Another week rolls by us here as Toad Hollow Photography searches the internet looking for the best tutorials, collections, photography and blogs to share with everyone. It's been a very exciting week, with some really awesome images posted by truly talented photographers. We really hope you enjoy viewing these images and blogs as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Learn How To Create Better Photos By Reading These Extremely Useful Tutorials – a fabulous list of links to tutorials that cover all ranges of topics pertinent to the field of photography. If you’re curious or want to learn more about a specific aspect, there is probably a link in this list that can help.
7 Shortcuts to Becoming A Full-Time Professional Photographer – this short article delivers pointers on how to turn photography into a fulltime viable business. There are some great thoughts and concepts outlined here that may help you take your practice to that next step.
13 Tips for Staying Motivated in Photography – a common-sense but fairly comprehensive look at ways and means to keep your foot in the game and moving forward with your practice. These great tips can really make a difference.
30 Pictures Which Prove That We Live On A Gorgeous Planet – a vast collection of images featuring landscapes and nature, showcasing the beauty of this wonderful planet in many different ways. This is an amazing collection, well worth the time to visit and see for yourself.
Gallery of Vintage Portraits – a fabulous set of portrait images taken many years ago, most of them in black-and-white. It’s always amazing to see how things have changed over the years, and these glimpses into the past are completely intriguing.
21 Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped – you can’t always believe what your eyes tell you, but in this case you won’t want to believe them… yet it’s all true! This is a wonderful set of photographs that depict the most amazing things that have naturally occurred. Warning: there is some strong language in this post that might not be suitable for viewing in all environments.
Haboob crossing – a natural phenomenon that almost defies proper description, a haboob is basically a huge wall of sand that descends upon an area very quickly. Mike Olbinski is well-known for his work capturing epic shots of storms, lightning and haboobs and this once again finds us witness to a truly amazing thing through photography.
Swirling Clouds – an experiment that produces striking results, an experience and photograph shared by Scott Wood. By stacking a series of timelapse photographs Scott has created a literal 30 minute exposure in the middle of the day, documenting the activity in the sky in a truly unique way.
Sunset – as the sun begins its descent for the day, Mohammed Al-Fozan captures a great shot that will remain in the minds of many for time to come. Gorgeous hues in the landscape are revealed, creating a very moody landscape.
Humble Beauty – make no mistake, I love old wooden barns, there is just something so romantic and nostalgic about them. And they make for great photography. Jim Denham shares a great black-and-white shot of one such barn. These old buildings display the best patina and this one in particular is full of great details.
Sunrise at Canyonlands – a beautiful landscape from Canyonlands National Park is showcased here in this breathtaking piece by Rick Louie. As the sun emerges from behind the cloak of darkness, an amazing vista is revealed, full of awesome colors and and layer upon layer of of detail.
Water’s Edge at Johnson Street Bridge – one of our personal favorite photography subjects always is heritage buildings. So much history is held within the walls of these famous places, even if they are famous only to us locals. Joseph de Lange delivers a series of black-and-white shots of a boarded up building in the heart of Victoria with an uncertain future.
Simply: Petra! – a stunning photograph by Mohammad Asfour that reveals magnificent scale to the viewer who spends time taking in the details. This image reveals an entrance to an ancient place in the old city of Petra, looking down from high above. Look carefully for the people moving around far below and a sudden rush of realization of the size of this place will wash over you.
Big Light – a wonderful old lighthouse overlooking Lake Superior displays great architecture and brickwork in this great photograph by Rob Nopola. The true scale of this romantic spot is revealed in finding the people wandering around the base of the building.
Raphzilla – Chris Nitz delivers one of his iconic Toy Wars photos, finding a very unique way to bring humor and art together in one perfect package. Chris’ composition and staging of the scene are absolutely terrific here, guaranteed to bring a wide smile to all who pop by for a visit.
Wheel – an old wooden wagon wheel forms the subject for this dramatic black-and-white photograph by Heather Neil. A fabulous shadow is on the ground, adding a great layer to an already fabulous image.
Beautiful Sunsets of Winter – sometimes it’s all about the colors, and this gorgeous evening sky revealed to Jay&Jacy Photography does a great job of exhibiting this. A barren tree frame left paints a silhouette against the vibrant and intense colors in the brushed sky.
