As the weather continues to be wonderful late into September up here on the west coast of Canada, the Toad finds himself at his desk searching high and low for the best links to tutorials, reviews, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. Not even the beautiful weather can distract the Toad from his love of photography. Join Toad Hollow Photography as they share this comprehensive list of links to some of the very best photography related sites found this week.
Prepare to walk the plank as the Toad takes us along to explore a nautically themed character-home in his city.
This great little place was once the source of joy for locals and tourists alike, but it sits empty now for nearly 10 years and decay has seriously set in. With the owner and the community struggling to find a way to preserve this piece of history, time is running out. Check out “Landlubbers And Scallywags Beware” to see all the photos and to read the story behind The Swallowed Anchor.
How To Take Charge Of Depth of Field In Your Photography – quite simply one of the best articles I’ve ever read that takes the reader through the technicalities behind controlling depth of focus. This powerful tool in the photographer's arsenal is the result of a complex set of relationships that envelope focal length, distance to subject and aperture size, and Anne McKinnell delivers a very easy to digest article that removes the mystery behind it all.
3 HDR Tone Mapping Pet Peeves! – Blake Rudis tackles 3 post-processing issues in the world of HDR photography in this video tutorial he has produced. Blake`s video segments are always well worth the time to view as he sheds light on fairly advanced topics.
Change of pace – Dave DiCello discusses a new way of processing HDR photographs that is producing rather startling results. Dave shows example images from the same set of brackets using two different methods, delivering images that are truly a notch above.
Newborn and Baby Photography Tips | Capture Amazing Photos – this is a well thought out set of tips for photographing babies. Each tip is explained in detail, giving the reader a broader understanding of what really works, and why.
Best 7 lenses for iPhone, part one: Schneider iPro – Alex Koloskov does a great job in reviewing and sharing his findings on this set of iPhone lenses. Great demonstration shots are posted in the article, allowing the reader to instantly visualize the crux of the discussion being presented.
Patriots Point, Sullivan Island, South Carolina – Syd Weedon takes us along as he explores the various decks and features at the naval museum at Patriots Point. With an intrinsic focus on naval aviation, this museum presents some very interesting displays with planes and ships. The only thing better than viewing this extensive collection of images of the museum would be visiting it in person.
Fall at the Thomas Moulton Barn – a beautiful pastoral scene is cast in this gorgeous image from Rick at Hansrico Photography. The warm tones from the autumn light produce a fabulous feel that Rick does a great job of capturing and sharing here.
The Grey Man Appreciates Color [and Symmetry]– Mark Garbowski’s great series continues with this post featuring the now famous Grey Man. The colors in this image bring an added element of interest to the scene, and yet the Grey Man remains true to his calling.
Into The Mist Beyond – a dreamy and ethereal image is shared by Curt Fleenor. As Curt explores an area he comes across a scene with a bridge that is gently draped in fog. The rich vanishing point that Curt’s composition uses works with the fog to create a truly top drawer picture.
Worlds apart – our very own @tomdinning creates a scene that tells a story of the individual within a bigger group. Tom’s ability to create a complete story by sharing such poignant photography and accenting it with really thoughtful words make his posts a destination for the photography enthusiast.
butter church . . . – this is my personal favorite photography subject in the whole world, as captured here by dragonflydreams88. Located just a few miles away from our home, this old stone church is a landmark in the Cowichan Valley. Some believe it’s besieged by spirits. Now it stands as a marker and testament to the local peoples and the valley itself, casting a haunting shape atop the hill.
For sake of comparison, here is the gallery of images we have captured of this beautiful and alluring church: “Old Stone Butter Church”.
0912310323 – a beautiful natural mist makes a bridge disappear into the distance in this great shot by edward johnstone. Edward shares a view of this Sydney architectural wonder that really delivers more to the viewer as you spend time taking in the details.
Weekend Relaxer #37 – Chris Nitz shares another of his trademark posts here with a new beer label and review. The photography that Chris brings to these posts is completely unique and special, and offers the viewer a really different experience that is sure to be enjoyed.
