As another wonderful week in the world of photography passes us by we find Toad Hollow Photography searching the internet for links to the best tutorials and great photography to share here with everyone. This week's list features a great set of different tutorials and a hand-selected set of links to fabulous photography created by truly gifted artists. We hope you enjoy checking out this week's photography links as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
A Guide To Black and White Portraits – this is a terrific tutorial post that takes the reader through the entire process of shooting black-and-white portraits in natural light. The results really do speak for themselves, and the techniques shared here by John Schell provide some great tools for photographers practicing all genres of portraiture.
In search of the equilibrium – this is a terrific blog post by Light Stalking’s @astaroth that details the finer nuances between artificial and natural lighting in the context of macro photography. Great detail is explored in this post that includes some great illustrative photographs to show the reader the differences in various techniques and settings.
How to Take Vacation Photos That Don't Suck – this is a fabulous article, full of ideas and tips on how to capture truly memorable vacation photographs. All the key elements are discussed in this post, including gear, poses, style and themes, ensuring you come home from your latest vacation with memory cards full of great memories!
Tutorial: How to Easily Replicate a Photo’s ‘Look’ Using Curves – this video tutorial is just over 5 minutes in length and goes into detail discussing how to use curves in post-production to create a specific feel in imagery. Ben Secret takes the viewer step-by-step through the process with screen captures to fully illustrate the technique in action and the end results.
Tutorial Shows You How to Quickly Create Beautiful Time Stack Composites – this powerful technique illustrated in a brief video tutorial takes the viewer through the process of time stacking composite images. This produces exciting imagery that juxtaposes static elements of a scene against the fluid motion of a dynamic sky, creating a stunning end result.
St Andrews – at first glance you may not be sure exactly what you are looking at in this wonderful shot by Ron Niebrugge. As you focus on the details, a wonderful scene begins to emerge that features a literal sea of penguins going about their daily lives. The sheer number of these incredible birds creates a scene that may seem abstract at first, but a deeper inspection reveals a glimpse into the magic of nature.
Busan City Skyline – Jimmy McIntyre shares an absolutely incredible composite image he has created that showcases a breathtaking cityscape skyline in Korea. Jimmy carefully processes the image to bring out the details and mood he saw in the composition, and the results are quite extraordinary.
Glade Creek Grist Mill – a wonderful site that is actually a composite of several old grist mills is featured in this terrific post by Mark Summerfield. This site is widely believed to be one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia, and Mark’s terrific photography shows you why.
Corvette C7.R – Chevrolet’s flagship sports car, the famous Corvette, is explored in this terrific post by Rachel Cohen. Rachel’s visit to the big car show pays dividends to the automotive fan as she shares a pair of great shots of the new racing platform for the Corvette, the C7.R.
Golden Hour near Andy Warhol Bridge – Mike Criswell captures a wonderful shot of this famous bridge in Pittsburgh PA. Beautiful colors in the sky from the waning light of day works in harmony with the setting to create a wonderful scene that Mike brings to our screens for everyone to enjoy.
feathering her nest . . . – in another example of how wonderful nature truly is, dragonflydreams88 captures a terrific shot of a hummingbird in midair as it pads it’s nest. Great details in the lovely little bird come to life in this photograph that uses a very shallow depth-of-focus to really isolate the tiny and fast-moving subject from it’s backdrop.
The Jump Off – this vertigo inducing photograph by Michael Shainblum takes us to the top of a skyscraper somewhere near San Francisco where Michael captures a shot looking straight down. The dizzying heights used in this composition add context and scale to the image and if stared at long enough you do feel your legs begin to twitch as you reach for something solidly attached to something else nearby.
Foggy at the Falls – Len Saltiel shares a breathtaking and moody piece that features the epic Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. A thick fog hangs dramatically over the falls, adding strong drama to a stunning landscape scene that makes you feel like you are standing there with Len as he captures this shot.
The eye of Sauron – beautiful tones and hues are explored in this piece that showcases great natural leading lines in the architecture of a bridge. A wonderful sunrise adds a dash of wonderful color to the skyline in the distance as you follow the lines in this great image by Hugo Marques out towards a terrific vanishing point.
