It's been a terrific week in the world of photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low online for the best links to tutorials, reviews, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This week's list is full of great articles and pictures, and the Toad hopes you enjoy checking them all out as much as he did.
Dance and Movement: Mixing continuous lights and strobes – this is a very advanced lighting technique that mixes two types of artificial light to create unique images that express both a sense of motion and flow, as well as sharp portrait elements to capture the character and spirit of the subject.
Quick Tip: Applying Actions With the Image Processor – this brief video tutorial is just over 3 minutes in length, sharing a great tip on using Adobe's Bridge for essential edits. The video goes over the creation of actions that can be applied to batch edit images, saving tons of time.
Making Photos That Look Like They Were Shot at Night – this is a well described and interesting technique that produces images that can strongly appear as if they were shot at night. Several key configuration elements work together to create the desired effect. The article describes these and shares some great sample pictures to illustrate key points.
5D Mark III vs 6D: Which is Better For You? – this persistent question of which camera is better is the main focus of this article with a 9 minute video review embedded in it. There are pros and cons behind the key to answering this question, and this post takes a deeper look at the overall issues.
Captivating Microscopic Time-Lapse Video Captures the Formation of Snowflakes – this is beyond amazing, sharing a bit of the wonder of nature through the lens of time lapse photography. This video presentation lasts a couple of minutes, leaving the viewer amazed at the way that nature works in creating a singular and simple form of unique art; that is, the snowflake.
Travel Writer II – nostalgia is a powerful element in the mind’s eye of the viewer, as evidenced by this wonderful image produced by Nick Walton. This terrific still life piece showcases textures and items that are truly sympathetic to the vision, delivering an authentic feeling picture sure to take the viewer away to take in a time now long past.
Pier into the Night – no matter what your take on the title of this image, the picture is absolutely terrific. In a great example of how a great picture can stand on it’s own merit, Len Saltiel captures and shares a shot of a pier at night that exhibits a captivating leading line and vanishing point, as well as great details in the distant city lights to add another element of interest.
Lessons from a life afloat… – Sherry Galey shares a terrific presentation in this post, featuring a collage of meaningful photographs showcasing a life afloat. The individual pictures are just wonderful, and when taken in as part of the bigger collection posted here, a feel of nautical living comes to life.
Impetus – a sense of dramatic motion and color converge in this great shot from José Ramos. As sunset paints the sky with vibrant colors José captures a shot that leads us into the frame by following the worn wood of a pier sitting under the raw drama of a dynamic sky.
I am a cemetery abhorred by the moon . . . – a very dramatic and eerie shot, processed using selective color techniques, takes advantage of the raw mood found in an old cemetery shrouded in a thick fog. This great image by dragonflydreams88 delivers on several key elements, producing an image that is as captivating as it is full of artistic tension.
Rural landscapes: barn face – this fabulous shot by Frank King brings an old and weathered barn to life by personifying it through the art of composition. Frank frames this shot with windows and doors, revealing a face of the barn as well as the wonderful textures you expect from an old rural structure that has enjoyed many years of active life.
Tracks – this terrific photograph shows how perspective can be everything in art. Anita Megyesi gets down low in this composition, placing emphasis on the natural leading line created by the straight tracks that lead out to a fabulous vanishing point.
Colisseum (Rome, Italy) – stunning textures and details are explored in this photograph of the iconic Colisseum in Rome. The panorama format used to create this shot accents the incredible natural drama found in a detailed look at this ancient structure. A terrific image by Domingo Leiva.
Exit, Stage Left – a great photo from Jay Taylor that shows a juvenile eagle at just the moment it has captured a bit of food and is in transition to take-off. The rich drama of the scene is accented here by Jay’s composition that features a shallow depth-of-focus and a gentle murky reflection of the bird in action.
Dubai Cryogenic – a thick, thick fog blankets the city of Dubai far below in this very dramatic piece by Daniel Cheong. As the sun rises on the horizon, the muted lights of the city below twinkle in the thick fog as the peaks of the famous skyscrapers peek out above the layer of cloud.
