I am interested in photography and although I can’t call myself a photographer, I am a big photography fan, taking pleasure in examining and admiring beautiful images. I spend a lot of my time online surfing photography related websites and I thought it would be good to share some of these in a post and hope you’ll find some useful information and good inspiration in the resources listed here.
Photographic Societies and Camera Clubs
Camera clubs are a great place for photographers to meet and share knowledge and experience, talk about their work, exchange ideas and seek advice. I’ve listed some of the best camera clubs and photographic societies in the UK below
Morriston Camera Club is a relatively young club, having been set up in January 1993 by a small group of people whose aim was to promote the hobby of photography in the Morriston area of Swansea, but more importantly to try to help improve the photographic skills of anyone interested in photography, whether complete beginners or those with more experience. This is how the Morriston Camera Club functions today. The emphasis is firmly on the more experienced members of the club passing on their skills to the less experienced members by ‘Teach-ins’ on various topics, including demonstrations of techniques such as portrait sessions, lighting set-ups etc. “We hold regular ‘Back to Basics’ sessions using our digital projector and lap-top, illustrating digital photography techniques and anything else that the members want.”
Loreburn Camera Club is a small group of enthusiastic photographers who meet to enhance their enjoyment of photography. Members’ skills range from beginner to full-time professionals. Between September and April, club members meet regularly on Monday evenings. The club organizes photography competitions, where everyone is invited to participate regardless of skill level as the main aim is to give a constructive comment on the works submitted. Loreburn Camera Club takes special care to help members learn more about photography, so even total beginners are catered for.
Leicester Forest Photographic Society was formed in 1965 as a photographic club open to all regardless of ability. Season runs from September to May during which the club attracts a variety of high quality lecturers plus runs a large number of digital and print competitions covering a wide range of themes and subjects. In addition, there are regular workshop groups for beginners and for established members to help improve their photographic, compositional and imaging skills. There’s also a studio group involved in both indoor and outdoor portraiture work where members learn a wide range of skills in using studio equipment and different lighting techniques. The Leicester Forest Photographic Society also runs public exhibitions of its members’ work and is involved in providing talks and lectures to other interest groups on improving their photography skills.
Paisley Photographic Society was founded in 1857 which makes it the oldest photographic society in Scotland and has active members of about 70 great photographers. The society has been giving photography lessons to members since 1891! In 1965 it became one of the only two camera clubs in Scotland to provide a colour printing room to be used by its members. It was replaced in 2001 with a computerised digital imaging suite to reflect changes in the technology used by photographers to make prints. The society is three times host to the Scottish Salon of Photography at the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries in 1968, 1982 and 1992. In 2007, the Society celebrated its 150th Anniversary. Paisley Photographic Society continues to warmly welcome those who wish to learn more about and practise the rewarding art of photography.
Bristol Photographic Society is one of the oldest photographic groups in the Bristol area. The origins of the society can be traced through to a number of mergers in the early 1900s and today it is still actively providing a vigorous programme catering for the wide photographic interests of its members. The society is fortunate in owning its own premises and is thus able to encourage complete freedom in providing a variety of separately run programmes: an annual basic photography course, meetings, outings, folios, competitions, specialist groups, a library and studio facilities, all held in a friendly and convivial atmosphere.
I have compiled a few photographers’ websites which you can use for ideas, inspiration and examples of different photography styles, while learning from the work of others.
Tim Balmer – Tim is a wildlife photographer based in Dorset. As he describes himself, he has always felt comfortable surrounded by nature and loves sitting, watching and learning in the middle of nowhere, where he can capture nature in all its fascinating diversity. Lots of his works have been published in magazines. You can browse Tim’s website for lots of wildlife and nature photography inspirations and ideas.
Steven Brooks – Steve is a professional photographer specialising in wedding and lifestyle photography. His website features lots of galleries of his work which includes wedding photos and portraiture.
Paul O’Connor – Paul is a professional photographer based in Bath. He specialises in editorial, lifestyle and advertising photography. Paul has worked for clients like Ted Baker, Vodafone, Tesco and more. If you are interested in PR photography you can find a great deal of inspiration through Paul’s works.
Louise Davis – Louise is a creative photographer with a huge portfolio of advertising and PR works. There is lots of imagination in her images which can help any start up photographer with ideas and examples.
Chris Palmer – Chris is an amateur photographer, and an obsessional photoholic (!). He takes pictures for pleasure, judges and lectures on photography, advises for the Royal Photographic Society, assists running photographic workshops, and enjoys producing fine art prints. His website features a few galleries of his works which include interesting images of people and nature from around the world.
David Dalziel – David is a landscape photographer based in Scotland. Photography is sort of a hobby for him but many of his works have been published in newspapers, magazines and books. Most of his leisure time he spends outdoors taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes of Scotland and Northern England. David’s website exhibits most of his works, so there are plenty of wonderful landscape photographs to stir your creative juices.
David Forcina is a product photographer based in London. He offers high quility product photography of all kinds of products like food, jewellery, furniture, gadgets and many more. There are lots of examples of his work on his website so stop by for some ideas.
Tutorials, Inspiration and Resources
The following blogs and websites offer extensive digital photography information. They focus on :
- Post production tutorials
- Photoshop resources
- Guides to using different types of digital cameras
- Composition and technique tutorials
- Photography collections for inspiration
They also offer professional reviews on cameras, lenses, printers and other photography equipment as well as buying guides.
Digital Photography School – This is one of my favourite digital photography blogs. Darren Rowse is the digital photography enthusiast behind it. He has been involved in producing tips articles at a website largely focused on digital cameras. Digital Photography School was born as a result of his desire to start a site dedicated purely to “how to” photography guides.
The Photography Blog – This blog is run by professional photographer Mark Goldstein who started it in January 2003. There is lots of useful photography information to be found there, like news, reviews, tips and guides.
Smashing Hub – Smashing Hub is run by Ali Qayyum, a guy who loves technology, graphics, creative work of designers, and writing about new trends, technologies and gadgets. It is not primarily focused on photography but there are lots of great resources and freebies which could be of use to any photographer.
Smashing Magazine – Founded in September 2006, Smashing Magazine delivers useful and innovative information to web designers and developers. The main aim of this website is to inform its readers about the latest trends and techniques in web development. It is also not directly focused on photography but it publishes inspiring photo collections.
Digital Camera Information
These websites offer a great deal of information on photography hardware to help you find the best camera and photography equipment. They publish professional reviews and news on all models and brands of digital cameras, price comparison for online retailers, camera use tutorials and buying guides. You can browse cameras by technical specifications and compare star ratings.
DC Resource – an unofficial resource for current and future owners of digital cameras.
DP Review – an independent resource dedicated to provide news, reviews and information related to digital photography
Cameras.co.uk – If you are looking to buy a digital camera and you are not sure where to start take a look at the buying guides on this site.
CNET – CNET UK is the UK’s expert and unbiased authority on consumer technology including digital cameras, digital SLR cameras and other photography equipment
DC Views- The goal of this website is to provide up-to-date and complete information on digital cameras and support photographers with practical tutorials on digital photography.