Skip to content

Up for Discussion: Learning on Online

sorrento-beach-waves-slow-sunset-460

There are so many places online that you can learn how to do photography, how to do Lightroom, Photoshop, really anything you want to learn, but how many of them are any good and should you have to pay for them?  That is the question I am asking today, I think.

Learning is a continuous thing, well for me, I know I am not an expert and I know there is a lot I don’t know.  I enjoy that and I like the challenge of finding out new things to do.  This last year I have learned about using a macro lens macro-mallee-viv-garden-mine086and doing macro photography.  I have learned how to photograph the milky way, and now I am starting to learn how to do long exposures.  You know I just learned a different way of replacing a sky with trees in the image, and I also learned about luminosity masks last year.  So learning new tricks never really stops, I hope it never does, life would be so boring if there was never anything new to look forward to.

Finding Where to Learn

So if you want to learn new things, the next step is finding somewhere.

Before the world of the computer, and the internet, you would have to find someone you knew, or knew through someone who could help you learn, or was willing to take the time to teach you.  If that wasn’t an option then you would have to find a class somewhere.  Then there was the library and books to teach you what you wanted to know.  If you lived in a small town then it was so much harder, the libraries often don’t have the books you want.

shearing-blurred-sunset-woomelangThe digital age has certainly changed all that. We now have access to a variety of information from all over the world and access to things that were never possible before.  One could say there is so much information out there how do you work out what is good for you, or how do you find what you are looking for?

Perhaps a good question or questions.  It is hard sorting out the crap stuff and finding the great stuff in amongst it.

Paying for Online Courses and Tutorials

There are definitely places online that you can find great tutorials for, but many of them you have to pay for.  Though usually when you pay for them you also have full access to them anytime you want, or so CreativeLive keep telling us.  Which has its benefits, but how often do you actually watch it again?

Then there is something like KelbyOne or Lynda.com where you have to become a member, pay a monthly subscription fee to get access to everything they have.  Still, you are paying a lot of money, and seriously how often do you watch stuff on them.  I’ve been with KelbyOne for a while now and I don’t think I’ve watched anything on there for months.  They don’t have new shows coming on all the time and then I get bombarded with information about events they are doing that are all in the US that I can’t attend because I live in another country.  Or they give you these fantastic offers, which you think are great, then find out they are available to US residents only. They are so happy to take money from their Non US customers, but don’t give them rewards either.

parks-garden-macro-banyule-flowers-103I’m not saying these online places aren’t good.  I have learned a lot from them, and truth be told, I’ve probably learned a lot more from CreativeLive than anyone else, and it is the one I use the most. I don’t like talking about them here because they can be rude and often don’t respond to emails.  I dislike giving people space on my blog if I think they are rude or arrogant.  However, I have spent a lot of time looking at their online tutorials.  I do like that you can view it for free first while it is being broadcast, then if you wish, you can purchase the course and then watch it any time you like.  I have quite a library and have spent quite a bit of money there.  There are courses I have purchased and wished I never did, so I am becoming a lot more picky about which ones I do get.  I make sure I watch a lot of it first.  It isn’t always possible to watch it all, but if I like what I see, and like the presenter, then I will purchase.

One of the biggest problems I find with these courses though is that professional photographers often are the teachers, and they are photographers not teachers, so they teach you what they know and how they do things.  Which can mean if they use expensive equipment to do what they do, that is what they show you.  Great that is how the professional does it, but what about the rest of us.  I remember watching something on architectural photography on KelbyOne and the photographer used all these really expensive lights to set up the shot, well I don’t have the money to do that, so how does someone like me do architectural photography when I’m working on a very tight budget?

aireysinlet-milkyway-lighthouse-stars-astrophotographyThe other thing I find is that they can sometimes have presenters who draw large crowds but then when you see them doing post processing it is clear they don’t work in an efficient way.  For example, Creative Live have a woman who is always on there doing different classes and she always does stuff with Photoshop, and I now know that she shows people how to do things in destructive ways. Other presenters there are always saying work in non destructive ways, so I don’t understand why they let her do classes on Photoshop when what she does is against what everyone else is saying. I guess it goes back to sorting through the crap for the gold.

Finding Free ones

Of course there are lots of other places to find information.  YouTube is a fantastic source of information and if you put in a search for how to do something you will find hundreds of tutorials.  Unfortunately they aren’t all good and sometimes you have to go through several before you find the ones that are good for you.  There are good free tutorials there, there are also some really bad ones.  I am hoping to start putting links to good ones in my newsletter when I find them.

LeanneCole-macro-20140530-0006There are sites like the Digital Photography School, which I believe is also free, I don’t think they charge you, though I haven’t had a lot to do with them, so not quite sure.

You don’t have to pay for good online classes and tutorials, but they can be harder to find.  I am doing a rethink of my online tutorials, and while I don’t think I need them as much, I still learn things and do look for them.  I am starting to rethink all I pay for and what I have access to for free.

Do you look at much online in the way of classes and tutorials?  Do you find it hard to work you way through the maze to find what you are looking for?  Have you found some places that you think are great?

