When you’re just beginning to learn photography, it’s great to find out that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of photography tutorials on the internet aimed at beginners. That, however, is also part of the problem – there are so many to choose from, how do you find the best and most useful tutorials without days of searching through every website and YouTube channel?
To help you on your quest for photographic knowledge, we’ve done the searching for you, and compiled a list of the top 10 best photography tutorials for beginners. This list is of tutorials we have found that are useful, but there are probably more great websites and YouTubers out there that other people know about.
These websites and YouTube channels are not presented in any special order: each one has valuable and user-friendly tutorials. Some are only available in written format, some in the video, and some sites have a mix of both. People prefer to learn differently, some like reading their tutorials and some like watching video ones.
Whichever format you prefer, you’re sure to find something that’s of use to you on these websites.
This website is great for absolute beginners to digital photography. It is packed with tips and tutorials you will find useful, such as the basics of exposure, learning to use your camera settings and features, and common digital photography problems and their solutions. It also features articles and tutorials about buying camera gear, and about post-processing. There is a mix of written and video tutorials.
It has a community of over 1.6 million photographers, and you can sign up to receive a free weekly email with the latest advice and tutorials.
Lifehacker’s Night School series on the basics of photography is a great starting point for complete beginners. It helps you to understand how your digital camera works and takes you through the camera’s automated settings and how to use it in manual mode. It also discusses composition and technique, and how to get started with post-processing.
You can download all of the lessons in a printable PDF file, which is handy for learning away from your computer.
Once you get to grips with your camera, you’ll want to start learning about lighting, and Strobist’s blog has a wealth of great tutorials on it. The free Lighting 101 course starts right from the beginning, so this is a great place to start if you want to learn how to light.
Fstoppers is a great site to go to when you start to find your photographic feet and want to learn a bit more. It has many articles and tutorials on everything from lighting to composition. There’s also photography news, a lively forum and a YouTube tutorial channel.
This site is a treasure trove of articles aimed at beginners and intermediate photographers. The beginner’s article links are all grouped together on one page and go from understanding your camera right up to knowing your legal rights as a photographer.
This is one of the most comprehensive collections of beginner articles out there, and each one is in-depth and easy to understand. Whatever level of photography you are at, you’re sure to learn something new here.
If you prefer video tutorials to written ones, Adorama TV is a great place to go. They have a huge selection of YouTube channels all devoted to photography. Beginners wanting to expand their photography should look at the Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey and Photo on the Go with Joe McNally channels especially. You can sign up for emails giving you the latest photography news, tips, and tricks.
Photography is more than learning about how to use your camera – it’s also about learning to edit and post-process your images to bring out their best. PHLEARN has a YouTube channel dedicated to Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials, from beginner to professional. You have to pay to get hold of the pro stuff, but there are plenty of free tutorials to keep you going for a while.
Photography is about so much more than the technical side of it. The Art of Photography is an amazing YouTube channel that doesn’t just teach you techniques and fundamentals, but also about the history of photography, famous photographers and the art of creating great images.
PictureCorrect has many photography tips and tutorials covering a huge amount of photography topics. If you want to find out how to capture images of birds in flight, what are the top 10 qualities of a great photographer, or how to make easy DIY lens filters to enhance your images and many more, this is a great site to visit.
The site also has an Interesting Photo of the Day post, where you can see some great amateur photography from around the world for inspiration, and a free newsletter you can sign up for. Most of the tutorials are video-based, with a handwritten summary of the techniques and settings used in the videos.
This website is great for beginners, especially those interested in learning street photography. Eric Kim kindly allows you to download his e-book for free. This book contains all Eric has learned about photography in the last 10 years and is a valuable resource for any beginner photographer. It is less of a how-to book, but is more inspirational and will make you look at the way you approach photography.
Eric also has his own YouTube channel, Eric Kim Photography.
As mentioned before, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will hopefully save you some time searching for great photography content.
Other Good Sources
Another valuable source of tutorials and educational material may come free with your photo editing software. Adobe, for example, offers a lot of useful tutorials for both Photoshop and Lightroom users in its Creative Cloud. These tutorials are wide ranging from getting used to the interface to using gradient masks creatively. Luminar has its own video galleries where you can learn how to use the software to full effect. This goes from the basics of how to use it to lessons about building drama in an image.
If you are on a tight budget, but still want to use photo editing software, GIMP, the free open-access program may be one that’s good for you. GIMP is capable of doing pretty good photo editing, and there are plenty of tutorials out there on how to use it.