I have been fortunate to be able to find places and people willing to share their expertise to help me develop my skills. Here are a few of my favorites:
If you are into wildlife and nature photography, try NatureScapes.net. It is a community of like minded members who are broad in experience and interests and deep in expertise. I spent a lot of time in the early years studying the image posts and reading the critiques. For me, it was more valuable than reading textbooks. You also gain a lot by participating.
Another great learning site, with more of a bird photography orientation is BirdPhotographers.net. But don't let the name fool you. The folks here are also interested in a variety of topics.
Both sites provide a wealth of information about gear, travel, technical, digital, practical applications, etc.
Photography Workshops and Tours
Probably the best way to learn photography, in my opinion, is to attend a workshop. I have been on many and seem to keep coming back to Charles Glatzer at Shoot the Light. I discovered Chas by observing his images. He seemed to be able to capture and present better images than just about anyone. I call his images "Images with Impact". At first, my experiences were focused on learning the technical aspects, then trying to find the artistic vision and now, I still go to his workshops because he finds interesting subjects in interesting settings and organizes his trips so that I have maximum time with the subjects.
Africa - might be my most favorite place on earth. There is a feeling in Africa unlike any I have experienced anywhere else. I have been to Africa nine times. Six of these were with Andy Biggs. Andy is one of the early pioneers of photo safaris in Africa. Originally, he specialized in Tanzania where you can experience the vastness of the Serengeti plains and the uniqueness of the NgoroNgoro Crater. Lately, he has branched out and goes to a number of different locations. I find his safaris to be well organized and also full of stimulating subjects.
Another intangible that is very important to me: both of these leaders attract a great group of folks to their tours. When you think about it, you are going to spend a lot of time, dawn to dark, over a week or two trip with a small number of people. I have found the folks that attend these workshops to be fun to be around and very helpful.
From October, 2004 until I moved to Zenfolio, I used the photo sharing site pbase. While it hasn’t been maintained for the past few years, or so, it continues to record several hundred page views per month, so I have kept it alive hoping it gives me references to my new site. I should also note that as of this post it has recorded more than 1.6 million page views! Here is the link: http://www.pbase.com/mikeojohnson