With another wonderful week in the wide world of photography passing us by once again, we find Toad Hollow Photography searching points high and low online for the best photography links to share here with everyone. This week's comprehensive list includes an interesting selection of tutorials, some special features and the usual list of great photography. We really hope you enjoy checking out these pieces and articles as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
What Are Neutral Density Filters and How to Use Them – Alex Wise writes a detailed article on the technicalities and applications of neutral density filters. These filters allow the photographer to create a specific effect and mood in their images by using long exposure times and allowing a degree of balance in the exposure between landscape and sky. Alex illustrates his article with a selection of his incredible photographs, giving the reader a detailed look into these filters.
A Thorough Video Guide to Using a GoPro with a Quadcopter – this terrific video presentation delivers some really important and useful tips and tricks for using a GoPro and a Quadcopter in capturing elevated video. This is definitely an area of photography I am interested in, and I really learned a lot by spending the time to watch this video tutorial.
Breaking Down How Tilt-Shift Works and How To Use It for Focus Control – a great video that takes the viewer through various aspects of using a tilt-shift lens when capturing portraits. The effects showcased in this piece are subtle, but add a powerful element to imagery that helps the photographer tell a story in a picture.
Quick Photo Tip: Taking Pictures of People Taking Pictures – Joe Baraban discusses capturing people who are taking pictures of other people in this great post. Joe’s tips and accompanying photographs show you how to achieve the very best results from this technique.
How to Rock Your High-Energy Senior Shoots – this tutorial takes you through the entire process of a photo shoot with a senior student. Terrific tips and tricks are shared to help you get the most natural looking and candid photographs of the subject to truly capture special images. Many of the tips shared in this piece are totally applicable to any portrait session, really.
Lighting Techniques: All the Things you can do with One Speedlight – this is a terrific article, detailing many different techniques and applications for a single speedlight. Photographs are included in the article that show the reader the effects being discussed, adding a great dimension to the piece.
Photographer Explores the Very Extensive Network of Tunnels Under Montreal – perhaps not the subject matter that most photographers pine after, the underground sewer systems of Montreal do make for a terrific study. This special feature discusses Andrew Emond and his unusual and utterly fascinating look at the underbelly of one of the world’s iconic cities.
MicroSafari – Stentor the MicroTrumpeter – let’s join John Mead as he takes us on another microscopic adventure, this time taking a very close look at an organism called a Stentor. John’s terrific photography allows us to get a very close look at this tiny creature, and the accompanying talk teaches us about it’s life. This is an amazing presentation, well worth the time to visit and view.
Sheldon Church Ruins-Beaufort County South Carolina – a truly epic scene awaits the viewer in this set of photographs captured and shared here by Mike Criswell. The rich history of the area dates back to the 1700 and 1800’s, and Mike visits a historic landmark in this post revealing some of the great stories that create the fabric of the heritage in prose and picture.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – this famous plane is a perfect subject for the fan of aviation themed photography. Jimi Jones captures a great composition of the nose of this incredible bird as it sits on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, showing off the inherent drama found when viewing the business end of this incredible plane.
Rural landscapes: alone on the prairies – abandoned wooden structures make for the best photography subjects, as exemplified in this wonderful photograph by Frank King. What once was a home to someone today stands as a monument to the effects of time and weathering.
Brussel Notre-Dame du Salon – incredible ethereal light streams into a breathtaking cathedral in this wonderful photograph by Ricci Speckels. The rich architectural details play with the dark exposure to deliver a dramatic sense of the grandeur of the interior.
Old Zermatt – we get to visit and enjoy a very old little town high up in the alps in this wonderful post from Andy Hooker (LensScaper). The little wooden buildings literally exude character in their weathered condition, adding to the overall sense of personality and character found here. Andy’s photographs do a terrific job of capturing and sharing this.
Recording Duncan – local photographer and personal friend Joseph de Lange shows exactly why it’s important to document our towns and villages on an ongoing basis. Joseph wanders into town before sunrise one cold morning, coming away with a great selection of photographs featuring the interesting and character-filled architecture of some of our favorite buildings.
