It has been another terrific week in the world of art and imagery, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching a wide range of photography inspired sites for links to the best tutorials, special features. great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list plays host to a wide variety of subjects, all focused on the realm of photography. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Gabrielle Jago
A Quick and Simple TTL Build – the desire to have absolute control over lighting is a dragon most photographers chase at some point in time. Joe McNally, a true leader in the field, shares some great technical tips and tricks on how to apply lighting in a portrait environment. Joe includes several awesome shots to illustrate his points, as well as a terrific diagram that shows you exact placement and power settings.
[At Your Own Risk] How To Convert An EOS 550D To Shoot In Infrared – I seriously thought about this for a few moments before talking myself out of it. The infrared spectrum of light reveals a world beyond our reach under normal circumstances, and this very in-depth tutorial takes you step-by-step through the process of permanently converting an EOS 500D into an IR camera. This article includes photographs and diagrams, video clips and complete descriptions… everything you need to explore a brand new world!
Super Fast Clipping Previews – Simon Plant produces a very short video tutorial full of very powerful post-processing tips in terms of managing highlights and lowlights in imagery. The built-in functions in both Lightroom and Photoshop are explored alongside Simon’s commentary to get you up and running with this technique in a matter of moments.
Umbrellas 104 for Beginners: Flagging and Feathering – this article represents a continuing series of posts that discusses and illustrates different techniques for the application of an umbrella light modifier. These in-depth posts highlight the power one is able to achieve in photography when understanding the technical intricacies of artificial lighting and how best to apply it to the shot being worked on.
How To Photograph On A White Background Using Two Lights; Plus A Useful Bonus Editing Tip – this is a great video tutorial running just over 12 minutes in length that takes you through the process from beginning to end on how to shoot against a white backdrop. Photographer Gavin Hoey shows us how to properly balance key and background lights by metering and how to post-process the work to achieve great results. The finished photograph he includes here illustrates perfectly the concepts discussed.
Monsoon | A time-lapse film – if you love drama in imagery even half as much as I do, this is a link you will not want to miss in this week’s list of links. World famous storm chaser Mike Olbinski shares a powerful time-lapse film that is composited from clips he’s captured during the 2014 monsoon season in the United States. 45,000 collective frames captured between June and September by travelling some 14,000 miles across Arizona are brought together in a cohesive film that is guaranteed to leave you amazed.
How A Photographer And Team Of Climbers Lit Up The Matterhorn Mountain – this post features the story of the logistics behind a terrific shoot that found the world famous Matterhorn peak lit to reveal the path of one of the original climbing teams. Red LED lights lead the viewer up to the peak of the mountain, revealed in a set of 3 photographs. A short video presentation shows the efforts involved in making the project happen.
Climbing the Aktru – a group of Russian photographers, adventurers and reporters had a great idea to ascend to the top of a large mountain range and document the entire process. The results are posted to this terrific blog that features a great catalog of shots captured during the ascent. I used Google Translate to translate the piece into English and found this to be effective enough to add a great dimension to the article.
Photo by Rafiq Sarlie
Bled… | …bled IX… | …bled I… | Lake Bled | Island on Lake Bled | Beautiful Bled Castle, Slovenia – Lake Bled in Slovenia remains one of the most captivating places on earth to capture iconic imagery. In this small collection of 6 images the lake, the medieval castle that overlooks it and the ancient monastery are all explored showcasing the limitless compositions found at this location. Images featured were captured by Pawel Kucharski, roberto pavic, Péter Cseke and Dotan Naveh.
Beautiful Aerial Photographs of Africa Captured Through the Window of a Cessna – Joel Krahn reveals a world captured from the elevation found through the window of a small airplane. Perspective takes on a whole new meaning when viewing the world from this perspective, exposing an abstract take on the world we live in at ground level.
Wretched – the photographer going by the handle of Structuresxx features a very dramatic image in this posting. An old metal boat lies prone on the side of the ocean shore as the relentless march of natural decay works in harmony with rust to slowly disassemble the craft and return it’s composite materials back to nature.
Super moon rising over Vernazza – this is a dramatic and engaging image, captured and shared here by adrian_popan. A huge, warm supermoon lingers over a tiny seaside town in Europe casting a warm glow over the beautiful old architecture as the scene gently leads the viewer out into the limitless expanse of the ocean.
The Shape Shifters – photographer Laurie MacBride captures a great abstract shot featuring the natural weathering of sandstone on the shores of the ocean on the west coast of Canada. Depending on your state of mind and your eye, this shot reveals different subjects to each viewer, illustrating the power and creativity produced by nature and observed by people.
