Another incredible week in the world of photography has passed us by, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching the internet high and low for links to the best tutorials, collections, features, photography and blogs to share here with everyone. This week's compilation is full if terrific images created and posted by some truly gifted artists. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did in bringing them all to you.
Neutral Density Reference Chart – Alex Wise puts together a great article that discusses exposure times for long exposure photography. Alex discusses a non-scientific approach that would be very useful in the field, and he also shares a detailed chart for easy reference. Alex illustrates his article with a stunning long exposure shot he has taken, making this article a destination in this week’s list even if you don’t practice this form.
Should I Use Photoshop Elements 11 for HDR Photography? – well-known HDR photographer Keith Cuddeback writes and publishes an article that discusses beginning concepts and toolsets for budding HDR photographers. Keith’s easy to understand writing helps accent his points, leaving the reader with a better sense of next steps in their artistic growth.
Food For Digital Thought: Protecting Your Photographs – a great piece of advice wrapped up in an article by Joe Baraban that discusses how to copyright your work. Joe tells us of a company that can embed a visually imperceptible watermark in your images that can be detected later in case litigation or legal issues arise.
Photos: Journey to North Korea – the highly secretive state of North Korea finds it’s shroud lifted, allowing AP Photojournalist David Guttenfelder unfettered access to photograph day-to-day life. This massive collection of photographs is the result of this exploration, revealing glimpses into life in a country that mostly remains a mystery the those outside its borders.
40 Amazing Night Photos – you’d best strap yourself in with a seatbelt before clicking this link, the photos posted here are truly amazing! This is a comprehensive collection of various types and styles of night based photography. These are some really stunning images, making this a post you just won’t want to miss in this week’s list.
Abandoned Places: 10 Creepy, Beautiful Modern Ruins – great beauty can be found in abandonment, and how Mother Nature works hard at reverting everything back to the state of chaos is left unchecked. This great collection and post takes us deep inside ten sites that are just amazing to witness.
8 Ordinary Photos Hiding Mind-Blowing Details – continuing the concept that “sometimes truth is stranger than fiction” is this series of images that feature really astonishing treasure held within. You have just got to see these to believe them.
The Beginning of The End @ The Lonaconing Silk Mill – an in-depth photo-essay posted here by A.D. Wheeler takes us deep inside a silk factory in Maryland. A.D.’s incredible photography shares intricate details of the antiques and items left behind after the mill closed in the 50’s, leaving an almost time-capsule behind. A.D. then couples these images with a fabulous essay that delivers the details. This perfect site for photography is maintained and available for tours, and is definitely a spot on my todo list to visit.
Reliving the Civil War through Digital Photography (Part 2) – ever been to a war reenactment before? Me neither. John Mead produces a series of photographs taken at one such event where he carefully and sympathetically processes all the images to take on an authentic period-correct feel. This is a wonderful collection.
Increase sales by Increasing Brand Awareness – a simple, yet highly effective way of marketing yourself and your services through alternate means. Public speaking is an area that causes many people stress with fear of speaking in front of a group, but as Joe Farace shows in this great article it can be a very powerful tool.
First light, second light. – life is a mystery and an enigma, and often I believe we look for answers in the art that surrounds us. This post by Light Stalking’s @tomdinning (Tom Dinning) reveals answers to several of these questions, but not all. Tom’s incredible black-and-white landscape photos feature incredibly dramatic interpretations of the world used as a foundation for a profound post.
Antarctic Ice – an absolutely jaw-dropping natural abstract setting is revealed to Ron Niebrugge. As an iceberg finds itself grounded, Ron takes a zodiac out and explores it and finds this natural formation that exhibits cool blue tones and really captivating natural shapes and lines. This is an absolute must-see in this week’s list.
Ireland School of Falconry – Two Weeks in Ireland – you have just got to see this post by Lee Brown! Lee takes us along as he has a wonderful adventure at a school of falconry, coming away with an incredible, incredible series of photographs of the landscape, architecture, and of course these graceful birds at rest and in action. A total must-see post in this week’s list!