The Lounge (HDR) – taken aboard a cruise ship, this captivating shot by Klaus Herrmann features a lounge in the early morning hours. The light cast by the design of the room exposes great details, producing an image that expresses the character of it just spot-on.
Bridge To Salvation – a very old wooden church is perfectly framed in this composition that uses an old wooden bridge to guide the viewer’s eye straight into the heart of it. First-rate natural lines in the planks that line the bridge’s throughway are the perfect leaders in this shot that is full of history and nostalgia sure to pique the interest of everyone who visits.
Amsterdam rain – this famous city is full of wondrous architecture, a photographer’s dream, and Jim Nix posts an image taken in the blue hour that really does a great job showcasing it’s great character. The colors in the buildings from their lights dots the scene with vibrant details to spend time with as you take it all in.
Bray Head by Night – this is definitely one of those once in a lifetime shots that really blows away everyone who sees it. photobypawelp captures a long exposure photograph featuring star light-trails as a backdrop to a cross that stands high atop a hill. A truly dramatic picture.
Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park – Anne McKinnell shares her adventures with us all through her great photography, this time taking us to the world-famous Joshua Tree National Park. The first shot in this set features a really interesting natural rock formation that, well, takes on a life of it’s own.
Slot Canyon, Arizona – a very special place, indeed, for art lovers and photographers alike. Mark Paulson captures and shares a shot here that features the great natural abstracts that can be found in the canyon, painted and brought to life with some really terrific colors. A beam of light that shines through from above tops it all off with a perfect layer of tension.
Great Horned Owl – a truly majestic Great Horned Owl is captured in mid-flight by Conrad Tan. Absolutely perfect details in the bird’s face, expression and feathers brings it to life for everyone, making for a must-see picture in this week’s list.
Solo and the Power of Why – a terrific, terrific post that features both a great photograph as well as some just wonderful background details, adding depth. Laurie MacBride shows a photo of a deer living in her yard along with some profound thoughts that no doubt are exactly what the deer is thinking… you’ll love this, check it out!
Lake Mohonk Boat Dock In Fog – a dark, moody shot by Mark Garbowski takes us to the Mohonk Mountain House where a dense and dramatic fog has settled over the landscape for the entire weekend he stayed. Mark takes this great shot looking down a pier into what one would presume to be the lake, creating a great vanishing point that is broken perfectly by some canoes.
Greek Wreck – Stefan Gries takes a long exposure shot of a very textured old shipwreck off the coast of Greece. The brooding skies add a great layer of drama to the picture, ultimately leaving the viewer with a lonely and haunted feeling. Absolutely terrific.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona – the incredibly detailed architecture creates a perfect tapestry for the mind’s eye, exposing lines and shapes from all directions. Svetlana Luz composes a great shot of this comprehensively detailed ceiling, sharing a piece of art through Svetlana’s art.
Like Tombstones They Stand – Abandoned Apartments – the surreal black-and-white landscape of a long-abandoned construction site in central Korea awaits the visitor to this shot. The speed of which nature begins to take over what has been left behind and is completely neglected is amazing, as exposed in this great photograph by Jackson Hung. A visit to this page contains links to other shots featuring this abandoned facility, for those who may be interested in going deeper into the story.
Арка – an ultra-white landscape created by a perfect blanket of deep, rich snow is captured and shared in this shot by Игорь Криволуцкий. A roadway takes the viewer through and under a canopy of snow-encrusted trees, forming the most beautiful vista that truly defies all form of description.
Illuminate – a finely illuminated city skyline paints a warm and detailed vista of Chicago, revealing terrific architecture lit internally, bringing life to the teeming city from this perspective. This is really a fabulous photograph, full of great details that get revealed to the viewer as you spend time taking in the finer aspects of the image.
The Cemetery in the Monastery Castle – this is a sombre piece from the studio of Trey Ratcliff that features a very dramatic castle overlooking a cemetery below. Trey’s great perspective adds a strong sense of scale and grandeur to the scene.