All the images in this post are things I’ve learned to do in the last 12 months, some form online, but a lot from you and those that follow my blog.  I have found this blog has helped me learn so much.

139 Comments
  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    That photo of the Milky Way is my favorite. 🙂

    January 30, 2015
  2. I’ve used some Creative Live which I find helpful. I also love Dave Cross from Adobe. He has a great photoshop course but it’s not cheap. I learned so much from him though and he’s very clear the way he teaches. I still refer to some of the videos now and again.

    January 30, 2015
    • I love Dave Cross too, and Ben Willmore. I have quite a few courses from both of them. I am always going back to the videos. Thanks Laura.

      January 30, 2015
  3. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    Reblogged this on The Artistic Spider's Web and commented:
    Up for Discussion: Learning on Online

    January 30, 2015
  4. Thanks for the top on online schools. Your photography is excellent, leanne!

    January 30, 2015
    • You’re welcome John, and thank you for the compliment.

      January 30, 2015
  5. Hi Leanne, interesting article. I tend to google a problem when I want to do something and then sort through articles until I find one that helps. Also strobist.com and cambridge in colour are good sources of information.

    January 30, 2015
    • I tend to do the same when I want to know something really specific, but I like watching how other photographers work too, you can learn a lot that way. I haven’t heard of strobist.com, but I have heard of Cambridge. Thanks for those Sharon.

      January 30, 2015
  6. Reblogged this on sharongreenaway and commented:
    Do you do online courses? Here is a discussion about the merits.

    January 30, 2015
  7. Hi Leanne,

    I’m just starting out to actually think about my photographs and how I should take them and so far, I picked up a few things on different blogs that explain why it might be better to use this or that setting. I also just bought my first photography magazine and had lot’s of aha moments. So I’m quite excited about what I’m going to find and explore next and hopefully can incorporate in my pictures.

    In terms of online courses, I found a photography course on Groupon for very little money the other day and it’s supposed to be for all levels and covers the basics, e.g. what the heck are all the buttons for on my camera?, but continues with actual photography. I hope to be able to operate the cam and its setting more efficiently to take better pictures after this course, but it’s also my first online course so I hope it actually holds what it promises.

    P.S. I love the pictures, especially the macro once. It’s also something I want to get a hang on.

    January 30, 2015
    • I remember being at that stage, wonderful Hanni. That is great that you are finding things out, it is great.
      I haven’t heard of that, but if it works for you go for it. I hope you learn heaps from it as well.
      Thank you so much. I love macro, though wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

      January 30, 2015
  8. STUNNING!

    January 30, 2015
  9. How can you say that you are not “professional”? You are an awesome photographer. I just started using a camera and have learned a great deal using your shots as examples. I didn’t even know there were free tutorials, I would look forward to learning what they are. Why don’t you teach? I think you are great and I love your work. Victoria

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Victoria, I am glad you find my images helpful, and I do teach, and am trying to find people interested in some online classes. I hope you have subscribed to my newsletter, I am hoping to include lots of useful information in that.

      January 30, 2015
      • Woohoo…………Looking forward to it!

        January 30, 2015
      • Might try and get it ready so I can do it in about a month.

        January 30, 2015
  10. I need someone to take me by the hand and learn star photography. I googled, I read, and it’s still not quite right. But yes, I am always looking for free and good info.

    January 30, 2015
    • sometimes it is best to just have someone with you who can take you through it. I’ve run classes on it and quite successfully, hoping to do more this coming Autumn and winter. Shame you aren’t in Melbourne. Thanks Leanne

      January 30, 2015
  11. Yes, I often use online tutorials to learn something new. No, I do not pay for them, because some of the reasons you stated (like special and best stuff only being for US citizens.). I tend not to stick to places so I cannot recommend or share any good links. I tend to be versatile with what I want to know, and always search for a tutorial that feels close to the way I am already working. For example, I never watch Youtube tutorials, simply because it is hard for me to learn while watching a video, I prefer readable tutorials, no video, no voice, just letters and optionally screenshots.

    January 30, 2015
    • I tend to work in a similar way, I will google looking for something specific because I want to know how to do something particular, I don’t really look for tutorials on using software in a general way anymore. I am the opposite I like videos, so I can see what is happening, I hate reading them. I am more visual. Thanks for your thoughts on this Oloriel.

      January 30, 2015
  12. Your blog has taught ME so much and I thank you! Get those on-line classes started Leanne I’m there! 😀

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Julie, that is great to hear. Yes, I must, have to work out some stuff first, but getting there. 😀

      January 30, 2015
  13. My personal experience is that I often don’t follow through. I get interested in something then drop it. So I find that… if it’s not free….it’s not for me. BUT if I do follow through…. once I have completed the free stuff (like a you tube tutorial) and I’m still interested…. I am in a much better place to determine which paid programs are best for me.

    January 30, 2015
    • I like that concept. It is great that there is so much free stuff out there. I tend to like things more these days on Photographers and seeing how they work. Though I like free tutorials for doing more specific stuff. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      January 30, 2015
  14. More beautiful photo Leanne Cole do you have your Pinterest Site as well

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you, no I don’t have Pinterest.

