This week's list of hand selected photography destinations represent the best links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs found by Toad Hollow Photography over the course of the week. These pieces are shared online by some of the finest artists working in the field today. We hope you enjoy checking these links out as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you this week.
Photo by Jason Ahrns
How To Photograph And Light Real Estate At Dusk On A Budget – if you work in this field, or just love this genre of imagery, there is no better video tutorial to see this week than the one featured here. Mike Kelley is quite well known for his great work in real estate photography, creating stylized shots that are subtle in nature, but definitely stand out on their own. This 10 minute video presentation gives us a glimpse into how he performs his magic.
Book Lighting Technique: Creating the Softest Light Possible – this simple, yet highly effective, technique produces the wonderful soft light, particularly of interest to those shooting portraits. The results are quite natural looking, and this tutorial presentation takes you through the key factors in applying the technique.
These Focus Stacking Walkthroughs Will Help You Take Your Macro Photography to the Next Level – focus stacking is an important tool to have in your toolkit, particularly in the field of macro photography. This technique can overcome shallow focal depths, producing razor sharp images that express a controlled depth of focus with great details explored in the subject. This tutorial takes you through the key steps involved in applying this technique.
Removing dust spots from images with Lightroom 5 – photographer Scott Wood creates a terrific short video tutorial that takes you quickly and painlessly through the process of using the built-in tools in Adobe Lightroom 5 to remove dust spots from images. Follow Scott along in this short presentation as he shows you step-by-step how to take care of this pesky problem in image creation.
Take A Walk Through A Commercial Photography Studio – join Michael Woloszynowicz on a walk through tour of the RGG EDU studios where we get a detailed behind-the-scenes look at a pro studio in action. All the gear in use for the days shoot is showcased briefly in this 5 minute video presentation that gives you a special look at what it takes to run a studio like this.
Photos Of A Soviet Union That Once Was – haunting images of what remains of the Soviet Union as some of the forgotten facilities actively crumble and decay are eloquently captured by photographer Rebecca Litchfield. This project took incredible efforts to facilitate and achieve, and the results speak to the human condition, particularly years after the last people have been present and the process of decay works to disassemble the remains and return it all to the surrounding nature.
See the Process of Large Format Photography from Start to Finish – follow along with Luis Plácido López Caballero as he takes us through the entire process of using a large format camera to capture images. Equipment setup, composition, capturing, processing, post production… all aspects of this mesmerizing work are featured in this short video presentation sure to be a source of wonder for everyone who loves photography.
Photo by Pandu Adnyana
Inferno – storm chasing photographer extraordinaire Mike Olbinski shares a simply stunning shot featuring a vibrantly colored landscape due to a convergence of factors. A monsoon storm, the setting sun, and a raging wildfire all come together in this scene, creating a landscape that appears to originate from an entirely different planet, covering the entire landscape in incredible red tones.
Serene Schooner Cove Sunset – this is a wonderful selection of photographs, captured right here on Vancouver Island on the coast. With mile upon mile of shoreline to explore, there are countless photo opportunities on the island, and this set of images captured in iconic Schooner Cove by Dave Ingram really showcases the best the island has to offer.
Town of Banff View – Banff National Park, Alberta – you just can’t beat the epic and raw beauty found in the Canadian Rockies. Len Saltiel takes us along as he makes his way high up into the mountains where he captures a shot looking down upon the lovely little town of Banff as it sits amongst the giant mountains that create the rugged landscapes in the mountain ranges.
Next floor: Middle Age – a very old and winding staircase captures our imaginations in this terrific shot posted by Cyril Fontaine. Lines and geometry play with the natural light and shadows in this piece to deliver a truly dramatic architectural study.
Robert Frost in Michigan – Rachel Cohen captures a pair of terrific shots in this post, and frames them with historic details pertaining to the famous writer Robert Frost. Rachel’s insights into his work and the time he spent in the Ann Arbor area producing his writings adds a terrific element of interest to these wonderful photographs.
Hallstatt – The Pearl of Austria – incredible blue hues and tones dance about this almost magical landscape scene, featuring a tiny town sitting on the shoreline. Twinkling lights from the town work in perfect harmony with the natural surroundings in this wonderful photograph captured by Jiti Chadha.
