It's been a really fabulous week for photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching the internet for the very best tutorials, photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This week's list comprises a fabulous set of links showcasing some really incredible works as presented by gifted artists and photographers. The Toad really hopes you enjoy viewing these images and posts as much as he did in bringing this list to you.
Check out the Toad's book featuring a very unique look at Vancouver Island and some of the eclectic architecture and features of the area. “Beneath the Veneer” is available in both hard and soft copy and is presented in the classic photobook style.
photoFXlab Tutorial – Blake Rudis creates and shares a new video tutorial, this time discussing the merits of photoFXlab, a free image manipulation tool. Blake’s tutorials are very comprehensive and this one includes him showing the viewer how he used this tool to create a composite image.
My HDR Workflow – A.D. Wheeler takes us along on a video tour showcasing his personal workflow for creating very natural and beautiful HDR landscape images. A.D. does wonderful work in this genre and this tutorial is sure to teach everyone some tips and tricks on how to work in this style.
ChromaLuxe Metal Print Review – metallic based print mediums used for photography can produce stunning results, we always encourage our customers to order our prints on metallic paper. Blake Rudis shares his insight into this specific medium by providing a great write-up and some example images to illustrate the incredible results one can achieve.
Time Lapse Video Tutorial – Part 2 – Scott Wood delivers the second part to his video tutorial series on his time lapse photography work. Scott’s work is absolutely stunning, so having a chance to learn some of his tips and tricks is sure to be interesting to everyone.
6 tips for getting sharper images – this is a great list of tips on how to produce sharper imagery. Some of the points may seem obvious to many, but this list really does warrant a visit.
A ghost tower of Bangkok – an absolutely amazing sight to consider, let alone see first-hand. This high rise tower was once in active development and was to become one of the luxurious apartment buildings rising in the city skyline. As the economic downturn hit, the development was abandoned and now due to financial and technical issues it stands as a sentry and reminder of the failure of the financial situation being witnessed worldwide. This series presents some jaw-droppingly incredible photographs of this place that are way outside the realm of description, you simply have to see them for yourself.
Happy Birthday Sammy! – a loving father and a master photographer, Jim Denham shares a personal and poignant post with everyone here celebrating his son's 6th birthday. Jim’s portrait photography is in a realm of its own and we have found that each photo shared in this slideshow can stand by itself, but when taken in as a compilation as presented here this becomes an emotional and amazing set.
A Few Hours in Pete's World – it’s a perfect storm when a great photographer and a person with a deep penchant for the past get together for a photo-shoot. This post is a perfect example of this as A.D. Wheeler and Pete find themselves exploring the magical world that Pete has made for himself over the years. This extensive post features shots from various locations around Pete’s properties, all of which capture the essence of a time now long past through looking at and enjoying old artifacts and buildings.
fAciNg A GiAnt – a never ending cityscape awaits the viewer with this really incredible shot from Gost ∞ Ridr. The Burj Khalifa creates an almost sentry-like pose as the city twinkles beneath the night sky, producing a breathtaking photograph that is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by all who visit.
Finish Line Performance – this is the kind of post that gets our motor running here! Rick from Hansrico Photography takes us inside this performance shop to see firsthand a Mustang on the dyno cranking out some truly impressive numbers, as well as some other great items and features seen in the shop itself.
At The Track – fire-breathin’, fear inciting, wheel standing fun is all delivered in one stellar post here by Rick at Hansrico Photography! A follow-up post to the one above, this time we find ourselves out at the track taking in the action firsthand, thanks to Rick. Great, great shots here, well worth the time for a visit.
Tower Bridge Blue – Bob Lussier and Mark Blundell meetup in London and Bob gets a chance to capture a stunning photo of the Tower Bridge. Great colors and tones are accented by the dramatic architectural details in this photograph, creating a true must-see shot in this week’s list.
Sleeping under the Stars – a wonderful pair of photos captured at Matera, Italy by Adam Allegro. Using his tent lit from the inside as a source of interest for the scene, Adam masterfully creates these two shots of the city at night from across the canyon.
Multnomah Falls – a striking waterfall creates the perfect landscape photography subject for Scott Ackerman to capture and share. Part way down we see a lovely bridge which adds the perfect touch of scale and added interest to this already stunning scene.
Uptown – lines, shapes and geometry are all studied in this great shot from Scott Frederick. This upward looking picture creates an almost abstract feel with the natural lines Scott captures from the buildings.
