Things in the world of photography have never been so exciting! Another terrific week rolls by us here and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy curating a fresh list of links to tutorials, reviews, special features, collections, great photography and really interesting blogs to share. There's definitely a little something here for everyone, taking a wide look at all that's gone on this past week. We really hope you enjoy seeing the pictures created by some of the most talented artists out there, as well as the feature articles shared here by the Toad.
Macro Flower Photography Tips for Eye-Catching Photos – this brief article discusses some key points for capturing flowers close-up using macro techniques. The techniques talked about are illustrated with some really great shots helping the viewer to visualize some of the results.
Exposure Guide Infographic: Road to Exposure – a set of three infographics posted on Dakota Visions Photography’s site visually shows the reader the relationship between the holy trinity of photography settings; ISO, shutter speed and aperture. The relationship between these technical elements is directly related to the results produced and this brief and simple article helps to remove some of the mystery regarding these key issues.
The HDR Panorama Workflow – whether you’ve got a minute or an hour, this presentation is sure to share something with you. This one minute and fifteen second video shows master artist Martin Perhiniak as he goes about creating a stunning HDR panorama. This quick presentation is sure to show even the most seasoned veterans something interesting about post-processing, and for those looking for more, you could probably step through it frame by frame to pull out all the details.
Fstoppers Reviews The Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Lens – if you’re looking to get into the tilt-shift game in photography but have been held back by the price tags for lenses, this article discusses a new lens that is significantly cheaper than the Canon and Nikon equivalents. Mike Kelley goes into great detail with his review, including a batch of sample photographs that do a terrific job of illustrating key points.
“Metal” The Mighty SR-71 Blackbird – for the avid aviation enthusiast, there’s nothing better than being able to see some of these incredible birds in detail. Howard Jackman brings us along on an epic exploration of the Hill Air Museum in this post where he features a large collection of photographs of the awesome airplanes on display.
Delving into Dalvay – this fabulous post by McPhedran Phocus takes us along on a grand adventure exploring the fabulous facility known as Dalvay-By-The-Sea National Historic Site. We get to enjoy the intricate and beautiful architectural details that make up the design of this heritage building as well as a series of interior shots that do a stunning job of showcasing its beauty.
The Path of the Generalist – Joe McNally shares an adventure with us by showing a spectacular collection of photographs he captured at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. Joe’s great insights that accompany these totally incredible photographs gives us all a glimpse into his inner workings as a master in the field, helping to serve as an inspiration on many levels.
20 Awesome Photos Of The Supermoon – the recent supermoon event has been the catalyst for tons of great photography focusing on this beguiling subject. This collection of photographs features some terrific shots of this natural event in striking ways, really showing how the moon means different things to different folks as expressed through their personal art.
Connections – at first glance this image may seem a trifle mundane or lacking a lot of interest, especially due to most of the frame being rather fuzzy from the slow shutter speed used to capture it. When you read Mark Garbowski’s thoughts that accompany this black-and-white, it suddenly takes on a completely different meaning, becoming an image for the viewer that is sure to haunt you for some time to come. This is a candid street shot unlike that which I’ve ever seen before, make sure to take the time to read the story behind it for full effect.
Brown Bear Cubs – Ron Niebrugge captures a shot of a pair of wonderfully cute bear cubs doing what they do best… being characters out in the wild! This great shot showcases the incredible spirit that these creatures have, with a glimpse into their wonderful personalities.
Old Higgins Farm Windmill – incredible textures and character are explored in this shot by Wayne Beauregard that features a historic windmill of wood construction. The surrounding landscape creates the perfect spot for this incredible feature to call home, and Wayne’s great photograph really showcases the inherent wonder of the windmill.
Yellow Tulip – the Butchart Gardens are world renowned for their immaculate and incredible beauty, beckoning travellers far and wide to come and enjoy the epic gardens. Frank King pays a visit to these gardens, and comes away with a gorgeous shot of a vibrant yellow tulip captured with a shallow depth-of-focus that does a great job of isolating the flower from its backdrop.
