Photography – Where to start learning

My general motivation

So many sources to learn. But not to see the wood for the trees. You bought your (digital) camera equipment and knew that in theory all information to learn everything about photography are there on the Internet, but where shall you start? Then you feel like I did in early 2014.

My path started with fundamental concepts of photography on the camera. Shortly I realized that a valid image organization software is necessary to cope with all my shots. While following work of others I realized how important post-processing is to me. Thus, I quickly got in touch with specialized software to be able to capture a larger dynamic range. Then being attacked with all that light, I learned how important it is to re-light certain elements in a picture, or dudge and burn the image, i.e. making it lighter or darker. After a period of intensive learning on all these different important elements of photography I came back to the beginning, the fundamentals of composition and my eyes. And finally, searching for and being yourself through photography.

Based on these experiences, I recommend to build up a parallel schedule on learning different aspects of photography (composition, camera techniques, organizing images, post-processing, finding yourself) as well as learning from different sources (read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, follow other artists, do nothing with the inspirational eye and wait for the world to come).

From all the material I personally found the following (mostly) video-based classes, workshops and tutorials extremely helpful as a learner in landscape photography (with a teacher’s eye and mindset).

On composition

On camera equipment and techniques:

On organizing and managing images:

On elementary post-processing:

On advanced post-processing:

On finding yourself:

  • Visual Literacy, Daniel Gregory, 1h35min,  
    Potentially, one of the most helpful classes I’ve ever seen. Daniel talks about vocabulary as the root of communication, about the intention to create an image, about understanding your work, and finally about yourself as a photographer. Great class.
  • A Day with Jay Maisel, Scott Kelby and Jay Maisel, 1h53min,
    Another Day with Jay Maisel, Scott Kelby and Jay Maisel, 1h29min,
    A Week with Jay Maisel in Paris, Scott Kelby and Jay Maisel, 2h05min,
    The Art of Digital Photography: The Inspirational Series with Jay Maisel, Mia McCormick and Jay Maisel @kelbyone, 56min,
    All four of these courses are full of wisdom, insights, philosophy and hands-on implications. A pleasure to watch.

For sure, this list can never be complete and I will update it from time to time. Nevertheless, it is only my own perspective and therefore highly subjective.