as a Brit myself, it’s nice to tip my hat to another British website.
Looking for work? Check out the jobs section.
You may well be familiar with PhotoShelter if you run your photography website with them, but did you know they have a blog too? Their main site is great for photographers because they provide professional photography templates, as well as client and sales management tools, for a pretty reasonable price. Their blog is a free service though, with a really useful and diverse selection of content. They cover composition, tips on creating your portfolio, advice on the business of photography, search engine optimisation, and much more.
Here’s a good place to start: 10 Secrets to Successful Online Photo Portfolios.
PetaPixel take the best photography content on the internet, and share it with you on their own website. I’ve even been featured there myself. It’s a really lazy way to keep on top of some of the best photography websites around, and find content that’s a little bit different to the tutorials that you may typically browse. This is the sort of website that I like to click ‘like’ on Facebook, and then browse through their updates in my newsfeed when I’m bored or procrastinating (daily).
Here’s an example of what you can expect: Woman Born Completely Blind Now a Successful Photographer.
This website is like a niche within a niche; it’s photography law, within photography. It’s a really good website to go to if you have any questions about the legality of certain photography situations. It can be a little bit heavy at times, but they do provide some really good content.That’s the complete list! I hope you’ve found a couple of sites that you’ve not heard of before, and if there’s any that you think should be in this list, please leave a comment below.
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