Nos deux regards au Musée de la Vie Romantique | Nos deux regards… – Mathias Lucas and Anne-Laure K. share their two unique perspectives of a photoshoot done at the same place. We are brought along on an exploration of The Museum of Romantic Life, being fortunate enough to see the same building and it’s contents displayed and photographed using two different eyes and styles. Each post can easily stand on it’s own, but when taken in together as a set, they really take on a whole new dimension of interest.
Moss Street Bungalow – one of the best parts about living on Vancouver Island is our character architecture. The homes reflect our lifestyles here, full of great details that set these homes apart, as is showcased in this fabulous photograph by Lotus Johnson.
Time to Recharge – a pair of old electrical instruments form the subject for the photograph in this great post by Erik Kerstenbeck. He uses the detailed image as a means to express some personal insights that are truly profound, producing a well-rounded piece sure to be considered enlightening for all who visit.
McKenzie's Jetty – the remnants of a mostly submerged tractor form the foreground in this striking photograph by Paul Emmings. The beautiful Australian landscape forms the perfect setting for a shot that does a great job of expressing inherent drama and artistic tension.
Sunny Lakescape – tethered boats make for great photography subjects, especially when they are wooden and full of character like the one captured in this shot by Andrew Thrasher. As this great boat sits in a lake of still water, the beautiful landscape around it is reflected back in the mirror-smooth waters, adding a terrific element of interest to the shot.
не подходи! – this great shot holds a lot of detail, showcasing an owl in the grass with it’s wings partially raised. Саша aka SAS captures and shares a striking shot of this owl as it postures with a dramatic pose.
Hidden Oasis – this epic landscape shot features a beautiful waterfall as seen through an opening that leads the viewer into the heart of the scene from a perspective taken high above. The raw and natural drama found in nature is explored in this capture from the studio of OUTEX Photo.
Lightning Crawlers – dramatic tendrils from a powerful lightning strike make their way across the frames in this breathtaking post by Chris Frailey. Chris features four of his latest images captured during the monsoon season in Arizona.
Highland Lighthouse – the inherent romance that is found in lighthouses is explored in this terrific photograph by Wayne Beauregard. Great natural light drapes the scene in warm tones, helping to create an overall inviting sense to the picture.
… – Dragan Djuric creates an abstract piece here using selective color techniques to draw the viewer to the areas of interest within the picture. This rustic scene in Croatia benefits greatly from the focus on the color red, gently guiding you into the picture to take in the terrific details and textures captured.
Gullfoss – a powerful waterfall in Iceland forms the basis for this landscape shot by Peter Negatsch. The beautiful and rugged landscape creates great details to take in and enjoy, and in one spot in the picture we find some people who punctuate the scene with an immediate sense of scale.
8 Ways to Inspire the Soul of a Photographer – this is a great shot by Spencer McDonald that features a waterfront scene overlooking the ocean and out towards the mountains. Spencer is not only a terrific photographer, he is also very insightful and this post features a series of thoughts that talk about what we, as photographers, get out of sharing our art with a wider audience.
Playground of the Gods – epic storm chaser Mike Olbinski brings us along on one of his latest adventures where he shares a black-and-white image of an electrifying lightning strike. Three separate bolts of light are striking the hills in the distance in this dramatic shot, producing a compelling piece to visit and enjoy.
The view from Conwy Mountain – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) takes us high atop a vantage point where we get to overlook the landscape below. The tones between the green landscape, the browns of the sand on the shore and the blues in the water work perfectly in harmony to deliver a shot that exemplifies the intricate beauty of the area.
Dialogue with Effective Information – after a brief hiatus we find Gareth Glynn Ash back behind his computer as he pens his latest blog post. A gorgeous sunrise greets the viewer in this shot that features stunning colors in the sky and a dramatic collection of clouds to add dimension.
Alaskan Serenity – Len Saltiel brings us along as he takes in a quiet moment looking over the incredible natural beauty found in Alaska. The still waters of Beyers Lake do a terrific job of mirroring the epic beauty back to the viewer, adding a terrific dimension to this image.