      January 30, 2015
  15. Very cool. Thanks for this. Like anything, there is good and bad. I’ve never used Photoshop or any other processing tool. What three Photoshop tools do you feel from your experience (or preference) are the most useful for making photos more powerful?

    January 30, 2015
    • So very true, there is always good and bad. Oh that is a loaded question, probably the level tool to straighten images, the spot removal and maybe resizing, curves, oh I can’t keep it to three.

      January 30, 2015
  16. You make some great points. Often the best teacher is one sitting next to you demonstrating. Or, as you said a YouTube video that gives the basics, so you can begin. It’s takes experimentation. Also, each of us learn in different ways.

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Sally, I agree with you, just learn a few things and experiment. It does take experimentation, and lots of it. We do learn in different ways, great point Sally.

      January 30, 2015
  17. Reblogged this on For My Info.

    January 30, 2015
  18. This is a really interesting topic. I’ve actually only ever done two e-courses and one of those was family history related and the other (which I just started) is art related. I, therefore, have no distance learning experience in photography. What I found with learning photography and photo editing during my time as a member of a local camera club, however, was that I learn best through demonstration followed by immediate application with support. So I would watch someone using particular Photoshop tools and would then try them out for myself with them providing back up if I got stuck. And I had to repeat the actions a few times for the learning to drill down into my brain. So in terms of photography lessons online I would certainly need an opportunity for dialogue that was aimed specifically at me, like a one-on-one tutorial as follow up to a lesson. But maybe that’s just me.

    January 30, 2015
    • Looks like we learn the same way Laura, I am exactly the same, I have to put it straight into practice or I forget it. that is a great point, I am okay with the videos, and have enough experience, I think with photography now that I think I can usually work it out. Though I was doing one thing the other day and their version of Photoshop did something different to mine, that was a bit annoying. We all learn different Laura, that’s for sure. thanks for sharing this.

      January 30, 2015
      • You are welcome. And that’s a good point too – we are all different types of learners. As a teacher (High School English) I had to be conscious of the need to cater to the learning styles of all my students from the visual-spatial learners through to the kinesthetic learners as well as the more traditional listen, read, write learners. Not all tutors are as adept at engaging all learning styles, I’ve found.

        January 30, 2015
      • Isn’t that why they say some teachers suit some students better than others, it all depends. We are all different. I am sure you are right about that too, it must be hard.

        January 30, 2015
  19. The lighthouse. Wow!

    January 30, 2015
  20. leecleland #

    You’re right Leanne about the mass of info. out there to learn from, some good, some just bad. Living out of town with a slow network and only 15Gb per month to play with I have trouble viewing many CreativeLive courses in their entirety so have to watch a bit and then take a chance if I think it will be OK. As you say Leanne it all depends on the presenter.
    Photoshop Fine Art Grunge (you can get it on special occasionally) I’ve found to be really good and straightforward if you want to learn layers and masks and brushes and arty stuff in Photoshop. Again I have a problem with downloads or is it uploads per month 🙂 but there is a huge amount of info. here.
    Bryan Peterson’s School of Photography (www.bpsop.com) has numerous courses run by different photographers. You pay by the course and have assignments each week which are critiqued by the teacher and you get to see what everyone else on the course did and read the comments also. I found this a very helpful learning environment when I got my first DSLR, but they have a range of courses from beginner to expert to arty. Again the teacher is everything.
    Some of the best info. I have got is when a fellow blogger talks about how he/she did a particular thing in detail (like you changing the sky last week) and then I go and try it and practice to see if it makes sense to me.

    January 30, 2015
    • Oh wow that is low Lee, I couldn’t imagine living with only that much download. We have 200 and still manage to go through it. It really does, I’ve started to watch classes that I think will be great, but as soon as I start watching them I realise I can’t stand the presenter so have to switch it off.
      I think I got something from that once, but didn’t really watch it, I started watching but realised it was all stuff that I was already doing.
      I haven’t heard of Bryan Peterson, so can’t comment on that.
      That is often the best way. It is good to find photographers you like and then pester them to find out how they work.
      Thanks Lee, some great tips there.

      January 30, 2015
  21. Hi Leanne,

    I take a somewhat different approach to a lot of my learnings. First, I am truly fortunate to belong to a local photo club that has two incredibly knowledgeable and talented pros as mentors. The great thing with the club is that each month we see a presentation on a photography topic. That gives me lots of ideas. From there, sometimes I find more online, other times I hit the books and then there are the times that I’ve learned enough from the presentation to get started so I just go out, try what was shown and learn by doing.

    Our mentors are always willing to sit down one on one if a member has a question, etc.

    As for books, if I’m going that route, I prefer to buy them. That way I always have them, I can mark them up and just plain use them whenever I need to.

    A lot of folks have told me that since I joined the club a couple of years ago, my photography has gotten hugely better, both shooting and processing, so something must be working!

    The real bottom line is that photography is a craft, so the only way you get better at it is by practicing, a lot.

    January 30, 2015
    • that is great if you belong to a good photography club like that, my experience with them has not been that good. It sounds very nuturing.

      I don’t buy books anymore, I am a visual person and videos work better for me, I like to see it done, then I copy it, but that is me.

