It's been a fabulous week online for the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been tirelessly searching for the very best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This week's list features a vast variety of different styles and types of photography and blogs, and we really hope you enjoy seeing the work created and shared by these talented artists as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
The Complete Guide to Photographing Classical Musicians – this is a great and insightful guide into photographing musicians. Tips and tricks are provided here that will give almost everyone some fresh thoughts on how to perform a shoot like this to achieve incredible results.
DIY: Make Photo Gift Tags That’ll Make Even Santa Jealous – a great craft idea that merges photography with the season. This how-to guide takes the reader through the process of creating highly personal gift tags that stand out from all the rest.
Content aware fill – MINI TUTORIAL – a short primer that discusses and illustrates how to use the content-aware algorithms in Photoshop. This is a concise piece that shows two different ways to effectively use this.
10 Creative Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – a collection of great tutorials for Photoshop users. Focusing on several different genres and styles, there is sure to be something in this list of interest to the post-processing magician in all of us.
Infrared Winter in the Park – master of infrared photography Joe Farace shares a park setting captured in IR. The amazing details in the picture are brought out by the techniques Joe used to create it, producing a special piece that exudes tension and intrigue through questions left unanswered for the viewer.
Sweet Savannah! – classic architecture can be the perfect subject for photography, full of history, drama and intrigue in all the little details that go into the designs. Mike Criswell takes us to an iconic spot in Savannah Georgia and shares a set of images that truly exemplify the character of this storied spot.
St. Ann’s Church and Cemetery – a profound and poignant set of photographs awaits the viewer in this terrific post by Joseph de Lange. The rich history of the church and its cemetery are gracefully captured, sharing a bit of the story behind a place well known to locals in the valley.
Gardencourt on a Bright Winter’s Afternoon – fans of long shadows will just love this dramatic post from Syd Weedon. Syd takes us along as he spends an afternoon at a wonderful old facility taking in the great architecture and the surrounding features and details.
Gyeongbokgung and the Green Umbrella – a perfect composition that has several great elements working for it, as shot and shared here by Adam Allegro. A vanishing point, a green umbrella and beautiful local architecture share the frame and combine to tell a whole story.
Follow the leader – the Swiss Alps are part of an incredible natural landscape that produces some of the best photography opportunities out there. LensScaper (Andy Hooker) delivers a pair of photographs that gives the viewer a very strong sense of beauty and scale through composition.
The #WayBackMachine visits Grand Falls – an epic waterfall finds itself sitting under a cloak of dramatic clouds that break in just the right spot to paint the scene in gorgeous light. Scott Wood captures a landscape picture of these iconic falls sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Go with the flow – wonderful flowing lines lead the viewer naturally through a picture that showcases the rugged beauty of California’s coastline. Great natural colors in the details work together perfectly with the blues in the water and sky to draw you into the seascape.
Elsewhere – have you ever had a yearning to be somewhere other than the spot you are in right at the moment? This introspective and profound post by our own Tom Dinning (@tomdinning) here at Light Stalking poses some thoughts to this age-old malady but sharing a terrific photo and some personal thoughts on the topic.
Stop Repeat – Scott Frederick delivers a picture that exemplifies the concept of great lines in architecture. Subtle variations in the lines presented in black-and-white deflect light, creating delicate shadows in spots that accent the inherent drama of the picture.
“Feeling Nostalgic” P-40 Warhawk – Howard Jackman takes us all along on a huge adventure inside the Hill Aerospace Museum in Ogden, Utah. An epic collection of HDR images awaits the viewer as Howard shoots some of the most incredible aircraft to grace the skies.
Hong Kong from Victoria Peak – the incredible city of Hong Kong sits far below in this fabulous image from Justin Dong. The bright lights of the city peek out above the hillside that creates a unique and wonderful frame for the vibrant community below.
There Was a Time – a great old gas sign at a station that is quite obviously hasn’t seen a customer in eons is the main focus of this shot from the studio of Rob Hanson. The sweet textures in the sign and post are brought to life in this photograph.
