It's been another wonderful week in the wide world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been looking in all corners of the internet to find links to the best tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list features some terrific pieces and articles, and we really hope you enjoy reading and seeing them as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Indigo Bunting by John Flannery, on Flickr
Food for digital Thought: 10 and 2 Light – Joe Baraban discusses the importance of understanding and taking advantage of a lighting premise referred to as “The law of the light”. This basic concept states that when the Angle of Incidence and the Angle of Reflection converge, light takes on a magical quality that is ideal. Joe includes a selection of 11 incredible photographs that illustrate the concept.
Joe McNally Shares Some Incredibly Useful Lighting & Basic Photography Tips – this short video presentation is hosted by one of the industry’s leaders, Joe McNally. Joe shares some artificial and natural lighting tips and tricks in this tutorial that can really help those looking to step up their quality of portrait pieces.
7 Daily Exercises that Will Help Make You a Better Photographer – a simple yet highly effective list of habits to help expand your horizons in the world of photography. These points are easy to follow and understand and will definitely keep you focused on constant and steady improvements in the way and method you capture images.
Easy Milky Way Photography for Everybody – this great but short tutorial gives the reader some very useful tips and tricks on how to capture stunning night photos of the Milky Way. Keith “Captain Photo” Cuddeback shares these important tips alongside a breathtaking shot he captured using these very techniques.
Milky way from Big Bend by Vincent Lock, on Flickr
MALTESTE – In Search of the Sublime – this collection of photographs is presented by a truly gifted fine art photographer known as MALTESTE. A range of subjects is covered by the sampling of his work in this post including epic and breathtaking landscapes, as well as introspective looks into the character of certain animals he has encountered during his adventures.
Series Captures Ethereal Mysticism of Chinese Lunar New Year Festival – armed with nothing more than a Holga film camera and a mission in mind, Zhang Xiao captures the pure essence of this annual event honoring ancient Gods and associated traditions. This is a rare glimpse into the activities of the lunar New Year festival in China’s Shanxi province.
Woodsmoor – the power of the image is well known to the avid fan of photography, but the ability to understand the how and why a certain image was created, and the artists underlying feelings behind it all, adds an important dimension. An absolutely wonderful example of this concept is shared in this terrific post by Light Stalking’s very own Tom Dinning.
Frisco Pier Is Falling Down – Jim Denham captures a seemingly haunting shot of a the last vestiges of a wooden pier that has only a short time left before the ravages of Mother Nature take over completely. The remains of the pier make for a great leading line, and the bits that are descending slowly into the surrounding ocean are full of natural artistic tension.
Navy Pier Clouds by Chris Pelliccione, on Flickr
In the field – storm chaser and master photographer Mike Olbinski shares a recent adventure into the heart of a fierce lightning storm. As Mike stages his equipment to capture this iconic shot, the crackling intensity of the epic lightning hits the ground all around him. Brave and brilliant, this shot showcases why he is one of the very best in this genre of imagery.
Rose in Peach – a singular rose lies prone, exuding beauty and elegance perfectly captured in this great composition by Rachel Cohen. The beautiful peach hues of the petals are great examples of the inherent beauty only found in nature.
The Haunting Long Exposure Photography of Darren Moore – long exposure techniques can create some of the most ethereal and haunting images ever created. Darren Moore perfects this technique and shares some very dramatic black-and-white long exposure pieces that really stand out.
The Ghost Rider – the ghostly remains of a shipwreck on the shores of the ocean in Greece are eloquently captured in this epic photograph by Helena Mim. A fog enshrouds the carcass of the metal boat, adding to the overall ethereal feel and mood of this terrific piece.
Tiger Beetle by Johan J.Ingles-Le Nobel, on Flickr
Potash Road – this stunning shot by Len Saltiel finds us on the side of Potash Road looking down the ribbon of highway at a very low perspective. The composition that Len used to create this image accents the scale of the natural rock formations, and finds further interest in the vanishing point created by the highway that leads off into the distance seemingly forever.
No One is Home – this epic shot features an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, USA. The dramatic remains of the house sit under the watchful eye of the Milky Way far above, and Rick Parchen brings in an old wooden door into the composition for added artistic tension.
soft light in st mary's church, brome, suffolk – soft light streams into St. Mary’s chapel in this highly dramatic image from the studio of David Stoddart. Wonderful architectural details and hand-crafted wood features come together in this shot, creating a truly mesmerizing piece for those who love this genre of imagery.