By Night – Singapore, Marina bay – the beautiful city skyline in Singapore is lit by the beautiful architecture, creating a piece full of fabulous details as captured and shared here by Anita Megyesi. The gentle reflection in the waters in the foreground add an extra layer of interest to this really compelling shot.
waiting for spring . . . – this is a wonderful piece as created by local photographer dragonflydreams88. It appears that four separate images were combined to create this singular piece that really does a great job of expressing the feeling of looking forward to the coming spring.
doors and bed frames – incredible textures that are very typical to great HDR imagery are presented in this great image by David Stoddart. Perhaps lost to time these great artifacts today create the most amazing photography subjects, and David does a great job in expressing the sense of the place.
Not an Exit – this is a fabulous shot by Bob Israel that reveals layers of interest as you spend time moving around the frame taking in the details. What appears to be an abandoned room in a building is full of weathering and patina, with a view out the window. The real treasure here, though, is in the sign that the photograph is named after, adding a touch of rich tension to the picture.
Rocking Horse – a seemingly abandoned factory of sorts plays host for Urbex photographers. This particular shot is post-processed using slightly muted colors, adding drama and mood to the scene, further accented by the wonderful gymnastics horse set in the middle of the abandonment bringing a human element to an unforgiving location.
Cabin Under The Stars – what a wonderful photograph, depicting a cold winter’s night with a view of a quaint little snow-covered cabin in the woods under a carpet of stars. This great shot by Brian Powers shares a view of our world in an almost magical quality, making for a must-see image in this week’s list.
Pea Ridge National Military Park – a fabulous series of three photographs taken at this historic park by Steve Creek. This storied location is home to events that unfolded as the country was going through the process of having it’s foundation created, and the raw history is perfectly showcased in these photographs by Steve.
West Sweden Cemetery– an awesome black-and-white from the studio of Melinda Green Harvey that shares a view of a headstone in a cemetery. Melinda’s shot here takes advantage of the tilted stone, and by using a very shallow depth-of-focus she brings the viewer’s attention straight to the subject, and thus the heart, of the scene.
A Haunting Light – Mike Criswell takes us right into the heart of an iconic lighthouse, sharing a perspective looking up at the circular staircase the leads to the heavens. Mike’s perfect composition creates a sense of the abstract in this shot, which in reality is a great architectural study full of textures and details.
Into the West – this wonderful photograph of a rolling vista is shared here by Bob Lussier. A black-and-white picture taken using a long lens compressing the long range details and changing the sense of perspective. Great beauty and drama is found in the community and surrounding landscape of this scene.
The Grey Man Will Always Find His Way – absolutely wonderful tension is exuded in this photograph from the studio of Mark Garbowski. This latest shot in his long-running series finds the Grey Man looking towards the NY skyline. Processed as a black-and-white, this picture delivers great details that take on a truly nostalgic feel.
Downhill Slide – a beautiful waterfall cascades down the landscape, and Curt Fleenor captures a wonderful photograph using a long exposure that brings the inherent beauty in the scene out for all to enjoy. Lovely colors in the autumn foliage bring an extra dimension of interest to the picture.
Montmartre (Les “Vendredi” avec Anne-Laure) – a truly wonderful collection of black-and-white images taken by Mathias Lucas. Mathias has a true knack for candid street photography, and this collection features some fabulous examples of this as well as detailed images of art and architecture.
Angkor Thom: My Favorite Temple at Angkor Wat | Bayon Temple – Sunrise Reflection – a terrific series of images in two posts taken at a 1,000 year old sacred location in Cambodia. Keith Cuddeback delivers these pictures by using HDR techniques, producing striking images full of great textures, colors and details. This pair of posts features both the photographs as well as details into the method of capturing and processing, and some background information on the site.
Friday in Sligo – magnumlady brings us along as she goes for a stroll on a beautiful morning in Ireland. The lovely colors of the morning sunrise create the perfect lighting for the features and architecture of the Irish landscape, making for a post sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Empty Benches – a dark and brooding view of the city of Pittsburgh is shared here by Rich McPeek. Rich composes this shot featuring a set of benches overlooking the city, and by processing those results as a black-and-white he delivers a very dramatic vista to take in and enjoy.
Right Place, Right Time – it’s hard to argue with such a dramatic title when the photography backs it up. Mark Mullen shares 4 shots in this post taken in the countryside. A cloud inversion in the area has created low-lying cloud formations, draping the entire countryside in a cloak of fog, adding to the overall drama of the landscape.
I Love It Here – Jerry Denham takes us into the forests of East Tennessee to see a view of a particularly gorgeous landscape. Several fabulous elements come together in this shot to create a compelling and special piece. Natural leading lines created by natural elements guides the viewer comfortably to the center of the image where we find a truly wonderful reflection.
