As another terrific week in the world of photography passes us by, Toad Hollow Photography has been focused on finding links to the best tutorials, features, photography and blogs to share with everyone here. This week's list features some really interesting posts and incredible photographs, and we hope you enjoy checking them out as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Mike Kelley Shows the Secrets to Shooting Architectural Images – leading architectural photographer Mike Kelley gives us a 10 minute behind-the-scenes look at the process and efforts that go into creating his absolutely stunning images. All the key facets of how an image comes together is showcased in this video, delivering a tutorial sure to teach everyone with interest in this field something about how the industry leaders do it.
10 Photography Lighting Tutorials From Beginners to Pros – this list of links takes you to a collection of tutorials that cover all aspects of lighting in photography. Articles featuring all levels of photographer from the beginner to the seasoned pro are showcased in this article, creating a list with something in it for everyone.
A Five Minute Guide to Cropping in Lightroom – this brief video tutorial takes the viewer through the basics of cropping in Lightroom. The various ways of using this built-in tool are shown, using an illustrative photograph to emphasize the key points shared.
Underwater Photographer Explores the Ocean, Takes Beautiful Photos of Assorted Marine Life – this collection of photographs features subjects that will leave the blood running cold for many people. Sharks and underwater predators are considered scary to many, yet Todd Bretl’s series of shots taken very close to these majestic underwater creatures is sure to captivate the minds and imaginations of everyone who visits.
Beautifully Constructed Time-Lapse Takes You on 100K-Photo Trip Around the World – great time lapse pieces have the inherent ability to express an extra dimension to imagery, creating a sense of depth when executed well. This incredible 2 minute video presentation by Matthew Vandeputte delivers on this premise, taking us around the world in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee.
Bublcam: A Softball-Sized Camera Ball that Takes Street View-Like 360° Photos – a revolutionary camera design creates a way for photographers to deliver fully interactive 360* picture presentations. This really interesting piece of new technology has already surpassed it’s kickstart goals in terms of raising financing, demonstrating the demand for a solution of this type.
Stickle Ghyll – LensScaper (Andy Hooker) delivers a striking landscape photograph in this piece, showcasing the inherent beauty in a gentle waterfall. The gorgeous details in the surroundings work in perfect harmony with the motion of the water that Andy went through great lengths to create by using a long exposure technique.
Hessian Lake at Night [Bear Mountain State Park] – Mark Garbowski captures and shares a photograph with deep contrast, hiding elements in the shadows at the same time delivering clear details in spots. The still waters in the lake in the foreground cast a gentle reflection of the landscape back to the viewer, adding a great element to this picture.
Nathan Philps Photography | Galleries – a local photographer here in Victoria, BC has his portfolio presented online. Vancouver Island is a terrific location for stunning photography subjects, and Nathan studies many of these with his personal perspective of life on the island. This is definitely an inspirational set, well worth the time to visit and explore.
Evening hunter – this shots finds us mesmerized by a short-eared owl who is in active flight moving across the frame of photographer John Gooday. The wonderful warm light from the fading day delicately highlights the features and details of this absolutely spellbinding bird. The composition John used to create this shot adds a further element, featuring terrific natural tension as the owl flies towards the edge of the frame.
Maligne Lake – the iconic and world-famous boathouse on Maligne Lake in the Canadian Rocky Mountains forms the main subject point for this shot posted by Brenda Widdess. The majestic Rockies form the perfect backdrop for the brightly colored boathouse, casting a truly quintessential Canadian scene sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Death From Above – once again, we all reap the benefits of perfect timing, in this case with a photograph captured by Steve Perry that features a coyote right in mid-pounce as it is about to land on its unsuspecting dinner. The absolutely incredible details in the creature as it hunts is a great example of the harsh realities of nature and how captivating it can be to see the action unfold.
fall finery . . . – bright autumn colors dance in the golden light of sunshine as a path leads the viewer into a scene that makes its way around a bend in the distance. This beautiful photograph captured by dragonflydreams88 displays the best of what autumn has to offer out here on the west coast of Canada.
Made in Boeing – for the fan of lines, shapes and tones, this picture is definitely for you. Patrik Gregor captures a low vantage point shot of the sky cabin in a Boeing 737-800 featuring a really stunning vanishing point as the viewer makes their way into the frame by following the leading lines.
Lostplace^^ – a lone couch sits in an empty and decaying room now long forgotten by the entire world. The ever-present hand of time is evident in the rich textures and details found in the natural decay process, creating a haunting and dramatic piece that conveys a lot of emotion and wonder for the viewer.
baby owls – a trio of cutey-pies looks over a field of grass back at the camera with a truly quizzical look on their faces. The pure innocence in their demeanor as well as the incredible facial expressions work together in wonderful harmony in this great shot by Enzo Davide.
Lambertville NJ, #6 – a great shot of a porch on the front of a heritage house finds us enjoying an authentic scene that could just as easily been captured 100 years ago as it is today. Bill T’s shot features the soft and vibrant colors that are so typical for houses of this genre, creating an instant classic sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
The Church Of The Good Shepherd – this image finds us exploring a lovely stone church in New Zealand. Richard Kam’s shot finds us on the taking in the rich details and textures of the church as the shores of the island peer out from behind it.
