Another terrific week in the world of photography has just passed us by and Toad Hollow Photography has been active all week looking for the very best links to tutorials, reviews, special features, collections, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This great collection of links features some posts and photographs from truly talented artists, making for a list sure to keep the avid photography fan busy for quite some time. The Toad sincerely hopes you enjoy perusing this list as much as he did in bringing it to you.
How to Read Histogram and Use it to Expose Perfect Photos – this brief article discusses the application and meaning behind the histogram feature found in most DSLR cameras and post-processing software. The concepts discussed here are at a high level, shedding a little light onto the topic. The article shares tips and tricks that are useful both in the field and in the digital darkroom during the post-processing phase.
How To Watermark Your Photos – Blake Rudis delivers a video tutorial showing the viewer how to add a delicate watermark to their images. Blake’s article also discusses various applications and the reasons behind those decisions, adding a further element to the article.
Long Exposure Photography Ideas – Alex Wise writes a detailed post here outlining some terrific ideas for how to apply long exposure photography for amazing results. Alex’s in-depth piece is illustrated with great photography examples showcasing the core techniques and concepts being discussed in the article.
Send Dear Old Dad a Photo Puzzle in the Mail This Father’s Day – this crafty post takes the reader through the entire process of creating a truly personal and thoughtful gift for dad with Father’s Day coming up. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
Keep Your Lighting Tools Simple – sometimes the best advice is the simplest. Joe Farace discusses using a minimalistic set of tools for artificial lighting when shooting portraits, particularly outdoors, with a couple of example shots to illustrate the points he is making.
Creating a Photo of a Light Bulb Powered by the Mind – this particular technique yields a really interesting image, one that transcends physics. This video tutorial takes the viewer through the detailed process of creating an image with a lit light-bulb held in a model’s hands, looking as if it’s powered by the model themselves.
How to Attract and Photograph Birds in Your Own Backyard – this really neat half hour video tutorial takes the visitor through the act of setting up for and capturing stunning bird photographs in the wild. All the major aspects of this type of photography are covered in this tutorial, sure to leave everyone who sees it with a deeper sense of how to capture that next great shot.
Camera Bags Made Just for a Man | Stylish and Cute Camera Bags for Women! – this pair of concise reviews showcases a bevy of options for the photographer on the go. The bags showcased and discussed in these articles are all very stylish with many flexible options for storage and convenience. If you’re looking for a new camera bag, you will definitely want to check out these posts before ordering.
There Goes the Neighbourhood – local photographer Ehpem captures a time lapse video showcasing one of our locally famous companies doing what they do best… moving houses to new locations. This daunting undertaking has to be stressful for those performing the move and being responsible for what comes of it, but for the bystander it makes for compelling imagery.
Storm clouds over Steptoe Butte – this time lapse production by Scott Wood features the Steptoe Butte as really interesting clouds whisk overhead. The dynamic nature of the setting really comes to life in this short video presentation.
Pierced by a mother’s grief – Faisal Mahmood posts a riveting article documenting the grief and pain experienced in Pakistan as a bus full of school children catches fire and needlessly ends the life of seventeen children. These are real photos of real people, augmented by the article written by Faisal that gives the reader a very strong sense of the horror found there.
Photographer Captures Rare Photograph of a Sprite with an Aurora – an extremely rare event is captured in this shot that may be only the second of its kind ever photographed. A sprite is a high altitude lightning strike, basically, and to find one at the same time the Aurora Borealis is lighting up the sky in terrific colors and tones is something only known to have been photographed once before.
Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway – Syd Weedon takes us on a wonderful journey to the past in this post, featuring a large collection of train-themed photographs. Syd’s careful processing brings all the nostalgia out of the pictures, creating imagery that is highly sympathetic to the subject on display as well as instantly taking the viewer back to a time long ago.
Mind Blowing Wild Nature Photographs – you just can’t beat nature when it comes to encountering a breathtaking scene. This fabulous collection of photographs features landscapes and natural features, collected from places and photographers from all over the world.
The 30 Best Animal Photos Of 2012 – this collection is sure to tug at your heartstrings, make you jump out of your chair or leave you speechless as you take in something truly extraordinary. This fabulous compendium of animal photographs features some of the finest shots presented in 2012.
