7 Tools for Learning DSLR Photography

Posted on June 9, 2014 by Kara Findley

Electronics constantly seem to be getting simpler. When I bought a Kindle a few years ago, it came with instructions on one single brown piece of paper. Youtube is littered with videos of toddlers poking away at iPhone and iPad screens with ease. Wearable tech items like the Nike Fuel Band have hardly any buttons at all.

You, however, decided to buck that trend and get into DSLR photography. You rebel, you! With all those functions and features though, learning how to use a DSLR camera takes more time and effort. Luckily, there are a ton of tools out there – from attending a class to hitting the books to watching video tutorials – to help you learn how to take fantastic photos with your DSLR.

1. Live Workshops.

Why not learn from a photography expert in a hands-on setting? There are plenty of in-person workshops, classes, or seminars to be found, with prices ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars. One option is DSLR Workshops by Okello Dunkley, which are offered across the country. Not in your city? Try your local art museum or community college for photography classes.

2. Meetups.

Meetup.com is a great way to find other people who share your hobby. In this case, you can learn from your fellow DSLR enthusiasts while taking the time to focus on your craft. A search for “photography” here in Indianapolis led to the Indy Meetup Photo Club. It’s likely there’s similar group close to you.

3. Books.

bookIf you like the feel of a DSLR in your hand, maybe you also like the feeling of an old school, paper book. One great option for stepping into DSLR photography is Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto” and Photograph Your Life like a Pro by Rachel Devine and Peta Mazey. It’s a very visual guide with lots of tips and tricks.

The bestselling book in the photography category on Amazon is Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography. The cool thing about this book (which also has a Kindle edition) is that an accompanying website provides free video tutorials, quizzes, and a community of other photography learners.

4. eBooks.

Prefer books in digital form? No worries. Check out the $3.99 Kindle edition of DSLR Photography for Beginners: Best Way to Learn Digital Photography, Master Your DSLR Camera & Improve Your Digital SLR Photography Skills. With a title that long, you can expect detailed, in-depth information but in a friendly format.

Another useful eBook comes courtesy of My Photography Lesson: My First DSLR Camera eBook. This 80-page PDF walks you through adjusting aperture, shutter speed, exposure, and more to capture the photo you’re after.

5. Online tutorials.

There’s a wealth of tutorials and videos online to help you learn DSLR photography. Lynda.com is a behemoth in online training, and membership only costs $25 per month. I like the Digital Photography Principles: The Camera with Derrick Story course, which covers everything from basic camera settings to the latest imaging technologies.

For a ton more options in online tutorials, take a look at CameraSim’s Photo Tutorials That Will Actually Help You Take Action (and better pictures) blog post!

6. Instagram.

nycThis ubiquitous app gives us direct access to the work of premier photographers. Check out my 5 Ways to Improve Your Instagram Photography blog post for recommendations on who to follow and learn from on Instagram. And don’t forget to follow Camera_Sim and use #camerasim to share your best photos!

7. CameraSim.

Of course I have to mention CameraSim! I may be biased, but its apps are the fun and engaging way to demystify your DSLR camera. That’s why I’m especially excited that CameraSim 3D is launching soon! Check out a sneak peek here.

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite DSLR learning tools? Please share in the comments below!


  • vendo camara

    Hacer, muchas muchas muchas fotografías con tu DSLR.

  • Muhammad Farooqi

    hmmm.. great info .. excellent collection.. thanks you