Resources for inspiration, education and 'how-to' tutorials

Discussion in 'Education' started by mikemorrell, May 18, 2020.

  1. There are very many different books, e-learning courses, websites and Youtube channels that give useful tips on photography and post-processing. You can find all of them via an internet search engine, depending on what you're looking for. After a couple of years, I've found that I prefer some authors, websites and Youtube channels to others. Because - to my taste - they consistently offer high-quality, concise and easy-to-follow tutorials.

    My first thought was to post a list of my personal favourite 'go to' websites and Youtube channels for photography and especially post-processing. I will do this and I do hope that other members will add their favourite books and online resources to this thread too!

    But of course, there are already 'best photography resource' lists out there that include most of the ones I was going to link to anyway. Just by quickly browsing just a sample these others look really good too. So I'm kicking off this thread with links to these lists. BEar in mind that for each Youtube channel, you do need to look at their various 'Playlists' to find topics that interest you. One Playlist may include interviews with photographers, Others may include photography tips for different genres and another may include post-processing tips.

    Disclaimer: I have no idea whether these lists are the 'best ones' out there. I cannot personally vouch for the selection of links on each list (I do note some glaring omissions). But I like at least some of the ones they've included. On the lists of books and Youtube channels, it's well worth comparing lists and looking at those that are highly rated on multiple lists.

    Feel free to discuss, add to, recommend or criticize any of the resources in these lists!


    - best 2020 photography book list at
    - best photography book list at
    - list of best photography books of all time at
    - list best photography books at

    Free on-line learning courses: list at

    Websites:list at

    YouTube channels:
    - list at
    - list at
    michaelseewald and ab_ab|1 like this.
  2. OK now I can add my personal preferences:

    My personal favourites are 'The Photographer's Eye' (mentioned in multiple lists) and 'The photographer's vision' by Michael Freeman. There may be well be better books but these two books have inspired me - and have had a greater influence on my photography - than any other books that I've come across, courses that I've followed, websites that I've visited or YouTube videos that I've watched. The first book focuses mainly on composition, framing and timing. The second - following a short but illuminating review of 'the qualities of a truly great photo' focuses more on the photographers 'vision', intention and how he/she step-by-step transforms this into a photo (or photo-series). Freeman's books are non-technical but discuss the intentional and compositional aspects of photography and full of examples that illustrate his points. One of the things I like is that he also includes very similar photos that didn't quite make the grade. He discusses why and how he made the 'final grade' selection..Another thing I like about Freeman's book is that they are not ego-trips but are written from a genuine wish to share his personal knowledge beliefs and experience in photography. At no point does he pretend that he has 'the answer' or 'the method'. He just shares his insights, opinions an experience. As a Brit (as is Freeman) I found it so refreshing to find his books that are centred not him as a 'well-known photographer' but on photography.


    To be honest, I don't visit many photography websites other than and the (valuable) links that members share. Ye, I also have 500px, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts too. From time to time I dip into these too. Personally, I seldom find these inspirational. Usually''more of the same'. I also have Twitter and Facebook accounts that sometimes lead me to photography websites. Via Twitter, (for photography) I most often end up on Fstoppers or This is completely arbitrary. Somewhere along the line I decided to 'follow' these two feeds. If others had been 'recommended' by Twitter I would have followed them too. But photography is not my main interest on Twitter (or Facebook or Instagram or Facebook).

    Post Processing (PP)
    I take exclusively digital, neutral, RAW photos and I always do some PP on the best of these. Yes, I really should have taken extensive courses on how best to use Lightroom and Photoshop but I stubbornly persisted that I could just 'learn by doing'. To a large extent this has worked. Whenever I ran into something that I didn't quite know how to do, I j ust ''googled' my question and found an answer. 'Adobe and PHlearn (YouTube) quickly became my 'go to' resources on PP. Of course I still 'google' questions that these sources don't answer. I've never yet posed a question via internet that didn't (eventually) turn up an effective answer/solution via YouTube.

    Using a search engine to find out what you what to find out is always good - I much prefer the 'learning by doing' approach for many reasons - but I also see its limitations. At a certain point, you'll discover PP opportunities that 'learning by doing' didn't indicate. Then's the time (IMHO) to back up and get a wider perspective of what's possible with PP. With this overview you can then then better zoon in on the 'how to' tutorials.

    Last edited: May 18, 2020
    michaelseewald likes this.
  3. I like many of the YouTube channels in your lists. One that I didn't see and that I highly recommend is Nick Carver. He's got a great sense of self-depreciating humor and his choice of subjects is very much in sync with mine. BUT, he is almost exclusively a FILE guy.

    On a somewhat different note for inspiration (more philosophical than practical) I would recommend the memoir by Sally Mann, Hold Still, a Memoir with Photographs. You can read my review of Mann's book on my blog here. Of course she too is a FILM photographer. Also inspirational are the various photography essays by Susan Sontag. I wrote a review of her short book Regarding the Pain of Others (yes it's about photography) that you can find here.

    Perhaps now in the digital age with ubiquitous image capture, these book recommendations are outdated and no longer of much 'inspirational' value - but then I consider myself to be somewhat of an anachronism.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. Nature, Art, and............
  5. :Nature, Art, and...
    Thunderstorms" Moving on..

    Indeed.,and Jesus and Donald love you bits.

  6. T.D.S. For Some, Obviously........
    Tiny Bag ‘O Tricks.
  7. I have '7' of the books on the list . Actually I think I have too many books on photography. Some are good, some not so good...
    mikemorrell likes this.
  8. Obviously a very specific "How to" book, but just picked up David Busch's " David Busch's Sony [alpha] A7R II/a7 II: Guide to Digital Photography".

    I just picked up the Camera, and this newbie/amature photographer was not too impressed with the supplied manual. And his books have good reviews...

    I also am learning about e-books on Kindle. :). I could not find a rii printed edition (my preference): plenty available for the A7riii, IV, but not for the older rii. (other than the one on sale on e-bay for a few hundred bucks... yea, good luck with that).
    So here I am with the camera in one hand, and my tablet in the other....

    Big jump from my Rebel XT....
    mikemorrell likes this.
  9. Best "resource for inspiration" has always been a girlfriend... better to have another perspective than to look inward.
    Jochen and mikemorrell like this.
  10. thank you very much for the recommendations, it's very helpful for me!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
    mikemorrell likes this.
  11. I tell my workshop attendees that the best compositional book I'd seen, that explains it so well and wakes you up to 'seeing sideways', and makes you outright think, is 'Photography for the Joy of It' by Canadian photog Freeman Patterson. Think it's out of print, but buy used on eBay. Good shooting. MS .

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