digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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Photography Resources

This page is a list of resources that can help you in your photography journey. Education is a big part of photography but sometimes you need other things too, but don’t know where to begin. All products or services shown here are ones which I either use personally, or have tested and recommend. I hope you find it useful. If there is something you’re looking for that’s not on the list, use the contact form to shoot me an email and perhaps I can add it to the page.

Tack Sharp Nailing Focus by James BrandonTack Sharp – a step by step guide to nailing focus by photographer James Brandon.

Within the pages of this eBook, you’ll discover the tips and tricks used by the pros to take full control over the advanced systems of focus within today’s digital camera systems. Learn the art of consistently nailing focus on your images, discover custom functions that have been hiding right within your cameras menu settings and say goodbye to the frustrations of blurry, unusable images

mastering lenses ebook coverMastering Lenses by Andrew S Gibson

Mastering Lenses: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Beautiful Photos With Any Lens is written for everybody who wants to learn how to use their lenses to create better photos.

Lens choice is one of the most important aesthetic decisions that we make as photographers. We all need to learn to how to get the best out of the lenses that we already own.

Mastering-Lightroom Book one the Library ModuleMastering Lightroom Book 1: The Library Module by Andrew S Gibson

Mastering Lightroom: Book One – The Library Module shows you how to use the Library Module to import, organize and search your images. This important task lays the foundation for the work you do in Lightroom. Mastering the Library module ultimately saves you time, which you can spend either in the Develop module or with your camera. Either way, you end up with more hours to be creative.

Essentials of Street Photography - James MaherEssentials of Street Photography by James Maher

Few people know all of the tips, tricks and techniques to be able to consistently take meaningful, beautiful, and technically stunning street shots. No matter your skill level, there will be something important for you to learn in this book.

Essentials of Street Photography is not only about teaching you how to technically approach the street photography, how to edit your work, how to overcome your fears, or how to get sharp, close-up candid shots without getting punched, although it will teach you these things, it’s about teaching you how to conceptually approach your work so that it has something to say.

travel photography toursTravel Photography Tours
with Darlene Hildebrandt

Spend a few weeks in an exotic part of the world with a group of your peers, improving your photography and discovering the best locations during the best light.

Upcoming travel tours include Nicaragua, Morocco and India.

Check out the full tour lineup for dates and details.

Banner: 4 weeks to better photography a

Beginner Photography Course

4 Weeks to Better Photography – If you’re a beginner photographer who wants to learn how to take better photos but doesn’t want to get hung up on the technical details, then this is likely the right course for you.


Lighting Patterns

Watch a free video lesson from our Portrait Fundamentals course and learn about using natural light and flash to create flattering lighting patterns for your subject.

One Hour Photography FAQ lesson

Settle in while Darlene and Bruce discuss frequently asked questions about portrait photography in another complimentary lesson from our portrait lighting course.

incredibly important composition skills for photographers

Composition Skills

Learn how to create captivating photos by unlocking the secrets of composition. This multi-media tutorial is filled with photos, illustrations, videos and exercises, in a practical no-nonsense way for you to gain real skills.

I highly recommend it.

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Resources based on skill level

Would you consider yourself a beginner photographer or more intermediate?

Gear Essentials – Personally Selected by Darlene, on B&H Photo

Banner: BH Gear Essentials Page

View Darlene’s personally selected Gear Essentials


Adobe Lightroom

logo LightroomLightroom is my go-to image editing software. I use it for about 90% of my editing needs, only jumping to Photoshop or a few different plugins when I need to do extensive retouching like combining two images, head swaps, removing elements in the image, etc. But for the most part I work almost exclusively in Lightroom.

I do have the Creative Cloud subscription, but unlike Photoshop you can still buy Lightroom outright without the monthly fees. It was designed for photographers from the ground up and it more user friendly than Photoshop. If you haven’t used Lightroom download it and do the 30 day trial before you decide.

Purchase Lightroom on Amazon.

Photoshop Plugins – Topaz Labs

There are many plugins you can get to work alongside Lightroom and Photoshop. Topaz Labs make some of the most popular, I have a few of them in my toolkit. You can use them as stand alone apps, or with PS or LR to enhance, correct, and add creative touches to your images.

The thing with plugins or anything that’s an add on is that you can probably do something similar inside Photoshop – but it might take a lot of tinkering and way more time. So plugins, LR presets, PS actions are all time savers. If you want to do more with your images give some of the Topaz line a go – they have free trials and lifetime upgrades.

Visit Topaz Labs, download them and try them out now and see if you like what they do.

Video Courses / Tutorials

The Created Image


A video series about becoming a stronger photographer

When David DuChemin hosted a weekend conference in Vancouver Canada with 30 students, they were blown away by what an incredible experience it was. The result was 2 days worth of creative excellence. The 10 sessions were filmed and edited down to just over 14 hours of video content.

Topics included:

  • Creativity
  • Inspiration
  • Visual language
  • Composition
  • Editing
  • Post-production
  • Printing and more

“If you want to geek out about gear, go elsewhere. This gathering was about about the art of photography, with the right amount of craft to glue it all together. David has a way of making us explore the ‘why’ of our photography, so the ‘how’ becomes important in a context that renews our hunger for growth.”
– Stephen McCullough (about The Created Image)

14 hours of video content from this intensive photography weekend for only $100.

Ultimate Landscape Photography Course

Jay and Varina Patel are well known landscape photographers extraordinaire. In a past interview with them we talked about some of their thoughts and tips on landscape photography. Check out their Ultimate Landscape Course (videos you watch at home) and their ebooks in their learning center. If nature and landscape photography is your thing – this is the couple you want to learn it from! They are fun, personable, and offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

By using this discount code dpm-24f34df you can take advantage of a 33% savings on the Ultimate Landscape Photography Course.

Watch the video trailer above to see the quality of their landscape video tutorial.

Behind the Lens


In this online photography course by Jay and Varina Patel, you’ll learn how to approach a scene and how to navigate the range of options available to you in order to produce a finished image that matches your artistic vision.

By using this discount code dpm-24f34df you can take advantage of a 33% savings on the Ultimate Landscape Photography Course.

Backup Your Photos


Backblaze online back up solution

You NEED to have an off site backup solution in place. Backblaze offers an affordable way to do it in a simple and easy way. For $5/month (or $50 annually) you can set it to backup your computer, and even external hard drives and all your working files.

It has saved my butt a few times when my laptop bit the dust and I needed to make a presentation. Five minutes later I have downloaded the needed files from Backblaze to a borrowed computer and was back in business.

Note: this is not an archiving solution it only keeps currently active files on connected hard drives. You need another system for long term storage.

For the price, it’s a no brainer – just get it and set it up.

Create a Book


Turn photo memories into a beautiful book

In today’s highly digitized world we rarely print photographs any more. One great way of getting your images off the computer and into your home is by making a photo book. I use for all my own photo book projects including a book I made of my journey to Peru (which was used to raise funds to send to the kids there), my husband’s uncles, my niece’s birth, and even a memorial for our cats who have passed on.

There are a lot of photo book makers on the market but I’ve found Blurb to be of higher quality and their customer service is top notch. Any time I’ve had any issues they’ve been quick to respond and resolve them to my satisfaction including redoing a book for me.

If you use Lightroom you can even design your book right inside there and click send it LR sizes and uploads all the images right to for you – it couldn’t be easier. Or you can use their book design software or do it online.

Physical Photography Books