London Shootfighters Shoot – an awesome presentation as created and posted by Mark Blundell uses a rotating slideshow format to showcase some of his latest photographs. Taken at a local gym used by UFC fighters, Mark’s use of lighting to create individual and exquisite portraits makes for a production well worthy of a visit.
Dom … Part the 2nd – a really character-rich portrait of a cat who has moved right into the home of photographer Gareth Glynn Ash. This is a mighty cute cat, full of personality, which comes shining through in this wonderful picture.
“Sun Flare” 2 – vibrant colors and rich details await the visitor here that can only be found in nature’s very own sunflower in full bloom. Rachel Cohen presents a photograph that features beauty in nature in a way that captivates the visitor instantly.
Blades of Frost – a delicate light frost covers the long grasses and O. Helene Kobelnyk captures a very low perspective photograph of this beautiful event. A grass eye view, if you will. The shallow depth-of-focus that Helene used to create this shot makes the main subjects pop right out of the frame at the viewer.
The Ducks Vs The Photographer – a story of a story, how absolutely wonderful! Metro DC Photography shares a totally terrific pair of images of a photographer in action. The silhouette of the photographer creates the perfect tension for these images, working with the elements of the setting to really deliver two amazing pictures.
Light Show at the Bund – an absolutely incredible collection of new photographs from Adam Allegro takes us to the sightseeing tunnels in China that put on an incredible light show. Adam uses a long exposure to capture these shots creating a set of pictures full of vibrant colors and abstract shapes.
Senseless – a profound image resulting from a profound encounter, as created by Barbara Youngleson. A wooden boat full of character is captured in this image, carefully post-processed as a black-and-white to fully express the drama in both the scene and the underlying event.
Monhegan Panorama – a near insane resolution image awaits the visitor in this magnificent panoramic by Steven Perlmutter, featuring an overview of the village on Monhegan Island in Maine. Incredible levels of details are visible across a massive area of land, producing a breathtaking picture that`s really a must-see in this week`s list.
windows 8.0 – an almost surreal environment in an abandoned facility in Berlin produces a striking subject for markus studtmann. Shattered windows, frames, pipes to nowhere.. a true Urbex domain, wonderfully expressed in this great image.
Wynn Exclusives – a pair of HDR images by Jimi Jones showcases the incredible architecture of the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore hotels against a striking blue sky. These hotels are true five star facilities, and the expression in the buildings and Jimi`s photography ìs outstanding.
The School at MacSkimming – a post dear to my own heart! This great feature showcases a collection of images taken of an old heritage schoolhouse and all the details and items held within. Victor Rakmil presents this old school in a wonderful way, sharing a view into a time now long past.
Weekly photo challenge: Illumination – Sherry Galey creates a fabulous architectural study in this photograph, featuring a very distinctive bridge in Florida at night. The wonderful lights of the bridge bathe it in a warm glow and the natural leading lines created through the architecture takes the viewer comfortably through the frame.
“Let’s Go!” – a simple, uncluttered piece by Howard Jackman delivers something quite unique. This black-and-white shot of a hand holding a piece of exercise equipment is perfectly lit, bringing to it a strong sense of drama and texture through the details captured.
St Andrews Church West Stoke – Barry Turner creates a special image here, one that finds us looking up a gentle sloping hill over a cemetery to a historic church site. The incredible stone work that comprises the church construction creates wonderful details and textures to view and take in, accented here by the wonderful architecture that went into the design of the facility.
Fall color on the Guadalupe River – breathtaking colors and features converge in this photograph by Jim Nix to present a lovely fall scene that showcases both the incredible colors in the fall foliage as well as the wonderful blue tones in the fast moving river. This is most definitely a gorgeous scene, with perfect composition.
Broken – a lovely seascape scene that shares a view of a fissure in the rocks on the seaside in California. Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck add texture to this wonderful photograph with the heartfelt prose they have included to share their thoughts. A piece well worth the time to visit.
Mali prštavac B/W – a fabulous waterfall in Croatia forms the ultimate subject matter for the photography of Tomislav Gašparović. This incredible black-and-white shot was captured using a long exposure, turning these epic waterfalls into a veil of water adorning the landscape below. A rustic sign adds the perfect finishing touch, creating a picture that is a true must-see in this week’s list.