Waiting for Customers, Santorini, Greece – this picture creates a great natural expression of life in Greece. Mark Paulson captures a photo that is sure to be a source of delight for everyone who pops by for a visit.
An old house in Colorado – a boiling cloud cover creates the most dramatic setting for this image created by Mike Olbinski. An abandoned house in a field produces natural tension, combining with all the other elements at play to deliver something special.
Imperfections – the sweet perfection of embracing tiny imperfections is explored in this great blog post from Scott Wood. Scott captures a shot with an epic sunburst that exhibits some flare, and Scott discusses how this came to be in terms of his personal photography philosophy, making for a great post to visit and enjoy.
Gent Reflection – lovely colors in the sky coupled with great European architecture merge in this scene to create a compelling picture. Oliver Winter does a great job in capturing this picture that finds wonderful accenting in the natural reflection of the water.
Wood Cart Rail #3 – it’s surprising how much drama and tension can be found in something as basic as a set of rails that disappear over the crest of a hill. Justin Jones creates a picture that is full of great colors and details, creating a picture sure to captivate the imagination of all who visit.
Hummertime! – you may expect to visit this link and see a giant 4×4 motoring over the top of a mountain-range, but in truth you will find something much better. This beautiful hummingbird is literally captured floating in this wonderful photograph from Jay Taylor.
Escalators, Toronto – Ren Bostelaar captures a shot of an escalator here, producing really compelling natural leading lines through the frame. The scene finds itself benefitting greatly by the inclusion of a person riding the escalator, and the candid nature of this all comes together to create this really great picture.
Fly! – a perfect depth of focus in this shot really produces a striking picture to view and enjoy, as delivered by Anita Megyesi. A hood ornament on a car is captured here, and the great composition that Anita used to photograph this scene really adds so much interest.
Sky show – gorgeous colors in the sky from the Aurora Borealis are brought to life in this epic image from the studio of Tommy Eliassen. The rich tones from the light display reflect on a still pool, bringing an added touch of wonder and beauty to this almost surreal scene.
Twins – what a neat, neat shot! Vladimir Kucherenko photographs three owls in a craggy outcropping who really appear to be posing for the camera. Incredible, captivating and cute are some of the words that leap to mind while viewing this great piece.
METROPOLITAN – this frame from the studio of Miguel Silva is all about composition. Any alternative to the composition used here would produce a radically different outcome and would undoubtedly be far less captivating. In this case, a reflection from the side of a building creates a striking scene that Miguel captures and shares here.
Shanghai Split – a gorgeous reflection in an absolutely still body of water reflects back the gentle lighting of the architecture. Viktor Lakics delivers a photograph here that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by for a visit.
A River Runs Through It – beautiful natural water cascades are photographed here by Jerry Denham. The Smoky Mountains National Park is a natural destination for great landscape photography, and Jerry does a beautiful job in creating this highly compelling picture.
Fun and Food – a wonderful HDR image of a restaurant and a carnival is presented by Tim Stanley. The great blue hues in the lighting of the building serve to really create a striking scene that Tim in turn uses his HDR skills on to create a picture that is a must-see in this week’s list.
Try-Pot Sunset – truly awesome textures and details are all captured in this post from my friend Ehpem that not only shares some great photographs, but also delves into the background of the items pictured. This remote location is an important spot in terms of our local history, and it is very fascinating to be able to join Ehpem as he explores this storied spot.
“Looking Down” Bob Culbertson in B&W HDR – a fabulous series is presented here by Howard as he takes us along to the Utah Arts Festival. Each image takes the viewer deeper into the experience of the festival, and each can stand on its own as a complete frame. This is a very well done series, one that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who visits.
Area 51 – a clever play on words is accented here by a rich photograph, straight from the studio of John Sotiriou. Gritty details in the captured scene of a weathered doorway really come to life under the post-processing skills of John.
Cityscape – a wonderful natural leading line is created in this photograph by Heather Neil that takes the viewers eye right to the architectural details in the picture. As a result, Heather creates an image here that one would expect to see on a postcard.
FE 180 – Dungeness…. – this picture is a black-and-white image of an old abandoned boat. The monochromatic processing used to create this photo by Tony Matthews creates a strong sense of intrigue to this picture, one that is well worth the time to visit.
Exposed – this is a truly compelling shot, one that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone. Steve Beal uses a great composition along with all his technical skills to create this masterful picture of a fast moving stream with a very beautiful rock as the main subject matter.