A Great Blue Heron With A Drum – Steve Creek delivers a terrific image featuring a grand Blue Heron as it has just captured itself a little something to eat in the form of a Freshwater Drum. Steve’s perfect timing in capturing this piece reveals a glimpse into the life of these majestic birds.
Twin Baby Elephants, East Africa – this absolutely heartwarming shot features a mother elephant and a pair of young twins. This wonderful image by Diana Robinson showcases the great spirit and character these youngsters have as they cavort and act playful during the golden hour.
Light Grids – shadows and light play amongst each other in this dramatic shot of an empty floor in the iconic Stone Mill in Lawrence. Great textures in the weathered buildings interiors work in perfect harmony with the other key elements in this shot to deliver a shot sure to enchant those who love brilliant natural light.
Look at me! – this is a great example of the power of a strong nature photograph and how it can connect our world with the wild world we live within. Marco Redaelli has perfect timing as a short eared owl flies past him and looks directly into the camera. The shallow depth-of-focus used here does a fabulous job of isolating the owl from it’s backdrop, adding another great layer of interest.
Santorini Dreaming – as an intense winter continues it’s relentless grip here in North America, a trip away to far-off and exotic places in most certainly in order. This wonderful photo by Len Saltiel whisks the viewer away on such an expedition, allowing us to take in the beauty and warmth of a place that is sure to captivate the hearts of everyone.
St. David's Episcopal Church, 100 Dupont Street – a terrific shot of a snow-covered church full of history and character. Bill T’s photograph finds the perfect weather and environment for the old church, creating an image sure to captivate those striving to connect with history by enjoying classic architectural details.
Some Temple Bar goodness – Jim Nix shares a pair of shots of an icon in the city of Dublin, The Temple Bar. Wonderful colors in the character-filled architectural details work together with the other elements in the picture to cast a scene that is as truly mesmerizing to look at as it is for Jim to photograph.
Fifth Avenue Building – the world famous Flatiron building in New York becomes the focus for this image, captured and shared by Edith Levy. This well known building is often captured, and in this rendition Edith processes the image in monochrome to create an authentic period-correct feel to this historic building.
Tattered Shack – for those who love weathered buildings that exhibit no straight lines at all, this post is most certainly for you. Jim Denham who is in process of moving finds himself out one early morning in front of a well worn shack, creating the perfect setting and opportunity for him to photograph and share something special.
Jordan River – a great black-and-white shot of an old shack in an outlying area of Vancouver Island. Local photographer Ehpem captures this dramatic image with great details and textures to enjoy for those who love the character that is found in old buildings.
Through Shadow Woods – shadows can be very powerful elements in great photography, creating drama and artistic tension in certain frames. In this wonderful post by Rachel Cohen, we join her as she explores a section of highway within Shenandoah National Park that features tall and magnificent trees, as well as the their highly dramatic shadows on the roadway that Rachel uses to create a perfect leading line.
Mesa Arch – streaming light, almost magical in origin, streams in frame left in this stunning black-and-white image from Bob Lussier. Arches National Park takes on an almost otherworldly feel as Bob captures this shot in the early morning, accenting layers that express depth with deep contrasts.
Park, Night, Fog – Mark Garbowski shares a deeply ethereal image in this post, taking us into a park at night in New York city. Mark uses the pathway to create a natural leading line, gently guiding the viewer into a black-and-white image processed specifically to highlight the overall mood.
What Does This Video Mean For The Future of Photojournalism? – the ever-changing world of photography reveals emerging trends, discussed here in this very interesting article. This definitely merits some insight and thought as the world continues to evolve in many ways, including how we take in the news and process it on an individual basis.
Emil Stankiewicz’s Talbotype Camera – further proof that sometimes what is old is new again. This article features a hand designed and made Talbotype camera that shoots a negative and then shoots the negative to create a positive. The results are terrific shots that create an authentic look for the time period of 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.