For Love of Tulip Art – a beautiful and vibrantly colored tulip greets the visitor in this shot by JayJacy Photography. The delicate flower is accented here perfectly by the shallow depth-of-focus used, isolating it from the backdrop and creating an outstanding image.
DUBAI – there are many terrific elements in this shot that make it truly stand out. Ibrahim Albeshari captures this photograph at the Dubai Marina during the blue hour and takes advantage of natural leading lines and crisp details in the architecture of the city to cast a picture that is absolutely mesmerizing.
Bein’ Green Ain’t Easy – this is a terrific shot by Jay Taylor that features one of the perhaps lesser known species of Heron. Jay’s incredible shot of this Green Heron as it perches atop a branch showcases the incredible details in the bird, accented perfectly by the shallow depth-of-focus that Jay has used to isolate the bird from it’s backdrop.
Neighbours – incredible buildings sit perched precariously on the edges of cliffs in this fabulous photograph captured in Greece by Jaume Martí. Wonderful textures and details in the architecture are highlighted in this shot, revealing the character of the area and it’s inhabitants.
Light Grids – for those who love light and shadow, this highly dramatic black-and-white photograph by Steven Perlmutter really delivers. Steven’s work inside the old mills is truly second-to-none and this is one of the strongest images from that series so far.
Maligne Lake – a panorama format image of one of the world’s most incredible spots, Maligne Lake. Yan Zhang captures this scene at just the right moment, featuring incredible colors and details in the landscape, as well as a soft reflection in the lake’s waters all brought together with the full moon that hangs in the sky overhead.
A Shared Moment – as the rich and beautiful colors of sunset drape across the scene, Barry Turner discovers a moment shared between a couple. The wonderful silhouettes of the people work in perfect harmony with the surroundings in this shot to create a picture full of natural artistic tension.
SP 638 – light trails from moving cars cut out lines in the thick and deep snow in this wonderful expressive piece by Moreno Geremetta. This is definitely one of those shots that reveals more as you spend time taking in the details as the scope of the area being featured here is quite large.
Back Alley Beats – this is an awesome black-and-white portrait of a musician against the backdrop of a brick wall. CJ Schmit captures a very dramatic image in this piece, doing a great job of showcasing the character and personality of the musician.
Norway – this shot features a wonderful panoramic scene of the cold and frosty Norwegian
landscape, as captured and shared here by Yury Pustovoy. The breathtaking beauty expressed in the rich and cold tones of the scene accents the feel of the location, making for a piece that is sure to take your breath away.
inside an abandoned furnace – a great dark mood is captured and expressed in this classic urbex shot from the studio of David Stoddart. Wonderful textures in the brick lined tunnel leads the viewer naturally through the dramatic scene out towards a mesmerizing vanishing point.
King Subway Station – Roland Shainidze continues his world-renowned study of an underground subway system, casting an image that features great lines and shapes found in the underworld architecture. The tones that Roland has emphasized in this piece add a terrific sense and mood to the overall image, making for a very strong piece to view and enjoy by all.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Barbara Youngleson shares a stunning portrait of a lioness on a game reserve in South Africa. The intense personality of these large creatures really comes to life in this epic photograph, producing an image that is both mesmerizing and chilling at the same time.
Chain Fruit Cholla – a pair of great photographs is featured on Anne McKinnell blog here, showcasing the dramatic shapes and designs found in nature in a Chain Fruit Cholla tree. Anne shares some compositional insights into the making of these photographs, adding a wonderful dimension to the article.
Play Misty For Me – a great mood is captured in this shot that features a couple walking down a pathway into the distance. Edith Levy finds wonderful artistic tension in this composition that also features a terrific vanishing point that adds a ton of mood to the scene.
On the Piste – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) captures a stunning shot of the action going on the ski slopes on a perfectly clear, blue day. Andy’s perfect composition with this piece highlights the motion and grace of skiers as they enjoy a picture perfect day on the slopes.
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.