Another week in the wide world of photography has passed us by, and once again Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching for the links to the very best photography resources to share here with everyone. This week's list focuses primarily on great photography featuring links to all sorts and styles of images created by some of the most talented artists out there. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Lenses for Glamour Photography – Joe Farace shares some tips and details here on how best to create glamour photography. Joe discusses lighting, both natural and artificial, as well as lens choice for this genre, and his post includes a striking sample photograph to showcase the results he gets with his work.
Topaz Adjust Review – we take a close look at one of Topaz Labs most popular plug-ins by reviewing Topaz Adjust. We include three sample images created with the plug-in as well as some detailed screenshots of our desktop to show the settings and workflow used to write the article.
Mormon Row Magic | The Stream – two different renditions of similar scenes finds us enjoying a pair of shots of the iconic Moulton Barn in Wyoming, shared here by Jeff Clow. The rustic character of this world-famous spot really comes to life in these shots by Jeff who finds the barn in perfect morning light with the commanding Grand Teton mountain range in the backdrop.
Macro at home – our very own @astaroth here on Light Stalking posts a new blog article that features a comprehensive series of macro shots, all taken of objects in his home. It’s really amazing to see how everyday objects take on an entirely different look close-up, revealing intricate details normally lost to people. If you like textures and details, this is a real must-see post in this week’s list.
Kevinsfort House – magnumlady takes us on an exploration of a wonderful old heritage house in Sligo, Ireland. As she discusses the rich heritage that makes this great manor so interesting, she shares a fabulous series of photographs captured on her tour.
Slow but Adventurous – at first glance you’re greeted by a colorful and vibrant shot of a Echinacea (purple coneflowers), but further observation reveals a wonderful secret. Perched on the leaf of the flower is a tiny snail. Taking the time to read the post that accompanies this shot by Laurie MacBride unearths a story of the snail’s journey which adds great dimension to the photograph.
Schwabacher Sunrise – as the Grand Teton mountain range finds itself lit in warm, golden tones in the distance, the foreground of this great shot features the terrific forests that surround the mountains. This photograph by Rick Louie also is highlighted by the great reflection of the scene that is presented by the still waters in the foreground.
McCormick Farmall Tractor – if you love tractors half as much as I do, this is a must-see post in this week’s list. Jimi Jones finds a classic tractor in a field and presents two version for our pleasure, a color version and a black-and-white. Both are great renditions of the scene, showcasing the rich textures and details found in these old implements.
A River Runs Through It – an architectural study of a tale of two bridges, captured at night and shared here by Joe Ercoli. The light trails created by the fast moving cars in this shot really brings wonderful color to the scene, which reveals a ton of great little details for those who spend time taking it all in here.
Moonlighted Bled – one of my favorite photography subjects is Lake Bled and the old architecture and character found there. This fabulous shot by Csilla Zelko features the island underneath a full moon, doing a perfect job of revealing all the wonder of the area in a single frame.
Nantucket Lighthouse – Evan Gearing shares an iconic image of this romantic lighthouse undercover of a dramatic sky. Evan’s great composition features the key elements in the scene, creating a strong natural leading line to guide the viewer into the picture coupled with rich contrasts that produce strong depth and dimension.
Downdraft – Brian Moran creates a long exposure piece featuring a amusement park ride running at full tilt. The juxtaposition of the fast moving light trails from the ride itself works perfectly in harmony with the clear surroundings to give the picture context. The finishing touch is the little girl looking upon the ride in wide-eyed wonder.
The Grey Man Goes To Eleven – a continuation of the running series that features the Grey Man in various spots around the city doing various things finds us enjoying a new black-and-white shot from Mark Garbowski. Mark subtly uses a famous quote from the movie Spinal Tap to add a little bit of mystery to the shot, bringing the viewer right into the heart of it.
Blind At Eagle Point Lake – a very dramatic shot from the studio of Jim Denham that shares a view of a wooden walkway that leads to a blind on the side of a lake. Jim’s use of black-and-white in this shot adds a ton of drama to the picture, which also finds further interest in how the wooden walkway creates a perfect natural leading line.
A Classic Pose – a beautiful horse casts a perfect pose for Tim Stanley to capture an image of. The composition and the way the horse is looking back at the camera work together perfectly to deliver a truly special piece in this shot.
Anniversary Sunset – amazing details and colors all pop out of the monitor for the visitor of this post by Mike Criswell. Mike and his bride visit the spot they were married in at Lakehouse Inn B&B and Winery and come away with a shot looking out over the water after a storm has passed through, creating some fabulous natural drama that he perfectly captures.