Strolling on the Graben – the city of Vienna is the perfect place for those who enjoy photography and old historical architecture. Jim Nix brings us along on his adventure as he shares a shot of one of the iconic city streets in the morning before the crowds appear. Jim also shares a single exposure version and his HDR processed version of the same scene, which really showcases the great details and colors that can be brought out of a scene like this with HDR.
Firefighter II – truly great colors and tones are presented in this great image from Jimi Jones that showcases a fire fighting boat on display in Las Vegas. This reproduction of a boat in NY really creates a great subject for photography, and Jimi captures and processes a great shot here that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Southern Sepia – a lovely photograph of an old historic house is displayed here for everyone to enjoy from the studio of Mark Neal. Mark’s use of monochromatic processing techniques helps to create an old-time feeling to this classic scene, creating a really fabulous photograph to view.
Country Road – an almost iconic country scene is photographed and shared here by Rich McPeek. The gentle rolling hills in this vista produce a striking view of which Rich does a fabulous job in capturing and processing to share online.
Blue Fog – Len Saltiel captures an amazing photograph of a ethereal fog as it rolls into the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Wonderful tones in the photo are the result of this phenomenon and the rich details in the houses on the shore provide great context and scale to create s must-see shot in this week’s list.
Silly String – Chris Frailey uses monochromatic processing to deliver a very dramatic and mesmerizing piece. A powerful lightning strike is perfectly captured here, producing really fascinating lines and shapes in the sky that are punctuated by the raw power that is evident from the event at hand.
Tall Ships at Sunrise – there is something absolutely romantic and captivating about Tall Ships. We have a festival up here on Vancouver Island regularly that feature these great ships, and it’s a highlight of the year when we can attend. Steven Perlmutter captures a great shot of two very commanding ships as they sit in dock with their lights on as the morning sun begins to emerge.
Great Blue Heron Week – these majestic birds are quite the sight, and Steve Creek has done a great job in this post in capturing two shots of a Blue Heron. The natural beauty in the bird is perfectly photographed here by Steve, creating a fabulous pair of images to view and enjoy.
The Magic of the 50 – Jim Denham shares a great black-and-white shot of his son enjoying himself outdoors and discusses the strengths and merits of a 50mm prime lens. The 50mm is my personal favorite lens due to the fabulous images it produces, and Jim’s photo of his son showcases this concept rather nicely.
Little Yellow Flowers – this is a very beautiful macro photograph from the studio of Mark Garbowski. Great details in the bright yellow flowers are all accented by the delicious shallow depth of focus that Mark used here, creating a picture that would look great hanging on a wall in print anywhere.
Schooner Head – Rob Hanson captures an epic shot of what is tantamount to a modern-day castle on the rocks by the ocean. Great details in both the lovely architecture, as well as the beauty of the surrounding landscapes are all captured in this photograph, producing one of our must-see photos in this week’s list.
That Monday Feeling – grit and texture are perfectly captured and preserved in this fabulous photograph by Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. The shelf by a dark window is full of relics and artifacts from years gone by, and the lack of cleaning has resulted in really awesome cobwebs and critters having the upper hand in moving in and setting up house.
While in Utah, don’t miss the State Parks – Anne McKinnell captures a breathtaking photograph of a natural wonder and adds great context to this with her blog post on Utah’s State Parks. The wonder of this setting is hard to imagine, and Anne has done a great job in capturing this scene to present it with a touch of scale and context to bring this picture to life.
Regaining our Sea Legs – gorgeous colors in the sky are accented by the powerful silhouettes of the trees peppering the shoreline in this absolutely beautiful landscape photograph from Laurie MacBride. This is a very beautiful scene and is well worth the time to pop by for a visit yourself.
Rejected Continuation – a gentle rolling landscape is presented here by Gareth Glynn Ash. The natural beauty in both the landscape and the blue skies combine to deliver a peaceful scene that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
I Am Number Four… Hundred – who knew that cows could become such great photography subjects? Aaron Barlow captures a great picture here of cows in a field. One of them in particular, the one peering out from behind the tree, is just so compelling that the entire character of the picture is brought out fully.
A Beautiful Setting – we get to enjoy a really wonderful scene as captured and shared here by Heather Neil. I am not entirely sure what building this is that is presented in this photograph, but it is sure full of great character and architectural interest. This is a great picture, well worth the time to pop by and see for yourself.
