It's been a terrific week in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching the internet for links to the very best tutorials, articles, photography and blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list is full of fabulous works by some truly talented folks in the field. We really hope you enjoy checking out the links provided as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Vasona’s Tree of Life – Selective Color How-To – selective color in an image can be an extremely powerful tool to convey an expression to a viewer. Adam Allegro shows us step-by-step the process he went through to create a stunning landscape photograph that uses selective coloring to make a tree stand out.
10 Top Tips for Capturing the Winter Cold – a great collection of tips for the outdoor photographer trying to capture some of the magic in winter. This list is a basic set of tips full of ideas on how to use this time of year to your advantage to create stunning imagery.
Understanding Image Stabilization and Avoiding Blur – this article discusses a common problem in photography that can be tricky to overcome. Bill Jones discusses the various types of image stabilization and presents a few tips and tricks for how to overcome the dreaded blur.
Mastering Your Flash 101 – High Speed Sync – this is a highly informative, well written article that covers all sorts of details for your speedlight flash. KerryG goes in-depth and includes illustrative photographs that visually show you the effects and results from trying these advanced methods.
Stratosphere – our very own @tomdinning here at Light Stalking has put up a new photograph on his blog, and it’s a terrific one! Tom has an incredible ability to get into all of our minds and explore questions we all have by sharing his great words with his great photography. This shot featuring a cloud and a contrail finds itself suddenly the subject of profound thoughts in this wonderful post.
Pilatus – Len Saltiel takes us along with him as he explores the Swiss countryside photographing the incredible landscapes. This particular photograph features a tiny town at the foot of a 7,000 ft mountain. Len does a terrific job here in bringing all the inherent personality and character of this place to the forefront for everyone to enjoy. Great details in the homes and the lush greens of the surroundings complete the image.
Gonzales Blue – such vibrant and rich blues, such fabulous details in the great architecture that makes up the personality of the island… a pair of wonderful photographs taken during the blue hour by Ehpem really showcases the natural beauty that we find here, especially near the ocean. The first image even has an added touch of a moon hanging in the horizon and the tension of a person standing on the beach looking out to sea.
Paths – an incredible, almost haphazardly looking, set of piers leads the viewer out to the waters in this shot by Fred Concha taken in Portugal. This is a fabulous composition, using the piers as natural leading lines to guide the viewer through the intricate details in the picture.
Bridge Reflection – Csilla Zelko creates a great shot here with a bit of a sepia feel to it, making for a picture that is reminiscent of times long ago. A terrific bridge is perfectly composed here, creating great natural leading lines and a stunning reflection in the rivers waters below.
Flint Hills – the only friend an old church on the side of a hill has is a barren tree that stands near it. Derrick Birdsall captures and processes this shot using sepia tones which adds a strong sense of nostalgia to the setting.
Evening Reflections – lovely colors from the evening sky create silhouettes from the trees in this shot by Alan Sheers. The perfect reflection in the still waters in the foreground add a perfect layer of interest to an already captivating piece.
November 22 – I love Urbex photography, I totally find beauty in decay for some reason. This is a terrific photograph of a long abandoned hotel in Texas, as captured and shared here by Melinda Green Harvey. This is definitely one of those pictures that is very interesting at first glance, but when you spend some time taking it in all sorts of great details come out.
Autumn Lakeside – a compelling autumn shot that features a house on the side of a lake, surrounded by the wonderful colors of the autumn trees. Sueo Takano captures a picture here that features an incredible reflection from the lake of the setting, making for a picture sure to be enjoyed by all.
Neon Marina – this is a breathtaking image of the yacht marina in Dubai, featuring incredible colors in the cities lights and details in the architecture. Gost Ridr® comes away with a terrific image taken from high up that features the opulence and grandeur of this famous city.
baby cat – prepare for an invasion of cuteness of unparalleled greatness. This shot by Vector Wong features a very expressive kitten sitting on the side of the road, peering off into the distance. This little creature’s personality of perfectly captured and shared here.
Megapixels: A Dew-Covered Damselfly – the only thing better than a terrific photograph is to join it with some great background information to serve as a learning tool. This damselfly finds itself covered in little droplets of water, making for the perfect subject for Ondrej Pakan.
In the air tonight – a long exposure frame that showcases the natural beauty and wonder of Sparks Lake in Central Oregon. Tremendous colors grace the evening sky in a picture captured by et078 that finds a wonderful layer of interest hidden in the perfect reflection from the still waters.
Neist Point Lighthouse – a tiny ribbon of old road guides the viewer perfectly through the image, leading you right to the treasure at the end. This wonderful scene depicts the loneliness and solitude of a lighthouse keeper, as photographed here by Michele Galante.