      That’s great to hear that the club is really helping you to improve, I think there also has to be a desire to improve as well.

      that is so true, and to add to that, I think you have to be prepared to try things as well.
      Thanks John. I got your email, will respond soon.

      January 30, 2015
  22. Beautiful beautiful images Leanne and a great topic!
    I find I’m always learning too and usually find tutorials online and adobe.tv has been useful for me. Usually short and sweet.
    Love your dandelion – you found one with jewels 😀 😀

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Robyn.
      I haven’t looked at adobe.tv, I must check it out. I like short and sweet too, straight to the point is always good.
      thanks again, I have to confess I sprayed it with water and then stuck it in the freeze, shh don’t tell anyone, 😉

      January 30, 2015
  23. Great discussion piece today. Your photos are so lovely too, I don’t know if I have seen that Milky Way with the lighthouse, wow.
    I have just learned of Creative Live, I signed up a couple weeks ago. I watched a photography basics (in progress), there were points that I liked. I had to get past the instructor…to showy and down talking for my liking. But, I caught a couple key points, he was very into filling the frame, which I took with me. I kind of feel like there are moments were I want to know something so I go searching (pintrest, youtube, google) and other times where all the information is so overwhelming I lose sight of the creative happiness I get from just going out and seeing this beautiful world through my viewfinder. When I come back to the simplest path, I tend to be happiest.
    Your talent is undeniable, you see your world in a lovely way and I am so happy my learning path includes you and your blog. I am also looking forward to your on-line classes, I will be signing up!

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Carrie, I did that shot a while back.
      I guess it is like anything, you have to like who is teaching it, I have my favourites and there are others that I would never watch. I find with myself these days that I am usually looking for something specific, so I go looking for that thing.
      We do all work differently, which is great, means there are so many different ways of doing things.
      What a beautiful thing to say Carrie, thank you so much. There are a few of you now, I will have to get myself set up I think.

      January 30, 2015
  24. Fantastic images!!! Love the constellations of stars and the sea mmmmm beautiful : ))

    January 30, 2015
  25. Apart from studying at University I have never paid for what I have learned. I scoured the web in the days of photoshop cs where nearly everything was free. I kept a notebook, made notes practised and then refined the notes to work for me. I do buy books in areas that I am interested from but not online, I always go to a bookshop and flick through the book to make sure it is not just crap. I have a great black and white photography book because of that.

    You are right there are a lot of classes where they say use this studio light and this background that the average photog may not have, this is why I love DIY ideas and ideas on instructables.com. I also think you need to be creative and think outside the box; if they say studio light, I sometimes swap out for Ikea Lamp ect.

    Personally if you want to learn photography you need to go out and shoot and if you want to pay find a pro near you and go out with them in the field. You will learn so much more. Also this is not something you learn overnight, you have to put the hours in.

    January 30, 2015
    • I am happy to pay for stuff if I feel I am really learning. I find it hard to fork out money for things when I don’t know what I will get, which is one thing I find about creativelive, you can watch it and then decide if you want to watch it again. I have some that I watch over and over. I am not good with books, I often find them too confusing. I like to see what is happening.

      I just don’t get who their target audience is in that instance. They seem like they are teaching people who have all that stuff already, I want to know how I can achieve a similar effect with what I have. I find KelbyOne really bad for that.

      I think it can be very intimidating going out with a pro, but finding pros who run classes, well photographers that do work that you like, is also a great way. I agree, it can take years and years, I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and I’m still learning, or maybe I’ve been doing it a lot longer than that really, I got my first camera, a plastic crappy one, 40 years ago.
      thanks Ben, some great points there.

      January 30, 2015
      • I also think that photowalks maybe a good way of learning as you are all out together learning from each other.
        Although I know you and I have been doing photography for a while, I feel a lot of new people, maybe younger, think that it can be learnt in a shorter time. I wonder if kelby and creative live is aimed at the people who buy all the gear and are then lost.

        January 30, 2015
      • Oh yes, going out with other photographers can be great, I love doing that, and really want my social snappers to be successful for that reason.
        I agree, many think they can learn everything quickly and then know everything. It takes years, I know I still have a lot to learn. You could be right there, I found it was always too high priced for me.

        January 30, 2015
  26. Hi Leanne, I have learned so much from your blog and the opportunity to participate in your monochrome madness (haven’t submitted one for a while). I have also joined a local group which includes photographers at all stages from amateurs like me to professionals. They are so helpful and encouraging that I am very lucky to be a part of their group. I also google when I want to find out how to do things, and the help guide for Adobe Photoshop is quite good (I don’t yet have Lightroom, but intend to get it soon). I am subscribed to a site called Picture Correct, and they provide free tips and tutorials which are brilliant. I have also found participating in challenges in a group called Guru Shots has been great as I have learned a lot from the comments of the professionals who run each challenge, as well as the other people who participate. Also just examining their photos and identifying what is good about them has helped me to improve my photos greatly. However, I have been looking at doing an online course as well, as I want to work professionally as a photographer in the future and there is so much that I need to learn, not only with how to capture the image I want, but in terms of permissions and what I can and cannot capture and sell (eg; shots of a beach with people in the background – do I need to get permission off every one of them before I can publish/sell that piece? I was surprised to learn that you need authority to publish/sell a photo of a building but does that include an architectural piece where only part of the building is shown). So much to learn … If you are going to do an online course, I would certainly be interested in learning more about it. I like the idea of online courses, as I have an illness which would make it difficult for me to get to structured classes, so online suites me, although I notice that many of them are very expensive.

