Another very exciting week in the world of photography has passed us by, and we find Toad Hollow Photography searching all over the internet for links to the best tutorials, special features, reviews, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This weeks list is comprised of a wide variety of topics and photographs, and we really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Diana Robinson
Understanding Depth of Field: How Focal Distance Affects DOF, Visualized – this video tutorial is just a few minutes in length, and it gives a fresh perspective to an aspect of physics that is often discussed in the field of photography; depth of field. This great presentation shows through a set of overlays real focal depths and perspectives in a scene, making it very easy to understand the principles behind depth-of-focus.
Complete Lighting Walk-through & Behind The Scenes Footage Of A Fitness Photoshoot – a lot of information is quickly shared in the video tutorial posted to this article, and links lead you to more in-depth details. The results from the session covered with the BTS video presentation are very dramatic and highly stylized, revealing the true power you can have when applying strobe lighting to a project.
Lighting Fundamentals: High Speed Sync Versus Flash Duration – flash photography can be a bit complex and daunting to master for those just getting into it, and this great video tutorial talks about 2 different applications of flash in photography. High speed sync and flash duration are discussed, and the video include sample shots along the way to help you visualize the key points.
10 Well Illustrated Composition Tips From The COOPH and Steve McCurry – this video presentation is comprised of 3 minutes and 10 seconds of video that can expand your compositional repertoire immeasurably. Steve McCurry has taken some of the most contemporarily iconic shots in our lifetime, and in this feature he shares very pragmatic and easy to follow advice on compositional techniques.
The Magnificent Lads on the Side of the Tower! – one of my favorite contemporary photography masters, Joe McNally, takes us up to the tippy top of the Burj Khalifa once again, this time on a mission of photographic daredevilry second to none! In this special feature, Joe shoots the crew that does the mind-altering job of washing the windows on the tallest building on planet Earth, creating a series of images that is sure to amaze and frighten, all at the same time.
Vincent Laforet's Latest High-Altitude Helicopter Shots Overlook the Twinkle of San Francisco – an amazing presentation, featuring video and still images together, reveals the power of modern-day DSLR cameras and their low-light capabilities, capturing the raw dynamic essence of a large city at night. San Francisco comes alive in a whole new way with this video.
The Yellowhead Highway – this absolutely terrific collection of photographs features a frigid landscape as Owen Perry journeys across the provinces photographing key features and elements of this part of the country that are quintessentially northern Canada. This wonderful set features shots of white, snow-covered vistas, grain elevators that are part of the character of this part of Canada, and long abandoned homes.
Priestly People – Michael Criswell and a fellow urbex photographer were out on an exploration as they came across this long abandoned church. Michael shares two shots taken inside, one using a hymn book as an anchor into the frame, and the other wide angle shot revealing the scale and condition of what remains of this once glorious space.
Landing with a certain amount of style… – I am not sure if we are bearing witness to a crash landing with style or the last couple of inches of a successful flight, but there is no mistaking the joy this picture brings to the viewer. Austin Thomas’ perfect timing with this piece delivers an absolutely delightful look at a Little Owl just as it comes upon the touchdown phase of it’s journey.
Lightkeeper’s Home – Len Saltiel reveals a fresh composition of this national treasure, this time focusing on the lightkeeper’s home instead of the main lighthouse itself. The results are a terrific architectural study of a lovely character home, with just enough of it’s surroundings to add much-needed context.
De nit sota la pluja – this black-and-white photograph transcends time, sharing a snapshot of a man walking with an umbrella in the streets of an old town. The natural artistic tension found in the frame as the silhouette of the man makes his way towards the camera is palpable, making for a wonderful shot to view in this weeks list.
Shadows & Light – Edith Levy shares a fabulous black-and-white interpretation of an architectural wonder in Cuba. As the light from the late day makes it’s way into the space, it casts dark shadows, adding wonderful depth and drama to a shot that is perfectly finished with a vanishing point.
Urban Snake (in black and white) – incredibly dramatic architecture in the form of an active bridge graces our screens in this epic shot from the studio of Roland Adriano. The deep contrasts explored through the application of monochrome to post-production enhances the depth and feel of the scene captured in the image, producing a picture that expresses the dynamism of humanity within a frame.
Back Bay Dawn – three distinct layers are visually explored in this piece from Steven Perlmutter that features the city skyline of Boston just as the morning sun appears. Beautiful pastels in the sky work with the sharp details of the dramatic architecture of the city, all brought together with the frozen solid river that runs across the foreground.