Santorini – a lovely character-filled village in Greece sits atop a cliff overlooking the sea in the blue hour in this lovely image from Haris Vithoulkas. The way the local architecture blends in so quaintly with the natural surroundings makes for a stunning vista to photograph and share.
a little sleepy.. – we are most definitely friends to amphibians of all sorts and origins, so it must be no wonder that we love this photo. A tiny green frog sits perched on a flower petal, gazing into the camera lens as if trying to say something. A great shot by Mark Bridger.
Winter in Sligo – a terrific set of images depicting a frosty day in Ireland, as shot and shared here by Val. Her wonderful expression through her visual arts takes us along on a photographic adventure to this most beautiful part of the world. In this particular post, the second photo is my personal favorite.
In motion – as life carries on hurriedly in the city below, a high vantage overlooking the city of Dubai paints a most impressive scene for the photography skills of Bee Eye. This scene depicts rich colors and hues in the city as well as some really terrific architectural details.
Fishing Boat and Fire Hydrant – this shot features exactly what is described in the title for it. Yet somehow this doesn’t fully grasp the inherent interest in the scene captured here by Don Denton. A boat is parked on land, seemingly an afterthought amongst the homes and vegetation it finds itself surrounded by.
First Knight – perhaps a guardian of those less fortunate, perhaps a sentinel for the forest-dwellers, we find many questions in this picture and few answers. Alida Jorissen captures a terrific photo of an owl on a limb that features superb details and tones in the feathers of this gorgeous bird.
come to me! – shadows, light and a wonderful vanishing point work in unison to create a compelling picture with just a light touch of tension to it. Partha Das captures a shot featuring an architectural study of sorts that finds ultimate interest in the person at the end of the path who creates an organic outline in a distinctly man-made setting.
Chocolate Nuts HDR – a purveyor of snacks is working in his cart as Barry Turner takes the opportunity to capture a picture full of interest and character. The colors in the cart create a dash of rich colors and the way the backdrop seems to melt into the darkness creates a sense of hidden depth.
Old water mill – if you love old wood buildings or you love gorgeous landscapes with waterfalls you will find something to truly enjoy in this picture from Kai Süselbeck. The rich forest that surrounds this old wooden mill makes the perfect backdrop for the facility that really is a wonderful expression of life from years gone by.
2nd Ave and Broadway – a wonderful cityscape of an iconic American city is featured in this photo by CJ Schmit. Looking down an avenue we see light trails from the fast-moving cars at night as well as rich details in the architecture of the city.
Dawn – a very rickety looking pier produces a strong sense of drama that finds the viewer taken through the frame by great leading lines. As the eye makes its way down the pier, we find an old dilapidated building and just behind that in the far distance we see signs of city life. As photographed by CH Tan.
Douglas A-4 Skywarrior – terrific natural grace is found in the designs dictated by physics in the world of aviation. This wonderful image as photographed by Tim Stanley shares a scene of an iconic plane in the American fleet that saw a storied career.
Streaking over MPLS – a strong sense of motion in the clouds is juxtaposed against the crisp details of the city’s architecture in this great image by Bob Israel. Terrific colors in the lights emitting from the city gently paints the buildings in soft light, allowing for a splendid opportunity for photography.
on the streets – a tilted horizon adds a unique perspective in the first shot in this short series of black-and-white street based photos from photobypawelp. Deep contrasts in the monochromatic images finds all the inherent drama in the scenes, which come together as a great collection and expression of street life.
Big Stick – Steve Beal continues to exercise his new Leica camera, with this shot focusing on his dog running with a stick in it’s mouth. The incredible results from this camera deliver a picture just full of great tones and details, making for a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Back in the alleys – old architecture, great graffiti and top drawer textures are all captured and exposed in this terrific image by Jim Nix. The wonderful personality of the country and city finds further expression in the cobblestone streets of Bratislava, making for a wonderful picture to view and enjoy.
West Bottoms, Kansas City – a forlorn section of Kansas City creates the absolutely perfect setting for the HDR photography of Blake Rudis. This set of image features the architecture left to the elements and some pianos left outside a long abandoned piano shop. As you would expect from well-done HDR images, the textures and details here are absolutely compelling to view.
San Antonio Christmas Skyline – 2011 – as the holiday season approaches we see more and more images featuring decorations from all over the world. Brian Moran finds himself high atop a building in San Antonio, Texas with this shot and captures a picture that features terrific architectural details and the beautiful lights that adorn the city.
Red Coupe #5 – classic cars are awesome photography subjects, with their intricate flowing lines, rich and vibrant colors and historical fascination that lends itself to imagery. Wayne Frost captures a shot of one such ride, bringing it to his blog to share with everyone.
