Ken Rockwell is one of the most popular figures in photography (there’s even a fake Ken website). He is also one of the most divisive.
Search for anything photo-related and chances are Ken’s pages will rank towards the top. He is opinionated, controversial and lays it bare for all. Perhaps that’s the method to his madness. But there is no denying he has a passion for photography and spends plenty of time snapping away.
There is a lot of useful information to glean from the site if you can look past the BS.
Take note from Ken’s about page:
“I have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself), as well as to inform and to educate. I occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting. I love a good hoax. A hoax, like some of the things I do on this website, is done as a goof simply for the heck of it by overactive minds as a practical joke.”
Anyways, here’s how you can get the most out of Ken’s website…
Daily RSS Feed
Ken’s daily RSS feed runs kind of haywire, updating itself every time he updates a page (instead of once per post). But it’s a useful way to keep track of where he’s updating his website, recent deals and discounts, and also if you just want to read some interesting banter on various topics of photography.
Recommended Cameras & Lenses
Where I think Ken gets it right is not in his “scientific comparisons” (leave that to dpreview and co.) but for general advice for novice photographers. For those just getting into photography or with basic questions, you’ll get some pretty sound advice from his recommended cameras page. For example, his continued praise of the 35mm f/1.8, which will get a lot more striking images than a basic kit lens. Likewise, his praise of the S100 as the world’s best compact camera. I can attest to that, as can just about everyone I know whose gotten it.
How to Take Better Pictures
Ken pretty much hits the nail on the head. It’s not about resolution or your camera, but about your eye and your vision, and making the most of what you have. A few good articles include The Importance of Timing, How to Get Great Colors, & Your Camera Doesn’t Matter. Ken’s pictures are not the best in the world, but there are certainly some decent ones in there. He can coax a good image out of almost any camera without PS, and for amateurs looking to achieve the same thing, you can learn a lot.
Some of Ken’s Photos