Supercell near Vega, Texas – an incredibly dramatic supercell storm cloud hangs looming overhead in this epic shot captured by Valentina Abinanti. The menacing and brooding cloud formation finds balance with a lightning strike occurring in the right part of the composition, creating a strong sense of artistic tension and wonder at the inherent power of Mother Nature.
Hudson River From Yonkers Pier – Mark Garbowski shares a monochromatic piece from his collection that features the George Washington bridge and the New York city skyline in relief. Mark’s shot utilizes strong contrasts to deliver a wonderful shot that shows the true power of silhouettes in great photography.
From another world – this blue toned shot features a beautiful seascape scene, looking out over the most fascinating rock formations out towards the endless sea. Incredible textures come to life in this shot that takes advantage of the long exposure used to capture it, creating a wonderful feel and mood. A photo by Danny Velasco.
A sort of guillotine – Melinda Green Harvey captures a dramatic black-and-white image, using the remains of a window in an abandoned building as a frame. Terrific textures and details are exposed in the weathered remains of the building’s structure, creating a wonderful sense of artistic tension within the overall scene.
Curious Kids – this is simply such a terrific shot, featuring a pair of young fox puppies just beginning to explore their world around them. Tapan Sheth captures a great composition of the heart-melting cuties as they peer back behind the lens at something of extreme interest.
Security Cam – Randy Hall shares a terrific character study of a Barred Owl sitting on it’s perch surveying all that sits below. The details in the bird accent the mesmerizing quality of the image, delivering a true must-see shot in this week’s list.
Obsession I – shapes and patterns are explored in this wonderful piece by DB Photographe. Ornate details and terrific tones are captured and shared in this picture that features the absolutely incredible staircase inside the Vatican.
Wickedness – an abstract study in the shapes and drama found natively in brooding cloud formations is shared in this terrific image by Derrick Birdsall. Derrick’s use of black-and-white in processing this image furthers the overall feel and sense one gets when viewing it.
Light in the Valley – a stunning composition by Barry Turner finds us overlooking a gentle rolling valley, bathed in glorious natural light. The way the light casts shadows and accents the trees and their colors is almost magical.
Mystic Iceland – this stunning huge resolution panorama (12,000 x 15,000px) captures an ethereal feel and mood of a breathtaking waterfall under a canopy of brooding clouds in what looks like a looming storm. The details and beauty captured in this shot by Jonathan Besler reveals a little of the mystery and wonder found in nature in this spectacular part of the world.
Quackers – absolutely wonderful details and colors come to life in this shot of a duck in flight. The hues and colors captured and shared in this shot really showcases the natural inherent beauty in these birds.
Family owl portrait! – a family of owls stands perched looking past the camera with wide, expressive eyes in this amazing photograph by Itamar Campos. Perfect natural lighting adds to the overall feel of the shot, as do the simply wonderful spirits of the birds as they stand together.
Rockey Valley Rd Farm buildings – a pair of old and weathered farm structures are doing their final battle against the effects of time in this terrific photograph by Diane Frey. Barely any straight lines are left in the remains of the architecture left behind, appearing to be long forgotten now.
Hot Rod Shop 12 – this is a great portrait shot of the front of an old and weathered rat rod. The unique modifications applied to this car lend themselves perfectly for photography, creating a picture here that personifies the car and brings it to life. Photograph by Bill T.
Two Beach Chairs – a pair of beach chairs sitting under an umbrella on the beach beam with color and interest in this wonderful image by Barbara Youngleson. This scene is simply inviting, coaxing the viewer to sit outside a spell and soak in some of the wonderful rays of sunshine.
Seattle Panorama – a wonderful 5 image panorama from the studio of David Williams takes us to the shores of the great city of Seattle. The great character of the city is captured and shared in this shot that combines architectural details alongside the inherent natural beauty of the featured city.
Snowy Owl Close up , Minnesota – absolutely incredible character and personality comes alive in this terrific shot by Mark Paulson that features a Snowy Owl in a close-up composition. These birds are truly mesmerizing to look at, and in this shot the bird is looking over it’s shoulder in the general direction of the camera adding a huge element of interest.
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.