Westinghouse – everyone loves old, rusty machinery, especially when it’s full of great character. As Steven Perlmutter and a friend explore an old, abandoned facility they encounter some really great scenes and this is the first in a series that Steven will be posting featuring this place. This old generator in the middle of a room nearby some old, crusty windows makes for an iconic scene to view and enjoy.
Back to the Diner – Edith Levy captures a great shot of an old art-deco styled diner, reminiscent of the early part of the previous century. Great details and shapes in these old designs make for great personality, and Edith’s image delivers this to the proverbial “T”.
Four Model A Fords – ready to head back in time a hundred years? Mark Summerfield finds a car show and a line of these old classics and captures a shot to process monochromatically to give it an authentic old feel. Mark’s processing in this shot is very sympathetic to the subjects; this is a wonderful photograph.
Boats on Somes Sound in Early Morning Fog, Maine – a lovely nautical setting is captured and presented here by Rob Hanson. Great details in the anchored boats are reflected back in the incredibly still waters and a low-lying fog adds a mysterious layer.
Droplet – colorful negative space created by the shallow depth of focus and the petals in the flower naturally draws the viewer to the real subject in this shot, a solitary drop of water perched delicately on the petal. Mark Garbowski creates an almost abstract piece with this image, a truly captivating piece to take in and enjoy.
Aso-san – an active volcano in Japan creates the perfect conditions and settings for Bu Balus to photograph. Great colors within the volcano itself are accented by the beautiful colors hanging in the sky above, and the natural shapes and features of the landscape lead the viewer through the frame quite naturally.
*** – an old wooden fence and gate create a layer of interest in the foreground in this incredible vista, as photographed here by Rafa Galeano. As the viewer finds their way around the picture, you find further layers of interest in the rolling hills and mountains that form the backdrop.
Angel – Tyto Alba – this is stunning, truly stunning. As a beautiful owl lands on a branch, it’s wings are wide open and it’s posture captivating to see. Milan Zygmunt’s shallow depth of focus helps the bird stand out from it’s background, making for a truly compelling piece.
Espiral – perspective is dropped on it’s head in this awesome image by Fermín Noain. What is technically a perfect architectural study of a magnificent staircase is also a great abstract exhibiting fabulous curves, lines and details.
3 Reasons to Visit Custer State Park in Winter – this is much more than a call to action, it’s also a terrific series of images from Dakota Visions Photography. We enjoy three distinct outdoor photographs taken in Custer State Park in the winter.
Old South Gaylord Street – a stunning winter scene, full of beautiful holiday lights and the magical feel of a city covered in snow is presented by Rick Louie. This photograph from last year taken in the heart of winter really showcases the character of Denver, Colorado.
Cascade of Color – this is a great shot by Curt Fleenor taken with a fisheye lens that shares a scene of a fast moving cascade that is decorated by the remains of autumns leaves. Virginia is a beautiful state in the fall, and Curt’s shot does a great job of showcasing just why.
Image and Wordsworth – a truly beautiful photograph is shared here by sugarsandphotography. Flowers fill the frame with gorgeous delicate colors that are both striking and captivating, and the naturally formed shapes and lines in the petals draws the viewer in.
Crossing the street – this is a great shot, straight from the studio of Scott Wood. Tension is a great element in photography when expressed well, and Scott does a terrific job of capturing and delivering on this concept.
Memories For A Lifetime – what a superb photograph, one that shares a beautiful sunset and a wonderful personal moment between father and son. Metro DC Photography presents a moment that will endure, with it’s beauty found on many levels.
Sudden In A Shaft Of Sunlight, Even While The Dust Moves – a great shot that exhibits graffiti and decay, and has terrific leading lines. Mark Garbowski takes us inside an abandoned and decrepit location complete with some of the best textures and details that Urbex photography can share.
Panama City towers – a sharp and crisp city skyline greets the viewer in his awesome cityscape presented by Jim Nix. Jim shares this great image as well as some background information on the city of Panama that gives the story serious depth.
Winter's Bone: Every Scene Tells A Story – a fabulous example of a monochromatic landscape scene that exhibits deep emotion in the contrasts and shadows. Sandra Hale shares a personal thought with this highly dramatic picture, creating something that is more than the sum of the elements.
warsaw_03 – a lovely winter scene is presented here by jakub_ek that features a snow-capped landscape, a bench and the surroundings of the city. Terrific colors in the night sky add a further layer of interest to the image.
Andrew Moore – Andrew has an amazing collection of images posted on his site here, going back years and year. Some of the subjects are architectural, some are direct comments on society and some express desolation through decay and weathering.
