Another exciting week in the world of photography rolls on past and we find Toad Hollow Photography searching for links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list features a wide variety of tutorials and styles, showcasing some of the very best content online today created by some of the finest artists. We really hope you enjoy these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by banajova
How to Create a Low Key Portrait using Natural Light – this article is a terrific example of how equipment doesn't make an image great, the artist and the technique applied do. In this article we find the photographer using low key techniques to capture a shot of his son. The photograph is terrific, and all the intricate details of how the shot was created are shared, making for a great article on this topic.
Umbrella 102 for Beginners: Placement of your Umbrella and Flash – a terrific article that discusses the physics of light and techniques that can be applied when using off-camera flash for your photography. The basic mathematics behind the concepts are covered, and the article include great sample illustrative photos to allow you to visualize the differences of applying the different methods for different styles.
For Better Photographs, Don't Think Big, Think Simple – this is a great article that discusses the elegance in simplicity and how you can apply the concept to your photography. Albeit brief in nature, there are many great ideas in this post, sure to expand the horizons of almost everyone.
Focus stacking in Photoshop – How to get any depth of field you need – a great video tutorial on how to leverage built-in functionality in Photoshop to create great images with a focus stacking process. This allows for fine control over the depth of field, giving the artist the ability to maintain a very blurry background all the while circumventing a very narrow depth-of-focus from a wide aperture.
5 Ways Night Photographers See the World Differently – this tutorial discusses concepts centric to night photography. Various ideas and styles are covered in the article that includes some really powerful photographs of the genre to showcase the power and beauty of shooting at this time of night.
6 Aerial Photos Of Earth's Breathtaking Colors – this sampling of photographs comprises a part of a much larger collection, captured and created by aerial photographer Bernard Edmaier. Bernard works with the ultimate natural palette in this series, creating abstracts that represent every hue found in nature and creating a special feature that is truly second-to-none.
Snooping in Storybook Castle – I can honestly admit that having access to a place like this would consume the rest of my life in terms of photography. This incredible photo-story shares a tale of love lost and an unfinished castle that was never inhabited, showcasing incredible photos of what remains behind and how the process of decay is rapidly changing the landscape of the site and returning it to it’s raw origins.
Expressive Portraits by Rosie Hardy Venture into the Stunning Realm of Fantasy – enter the world of the surreal and the profound in this exhibit of photographs created by Rosie Hardy. Rosie has mastered the art of telling a story in a single still frame with each piece creating a unique tale that is moving and poignant.
Dead Horse Point Colorado River View – this breathtaking piece comes to us from the studio of Mark Garbowski. Mark’s trip to the area in Utah of last year found him coming across this dramatic landscape that features the Colorado river meandering through canyons carved over the course of eons, revealing layers of color and detail that can only be found in nature.
Autumn in Denali – with autumn arriving here in the northern hemisphere it’s time to see photos of the brilliant palette of nature during this vibrant time of year. This breathtaking piece by Ron Niebrugge takes us up into the Denali park in Alaska where he showcases a landscape that is profound and mesmerizing, revealing details to the viewer who spends time with the frame.
lake moraine – the sunset begins to dip low over the jagged edges of the Canadian Rockies as Andrea Auf dem Brinke photographs the epic natural beauty of Moraine Lake. The stillness of the lake’s waters reflect back a mirror image of the rugged mountains, adding a perfect touch to an already breathtaking landscape.
Old School Custom Cars – if you love classic hot rods half as much as I do, this is a post you will not want to miss. Jimi Jones takes us along as he explores a few models on display at shows he’s attended recently, sharing a few great photographs of pure classics as well as some personal thoughts that add so much depth to the post.
Dubai Cloudscape – the Dubai cityscape is a subject that Daniel Cheong captures time-and-time again, with each piece creating a new and unique perspective on one of the most amazing cities constructed by man. Ribbons of light trails highlight the massive roads that weave their way around and through the dramatic architecture of this great city in this photo.
Cypress Reflection – Jim Denham captures a surreal shot here, featuring some partially submerged Cypress trees in a stand of water. Jim’s use of long exposure for this shot creates a silky smooth effect on the water, that in turn casts a murky reflection of the trees that creates a very dramatic landscape to take in and enjoy.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Leopard cub – for those who love adorable cat pictures, this one is a must-see in this week’s list. Sarah Walton captures a beautiful little Leopard cub hanging about, doing what it does best. The rich details in the face of the cat creates a study that shares it’s terrific personality and spirit in a picture.
View from Symonds Yat Rock. Ross on Wye – natural leading lines guide the viewer through and into the heart of this frame from the studio of Barry Turner. Barry uses an elevated perspective to show the scale of the beautiful English countryside in this piece, sharing details with the viewer who spends time observing all the wonderful nooks-and-crannies explored in the shot.
…bled VIII… – the wonderful character of the world-famous Lake Bled in Slovenia is explored photographically in this great shot by roblfc1892 roberto pavic. This is one of those places in the world you can revisit time again, with each visit revealing nuances and details not seen before. This photo by roberto exhibits this perfectly.
Improve composition by isolating your subject – Brian Matiash delivers a highly stylized piece in this photograph that features a lone surfer at the end of a long day chasing waves. Brian discusses the techniques he applied to create this shot, which adds a great layer of interest to the post, but the real star here is the photograph.
Burning sky – this is a terrific long exposure piece, posted by Simon Vilgertshofer on 500px. Beautiful colors in the sky find harmony in the surroundings that features a great wooden boathouse that plays perch to a line of birds sitting on the top of the roof. Rocks just under the water add fabulous anchor points to the image, creating a strong piece sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Beaks at the Ready – a pair of really interesting Black oystercatcher birds are photographed and posted here to Laurie MacBride’s blog in her latest post. These birds are not often seen here on the coast, even though their population is primarily located on the west coast, and these shots and accompanying thoughts showcase a bird that is really something to behold.
Portrait of the Falls – a truly breathtaking shot from the studio of Mark Gvazdinskas featuring a grand waterfall in Iceland captured using a long exposure and processed in black-and-white to accent the inherent drama in the scene. The monochromatic processing really adds to the overall mood of the rugged and raw landscape.
Photo by János Csongor Kerekes
Retro fabulous! – Derrick Birdsall features a pair of shots in this post that showcase old motel signs that were designed and made in the 50’s or 60’s from what I can tell. Rich patina from years of weathering add layers of interest to these old signs, creating a pair of pictures sure to enthrall fans from that era.
Tuscan Sunset – Alan Story captures a beautiful landscape at sunset, featuring the rolling vistas of the world-famous area of Tuscany. Alan’s composition features the balcony of their accommodations as an anchor point in the foreground, leading the viewer through the frame and out into the rolling landscapes in the distance.
The last phone booth – Melinda Harvey continues her incredible project that features predominantly black-and-white renditions of local scenes she encounters that showcase abandoned landscapes and townscapes. This piece is of a strange phone booth with an active phone that some surmise might connect you directly to Batman somewhere, but the true wonder of the shot is found in the natural artistic tension in Melinda’s composition.
Ophir Pass Road – this is a beautiful landscape piece, captured and shared here by Rick Louie. Rick composes the shot featuring a rugged mountain range and a ribbon of highway that meanders through it, creating strong natural leading lines to guide the viewer into and through the frame on a voyage of discovery.
Demise of a Giant – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – Len Saltiel creates a terrific panorama shot in this post, showcasing the remains of what once was one of the most powerful steel companies in the world. Today it stands as a reminder of what once was, and Len’s great shot does a wonderful job of preserving it’s memory and sharing it’s story in a glance.
The Storm – this is an astonishing piece, one that showcases the power of composition juxtaposed against the drama of nature. David Bouchat’s shot features a 1933 rat rod in the foreground, poised to launch across the world-famous Bonneville salt flats in Utah.
Freedom Tower and the Tribute In Light – as another anniversary on what has to be the worst terror attack in human history comes and goes, Mark Garbowski shares a shot he captured in previous years that features a tribute to those who were lost in a display of light. This is a highly profound piece, one with deeper meaning that is found by those who spend time with the frame.
The leader of the pack… – at times it’s hard to consider that these creatures that are so wonderfully adorable right now will grow up to be fierce and large members of their communities in years to come. Austin Thomas captures a great piece in this shot, featuring a trio of lion cubs strolling down a path with an abundance of spirit and personality.
Statues of Caryatid Maidens Found in Greece's Amphipolis Tomb – while the quality of the photographs is far from fine art here, the subjects being shot are most certainly great examples of ancient fine art. This post features a few shots of a newly discovered tomb in Greece that is certain to hold the remains of someone important. Take a glimpse into the archeological work underway at this site.
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.