30 Colorful Shots Of High Speed Bullet Photography – this amazing collection of images features various things at the precise moment that a bullet hits them. The incredible effects from the bullet is captured at the split-second of impact, creating imagery that outside the realm of photography happens quicker than the human eye can see.
And Then There Was Light – my blood runs ice cold when I think of the circumstances Beno Saradzic went through in the name of fine art to capture this mesmerizing and truly breathtaking photograph. Beno perches himself on a wooden ledge some 1,250 feet above the ground as the sun breaks over the horizon, illuminating a magical scene of the city of Abu Dhabi below. Beno’s amazing image paints a scene of indescribable beauty.
Mesa Arch Sunburst – the money shot, indeed! Mark Garbowski visits this world-famous location with a few of his photography friends, and after getting up at the literal crack of dawn they all head to this location where Mark captures a shot that is truly breathtaking. The wonderful colors in the early morning sky do a terrific job of gently and warmly illuminating the vista, making for an incredible photograph.
Without Warning – a breathtaking shot is captured and shared in this post by Goldpaint Photography. As the Aurora Borealis dances on the horizon in the far distance, the moon illuminates the gorgeous landscape in gentle light creating a mesmerizing piece that is sure to leave a permanent mark on everyone who visits to see.
Staring into space #10 – Light Stalking’s own Tom Dinning (@tomdinning) delivers another terrific piece in this post. The shot that Tom shares here features a very old looking stone pathway with two avenues for the adventurer to follow. Tom accents his great photo in this post with an insightful look into the comings and goings of mankind.
Manufactory – no straight lines are to be found anywhere in this shot, and I have to say I just love it. Steven Perlmutter captures and shared a muted shot featuring an old paint manufacturing building, constructed in 1863. Today it is in very poor condition, making for a terrific photography subject.
The Norman Bates Retirement Home For Happy But Old Motel Owners With A Penchant for dressing up (Part 1 – a haunting house sitting overlooking the sea now sits abandoned. Barry Turner’s great shot of this old house does a fabulous job of revealing all the tension and drama in the setting with his careful and sympathetic processing of the scene.
Three Amigos – talk about raw character in a photograph! This wonderful shot by Christina Evans features a trio of turkeys making their way down a road together. This back-view of the birds as they travel really delivers a strong and entertaining piece, sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Future City – a monochromatic piece expressed purely in blue tones is shared in this great shot posted by John Monster. The architectural details and lines created by the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain casts a striking and highly dramatic subject for John to capture and share.
Coliseum, past and future ! – a terrific shot featuring the ruins of the ancient Coliseum in Rome finds artistic juxtaposition with the colorful light trails created by the moving cars around the site. This is a captivating shot by Beboy Photographies connecting the far past with today.
The Natural Networks – an almost surreal scene is captured and shared in this great shot by José Ramos showcases a breathtaking sunset draping over the scenery of a beach. The natural zones created by delineated rock outcroppings in the beach scene creates a visual and colorful representation of an interconnected network.
sweeties – a Cheetah and it’s cub look upward, off-frame, creating a shot full of beauty, intrigue and a touch of natural artistic tension. This heartwarming piece by Marion Vollborn is guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face who pops by to view it.
“Street Photography” Waiting on Main Street – Howard Jackman delivers a new post featuring a collection of photographs taken candidly on the streets. His use of his new fisheye lens creates a cohesive series showcasing the inherent interest of his city in a really unique presentation.
Old Barn and Silo on I 25 – a subject dear to my own heart, a barn that is literally falling down. And I don’t mean it’s got a slight lean to it, I mean I have no idea how with the forces of gravity at work on this, how can it possibly be standing? This is a terrific photograph by Keith Cuddeback.
Chelsea, Polaroids, Impossible Project Black and White – Mark Garbowski has been working on a project recently featuring images captured using a Polaroid camera. This post features a pair of shots from this project, showcasing interesting details that take on a truly nostalgic feel due to the way the pictures are captured. Well worth the time for a visit.
Hill in light – as advertised, we get to view and enjoy a rolling vista featuring a hillside draped in wonderful light. Peter Zajfrid captures and shares a wonderful shot of the Slovenia landscape in this post.