Music and Lights – this is a beautiful nighttime cityscape, as photographed and presented here by CJ Schmit. Super crisp details in the architecture emerge from the scene as you spend time moving around the image.
Clio School – a terrific shot that features decay and abandonment juxtaposed against the backdrop of nature, as shot and shared here by Mike Lilly. A travel-trailer parked in front of the old school provides a little context and scale, as well as an additional element that leaves the viewer with outstanding questions.
rouse – gorgeous colors in the sky bathe the scene in warm tones as a bridge forms a leading line to take the viewer through the frame and out to sea. This is a perfect composition, Nuno Mota does a wonderful job in using the natural elements in the image to lead the viewer through it.
Bodie, California – the little town of Bodie in California now serves as a living museum and a most amazing destination for photographers. The antiques and artifacts left behind are now on display, and as they cast the most striking shadows from the natural light, Dhiren Babaria comes away with a compelling set to view and enjoy.
Kiss Her Again – Jim Denham creates a spectacular work of art by photographing a spectacular work of art! The graffiti under a bridge creates a compelling scene to take in, one where composition is the single most important element to get right to fully express the vision. Jim does a terrific job with this, coming away with something that is sure to amaze everyone!
Down The Road with my #ProjectDSCS30 – Scott Wood shows us all how it’s the photographer that’s important, not the actual tools. This is a terrific photo that Scott processes in black-and-white to bring all the drama out, and the incredible vanishing point from the ribbon of road here tops it all off just wonderfully.
Ancient Forces – Ian Plant takes us deep into the Zion National Park where he captures a photo of the natural rock formations that play with natural light, creating abstract vignettes that are absolutely compelling. This shot finds further layers in the blue in the water that leads the viewer through the picture.
Split – this image portrays almost two scenes in one, as shot and shared here by Chris Frailey. On one side we see an incredibly powerful rainstorm complete with lightning, and heading towards it like a freight-train from the other side is a massive dust storm, known as a Haboob.
Landscape with Corvette… – a beautiful landscape scene finds us looking over a gorgeous black Corvette as the vista unfolds in front of us. This is a fabulous shot, one that features a little of nature and a little of man made engineering, as photographed by Pawel Kucharski.
Autumnal Spirits – the lovely colors of autumn leaves pepper a beautiful landscape in this picture by Gareth Glynn Ash. The walking path that Gareth used in his composition leads the viewer right through the scene and out into a glorious vanishing point, leaving us with a sense of questions that remain.
Singapore Financial Centre – an incredible architectural study finds us looking at the Singapore city skyline, taking in the modern styling that is evident in this hub in the world. Andy Sim takes it up a notch here by including a soft reflection in the waters that mirror the city back at the viewer. The finishing touch here is the bridge that adds interest and leads the viewer into the picture.
The Falcon’s Feathers – Bev grabs a shot of a magnificent falcon, sitting with it’s wings spread open. Her spot-on shallow depth-of-focus makes the regal bird stand out from it’s backdrop, producing a picture that is as compelling as it is beautiful.
Red-bellied Woodpecker – Taking Off – a wonderful woodpecker with colorful plumes sits in a tree and is taking off in these pictures from Kerri Farley. Kerri’s perfect depth-of-focus, particularly in the first shot, sets the bird apart from the backdrop, really drawing the viewer right to the natural beauty of the bird.
Little Pink – a lovely soft pink flower is presented in this shot from Kat White. The great details in the flower work with the soft colors and hues to make a striking photograph, one that will be enjoyed by everyone who visits.
The Impressive Cathedral of Ani aka the Fethiye Mosque – an ancient cathedral stands alone in the middle of what looks to be nowhere. This segment is the third part of a four part series highlighting a bit of the history, it’s current state and some of the controversy that surrounds it locally.
40 Breathtaking Photos from National Geographic Contest – an epic collection of photographs from the folks at National Geographic. Some of the photos are truly heartwarming while others are heartbreaking. No matter what, they serve as a reflection of the world we find ourselves living in.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… – another wonderful series of photographs that depict the human condition and the world around us. These are all powerful images featuring all sorts of aspects of life, making for an article that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who visits.
20 Things That Are Way Better In Slow Motion – super high speed imagery allows us to slow down motion to see the underlying physics and relationships between events and items being in a constant state of flux. This is a superb collection featuring all sorts of different subjects and vantages, each one sharing some of the underlying secrets of the universe.
What Prints Hang in My Home? – I am not sure what’s better here, the jaw-dropping photography or the glimpse into Trey Ratcliff’s personal perception of his best shots. Check them out, you’ll be glad you did.
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.