Along the Line – a painted line leads the viewer directly through this frame as shot and shared here by Bob Lussier. The Stone Mill reveals another of it’s wonderful secrets in this shot from Bob that really brings the beauty in the natural weathering found at this site to life.
Seeing Double II – a mesmerizing reflection is cast in the still waters of a lake in Yosemite Park in this picture posted by Jason Hines. The gorgeous natural landscape is perfectly captured here, making for a picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
SzalajkaA-78 – incredible textures and details in the natural decay of an abandoned rail car are explored in this photograph from Anita Megyesi. This wonderful photo is something that is sure to leave the viewer with unanswered questions that are posed by the rail car as time continues to ravage it.
A place to sit and reflect – a lovely scene is presented here by Barry Turner, of a scene with an inviting bench in a graveyard setting. The lovely trees and landscape that surrounds the subject immediately takes the viewer to a peaceful setting.
Sint Willbrord – Utrecht – the incredible beauty that can only be found inside an old church is explored and captured in this image by Bob Israel. The fine details that comprise the internals of the church reveal great interest here.
Left in Chaos – CJ Schmit takes us deep inside an old, abandoned factory somewhere in the US. There is, indeed, beauty to be found in the chaos that CJ carefully documents and shares here.
how does one become a butterfly . . . – a wonderful little butterfly perches atop some brilliant red flowers and dragonflydreams88 captures a great shot and shares it here. I believe this is a Monarch Butterfly as it casts the most wondrous and vibrant colors guaranteed to lift the spirits of all who visit and view.
Milky Way – the juxtaposition of the human condition versus the incredible expanse of the beauty of nature is captured and explored in this great shot from sarawut Intarob. A tent in a field is perfectly lit, which in turn gently casts some great light on the tree near it… all brought together in one neat little package with the inclusion of the bright and fascinating cosmos above.
The big show – this picture is just full of vibrant colors and fascinating details to explore. Coolbiere. A. captures and shares a stunning image here, complete with a laser light show adding further and color to an already vivacious scene.
The Barn – Heather Neil creates a top drawer image here of a barn and it’s accompanying silo in a field. The wonderful natural light that bathes the scene creates some truly compelling shadows in the architecture of the barn.
Residence (DK) – a highly emotional story in shared in this just incredible series of photographs from B5160-R. A home now sits uninhabited and the author finds his way inside to explore the remainders of the previous owner, painting a picture for the viewer that is truly unforgettable.
short story long – great skies can add so much depth to a landscape photo, as exemplified in this pair of images by oneowner. Both images posted play host to a character-rich white barn, but the surrounding landscapes find added drama with the brooding skies that cover them.
Back Bay – subtle reflections in the water are exposed in this picture from the studio of Bob Lussier who shares a view of the Boston city skyline. Bob’s use of long exposure here creates a silky smooth water effect and the wonderfully fascinating architecture of the city in the background creates interest sure to captivate the mind of all who view it.
Dusted – a busy bee working a flower is captured and presented in this great shot by Aaron Barlow. The rich details in the bee, who is absolutely covered in pollen, create a scene that is full of fascinating elements to take in and enjoy.
Sparkplug – lighthouses tend to embody the expression “romance” and this shot from Steven Perlmutter does a great job in bringing this concept to life. First lit over 100 years ago, this particular subject stands tall and proud as Steven finds a composition that really brings his interpretation to life.
Cobbled Streets of Luxembourg City – a monochromatic study of the old cobbled streets of this iconic city is performed in this post from Mark Summerfield. Mark does a great job in capturing and processing these images that are highly sympathetic to the nature of the city itself.
Seating – this shot beckons the viewer to sit a spell. LensScaper (Andy Hooker) plans and executes a specific composition to create this image, producing a very compelling black-and-white image of a pair of benches on a walkway.
Santorini Windmill – the wonderful architecture that forms and surrounds this windmill is perfectly accented by the rich tones in the sky. Haris Vithoulkas takes us away to an amazing place in Greece with this breathtaking image.
