100 Best Free Photography Tools on the Web
Just as technology has changed the way we get news, entertainment, and communicate, it has also changed photography. Becoming a shutterbug is now easier and cheaper than ever. Things like wasted images, film developing, and expensive editing are now a thing of the past.
All you need to begin or encourage love of photography is a camera, something to shoot, and the 100 best free photography tools on the web. They can help you do everything from choose your equipment to display your impressive work like a pro.
Best Photography Sites on the Web
These photography sites have loads of help and hundreds of tools to help your craft.
- Photography.com : This comprehensive site is full of articles, equipment and camera reviews, stock photography, and loads more. You can also locate a photographer or check out the forums and shop. Professionals can also sign up for an imagePRO account to promote their own photography.
- Digital Photography Magazine : This online magazine has loads of help for better digital photography, including all of the usual reviews and tutorial tools. Stand outs, however, include software help and contests. Featured articles are on everything from managing your photo library to keeping the noise down.
- Masters of Photography : Stop here for a virtual collection of information on the best information on top photographers. They include everyone from Ansel Adams to Wolleh. The site also has a Digital Camera HQ and allows you to create your own wall calendar.
- Rob Galbraith DPI : Get tons of digital photography insights from this professional. Articles often review the best in photography. There are also headlines and other various resources.
- The Luminous Landscape : Professional Michael Reichmann shares his insights and offers other photography tools on this site. They include tutorial videos, essays, product reviews, and even workshops.
- Take Great Pictures : Along with tips and techniques from professionals on how to improve your own photography, there is a wealth of other tools. Columns include TGP Choice, Scrapbooking, a blog, and even emails from visitors answered.
- Fred Miranda : A highlight of this site is the nearly 16,000 reviews on over 300 photography tools. Thousands of photographers visit here everyday to get reviews, articles, and even hosting information.
- Photography Workshop : Visit the Learning Centers to instantly begin improving your photography. There is also a gallery, online community, and even online magazine, all for free.
- Digital Photography School : Along with various lessons photography, DPS also offers many tools to its over 300,000 subscribers and untold visitors. They include tips, tutorials, reviews, information on post production, and even the top ten DSLRS.
- Outdoor Photographer : Because some of the most amazing photos happen outside, visit here. There is a how-to section, along with tips for gear and locations. The contests are also regularly updated and offer impressive prizes.
- PopPhoto : A simple photo of the day and new features greet visitors on this site. You can also get blogs, galleries, contests, and a forum by visiting.
Best Historic Photography Viewing on the Web
Take a look at some of the most impressive and artistic images the web has to offer for free at these sites.
- Library of Congress : The Prints & Photographs Reading Room has loads of free tools for photographers. There is an online catalog with digital images, toolbox, Flickr project, and even webcasts. Click on Popular Topics for images on architecture, history, and people.
- Pulizter Prize : This sought after prize is given every year to the top participants in many fields, including photography. You can view the photos of both winners and finalists here.
- Lens : Part of “The New York Times,” this site features impressive entries from the photography, video, and visual journalism archives. Readers are even occasionally asked to send in some of their own pictures.
- Magnum Photos : This cooperative chronicles the world and photographs its peoples, events, issues and personalities. There is a photographer spotlight, regularly updated features, and an archive.
- New York Public Library : The library’s archive contains nearly 400,000 original photographic prints, from the medium’s 150 year history. Search by photographer or exhibition.
- PHOTOMUSE : George Eastman House and ICP collaborated in building this site to provide online resources for the study of photography at work in the world. Simply click Chronology to view photos dating back to 1830.
- Smithsonian Photography Institute : Explore the Smithsonian Institution’s photography collections from its 18 museums, nine research centers, and the National Zoo. Be sure not to miss The Bigger Picture, a blog with the latest in Smithsonian photography.
- Cambridge In Colour : View this historic university in amazing images here. There is also help for those interested in digital photography and a forum.
- 13 Photographs That Changed The World : Revisit these historic images for free by checking out this list from Neatorama. A historic image, its description, and impact on history is given.
Best Artistic Viewing Photography Tools on the Web
These sites specialize more on the artistic side of photography.