Snow Abstractions – this is an incredible high-key style image masterfully captured and created by Chris Maskell. A heavy snowfall in his area grants him the opportunity to head outdoors to capture this photograph that he then carefully post-processes to create the specific feel he was after. This is a highly creative piece that is a real joy to view.
Walls – Derrick Birdsall uses an opening in a very old stone-wall to create a frame for a gorgeous and captivating landscape scene. As we look through the opening onto a field, we get to enjoy a pair of trees standing vigil as well as the incredibly dramatic shadows they cast upon the grasses at their feet.
A Snapshot of Hangzhou – as Adam Allegro heads deeper into the heart of his China adventure where we get to visit a landmark lake with him. His incredible photography really accents the natural wonder and beauty of this part of the world, and China in particular, making it a series of photos sure to really be enjoyed by all.
Rockhopper penguin with chicks – no kidding, this is one of the cutest pictures ever. A Rockhopper penguin deep in the antarctic is photographed by Charles Glatzer feeding it’s pair of chicks. The incredible details in these beautiful birds makes this a magazine cover worthy image if ever there was one.
Brave Elephant – this is just one of those photographs that defies proper description with words. Photographer Marsel van Oosten goes to great lengths to capture a picture that tells an entire story in a glance, one of a lone elephant braving the edges of a waterfall to graze on some foliage near the abyss.
Baptist Church, Indiana – an awesome series of photographs of this long-abandoned church. This photographic journey takes us through a series of rooms, exploring the great details and textures left behind. Perfect natural light makes it’s way into the scenes, creating the perfect highlights and shadows needed for the inherent drama in a setting like this.
Ponte Vasco da Gama at Night #1 – an absolutely breathtaking picture of a great bridge spanning a large body of water. Ricardo Bahuto Felix uses a long exposure to capture this shot that features fabulous colors, tones and details as well as silky smooth waters.
Young Anhinga Everglades National Park – Wayne Beauregard takes us into the Everglades where we get to enjoy seeing and learning about the Anhinga bird. Wayne’s great photography brings this incredible bird to life, and the accompanying blog post adds terrific dimension.
– The forest – a stunning landscape leads the viewer through the frame by following the gentle flowing stream. The autumn colors paint the forest’s floor in gorgeous colors and Oscar Peña composes a fabulous image guaranteed to be enjoyed by all.
Bird Photography: Red-Tailed Hawk with Prey – a breathtaking photograph by Lee Brown that captures this elegant hawk at precisely the moment of takeoff. Clutching dinner in it’s right talon, this picture does a great job of showing the dichotomy and beauty of nature in it’s rawest form.
Ghost ship – a haunting skeleton of a ship lies beached in this awesome photograph by Rafael Makuki. Great textures in the weathered ship draw the viewer’s eye into the heart of the image, and a crisp reflection adds a finishing touch.
Fade – Andy Gimino does a fabulous job of creating this colorful sunset landscape image. The beautiful colors in the dusk sky gently illuminates the surrounding area, revealing a lovely snow covered natural leading line.
Light Streams – a warm light streams in from the left, leaving shadows from the huge trees that line the path. This gorgeous autumn scene by Andy 58 leads the viewer straight down the frame on a lovely path, creating a perfect vanishing point.
Antarctica! – Ron Niebrugge takes us along on his latest adventure deep, deep south to the Antarctic. Ron’s image in this post features an absolutely jaw-dropping color in the sky gently illuminating an almost alien-like landscape of ice sheets floating in the frozen ocean. A true must-see in this week’s list.
One Dark Night – the incredible city of Dubai is captured here by Karim Nafatni (GostRidr®). Karim uses a fisheye lens for this shot, creating a wide-angle marvel that seems to have no end, taking the viewer across the entire city.