Flowing – a long exposure shot from Danilo Faria showcases both the natural beauty of the slotted canyons in Utah and how the reflect and deflect light creating colors and patterns that just can’t be found anywhere else. The long exposure used to capture this shot smoothes out the fast moving water, adding a touch of softness to an otherwise sharp setting.
The Old Barn – weathering can produce striking details in old buildings, causing color and paint to go through subtle changes over time resulting in really compelling settings. Rich McPeek grabs a photo of a very old barn, one of a few remaining ones in the area, that features great textures and details.
Single Exposure 4 Life – a fabulous architectural study is presented in this photograph from Steve Beal. The George Washington Bridge creates stellar lines for the lens of Steve to capture, delivering a shot that leads the viewer right through the frame taking in all the exquisite details.
Bell Tower Fans – Campanile at UC Berkeley – the iconic bell tower at UC Berkeley stands tall and proud for Keith Cuddeback who comes away with three very unique shots that feature this well-known tower. Years of history come to life in this post as Keith showcases this site through gorgeous photography.
Jetty at Dusk – a haunting and ethereal piece is presented here by Steven Perlmutter. Steven captures a shot of a character-rich wooden jetty, and by using a long exposure time he smoothes out the water which accents the inherent mood of the scene.
The Wynn – this is a terrific black-and-white from the studio of Jim Denham that features The Wynn in Las Vegas. The architecture of the hotel casts a dramatic pose reaching for the sky, accenting the tension that is naturally found in the composition used here.
A Squirrel from Yosemite – what a wonderful photograph of a squirrel in Yosemite Park, as photographed by Kristi Hines. Kristi’s perfect use of a shallow depth-of-focus isolates the furry friend from its background, bringing the great spirit out for all to enjoy.
Paradise Found – a lovely little town in the Swiss mountains sits amidst the gorgeous greens that surround it, producing a mesmerizing image. The wonderful white fluffy clouds in the skies accent the feeling of joy and wonder that is felt viewing this great picture from Sanjay Pradhan.
My Way – a lovely wooden pathway leads the visitor and viewer through this lovely spot in Croatia, winding out of sight in the distance. Béla Török features a great autumn photo full of rich fall colors and a most wonderful vanishing point.
rear lights – bright red light trails from fast moving cars lead the viewer right through and into the frame in this great photograph from Sus Bogaerts. Superb details in the architecture of the bridge creates the perfect anchor for this shot.
Chichester at Christmas – as Christmas approaches cities and towns are lit up and decorated in fabulous ways. Barry Turner grabs a shot that features a beautifully lit tree that is surrounded by old and fascinating architecture. Great details and tones are all exposed in this photo.
sunbathing sealion . . . – when you’re looking for a character to enjoy, look no further than the thriving sea lion community that exists here on Vancouver Island. dragonflydreams88 shares a wonderful photo that really brings the pure individuality and playful spirit of these creatures to life.
Bridge and Tower – great colors exposed in the tower are a perfect compliment to the great lines created by the bridge at the center of the shot. A great reflection from the cities lights grace the waters the bridge straddles, adding another layer of interest to the scene.
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera – the fabled Lamborghini moniker sits bright and stoic in this shot from Tim Stanley that features a super-rare Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. The bright yellow paint on this stunning example of a low-flying airplane highlights the incredible lines native to this Italian stallion.
Dockside – wonderful colors in the evening sky highlight the motion in the waves of the water that laps around a protruding dock. Rob Nopola captures a stunning landscape scene here, full of great elements for the viewer to take in and enjoy.
Mirror Lake – a complex image that features vibrant autumn colors in the trees in one spot in the picture, and snow covered trees in another. This gorgeous landscape scene captured by Jacky CW finds completion with an incredible mirror reflection of the entire scene in the still waters in the foreground.