Miller Cabin | Grand Teton National Park – a wonderful old cabin full of character is the prime subject in this great shot by Rick Louie. The cabin has terrific historical and heritage value, and Rick’s photo does a fabulous job of capturing these elements visually to share with everyone.
Live. Laugh. Love by Stephanie Overton, on Flickr
Yosemite: Bridge Across the Merced River – Larry Marshall Photography creates a breathtaking piece in this shot, featuring a stone bridge surrounded by incredibly beautiful forests with a small river running through. Larry’s terrific composition brings in a myriad of elements, including colorful autumn leaves and a gorgeous natural landscape.
Natures colours abound – gorgeous colors of the natural rolling landscape greets the viewer in this wonderful piece captured and posted by Barry Turner. The rolling hills create natural meandering lines that gently guide the viewer into the picture where you become immersed.
Morning at the Barn – a character filled red wood barn sits in the rolling landscape that surrounds it as the morning light fills the scene in detail and wonder. Paul Jolicoeur does a terrific job in capturing the inherent rustic feel of the rural scene, creating a very special image that is sure to speak to everyone.
Winter Ice, North Shore, Minnesota – the stark winter’s ice casts a scene that almost looks monochromatic in nature in this wonderful image by Mark Paulson. A finger of ice leads out into the expanse of the water in the distance, with a pair of evergreen trees standing sentry as best as they can against the forces of a cold winter.
Untitled by Thomas Leuthard, on Flickr
The stilts houses – weathered wooden piers naturally lead the viewer into the heart of this frame where we discover some great homes sitting on stilts in a shallow body of water. Gianluca Mantovani used a long exposure technique in the making of this image to give the picture a bit of an ethereal feel in the silky waters that surround the detailed homes.
2014 Cherry Blossom Festival – the annual spring blooming of cherry trees makes for the perfect photography subject for Jimi Jones to take in as he visits the festival. Gorgeous colors from the trees accent the shots that Jimi has taken showcasing the well attended event.
Ke'e Beach – a highly dramatic Hawaiian sunset creates the perfect opportunity for Mark Gvazdinskas to capture a seascape shot that is a bit abstract in nature. As the eye naturally follows the shoreline into the frame, we discover a terrific sense of depth in the rolling hillsides that follow the water’s edge.
Sunset in Bayeux – Jim Nix takes us along on his trip to Bayeux, France where we get to enjoy the sights of the community. The rich character of the area and the town visited really comes to life in the short set of photographs shared in this post, highlighting the heritage and spirit of Normandy.
Sarajevo sunset by Michał Huniewicz, on Flickr
Spring Time – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) takes us on a spring adventure of discovery where he finds scenes and blooming flowers heralding in a new spring season. Color and light replaces grey and drab skies with hues of hope and vibrancy.
Historic Cuthbert House Inn – this wonderful architectural study by Mike Criswell showcases a stunning old heritage home turned into a B&B. Built in 1790, this character home was built by the Cuthbert family and today it remains in service as an example of an historically significant building meticulously maintained.
Lower Manhattan – a terrific shot of the cityscape of Manhattan through the lens of Bhargab Chakraborty. The use of long exposure techniques in this image create silky smooth waters that do a terrific job of highlighting the wonderful details in the architecture of this incredible city.
Parker Thunderstorm – the raw power and drama of a large and fast moving storm system is captured and shared here on the blog of Scott Wood. The brooding clouds lingering over the natural landscape formations creates a strong image that captures the mind and imagination of everyone who appreciates the wonder of a storm like this one.
Lying male Persian leopard by Tambako The Jaguar, on Flickr
Leopard Story – a beautiful and wild cat makes its way across a branch as Baroness Danuté captures a shot of it. The incredible personality and spirit of the animal are captured in an image sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Leaps and Lullabies – an absolutely wonderful photograph and post from the studio of Laurie MacBride features one of my favorite subjects in the world of photography; the delightful amphibian. Laurie’s shot features terrific predominantly green tones, as expected in a shot featuring a frog, as well as the great character of her hopping friend.
New York Rooftops Hold Hidden Surprises – in a terrific example of how perspective is truly everything, pilot and photographer Alex MacLean takes us high into the sky to observe some of the fascinating rooftop features found atop the skyscrapers of New York.
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.