It's been another terrific week in the world of photography with many talented artists sharing photographs and articles exhibiting the finest in the field today. Toad Hollow Photography has been busy all week looking for links to the best tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone, and we really hope you enjoy these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Zexsen Xie
Long Exposure Tutorial: Learn to Capture Silky Smooth Motion Shots – this terrific tutorial covers all the key aspects behind using a long exposure technique to create a specific feel or effect in your imagery. This great article goes into good depth on the topic, and the author includes some simply wonderful example images.
Product Photography Tutorial Shows How to Shoot Large Objects – this in-studio tutorial takes us through the entire process of lighting a product to create the best results, and then using the proper setting in-camera to carefully control the session. This piece includes examples of how to assess the results on the back of the camera as you are staging the shot, and how to make fine adjustments that really make a huge difference.
Five Steps to Take Before You Take a Portrait – this is a simple and common sense approach to getting your subject to look their best for your portrait work. This post is full of straightforward tips and tricks designed to help both the photographer and the person being photographed to synchronize, helping the outcome to be perfect in terms of your specific vision.
Near and far – local photographer Kurt Knock shares a post featuring a series of photos of his son, taken with two different lenses to show the differing results you get with the variations in focal length. Which lens is preferred is a personal preference, and Kurt’s fabulous photos do a good job of illustrating his points and giving you a reference to apply in your work.
Facing Fears, Reaping Rewards – Luray Caverns, VA – without any doubt, this is one of the most amazing special features I’ve seen in quite some time. A.D.Wheeler takes us deep into the Luray Caverns on a voyage of natural discovery. A.D.’s compelling photographs of this amazing location verge on the sublime and the abstract, showcasing a side of this planet that many don’t witness personally in a truly epic collection of photographs.
I Am The Uninvited Darkness – this is just the first post in a new series being delivered by a good friend of mine in the photoverse, Chris Nitz. This is a dark and haunting piece that shares some profound insight into an all-too-common condition experienced by many. While the message is dark in nature, it’s clearly intended to bring some much needed awareness of the plight suffered by so many in our contemporary world.
Photo by Jim Sneddon
WINDOWS 95 – this wonderful photograph features softly rendered tones and hues as we get a chance to explore the inherent beauty in the canals of Amsterdam. Beyond the softness of the color palette lies wonderful details in the old architecture of this world-famous city.
Burnt Orange Dawn – Manhattan Skyline from West New York – the city of New York slowly comes to life as a dramatic sunrise greets the morning overhead. Beautiful colors play off the dramatic clouds in this photograph captured by Mark Garbowski, showcasing the amazing city and skyline of one of the world’s most amazing cities.
Rockhopper Penguin – Ron Niebrugge delivers another stunning portrait of wildlife in its natural setting with this piece that shares wonderful details in the facial details of this penguin. The stunning details found in Ron’s work serve to highlight the inherent interest in character studies of wildlife in a natural habitat.
Westminster Storm – Big Ben sits high in its tower across the bridge as a dramatic storm circles overhead in this awesome image by Michael Breitung. The beautiful colors in the sky serve to add to the overall tension found within the scene, accented by terrific natural leading lines in the composition.
School’s OUT – this absolutely epic Urbex shot takes us deep inside a long abandoned and forgotten school in the US where Michael Criswell captures a composition that pretty much defines artististic tension in a frame. The decaying remains of the school’s main hall cast a stunning subject that includes a terrific leading line down the hall with some mesmerizing light coming through the windows for added interest.
Dreams – this wonderful composition features a very dramatic waterfall in Iceland, as shot and shared here by Stefan Mitterwallner. The intrinsic natural beauty of this part of the world comes through in this beautiful frame.
Photo by frankieleon
A Night At The Marina – Edith Levy captures a terrific series of photographs in Cuba on a recent vacation over the holiday season. In this post she shares a wonderful set of images featuring the marina and surroundings all lit up for the season, delivering a set of frames that are full of vibrant neon colors and wonder.
From the ground looking up – photographer Andy Hooker (LensScaper) shares a trio of photos featuring various aspect found in the world-famous Swiss Alps. The first two compositions share views of skiers as they ride the chairlift on their way to the next high speed adventure, and the final shot showcases the inherent beauty of the area.
