The full title of this blog post is “7 Websites That I Go To Frequently Because I Think They Are Pretty Cool, And Often Useful, But It’s Really Up To You If You Want To Check Them Out. Or Not. That’s Cool, Too.”
But I don’t think WordPress would have allowed a title that long.
It’s actually a reaction to all the websites and blog posts I see that are titled, “10 THINGS YOU MUST DO IMMEDIATELY” or “15 PRODUCTS YOU MUST OWN.” I’m uncomfortable with that level of certainty. Mostly because I choose to ignore those pages or posts and, somehow, my life continues to go along fine.
I’ve only done one tutorial-type of post, last September’s, “On The Importance Of Background Checks“, where I gave some helpful hints to get better photos at auto shows, and hopefully in general.
I’ve steered away from doing other tutorial posts for now. Partly because I’m making all this up as I go along, and who wants to take advice from that person. But, I do want to share some knowledge I have gathered in these many years of plying my trade. So, here is a stop-gap measure. Sort of. Here’s 7 Websites That I Go To Frequently*
I’m a total gear head, I admit it. I try to soak up all the latest news and reviews of what’s happening now in the world of photography. And Digital Photography Review is my first stop. Mind you, it’s not my only stop, but their in-depth reviews and features for comparing cameras are some of the best out there. Be warned: the comments section for the reviews on DPR are populated with miserable, cynical, self-inflated fanboys with butthurt for miles, but the forum section of the site often has pretty useful discussions.
Anything you’ve ever wanted to know about photography: from choosing a camera to how to take better pictures to getting that look you’ve always wanted in post-processing, this is your go-to site. School is in.
PetaPixel is one of those sits that collects news and articles from across the web. There are several dozens of these types of sites, but if I had to choose one, PetaPixel is definitely it. They usually have a great range of stories from new camera releases, interesting “Photography In The News” articles, and those glorious time-lapses I love so much.
I got my jones for photography from LIFE Magazine, and to this day I hold that as the gold standard. But, alas, LIFE Magazine is no more. The closest I have come to a digital equivalent is Boston.com’s The Big Picture. It really does remind me of LIFE, in terms of the depth and breadth of the photo essays. And whether covering current topics, or interesting events, The Big Picture consistently has some of the most world class photojournalism out there. A must see.
Or, anyone really. The idea is that, if you are into photography, find someone famous and follow their website/blog. A good friend turned me on to Neil’s site because of his outstanding tutorials and real world examples regarding off-camera flash photography. But, seriously, fine someone who’s work you really like and follow them relentlessly.
Despite everything you’ve heard, flickr isn’t dead. Although, Yahoo is doing everything in it’s power to put it down like a rabid dog. But, for now, flickr is the best photosharing website out there. People will praise Google+, and I’m sure it is fine for the six or so people on there, and 500px is great if you like hyper-realized HDR sunsets or impossibly beautiful (and way over-processed) Russian models, but flickr still is the heart and soul of photosharing on the web. The communities there, battered and bruised though they are, provide an online photography experience second to none, and will continue to do so until Yahoo’s incessant tinkering finally bury it all.
#7 The /r/photography board on Reddit.
This is the obligatory controversial choice for the list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a bad choice. Past all the newby “Which DSLR should I get?” and “How can I duplicate this effect” threads lies some of the best real-world commentary and advice out there. Often, you have to take a lot of the comments with huge, boulder size grains of salt, but thread for threat I think this is one of the best discussion boards on the web.
I’ll go even further for a controversial pic and say that, the /p/photography board on 4Chan is also a great place to hang out. Know this, it’s not a place for the easily offended or the faint of heart. No, seriously, if you have any moral center at all, stay far away. And, you have to wade through a LOT more chaff to get to the good stuff here, but when honest to goodness advice finally surfaces, it is gold, and gold you can take to the bank.
And, there we are, 7 Websites that I go to frequently because I think they are pretty cool, and often useful. But it’s really up to you if you want to check them out. Or not.
That’s cool, too.