Fairyland – rich reflections and crisp details come together in this landscape piece from the studio of Stefan Hefele. Warm tones flood in from frame left highlighting the glorious and gorgeous details that make us this alpine setting.
On our way back – a snowy owl flies above the grasslands just a few mere inches above terra firma in this photograph by Mitchell Kranz. As it flies past the camera, it’s gaze turns towards the lens casting just the perfect amount of artistic tension to the scene.
Nizwa Fort No6. – this wonderful monochromatic piece by David A. Lockwood finds us looking through a frame created by a traditionally styled entryway into the heart of the fort behind. Terrific shadows and contrast play off the lines of the old structure, adding great drama to an almost iconic scene.
Morning light on lake Bled – this is definitely a spot on my personal bucket list. This little island in the middle of a lake in Slovenia is home to a wonderful old heritage church and some of the most captivating surroundings found anywhere on earth. A wonderful and beautiful photograph by Marie-José van Rijsbergen.
inside the spider – David Stoddart of ArtHakker HDR takes us inside a long abandoned facility in the UK where he explores dramatic shadows and rich textures. This haunting image delivers a gritty view of a building with so much character and history casting a mesmerizing scene to everyone to visit and enjoy.
Backstreet shot B&W at night – a black-and-white street scene captured by Barry Turner finds us alone on a street in the UK at night. The light reflecting off the wet cobblestones naturally draws the eye right into the frame to discover a natural leading line in the roadway that takes you out to a wonderful vanishing point.
A world where there are Octobers – lovely autumn vignettes fill our screens with this post from Diane Schuller who explores her garden late in the season as the flowers turn from joyous entities sprouting forth and exuding color to the remains of a season past with winter just around the corner. This is a profound piece, one that expresses the true heart of nature and how the cycles work with one another to create the magic we all live in.
Ghosts of the Past – Len Saltiel shares a haunting scene where we find ourselves inside a long forgotten asylum, looking at the skeleton of a wheelchair now abandoned to the ages. The surroundings are full of rich decay, producing striking textures and the perfect setting to capture and create this profound piece.
Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum – Mark Summerfield shares a set of photographs showcasing the nostalgic Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum. Period correct gas pumps lovingly maintained and restored form the foundation for this post, instantly whisking the viewer off to a time almost 100 years ago.
Castle Pabst – this is a wonderful architectural study of a classic castle in the US, captured from an elevated perspective to deliver a unique view. CJ Schmit’s shot does a terrific job of capturing the pure character of the facility, exposing great details that are sure to keep the avid enthusiast busy for quite some time taking it all in.
Back at Holyrood – the majestic ruins of an old abbey in Scotland comes to life in this stunning photograph by Jim Nix. Incredible details in the ancient stonework creates a fascinating view of this old site, literally allowing the viewer to immerse themselves in a world and time now long past.
Shadows of Stone – I just love the raw drama of shadows and how they affect a scene, as is evidenced in this awesome photograph by Bob Lussier. Using a doorway as a frame into the next room, Bob captures a scene here full of artistic tension. It finds even further interest in the incredible and highly dramatic shadows that play with the empty space photographed here.
The Railroad Cut | The Last Seat on 564 – the remains of old and forgotten railway cars are explored alongside with a stretch of the track they sit on. These great posts by Mike Criswell feature a wonderful and vivid sun casting it’s tones and light over the remains of the cars, creating a fabulous dichotomy of light and dark to explore in the rich textures captured.
Dungeon – this shot really showcases how composition and lighting can come together and transform a scene into something entirely else. Steven Perlmutter takes us into the old stone mills once again where he finds a terrific old wood door in the side of the building that really does resemble, well, a dungeon door.
Autumn Melange – the full and rich palette of autumn’s natural colors are explored in this wonderful post from Rachel Cohen. Almost every color in nature’s repertoire is captured in this photograph, showcasing both the natural beauty as well as the most incredible natural formations that create a strong visual factor to captivate the imagination of everyone.
Zuma Beach – with winter surrounding us here in the northern part of the world, there’s nothing better than to escape to a warm beach as a form of reprieve. Edith Levy takes us along on a shot that features a meandering beach with birds and people enjoying the fine weather and taking in the finest that nature has to offer.
The Grey Man Cannot Resist Triangular Buildings – in what has to be one of my personal favorite running series, Mark Garbowski delivers another edition of his Grey Man posts. Mark’s masterful use of black-and-white in this series adds the perfect nostalgic element to the scenes he captures, giving a sense of a simpler time from long ago and creating strong natural tension in the way we never get to see the Grey Man’s face as he goes about his adventures.
My supercell footage in Thor 2: The Dark World – Mike Olbinski talks about a photograph he created that was used in a feature-length motion picture. This inspiring post leaves the reader completely excited for Mike with his success, and makes for a must-read piece sure to inspire everyone in the field.
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.