    January 30, 2015
    • It sounds like you are doing great Deb, and have really worked out where you are going and what you need. I think the questions you ask are good, but the rules are different everywhere you go, and it does get confusing.
      I have been surprised at how many people are interested in doing an online course with me. I will be limited with how many I can do at one time, but I am going to look into it and maybe in about a month I will be ready.
      Thank you Deb for sharing how you learn.

      January 30, 2015
  27. Yes i agree, I found Lynda to be a bit pricey and also the quality of delivery and lack of engagement made me lose interest pretty quickly. One thing you may want to try is some online courses through Coursera, they are free and sometimes come up for digital design and photoshop type courses and these are generally high quality. I love your photos you are amazing at your job 🙂

    January 30, 2015
    • I have had similar things with KelbyOne, I am paying all this money, but when I stop paying, I can’t see anything again. I have to admit I don’t really look for courses anymore, I tend to look more for specific things when I really want to find something out. Thank you for that, and thanks for sharing what you know.

      January 30, 2015
  28. Though I would love to learn to use Lightroom etc., I still hold the view the best pictures are the ones untouched by technology. A look at the work of masters of yesteryears is enough evidence. That said, your pictures are so ‘alive’.

    January 30, 2015
    • Yeah, but that has never happened, even in the days of film images were touched, this idea that you can take a perfect image with your camera is a new thing that has come along since digital. You would be mislead if you believed that the masters of yesteryear didn’t manipulate their photos, they may not have done it on computers, but they certainly did it in the darkroom. It is amazing how much you can or did do in the darkroom.
      Thanks

      January 30, 2015
      • You’re right. But ‘manipulating’ photos is not right, enhancing them is!

        January 30, 2015
      • I think Manipulating is fine, you should be allowed to do whatever you like to your images, that is what I think.

        January 30, 2015
  29. Yes, that last statement resonates a lot, I have also learned or wanted to try photos I have seen on blogs, stimulating, non more than yours. I love the courses idea but with a little man taking the time right now, I have to stick to trail and error and inspiration from others

    January 30, 2015
    • That can be a great way to learn too, I did that a lot when my children were little. You do what you can and as time goes on you will be amazed at how much you have learned. good luck.

      January 30, 2015
  30. Beautiful work, Leanne! I fumble around with GIMP and that’s about it. I look at their manual and the occasional online video. I rely on you mostly! So thank you!!

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Nicci, I understand your fumbling, meaning that I know your interests and what you really want to do, so I think what you are doing is great. Hahaha, seems I come in handy.

      January 30, 2015
  31. Great post leanne! I’ve signed up to the digital photography school (for free) and you do get a lot of useful tips and advice on a range of photography topics, it’s quite helpful. I’m really interested to see your newsletter, How do I sign up to it?

    January 30, 2015
    • I have signed up for those sorts of things before as well, and it is great when you get some great ideas and tips. To sign up to the newsletter Sabrina there is a widget in the side panel for signing up to the LCP Newsletter, if you click on it will take you to where you can sign up. Thanks Sabrina.

      January 30, 2015
      • Great! Thanks leanne, ill sign up now. Have a good day! 🙂

        January 31, 2015
      • My pleasure Sabrina, thanks for signing up. 🙂

        January 31, 2015
  32. Great topic for discussion, Leanne and beautiful dreamy photos.. The milky way with the lighthouse pointing to the sky is stunning.

    As far as learning about anything, I watch an example, take notes and do, and repeat and repeat so it sinks in! I have watched a few Utube vids and do have a few reference books. Of late I have found two things work well for me: a mentor – either in person or via a useful blog – that’s you! And learning from peers on a challenge like One Four for processing. Courses face to face are great, but I forget too quickly without reference material to review later. I think what you are planning to do with your newsletter, courses and online tuts is a great mix to cater for different learning styles and locations. Thanks for being generous. You are very gifted!

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Chris, I really wanted that shot with the milky way over the lighthouse.
      I tend to learn the same way. Having a mentor is a great idea, and I love that you have decided I am yours. Yes, reference material is important, I agree, it is good to have that. I would be the same.
      I don’t know about that, but I am looking forward to doing some milky way shots and macro shots with you.

      January 30, 2015
  33. Personally, I think (and so does Discover Magazine) that 3D holography is the very best type of photography. Nothing beats a 3D true color picture (that you don’t need special glasses to see). I learned on my own by getting books and experimenting by myself. Unfortunately, one can’t take 2D photos of the holograms and post them online to illustrate how awesome they are! Mono-color holograms too are very impressive… especially the ones that project out into the room allowing you to move your hand through them (i.e., through the projected image).

    January 30, 2015
    • I haven’t looked into doing that, I’m not ready for it, that ‘s for sure, it is interesting though. Interesting idea Thomas.