Snow-Covered Bow Bridge – the incredible spot known as Central Park in NYC finds itself coated in a layer of fresh snow as Erin Duke comes across the scene with camera in hand. The fresh, clean snow covers the scene in bright light, creating a magical setting that Erin composes just perfectly to create a captivating piece.
Otherworldly Gorge – Scott Wood creates and shares another of his iconic IR shots in this post, featuring a vista that goes on forever. The IR method produces striking details in the landscape, and the brooding sky adds a layer of drama.
Touchdown in Tucson – master storm photographer Mike Olbinski shares another shot from his collection of lightning photographs. As Mike overlooks the city, a powerful tendril strikes the city, illuminating the surrounding skies in vibrant purple hues.
Lurking – shadows, especially deep ones that appear to hold secrets, can produce the most dramatic elements for photography. Mark Garbowski takes us inside an abandoned room with a staircase in it, and intentionally leaves the corners of the staircase enshrouded in shadow to heighten the sense and feel of the image.
Triple Twilight – a soft evening sky produces a lovely and colorful vista that overlooks a glorious massive waterfall raging far below. This fabulous photo from Alex Noriega accents the raw power and beauty of nature through the frenzied action of the falls juxtaposed against the stillness of the star covered sky.
Mortlake Blue Hour – absolutely wonderful colors and tones in the late evening sky paint the landscape is vibrant hues in this photograph from the studio of Chris Maskell. Wavy reflections in the water mirror back the colors and contrasts in the clouds hanging high in the sky above.
Truck & Sunrise – a morning sunrise finds Rabih Von Mohamad roadside as the beautiful colors of the emerging day bring new light to a roadway with a truck moving it’s way through. The incredible sense of speed of the truck is offset by the still beauty of it’s surroundings.
The window – an old, weathered window creates a perfect frame for this view into the broader outside world by Marco Barone. This shot captured in France overlooks the Alps under cover of a blanket of lovely stars.
Doom – what an awesome black-and-white shot from the studio of Chris Frailey. Chris captures a shot of the Superstition Mountains looming in the distance, draped with a dramatic and moody shadow the leaves the viewer wanting more. The lighting evident in this scene truly makes it, definitely a shot well worth the time to pop over to see for yourself.
Empress Executive Order #1 – Mike Criswell does it again, delivering another installment in his running themed series entitled “The Empress”. Mike’s jaw-dropping photography lends itself perfectly to the tongue-in-cheek look at the current gun issues in the political arena in the US.
Robin – Tongue Out and Ruffled – a rather candid shot of a Robin expressing a feeling of sorts. This wonderful photograph by Kerri Farley really showcases the marvel of nature in an unscripted environment, sharing a bit of the character of this little bird going about it’s day.
Still Waters – we find ourselves riverside in this wonderful picture by Bev. An old and wise tree sits frame left, producing great shadows that play across the river as it slowly meanders by us. This is a beautiful and peaceful image.
100-year-old photos found in antique camera – what if you got your hands on a really old camera? What if it still had images in it from 100 years ago that remained unseen? Anton Orlov got much more than he bargained for recently after acquiring a camera that was over 100 years old. When he opened it, he found a treasure trove of images you just have to see to believe.
Soviet Propaganda Centre, Bulgaria – an utterly haunting series of photographs of a long abandoned facility in Bulgaria. Darmon_Richter takes us deep inside the concrete building to see some of the incredible features now long forgotten, save for a long inhabitant with unique interests. This post is sure to amaze everyone who visits, leaving you with many more questions than answers.
Timeless Photos of 1930’s Car Crashes in Boston – perhaps a little macabre, but no less interesting for it, this mega collection of black-and-white photographs from the 1930’s depicts automobile accidents of the time. The manner of dress of the people back then, the details in the architecture, and the huge differences in our modern cars make for a set that is both chilling in the realization of the events that unfolded to create these situations as much as it is fascinating to have a peek into a period of time almost 100 years old now.
Norway Travel Tips – this great blog post shares two key items; a set of terrific images of the beautiful northern lights (aurora borealis) and a sailboat tied to a dock in the midst of frozen waters, and some great tips and tricks for traveling on a budget in Norway.
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.