What are good resources (tutorials/books/videos/etc) for a beginning photographer?

Keep in mind that this is for a beginning photographer, who has recently moved from a point-and-shoot to an entry-level DSLR, and is interested in digging deeper into photography in general.

Examples of good topics for the resources to cover:

  • what's aperture?, and other camera basics
  • color temperature and lighting
  • composition and visualization
  • etc.
  • 3
    don't forget that you can find the answers to many of those questions on here... Oct 25, 2010 at 14:46
  • And if you can't find the answers, don't hesitate to ask.
    – mattdm
    May 8, 2015 at 18:16

8 Answers 8


Try http://kelbytv.com/ for some great video tutorials.

also Photography Basics to understand the fundamentals.

I will link to similar questions on this site that have some resources as well

Should be enough in these resources:


Digital Photography School has plenty of tutorials ranging from basic to advanced. Have a look at their list of tutorials for beginners.

I'd also recommend just getting out there and trying stuff out! Nothing will help you learn photography better than experimenting with the camera, then sharing the results on sites like flickr and deviantart.

Have fun! :)


This site is actually a good place to begin learning!

Specifically, there are several tags (post topics) that cover a lot of the basic information, and if you can't find what you need, ask away and you'll probably get an answer.

Beginner tags:

In fact, all of the topics in the question are well-covered under:

And, for "etc" — that's what Ask a Question is for. New and beginning photographers should do a lot of that, and we'll all do our best to help.

This doesn't mean it's the whole world or that other resources aren't recommended — in fact, many specific answers do (and should) point to external sites, or books, or videos, or people. But here is an excellent beginning resource.


I find the tutorials of Cambridge in Colour very useful.

  • This is actually one of the best sites to understand camera/optics/photography basics Dec 28, 2013 at 3:07

There is a another nice set of ten structured photography lessons by Jodie Coston over at morguefile.


One good resource that's often recommended on online photography boards (so take it for what it's worth) is a book: Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. I'd also throw on that pile, Peterson's composition basics book, Learning to See Creatively. Both of them break down the basics of photography into clear prose that seems to ignite that "ah-ha!" moment in a lot of readers.

And, to me, most importantly, Learning to See Creatively is mostly taste-agnostic in describing the basics of composition. Rather than teaching "good" vs. "bad" composition or "strong" vs. "weak" composition, a particular compositional choice is explained through its basic effects. There is no "you must adhere to the rule of thirds", more "here's the rule of thirds; and here's what the effect of using it is."

I think this taste-agnostic aspect of Learning to See Creatively is much more important for a beginner who has yet to establish their own personal taste and voice. It lays out the tools you can choose to use for composition, rather than inadvertently getting you to imitate the taste of the author, as more advanced composition books almost inevitably can.

I would also say that the other much-neglected part of how to learn photography is to simply look at a lot of photography. How you form your own style and taste is, in part, by how you react to works that you see. Musicians listen to music; a director sees a lot of film; a chef has tasted a lot of dishes; authors read a ton. Photographers look at photos. If you want to form your own style and your own voice, it can help tremendously to be aware of what other photographers have done and are doing. Art may be able to exist in a vacuum, but it grows ever so much better when it's fed things.


As a novice to photography I went through all the links posted here and I can say with full confidence that the best learning package by far was John Greengo's Fundamentals of Photography class. It's quite an expensive course at $199 (altough they often price it down to $99), but you get a complete overview of nearly every aspect of digital photography: from camera operation to basics of composition and editing. John is a great instructor and demonstrates everything with easy visual examples that I personally found much better than the free materials you can find online.

Disclaimer: I'm not associated with CreativeLive or John Greengo in any way.

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