One isn't born with knowledge or acquires it overnight by simply holding a camera and/or reading the manual (let's face it though, who reads the manual?). So I decided to compile a brief list of some great resources for those searching around for photography info:
Those who find reading enjoyable, the book that actually got me out of the crib of being an "auto-function" hobbyist photographer was "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. I have yet to meet the author, but little does he know he was the most influential photographer that jump started my photo career. It's very clear and understandable to those fresh to the pro photographer world, and also great even if you're just looking to improve your hobby. You can purchase the book from Amazon here.
There are tons of great magazines out there as well, Digital Photographer, Advanced Photographer and Popular Photography are my top three I always choose. If you want to focus on more specific categories of photography (nature, b&w, outdoor, wedding, etc) there are publications focusing on that as well. Another tip is to check out other magazines with ads, weddings, etc to study the styles and break down those photos.
My top online blogs & resources:
- Digital Photography School (introduced to me a couple years ago by a colleague) - This is, in my opinion, the best blog I follow. And I highly recommend to like and follow them on Facebook, they post the best articles in my opinion.
- 500px ISO is another amazing blog for photographers, taps into the network of 500px users (probably the best network of pro photographers around the world).
- B&H Photo Video (great resources for tech and beginners)
- Digital Photography Review offers amazing reviews of cameras and equipment, I highly recommend spending time here when researching what camera you'd like to purchase first, or next.
- Vincent Laforet (especially for Canon users). He also has a great resource to choosing a kit here.
When it comes to equipment, the most recommended brands are Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. It's long been a battle between Canon and Nikon, myself being a Canon user, but it truly does come down to the photographer and the style of photography combined with the situations your camera needs to be able to handle. Honestly, look beyond biased opinions and names, and study the specs and unbiased reviews.
I won't talk too much about the editing side of photography yet, but that list of resources are great starts for grasping that too, and if you have access to Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop don't forget their free tutorials at tv.adobe.com.
I'll most likely add to this list as time goes on, but these are great to start with. If you have any recommendations also add it in the comments section.