Another terrific week in the world of photography passes us by as Toad Hollow Photography has been searching all corners of the internet looking for links to the best tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here. This weeks compendium is full of great links to images and articles posted by some of the most talented folks working in the industry today. We sincerely hope you enjoy this weeks list as much as the Toad did himself in bringing it to you.
Smart Previews: Lightroom's Most Powerful New Feature – this is a great tutorial that covers a very powerful feature in Lightroom that allows you to build catalogs and have the original source images stored elsewhere. The incredible power and flexibility of this feature is discussed in-depth in this post, showing you how to make catalogs much more portable and powerful in terms of easy sharing and offline storage.
Everything There Is to Know about Long-Exposure Photography – just as promised, this video presentation last over 1 hour and 20 minutes, and covers pretty much all the key topics and issues involved with long exposure photography. This is a comprehensive tutorial, sure to teach you some great tips and techniques no matter what your skill level or interest is on the realm of long exposure work.
How To Shoot a Perfect Watch using only an iPad – this video and written tutorial covers a really unique way of lighting a product shot using an iPad as a light source. The resulting pictures are really astounding, opening up a whole new way of managing light in a professional and appealing way to deliver top quality product shots.
From Shooting To Post Production: How To Balance Flash With Ambient Light – this is a terrific video tutorial, just over 13 minutes in length and full of great tips and tricks for combining artificial and ambient light to create the picture you have envisioned. Gavin Hoey shows us his entire workflow, from being in the field and shooting to being back in the digital darkroom where he applies his techniques in post-production.
Just Do It – How and Why I Shot the Best Photo of My Career – great imagery is usually the result of a serendipitous convergence of luck, light and technical prowess. In this great post, Adam McKay showcases an awesome photograph he staged and took, and discusses in great detail the methods and techniques used to capture and process the piece.
Stunning Drone Footage from the Most Contaminated Place on Earth – in what is simply one of the most profound videos I’ve seen in quite some time we are taken to a place that will remain a legacy for thousands of years after we are all gone. Cinematographer Danny Cooke takes us on a prolific journey through the remains of Pripyat, an abandoned town by the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl.
Photo by darkday
Faith No More – a truly haunting piece, one that will stay with you long after you’ve seen it, is presented here by Michael Criswell. Mike takes us inside the now long abandoned facility the SS Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church where he captures a stunning photograph of the effects of time and decay on what once was a grand and beautiful structure.
A Lonely Lighthouse – this is a very powerful image, one that took Jimmy McIntyre quite the amount of foresight and time to capture and create. A lighthouse standing in the middle of an island beams it’s light across the beautiful waters that are smoothed out through the long exposure needed to capture such a stunning frame. Jimmy goes into terrific detail in his accompanying post about how he captured and created this piece, adding a degree of a tutorial to the piece that can easily stand on it’s own.
Cold Comfort – Jim Denham delivers a monochromatic study of the cold with a focus on blue hues and tones. The dramatic landscape Jim composes in this piece features a frozen lake and leaf-bare trees to create an anchor into a frame sure to send shivers down your spine.
Reine – the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, continue to create breathtaking scenes that are perfectly captured in photography. In this shot by inigo cia, a tiny village sitting on the shores of a body of water finds itself under the watchful eye of gorgeous snow-capped mountains and a rich display of colors in the sky from the show created by the northern lights.
Cruising the Harbor – Newport, Rhode Island – this great shot featured by Len Saltiel showcases a wonderful sailing ship under full sail. Great details in the ship find accent with the city of Newport in the backdrop in this piece, making for a must-see shot for those who love nautical images.
Waves… – rich greens and deep, luscious shadows undulate gently across the landscape in this stunning photograph by Krzysztof Browko. Natural leading lines gently lead the viewer through the frame where in the distance a lovely villa sits atop the hillside looking out over this epic scene.
A little grunge in Casco Viejo – the old and the weathered come to our screens in this terrific post from the studio of Jim Nix. Jim’s visit to this old city in Panama finds him wandering the streets looking for, and finding, great compositions that feature natural weathering and wear, showcasing the effects of both man and nature on the world we inhabit.
Summit Lake Milky Way – for those who love photographs featuring the stars, this is a great shot you will not want to miss. Rick Louie finds fortune at just the right time as the clouds part and give him an unobstructed view of the Milky Way looming over dramatic mountain peaks, creating a perfect scene for Rick to apply his panorama techniques to in an effort to create a detailed shot.
Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read
Reflections in autumn – this is a moody and ethereal piece by MIYAMOTO Y that features an autumn themed scene full of rich colors in the fall foliage against the details of an architecturally fascinating building perched on the shore. A lovely reflection completes this shot, adding the perfect finishing element to an absolutely delightful scene.
Budapest Eye – Anita Megyesi delivers a terrific piece in this photograph, featuring the huge ferris wheel in Budapest. Anita’s terrific composition and processing really highlight the natural lines and shapes created by this architectural wonder, creating a compelling picture sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
the quick freeze – this terrific shot from the studio of Frank King features a scene that can only be created and found in nature. A waterfall is mostly frozen solid in this picture, with a stream of fluid water cascading over the frozen tendrils of ice, all brought together in this great composition that showcases dichotomy found in nature.
Fairytale lake – Lake Bled and the old church that sits on an island in the midst of the lake continue to be a source of wonderful photography. Luka Esenko captures a unique perspective of this magical spot, featuring the island dead center in the composition, surrounded by a light fog that enhances the overall mystique of the frame.
Autumn Afternoon – this is a wonderful autumn scene, captured and shared here by Beverly Everson. This shot features a leaf-covered walking path that forms a terrific natural leading line, culminating at the end in a great vanishing point for added drama.
Sunken – what once sailed the open seas now lies prone on the shore, awaiting the effects of decay and time as it slowly returns to the earth from where it came. This great shipwreck shot is featured here by Elias Pentikis and is a riveting picture full of rich artistic tension.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Couleurs automnales au Parc Monceau – join Mathias Lucas as he explores this wonderful park with his camera and artistic vision. This set of photographs features various elements of interest within the park, delivering a set that is sure to give everyone a sense of tranquility and peace as if you’ve visited personally.
Buccaneer Beach – this is truly a quintessential west coast photograph, captured by my friend and local photographer Randy Hall here on Vancouver Island. A tree frame-right leans inwards into the frame, reaching for the open oceans and adding a fabulous touch of tension to this gorgeous vista.
Mühlburg Ohrdruf – in intimate peek at a wonderful architectural marvel is posted and shared here by Ronny Welscher. A terrific old castle is revealed, framed by looking through some trees, filtered by a gentle fog that adds great character to the overall scene.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad – Mark Summerfield shares two renditions of the same image processed in a different manner in this post. The inherent romance found in steam locomotives comes to life on our screens as Mark composes and shares a great frame showcasing the intrigue that we all feel when looking at pictures of these old trains.
Push-Pull – this wonderful landscape photograph features a snow-peaked mountain in the backdrop with a still lake surrounded by forest in the foreground. Photographer Tula Top also features the great soft reflection in the waters of the grand peak, adding a terrific element of interest to the scene.
Rolling Hills of Tuscany – Edith Levy applies a terrific texture overlay to this photograph that features the beautiful rolling hills of Italy. The incredible layers found in this landscape create a sense of scale and depth, and Edith’s processing adds to that feel, creating a special picture that exemplifies the well-known beauty of the area.
NXNW 2014: Scott Wyden Kivowitz – I love the raw artistic tension found in this shot by Bob Lussier that features another photographer silhouetted against the blue hues of the fading light of day. The landscape that surrounds Scott the photographer adds a great anchor to this piece, leaving the viewer wondering what it is that has him so enchanted as he looks through the viewfinder.
The Grey Man Is Always Drawn to the Light – I always look very forward to new posts in the running Grey Man series created and shared by Mark Garbowski. Usually found somewhere in the New York area exploring the city, this shot features the elusive Grey Man as he walks towards a lighthouse.
Isle of dreams – a mystical view presents itself, finding Norbert Liesz peering through the framing of trees on the side of the shores to reveal a wonderful scene. A gently lit island sits amidst the greenest waters, with colorful trees standing tall and proud to add perfect drama.
So, What Makes a Great Photograph? – if you’re looking for inspiration to get out there and practice your craft and build your own body of work, look no further. Joel Grimes produces a terrific video presentation just over 5 minutes in length that covers the artistic aspect of photography, emphasizing what makes you special in a world that seems to be full of artists all clamboring to have their image seen above the din of everyone else.
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.