Welcome to yet another wonderful week in the wide world of photography! Toad Hollow Photography has been searching in all corners of the internet over the course of the past week to find the best links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. We truly hope you enjoy checking out these terrific posts and photographs as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Chris Tse
How To Care For Your Camera: Cleaning, Maintenance & More – this short video presentation shares some great insights into how to properly care for you camera, lenses and accessories. Although it was created by the folks over at Canon, the tips and tricks discussed here most definitely apply to all camera makes.
How to retouch portraits like a pro: 9 ways to polish off your people pictures – this fairly detailed tutorial takes you through various processes and procedures in post-production to take your portrait images to that next level. Some of the techniques are fairly advanced, but are well worth knowing for that day you might need to apply them.
Life Before Photoshop: Hawaii for United Air Lines – industry leader Joe Baraban discusses the concept of getting a shot right “in camera”. Joe shares the behind-the-scenes details of what went into this particular shoot, and the resulting image he captured makes the entire process absolutely worth it all.
Back to Basics: Your Camera’s Histogram Explained – this is a great primer video that describes a histogram and how to apply it when out shooting in the field. This presentation is really well done, presenting the theory in an easy to understand manner, shedding some light on this often mysterious technical aspect of photography.
Vincent Brady's planetary panorama project captures 360º night sky – Vincent Brady utilizes a brand-new technique to capture these stunning nighttime images and create this jaw-dropping time lapse presentation. Many of the scenes included in this short video presentation showcase the raw beauty of the planet we live on, surrounded by gorgeous stars and beautiful night skies. Some of the results are rather astounding, taking on an almost other-worldly feel as you experience them.
Surprisingly Colorful Photos Reveal a Side of Antarctica You’ve Probably Never Seen – this is a simply terrific series of photographs captured by Gaston Lacombe who took up residence in the frosty landscape for a two month period. He captures tell a unique story of the Antarctic, one definitely not often explored.
Remote photo exhibit celebrates 1960s High Arctic research – this terrific photography exhibit will likely only be seen by a handful of lucky people. The feature will showcase the work of Victor Jones who captured the images over the course of 6 years. Due to the extreme remoteness of the location, this makes work like this that much more important.
Photo by Don Miller
Nos deux regards à l’église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois | A l’église Saint Germain l’Auxerrois – I just love it when Mathias Lucas and Anne-Laure K both visit and photographically explore the same subject, the results are always well worth the time spent to take in the images. In this dual post they visit an iconic church steeped in rich history, and they each come away with their personal series featuring the details and elements that comprise this special place. Mathias expresses himself primarily in color in this series, while Anne-Laure finds her artistic voice by using black-and-white.
Fog – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada – Len Saltiel brings us along as he shares a great shot from a trip to the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Banff is a must-see destination in the park, full of incredible adventures to be had both in the town itself and the surrounding parklands. This fabulous shot by Len features the famous Banff Hotel against the backdrop of the majestic mountains.
I’m Off! – Ron Niebrugge delivers a terrific shot of a pair of bear cubs doing what they do best; frolicking about in the wilderness. Ron’s great shot does a fabulous job of capturing the essence of their spirits as they run headlong into the excitement of life.
Burrowing Owls – Elizabeth. E. shares a picture guaranteed to make you smile and appreciate the wonder that is found in nature. A pair of burrowing owls gazes intently back at Elizabeth and her camera lens, sharing truly entertaining facial expressions that really bring their wonderful personalities to our screens.
1954 Packard – Jimi Jones discovers and then shares through the wonder of photography a rather rare car from the mid 1900’s. The Packard car line was always considered to be some of the best quality and design in nature, and Jimi’s great shots of this particular classic really brings home the character that was so evident all those years ago.
Main level of Huai Mae Kamin Waterfall – the Huai Mae Kamin Waterfall is explored in this simply gorgeous shot by Anek S that almost takes on a surreal feel to it. The wonderful beauty of the falls finds further interest in how trees appear to be growing right in the middle of all the action, juxtaposing the fast-moving elements of the waterfalls against the stillness of the surrounding vegetation.
Photo by hnphotog
Weathered- Steamtown USA – if you love textures and weathered things half as much as I do, you really won’t want to miss this great post from Mike Criswell. Mike encounters a great old railroad car that is full of old stories from it’s adventures across the rails over the years, and comes away with a great set of photos to share it’s crusty, yet inviting, history.
A First Look At The Treasury – Edith Levy takes us on an adventure to see one of the most important and epic landmarks that exists on this tiny planet we all call home. The ancient wonders found at Petra are well known world-wide, and Edith’s wonderful shots of the entranceway into the Treasury reveal a scene that has stood the tests of time for many, many years.
