Digital photography

Compiled by Kelly Burns, posted Sept. 22, 2010

For the budding photographer, I have compiled a list of websites to aid in mastering the world of digital photography. Along with sites that allow you to edit photos are also some that provide printing services, public domain photo searches, and online portfolio building tools. While there are so many sites to choose from, these just happen to be a few of my favorites.

Photo sharing, storing and editing

1. Flickr: Flickr is probably the most popular photo sharing website today.  With Flickr you can upload photos, search for photos, organize your favorites into groups, and even browse the page for the best photos from over a year ago. Flickr is known for providing users with the ability to search in its Commons for the best public photos today. Flickr’s new services include a current events, groups, and travel pages in which photos are tagged by location.

2. Photobucket: Photobucket is the first photo website that I used to upload photos and then organize them online. Photobucket allows you collaborate with other users, or even build family photo albums in which family members and friends can add to your albums. You can make photo products, creatively edit your photos and create slideshows to share on various social networking sites.

3. Picnik: Picnik is a newer photo site that allows you to edit your photos without the use of a computer program. With Picnik you can retrieve photos from online photo albums or your hard drive and then turn them into pieces of art. Although the more hi-tech features are a small fee, there are still several tools that can be used for free.

Printing

4. Clark Color Labs: Clark specializes in digital photo printing. You can upload photos from almost any source, and then use the photos to print images or create products such as calendars, collages and posters.

5. Snapfish: Snapfish is another site where you can upload and share your photos. One cool feature about Snapfish is the ability to have private photo rooms. With this feature you can invite only specific family and friends to view a group of photos.

6. Smugmug:  Smugmug was started by a family that boasts that they will “always be the smaller of the photo sharing companies.” They pride themselves on offering the same services as bigger photo printing sites, but without the ads on the side to distract or take away from the purpose of their site, which is to provide users with an opportunity to share photos with people they love, and print them at a fairly cheap price.

7. Shutterfly:  Shutterfly like the above sites also offers a place to store and print photos. What’s great about Shutterfly is the ability to create your own, personal photo and video websites. You can also purchase stationary, cards and photo books. One unique feature Shutterfly offers for each of its prints is that you can write a personal message on the back of each photograph you print.

Public domain images

8.  MorgueFile: morgueFile is one of the more popular image sites, which allows users to search for free photos from all over the web. While giving credit to the photographer is still necessary, the website provides the user with a one stop place for photos and artwork to be used for creative projects.

9. Unprofound: Unprofound was started in 2001, by a sarcastic artist who had grown tired of looking for artwork to use in his designs that were free and in the public domain. Frustrated he began a site that gives the user the opportunity to search for such photos. There are photographers who take pictures specifically for the site, but it is currently a growing community of users adding their own photographs for use in the public domain. When you contribute to the site you also receive your own free, online portfolio.

10. Freefoto: Freefoto offers a compilation of thousands of free photos than can be used for personal use (links and attribution are required). The search is easy to use and also offers a section for images that can be purchased for a low cost.

Miscellaneous

11. Tumblr: Tumblr is a very easy blog site. The reason I am adding it to the list is the ability to create your own personal photo blog. With Tumblr you can upload as many photos you want, even creating a slideshow for that particular day’s entry. It’s a great way to mix writing a personal blog with your photography.

12. Lynda: For the both the amateur and advanced photo photographer, who have Photoshop installed on their computers or would like to learn to manually edit photos, Lynda.com offers tutorials to guide new and old Photoshop users in using the program. Lynda’s tutorials are straight-forward, step by step guides to the ins and outs of the Photoshop program.

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