Here is a list of photography blogs that I read on a regular basis. Maybe not daily, but they are all linked to my Reader so that I can easily read every post that they make. Some post more frequently than others, and some post more on the art, business, technique or state of photography.
Some of these, like Andy Beel, Joshua Taylor and Ed Knepley I read primarily because they are friends or acquaintances whose work I like and I read their blogs to keep up with them. I also read a lot about lighting and portraiture, some of which includes nudes, like Pretty Girl Shooter and Smoking Strobes. Read at your own risk.
Tim Grey is responsible for accelerating my grasp of Photoshop. He does a good job of identifying common issues that people have with photo processing in Adobe’s applications and writing well thought out answers to address the problems. His Digital Darkroom Quarterly (now called Pixology) and his Ask Tim Grey newsletter provide easy to understand answers to questions you might not have even thought to ask.
Tim is an expert in Photoshop and Lightroom, with extremely good access to Adobe for questions that involve “why does this Photoshop filter work this way?” He is also a published author, with several books on color management and digital darkroom workflow, including both Photoshop and Lightroom workflows.
Zack is famous for his OneLight portraits. I read about Zack in someone’s blog a long time ago and followed his blog for quite a while.
In this video from Creative Live, Zack discusses the relationship between flash power and aperture.
Zack and Creative Live have produced a series of videos that can be purchased based on his 3 day workshop. Almost like being there, but you get the added flexibility to repeat any portion of the workshop that you didn’t quite catch, or that you are having difficulty grasping.
Alain Briot runs Beautiful-Landscape, a site that promotes photography as fine art. Alain writes on many topics, including running a photography business and the fallacy that many starting photographers deal with, believing that if they work for less, they will sell more.
I stumbled upon Alain’s writing when I was reading a posting on Luminous-Landscape, a website where there are numerous excellent articles on photography, product reviews, tutorials, essays, etc. I still subscribe to Alain’s blog, but frankly I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time reading it any longer.
Alain and his wife Natalie run workshops through Beautiful-Landscape, mostly in desert southwest.
I met Mary and Mollie through Joe Miller and NVPS (my camera club) shortly after Mary and Mollie began working together and created Awake the Light, where they both teach and mentor photographers. I have been to several of their presentations and they are always informative and fun. Their take on photography, that it should be fun, comes out in their presentations and in their work.
Joe McNally has been an idol of mine since I started learning how to light photographs. His books, like “The Moment it Clicks,” “The Hotshoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes,” and his blog were early resources that I used to learn lighting. Later I had the opportunity to see Joe and David Hobby on the Flash Bus Tour, when I purchased Joe’s The Language of Light DVD set.
While I tend more toward the manual “Strobist” approach, I have been trying to get enough Canon branded flashes to do some of the high-speed sync that Joe has demonstrated.
David Hobby is a local(ish) photographer in my area whom I find to be extremely talented. Having read his Strobist site, subscribed to his blog and watched his “Lighting in Layers” DVD series, I learned a great deal about working with small hotshoe flashes.
I very much enjoyed the Flash Bus Tour that he did along with Joe McNally.
Photoshop actions are a very powerful tool for automating repetitive tasks in Photoshop and they are simple to import and export. For instance the technique that I learned from Dan Margulis to apply a L*a*b color boost to a photograph. It is simple, produces beautiful color without a luminance shift, and is a standard adjustment that is blended by layer opacity. So all of the work except for the final opacity adjustment is the same every time you used the technique.
An action can be used to duplicate the image, convert the image to the L*a*b color space, increase the slope of the A and B channels, copy the image, paste it as a new layer in the original image and adjust the opacity of that layer to ~50%. With the action, all of these steps are condensed down to a 2 button clicks, one to select the action and one to run the action.
I have created a number of actions to make tedious processes less cumbersome, they can be found in the right panel under Actions. Some of these tools work better under previous versions of Photoshop, for instance I have run into occasional issues with the Multiple Exposure actions under CS5 that I cannot explain because I cannot consistently reproduce them. My best advice is, if it doesn’t run the first time properly, try reopening the images and running action again.
I also wrote up a quick PDF on how to import or export actions in Photoshop, but there are also numerous tutorials on the web. Do a search for “Import Photoshop Action” and there will be plenty of videos and tutorials from which to choose.