      January 30, 2015
  34. DAMN GREAT!

    January 30, 2015
  35. I only do basic editing in Lightroom (so far), but whenever I want to try something out or need editing help and search online, although there’s a huge amount of tutorials out there, the ones I always find my way back to are those by Julieanne Kost from Adobe. She explains and demonstrates everything in a calm and logical way.
    I’ve also looked at a few free courses on creative live but as you said some of the good photographers they have on aren’t necessarily good teachers.

    January 30, 2015
    • There are a huge number of tutorials that’s for sure. I haven’t really looked at the ones on Adobe, didn’t even know they were had them, I will have to check them out.
      You do have to pick your teachers on it, I find some of them quite irritating. Thank you Kiki.

      January 30, 2015
  36. Great article Leanne and wow, such a volume of comments you have obviously stirred the hornets nest. My most useful aid so far has been attending a local evening class and buying a photo magazine (PhotoPlus) which is aimed at Canon camera users (but not focused just on Canon own brand) which has come with some very useful Photoshop CD’s. I have done online courses in PS but I found this quite basic and often when there is something I want to know it is quickest to google and find a you tube solution.

    Good luck with your own course Leanne, I think the key these day is to have some good interaction and feedback. This is what separates out the good from the unhelpful. This changes a course from a product to a service.

    From what I see here and having followed you a good time now, I can certainly see you being the service offering and that is what I think most people really want – the trouble is today there is almost too much info just out there.

    MM 🍀

    January 30, 2015
    • It is great when the comments come flowing in. I do the same with photoshop, just google it and see how I go. I can usually work out what I want to know.

      Thank you MM, I am hoping that I can find people who want to do it, though there are lots of people doing them, but I am hoping that people might like the more personal approach.
      There is too much out there, so much information, though I hope I can find local people and teach them what I had trouble finding information about.
      Thanks MM.

      January 30, 2015
  37. We’ve definitely spent a lot of time learning with youtube videos and I’m sure will spend even more time watching and learning into the future as well. You are right that sometimes it’s a tedious business sorting through people worth watching and time wasters. Having said that I’d recommend B&H video courses- they are usually about an hour or so long and a great for when you are first starting out. And for those who are a bit past beginner Karl Taylor’s videos are a must.

    For the editing side it’s a bit harder to make any hard and fast recommendations because it really depends on what look and feel you like with your edits but we loved and and learnt A LOT from Serge Ramelli.

    One of the things that has taught us the most is simply analysing other people’s photos and trying to recreate them. It can be a bit trial and error that way but in the course of going through that process we’ve worked out a lot of things we might not otherwise. The best thing about this is that you can work out cheap ways to get the same or similar effect without spending all the dollars the cashed up photographers have used.

    -Dee

    January 30, 2015
    • I am sure I will as well, it is good to keep learning.I haven’t seen those I will have to take a look.

      I agree with editing. It really is a more personal thing. I tend to look for very particular tutorials now to do one thing or another.

      I do the same, I look at an image that I like and try to work out how it was done. That is great Dee.
      Thanks Dee, great to hear from you and how you guys learn.

      January 30, 2015
  38. I subscribe to a heap of YouTube channels and just watch what I want to. I delete a lot of e-mails and don’t watch everything.

    January 30, 2015
    • You have to do that Gary, I do the same, and then search for specific things. Good way to work Gary.

      January 30, 2015
  39. These are soooooo wonderful! Sooooooo so wonderful! Love the Milky Way especially!

    January 30, 2015
    • Thank you Melanie, I am so glad to hear that.

      January 31, 2015
  40. Nelson #

    Over the last year Youtube has been a great source of online course, so far everything I wanted to learn I got it. The problem is getting course for an image editing software, I find those course very limited especially that I use Paint Shop Pro X 6

    January 30, 2015
    • I have found pretty much the same Nelson. Yes, that was part of the reason why I stopped using GIMP, there was so much more information around about Photoshop.

      January 31, 2015
  41. Thanks for the great information Leanne. 🙂

    January 30, 2015
  42. Kim #

    Your photography is beautiful. I am, like you, trying to learn and pick up new techniques through different sources. Learning is a lifelong journey.
    Thank you for sharing.

    January 31, 2015
    • Thank you Kim, it is great thing to do, and everyone does learning differently. I agree a long life journey. You’re welcome.

      January 31, 2015
  43. Great post, Leanne. Personally, I scavenged for any tutorial I could find at first. As a 43-year old husband and father of three making a scary career change with very little margin for error (and even less money), I found lynda.com to be an invaluable resource over the years as far as simplifying the learning process, and worth every penny to this household. Having located the site initially on a search for Scott Bourne’s ‘8 Ways to Market and Sell Your Photographs’, I stumbled on a wealth of other resources and decided to sacrifice 25 bucks and join. Using it every day for months at first, I now conveniently turn the service on and off as needed. Compared to CL and KelbyOne, lynda (for myself) is learning on-the-go at the university level.

    January 31, 2015
    • I think places like lynda.com are great to start with, but after awhile you realise you are paying money and not watching anything. I have heard mixed tings about lynda.com, but I think KelbyOne is very similar, it is great that all the tutorials are there for you to learn from, unlike creative live, you can watch it for free when it airs, but if you don’t see it then then you have to pay to see it later on. Thanks for sharing your experience Mark.