Life Goes On – an abandoned train terminal strikes a stunning pose for John Kimball who captures a monochromatic image of it’s interior that exudes raw drama and loneliness. John’s perfect composition leads the viewer right through the frame to take in the fabulous textures and details created by years of neglect.
Untamed – perfect lines dash around, in and out of shadows, taking on their own lives through the expression of texture and color. Jonathan Hoomes creates a delicious abstract complete with a breathtaking mirrored reflection casting a mesmerizing scene.
No7 – an iconic brand, a personal favorite of mine, is found on a wooden chair back for CJ Schmit to photograph. CJ’s perspective, composition and shallow depth-of-focus work together to create something that symbolizes Americana at its best.
December 17 – I just love the fabulous art-deco architecture and detailing that can be found everywhere in Florida, particularly in the Miami area. Melinda Green Harvey photographs the front marquee of the Sherbrooke Hotel, in Miami’s South Beach, delivering an utterly striking black-and-white image.
Capitol Christmas – 2012 – the Christmas tree at the US Capitol in Washington is reflected back in the pool in front of it, in this fabulous photograph from Metro DC Photography. The great details in the architecture of the dome contrast perfectly with the purple of the tree, guiding the viewer naturally around the picture.
Swan Lake – a lovely photograph from magnumlady features a swan floating on a lake, enshrouded in a veil of fog creating a mystical feel. Her blog features the natural beauty of Ireland and this photo is a great example of this.
Golden hour in Nashville – incredible colors that can only exist in nature are captured and shared here by Jim Nix. This great HDR image manages to capture all the vibrant colors of nature, a fabulous reflection, as well as the great architecture and details of the city of Nashville.
Frost Rolls In – a frost-bitten countryscape complete with a set of hay rolls creates a dramatic setting that Jerry Denham does a marvelous job of capturing. The fog in the background adds a bit of an ethereal feel as does the presentation of the image in black-and-white.
Jökulsárlón Iceberg Beach – the dichotomy of frozen icebergs sitting in an eddy of fast-moving ocean water is eloquently captured in this image by Aaron Bennett. Several of the ice formations just off-frame deflect the natural light back into the pieces visible in the frame via side-lighting, producing a truly memorable and remarkable effect.
Wind Point Dusk II – a romantic lighthouse stands sentry in delicate lighting as the evening sun sets in this terrific image by Mark Baldwin. This image displays wonderful tones in the sky and great colors in the lighthouse structure itself, making for a picture that is a joy to view.
Sheridan Glacier – a truly breathtaking glacier in Alaska is surrounded by natural beauty that features colorful flowers, commanding mountain ranges and the most amazing still reflection casting it all back to the viewer. Ron Niebrugge delivers a very special piece in this post, one that does a terrific job in sharing the pure wonder of the Alaskan landscape.
Kaua'i – Helicopter Tour: Wailua Falls – a fabulous waterfall in the heart of the Wailua River State Park forms the perfect subject for Wally Gobetz to photograph. This picture is taken from inside a helicopter high above these massive falls, delivering both the grandeur of the setting as well as a strong sense of scale.
Autumn in New Hampshire, U.S.A – colors so deep and vivid that at first glance you begin to wonder if they’re real… this is the initial impression the viewer gets when seeing this picture. Engr Hamza Niazi creates a photograph that features a pair of swans making their way across the scene, adding a touch of tension, with a backdrop of intense color.
Red Shed – an old wooden shed wearing a great cloak of red paint is the prime subject in this photograph from the studio of Jimi Jones. Fabulous natural light finds itself reflecting off the windows on the front of the shed, adding a sense of warmth and wonder to the setting.
Tudor – you’d be hard-pressed to find any straight lines in this shot, but it is certainly no less quaint for it. Bob Lussier captures a photo of the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick, England that focuses on a row of tudor features that brings all the personality of it to our screens to enjoy.
The #WayBackMachine loves windmills – incredible details are fully explored in this IR photograph by Scott Wood. A rustic setting completely comes to life in this shot that features a crooked little fence, the windmill itself and a very angry looking sky.