King's View – the highest point inside the Heidelberg Castle in Germany presents a cityscape unlike that of any other just as the sun makes it’s final appearance for the day and gently begins to slip below the horizon. Gorgeous colors in the sky work in harmony with the wonderful European architecture that is gently lit by the city’s lights as the ambient light from the day fades away. Photo by guerel sahin.
Fox Squirrel At The Fort Smith National Historic Site – squirrels can be such great photography subjects, full of vim and vigor and all-too-ready to share their personality with those willing to look for it. In this post, Steve Creek shares a set of shots of a Fox Squirrel in it’s natural habitat.
Our Forefathers – this amazing composition reveals an amazing feature, an ancient church constructed with rock walls and roofed with a turf roof. Siggi B captures an amazing image here, one that transcends time and space to bring a rich history of Iceland forward to today.
Iron Viaduct – CJ Schmit captures a crisp and highly detailed shot of an architecturally stunning bridge that leads to a beautifully lit hotel in the distance. The city of Milwaukee reveals its personality in this shot taken under a blue sky just after the sun set, highlighting the lights that give so much character to the scene.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
King Subway Station – by taking advantage of the lines, geometries and various color elements found deep in the heart of the Toronto subway, Roland Shainidze delivers another of his stunning studies in the abstract as captured from the study of contemporary architecture. This featured image has all the key elements in it, and is a highly stylized impression of the scene Roland witnessed and then captured.
Austintatious – Jim Nix shares his great love for his home-city in this post, featuring a great collection of newly published images captured over time. Some of the great shots focus on the fabulous architecture of the city, while others focus on more of the personality of the city by taking a close look as some of the signs and graffiti that really make this place stand out.
Feeling a little blue. – strong contrasting elements play against each other in this dramatic image taken and shared here by Tay. A bridge forms a natural leading line into the frame where the natural blue hues from the sky overhead work with the hidden elements within the shadows to deliver a compelling image to view in this weeks list.
Tate Britain’s staircase – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) captures and shares a terrific architectural study in this wide-angle piece, showcasing the wonderful design of this staircase in all it’s inherent beauty and wonder. Andy patiently waited to people to descend the staircase before capturing the shot, adding a wonderful dash of artistic tension to the scene.
Paciano lights and shadows! – gentle artistic tension is found and expressed in this wonderful shot from Nicodemo Quaglia. A softly lit cobblestone street in Italy exudes terrific European character, and for those who explore the frame a man walking in the shadows adds a perfect dash of Gestalt to finish it off.
The Start Of Something New – Andy Gimino shares a new format for his blog by posting a series of landscapes and abstracts from his collection and discussing the origins and reasoning behind them. This terrific new format Andy is creating is a great way to spend some time immersed in the beauty of the area he explores and loves to call home to.
“Zorro” – Harry Eggens grabs a stunning shot of a gorgeous Bald Eagle in flight, capturing simply epic details in the bird’s face and plumage. The shallow depth-of-focus does a great job of isolating the bird from the backdrop, creating a truly dramatic image of one of nature's most incredible birds.
Photo by DukeNewport Photography
Brooks Range Aurora – beautiful purple tones dance across the sky in this epic shot from Ron Niebrugge that takes us north into Alaska to share in the breathtaking Aurora Borealis. Ron composes the shot to also feature the rugged terrain of the Alaska wilderness by including dramatic mountains as an anchor to the frame.
Austin sunset from boardwalk – a terrific shot captured and shared here by Evan Gearing shares the dramatic architecture that creates the Austin city skyline accented by the wonderful tones of a vibrant sunset. The long exposure used to capture this shot turns the waters in the foreground of the frame into a silky texture which highlights the terrific details of the city it highlights.
the end of winter – this selective-color piece features a selfie of sorts as photographer Frank King includes himself in the composition. As Frank stands in front of an old wooden building, he captures this terrific shot that he then processes in black-and-white, except for himself standing against the building in a bright red coat.
Daredevil Climbs The Unfinished Skeleton Of The Tallest Building In China. ‘Aerial’ Photos Are Amazing – I get nervous going upstairs in our house to the 2nd floor, there’s no way you’d find me climbing 600+ meters up a skeleton of a skyscraper in the name of urbex art. Thankfully, we've got 26 year old daredevil Keow Wee Loong to do this for us… and the photographs he brought back from his amazing climb are as awesome as you might expect.
This Ferrari Has the Best View of New York's Skyline – this photograph is far from the highest of quality, yet enough visual information is shared here to really amaze those interested in heights, perspective and exotic cars.
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.