Best Blog Sites of 2007

Rather than regale the CB audience with some trivia for the Monday Minutia, I thought it might be fun to start off 2008 with the list of MUST SEE blogs for the year. These are blogs that I have come to know and love for very different and varied reasons, ranging in purpose and perspective from tips and tricks, to the nitty gritty of lighting, along with casual conversation and the occasional in-depth reading jaunt. Without further ado, I give you: THE SEVEN OF ’07!

1. Photoshop Insider – Daily posts from Scott Kelby, who is very well-known as both an author and an instructor. Scotts contributions to Photography include the formation of NAPP, the implementation of the highly regarded (and highly expensive) annual Photoshop Expo, and now the Kelby Training online learning website where you can subscribe either monthly or annually to get all the education and learning you want. With heavyweights like Adobe, iStock, CDW and a host of others offering discounts to NAPP members, Scott and his gang pretty rule the roost and have the enviable position of setting the standard by which all others are measured. From a blog perspective, Scott’s site is a great info-mercial for keeping up to date on the latest learning strategies and materials that the NAPP team has to offer, as well as occasional insights on various tips and tricks. For me, PI is a great place to go to get some light reading in and pick up some tips or tricks along the way. A great learning resource to have in your toolkit. Given his instructional methods and techniques, the only thing missing here would be a weekly podcast or vlog posting, but that’s mitigated by Photoshop User TV, so it’s a very minor nit. Otherwise, I do not go a day without reading the musings and postings of Scott.

2. Strobist – If you want to learn about lighting, this is THE place to go. Everything from demonstrations, to techniques, and even instructional guidelines (See Lighting 101, and its sequel, Lighting 102). I am still something of a lighting virgin as I admittedly have not taken my flash off the camera yet, but this is a great place to go to learn the nitty gritty, see sample shots, and pretty much get all the info you could ever want on lighting.

3. The Digital Photography Show – Hosted by Scott Sherman and Michael Stein (but it’s really more Scott with a dash of Michael), this is a great resource to keep current on industry news, participate in contests, and hear from top people in the industry on everything from camera and photoshop techniques to file management and printing. One of the nice things about TDPS is that they do a brief text-based version on the blog, and then a more detailed version in a podcast – great for downloading and listening to while on the go.

4. Photoshop User TV – This is the insanely popular weekly vlog of the Photoshop Guys – Scott Kelby, Dave Cross, and Matt Kloskowski where they demonstrate and share techniques, tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Photoshop. If memory serves, this regularly gets premiere billing in iTunes.

5. Tips from the Top Floor – Chris Marquardt has made this show very popular both in his homeland of Germany and across the pond to the U.S. This is in no small part due to his regular workshops he conducts to share his knowledge with others. From his last trip to the states, I think he hit close to a dozen cities for workshops, and these were spread all over the country. Videos and online training is one thing, but Chris brings his knowledge to you, and at a very wallet-friendly rate.

6. Photojojo – This is a very kitschy kind of site but also very handy. Regular informative posts show how to do unique things with your photos, ranging from making a photo cube to photo mobiles, and even making useable stamps from your photos. Some of the tips and ideas that come out of here are better than others, but by and large, it’s a very outside-the-box kind of delivery, and makes for a great RSS feed.

7. The Online Photographer – From the mind of Michael Johnston comes a daily dose of photography-related news and information. The Online Photographer really raises the bar in terms of the quality of the writing material. This is not to say that other resources are not well-written, just that TOP writes better than most. The range of subject matter is also quite extensive – and has educated me on more occasions than I would care to admit. The one caveat is that I do sometimes have to pay attention to what I am reading – much of TOP’s content would go beyond a brief scan or skim which is what I usually do on web sites. TOP is also not a place to go if you’re looking for a quick tip or trick on how to do something. Rather, TOP is a collection of very well-written articles and commentaries on the state of the photography industry. The best analogy I can think of is a newspaper…where most blogs are like the comic section, TOP would be the equivalent of the New York Times. Overall, TOP is a highly recommended source for reading material related to, but fair warning – come ready to read!

So, that’s it. The best seven from ’07! I could have done five, or ten, or some other common multiple, but the the alliterative potential would have been lost. Ya know I just can’t let that happen. Have a good day, and tomorrow is Tutorial Tuesday!

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