The internet has been a busy place this week in the world of photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching all corners looking for the best links to share here. This week's list features some really interesting tutorials, reviews, special features, great photography and interesting blogs for the avid photography enthusiast. We hope you enjoy checking out these articles and photos as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Tips For Packing Gear And Shooting In Winter Conditions – Mike Wilkinson shares a 3 minute video and a well-written article that discusses some practices and procedures for shooting in frigid winter conditions. These insights are sure to help everyone stay safe and will help you come home with a great shoot in the bag.
Exposing for Infrared Digital – Joe Farace talks about exposure techniques for Infrared photography in his post. The effects that IR introduces into imagery by capturing a different light spectrum can produce magical pictures, as exemplified in the shot that Joe includes in his post to highlight his key points.
Review of the Studiohut macro bellows for Nikon mount cameras – Scott Wood writes a well-detailed review of these macro bellows for use in macro photography. Scott’s article discusses in good depth the typical issues and questions that arise in using a device like this, as well as sharing a set of sample photographs to illustrate.
Rooftoppers Climb Up the World’s Second Tallest Building, Snap Breathtaking Photos – this must-see post is certainly not for the faint of heart or for those with a real fear of heights. Two daredevils proficients in the ways of photography spend two hours climbing to the very top of the world’s second tallest building, and come away with some breathtaking video footage and a stunning set of photographs.
Welcome to the Microworld! – photographer John Mead takes us along as he explores an entirely new dimension in his practice, that is of the microworld that lives around us constantly, just out of natural sight. John uses a new product from the people at EXOLABS based out of Seattle to bring this mysterious world to light in a way sure to be the source of education and entertainment for everyone.
Cowichan Bay Sunrise – for the fan of gorgeous sunrises, this post is sure to please. Local photographer Joseph de Lange takes advantage of the wonderful colors and tones of the early morning sky to capture a pair of incredible images that feature the nautical setting of Cowichan Bay at this perfect time of day.
Cragside – a monochromatic peek through a dense forest, acting as a frame to accent the dramatic architecture of what appears to be a heritage facility in the distance. Dave Wares does a terrific job in composing this shot, using a small stream as a natural leading line to gently guide the viewer right into the very heart of the frame.
Rural landscapes: wagons west! – this terrific capture by Frank King showcases a wonderful old wooden wagon in a field, sitting under the watchful gaze of the incredible mountain range that sits in the backdrop. Great character in the old wagon adds a perfect element to a gorgeous landscape, making for a picture sure to delight everyone who loves authentic scenes featuring heritage aspects.
Reflection @ Convict Lake – the power of a strong reflection is explored in this stunning photograph by Yue Xu. As the sun rises above the peaks of the mountains that surround this composition, Yue finds the stillness of the waters in the foreground creating a stunning reflection of the rugged landscape.
Everything changes – Melinda Green Harvey shares a fabulous monochromatic image taken using a long exposure featuring a character church underneath a brooding and dynamic sky. The deep contrasts explored in this frame accent the rich natural drama of the scene and the intrinsic interest in the architecture of the building.
Wrath of Poseidon – this shot features the raw fury and power of nature as giant wave after giant wave pummels a lighthouse standing sentry against the relentless onslaught. Peter’s great shot features fabulous details in the lighthouse and the walkway that leads to it, also serving as a perfect natural leading line.
Queen of Oak Bay . . . Entrance Island Lighthouse . . . – this wonderful photo taken on the shores of BC captures the pure essence of life on the coast. As we look out over the waters in this shot, dragonflydreams88 composes the frame with a dramatic view of a BC Ferry and the captivating Entrance Island lighthouse in the backdrop to add dimension.
Cameron Trestle – this wonderful shot by Randy Hall features a wooden train trestle nestled in the thick woods of the BC landscape that surrounds it. Randy’s great picture explores the juxtaposition of man and our engineering skills alongside the raw and natural beauty of the BC forest that it calls home to.
Convergence – this photograph is captured from a very high perspective, showcasing the epic beauty of the city of Dubai far below as twilight sets in and the busy city moves from day to night. Elia Locardi’s image features terrific light trails as fast moving traffic makes it way around this amazing spectacle.
