This article offers suggestions of various websites, magazines, and books that I believe are good resources for digital photographers. I hope you will find them to be good resources as well.
What follows is a selection of websites that will help you learn more about photography, travel, or posting your images online for browsing over the Internet. Many of the best sites are related to print magazines of the same name.
PBase (www.pbase.com) is one of the best hosting sites for serious photographers. It goes well beyond the album sites to provide true online photo galleries and a lot more. There's a search engine to enable visitors to search for photographs by using specific keywords. The site makes it easy to upload batches of photos. You can link galleries that you create. So if you start a gallery showing off your 2006 vacation photos, you can subdivide it into Spain, France, Italy, or other appropriate categories. PBase is even a terrific information resource. It publishes a magazine (www.pbase.com/magazine) compiled entirely from the efforts of members. The premiere issue highlighted the work of two photographers and provided some useful tips on sensor cleaning. Of course, something this good isn't free, but the fees are reasonable, with as much as 1,500MB of storage available for $60 a year.
SmugMug (www.smugmug.com) is another hosting site with a modest fee, but with claimed unlimited photo storage. If you plan to shoot a lot of pictures on your trip, have access to a fast broadband connection as you travel, and want to upload all your photos, this service is the ticket.
Shutterbug's website (www.shutterbug.net) is an online adjunct to Shutterbug magazine, and as such covers digital photography in depth as well as recent and classic film cameras, photo techniques, and other topics of interest. Shutterbug's strength lies in its forums, which, like the magazine and website, span a broad range of interests.
Popular Photography & Imaging magazine has been the most authoritative resource for serious amateur photographers for longer than most of us have been alive. The addition of a website (www.popphoto.com) as a supplement to the magazine's coverage and increasing emphasis on digital photography prove that venerable doesn't have to equal stodgy or old-fashioned. Pop Photo remains as up to date as the latest digital camera, and most of the time, is several steps ahead of the technology in its predictions.
The Luminous Landscape
This site (www.luminous-landscape.com) has everything you'd want to know about nature photography, but goes far beyond that. Travel photographers can find lists of workshops occurring around the world. (China, Africa, Antarctica, Ireland, and Iceland are just a few destinations where these workshops have been held in the past.) There are descriptions of prime shooting locations for nature photography that help you find new places to take photos.
This site includes lots of features on its own, but is especially strong as a portal to other sites. For example, BytePhoto (www.bytephoto.com) offers online galleries, but also gives you links to other interesting pages on external sites, a Google search box for combing the Net, and a ton of ads with interesting offers you might want to jump to. BytePhoto offers news, reviews (not especially great, but interesting), and photo contests.
This gorgeous site (www.fredmiranda.com) is bursting with valuable information on a variety of digital photography topics, all arranged logically and easy to access. Lots of digital photographers agree: On a recent night when I logged in, nearly 1,500 other photographers were also using the site at that exact moment!
Newsgroups aren't a website (although you can access them from http://groups.google.com using your web browser), they are online forums full of interesting discussions. Posts range far and wide, and you're likely to see hundreds of different topics and comments in a particular group on virtually anything -- in a single day. One key strength of Usenet is this diversity: You're bound to stumble across information you'd never pick up anywhere else in a refreshing, serendipitous way. The most common way to access newsgroups is through a special program, or client, called a newsreader. Among the most popular newsreaders are Free Agent and the newsreader built into Outlook Express. However, you can also search through newsgroup postings with a Web browser by accessing Google Groups. After you launch your newsreader, you need to tell it which news server to use, connect to that server, and download a list of groups available from that source. Search among the groups to find those that specialize in travel topics or those related to the kind of photography you like the most.
It's difficult to recommend specific magazines, because so many of them have bitten the dust recently, including the late, lamented PhotoGraphic and eDigital Photo. You often can tell that a magazine isn't long for this world when you receive your thin latest issue and there is more editorial content than ads, and your mailbox has offers to renew for as many years as you like for $5 a year.
However, magazines remain one of the most useful resources for travel photography, because you can linger over the great photos, tote a copy of the magazine in your camera bag for reading during idle moments on your trip, and tear out useful articles for quick reference that's even more convenient than your browser's bookmarks. Virtually all have websites you can use to sign up for a subscription to the print magazine. Among the magazines you can expect to remain viable for quite a while longer are:
National Geographic Traveler: When it comes to travel photography and destination information, National Geographic (www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler) is in a class by itself.
Popular Photography & Imaging: I love the print version of this magazine (www.popphoto.com), although I might be biased because I write articles for it. There's lots of general photographic information and tips, along with frequent features on travel photography.
Shutterbug: The magazine (www.shutterbug.com) covers digital photography, but has lots of general photographic information for those who use film cameras. This is an especially good resource for information on equipment and tools.
My book, Digital Travel Photography Field Guide, is compact, concise, and has most of the information you need to take with you in the field. However, there is room for additional knowledge right there in your head, and you can get that from one of these recommended books. All are available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Digital Photography All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (click title for more details)
This huge compendium has chapters on travel, close-ups, action photography, portraiture, and other key topics, along with indepth information on choosing a digital camera, working with image editors, and so forth. I can promise you that I read every single word in this book, and approve of its contents 100%.
This is the classic introduction to digital photography, now in its 6th edition, especially suitable for beginners.
A more advanced guidebook for those who use digital SLR cameras and want to learn how to use their special features, interchangeable lenses, and other goodies.