Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

 

My Cyber Spaces

The following is an annotated list of the photography-related websites that I find useful/interesting and regularly visit. Within each category there is a rough correlation between the order of listing and the frequency with which I visit the sites. Websites that I only occasionally visit (say...once a month or less) are not on this list.

How do websites get onto this list? Simple - I find them, bookmark them, and if I find myself regularly visiting them, I add them to this list. Will I accept submissions? Sure. But that doesn't mean that I'll list the submitted site here - unless, of course, I find myself returning to the site on a frequent basis. Sorry, I don't "swap" links and these listings can't be purchased. If you'd like me to have a look at a specific website and consider it for inclusion simply email me at cyberspaces@naturalart.ca.

Photography Portals or Aggregators

These are sites I visit when I want to LOOK for interesting and/or useful photography sites:

Photography Homepages (www.photographyhomepages.com): This website is an attempt to find and list the most important photography websites. Sort of a "best of the best" directory. It's reasonably new (as I write this on 17 April 2008) but already has some key websites on it. I found this site by reviewing my web statistics - turns out they liked my website and included it in their Nature Photography category. I quite liked what I found at Photography Homepages and visit the site fairly regularly.

Online Nature Photography Communities

Nature Photographers Online Magazine (www.naturephotographers.net): If you're a keen nature photographer you just have to visit this website (and join the community). Large, active, worldwide membership. The site has active forums/discussion groups and the photo-critique galleries (covering virtually all aspects of nature photography) are a great place to view high-quality images (and read what other photographers think of the images). When I have time I love participating and contributing to this community.

Creative Nature Photography (www.creativenaturephotography.net): If you're the type of nature photographer that prefers truly creative images of nature (and not simply the technically correct but uninspiring "bird on a stick" images), you should definitely check out this recently formed online commmunity. The website and community was created by a small cadre of highly talented photographers from India and has a truly international flavour. Simply inspirational! I highly recommend checking this website out!

NundaFoto (www.nundafoto.net): This bilingual website and community is based out of France and is similar to Nature Photographers Online Magazine, but with a more European flavour. It is focused exclusively on the photography of wild wildlife (not shots of captive animals). The community is currently smaller than Nature Photographers Online Magazine, but it is quite active. The site features numerous forums and, of course, an excellent photo-critique gallery. I frequent this site and contribute to this community when I have available time.

Equipment-oriented Sites (General and Nikon-specific)

dxomark.com (www.dxomark.com): THE free resource dedicated to RAW-based camera image quality. I love this site - I visit it AT LEAST once a week. Curious about how YOUR camera's image sensor stacks up against the competition's? Curious about the dynamic range of your sensor at various ISO's? There's only ONE place to get this kind of standardized, objective information - dxomark.com. My only beef about the site is one misleading section of the website - the "Camera Rankings". The rankings AREN'T camera rankings, they're camera sensor rankings. A camera is a whole lot more than an image sensor and the title of this section is a tad misleading. So...just keep that little fact in mind while browsing this website and enjoy! This website is a techie's heaven!

Naerfoto Bjorn Rorslett (www.naturfotograf.com): The website of Bjorn Rorslett - a fascinating curmudgeon from Norway. In my opinion, the single most complete - and valuable - source of Nikon lens reviews found anywhere. Bjorn tells it like it is and, unlike many other reviewers, extensively uses and tests equipment before writing his reviews. There are fewer camera reviews on this site than on some other websites, but those that are there (e.g., the D3) are as brutally honest as his lens reviews. If you are considering the acquisition of Nikon lenses you absolutely should visit this site before laying your money down.

SLRGear.com (www.slrgear.com): A good source of lens reviews (virtually all brands). This site performs "objective" tests on lenses and presents you with the facts. The write-ups done by those managing the website tend to be "diplomatic" but if you read carefully you can extract their meaning. The site also publishes submitted "User Reviews" for each lens listed - take these with a HUGE grain of salt. To be blunt and direct (my Simon Cowell imitation) - many of those reviews are written by individuals with a bone to pick with a particular brand or they aren't experienced enough to be in a position to judge a lens.