Two towers – the London bridge at night, in epic clarity, is presented in this fabulous photograph by Giuseppe Torre. This is one of those pictures that is sure to amaze everyone who gets a chance to see it.
…budapest XVIII… – I think this picture defines tension, drama and mystery. The tones brought out in post-processing this HDR photograph add further effect to the mood being created here by roblfc 1892. A man stands on an old bridge looking away from camera, casting a scene that leaves the viewer wanting more.
This Eldorado is All Business – a very serious stare awaits the viewer in this awesome detailed photograph of the front-end of a classic 1958 Cadillac Eldorado. Tim Stanley brings us along as he lands at a local car and airplane show with camera in hand by showcasing a perspective of this car that is full of great character.
Breckenridge Gold– the rich golds of autumn are starting to reveal themselves in the Colorado area, and Rick at Hansrico Photography captures a stunning landscape vista that showcases this phenomenon. The rolling mountains and a winding ribbon of highway add a further layer of interest.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – this running series by Heather Neil always delivers exactly what it promises, and that is a beautiful and peaceful scene. A lovely little creek runs over an amazing little waterfall and gently pools before cascading away past the viewer in this wonderful photograph.
Wild In The Cove – this is simply amazing. A seemingly never ending range of beautiful wildflowers go on forever, making a great vanishing point for the viewer and creating a vista that rolls into the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains. Jerry Denham finds himself in one of the most beautiful National Parks out there and comes back with this gem.
2012 Kool Deadwood Nites – Part II – this is the second part of a series that Richard Stinson from Dakota Visions Photography featuring photographs captured at an event. This post features some great shots featuring specific details of some of the classics that were at the show, presenting a set of shots that capture the character of the cars being showcased.
Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk – Adam Allegro captures a really stunning shot of this world-famous icon as the sun sets. Great colors and tones emerge at this time of day, and as the bridge becomes lit as evening arrives it casts a commanding presence that Adam does a great job in capturing.
A gentle connection… – a little girl forms a friendship with a beautiful and expressive horse and Sherry Galey captures and shares this special moment with her granddaughter here. The shallow depth of focus Sherry used to capture this really helps the subjects stand out and creates a picture that freezes a moment representing the blink of an eye.
Black Skimmer – the most incredible bird is frozen forever in time in this great shot by Jay Taylor. As the skimmer just hits the water in an effort to scoop us some dinner, Jay is ready with his camera and comes away with this awesome photograph.
My Three Daughters – a really marvellous mother bear is closely followed by her three youngsters in close tow. As the group makes their way down to the river for dinner, the entire entourage is photographed Don Hamilton Jr.
Waterworld – an almost surreal setting is captured and shared here by István Ponty. Wooden piers reach out across the water to a small community of homes on stilts above the water. The piers themselves make for really fascinating natural leading lines for the viewer to enjoy.
Diamond Loop – Michael Trauffer grabs a great shot of these aerial acrobats in action. His composition in this picture is further enhanced here by the way the smoke trails from the jet engines trail across a very interesting sky.
Red Rays of Dahlia – beautiful and vibrant red petals grace the monitors of those who view this wonderful photograph by Lotus Johnson. The natural light casts great delicate shadows in the scene, adding a further dimension of interest to an already gorgeous setting.
A Nyhavn sunset – the wonderful architecture of Copenhagen, Denmark exhibits striking shapes, lines and colors, and Jim Nix does a great job here in capturing a scene to share. This particular composition is taken straight down a canal, creating a wonderful natural leading line for the viewer to follow through the frame.
Introducing my new #ProjectDSCS30 – Scott Wood shows us how great photography can be created without concern of the gear used to actualize it. Scott captures a great shot here with his point-and-shoot camera, and leaves us all inspired to head on out and work our craft.
The Subway – a scene almost cast on another planet is presented here by Jason Hines. This epic landscape in Zion National Park creates a breathtaking sight full of great natural lines lit by warm natural light and a small pool of water in the foreground to add further interest.
Old French Church – an incredible historic church in France is captured and shared in this post from the studio of Tim Stanley. The incredible drama in the cloud dappled sky creates the perfect element to accent the mood set in the image itself.
