Sometimes I forget just what an amazing era we live in. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday thumbing through the photography periodicals when one in particular caught my eye simply for the absolutely AMAZING portrait it included. Have you ever stumbled across a picture and the first thought to flood your mind was "WOW, I must learn for this master!!" the moment you saw it? Well, that was me, and the photographer in question was Jake Hicks. If you aren't familiar with his work I highly recommend you drop by his website here.
Scanning his work made me think again about adding diffusion filters to my shooting setup, something I had been considering for awhile now. So, long story short, in the process of researching diffusion filters I started researching ND filters (something ELSE I have been thinking about adding as my polarizer is woefully inadequate as an ND filter) which lead me to yet another awesome source of knowledge and inspiration; Shane Hurlbut and his website, Hurlblog. Shane is a cinematographer. Not just any cinematographer, but the cinematographer for movies such as Act Of Valor, We Are Marshall, and Terminator: Salvation. He's the real deal, and his website is stuffed full of information he is sharing with his readers.
It strikes me what a game-changer the Internet has become. Instant, on demand access to inside information from some of the most talented professionals in the industry... all at the click of a button. Most of these individuals have jumped on to this bandwagon too, Shane has a monthly service that gives you access to a crazy amount of info. Jake has a great tips page and holds regular workshops. And some of my other favorite artists, like Jeremy Cowart, Josh Rossi, and Sue Bryce have excellent educational resources as well. This is truly a golden age of education, it's just all self serve.
I know how busy life gets but I encourage you to take a moment and check out some of these resources. Or simply look up your favorite artist, I'd be willing to bet they have a lot of knowledge they are sharing on their pages too. I especially recommend Shane Hurlbut's page. It's not "still-image" photography centered, which is a nice change of pace and it really makes you realize the importance of nailing everything in camera. How better to learn these epic, cinematic compositions so many of us are going for then from a guy who's doing it for 200 million dollar film productions?
What are some of your favorite artists you have learned from? Have any great websites you have found?