Morning Fog – Jimi Jones brings us along as he heads out into a foggy morning to capture a terrific photograph. The fog that drapes the setting creates a slightly eerie feel to the scene, producing an image sure to entrance everyone.
Un ange m’a laissé un souvenir – a fabulous shot featured by Mathias Lucas shares a vision of a single feather trapped in a twig. Mathias’ use of black-and-white in this shot serves it very well, accenting the intrigue and impression of this find.
Dakota Spring Fling 2013 Car Show – a classic and colorful car is displayed and photographed here by Dakota Visions Photography. The rich colors, gorgeous flowing lines and terrific lighting all work together to showcase the true character of this great car.
Signs – a great shot, full of rich comedy, as shot and shared here by Sherry Galey. Sherry photographs a cute little dog as it uses a sign to piddle upon, and the terrific irony of the whole scene brings it truly to life.
See the forgotten city ghosts among us all – Spencer McDonald shares a really poignant HDR photograph that at first glance seems to study some of the architecture and details of the city. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals the dark underbelly of modern civilization which Spencer does a terrific job of highlighting with his profound insights.
Bar-BQ Neon – the vibrant neon lights of a city at night form the primary element in this terrific photograph from Tim Stanley. The restaurant at the heart of the sign exhibits some really great character features, and Tim’s spot-on composition does the entire scene justice.
Smooth as Grey – a dark and moody piece as produced and presented here by CJ Schmit. CJ takes us to the Atwater Beach where he creates a super-long exposure shot that completely turns the active waters into a silky covering, all the while maintaining the integrity and details of the surrounding landscape.
Roi DaSaraiba Photography – this site is the main gallery and portfolio site for Roi DaSaraiba, showcasing some really captivating pieces from several genres of photography. A little digging will lead the visitor into the galleries hosted on the site, sure to engage everyone who visits.
Sommaroy's bridge – how do you accent the splendor and tones found in the Aurora Borealis? The answer lies within a great reflection. Joris Kiredjian captures a compelling shot of this natural light formation in the sky as it delicately adds a terrific tone to the overall scene and resulting photograph.
Torre en Perales – ancient ruins are carefully highlighted under the night’s sky, producing a striking subject for Eduardo Menendez. Really terrific details and textures in the old stones are explored in this picture, producing a compelling piece sure to be enjoyed by all.
Liberty Belle – I love the power of a strong reflection, as is evidenced in this spellbinding photograph from the studio of Michael Lewis Glover. Michael finds himself at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on a special night where they remain open all night. He then scoped out this shot featuring the beautiful boat moored to shore, and waited until the waters were so still the reflection cast back to the viewer becomes a mirror.
Genoa Rooftops – a rainy day in Genoa, Italy produces a perfect scene for Len Saltiel to capture. Len’s great shot is taken from an elevated perch, showcasing the old and wonderful architecture of this fabulous city below. This shot reveals a ton of details, delivering treasures to the viewer who spends some time taking it all in.
^*^ – a cute, cute pair of little owls peers back at the camera in this fabulous shot from the studio of Itamar Campos. This close-up shot taken with a long lens reveals all the spirit and personality found in these two companions, creating a piece sure to tug at the heartstrings of everyone who visits.
Road to the Clouds – a stunning landscape photograph featuring a compelling ribbon of highway that leads the viewer straight into the majestic Rocky Mountains. Jeff Clow’s great shot here showcases the grandeur and amazing vistas found in these mountains, creating a piece sure to take your breath away in an instant.
Mars Is Burning – a lovely sunset covers the lake in a gentle glowing light, perfect for the photography of Andy Gimino. Andy’s extremely careful processing on this shot brings the natural beauty of the area out for everyone who visits to enjoy.
A Twisted Reach – in a great example of how composition at times can be everything, Mike Criswell captures a shot of a dead tree that appears to be reaching for the sky. The absolutely stunning landscape that the remains of the tree call home serves as a perfect backdrop with complimentary tones and colors to the overall scene, adding a terrific layer of interest.
Grizzly Bear 610 – Rick Louie takes us as close as is safe to a terrific mother Grizzly bear showing her cubs how to hunt. The setting that Rick found this bear in really adds a great layer of interest to the shot with a truly sympathetic vista, yet still revealing the strong character and spirit of these ferocious creatures.