Portsmouth Spinnaker – a great photograph by Barry Turner that showcases the architecture of this city at night with a focus on one of the features of the city. The spinnaker resembles a sail in this context, and when taken in with the surroundings it reveals a scene full of rich color and detail.
Winter Bloom – as many of us find ourselves in the firm grip of a blustery winter on this side of the planet, shots that feature gorgeous colors found in nature’s flowers are both timely and a source of escape from the frosty environs. This wonderful image by Erin Duke delivers on powerful colors as well as terrific details found in the petals.
Affection – the wonder of animals is explored in this shot by Ilia Shalamaev that features a tiny pair of owls in an apparent act of caring for each other. Wonderful character in the tiny birds comes to life in this terrific photograph, drawing the viewer in with both your imagination as well as your heart.
Mile High Blue Hour – Len Saltiel delivers a great shot here, featuring the architectural details of the city of Denver during the blue hour. Wonderful colors in the buildings work in harmony with the deep blue of the fading light of day, casting a terrific image for Len to masterfully capture.
Shwedagon pagoda with the full moon – a beautifully lit pagoda under the night’s sky casts a striking subject against the contrast of the darkness around it. Regis Vincent’s shot also features a very striking full moon that adds wonderful drama and tension to this very artistic rendition of an architectural study.
Dining in Amboise – Jim Nix captures and shares a wonderfully vibrant shot of a cafe on a cobblestone street in France that just screams of European character and spirit. The blue light from the day’s fading light works together wonderfully with the warm glow of the lights from the little cafe to deliver a very special image.
The Bridge to Nowhere – Mike Criswell captures a very dramatic shot featuring an architectural study of the underside of an iconic bridge. Mike’s terrific processing really brings out the great details as well as accents the lines created by the massive span. The post is topped off with a great anecdotal story behind the famous bridge, adding a great element.
Horsetail Fall – Yosemite National Park – an incredible natural phenomenon is captured in this stunning photograph by Darvin Atkeson. At a certain and specific time of year, this famous waterfall captures reflected light in such a way that it appears that fire is raining down upon the valley below. Amazing and delightful, this is a true must-see shot.
Ice in the Bay – Joseph de Lange features not often scenes captured in the wonderful little town of Cowichan Bay during a highly unusual cold spell. The frozen ocean waters that filled the marina with intrigue and interest are wonderfully captured in this series of images, sharing a rare view of the effects of a weather event.
A River Runs Through It – Rick Louie shares a fabulous landscape piece captured in the early morning as the sun rises. This world-famous natural feature shows the power and effect of nature over the course of many years, and the resulting breathtaking beauty.
Cabin in The Shade – this authentic rustic scene, captured here by Mark Neal, showcases a wonderful little wood cabin under cover of autumn’s vibrant foliage. This shot is so captivating, it almost begs you to be drawn into the scene personally making for a great viewing experience.
Whiskey! – lines, shapes, textures, details and whiskey. What more could you possibly ask for? This great shot posted on Mark Garbowski’s blog features row after row of wooden cask just full of the delicious amber liquid within.
City of Steel – a walkway leads the viewer right into this frame where the joy of discovery just begins. Tristan O'Tierney works within the blue color spectrum in this shot to deliver a dramatic cityscape sure to capture the minds and imaginations of everyone. This terrific rendition of the San Francisco skyline is as unique as it is compelling.
The Funniest Client Request I Will Have All Year. I Hope. – the ever changing landscape of professional photography reveals the strangest things at times. Mouse reaction time skills definitely fall into this category, but that’s not all. Check out the other requests!!
Crazy fast deadlines and workflow – read all about what it takes to be on the Olympic sidelines capturing and submitting photos quicker than ever before in this day and age of electronics. Jeff Cable takes us behind the scenes for a look at the gear he uses as well as a condensed workflow he’s created to meet these insane deadlines.
NPPA Attorney Explains Photographers’ Rights and How to Deal with the Police – this interesting story features an attorney who shares some insight in the rights of photographers in public. Many of us, myself included, have had encounters with officials who disapprove of our activities, and this presentation sheds some much needed light on the topic.
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.