Digital Photography Review (www.dpreview.com): A good place to go to find out the specs of virtually any digital camera (SLR or point-and-shoot). Many (and lengthy) camera reviews, but much of the information in each review is little more of a re-hashing of the material that would be found in an owner's manual. The reviews are useful, but the conclusions seem to be more than a little "watered down". Recently (written April 17, 2008) started adding lens reviews to the site.

Online Vendors of Camera Gear

Outdoor Photo Gear (www.outdoorphotogear.com): While I'm a big believer in supporting your local retailer, there's many of us who live in the sticks who don't HAVE a local retailer OR their retailer doesn't carry every little knick-knack they may need. Outdoor Photo Gear is a very new enterprise and they offer a great selection of hard-to-find photo accessories. Like...AquaTech rain covers, and Kwik Camo dropsheets (blinds), and Neos lightweight over-boots, and a FULL line up of Think Tank Accessories (including many hard-to-get belt accessories), and...you get the picture. I've ordered products from them several times over the last couple of months and have had great service each time. A great product mix and with great service - what more can you ask for? Check them out!

Photography News Sites

Rob Galbraith Digital Photography Insights (www.robgalbraith.com): This website is biased towards photojournalism and sports photography, but is still a very good source of recent news in the photography industry. This website almost single-handedly forced Canon into admitting to, and then fixing, the autofocus problems of the EOS-1D Mk III.

Digital Photography Review (www.dpreview.com): Late-breaking news about product releases and equipment-related information.

Nikon Rumors (niikonwatch.com): If you're into rumours, innuendo and outright gossip about all things Nikon-related, this is the place to go. Once in a while you may even find something useful here! And, you may even find some good chuckle material...

Other Nikon-related Sites

Nikon bythom - Thom Hogan's Website (www.bythom.com): Everything you could ever ask about Nikon - and probably lots you had never even thought to ask about. News, opinions, how-to articles, lens reviews, camera reviews, camera guides (eBooks for specific Nikon models), and lots more. Thom is a prolific writer - this website is absolutely chock full of content (mostly written). The content level is perfect for the novice to intermediate photographer, but there would be few professionals that couldn't learn something from the information presented on this website. While I don't agree with absolutely EVERYTHING Thom writes, the vast majority of the content hits the nail on the head.

Selected Nature Photographer's Websites

Websites of nature photographers that I admire and respect:

Tim Fitzharris Images (www.timfitzharris.com): Tim Fitzharris has been one of my favourite nature photographers for decades. Tim's images are unique, creative, and awe-inspiring. Formerly a top-notch film photographer, Tim embraced the opportunities presented by digital technologies early on and has written some of the best digital nature photography books available.

Nature Lyrics - Creative Visions of Nature (www.naturelyrics.com): The beautiful imagery of Ganesh H Shankar. Ganesh possesses an exceptionally creative eye and his images are invariably show-stoppers. An absolutely great website to visit anytime, but especially if you're in need of a dose of creative inspiration!

Nature References

The Birds of North America Online (bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna): This AMAZING reference is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists Union. Subscription-based ($40 USD for a single year subscription), this website is the ultimate repository for information about all the species of birds found in North American. This living and dynamic resource contains image galleries (for each species), video footage, audio recordings of calls and songs, and much, much more. Note that this website should be considered a RESOURCE, as opposed to a field guide. You could probably identify species quicker with a printed field guide, but for detailed information, this is the place to go. Two cautions about this site - it isn't the fastest website on the planet (nor is this one!) and some of the species accounts are written by researchers who write in precise, analytical language (and they can be a little tough to read). These quibbles aside, any keen birder would benefit from subscribing to this resource.

For now, that's it. If I have some spare time (hardly likely) I'll add my much longer listing of occasionally browsed websites...

CREATED 17 April 2008; LAST UPDATE: 19 October 2009.