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Essential photography resources I love

by Laura

**This is an updated post**

Looking for inspiration? Information? Or just some tips to make your learning journey easier? 

Laura is an Open Colleges alumnus who studied the Certificate IV in DesignWe spoke to her about her favourite photography resources, and what she uses to inspire, inform and assist her photography.  

There is much more to being a good Photographer than might first meet the eye. Some people may think that taking photos is easy – that all you need to do is show up and take some snaps. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. As every good Photographer will tell you, mapping out the perfect shoot can take hours of research and careful planning. And even before you get to the planning stage, there needs to be something that inspires you, that drives you to pursue that one perfect, unforgettable shot.  

Yes, being a good Photographer takes time, practice, and dedication. But if it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing, then it’s worth doing it well.  

Read on to find out about some inspiring photography resources, as described by an Open Colleges alumnus.  

National Geographic

When I was young, National Geographic magazine was my window into the incredible world beyond my tiny rural town. Every month, I looked forward to the latest issue arriving in our mailbox. I still enjoy reading National Geographic, and their magazines, website and books are excellent sources of inspiration for Photographers of all levels.

My father

My father is a talented Photographer, so my first introduction to actual photography came through him. He has been a strong inspiration in my photographic journey and challenges me to learn, grow and improve. Learning is a great way to stay interested and inspired – that’s why I decided to enroll with Open Colleges.

If there is someone in your life that you admire, think about different ways they influence you and how you can learn from them. 


I have been a devoted Canon girl since the days of film (thanks, Dad!), and am admittedly biased in the equipment department. However, there are other excellent brands as well. Compatibility (lenses, flashes, accessories) makes switching brands an expensive move, so bear this in mind if you are in the market for your first serious camera body. I also recommend investing in quality lenses as you grow your collection – they will serve you well, even if you upgrade bodies.


Creative Cloud

For editing and design work, I use software through Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

The Adobe Creative Cloud has a huge amount of features. Two of the apps included are Photoshop and Lightroom, which are both incredibly useful apps for Photographers, as well as other creatives. These are industry standard applications for most Photographers, so learning how to make use of them will be beneficial to you.  

As part of Open Colleges’ CUA41115 Certificate IV in Photography and Photo Imaging you will learn how to navigate these apps and get the most out of them.  

Blue Crane

To establish a solid foundation for your photography, get to know your equipment intimately. If you can’t handle working through the user’s manual, consider investing in a training DVD for your major equipment. I used this method (Blue Crane), and while it’s still kind of painful, it’s a good alternative. There are also some great (free!) online tutorials available. 

On the other hand, if you want to explore photography but can’t afford fancy equipment, that’s perfectly okay! Nice tools help, but ultimately, they are just tools. It’s your vision and skill as the photographer that matter in making a great photo, whether it’s on a camera phone or DSLR.  You can upgrade tools later, if you decide that you want to take things further.


I’ve read many photography books and magazines over the years. Two old favourites in my collection are National Geographic’s The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography and Tom Ang’s Digital Photography Masterclass. Both are accessible, even if you’re a novice. These particular books of mine have been loaned to many friends with great feedback.

Go for it!

If you’re interested in photography, then the only advice I can give is: go for it!

Grow your knowledge, experiment a little, and decide where you might like to go from there.Once you get started, you’ll realise just how many opportunities are waiting for you out there.  

If you’re already a keen Photographer and are interested in taking your skills further (whether for personal interest like me, or as a career like many of my course mates), explore what Open Colleges has on offer.

Laura’s images

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