- Getty Images : This world famous Los Angeles museum offers several free tools to photographers. Start by viewing the four different galleries. They even have a Flickr collection with over 50,000 images and growing.
- JPG : This magazine brings you a world in pictures and is known to often let anyone send in their work for publication. Over 200,000 have already shared images in various topics, including art.
- The Center for Fine Art Photography : Located in Colorado, visitors can view the works of fine art photographers from around the world. Choose from present or past collections.
- Deviant Art : This online artistic community stops here to share their work, including photographers. Choose from sections such as abstract, darkroom, people, and others.
- 1x.com : One Exposure has tons of artistic images for the viewing including nudes, conceptual, and many more. There are also non-art photos available to view for free.
- Behance Network : Visit this community where any artistic photographer can post or view work. A highlight includes Tip Exchange where you can learn more.
- Photography Served : Get a gallery of fresh works from leading professionals with a visit. Sections offered include fashion, industrial, motion graphics, and typography.
- Wozo Foto : Get a deal a day on fine art photography from here. Buy the day’s photo for $10 or view for free.
- Red Bubble : Join this free photography site to get tons of tools for turning your own pictures into works of art. Wall art options are available, along with the opportunity to sell your images.
Best Specialty Photography Viewing on the Web
If you have a specific area of photography you are interested in, take a look at these.
- Astronomy Picture of the Day : Each day a different photograph of the universe is displayed, along with an explanation of what it is from a professional astronomer. The NASA archives are also impressive and can fill up hours of time.
- VII Photo Agency : This agency launched a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of today’s pressing challenges. Stop by to look at their photos, including most recently of the 150th anniversary of The Red Cross.
- Aurora Photos : If you like travel and outdoor adventure, take a look at these photos. They also specialize in “green” imagery.
- Fred Parker : Get over 12,000 professional images of nature and scientific subjects from this site. Categories include everything from captive species to astronomy.
- Sports Shooter : Learn more about this popular area of photography by visiting here. Tools include equipment profiles, fun pix, and even a workshop.
- Weather Photography : Lightning, clouds, atmosphere, and more are featured in the work of this photographer. There are also tips on how to shoot your own weather images.
- Bodyscapes : The human body is the subject of this photography. Graphic images are shown.
- Food Photography : Michael Ray is a professional commercial photographer specializing in food photography, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tools on this site include how to shoot food for various occasions.
- Pixzii : Get the best of the rest in photography by stopping here. Popular images are on animals, WOW, and skateboards.
Best Photography Blogs on the Web
These professional photographers share their wisdom for free through their blogs.
- Photography : Professional Mark Goldstein offers one of the best photography blogs anywhere. Choose from sections such as reviews, a buying guide, techniques, and community. He gives his expert opinion on everything from cameras to online courses.
- Smashing Magazine : The editors at this magazine give you loads of free photography tips through their blog. Expert tools are also given in graphics, inspiration, coding, and design.
- Errol Morris : An award winning documentary film maker and photographer, he blogs for “The New York Times.” Photographs and politics are often discussed.
- Picture Correct : Get regular tips and techniques with a visit to this leading photography blog. You can read the latest entry, and they even offer an equipment shopping guide.
- Photo News Today : Professional photographers can stop here for the latest in headlines. You can choose by most recent, most popular, or by category.
- PhotoJournalism : Professional photojournalist Mark Hancock discusses photojournalism and the eccentricities associated with gathering images for daily newspapers and magazines. He also includes best shots of the year dating back to 2005.
- ByThom : Thom Hogan shares expert information about Nikon equipment and related support. He has authored loads of books and guides on the products and never runs out of advice.
- Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider Blog : He is the president of NAPP and editor for “Layers” magazine. His blog is full of scoops, tips, and comments for photographers.
- iLovePhotoBlogs : If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, stop here. The site collects the best in photo blogs from artistic to wedding.
Best Photography Columns on the Web
You may or may not have heard of these amazing photography resources, but they are all worth a look.
- TIME : Most famous for its “Year in Pictures,” you can view them for free on the site. You can also view the pictures of the week, along with many photo essays. Click on TIME Covers to get entries dating back all the way to 1977. You can also enter your birthday to see the cover from that week.