Peaking – a gorgeous outdoor shot is presented by Jerry Denham in this post. Taken on the lake at his work as the sun began to rise, the beautiful and rich colors in the sky are accented by the gentle tones of the lake and the reflections of the boats on the water.
this bud's for you II . . . – this is one of those pictures that has two distinctive elements of interest in play. A beautiful red rose is photographed by dragonflydreams88 who then uses a wonderful texture overlay to finalize the resultant picture.
Golden Horn – the craggy and sharp edges of the Matterhorn present a stunning scene for photographer Chakarin Wattanamongkol to capture and share. The mountain range is absolutely astonishing in-and-of itself, but when taken in the context of the gorgeous golden light draping the peak the colors and interest literally come alive.
Last light in Amsterdam – the colors here are breathtaking. This shot taken in Amsterdam by Jim Nix overlooks one of the city's storied canals, looking at the beautiful and intricate European architecture across the way. This blue light photo is so stunning it is one of our must-see shots in this week’s list.
Breaking Clouds – a truly stunning landscape scene is captured and shared here by Bob Israel. The colors and tones in the sky are totally captivating here, but the real star of this photograph is the intense clouds that bring an aura of drama to this gorgeous natural setting.
Look Both Ways – what a great photograph shot and shared here by Barbara Youngleson. A set of baby ostriches sit safe and sound under the watchful eye of their parents on the side of the road, and Barbara’s picture really brings all the fascinating character of the scene to life for everyone to truly enjoy.
McConnells Mill – these old mills are fascinating mementos of the early days of the country. Full of great character and texture, there are plenty of elements on display to captivate the viewer. This great shot from Rich McPeek takes us to one such mill, and here Rich does a fabulous job in capturing and conveying the true essence of this location.
Sunflower Shed – what a cool shot presented here by Scott Ackerman! A tilting and undoubtedly falling down shed creates the most captivating point of interest by causing the viewers eye to question what it sees, almost as if it’s an optical illusion. A great composition resulting in a really great photo.
Summertime at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco – Keith Cuddeback does a marvelous job in photographing this iconic building in the heart of San Francisco. The typical fog for the area sits heavy on the area, casting a dramatic and somber feel to this already very important monument.
A Colorful Battle – a historic battlefield cannon presents a splendid photo opportunity for Mark Neal, and he comes away with a great shot to view and enjoy. Mark finishes off his post with a monochrome version of an image of the cannon being fired.
Blue at the ballpark – a great series of images of PNC Park in Pittsburgh is presented in this wonderful post from Dave DiCello. Dave delivers a set here that puts this famous ballpark and the city itself front-and-center for everyone who visits to enjoy.
A Bed And A Blanket – not particularly inviting for guests, but absolutely mesmerizing for the viewer, this scene as captured and presented here by Mark Garbowski is full of wonderful elements to view. This grungy and gritty abandoned location has a few weathered artifacts left behind, and Mark really brings all the character of the setting to the screen for all to enjoy.
Westfjords Lightshow – an almost heavenly scene is captured in this stunning photograph from the studio of Daniel Bosma. Beams of light shine down upon the water from the sun, bringing a strong sense of mystery and magic to the seascape.
Standing Still – a photograph that defines the expression of tension in an image. King’s Cross railway station in the UK has undergone a revamp process and Andy Hooker (LensScaper) takes us along and gives us a peek at two perspectives of this new development. The first shot in this post is done in black-and-white to really accent the drama and tension… a post well worth the time to visit and view!
I’m Not Sure Why Wednesday – Steven Perlmutter shares a great image here, full of rich textures and details to enjoy. He also poses a question to the visitor that we can honestly say “we would have sought this out” in answer to. This is truly a great picture with sharp details.
Use your own Power – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck take us to a museum where they capture this iconic image of an historic locomotive. The delicate processing techniques they apply to the image really sets a tone of nostalgia and romance to the scene, making this one of our must-see photos in this week’s list.
Gold Finch, Minnesota – Mark Paulson does fabulous work in the realm of wildlife photography, and this picture really showcases this. A beautiful Gold Finch sits perched on a tree here, and Mark employs spot-on composition to bring all the character of this bird to life for everyone to enjoy.
Shaggy Bee 2 – someone seriously needs a haircut here. Quite honestly, I have no idea how Omid Golzar managed to capture this perfectly detailed and composed macro portrait of a bee… I can only hope he didn’t get stung in the process.