Waterway Fountain – a delightfully colored water fountain plays a lightshow for Jim Denham to capture and share here. The great colors in the dynamic fountain scene produce a striking swath of color in this scene, accented by the great surrounding architecture and beautiful lit trees.
You Lookin' at Me! – if character is the first word that comes to mind, consternation would be the second. This beautiful snowy owl appears to be vocalizing some form of personal thought towards Sue Demetriou who has created an absolutely wonderful image.
Space – Bob Lussier delivers another of his iconic shots from the Everett Mill in the city of Lawrence. Bob is well known for his truly incredible work documenting the facility and it’s current state, and sharing some of the historic backstory to it. This wonderful post features a black-and-white shot taken inside, showing a floor and the space that was once teeming with busy workers.
Dreamful night – a lovely winter landscape at night reveals peeks at the homes in the valley in Austria in this mesmerizing piece by Marco Stolle. The great composition in this shot naturally leads the viewer through the frame, sharing detail after detail.
Papal Swiss guard, Vatican city – a great photograph of the elite Papal Swiss guard featuring a moving man in the distance introducing tension to the scene. Architectural details, the guard’s uniform, and all the other elements work together in taking us all to this ancient place.
Looming over the field – perspective and composition can be considered to be a key in the making of great photography, and this post by Melinda Green Harvey does a great job in showing this concept off. This black-and-white shot of a facility in Lubbock, Texas showcases great lines that cast very dramatic shadows. Melinda’s composition accents this aspect of the scene, delivering a strong picture.
Merrick Butte – a very dramatic landscape scene of this iconic natural feature is emphasized by a dynamic, lively sky and some terrific shadows dappled along the ground from the vegetation. Rick Louie delivers an incredible piece here, one that leaves the viewer with a sense of the incredible scale of this place.
California’s Salton Sea – an oft photographed and discussed spot in California forms the basis for a new post by Anne McKinnell. Now only a shadow of what it once was, today it’s home to a convergence of strange animals with the remains of some of the former structures left behind to add texture to the landscape. Anne’s incredible photography and words combine in this piece to create something special.
Obscured | Four Peaks Sunset – a beautiful landscape vista featuring a snow-capped mountain range as the sun begins to set is presented here by Mike Olbinski. Gorgeous colors in the fading light from the sky drape the countryside in exquisite tones, creating the perfect scene for Mike to photograph and share here.
one day my prince will come – a haunting piece that finds a sole lady waiting for her Prince to return from a long adventure. david stoddart does a terrific job in all aspects of creating this image, from staging it, to shooting it and finally in his post-processing.
Contrast – for those who love great photographs of cute pets, this post is for you! Sherry Galey shares a pair of photographs of her cute dogs sure to make everyone elicit a collective “awww”, even if you’re a cat person.
Angel’s Snow – layers of the landscape are revealed from behind a thin curtain of fresh falling snow in this gorgeous picture by Dakota Visions Photography. The beauty of this vista really lends itself perfectly to a feeling of peace and serenity.
Harlequin: the Patchwork Performer – a delightful collection of photographs captured and shared here by Laurie MacBride. The Harlequin duck is a colorful, both physically with it’s coat of feathers as well as it’s spirited personality, bird that isn’t afraid to show off or act for a crowd.
Waiting for sunrise in Nashville – a gorgeous sunrise in the famous city of Nashville casts incredible colors and tones across the city below as Jim Nix captures a great image. The intricate architecture that composes the city is laid out for all to view and enjoy, with great details to be found in both the buildings and their surroundings.
Meet Me In The Fog – a fabulous shot and composition here from Metro DC Photography that features incredible drama and tension in the two silhouettes standing on a pathway completely enshrouded in a thick fog. Great tones cast light upon specific zones of the scene, adding another level of interest.
Rocky Shore – a lovely landscape scene by Rich McPeek takes us lakeside to take in a wonderful vista. Great clouds in the sky work with the earthen tones of the rocks and bare forest that surround this lake, making for a wonderful image to view and enjoy.
