With another very exciting week passing us by in the world of photography, Toad Hollow Photography has been actively searching all corners of the internet for links to the best tutorials, special features and great photography to share here in this list with everyone. This weeks list is composed of wonderful images and articles, all created by some of the finest talent working in the field today. We truly hope you enjoy visiting these sites as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Andrew Xu
How to write & improve your photographer elevator pitch – this well written piece discusses the importance of having an “elevator pitch” for marketing your products and services. These short pitches highlight your key strengths and talents that you can bring to bear for your clients, and in today’s fast paced world these messages are key.
How to Create a Super Easy White Backdrop Lighting Setup – using backdrops in studio environments can facilitate creating great images, but some of the setups used are complex to setup and manipulate to get the results you want. This brief article discusses the concept and introduces only two lights into the equation, paring down the key concepts and giving the reader a basis to expand upon from there in terms of complexity and light management.
How to Add Fog to Your Photo Shoot Using Dry Ice – if you’ve ever wanted to learn about introducing the ethereal effects of fog into your studio work, look no further. This article is written from a high level and delivers key tips on how to effectively use dry ice in the creation of a mood for your scene.
Tips for Better Photojournalistic Photos at a Wedding – this is a terrific and brief video tutorial that covers some great tips and tricks on capturing those special moments candidly. This article also shares a series of links to other related articles, all of which can help you take your photography to that next level, whether it is wedding photography or other candid events.
Terror and Triumph: 30 Years of Reuters Photography – WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. This feature post shares a collection of photographs captured by the Reuters photographers over a period of time. Documenting the human condition is not always pretty or beautiful, and in this set of stark and dramatic photographs we bear witness to the suffering and challenges that many face in their daily lives just to survive. This is a powerful collection of images, guaranteed to leave you with many unanswered questions.
Simply breathtaking: Freediving couple's stunning underwater photo shoot – this is an amazing collection of underwater photographs, staged and captured here by a husband and wife team who are experts in freediving. This set of photographs features the divers in their comfort-zone, in a marine habitat surrounded by all sorts of creatures including some pretty serious looking sharks.
A bit of this and that from Brussels – Jim Nix delivers a special feature that remains true to the title he gave it, featuring a great assortment of photographs captured in the world-class city of Brussels during several visits. Jim’s processing techniques do a great job of showcasing the rich character and spirit of the city, both in the feel it creates for the visitor, as well as encapsulating some key pieces of grand architecture.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Marblehead Lighthouse – Jim Denham captures and shares a terrific trio of photographs of a wonderful, character-rich lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie. Jim’s compositions highlight the intrinsic scale of the lighthouse, revealing details that expose the romance found in scenes such as these.
ICON – this is one of the finest interpretations of the world-famous Burj Khalifa I have seen so far, showcasing both the incredible architectural feat that comprises the structure, as well as the city of Dubai that hosts it. Danny Eid’s shot was captured at night and reveals wonderful details, colors and lights of a city that is forever moving and dynamic.
What a difference a day makes – this wonderful post from the studio of Andy Hooker (LensScaper) takes us high into the mountains on a journey of discovery and natural drama. Various aspects of the day spent skiing are captured and shared in this post, giving us all a view of incredible locations and scenery that many of us will never have a chance to see in person.
Sabbaday Pool – a frozen landscape is captured and studied in this great black-and-white piece from the studio of Bob Lussier. Bob uses advanced techniques to shoot and create this large resolution panorama piece, featuring a frozen waterfall in the middle of a frosty setting.
St Michael, Up Marden – Barry Turner shares a terrific black-and-white shot of a very old chapel with a rich history, based in the UK. Barry’s wonderful composition takes distinct advantage of the wooden fence line in the scene to create a perfect natural leading line to guide you into the frame where the church itself reveals wonderful details.
Don't Look Back – for those who love geometry and repeating lines in photography, this is a must-see image in this weeks list. John Purchase delivers a black-and-white piece featuring an underground tunnel that was designed using contemporary styling that is a wonderful example of how to create a stunning abstract through the study of architecture.
KRAKAUER BROS – Michael Criswell returns us once again to the abandoned Larimer School in Pittsburgh PA where he delivers a stunning and dramatic photograph of a long-forgotten piano. Light streams in from frame-right in this piece, dancing over the worn and dishevelled keys, creating an image that embodies the expression artistic tension.