The wind… she was a blowin! – Derrick Birdsall captures a stellar shot in this piece, featuring a wind swept dune that creates a peaceful feeling featuring warm and cool tones in the blues and browns. A wisp of clouds overhead adds a touch of drama to the scene and wonderful natural textures are explored and come to life.
Sun Bath – my love for all things amphibian in nature is found fully expressed in this simply wonderful shot by shikhei goh. A tiny, tiny green frog clings to a flower in this shot, accented perfectly by the wonderful and happy natural light that fills the scene and the shallow depth-of-focus that does a great job of isolating our little hoppy friend from the backdrop.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Layers – Mark Garbowski captures a great piece that explores lines, shadows and color in the presence of dramatic architecture. Several layers of interest are uncovered in this piece, carefully put together through the art of composition.
Orange Shawl – photographer Ross McK shares a great portrait piece featuring a lovely girl shrouded in an orange shawl. As it frequently talked about in portrait work, the magic is always in the eyes and this wonderful portrait is a stunning example of such.
A Stones Throw – this is a wonderful waterscape study, posted here by Andy Gimino. Andy’s unique style of capturing and processing images results in pictures that stand out on their own, as evidenced by this wonderful shot featuring a still lake early in the morning under a cloak of dramatic clouds making their way in and out of frame.
Jake Olson Studios – this link takes you to Jake Olson’s portfolio on 500px, featuring a great selection of really strong pictures to view and enjoy. Jake works primarily in the realm of portrait/character pieces, typically featuring a bucolic style of portraiture that is a wonder to take in.
Amphibian Explorations – OK, I love this piece! West coast photographer Laurie MacBride captures a terrific series of shots featuring a tiny frog thinking about making it’s way across her deck. She adds a little byline to the photography by creating a wonderful storyline out of it that is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Dubai Marina Vertigo – Daniel Cheong delivers another stunning shot in his series that features the incredible city of Dubai at night captured from very high perspectives. The epic and contemporary architecture of the city is accented in this picture by the vibrant lights of the bustling city below.
Sunrise is Magical – an ethereal and dreamy sunrise is captured and shared in this great piece from the studio of JayJacy Photography. Beautiful colors from the early morning light grace the right part of the frame, and peaceful waters of the shore are featured frame left, coming together in harmony to deliver a breathtaking scene.
Ridges – this is a natural abstract piece featuring layer upon layer of rolling landscape, captured and shared here by Daniel Aw. As the viewer takes in this shot, you are lead into the frame through the different mountain ridges that naturally give the picture a strong sense of depth and dimension through the study of contrast.
Buttercups – prepare to have your screen filled with soft and glorious colors in this terrific post by photographer Lisa Gordon. Lisa captures three distinct pieces that deliver vibrant, yet soft, colors and details that can only be found in nature.
Old Stone Presbyterian Church – this is an absolutely wonderful architectural study of an old stone church in West Virginia. Mark Summerfields great shot features the inherent character of this old stone building as well as a bit of the surrounding architecture to add some context to the scene.
sprawling sunlight – Art Hakker Photography delivers a dramatic shot in this piece, featuring the inside of what appears to be a derelict and long abandoned warehouse or factory. Long shadows permeate the space, adding a perfect touch of artistic tension and leaving the viewer with many unanswered questions.
Eye to eye – this is a terrific photograph of a tiny owl overlooking a bit of a berm back at the camera. Mehmet Beyhan Şahan captures this wonderful piece that really showcases the great spirit and personality of these little birds that are both rather cute and quite serious at the same time.
Fired Glow – a colorful photograph from CJ Schmit showcases the wonder and excitement of a hot air balloon festival. As the last vestiges of light from the day drape the landscape in great blue tones, the balloons dot the frame in vibrant flourishes of color and detail adding the perfect touch.
This Short Film Perfectly Captures Everything it Means to Be a Photographer – this is simply a wonderful video presentation, sharing the thoughts and feelings of an artist who works in several formats, one of them being photography. The insights can answer some of our internal questions, the lingering ones that sometimes leave us wondering why we pursue this craft.
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.