IRenkowo – an alien landscape scene is revealed in this terrific shot by Piotr Krol by exploring only the infrared light spectrum. A beautiful, gentle body of water adds a great element of interest in the rich reflections, and the wonderful details found in the magic of IR make for a compelling shot to view and enjoy.
evening glory – an Alberta undulating landscapes reveals a palette of colors that can truly only be found in nature. Frank King takes advantage of the narrow time window in Alberta where these conditions are found to capture a stunning and vibrant shot that finds an anchor with an old wooden fence in the foreground.
Photo by Sachin Sindhu
Dubai Marina New year Firework – Vinaya Mohan captures a stunning and vibrant shot featuring the colorful fireworks that adorn the New Years celebration for 2014 at the Dubai Marina. The incredible details and colors exhibited by the lights of the city find perfect harmony in the explosive colors of the fireworks display to cast a truly compelling image.
Thinking of June – Ron Niebrugge photographs a young brown bear standing on it’s hind legs amidst a field of color. The wonderful way the youngster stares back intently at the lens creates a strong sense of artistic tension in this piece that also reveals a little of the character of these wonderful animals in their natural habitats.
Best Place on Earth – as autumn comes to Canada, the light becomes noticeably warmer and the shadows longer, adding a perfect touch of drama to our landscapes. Local Cowichan Valley photographer JoeRos captures and shares a wonderful photograph here, featuring a bucolic farm scene draped in warm light with a veil of fog lingering in spots.
Chocolat – a wonderful chocolate shop in the heart of France comes to life on our screens in this picture from the studio of Edith Levy. Colors, details and textures only found in a tiny artisan shop like this come to life in Edith’s great shot, leaving the viewer with a distinct sense they can actually smell the delightful aromas that were swirling around Edith as she captured this shot.
Over the Limit – an old car finds it’s personality explored in this very dramatic black-and-white piece by photographer Tay. The dashboard takes on a life of it’s own in this great picture, highlighting the patina of weathering, and leaving the mystery behind it all just that; a mystery.
Patterson Mansion – a terrific shot from Mark Summerfield showcases the grandeur of one of Washington DC’s storied heritage homes. This incredible home has a rich and deep history, as outlined by Mark in his post, and his great shot brings this fascinating story to life for everyone to enjoy here.
Bay Shore Inn Under the Stars – this captivating photograph comes to us from the studio of Rob Nopola, featuring a lovely contemporary inn captured in the heart of the night under a blanket of stars in the sky. As light streams wonderfully out from the windows of the facility, shadows are cast on the green lawns adding a perfect element to the photograph.
Photo by Donnie Ray Jones
Training Days – Jay Taylor delivers another stunning photograph featuring the birds of the Pacific Northwest in the US. This shot showcases the intrinsic beauty and grace found in the juvenile Bald Eagle as it goes about learning to fly. Rich and crisp details in the bird are enhanced by the shallow depth-of-focus Jay used to capture the shot isolating the subject perfectly from it’s backdrop.
A Great View in Old Town Spring – for those who love classic American cars this is a shot you will not want to miss in this week’s list. Tim Stanley visits a car show in Texas recently, coming away with this wonderful photograph of a highly detailed bright red Ford hot rod in a perfect setting.
Baltimore Inner Harbor – this great trio of photographs is presented here by Jimi Jones, featuring various landmarks and icons found in the harbor of Baltimore. Great architecture, a terrific submarine and a quintessential sunset over the marina are featured in this post, making for a must-see set of photographs.
Window to Adventure – this stunning landscape piece posted by Michael Criswell features a famous landscape icon, the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Wonderful warm light lights up the face of this natural feature, showcasing the wonderful textures and details that can only be found created by the handiwork of Mother Nature herself.
New pictures of Franklin expedition's HMS Erebus – photography as a tool to document important issues and things is a critical application of the craft in terms of benefiting the world overall. In this CBC post, a short series of images are presented that give the viewer the first look underwater of one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks up in the far northern areas. Just recently discovered, these images represent the first look at the ship that man has seen since the vessel went missing and tragically disappeared all those years ago.
Ghostly Buildings Haunt New York's Catskills – NBC shares a brief photo expose that features shots of abandoned buildings in the NY area. What once was a thriving town today stands empty and forlorn, and these photographs depict the artistic tension that remains standing where once families lived.
Curious Baby Owls Investigate a Camera Left Near Their Nest, Cuteness Ensues – exactly as promised, this post plays host to a video clip that is guaranteed to warm your heart, particularly for those who love wildlife photography. After carefully placing a camera next to the nest of an owl family, the camera quietly goes about the business of capturing candid footage of these cute little creatures as they try to learn about the strange device.
Photo by Tom Woodward
What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast
It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.