      January 31, 2015
  44. Really nice post and photos Leanne. I look forward to seeing more of your work and your recommendations. I have been a photographer for many years and I know I am always learning.

    January 31, 2015
    • Thank you Eduardo, isn’t it great to be doing something and you are always finding new things. I love it.

      January 31, 2015
  45. I think you should never have to pay for any knowledge available on-line. If you want to enrol in a class that is a different story, but nothing that is on-line material should be paid for, especially since this information is already available. As you said most of those “teachers” are other photographers, so why not ask fellow bloggers to help out? If we put our minds to it, we could teach and learn each other anything from anywhere in the world. So why pay those whose only merit is coming up first in google search? The only thing they did is pay google. As you said, since most people are overwhelmed by the size and speed of information flows on the Internet they simply have no idea where to look for it, so they jump to google and other search engines who of course provide their “objective” selection. If someone thought hierarchy was dead…Anyway, what I am trying to say is: no, you should never pay for information on line, unless you have no time to research it and are ok with it. However, I would still advise to research on the quality of the service you’re going to pay for before you press that button. Comments, rating charts, forums, fellow photographers, just to make sure you know what you’re getting into and what to expect. But just to be clear: anything they teach you, can be found elsewhere free of charge. One just has to have the time and will to look for it.

    January 31, 2015
    • I have to say, I think that while it is good that some stuff is free, I don’t see why you should pay as well. I think that is the problem with the internet and why images get ripped off all the time because everyone thinks if it is online it should be free. I think if you are asking fellow bloggers to help out then you are assuming their time is worth nothing. I would love to get paid for what I do, but here I am giving away all my information, and a husband in the background hassling me to earn money, it is a tough call. I have spent a lot of money learning what I do. For me, I will pay for tutorials and classes online, but then I expect the person to know what they are doing, and that it will be worth it. I have learned a lot from Creative Live and KelbyOne, but my knowledge is at a stage now that they rarely tell me something I didn’t already know. Thanks for your thoughts.

      January 31, 2015
      • I understand your position. I have struggled with the dilemma of copyright or not myself. But I decided to stop fighting the on-line world, since ultimately it is not meant to be regulated and never will be. I just accept that. If you want a way of earning a living on your wonderful work though I would suggest trying your local exhibition halls and selling your work to the visitors as well as promoting the event on-line. It usually takes time and more money, but it is an experience I would recommend. Photography as you have noticed is underrated on-line, since that is the nature of digital information (quick and easy to copy). Plus, in exhibitions you get to know people and they get to know you face to face. It is a fun experience.
        I am not assuming anything, I just like to believe in the good in people. If one has the time and will to look for things one will probably find good people willing to share their knowledge just for the sake of sharing. For me that is a gesture worth a lot. But that’s just me, maybe I am mistaken. Bottom line is, the Web is how it is, creative work will always get copied and ripped off as you said. For me that is a battle lost long ago. But there are good and bad sides to that as all else. We just need to find ways to go around that. I personally would not rely on the Web when it comes to photography or art as a product that can bring you benefits. Because we all know what happens. However, the Web is a great tool to promote yourself and your work. How much you want to share with others is just a matter of opinion. Thanks for sharing by the way, I love your blog!

        January 31, 2015
      • I’ve done the exhibition thing and it is a lot harder than it looks. I’m afraid I simply don’t see why just because it is on the internet it is free, that is just silly, when the internet is killing things like newspapers and magazines, where we were all happy to pay for information, why is it suddenly now not okay to pay for it. I just refuse to accept that.
        I also don’t think it is a lost battle, I won’t give up. It is about education and teaching people that the internet isn’t just some free place for us to take what we want, it is the new market place and has to be respected. If you are trying to promote yourself, then everything says, you have to use the internet, that other things just don’t work like they used to.

        February 1, 2015
  46. Food for thoughts, particularly for me who is one who does teach online photo workshops. I do attend workshops and learn online myself as well and I can agree with most of what you write. 🙂

    January 31, 2015
    • Thanks Otto, it is something I want to get into more, teaching, though not necessarily on line. I’m the same, still learning and finding out thing for myself as well,

      January 31, 2015
  47. I have used and looked at different tutorials online. I have not paid much unless it is something specific I want to learn. Thanks for sharing.

    January 31, 2015
    • I’m pretty much in the same boat Luis, I only pay if it is specific, and something I know I will enjoy watching over and over. Thanks.

      January 31, 2015
  48. Reblogged this on Tracey in Maine.

    January 31, 2015
  49. That lighthouse looks amazing, to think of al those stars and galaxies makes me feel so insignificant.

    January 31, 2015
    • I know what you mean, the night sky is great for putting you in your place, so to speak. Thank you.

      January 31, 2015
  50. I have learned primarily through free resources like you. It takes a little longer to sort through it all – but there is a lot out there

    January 31, 2015
    • There really is Nora, but if you are willing to spend the time to look you will find things. thank you.

      January 31, 2015
  51. Reblogged this on Gearing up TX Photographers.