Elgin Theatre, Toronto, 2012 – there’s something hopelessly romantic and utterly nostalgic when it comes to classic theatres. Ren Bostelaar photographs the facade of the Elgin Theatre in Toronto in black-and-white.
Time for comfort… – Sherry Galey does an incredible job of sharing a great metaphor for life and nature found in the beauty of a maple tree. Considered the oldest sugar maple tree in all of Canada, this grand tree stands tall and wise, presented in this post by Sherry along with some great personal thoughts many of us share this week.
Bee Hive in Autumn – nature produces an abstract of sorts that Rachel Cohen captures wonderfully in this photograph. The natural construction of an insect’s hive produces lines, textures and shapes that can only be found in nature, mimicked in many different formats.
Beach Club Reflections – the lovely Disney’s Beach Club Resort is perfectly lit with a stunning mirror reflection in this great shot by Len Saltiel. Lovely architectural details of the facility are perfectly accented by the gentle night lighting.
christmas tree book study – a perfect Christmas scene is captured in this detail-rich scene depicting a study full of warm wood cabinets with a lovely tree. The beautiful decorations and details on the tree cast a holiday feel in this wonderful image by David Stoddart.
Two Weeks in Irresistable Ireland – Part 7, Galway’s Latin Quarter – Lee Brown invites us along as he explores the town of Galway in Ireland. These candid street images delivered in black-and-white do a fabulous job of expressing the local personality of the little town.
A foggy day at Multnomah Falls – Mike Olbinski takes a perfectly composed black-and-white of these dramatic falls on a magical day. The true scale of the scene and the falls themselves becomes truly evident when you start to notice the finer details, like the incredible bridge part way down.
Wreck – a boat lies on it’s side, prone and ready for the photography of George Christakis. This terrific night shot haunts the viewer with a dramatic setting and composition that really brings all the questions about how such a thing came to be to life for everyone to ponder.
Cold Blood – the incredible city skyscape of Dubai comes to life in this monochromatic piece that really shows the details in great depth. Karim Nafatni (GostRidr®) delivers a highly dramatic image that showcases the amazing architecture of this world-class city.
Horseshoe Bend – a world-famous spot is perfectly captured just as the sun begins to disappear, painting the skies in truly complementary tones to the landscape. Rick Louie creates an image that features a very unique natural formation, delivering a few wonderful details that highlight the scale of the location.
City Walk – the incredible architecture of Lucerne is explored by the lens of Len Saltiel in this photograph taken in Switzerland. Len brings the great character of this old city to life, featuring great details that begin to emerge the more time spent viewing.
The Light of Direction – a dramatic pier takes the viewer’s eye right out to sea in this fabulous photograph taken in Ireland by photobypawelp. The dark and moody light, both atop the pole and seeping in under brooding skies, completely draws the viewer straight in.
First light on Mount Cook – a fabulous landscape piece that features a majestic mountain just as the first mornings light paints the tip, bathing it in warm and vibrant tones. Sergio Del Rosso’s piece here is a true wonder to behold, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit to view.
The Bend – the iconic Vancouver city skyline peeks out in this fabulous photograph by Viktor Lakics. Great details in the architecture of the buildings and the Cambie bridge are unlocked with this image, creating a piece sure to captivate.
vanishing point – the NY subway system creates a mesmerizing subject for the photography of Anna Carter to explore. The tracks of the system produce startling leading lines to guide the viewer right through the frame, out towards a terrific vanishing point that really exudes great natural tension.
Old Well – an old water well tries to hide beneath a cloak of vegetation in a rustic and quaint setting straight from the old world. Cor Pijpers does a marvelous job in composing and delivering a unique piece here.
Beach Stairs V – a monochromatic journey with local photographer Ehpem takes us to the top of the spiral stairs at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria where we get to enjoy some terrific long shadows, typical of the season, and a vista sure to take your breath away. This is the perfect way to wrap this series up, with a view outward full of beauty and hope.