White angel – a lovely shot featuring a mother heron and her baby in the nest together. The gentle backlighting captured in this shot by Jaewoon u delicately outlines the birds together, instantly drawing the viewer into the heart of the frame.
Yellow Warbler – a detailed shot that showcases the fabulous colors and details of this tiny bird. The shallow depth-of-focus that Brenda Widdess used to create this image does a terrific job of isolating the little feather-friend from it’s background, really making it pop right out.
Tower of London – Bob Lussier shares a great study in light, shadow and contrast in this blog post featuring two black-and-white images shot in the iconic Tower of London. Bob’s mastery of manipulating the light and shadows in these two images creates a pair of highly dramatic pictures full of intrigue and mystery, leaving the viewer with many unanswered questions.
Reflected sunset at Nyhavn – strong reflections have the ability to captivate the soul, and this fabulous shot from Jim Nix reallys shows just why. Jim shares a vantage looking down a canal in Denmark as the night begins to encroach on the day’s light, coming away with a shot featuring incredible architecture and really beautiful colors in both the natural and manmade elements.
Waterfalls, Minnesota – Mark Paulson takes us into the wilderness where we get to enjoy the tranquil beauty of a waterfall. The terrific details in the landscape that frames the falls brings a great element of interest to the picture.
Waterline – a simple shot featuring the pilings from what appears to be an old pier, leading the viewer out to the ocean in the backdrop. The natural leading line from the pier works in perfect harmony with the subtle tones in the ocean and the rippled reflections from the standing posts to create a truly compelling photograph, captured and shared here by Beverly Everson.
Antlers at Last – and Fast! – this wonderful presentation from Laurie MacBride shows off a young male deer as he begins to grow in his first set of antlers. Laurie shares a terrific photograph of him as his antlers begin to form the familiar shape we all expect and then adds in a slideshow presentation at the bottom of her post that shows the transition over a short period of time. Wonderful work, well worth the time for a visit.
What Happened to Spring – lovely details in a beautiful little Tufted Titmouse bird deliver a sense of wonder for the viewer in this great photograph by Wayne Beauregard. The really wonderful character in this little bird is truly brought out in Wayne’s great shot here, sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
1930 Willys Knight Great Six Plaidside Roadster – a terrific car is lovingly photographed and shared in this post from the studio of Mark Summerfield. The great details in this antique classic are all brought out in Marks great shot here, which also features some great background information to add a layer of interest to the post.
Thun – Switzerland – a lovely European castle sitting on the shores of a lake is presented to the viewer in this photograph by Paulo Carvalho. The stereotypical architectural details of this area work perfectly together with the natural elements in the scene to paint a distinct picture for the visitor to take in and enjoy.
Thunder! – a pair of dramatic lightning tendrils strike the buildings in New York as Frank Hazebroek finds himself ready to capture the scene. Frank’s processing focuses on subtle tones, adding further to the inherent drama of the scene, finished off perfectly with a vignette to guide the viewer into the frame.
The Diamond Ring – this long exposure shot features the incredible Burj Khalifa lit up and standing tall and proud in this amazing city. The lights emanating from all the buildings in the city work in harmony with the strong architecture to create a highly compelling piece to view and enjoy.
Valley Of Fire – the fading light of the day plays with shadows and color in this shot by Barry Blanchard. A great ribbon of highway leads the viewer into the picture naturally, where we find all sorts of colors and hues from the different natural elements and the way that certain parts of the scene are lit from the last vestiges of the day’s sun.
back down to hell – a staircase from a derelict factory forms perfectly crusty textures for the lens of david stoddart to explore. The careful processing David uses to create this shot does a terrific job of bringing all the details and textures of a scene like this out for all to enjoy, just don’t head down here without your tetanus shot first.
Melissodes dentiventris, F, face, Maryland, Anne Arundel County_2013-04-11-14.19.55 ZS PMax by USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring, on Flickr
I Am A Fan – an absolutely amazing photograph of a Northern Red Shafted Flicker bird in flight is captured and shared here by ROY HANCLIFF. Stellar lighting delicately accents the key features and colors in this bird, making for a breathtaking shot of this beautiful creature in the wild.
