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My Ultimate List of Photography Videos to Learn From

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My name is Chris McCann, and I’m a photographer based in San Francisco. In this post, I’m sharing a list of photography videos I’ve found that have been helpful to me.

I have watched all the videos on my list on multiple occasions and have gone back and referenced them during photo shoots and post processing. I’ve watched 100s of these kinds of videos, and the ones I’ve selected are the ones which have been seriously helpful. So, it took me a long time to get down to this list.

Before we get into the list, here’s a few caveats:

1. These videos aren’t geared for photography 101. For that check out /r/PhotoClass or the new /r/photoclass_2016 on Reddit.
2. This is not a comprehensive list of educational photography videos. It’s just a curated list of ones I think are good.
3. I mostly shoot nature, wildlife, city, etc (basically anything except people), so the videos below are biased in those areas. However, I think it’s very educational to watch other styles of photographers (ex. portrait retouchers) as you can learn a lot from other styles.

Without further ado, here’s my ultimate curated list of videos:

The Basics

The Three Basics of Exposure and Photography: I know I wasn’t supposed to include beginner videos but this one is too good not to include.

Lightroom Basics

Anthony Morganti Lightroom Training Videos: If you are just getting started in post-production, these are great tutorials.

Composition

Understanding Composition: Composition taught by a CGI artist which makes the perspective so interesting. This video is very helpful. The same creator also has a video on understanding color which is equally as awesome.

Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition with Ian Plant: More geared to photographers, watch the above one first.

Lighting

Strobist: It’s not a video but this collection of posts is so good once you start wanting to learn about flash. He also has a great video series on lynda.com (requires subscription) which shows how he thinks about lighting one a few of his assignments

Post Processing

(These have a heavy emphasis on Photoshop)

Photoshop CS6 for the Photographer: Once you move past just using Lightroom, this is a good introductory guide to Photoshop.

How to Make Colors Come to Life in Photoshop: A good end to end video on a single image, Phlearn also has other good videos to learn from.

Cinematic Color Grading (Movie Loke Effect) – Photoshop Tutorial: it’s mind blowing what you can do with just the curves adjustment.

Mastering Dodging and Burning with 4 Techniques: Very interesting example of dodging and burning, with the most interesting being the frequency separation technique he shows at the end.

How to Do Frequency Separation: It’s incredible to see what a pro retoucher can do with primarily just dodging and burning.

Removing Complex Objects from Photos in Photoshop: Although the photographer cheated a bit to get the final result, some good lessons on aligning, cloning, stamping, blending areas, etc.

Fine Art Architecture Processing in Photoshop: Shows off how using multiple layers and effects can change an image. I was always curious on architecture processing as well so this was a good look into this world.

Make Skies POP with Luminosity Masks: Shows off the power of masks and being able to select specific tonal values in an image. He also has a few other good videos on luminosity masks.

How To Do Sky Replacements In Photoshop: Even though I don’t really do composites, this shows off the power of the blend-if blending option. Honestly this is something I am still learning about.

How to Make a Pure White Background in Photoshop: Another great video showing off the use of blend-if.

Camera

How to Clean Your DSLR Sensor and Mirror: You’ll have to do this one day

Inspirational

Scott Kelby Crush the Competition: Scott Kelby’s photos are a little over the top sometime but this is a good video. This is for when you at a beautiful place and you’re frustrated because the weather sucks and all your photos aren’t coming out well, good look at how to handle these situations.

Photography Styles

(Videos on specific styles of photography, highly dependent on your own personal tastes)

Pixels After Dark: Shooting the Night: Shooting at night.

Insights Into the Art and Craft of Landscape Photography

Scott Kelby’s Photoshop for Travel Photographers: Skip the long intro and all the ads.

The Basics of Nature Photography from Michael Melford

How to Photograph Stars and Photoshop an Astrophotography Image: Even though I don’t shoot astro-photography, given this video’s highly technical nature you can learn a lot from it.

You Suck at Photoshop: For fun :)

If anyone else has any great videos to learn from feel free to share in the comments below!


About the author: Chris McCann is a photographer based in San Francisco, California. You can find his work on his website and on 500px. This article was also published on Reddit in /r/photography.

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