30 Amazing Links to Great Photography and Cool Tutorials Every Photographer Will Love


Another wonderful week has passed us by in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching points far and wide online looking for the best links to tutorials, collections, great photography and interesting blogs.  This week's list features a wide variety of subjects, with the hope that there's something here for everyone.  Please enjoy this collection of links with the Toad's regards.

San Juan Gaztelugatze
Photo by Alfredo


How Many Studio Lights do you Really Need? – the age old question in photography regarding the number and application of lights is analyzed by Michael Woloszynowicz in this terrific article.  Michael discusses the pros and cons of all numbers and aspects of artificial lighting techniques, revealing more questions than answers.  The result is a thoughtful piece that will have you looking at your setup and technique with an eye towards results.

Umbrellas 103 for Beginners: Light Fall Off and Comparing Different Umbrella Sizes – this is a terrific article in a series of articles that discusses the application of various types of light modifiers and their effects on an image technically.  If you are looking to learn some of the intricacies of artificial lighting, this running series is sure to illuminate any questions you may have.

Quick Photo Tips: Plain Old Window Light – Joe Baraban has a wonderful way of cutting straight to the chase and presenting simple ideas that have been proven over hundreds of years of application in art.  This article discusses the application of natural window lighting in portraiture, and once again Joe punctuates his writing with a terrific photograph to illustrate his topic.

Importance of Flash Synch Speed – Joe Farace shares some brief but important insights into flash photography, specifically focusing on the application of syncing your flash with your shutter speed.  This used to be a much bigger issue in the days when film was prevalent as it was impossible to review the image captured in the field during the shoot.  The concepts discussed here are still very important, though, in terms of ambient lighting and full control of the exposure.


GreatPhotos – this is a large collection of photographs that appear to focus on Unesco World Heritage sites.  These sites are important on so many different levels, and having the ability to enjoy a visit to places that many of us won’t have a chance to in person creates a strong allure.  These projects are also important from the aspect of documenting heritage sites at this specific time in history.

Great Photography

Dougan Lake – this tiny little lake sits on what I believe to be a private farm, one that is well known in the Cowichan Valley both for its intrinsic beauty as well as the history established by the family locally.  This lake summons the photographer, creating wonderful compositions and image opportunities at many junctures over the course of a year, and this gorgeous rendition by Randy Hall showcases it during the fall when the leaves are vibrantly colored.

UrbEx and HDR of yore – Brian Matiash brings us along on an UrbEx trek where we takes us inside what appears to be an abandoned school.  It’s been years since the feet of students walked these hallways, and the active process of decay has begun creating a sense of strong artistic tension through the series of unanswered questions posed.

Manarola Waves – Edith Levy takes us back to the shores of Italy where she shares a wonderful photograph she captured on a stormy afternoon featuring a tiny town on the side of a bluff overlooking a fiery ocean.  Edith uses a long exposure technique in capturing this piece, creating strong dynamicism between the power and fury of nature against a backdrop of the beautiful architecture and character the area is so well known for.

Pawley's Island Sunset Series – Part 1 – John Mead shares a wonderful series of photographs all captured at the South Carolina Grand Strand area surrounding Pawley's Island.  John takes advantage of the natural beauty of the light found during the latter part of the afternoon, creating a set of warm toned landscapes that are truly breathtaking to view and enjoy.

Desert Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park – for those who love vibrant colors in an image, look no further than to this shot posted by Anne McKinnell.  As Anne notes, these events are rather rare to encounter and fate favors the prepared.  Incredible clouds, colors and silhouettes from the surrounding landscape all come together in perfect harmony in this breathtaking piece.

Hidden Forest Falls – beautiful waterfalls grace the landscape in this photograph from John Maslowski taken in Pennsylvania.  A slightly elongated shutter speed smoothes out the fast moving waters, adding a feel of the dynamic against the backdrop of still natural beauty.

Still Waters – this beautiful and serene landscape is captured and presented here by Andy Gimino, taking advantage of the beautiful colors in the sky from a sunrise over Lake Champlain.  Andy’s composition includes an element of the shore to create an anchor into the shot, and in the distance multiple layers of landscape leads the viewer through the frame naturally.

Photo by Thomas Leuthard

Wonderful Garden – a terrific little wood cabin sits under the watchful gaze of an incredible mountain range in this picture from the studio of Julian Stănescu.  A cluster of clouds lingers near the top of the mountains, adding a perfect dash of drama to a serendipitous scene.