Cityscape – the old port of Montreal comes alive at night in this fabulous cityscape photograph from Alex Rykov. The lovely city sits on the famous port, lighting up the night sky in a soft glow that finds further interest in the amazingly clear reflection from the waters in the foreground.
A Striped Skunk Had Me Rolling In The Ditch – the things that photographers go through to get the “shot”! In this case we find Steve Creek in a ditch taking a great shot of a skunk looking back at him, and as he is in process of capturing the shot another skunk sneaks up behind him and gives him quite the startle.
Mountain Wadi – a great landscape scene with mountains in the distance and a really captivating foreground is presented in this strong image from the studio of David A Lockwood. The clear waters gently lead the viewer into the frame, where the discovery of the surroundings takes on a dramatic presence.
It’s that kind of town – some discoveries are so amazing that if not for photography, it would be hard to picture. This great shot by Melinda Green Harvey finds a sign for a yard sale held by the local church on display in the middle of the road in town. It’s easy to imagine that sign being left there all day, with nary a disturbance, given the town itself and the surroundings presented in this shot.
The University of Greenwich – terrific architectural details greet the viewer in this shot featuring the University of Greenwich in the UK. A fabulous blue dome is framed by the columns in this great shot by Jim Nix, accenting the amazing features that make up iconic places like this.
Waiting For A Fare – Edith Levy captures a great shot of a horse and carriage and the caleche driver as he stands waiting for a fare. Edith processes the image in two ways, one in color and the other in a vintage monochrome look to add to the nostalgia, making for a fabulous presentation to visit. I prefer the color version, personally, but it’s only a slight choice over the black-and-white rendition which is totally fabulous, too.
Spirit of Ecstasy – Chris Maskell delivers a dramatic black-and-white photograph, featuring this well-known statue by shooting it with the sky as the backdrop to add to the feeling of flight. The monochrome processing Chris used to create this shot adds a great element of drama and tension to the scene, making for a must-see image in this week’s list.
Apocaliptic Sky | Approaching storm – these two shots from the studio of Stefano Pedroni were both taken at Lake Maggiore, Arona, Italy. One is created in color, highlighting the encroaching storm and the lovely surroundings, and the other is processed in black-and-white to really highlight the incredible drama building from the looming storm in the distance.
Upper Antelope Canyon – the Antelope Canyon creates incredible photography opportunities, at times making for abstract scenes that are surreal in feel. Ron Niebrugge’s shot here showcases some incredible light streaming in from high above playing off the canyon walls creating different tones and colors.
Windows and Doors in Washington NC – if you love textures and details, we’ve got a shot for you. Mark Neal captures a great shot of an old wooden door in a brick building, and with his careful processing he creates a stunning black-and-white image full of textures to view and enjoy. Mark also posts a color version for the sake of comparison.
Pacific Waves – this lovely seaside photograph by Jim Denham takes us shore-side where we get to enjoy the power and majesty of the waves breaking on the rocks on shore. Jim’s great composition does a fabulous job of sharing a little of the west coast feeling from standing on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Just chilling…watching the game – a delicate little kitten plunks herself down for a rest after a busy day of being a model at a photoshoot. There is no way that words can do this little fur-friend justice, you’ve just got to pop by to see this great photograph from Zoran Milutinovic for yourself.
Rainy Day Photo Walk – a fabulous set of black-and-white shots featuring people out and about on a really rainy day. Jay & Jacy Photography processes these shots exclusively in black-and-white, creating imagery that is truly sympathetic to the day and subject being shot.
raindrops on a rose – a lovely and delicate rose is captured in this shot, covered in raindrops and completely isolated from the dark background. This presentation does a terrific job of really exploring the intricate beauty of the flower.
New Camera Sensor 1000x More Sensitive Than Current Sensors – a new material being worked on is creating astounding results, revealing it’s application for photography by being so much more sensitive to light than previous technologies. This interesting article provides a glimpse into a possible avenue for photography related technology in the future.
Tornado Chasers Getting “Too Close” In Their Hunt for Dramatic Imagery – in an effort to capture dramatic storm footage, these storm chasers find themselves in a situation where Mother Nature herself literally tosses a barn at them. This amazing footage documents an event where the videographers are lucky to even be here to share the story 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.