Til the Cows Come Home – a varied herd of cows stand by the roadside in a perfect pose for the photography of Jimi Jones. The gorgeous landscape they call home makes for a perfect setting for these creatures, and Jimi does a top drawer job of creating an image that reminds me of years past.
jack the ripper – kind of creepy, totally captivating, this awesome image from david stoddart takes us down a back alley that sure feels dangerous. Incredible details and textures in the old brickwork and wood-framed windows guide the viewer straight down the pathway to a blue door at the far end, and an uncertain future.
The Grey Man Can Sometimes Be Something Of A Square – Mark Garbowski continues his running Grey Man series with a lesson in post-processing. Mark’s dramatic black-and-white work in this series produces strong imagery with great natural tension.
Perspective – lines, drama, dreamy ethereal waters, this shot by photobypawelp has all the best elements in it. An under-pier black-and-white with marvelous leading lines takes the viewer through a great natural study of lines and angles, culminating in a dramatic vanishing point.
Winter Color – a wonderful natural abstract study from the studio of Jerry Denham. Jerry focuses on a tree standing next to a river, and by slowing down the shutter speed he turns the fast moving river into an abstract background to deliver great colors for the isolated tree to pop against.
Starlight and Shadows – sometimes an image can take your breath away, leaving a longing for more, and this is definitely one of those shots. An incredible nightscape featuring a colorful sky gently illuminates an old wooden barn that finds itself backlit, draping the snow in tendrils of light and shadow.
Softer Study – a wonderful self portrait by Anita Megyesi showcases a fabulous talent for this style of photography, using herself as a study. Her amazing timing produces a dynamic image, one that is a wonderful example of this genre.
Union Wood – take a stroll through the lovely Irish countryside with Magnumlady as she takes us along on an adventure. A pair of paths take the viewer through the images trailing off around a corner leaving you wondering, and it’s all capped off with a landscape scene featuring a craggy mountainscape delicately covered in snow.
Tide Pool Sunset – a really wonderful sunset is captured in HDR by local photographer Ehpem. Incredible colors in the sky gently light the landscape and a still tide pool creates an astonishing reflection to add a whole dimension of intrigue. An absolutely wonderful image.
Winters peace – a lovely winter scene is delicately processed and shared here by Barry Turner. Barry creates a high-key piece here with a soft fringe vignette that draws the viewer right into the heart of the black-and-white image.
Grand Dining – Edith Levy takes us right inside a fancy dining room aboard a cruise ship with this terrific shot. Warm tones drape the scene from the exquisite lighting, lighting up all the incredible architectural details and decorations in the room.
Bohinj – a wonderful winter landscape scene finds a setting with what appears to be a very old church beside a body of water, reflecting much of the vista back to the viewer in a very captivating way. This fabulous composition by Gitta Sladič takes the viewer to a cold and peaceful place in a single view.
The Boardwalk – if you love sunsets and vibrant colors, you’ve found the right spot. Michael Lewis Glover brings us along as he explores the boardwalk at Disney and encounters a lovely evening scene with some of the most vivid colors produced naturally ever seen anywhere.
I have seen over one thousand winters and still I stand – peeking out from behind some shrubs is a church that is over 1,000 years old. Barry Turner does a top notch job here with a very unique framing and processing style employed to create a picture that showcases a place that has seen an entire millennium come and go.
Sally in the Alley – Keith Cuddeback takes us into a quaint little alley that sports a wonderful artistic piece of graffiti on the brick walls. Keith’s composition shares a bit of the character of the spot, with the key subject being the wonderful artwork.
Oh, Marfa – Melinda Green Harvey drops the first of what looks to be a fairly large series of images captured in the town of Marfa, Texas. This black-and-white shot of a building delivers strong, strong drama in the textures created by the weathering of time as well as the deep and dark shadows that produce striking contrast.
Frost Falls – an icy, cold panorama featuring an incredible waterfall surrounded by frozen, snow-covered rocks is photographed in Iceland by Marsel van Oosten. Great contrasts in the crisp white of the snow against the earth tones of the rocks converge in this picture to really create something spectacular.
viking spirit . . . – local photographer and artist dragonflydreams88 captures an almost iconic shot of a fishing boat out in the ocean with the gorgeous mountains of BC as a backdrop. She then takes the photograph and carefully processes it and applies a texture to give it an almost canvas painting feel. A west coast image that captures the spirit and character of our area.
the road – a snowy landscape finds us on a road that runs under a canopy of trees. mauro maione captures a winter scene that delivers great drama in how the fog envelops the road as you make your way down towards the fabulous vanishing point.
Miranda – this is a terrific Urbex study that finds us in a room with wonderful sloping curved rooflines that lead the viewer naturally right through the image. A pile of forgotten bricks lies atop a beautiful old weathered window frame, leaving the viewer wondering about where this was taken and how it all came to be.
Where is the Rest? – a truly haunting picture of a lone sheep standing in a foggy field. The high-key processing and exposure used to capture the shot isolates the solitary sheep from the backdrop, and when combined with the way the sheep is looking, a lonely picture is painted.
Alone at Last – the tips of a pair of skyscrapers peers out from above a thick fog, producing a dramatic and ethereal piece. The incredible human feat of design and construction of the city of Dubai casts a scene that can only be found here, as photographed and shared by Ashmieke.
The Keyhole, Big Sur, CA – what takes on a feel of a doorway into a whole other world is a naturally created phenomenon at Pfeiffer Beach. A natural rock formation creates an arch into an inner zone of water, and for a few months of the year the angles are just perfect to catch the sun streaming in, making for breathtaking scenes. As photographed by William McIntosh.
/ i \ – this is a highly dramatic piece from Peyman Az that shares some of the best natural tension in an image ever. Peyman’s expansive panorama features a dramatic black-and-white landscape featuring a ribbon of highway that heads into a great vanishing point. This is all brought together with a man walking alongside the road, heading into the unknown.
Red Hill Coffee Shop – a bit of classic Americana is presented in this post by Wayne Frost. A coffee shop with a straightforward box design is adorned in colorful banners, complete with someone sitting out front. Wayne’s processing gives this piece a painterly feel, adding to the artistic feel of the picture.
Slow Down – a colorful sunset on Lake Champlain paints the sky in vibrant colors as a set of piers stands in the foreground casting terrific silhouettes. Andy Gimino delivers a real eye-catching piece, one that’s sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Union Pacific’s “Living Legend” – an absolutely classic 1940’s era steam locomotive is featured in this terrific post by Tim Stanley. This classic lady features styling completely typical of the time period and Tim’s great shot here gives us a look at something from the time that is still in just wonderful condition.
Wordless Wednesday #046: “Winter Trees” – who needs words when a gorgeous landscape can do all the talking for you? Joe Farace posts a shot featuring a line of trees with a snow covered field in the background; a wonderful shot well worth the time to pop over for a view.
Weathered Barn Door – Rob Hanson finds a door full of character and texture, and comes away with this great picture. The old door is a face that has witnessed countless winters, and today it stands as a lovely testament to it’s past as gentle shadows run across it.
A Winter Sunset – a lovely South Carolina sunset is discovered and photographed by Erin Duke. Erin finds a great palm tree which she uses to create an instantly recognizable silhouette to add context to this beautiful scene.
The Grid – Mike Olbinski does incredible work in the field of storm photography, producing stunning photographs of natural events that are incredible and exciting. This shot features a grid of power lines as a set of lightning fingers strike the ground, lighting up the entire area in rich tones.
Homes on the Harbor – the community of Rockport features some incredible natural beauty and local character architecture. Steven Perlmutter captures a shot here featuring some of these homes sitting ocean-side.
Where the wind gallops – these are utterly dramatic and compelling photographs, created and posted here by Melinda Green Harvey. The first shot in this post is taken at a low perspective with incredible, rich contrasts that leads the viewer straight down the highway into the great unknown with an awesome vanishing point. Her second image is a color one, a landscape that features a strong mountain with a really epic cloud formation hanging over it.