    January 31, 2015
  52. Thanks, Leanna. I sure appreciate the relevant topics you address. I usually “shop when I need it” and just duckduckgo it until I find something free. Appreciate that you don’t hold any punches when you discuss your experiences with vendors. I value you opinions very much.

    January 31, 2015
    • You’re welcome Dave, I try to vary it a bit, though it is starting to get tough, coming up with new topics. I tend to do the same, though I have been looking at a lot of workshops by photographers on Landscape photography, which is interesting, you can never find them on the type of architectural photography I do. Thank you Dave, I worry that I am raving a bit, but it is great to hear what you have said Dave, so thank you.

      January 31, 2015
  53. She_Who_Hears #

    I love the macro shot of the dandelion seed with water droplets! I’ve been wanting somewhere online I can learn a few things. But am unwilling to spend money only to find it was a waste. I have a subscription to in focus magazine which is free on my iPad.

    January 31, 2015
    • Thank you, I like that shot too, I sprayed it with water and then stuck it in the freezer. I have to agree, there is nothing worse than spending some money on something just to find it was a waste of money. I suppose when you think about many of learned by buying magazines years ago, funny how now we want it all for free now, I suppose it is available free.

      January 31, 2015
      • She_Who_Hears #

        I don’t mind paying if you can flick through first or get some kind of hint as to if you think it’s worth it. But a lot of things you don’t seem to be able to establish that it’s rubbish or not until you spend the $.
        I not much of a you tube person but I going to check it out. Thanks for that post. 🙂

        February 1, 2015
      • That’s true, you have to pay up front first, I think when I teach I do everything I can to make sure that everyone gets what they want from a class, well to the best of my abilities.
        YouTube can be good, but you have to be prepared to go through all the rubbish there as well. You’re welcome. 🙂

        February 1, 2015
  54. I think I would love Marco Photography

    February 1, 2015
    • You might have to see if you can try it.

      February 1, 2015
      • Yes ..i need to try

        February 5, 2015
      • Just be careful, it can be addictive.

        February 5, 2015
      • Hmm it has already fascinated me for a bit…the details of macro photography is beautiful.. 🙂

        February 5, 2015
      • I know what you mean 🙂

        February 5, 2015
      • 🙂

        February 5, 2015
  55. sandlera #

    Leanne, most of what I’ve learned has been from reading tutorials, joining meetup groups and following photographers like you. In fact, I have learned a great deal from you. I recently enrolled in a free 4-week online course. I so regret that decision. In addition to the material being presented in a quick manner, the tests not totally on the video material, they use Google+ groups. I did not continue, but my email is flooded with posts. I wish I lived near you, I’d definitely do a few of your one on one session. Hope to meet you in April.

    February 1, 2015
    • I am the same Anne, I have read so much and looked at so many tutorials online. What do you mean they use google+ groups, I am thinking of doing some online courses, but I will charge, but using google hangouts, I think I can do up to 8 on that, but I don’t know if I will do so many to start with, perhaps start small and see how we go. I will take it slow, so that everyone understands what I am doing. I hate it when you sign up for something and then start getting emails all the time, it is horrible. There has been a change of plan about when I am coming, it will be later in the year now, out of my control, but looks like I will be there in September now.

      February 1, 2015
  56. Reblogged this on طبيب حر الى آخر العمر.

    February 1, 2015
  57. Your star images are breathtaking, Leanne!

    February 1, 2015
    • Thank you Patty, can’t wait to start doing more in a couple of months, and teach people how to do it.

      February 1, 2015
  58. I’ve recently paid for an online course for beginners that explains ISO, aperture, shutter speed, exposure, white balance, etc in detail. I got it on an offer for £39 (full price £330). There’s no way I would have paid the full price, because I know I could find all the information free online. I see it as I’ve essentially paid to save time by not having to google everything and sort through to find what’s well written and easy to understand. It also means I know what I need to google.

    February 2, 2015
    • Wow that is so expensive, I have written things for those that only cost $15, maybe I’m not charging enough. It is hard finding good information. I hope you have found out what you know with those, they can be hard to get your head around.

      February 2, 2015
      • It’s quite extensive, going into night photography and water photography and other things as well as explaining the general technical bits but even so, I’m sure it makes more money by selling more at a cheaper rate. There’s no way I would have paid full price for what I bought.

        February 2, 2015
      • The full price is amazing. I wouldn’t pay it either.

        February 2, 2015
  59. Thank you for liking “Star Trails” and “Brocken Spectres.” I am planning to buy a new camera in the future, so your overview of what photography tutorials and courses are available online is helpful to me. I also like your photos in this post, especially the star images. Beautiful work! 🙂

    February 3, 2015
    • You’re welcome, new cameras are always so exciting. Thank you so much, good luck with your own learning.

      February 3, 2015
      • You are welcome too. 🙂 I look forward to getting a new camera, but learning how to use it will take some time and effort. I think online tutorials will be helpful.

        February 4, 2015
      • Yes, it does take time and effort, but so worth it in the end. Good luck.

        February 4, 2015
      • Thanks! 🙂

        February 4, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Up for Discussion: Learning on Online | Donna's Blog

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: