It has been a fabulous week online in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been very busy searching for the best links to tutorials, reviews, special features, collections, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list contains some great posts and images, and we hope you enjoying checking out these links from these very talented folks as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Rules for Perfect Lighting: Understanding The Inverse-Square Law – this is a very detailed and highly technical article that goes into great depth in discussing this important theory behind light. Bits of the article may be lost on those who don’t possess a deeply mathematical background, but the overall post will produce a deeper understanding for the reader, no matter your background or education.
How to Photograph Lightning, From Start to Finish – a detailed and in-depth article that takes the reader from start to finish on the hunt for great lightning photography. Each nuance of the practice is discussed, from safety issues in the field to how to capture the shot to post-processing techniques to really make the image pop.
The Importance of a Focal Point in Photo Compositions – this is a great tutorial discussing in pretty good detail the importance and use of a focal point in image creation. This brief series of points will expand the horizon for most who read it, helping you to take your photography to the next level.
How Camera Angle Affects Body Shape – this brief tutorial discusses camera angle and it’s importance in composition when shooting people. Great shots accompany the article, illustrating quite nicely the points being shared and discussed.
Top 10 Digital Photography Tips – some points may seem obvious while others are less so in this great tutorial that takes the reader straight to the point. Great images are posted alongside the piece showing the reader visually the concepts being talked about.
Review: Sony Zeiss 135mm f1.8 (Tested with the A99) – a great review with plenty of technical details discusses this great new lens offering for Sony body cameras. The accompanying example photographs really give the reader a great sense of the capabilities of this camera.
A Sneak Peek of the Magical New Shake Reduction Tool Coming to Photoshop – a brief video review of an upcoming feature slated for release in Photoshop is sure to set the photography world abuzz. What a great concept, and the results are absolutely astonishing.
In My Own Words: Baby Tatanka – a brand new baby Bison born in Custer State Park in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota is the perfect subject for Richard at Dakota Visions Photography. This article features a great selection of photographs taken of the baby doing what it does best; being a great little newborn full of vim and vigor. This is a very entertaining piece that features some really heartwarming photographs.
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California -360 degree Panorama, Panoramic Photo – a highly immersive and interactive presentation finds the viewer taking in a complete 360* panoramic view of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. By clicking and dragging in the interactive area of the screen, the visitor is given a complete view of both the bridge, as well as the incredible surroundings that it calls home.
The 45 Most Powerful Photos Of 2012 – sad, poignant, profound, insightful… these are just a few descriptions that can accompany this incredible series of photographs. Each image selected is dramatic and powerful for it’s own reasons, making for a series that is truly a must-see in this week’s list.
Incredible Macro Photos of Insects with Drops of Water On Their Heads – perhaps a little creepy to some, great macro photography can produce incredible results that showcase details often not seen. This great collection of macro shots features really detailed pictures of many different species with water drops on them, in some cases the drops are almost bigger than the little creature it sits on.
Iceland Worldwide – Northern Lights – this is a great collection of images that features the incredible beauty of the Northern Lights. Sigurdur H Stefnisson shares his series of photos from his spot in the world, producing a really captivating and breathtaking collection sure to be enjoyed by all.
Jay Leno's Car Collection Album…so cool!! – Jay Leno is known around the world for his one-of-a-kind car collections. This post features a massive series of photographs featuring some of his cars, sure to keep the avid car fan busy for quite some time taking in makes and models not often seen.
Wonderful Photos in the Moment of Impact – a terrific series of really fun images showcases that split-second where a projectile makes impact with a softer object. The results are literally a slice of time a thousandth of a second wide, giving the viewer a peek into the effects of physics.
30 Beautiful Norway Pictures – a wonderful set of photographs all taken in Norway. These images do a great job of taking the viewer along with the photographer to one of the most wonderful and beautiful places on earth.
Falling Water – a stunning and breathtaking piece from Len Saltiel features a wonderful waterfall in Oregon. Len’s use of long exposure to grab this shot produces a veiled and silky smooth effect of the falls themselves, juxtaposed against the rich details found in the surroundings.
Expanding your range… – an open mind and a constant yearning to progress and reach further with our work drives many photographers forward in their craft. Sherry Galey delivers an epic blog post here, featuring some stunning HDR photographs that really show the power and added dimension that HDR processes can bring into the world of imagery. These images feature landscape details and architecture, in challenging lighting conditions, and as such they really showcase the results that can be achieved.
Going Back to Antarctica! – this is one of those shots that makes you do a double-take. The incredible natural and raw beauty of the Antarctic is shared in this shot from Ron Niebrugge. Ron’s fabulous and unique composition uses an ice arch as a subtle frame for portions of the landscape, but this only comes to life for the viewer who spends some time taking in the details.
The Bell Tower at Trinity College – an interesting sky looms overhead in this great shot from Jim Nix that features terrific drama in architecture. Jim’s visit to Trinity College’s campus in Dublin, Ireland, finds him coming away with a strong image that showcases the intricate details that comprise this storied facility.
“Balloons” Not to Burst your Balloon… – a high-speed moment forever captured and frozen in time; this terrific post from Howard Jackman features a collection of shots that are all fabulous examples of this style of imagery. Timing is critical, as well as a plethora of technical details that must be attended to, to achieve this type of picture, and Howard’s collection here showcases a great set that displays his mastery.
Lake Tahoe – an absolutely breathtaking landscape photograph taken of Lake Tahoe is shared in this post from the studio of Edin Chavez. A picture-perfect reflection of the natural beauty is reflected back to the viewer in this shot, making for a truly compelling image to view and enjoy.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies at Pike Place Market – the Pacific Northwest is a place unto its own, and this fabulous photograph by Spencer McDonald does a great job in capturing a little of this. As shoppers stand in front of a market store taking in the rich bounties available, the great spirit and character of the area really comes to life in this shot.
Turning Towards Heaven – Andy Gimino captures a lovely sunset, full of rich colors and dark, brooding clouds providing cover in the sky. This is a highly dramatic scene, perfectly captured and processed here by Andy to bring all the inherent beauty to life.
Peep Death- Dragon Snack – Chris Nitz’s unique style and vision for his art continues to delight and amaze in this latest post. This high-key image comes together with Chris’ use of a really well-conceived artificial lighting setup, making for a dramatic and striking shot.
Some surface shots from a great weekend trip to Bamfield, BC – the incredible fauna and wildlife that makes up the fabric of Vancouver Island is explored in this small series of photographs by Amanda Marie. A terrific bald eagle sits in a tree, looking out over it’s dominion, a pod of killer whales makes their presence known by exposing their fins above water and an elk in the forest all work together perfectly in this set.
A view of lily – local photographer Joseph de Lange captures a wonderful shot of a spring lily in bloom, and his perfect post-processing on this shot really makes the details of this beautiful flower truly come to life. A gentle vignette guides the viewer straight into the heart of this incredible frame, completing a fabulous image.
Miss Zambia – an absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful photograph that features a fabulous leopard basking in the sun as it sits on the rocks watching the day roll past. Incredible details in the big cat work perfectly with it’s pose and expression to make for a truly compelling shot in this week’s list.
300 – an iconic badge on a classic Corvette makes for a perfect photography subject in this shot presented here by oneowner. The great composition utilized in this shot produces a striking picture, one that really exemplifies artistic tension in the context left unseen.
Baikal Lake – an almost otherworldly scene presents itself in this captivating photograph by Yury Pustovoy. This great shot is framed by looking out from inside a fabulous ice cave to the world waiting just beyond the opening in the distance. The waters the ebb and flow inside the cave structure create a perfect natural leading line, and wonderful colors and tones captured in the ice formations add terrific interest.
Dropping In With Nik CEP4 – a wonderful forest scene greets the viewer in this shot by Mark Neal. Gorgeous greens that can only be found deep in the woods works together perfectly with the natural vegetation and other elements to produce a captivating picture.
Night Light – a terrific black-and-white shot here by John Sotiriou features a wonderful old lighthouse carefully composed and processed. John’s use of texture in the finishing of this picture adds a strong nostalgic feel to the scene.
Along the Mississippi – one of America’s most iconic rivers is perfectly captured and shared in this post from Edith Levy. The colors of the fading day work wonderfully with the landscape and the fabulous bridge in the distance to create a truly compelling piece.
Barn IV – a fabulous shot of an old wooden barn sitting quietly under a blanket of stars in the night is presented in this post from Aaron J. Groen. Captivating textures in the wooden facade of the building converge perfectly with the details and colors in the night sky.
Owl at sunset – this wonderful photograph features a terrific owl in flight in the last rays of the day’s light. As it flies by Marco Redaelli, it turns to give him a stare that adds so much natural drama to the picture.
Curtain down on Winter – LensScaper (Andy Hooker) shares a great trio of shots that feature the bare silhouettes of trees against vibrant skies. The incredible skies present in these shots adds a huge layer of interest to the scene, creating a set that is really a must-see in this week’s list.
The Nephrite Sword – an intricately detailed and jeweled sword, carefully crafted in 1886, is the prime subject in this wonderful image from Tim Stanley. Tim’s great composition and processing with this frame does a terrific job in leading the viewer right into the heart of the frame, producing a captivating picture that is truly engaging.
Curious sheep – this is a terrific shot taken at sunset, looking out over a field in Holland that is home to a group of rather curious sheep. Iván Maigua’s terrific composition on this shot brings all the great character of the setting out for all to enjoy.
Lights Camera Action – Rachel Cohen takes a great photograph of the brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The resurgence of the famed Stingray moniker is accompanied by an incredible new platform that looks great and has the jam to back it up.
On a Cold Morning – isn’t nature absolutely amazing? This wonderful short eared owl is peering back into the lens of Henrik Nilsson on a very cold, winters day. Fabulous personality is captured in this shot, making for a must-see picture in this week’s list.
“count down from 100 please…” – a long abandoned medical examination room is the prime subject in this great urbex shot by CmdrCord. Natural weathering works in conjunction with a mess left behind by previous explorers to the site to create a picture full of interesting details to take in.
Dizzy – a great black-and-white study by Barbara Youngleson finds us exploring mirror-like surfaces on modern architecture. The reflections created by the windows work with the natural lines from the architecture to take the viewer through the frame comfortably, enjoying all the inherent shapes and geometries found within.
Broken Window – it’s amazing how a broken window can be part of a larger picture full of details and shapes. Rob Nopola’s black-and-white interpretation of the scene is quite mesmerizing, leaving the visitor to revel in all the natural shapes that are produced in broken window panes.
The Foundry – great details in the old brickwork come to life with the great pops of yellow introduced by the beautiful flowers on display. Bob Israel’s photograph features fabulous elements of nostalgia, working in conjunction with a sense of familiarity.
Fresnel Lens – Robert Berry delivers a very unique composition of a lighthouse lens that produces a striking, almost abstract, image. Great lines and geometries are explored in this picture that when taken in as a whole delivers on the initial promise of being able to see a lighthouse artifact.
The Silhouette of an Icon – the golden hours paints the bay in San Francisco in warm hues in this great shot by Alister C. A barge passing under the bridge brings a great element into the scene, which primarily focuses on the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge at a wonderful time of the day.
Berkeley Vale – this gorgeous panoramic shot features gorgeous colors in the sky that are overlooking a lovely waterfront scene. Jack Coghlan’s shot features a wooden pier that creates a perfect leading line and a boat tied to shore for added interest.
A Brooding Sea – a stunning long exposure image from the studio of Barry Turner takes us seaside to take in a wonderful vista. The long exposure used to create the shot produces a smooth and silky, almost ethereal, feel to the setting. Great tones in the surrounding rock formations add a great layer of interest.
Blair Bridge – a truly amazing old wooden bridge is the focus of this post from Steven Perlmutter. This old heritage bridges dot the landscapes of the US and form an important part of the history for the area. This one exhibits a great personality, and Steven’s photograph does a perfect job of sharing a little of that with the visitor.
home by the sea – a worn and weathered home exterior poses for oneowner in this shot, casting a marvellous subject to take in and explore visually. A mural on the side of the house creates an interesting sense, almost an illusion, that adds to the overall magic of the scene.
Black Rocks on The Sound – a very dramatic and moody scene is captured and shared in this post from the studio of Jim Denham. The right area of the frame is filled with interesting rocks forming the shore, and the left portion is filled with the wonderful softness that comes from using a long exposure technique on moving waters.
1936 Cadillac Fleetwood V-12 – a great series of shots are posted in this blog by Mark Summerfield that features the great character of this classic Cadillac. Mark takes us around the car to explore both the platform in it’s entirety as well as some of the finer details that make a Cadillac, well, a Cadillac.
1929 Cadillac Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton – this second post by Mark Summerfield carries on the spirit from the one just above. This post features a 1929 car, and Mark shares both the wider perspective of the incredible lines that comprise the car, as well as some of the finer details that are so well known on the Cadillac brand.
Sunsets – Blake Rudis shares a series of photographs featuring rich and vibrant sunsets. Blake’s post-processing brings all the wonder out of the scene found in the rich palette used by nature at this beautiful time of the day.
Repairing The Monument II – Metro DC Photography takes us back to the monument during the blue hour to take in the beautiful silhouette of this iconic facility against a bright and vibrant sky. Scaffolding around the monument, presumably there to maintain the structure, adds a great little layer of interest to the scene.
Mansion Staircase – an amazing foyer in a mansion strikes an absolutely mesmerizing scene, captured perfectly here by Sean Amarasinghe. Ornate detailings and fabulous trim colors add dimension and depth to an already grand scene.
Jungle Shroom – a tiny pair of mushrooms in the forest stand above a field of moss, creating a captivating pair of subjects to take in and enjoy. Todd Wall’s great shot takes on an almost magical feel to it, as if it was taken in some mysterious forest inhabited by trolls and hobbits.
Topple at Rest – a trio of long forgotten and abandoned boats sits leaning on the shores, waiting for the next chapter in their lives. tallal2012’s capture finds a scene full of captivating details, all accented by the moon hanging high in the sky and the fleeting colors on the horizon from the last vestiges of the day.
bridge to nowhere – this perfectly composed shot by david stoddart features a moody and stark landscape with a great bridge dead center in the frame. The old bridge naturally leads the visitor into the frame, leading right into a great vanishing point that adds so much interest to an already compelling picture.
Dubai Marina – soft tones and hues grace this scene of the Dubai marina by Cesar Castillo. The absolutely incredible architecture that comprises this epic city creates striking outlines against the fading colors in the sky, producing a truly captivating piece to view and enjoy.
two jay day . . . – local photographer dragonflydreams88 captures a great shot featuring two Jay birds sitting on a branch together. Her careful processing and use of overlay texture adds a fabulous dimension to the image.
Pear Blossoms – focus-stacking is a terrific technique that can produce really striking imagery. Scott Wood captures a shot of blooms in his backyard and by using this technique, he creates a picture that is subtly unique and completely compelling.
The Grey Man Opts To Walk – a new installment in Mark Garbowski’s running series features a black-and-white of the grey man as he walks between parked vehicles. The juxtaposition of the new vehicles against the vintage feel of Mark’s processing and the older architecture in the backdrop adds a great element to the scene.
A Cabin And Its Bottles – local photographer Joseph de Lange features a wonderful little cabin building on the outskirts of the town we call home. This great little place is full of character and intrigue, leaving everyone who encounters it with many questions left unanswered. We have shot this place, too, and featured it in our blog post “The Magic Cabin”.
Death Valley – Jason Hines takes us along as he photographs the iconic Death Valley. His great shot features the barren landscape under the blue hour, which casts really wonderful colors and tones across the vista. This detailed shot features some incredible natural textures.
satanic leaf-tailed gecko – nature is nothing if not completely interesting. This great photograph of a satanic leaf-tailed gecko gives the viewer an instant sense of a creature I’ve never seen before.
Bus Graveyard – a short set of photographs taken in a place where buses make their last stop on the voyage of life. Mark Mawson shares a series that is processed in such a way as to enhance the old feel of the subjects and their current state and condition.
wyre wreck #1 – an old wooden ship lies prone on it’s side in a field in this fabulous photograph from the studio of David J. Nightingale. The inherent drama and haunting loneliness of the scene is just perfectly composed and captured in this highly compelling image.
Rock Detail – David A Lockwood captures and shares a really compelling photograph, featuring natural formations in a rock overhang that take on a strong abstract quality. Lines, shapes and shadows guide the viewer through the image naturally, making for an image that leaves the viewer craving for more.