Penguin Photos – Ron Niebrugge shares a terrific portrait of one of our southern friends, showing off the great character and spirit that they possess. Wonderful details in the bird are gently painted by the warm tones of the day’s light, making for a shot sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Geological Features of Death Valley National Park – Renée M. Besta continues her running series of posts featuring her work captured at this world famous location. The incredible desolation found there is home to all sorts of walks of life and some of the most beautiful and incredible natural formations you’ve ever seen. Renée does a great job of capturing a bit of this essence in her terrific photos and accents them with the information in her captivating post.
“Doorways” to the Seats of Power – this post features a wonderful architectural study of the State Capitol Building, sharing a series of photographs that really showcase the details that make this place such a striking spot. Howard Jackman’s post shares a large series and ends it all with a set of photographs of an old and weathered red door.
Arriving with style… – some of the most captivating shots I’ve seen lately are those of the wonderful Burrowing Owl as it goes about it’s daily life. This shot by Austin Thomas features one such little fellow who is inbound on a landing. The timing and composition of this shot work hand-in-hand to create something truly special.
Louise – the epic natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies comes to life in this shot that features Lake Louise under the watchful gaze of the incredible mountains that overshadow it. Carlo Murenu includes some red boats in his composition, adding a much needed dash of color and interest to a scene that is just so beautiful words come hard to describe it.
golden glory – golden, warm tones and luscious details converge in this great photo by Brenda Widdess. The intricate details that make this flower so very beautiful adorn the screen, pulling the viewer into the frame to find and take in all the lovely pieces that make it so compelling.
School house – this shot is processed using a painterly effect, creating a piece that shares all the nostalgia and fascination inherently found in old weathered buildings in the middle of nature. Diane Frey’s great picture here focuses on the interest found in the wood siding and the red roof, delivering a piece full of character and an olden-time feel.
Let’s assume there is a vacancy – once again wit and imagery converge in this post by Melinda Green Harvey that takes on a lonely feel with the artistic tension created by a sign for a motel sitting on a completely empty lot. The iconic nature of the sign she’s captured here takes on a great dimension in the way the picture is processed in black-and-white to accent the rich drama.
Whirl Wind – an incredible sense of speed and motion is captured and shared in this photograph by CJ Schmit. As a ride at a festival spins around with it’s riders hanging on for dear life, CJ shoots the scene freezing all the wonderful details of the still parts of the scene while completely blurring the people on the ride in delicate trails of light. The way the lights create trails from the top of the ride adds a proverbial cherry to the cake here.
Silent Mulberry – color, rust and texture all merge in this shot taken during the blue hour by Barry Turner here. The beautiful natural blues work with the earth tones of the metal on the shore to deliver a captivating piece that shows the juxtaposition of nature against the remnants of mankind’s disposable world.
Like a fairy tale – this shot is as amazing as it is hard to describe what we’re looking at. A man made stone arch sits in the middle of a body of water, creating a terrific natural frame for elements found deeper in the frame. Tom W’s shot indeed takes on a distinctive fairy tale feel to it, accented perfectly by the captivating reflection from the waters that mirror the scene back to the viewer.
Fishing Dreams Bald Eagle – this picture features details so crisp and clear you’d literally swear the Bald Eagle worked to pose for this shot to show off its grandeur and beauty. As snow gently falls all around, this eagle is taking off after having glanced over the water to catch what I would imagine to be a meal. Great drama and artistic tension is captured in this piece by Christopher Dodds sure to take everyone's breath away.
Tiptoes – epic drama is expressed in this black-and-white piece posted here by Mike Olbinski. Mike is famous for his work in the realm of lightning and storm photography, and this incredible photograph featuring multiple strikes created by stacking several exposures is a great example of why.
USPS – Bob Lussier creates a compelling shot of a long abandoned post office in a forgotten town. This small building sitting in the middle of basically nothing creates a striking subject full of character and texture, showcasing the inherent wonder in this style of photography and the feelings captured.
Sea of Grape Hyacinth – fans of the color of purple have no further to look than at this great post here by Rachel Cohen. Perfectly formed purple flowers bathe the monitor in vibrant and perfect color, creating an instant sense of oneness with the world we live in and peace.
The Roar of Nature – you can literally feel the spray from the powerful falls that cascade off the side of a sheer rock cliff face in Yosemite Park. Breathtaking details in the majestic mountains come to life in this wonderful photograph from the studio of Len Saltiel.
The Red Chair – David Williams captures and posts a shot here full of natural artistic tension. A thick foggy day creates the perfect ambience for this shot which features a lone red chair sitting in the shallow waters of a lake with a fishing pole beside it. The picture takes on a high-key feel to it with the low contrasts in the capture, creating a very special picture to view and enjoy.
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.