Arch and Lines – textures and details that can only be found in a great HDR photograph are all exposed in this picture from the studio of Jim Denham. A fabulous bridge span in St. Paul creates a stunning subject, and Jim’s expressive composition brings out all the rich textures at the same time it draws a natural set of leading lines that flow into a vanishing point.
Night Sky – this is an awesome black-and-white night based photograph from Andy Gimino. This shot features Burlington, Vermont sitting low on the horizon, emitting a wonderful glow across the water, and the night sky peppered with stars shining brightly high above.
Flagler in Fisheye – this is a totally amazing image from Mike Criswell that features the Historic Ponce de Leon Hotel Hall, built in 1888 in the heart of Historic St. Augustine Florida. Warm tones in the rich interior finish and crisp, sharp details fill the frame, producing a shot that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Route 66…but not the one you’re thinking off… – I’d seriously lose my mind in a place like this, both on a personal level and photographically. Edith Levy takes us to a fabulous little restaurant in Bar Harbor that features the coolest things. This great photograph gives us a taste of the character, leaving us all wanting more.
Gull on the Menu – the raw power of nature is exhibited in a rather brutal manner in this post from Laurie MacBride. All life is part of a cyclical pattern and in this case here we get to see the effects of a powerful eagle who has turned the tables on his tormentor and in the process found itself a meal.
Ghost Ship – the real power of photography comes to light with its ability to produce a story through composition and other artistic elements. This is a great example of this concept in this post from Scott Wood that features a sailboat anchored offshore. Scott’s use of black-and-white in this picture further adds to the mystique and drama that he set out to forge in the viewers minds-eye.
Page Ranch Road – a wise man, my father, once told me that perspective is everything. If that is indeed true, this image from the studio of Mike Olbinski should be the end-all and be-all of photography. Mike uses a very, very low perspective in composing this shot of a ribbon of roadway, making for an image that is slightly simple in nature, but is also absolutely captivating.
VW GTI – this is a great concept, and Edin Chavez does a fabulous job in executing it. Using the Miami city skyline as a backdrop, Edin paints his car with light and creates a very artistic and pleasing rendition of the effect he was trying for. Great colors and tones are expressed in this image.
Oudergracht – Night | Oudergracht – Day – Bob Israel delivers a totally unique presentation in these two photographs. Using the same subject but shooting once at night and once during the day we get a chance to see the massive differences that are found in this wonderful scene during these two different times.
Two Jack Lake Reflection – we get a marvelous black-and-white shot in this post from Jeff Clow. The gorgeous reflections cast in the still waters of the lake early in the morning are accented here with the empty bench that sits, almost as if it’s waiting for someone. This is a truly breathtaking photograph that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Clemente Bridge – a stunning piece of architectural wonder is captured here at night in this post from Rich McPeek. This incredible bridge is delicately lit and leads the viewers eye right through the frame to rest upon the incredible Pittsburgh architecture that sits in the backdrop.
Fly– bring a razor to this party and prepare to encounter a lot of hair. Close up. Steve Mackay captures a macro shot of a fly up close and personal, so much so that you can almost read its mind. This photograph has tons of great details, and although it may be a tad bit creepy, it’s also utterly fascinating at the same time.
Back to School – an abandoned school forms the perfect subject matter for the photography skills of Steve Beal. This HDR shot taken looking down a hallway long forgotten delivers on a few key elements, including great natural light streaming in through the windows, a long hall that ends in darkness and just enough details here to compel everyone to head out to visit this location.
Bound – there is something beguiling about this wonderful photograph by Chris Frailey. A simple element perhaps, but no less enthralling because of this, we find ourselves taking in a shackled gate that Chris captures with a highly controlled depth of focus that really makes the main subject matter here stand right out.
Timeless – Derrick Birdsall delivers an almost iconic shot of a mother bison and her baby in the field. The sepia style processing that Derrick applies to this shot adds a further sense of nostalgia to this scene, making for a picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Sep 18, 2012 – a lovely, lovely sunset full of exquisite colors and textures is presented here in this blog post by Abby Elliott. Abby’s use of a low perspective to compose this shot adds so much further interest to the already beautiful scene.