Savannah Cotton Exchange – historical facilities really are wonderful photography subjects that can be accented with sympathetic processing to bring all the intrigue and romance to life from the scene. This iconic building, as shot by Jay&Jacy Photography, really brings this concept to life creating an image that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Beautiful Progress – Aaron Barlow shares another image captured using a film based camera in this post. A factory billows smoke into the air and Aaron captures a shot that uses the inherent grain in film to further add to the overall effect he was shooting for, if you’ll pardon the pun.
“Yellow” Jacket – Halfway done – a great set of pictures and some really fabulous insight leaves the viewer both informed and fully creeped out. Howard does a macro shoot here of a yellow jacket wasp, exposing all the details that can be found and then some… and he also shares some behind-the-scenes info on how the shots were taken adding a great dimension to this post.
Beer Planet – the only thing better than beer is… I’ll have to get back to you on that. Jim Nix transports us to a magical place in Belguim that specializes in beer, and the photo of the store Jim created is so full of great textures and details, not to mention great character, it’s sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Lil Red Ford – Perry Bailey delivers a great HDR image of a classic Ford hot-rod. The beautiful two-tone paint seems to come alive in this great shot, which proves to be a picture that is a real must-see in this week’s list.
Solar Power – a photograph that comes with its own super-powers is awaiting the viewer here with this post from Curt Fleenor. A mirrored statue at the Levine Arts Center poses for Curt, and he comes away with an image that he uses to create a truly unique piece.
The Divinity School at the Bodleian Library – the most amazing English Gothic study is captured and shared here in this shot from Tim Stanley. Tim takes us inside this wondrous place to get a extensive look at all the intricate details that went into the design and creation of this almost magical place.
Barns & Hey Rolls – Jerry Denham delivers a great pair of images here that immediately take the viewer to a simpler place and time. These photos captured at sunrise really do a wonderful job of sharing the feel that one has when spending time on a farm, a sense of peace and relative simplicity in comparison to today's hectic lives.
Welcome to the Fest – the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee create a great nighttime photo opportunity for CJ Schmit. Really wonderful tones and details are shared as the lights that illuminate the facility and its surroundings gently drape the entire scene in captivating colors.
Beneath Kenilworth – this is not a place you’d want to spend the rest of your life in, that’s for sure. Bob Lussier takes us deep into Kenilworth’s dungeon… as the story goes… and comes away with a dramatic and moody piece full of great details to be enjoyed by all.
Moraine Lake – I often wonder if it’s possible to take a bad photograph in the Banff National Park, but this fleeting thought disappears immediately when you see a masterpiece from this naturally stunning part of the world. Hai Chen captures and shares a landscape picture of the lake that is so beautiful it truly defies proper description… a must-see shot in this week’s list.
We Are Family – a wonderful trio of owls sits on a branch, and Bev captures this great photo of the family get together. These beautiful birds are perfectly captured and shared here, making for a great photo to visit for yourself.
A stem full – Kat White photographs a bunch of orchids and produces a beautiful image. The intricate colors from the flower are really captivating, as is the delicate light that drapes them and brings the scene to life here.
Eye To Eye With A Carolina Wren – an incredible close-up of this beautiful bird is shared here by Kerri Farley. The rich details and colors in the birds face and feathers are all accented by the great composition that Kerri used to create this shot.
A 19 Year Old Photographer with a Surreal Twist – there are some really great pieces in this collection, and when you consider they are created from the mind of a 19 year old photographer they are even more amazing. This is a provocative and compelling series, one that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Le Jour ni l’Heure 4805 : autoportrait dans la forteresse, Plieux, salle des Pierres, mercredi 11 juillet 2012, 21:13:44 by Renaud Camus, on Flickr
Hundred – we’ve been following along with Ren Bostelaar and Kilian McMahon on their website http://justhundred.com/. This fascinating project presents a site to visitors that displays a new photograph from the studio of Ren each day, with no means to review past images. This concept encourages viewers to come to the site every day and spend time with the image. This blog post features a short video the Ren and Kilian have produced that discusses the project and asks for feedback on the next stage.
Martyr-mallow – once again Terry Border’s wonderful sense of humor comes shining through in his work as he creates and shares another of his creations with the world. His pieces tell a story in a glance and are typically full of wit and deeper meanings.
AskJoeB: Duct Tape and a can of WD-40 – being prepared isn’t just for Boy Scouts, it’s also a great mantra for photographers! Joe Baraban shares a couple of his incredible photographs and shares the behind-the-scenes tidbits that explain the strange chant of “always bring Duct Tape and a can of WD-40 on a shoot!”.
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.