Landscapers of Norway III – this is a highly dramatic piece, sharing a dramatic view of the rugged landscapes of Norway. A boat tied to the shore creates a perfect anchor point as the viewer’s eye wanders into the frame to discover the jagged mountains and epic beauty of this location, as photographed by Marzena Wieczorek.
A load of crap on the TV again – Art Hakker Photography finds a terrific old television, long forgotten and abandoned in a brick building that hasn’t seen a human presence in an awfully long time. Mother nature herself has been very busy trying to dismantle the TV and return the raw elements to the earth, creating a very dramatic composition.
© Alaska – this shot at first glance almost seems to appear as if it originated from another planet entirely. Predominantly blue hues and tones, this piece features several enchanting elements that speak directly to the beauty of Alaska, seen and shot here by Maurizio Pignotti.
yet another wheel – oneowner captures a terrific close-up shot of the wheel of a well-loved Ferrari. The composition on this piece is terrific, focusing on the natural lines of the wheel, the bright red brake caliper and the beautiful yellow and black Ferrari emblem that is know the world over.
Photo by ▲ARTwear.ch▼
Winter Fairytale – a rich Bavarian sunset dances across the vista, painting it in gentle and beautiful colors and hues. Below an epic and very dramatic European castle sits overlooking the landscape below, adding a terrific touch of artistic tension to this beautiful piece by guerel sahin.
The Catch-22 of the Mesquite Dunes – Brian Matiash delivers an abstract piece in this post, directing his camera at the rolling sand dunes of Death Valley. Wonderful shadows play against the natural undulations of the landscape to create a sense of depth and dimension in this piece.
…bled XIV… – simply stunning purples are revealed in the night sky in this wide angle shot that features the splendid beauty of Lake Bled, the island sitting in the middle of it, and the ancient monastery that sits on it. roblfc1892 roberto pavic captures a beautiful exposure that includes the snow covered landscapes of Slovenia in this stunning frame.
Maybe this will warm you up some? – for those of us trapped in the midst of winter, photographs of tropical warm and sunny locations is just what the doctor ordered. In this post, Derrick Birdsall shares a wonderful trio of warmly toned shots, just in time before my proverbial fingers freeze off.
Magnificent Autumn – a perfect blend of wonderful autumnal colors against the contrast of a vibrant blue sky under the watchful gaze of the majestic Grand Teton’s comes to our monitors and screens in this great shot by Gerald Neufeld. A gentle reflection in a pool of water in the foreground adds the perfect finishing touch to this great piece.
Seahawks View – this 7 bracket HDR showcases the incredible results one can achieve with HDR when applied delicately to a composition. In this case, David Williams shares a view of downtown Seattle, wonderful lit and full of terrific detail to take in and enjoy.
Photo by Jonathan Leung
African Owl – this wonderful and very expressive portrait showcases the incredible personality and spirit found in this African Owl. Eva Lechner captures a stunning shot with this piece, presenting fabulous detail in the close-up shot of the bird’s face.
the city at dusk – this is a wonderful and compelling piece, captured and shared here by Frank King. As dusk settles over the thriving city of Calgary, the lights from the city’s skyscrapers create an architectural study of a big city that literally exudes artistic tension.
Out for a Hike – beautiful shadows and dappled light dances across a dirt path in this wonderful shot from Len Saltiel. The pathway creates a perfect natural leading line, guiding you into the frame and out towards a terrific vanishing point that adds perfect tension to the scene.
Chasing a sunset down The Drag – Jim Nix takes us into the heart of his home city, Austin Texas, where we join him on an exploration of the architecture and various murals painted on walls. The light was absolutely perfect on the evening of this shoot, and Jim took distinct advantage of this in creating this great set of photos.
Trumpeters – Vancouver Island photographer Randy Hall captures a great shot of three swans swimming in a relatively still marsh here on the island. Their terrific reflections add a great element to this photo, creating a mirrored reflection and enhancing the overall composition splendidly.
Why “Do What You Love” Career Advice Leads To “I Live In A Van Down By the River” For Creative Professionals – this is a highly sobering and realistic look at what it takes to be successful in the field with the ability to provide yourself a lifestyle that is beyond the proverbial “living in a van down by the river”. If you look past the horrifying stats in this piece, you will actually strip away the rhetoric to find a formula that can work. Unfortunately it seems that these plans require time and stamina. Fortunately this translates directly to opportunity for those who are persistent and focused.
Photo by stanze
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.