Lightning Over Tucson – this is a very powerful shot, captured and shared here by Chris Frailey.  Chris’ work capturing striking imagery of the powerful storms found in the Arizona area stands apart, and this dramatic shot showcases both the epic power of mother nature and the skills that Chris brings in capturing fleeting moments in a frame forever.

HDR: Industrial – this shot from Marcel Mason features what looks to me to be a metalworking lathe.  Terrific details in the tool come to life in this low-light HDR image, and Marcel’s unique composition adds a great element of interest to the picture.

57, 58, 59… – this great image from Perry Bailey showcases a very unique custom made car that is comprised of pieces of Chevrolet classics that were released over a 3 year period.  The results are quite wonderful, creating a car that combines old and new in a platform that must be a total blast to drive.

A room with a (terrific) view – Mathias Lucas shares a trio of black-and-white images all framed by doorways looking out over the beautiful and alluring cityscape of Paris.  The application of monochrome to the post-processing adds great authenticity to this brief study of the rooftops of what has to be one of the most incredible cities in the world.

act of defiance – a lovely shot that follows a log from the front of the frame right into the heart of the gorgeous landscape being explored here by Emil Jovanov.  The lake’s waters are so inviting as the eye makes it way around the image discovering majestic mountains and an old wooden boathouse.

Polar Bear – Ron Niebrugge captures and shares a stunning portrait of a polar bear in this piece posted to his blog.  Wonderful details in the bear’s face speak to it’s strong and wonderful personality, creating a picture that tells the tale of a life lived hard, yet under the terms set by this glorious creature.

4 a.m. The Milky Way at the Mormon Barns, Tetons
Photo by Diana Robinson

Step by step – a series of what appears to be wood piers creates a meandering line through this great abstract piece by Olivier.  Wonderful blue hues in the water work in harmony with the textures and tones found in the wood creating a gentle piece that is easy for the eye to take in and enjoy.

Rocky Mountain Snow Squall – Rocky Mountain National Park – Len Saltiel takes us to a high vantage-point where we overlook the majestic mountain range found in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  The snow squall in June adds a special certain touch to this beautiful landscape piece.

Sunset over the Seat of Power – a classic shot of Big Ben and the legislature in London greets the viewer in this great photograph from J R.  The Westminster Bridge in the right of the frame does a great job of creating a natural leading line in this image, guiding the viewer into the picture and into a journey of discovery.

West Dallas Creek Road – Rick Louie takes advantage of the epic landscapes of the Telluride area of Colorado, capturing a great shot with a natural leading line to guide the viewer into the frame.  As the eye explores the image, natural details come to life adding a great series of elements to the shot.

Riomaggiore – the incredible architectural beauty found in a tiny village in Italy on the side of a hill is explored in this great shot by photographer Alan Story.  Alan’s great composition accents the natural rolling hills of the area and their inherent beauty, peppered by the great homes and buildings that create the tiny community.

The Church – Jim Denham captures an almost magical shot featuring the interior of a Spanish style church in Texas.  Wonderful details in the architecture play with the natural and incandescent lighting found inside to cast a wonderful scene for Jim to capture and share on his blog.

After dark in Central Park – this set of photographs features the iconic Central Park of NYC at night time.  Jim Nix comes away with a series that contains both stylized images as well as more conventional variations of images, all of which speak to the character of this world famous park.

Underground Larakin
Photo by darkday

USCGC Eagle – my love for sailing ships finds a home in this terrific shot posted by Jimi Jones.  Jimi gets up at the proverbial crack of dawn to capture this dramatic shot, featuring the three masted tall ship “USCGC Eagle” docked in it’s berth awaiting the next sea-born adventure that awaits it.

Interesting Blogs

Dialing it Back: Camera Makers Prize Retro 35mm Look – photography is far from immune from the effects of trends, and this great news article on NBC News discusses the latest trend from some of the world’s leading camera manufacturers to embrace retro styling.  This is a great article that discusses the impetus behind these designs.

Seeing The Light – Shane Hurlbut’s Philosophy On Success – this is a motivational post that showcases the epic talents of one of the industry’s leading image specialists.  David Geffin gives us a brief peek behind the proverbial curtain, where we get a fleeting glance into the workings of someone who is highly successful in the field.

5 Top Photographers Share Advice on What it Takes to Become a Professional – 2 minutes of terrific video motivation greets you in this presentation that asks 5 professional photographers to share a bit about their secret to success.

About Author

I am a fine arts photographer that specializes in HDR techniques. Please feel free to visit our Limited Edition Prints site, our Online Gallery or our lively Photoblog.

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