- National Geographic : Get amazing shots of people, wildlife, architecture, and more from all over the world with a visit here. There are also wallpapers and photo tips.
- People : This popular photography column features shots of celebrities in various fields. You can also scroll down to view the most viewed albums.
- USAToday : A visit here will give you the day in pictures. They date all the way back to 2006, along with many other photo albums.
- L.A. Times : A standout feature of “The L.A. Times” is the slideshows accompanied by audio. Galleries include SoCal, Pulitzer Prize, travel, and world.
- The Guardian : If you’re looking for a photography column focused on art, stop here. They include editor’s picks and reader’s entries.
Best Photography Printing on the Web
Once you have your images, use the below top providers to get your images on paper or other medium from these well known and upcoming sites.
- Photojojo : Get photo tips and DIY projects at this site. Highlights of this unique site show you how to turn a photo into a mural in five minutes or print a picture onto a cupcake, along with more traditional fare.
- BlueMelon : If you have photos spread through several accounts such as Facebook or Flickr, get a free account here for tools to combine them all. You can also get themes and order prints or gifts.
- Snapfish : A familiar name, it stands out for its numerous features including posters, mugs, and online editing. They are currently offering 20 free images with sign up.
- Shutterfly : Occasions Shutterfly specializes in include seasonal, milestones, and even special interest. Storage is free and unlimited and they offer 50 free prints with sign up.
- Kodak Gallery : Low prices are a good reason to stop here. Currently, prints are nine cents, photo books start at $10, and clicking on Special Offers gives you instant access to every sale.
Best Photography Stores on the Web
Whether a professional or amateur, stop by the below to view or purchase some of the best and most highly recommended photography tools.
- Photo-Eye : This site stands out for its sections on books, photo guides, magazines, and more. Be sure to check out the gallery to view their images.
- Calumet : In addition to offering thousands of photography essentials, there are also other tools. They include reviews, a photo of the week, and even photographer spotlight.
- Ritz : This site currently is offering free shipping on orders over $100 and no sales tax. Check out their weekly deals and have a look at the other technology items for sale.
- B&H Photo Video : If you also need video supplies, check out this store. They offer lighting, studio, A/V, and other professional tools.
- Owen’s Originals : Professional photographers can have a look at the photo backdrops, lighting, and accessories for sale here. In business since 1978, they are a member of the BBB Online.
- Archival Methods : Shop here for tons of tools for preserving and showing off your work. Items include portfolios, boxes, kits, sleeves, and more.
- Adorama : Free shipping on certain items and no payments for up to six months are offered here. New categories include entertainment and office center.
- KEH : A veritable marketplace for photographers, they sell both new and used cameras. Take a look at the inventory, or find out how much your old camera is worth.
- Used Camera Buyer : This online store will actually purchase your camera over the internet. They offer a free quote with a simple registration.
- Craigslist : When all else fails, stop here to buy or sell your next camera. Prices are far more competitive for both.
Best Free Photography Reviews on the Web
Don’t let a high pressure sales person talk you into buying a photography tool. Check out these sites with reviews, guides, and more.
- Steve’s Digicams : A consumer’s source of digital camera information and news, this is a popular stop. Must-use tools include featured deals, best cameras, or even resources by brand.
- CNET : A top reviewer of many technology related components, you can also get digital camera reviews. Simply choose how much you want to spend to begin. You can also get reviews for camcorders, phones, and much more.
- Digital Photography Review : Along with reviews, the site offers sample galleries, a glossary, blog, and even sample challenges. Latest contenders in the review category are entries by Nikon and Sony.
- Amazon : Get reviews on all sorts of photography tools from everyday users with a visit to this massive site. They can also help you choose a camera by brand, type, zoom, and much more.
- Imaging Resource : Want a hassle free camera review? This site has Easy Picks waiting for you on the homepage. You can also compare by price, manufacturer, get editor’s picks, and other tools.
- SLR Gear : If you own, or plan on purchasing, this type of camera, stop here for a review on accessories. The Lens category in particular has tons of information.