Otherworldly – a dramatic black-and-white landscape is presented here in this wonderful photo from Jim Denham. The long exposure technique Jim used to create this terrific shot creates a smooth and silky feel to the water which makes the incredible surrounding landscape stand out that much more.
The Alleyway – Andy Gimino presents a lovely Vermont winter landscape in this photograph. A creek winds it’s way through the wonderful forests, creating a natural leading line that is just wonderful to view and enjoy.
Funky Flowers – sometimes the best processing is really no processing when it comes to great images. Edith Levy captures a shot of some beautiful flowers through a piece of water glass to create something really beguiling to view and take in.
Window Treatment 3 – a completely different way of framing a bridge is explored in this great shot by Mark Garbowski. Great textures in the bricks come right to life in this picture which gently leads the viewer into the framed opening that reveals a bridge in the distance to give it a touch of tension.
St. Anthony Snow – a beautiful snowy landscape is shared here by Bob Israel. The cold setting features a snowfall so thick, the natural ambience of winter is fully expressed. A wonderful touch of a half-visible bridge in the distance creates a perfect natural leading line.
Quarter Till – this black-and-white shot takes on an almost abstract feel to it from the sharp lines found in the architecture explored. Rich McPeek creates a highly dramatic piece with many great elements to take in and enjoy.
Foster Superheater – a terrific Urbex shot from the studio of Bob Lussier features an old and rusty furnace left behind in a large commercial facility. The natural vegetation is finding its way into the building, adding color and texture to the weathered pieces left behind.
Blue Jay – Taking A Big Bite – the character and beauty of wildlife can be the source of wonder and amazement, especially for fans of nature photography. Kerri Farley captures a terrific shot of a Blue Jay working on a peanut and brings all the personality of this wonderful bird to our screens.
Sundown Snowy – Bev captures some of the best shots of owls I’ve ever seen, and this photograph is a great example of this. As beautiful white owl sits perched on a stump for this photograph, being every bit a character.
Key West Sunset – a lovely sunset photo features a great sailboat on the horizon giving a sense of tension to the picture. Kat White photographs this scene and in doing so comes away with a vibrant image that is very pleasing to view and enjoy.
Different Toning Effects from our Darkroom – this is yet again one of those times where a link actually belongs in two sections at the same time. This post from Marks and Joey Culver shares several different darkroom processing techniques based on analog film imagery by showcasing the results. Each technique, each rendition of the base image is worthy of praise.
December 16, 2012 – Blue Heron Trail – The Old Car – what a great adventure to join along with, photographed and written about by Mark Moore. An old rusty car shell is presented as a monument of sorts and Mark’s great pictures and narrative really grip the reader from top to bottom, leaving us all with a ton of unanswered questions.
Back at Nyhavn – and a free eBook for you! – absolutely lovely textures and details emerge in this shot featuring the old city of Nyhavn, as shared here by Jim Nix. Jim also includes in this great post a link to follow to download, for free, his first eBook publication featuring some of his best photos. This is definitely going on my iPad for viewing over the holidays.
Montagne de la Côte – in the steps of Balmat and Paccard – another post that belongs in two categories in this week’s list, as shared here by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). The Swiss Alps produce some of the world’s most striking scenery, and in this post Andy takes us along on a photo-adventure where we get to see tons of great photos of the mountains and vistas as well as learn a little of the area. Well worth the time to pop by!
Favorite Abstract Images of 2012 – Rachel Cohen shares her favorite abstracts from 2012, featuring a set of images that does a great job in conveying just that. There is definitely something here for everyone who is a fan of abstracts.
Lytro Light Field Camera – The Future or a Cute Gimmick? – advancements in any field almost always create controversies while everyone discusses personal tastes and practicality for the field in question, and photography is certainly no exception. This is a great article that discusses in pretty good depth the technology and practical uses behind this new generation of camera.
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.