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Okay, this is a kind of a personal project. I just graduated from a basic entry level DSLR to an intermediate DSLR. Something, that’s right on the cusp between amateurs and professionals (the very powerful Canon 7D). Even as I heft the camera in my hand, I know that it’s going to be quite a jump up the rope. The famous Indian Rope Trick won’t help me climb the rope. I have to do it click by click.
Thankfully, I have a faithful tutor called the World Wide Web and it does not carry a cane. There are umpteen resources on learning how to photograph. And believe me; it is as easy to get drowned in the quicksand of learning as it is to be buoyant with nuggets of wisdom. Photography ideally follows the “show me how it’s done” model for quick uptake. YouTube does it best. So, which are the best YouTube channels on photography for the kid with the snazzy new camera? Let’s browse…
The one video I picked: How Color Influences B&W Photography
Adorama TV runs 4 days a week and is well-worth a few minutes of your time. Tackle the featured playlists one by one. If I had to recommend the one YouTube playlist to start off with, I would tell you to plonk yourself in front of Digital Photography One on One. With a camera, not a bowl of popcorn. The playlist with its 104 videos not only talks about the basics but also answers viewer questions. You can also hop over to their Learning Center and take your photography learning up a notch. Many of the articles link back to the episodes on YouTube.
The posts also highlight the equipment used in the lessons as Adorama TV also reviews photography equipment. It also helps that they are one of the largest retailers in the United States.
The one video I picked: Canon 7D DSLR Review
The videos are sporadic, but they focus specifically on camera reviews and equipment. You can check out photography tips on their DSLRTips website. So, this YouTube channel might not offer you photography tips as such but if you are hunting for your next camera, you can check this one out. Believe me, as every amateur photographer knows, buying a new ‘perfect’ camera is always a mind-bender without a wise experienced head by your side. When you are looking through the muddy waters, a clear head to head comparison on video helps.
Editor Gordon Laing has a wise head and takes you through the specs by asking pertinent questions and answering a few himself.
The one video I picked: 25 Photography Quotes That You Should Know
For sheer entertainment value I would put DigitalRev right on top. But as this list is unranked, let’s meet Kai Wong and his sardonic humor in a British accent (some say he fakes it; I think it’s real enough). Entertaining or not, DigitalRev is one of the more popular photography channels on YouTube. The channel is completely driven by his nutty personality and that’s what makes it unique – take it or leave it I say. The channel talks about cameras, lenses, photography techniques, and other things in between like How to be a Camera Tosser.
The one video I picked: 4 Tips to Becoming a Better Photographer
His email list at Fro Knows Photo could be a good sign-up for tips. But to know Fro, you have to go to the YouTube channel and meet the guy with the fuzzy hairdo. The photographer, blogger, and entrepreneur is also a well-known music photo journalist. He looks the part, and while shooting mostly with a Nikon, his photo tips touch upon all that is to know about photography.
The one video I picked: Landscape Photography Using the Humble 50mm Lens
I have gone through his photography courses, and while you have to part with a pretty buck there, his YouTube channel is completely free (though you won’t get all videos covered in the course). The YouTube videos are excellently produced. Karl Taylor is a British stills photographer with more than 15 years of photography experience to back the YouTube how-tos and tips with. The YouTube channel is also a perfect complement to his photography blog where you can also take part in a few photography competitions for amateurs. The videos themselves are straight to the point, and I can say that I am learning a lot from this channel.
The one video I picked: Amazing bokeh photo technique
Gavin Hoey is a freelance photographer and photography coach from U.K. You can also check out his articles and freebies on GavTrain, his photography website. You can also find him on Adorama. His recent post on 5 Things Top photographers do & the rest of us don’t was a good read. You will find regular and interesting how-to videos on his channel as well as some interesting ways to produce effects in Photoshop.
Kelby TV is a dedicated podcast for the creative. The YouTube channel has online tutorials galore. Watch all of them or pick Larry’s Cheap Shots for DIY tips and Photography Tips & Tricks (weekly podcast that offers tips and techniques) for first viewing. The podcasts are episodic with each episode featuring more than one topic for discussion and learning.
The one video I picked: Canon EOS: How to Set up DSLR for Video
I am using the official Canon video channel as video filler here because I own one and it is the go-to channel for me and my camera. If you have a Nikon, then it could be that. What’s important is that nearly every manufacturer has a presence on YouTube to back their cameras with. Some of the YouTube channels are also region specific, though that doesn’t make much of a difference. Then there are associated support sites like Canon Learning Center and Canon Forum.
The above list is pretty much subjective. But they are an indication of just how well supported an amateur photographer is with great learning resources. Let me throw one of ours into the mix – The Essential Guide to Digital Photography is a free download from MakeUseOf.com. Do grab this after reading James’ The Top 5 Photography Tips For Absolute Beginners. If you ever run short of ideas of what to photograph next, go over to Nancy’s recommendation on 5 Methods To Find Inspiration For Your Photography Online.
Tell us about your photography journey. Where did you start, where you are now, and how you got there?
Image Credit: By courtesy Frank Gosebruch from Wikimedia Commons