Photo by Tambako The Jaguar
Shiny Horns – a wonderful image captured using Infrared, this shot by Azul Obscura features a Japanese temple shot across a body of water. The wonderful details that can only be seen in the IR spectrum make this shot stand out, highlighting the intrinsic beauty of both the temple itself, as well as its natural surroundings.
Someone Waits – this is a terrific black-and-white photograph by Melinda Green Harvey, taken inside a building with a view outwards through an open door. To the side, a window reveals a dark silhouette that Melinda notes she cannot recall being there during the time the picture was taken, adding a delicious element of the unknown to this dramatic image.
Steps – a tiny chapel sits amidst a landscape covered in snow with no signs of life around it save for the footsteps that lead the viewer into the frame and leave you wondering about who left them and where they were headed. Peter Zajfrid’s shot also features gorgeous natural light in the scene, illuminating the face of the wee chapel and brining out all the inherent character in the scene.
Wise Guy – Randy Hall captures a terrific portrait of an owl sitting on a branch, freezing forever in a photograph the intense nature of the personality of this grand bird. The owl almost appears to be posing for Randy, and the overall composition finds further wonder in the lush green surroundings of the forest it inhabits.
the big brown! – Iosif Vajnar shares a blood-curdling shot in this feature, showcasing the majesty and power of a big brown bear headed directly for the camera. The fierce and commanding look on the bear’s face is both mesmerizing in the details shared, as well as absolutely frightening considering the bear’s sheer size and look of determination.
End of the Line in Color Infrared – a wonderfully haunting shot captured and delivered as an Infrared piece shares a scene with an abandoned rail car in a field surrounded by trees. The wonderful composition and the way the car sits in the field work together in perfect harmony in this photograph by Chris Parmeter to give accent to the raw artistic tension found within the frame.
The Bhumibol Bridge – taken from an extremely high perspective, this shot overlooks a Thai city below and takes the viewer on a wonderful journey of discovery. The prime subject in this wide shot is the amazing bridge central to the frame, and it is surrounded by the architecture of a bustling city below and finds further interest in the beautiful colors in the sky. Photograph by Tetra.
White-crowned Sparrow – Ron Niebrugge captures a wonderful shot of this delicate bird filling up most of the frame of the photograph. Terrific details in the feathers, and the great colors it exudes, are all eloquently captured here in a picture for everyone to view and enjoy.
Photo by Ed Dunens
Italian style – the epic landscapes of the Tuscany countryside is something difficult to describe in words. Francesco Riccardo Iacomino captures a gorgeous piece in this photograph that features the rolling hills bathed in natural light, dotted with villas sitting atop the peaks to add a perfect element to the composition.
Cigar Aficionado – Edith Levy captures a set of pictures that are the pure embodiment of character, showcasing a display of finished product, as well as a few shots of the man behind the counter working. Edith’s black-and-white pieces in this set are full of great drama and detail, and the color shots work their magic to deliver a deeper sense of context to the scenes.
Morning Reflections – a glorious Canadian morning greets the rugged and majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains in this epic shot by Brian Krouskie. The blues captured in Moraine Lake are really only to be found up in the mountains, and in this shot they delicately reflect back the incredible landscape that surrounds it.
Three Days Photographing Death Valley in HDR – Captain Photo uses his tried and trued HDR photography practices to capture and share a terrific pair of HDR images in this post. Death Valley is a well-known destination for photographers, revealing simply amazing scenes at specific times of the year that really do feel like they come from another planet.
WHITE LIGHT – the coast of California is a terrific place to capture dramatic oceanscapes, as evidenced in this photograph from Mark Gvazdinskas. By using a slow shutter speed, Mark is able to create a smooth and ethereal feel to the roiling waters of the ocean, and he then processes the shot in black-and-white to really accent the raw and natural drama of the scene.
I Want This House – Len Saltiel delivers a fabulous architectural study of a mansion sitting in a field of green grass. The contemporary house captured in this shot is indeed amazing, as evidenced by the truthful and descriptive title that Len made for the post itself.
Penguins – photographer Alan Story shares a terrific photograph featuring a penguin preening in the depths of the Antarctic. The wonderful details in the bird share a glimpse into the spirit and personality that makes these incredible birds such an allure to photographers and wildlife fans world-over.
People in the Park – this wonderful series of images is presented here by Jimi Jones, featuring the beautiful cherry blossoms from last year’s spring in Washington, DC. What is evidently a very popular event and location for visiting and photographing these colorful blossoms in spring, the myriad of people making their way around the water and enjoying the scenes adds so much to the overall compositions.
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.