Dark Sanctuary – old churches remain one of my personal favorite photography subjects, and this one from Kilian Schönberger in the Czech forest shows exactly why. A mist envelops the scene and Kilian’s use of a limited color palette works perfectly to create a strong image with a very distinct and dramatic feel to it.
Theme “Indoors” The Seat of Power – Howard Jackman delivers a terrific set of indoor photographs featuring various important aspects of the Utah State Capitol building. Crisp details work in perfect harmony with the elegant character of the facility, all brought to life with Howard’s great HDR talents.
Forth Rail Bridge – this wonderful railway bridge is captured and shared here by David Queenan. Located in Scotland, this great example of iron architecture forms a fabulous natural leading line into the frame, culminating in a near perfect vanishing point, all accented by the blue and purple tones created from the fading light of day.
First lightning bolt of the 2014 monsoon – one of my favorite storm-chasing photographers Mike Olbinski starts of the 2014 monsoon season with a bang. Mike’s inaugural shot for the year features a stunning strike surrounded by the terrific colors and tones that you find in low-light storm conditions, and the deep and dark contrasts in the rest of the frame work perfectly to accent the inherent drama.
Photo by Richard P J Lambert
Mountain road – wonderful natural artistic tension is captured in this piece by Nils Erik Palm Fauske. By using a very low perspective, Nils delivers a very strong piece that features a great leading line and a perfect vanishing point.
Sawhorse in the Mill – this wonderful study of shadows and contrast is delivered to us by Steven Perlmutter. Once again we find ourselves inside the old mills where Steven finds a wooden sawhorse in one of the large areas, under a wall of old original windows that cast lovely diffused light upon the dramatic scene.
Dreamy Grist Mill – the old wood grist mills in the United States are frequent subjects for photography, and Scott Wood takes advantage of this to capture and share his personal rendition of such a scene. These mills all sit alongside a fast moving creek, and Scott uses this in his composition to highlight the contrast between the natural world and the man-made structure found in it.
Stretching – Stephan Tuengler captures a stunning portrait of a beautiful lioness as she stretches. Her wonderful facial expression makes this shot what it is, and Stephan’s timing and composition bring this home for us all to enjoy.
Windswept on the Edge of the Strait – this lovely scene captured by Laurie MacBride features a quintessential seascape outlook found on the shores of the surrounding islands near Vancouver Island. This area is truly amazing, as illustrated here by Laurie’s wonderful photo and anecdotal thoughts.
Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral – the epic architecture and details found in the Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral are explored in this breathtaking piece shared here by Roland Shainidze. Some of the Harry Potter movie scenes were shot here, and for obvious reason, surrounded by dramatic and moody gothic detailing that can only be found in old churches of this genre.
Photo by Simson Petrol
It Finally Feels Like Summer – Lisa Gordon reveals a close-up shot of Bleeding Heart flower in full bloom. The wonderful colors and tones of this natural treasure come fully to life in this shot that also benefits wonderfully from the shallow depth-of-focus Lisa used to create the image.
Eden – almost magical natural light drapes across a dramatic country landscape scene in this wonderful image from my friend O. R.G. Areas of dark contrast hide wonderful mystery and intrigue in a rolling vista that is sure to capture the imagination of everyone who visits.
Chattel House – Mark Summerfield shares a series of terrific shots and teaches us all a little about the area that they originated in. This trio of shots features moveable homes from St Michael, Barbados that are full of wonderful character and charm. Terrific details work in harmony with the subjects and setting here to deliver some very profound imagery.
Boathouse II – there is almost something magical about this shot that features an old wooden boathouse sitting under the watchful gaze of commanding mountains in the backdrop. This perfect composition from Mark Whale leads us naturally into the frame where the experience of discovery awaits for those who spend time with the image.
A Sussex Barn – a terrific black-and-white rendition of the inside of a very old wooden barn in Sussex is shared here by Barry Turner. Built in a time when no power tools existed, each beam and each plank was likely hand created using rudimentary implements, making for a truly stunning photography subject to see and enjoy.
Downtown Vancouver – friend and fellow photographer Joseph de Lange takes us into the heart of downtown Vancouver on the west coast of Canada where he explores the architecture and cityscapes of this wonderful city. Vancouver is a city of endless photo opportunities and Joseph’s set of photographs illustrates exactly why.
Photo by StormSignal
The Disciples of Dawn – Mark Garbowski uses a pier as a leading line into the heart of this shot that features the midtown skylines of New York City. The lovely golden light of the early morning creates wonderful tones in this shot, accenting the layers and dramatic architecture found in the cityscapes of this world-class city.
There’s Something In The Water At This Abandoned Shopping Mall… – this is simply one of those things you might not believe if you didn’t see it for yourself. This series takes us into an abandoned mall in Bangkok where this derelict building has slowly changed itself from a thriving shopping destination to what has to be one of the biggest aquariums in the world today.
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.