- PDN Gear Guide : Professionals will enjoy this comprehensive guide to the latest in photography gear and tools. They recently even had their “2009 Gear of the Year” awards.
Best Free Photography Lessons on the Web
Never leave your home or spend a dime with the help of these free tutorials on photography.
- About.com : This free guide is an excellent start for those looking for the basics of photography. Recent entries show where to take photos and how to take them in cold weather.
- Kodak : This is another good site that has tips from professional photographers to those just starting out. You can also enter their Picture of the Day contest along with many other tools.
- HP Learning Center : Stop here to get free, instant lessons on a variety of photography aspects including the basics, Photoshop, five common photo problems, and much more. You can also get classes for your home or business at no cost and even tips for PC security and maintenance.
- Photon Head : A Beginner’s guide, buying guide, and editing tips are available from this site. Be sure not to miss the SimCam for a virtual camera simulator with loads to teach.
- The Strobist : Never fear your flash again with the help of this photography blog. Lighting 101 and Lighting 102 are two-part, university-level self-directed courses which rank highly in the best of free photography tools.
- Silverlight : Based in the U.K., this site gives loads of tutorials on photography. Choose from lessons on exposure, shutter, spiral, and even theory.
- NYIP Podcast : This leading photography school has many instructive podcasts to choose from. You can even get a free photo tips book by signing up for their newsletter.
- Guide To Film Photography : If you prefer to shoot your pictures with film, stop here for an intensive guide. Sections include film versus digital, types, exposure, and darkroom.
- Wrotniak.net : Learn more about infrared photography with a visit here. Included are the basics, lessons, and sample images.
Other Best Free Photography Tools on the Web
In a category of their own, you can find loads of help with these free photography tools.
- SmugMug : This site goes beyond the typical Flickr to offer you editing, sharing, and even HD tools. Other positives include unlimited photos without ads or spam.
- Photobucket : This photo sharing site is constantly ranked at the top for its features, ease of use, and community. It can also connect with popular social networks and your mobile device.
- Pixelpost : If you have a photo blog, this app is a must. Many professional photographers use it for its many impressive options.
- Picasa : Photoshop too expensive or complicated for you? Then download this free photography editing tool from Google that includes many common tasks.
- Camera Hacker : Get all sorts of hacks for your photography here. Look at the latest entry, or submit one of your own.
- ReSizeIt : Simply select what type of photo you would like to edit to begin using this free, online photo editing tool. You can resize, sketch, blur, grayscale, and crop images.
- DivShare : Use this free, online storage tool to back up your most precious photos. Membership is free to store up to an impressive 10GB and a couple bucks gets you much more.
Best Free Photography Communities on the Web
Meet other photographers who share your interests, skill level, or even find a job with the help of the below.
- Photo.net : Exclusively a community of photographers, there are tons of tools here including forums, equipment reviews, galleries, and even learning. Be sure not to miss the most active threads and opportunity to have your work critiqued.
- The Nikonians : The Nikon brand of camera is so popular it inspired this independent photography community. Thousands come here to discuss, share, learn, and even participate in a rewards program.
- Photoblogs : Get an exclusive community of blogs for photographers, by photographers. There is a Hall of Fame, hot blogs, random, and new.
- VFXY Photoblogs : Thousands of photographers visit here to post their work. You can view the top bloggers, get weekly pics, or check out the Daily Mosaic.
- Cool Photoblogs : If you are interested in international photographers, visit here. You can choose to read or start your blog from dozens of countries from Argentina to the U.A.E.
- Picture Social : Another social network for photographers, this one currently has an unlimited photo sharing capacity. There is also an active forum where you can go to ask and answer questions.
- ePhotoZine : Although this community is based in the U.K., you don’t have to be from the area to join. There are also other useful tools such as equipment reviews and free tutorials.
- Photography Review : Have a bad photography related experience? Then join here to discuss or learn how to avoid it.
- Photo Friday : Join other photographers at all levels in this weekly challenge. Enter, view, and win for impressive bragging rights.
Everyone from a seasoned professional to parent in charge of the family pictures can find something useful on the above 100 best free photography tools. With your newfound knowledge, you will be able to capture amazing images, share them with the world, and much more.