Finding Comfort – a lovely sunrise greets the visitor in this breathtaking image by Jim Denham. As we enjoy the rising sun and all the warmth and color it brings to the world, a pair of piers stands alone and tall in the pounding surf, adding a great layer of intrigue to the picture.
Impassioned – an active, fluid sky sits overhead a very dramatic scene that finds us discovering a boat tied near to shore. The rich colors in the sky work perfectly with the still reflections cast back from the waters to cast a scene so captivating it seems almost surreal.
That junk is… well beautiful – it would seem that Spencer McDonald shares my passion and love for junk, finding beauty in places often overlooked or not considered. This assemblage of paint cans, all stacked in a pattern, creates a striking scene abundant in color and detail to take in and enjoy.
The Astoria-Megler Bridge – Mike Olbinski delivers a striking black-and-white in this image, featuring a bridge in frame right that leads the viewer straight through the image out into a fabulous vanishing point, and some piers in the center jutting out of the water, and finally some local architecture frame left. This is both a striking and a mesmerizing image, a must-see in this week’s list.
The Ole Lime Company Ruins – a wonderful series of photographs of a long unused facility forms the basis for a shoot here by Jay&Jacy Photography. Incredible textures and details in the ruins and their surroundings merge to create really compelling imagery in this blog post.
Globemaster – airplanes have their own personalities, some are benign while others are strong and commanding. This shot by Mike Criswell features a massive plane that belongs in the latter category. Mike’s unique composition of this Boeing C-17 Globemaster III captures and shares a glimpse into the spirit behind the plane.
Singapore Merlion – the incredible skyline of this wonderful city is captured during the blue hour in this photograph by Billy Youngson. The great details exhibited in the modern architecture that comprises the city is really accented in this shot that also features an incredible water-fountain in the scene.
Shipwreck (mono) – the skeletal remains of an old wooden boat lies prone on the shore in this terrific shot by Þorsteinn H Ingibergsson. The incredible details and textures in the weathered wood finds further interest in the inherent drama introduced by the black-and-white processing used to finish this piece.
Let your Light Shine – a lovely image of a butterfly perched on a leaf graces the screens of those who visit this wonderful picture by Bev. The perfect shallow depth-of-focus really isolates the tiny creature from it’s background, producing a striking shot.
Carolina Wren – Singing His Song – a tiny little wren sits on a branch and sings as loud as he can to a captivated world. Kerri Farley’s lovely image does a great job of capturing a glimpse of this little bird’s personality, bringing it to us all to view and enjoy.
Little Finland, Nevada – sometimes the very best things are hidden from plain view, as exemplified in this terrific post by Anne McKinnell. Anne takes us deep into the heart of Nevada where she finds a series of rock formations that form the most interesting natural shapes, accented by wonderful colors and tones in the fleeting light of the day.
NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN! – a fabulous post from Averil McPhedran takes us along on her journey of learning and exploration in the world of photography. Her profound piece is accented with some really fabulous photographs she’s taken and processed, and it all comes together in a post that is sure to motivate all who are striving to learn and take their own practice to the next level.
This LEGO DSLR Comes with a Flexible Strap and External Flash – for those who love photography and LEGO’s, this post is most certainly for you! A truly ingenious execution of a fabulous concept!
Nat Geo Photographer on Storytelling and Striving for Authenticity – a terrific and short video presentation takes the viewer a little behind the scenes to see the intricate workings of photographer Stephen Alvarez out in the field. A compelling video showcasing the work of a great photographer.
Radical New Concept Hyper-Simplifies the Camera as We Know It – progress marches on relentlessly, spurred on by the creative minds of some of our generations most advanced minds. This article shows a design for a futuristic camera that may not be available on store shelves today, but who knows what’s in store for the future?
Creating The Photograph: Chris Gampat’s, “The Darkest Ballerina” – this great article takes the reader behind the scenes to see in great detail the background work that went into creating this amazing image. The reader is walked through the entire process, including personal observations encountered during the shoot, making this both a post that showcases a great image, but one that is highly informative as well.
Top 10 Worst Vehicles for Meeting Your Date’s Dad – this post is just for fun. A set of photographs is featured here alongside some really hilarious anecdotes, sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face who pays a visit. Especially dads.
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.