“Black and White” Frozen in Time – snowy landscapes find great drama when post-processed as black-and-white images. Howard Jackman creates and shares a collection of outdoor shots all done in monochrome, many in a high-key style, that really does a great job in conveying the sense of cold found in the locations, as well as incredible character in the subjects featured.
The Mist – we’ve been affected by a heavy fog lately here on Vancouver Island and I have been out trying to capitalize on this for my practice. Local photographer and good friend Joseph de Lange has had the same idea and in this post he features an awesome series of photos that depict our local landscapes shrouded in a deep, thick, rich and dramatic fog.
Beneath the Highway – massive drama is found and explored in this awesome photograph by Bob Lussier. Bob creates a great black-and-white that showcases a great natural leading line that culminates in a great vanishing point that finds a ton of drama in the fog in the distance.
Blue Cathedral – great colors and tones expose the wondrous beauty of the architecture of this beautiful cathedral. Jim Denham does a terrific job with the composition on this one using elements in the frame to guide the viewer right into the heart of the picture to take in the details of this grand facility.
Subway Car, Toronto, 2013 – Ren Bostelaar takes a candid photograph in a subway car that features some great elements to take in and enjoy. In today’s day and age of electronics we can frequently find ourselves in a group of people, yet totally isolated by our entrancement of our electronics. Ren’s photograph here does a great job of conveying this rich dichotomy.
Busy Harbor – marinas and harbors make for awesome photography, full of great boats and nautical items and features. Jimi Jones heads out to the Canton area of downtown Baltimore where he encounters a wonderful sunrise bathing the scene in great light, revealing a beautiful scene that finds additional beauty in the rich reflections in the waters.
Rum Shack – a colorful and character-filled scene is photographed and posted by Edith Levy. As most of North America finds itself under the hold of a deep-freeze, nothing is better than an escape to Falmouth, Jamaica where we can take in blue, warm skies and the ever-famous rum.
Chiswick House & Gardens – an incredible photographic study of this wonderful heritage facility, complete with background information to add a deeper dimension. This HDR series by Chris Maskell takes advantage of the dramatic natural lighting from the brooding overcast skies and presents a great set that contains both drama and intrigue.
Destroyer Stellaire (blue hour version) – gael trijasson encounters a piece of architecture that exhibits amazing lines and edges, and is bathed in wonderful light to create an added dimension of interest. The composition lends an abstract feel to this shot, making it a must-see picture in this week’s list.
Bell’s Neck Sunset – Cape Cod, MA – an incredible sunset paints the sky and highlights some dramatic clouds in the wonderful landscape piece by Wayne Beauregard. The natural lines formed by the surroundings creates dark elements and silhouettes that add to the drama, and lead the viewer through the picture.
Blue-eyed Dragon – a wonderful dragonfly finds itself sitting in the perfect pose for Bev to photograph. Great details in the little flying creature are all brought to life just exquisitely, producing a piece that is captivating to view and enjoy.
A Snowy Titmouse – Kerri Farley is right in the middle of winter right now, and she is finding a lot of these little feather-bearing creatures to photograph and share. This shot is of a little bird sitting on a snow-covered railing, exuding great character and personality.
Stellar Photo Manipulations the Old Fashioned Way – this is a great collection of images by Thomas Barbéy that share a truly unique view of the world as he sees it. These great black-and-white pieces are sure to make the viewer pause in an attempt to understand the deeper meaning behind the initial impression.
Staircases That Lead To… Nowhere – an epic collection of photographs featuring various settings of staircases with no proper end. It seems that there is something both haunting and lonely about items that had a start with intention yet are now left to the elements to dismantle.
Crematorium – terrific details and textures all emerge in this incredible series of photographs of a long abandoned, and mighty creepy, old crematorium. These inside shots show the scale and morose architectural details that went into the design.
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.