Evening Glow – a wonderful old historic lighthouse that now serves as a museum is carefully captured at night in this post from Steven Perlmutter. The lights that have been left on to illuminate the home and it’s details really add a wonderful and alluring quality to the setting, which in turn is perfectly captured and shared here by Steven.
Still of the Morning – if ever a picture was presented that made one feel more at peace than this breathtaking image from the studio of Scott Ackerman does, I do not know of it. A gorgeous landscape scene is captured here that looks out over a still body of water at a gorgeous and commanding mountain range. Most definitely well worth the time to visit.
‘67 Stingray – this classic car looks to be brand-new, and Perry Bailey is at the car show with camera in hand to grab this shot and bring it back for everyone to enjoy. I love Perry’s use of a low perspective to give this car the arresting stance it deserves.
Sandbar Sunset – a gorgeous sunset is captured as Rachel Cohen looks out over the Great Lakes. Breathtaking colors and tones in the sky all emerge in this shot, and the outline of land in the distance adds a further element of wonder to this beautiful setting.
Last Light – Michael Lewis Glover grabs a wondrous shot of a sunset unfolding on a Florida beach. With the lifeguards tower standing in the foreground to act as an anchor, the incredible colors in the evening sky flow high in the skies, creating a scene that is so beautiful and unique it’s hard to describe.
White House – my friend and local photographer Ehpem continues his journey into the learning process behind HDR photography. In this post we get to enjoy a small set of black-and-white images taken of a character home in the city here. Really wonderful details are all brought out for everyone to enjoy, yet Ehpem’s delicate processing maintains some of the mystery held in the shadows making for some truly marvelous photography to view and enjoy.
The Light on the Horizon – lighthouses are such romantic photography subjects. Edith Levy takes us to one that is full of character and history and shares a stunning photograph of it. The careful application of texture to the picture adds a strong sense of nostalgia, and Edith shares both the textured and the non-textured version as a form of comparison here.
Let Your Light Shine Through – gorgeous natural light drapes across this landscape scene, and Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck are ready to bring this scene back for us all to enjoy. This almost surreal feeling scene is full of natural beauty, making for a picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Intertwined – the lovely colors of fall emerge in the trees in this gorgeous picture from Bev. The bright and vibrant natural colors that Bev brings to our screens with this photo are truly something else.
Fly Away Home – this is one of the very best photos I have seen of a butterfly flying away. Kerri Farley does an amazing job in both composing and capturing this moment that was absolutely fleeting in all senses of the term.
Hummingbirds – a pair of hummingbirds at a feeder are captured here by Kat White. These little creatures move very quickly and are quite the challenge to capture, but Kat does a great job here and comes away with a really captivating image.
Earth Freedom Fighter – a new post from the talented folks at Steamplanet that create truly incredible and unique pieces of art in the steampunk style. This post features a great new piece and a set of really fabulous photographs to highlight this item.
Fancy Featured Felines – it seems to me that most people either love or hate cat photographs. Even if they aren’t your favorite genre of picture it’s hard to argue that they sure can be photogenic with their expressions and antics. This post here features some awesome shots that show off all sorts of cats going about their lives.
Canon 6d specs leaked – Tristan Jud writes a brief review of the latest pending camera in the Canon line-up. Tristan’s opinions are always well worth consideration, and this post raises a few questions and answers a few others.
Victoria Volume Two is now out! – traveling photographer and writer Jordan Oram is heading east on his journey across Canada. His latest installment ebook continues the journey chronicling his adventures crossing this beautiful and rather large country. These installments are always entertaining; well worth the time to download and read.
Travels Through the Spectrum – My Exhibition – a dear friend and truly gifted artist Viveca Koh is hosting an art exhibition that carries on this weekend. Her pieces are always captivating and full of great emotion, and if there was any way we could make it, this is where we’d be this weekend. If you are nearby, I have to absolutely recommend attending!
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.