An Olympia Aurora Borealis – Scott Wood takes us up high to take in the wonderful greens of the Aurora Borealis as they stream overhead. This natural phenomenon creates a stunning display, and in this shot posted by Scott we see them hanging over the city of Olympia which adds a great element to the picture.
Back in five minutes – a profound post by Joseph de Lange that features a shot with a plethora of competing messages. The reflection of the scene behind Joseph in the window adds a great dimension to the shot, adding further visual confusion to the contrary signage posted in the window itself.
Wedge – the abstract beauty of a curling wave is explored in this terrific shot posted by David Orias. The soft edges of the fast moving water play with the incredible colors and tones refracted in it from the sky, working perfectly in harmony to deliver a stunning piece to view and enjoy.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 427 1967 – for those who love sports cars this shot is truly second-to-none. Britney Beyonce captures and creates a great shot here that features incredible details in the car itself working in conjunction with the movement that surrounds it to deliver a sense of excitement and speed.
Heading Home – Joe McNally shares a parting shot as he readies to make his way home. The beautiful star trails that circle high above him from this perspective share a vantage that accents how small we all are as people on this planet we call home within the context of the universe that surrounds us.
Under The Surface – this fabulous shot features some great natural tension in the composition that Andy Gimino has used to capture it. Andy finds a gentle waterfall near Underhill State Park that originates from a cement culvert that is finding itself enveloped by nature in a slow and encroaching way.
Roadside desolation – Melinda Green Harvey delivers another of her terrifically profound pieces in this post that features an abandoned building of some sort. Melinda takes the opportunity in having a captive audience looking at the shot to point out some of the finer details, adding huge elements of interest to an already fascinating picture.
Speckled Pond Lily – local photographer and friend Ehpem shares a post he created from a photograph taken when him and I were out together on a shoot recently. He uses HDR techniques to really bring out all the finer details found in the shot that features a beautiful pond lily lounging about. As he takes us in for a closer look, we suddenly find ourselves being watched back by a group of tiny insects of some sorts, adding a great dimension to the post and photograph shared here.
Brother – a pair of ultimately cute kittens sits on a sidewalk looking back at Akimasa Harada. The great expressions on the faces of these little fur friends is quite wonderful and the superbly shallow depth-of-focus totally isolates them from the backdrop, making them stand right out in the picture.
The Photographer and the Paraw – this shot features predominantly blue hues and tones, with a photographer in the foreground shooting a sailboat getting ready for the event. The composition delivers a strong sense of artistic tension, supported by the cool tones of the blue that cover the scene in it’s entirety.
Fireworks! – Perry Bailey paints the night sky by capturing a colorful shot of the fireworks. The silhouette of trees in the foreground adds a perfect touch of context to the scene, making for a striking shot to view and enjoy in this week’s list.
Bucolique Cambridge – Mathias Lucas captures a terrific composition of this famous landmark, processing it in black-and-white to really accent the rich drama of the commanding architecture that forms the facility. A trio of cows in the foreground adds a touch of context and allure to the scene.
Dreizinnenhütte – Rifugio Locatelli – a rugged mountain scene hosts a still lake and a series of abodes adding color, context and scale to a stunning landscape. The layers of the mountain range create a vista that seemingly goes on forever.
Life’s simple pleasures – a lovely marina scene finds a set of boats sitting underneath the most incredible colors in the sky. Barry Turner’s terrific shot here is an instant classic, immediately transporting the visitor to a place that expresses true serenity.
Downhill … – world famous Lombard St in San Francisco creates a palette full of patterns and colors with a scene full of locals and tourists alike traversing their vehicles down this twisty passageway. The composition used by Chaluntorn Preeyasombat to create this shot forms an almost abstract sense in delivery.
Old Wood and Iron at The Tryon – weathered wood and rusty iron are explored in this fabulous shot from the studio of Mark Neal that features various items and implements up against the wall of an old shed. Mark’s image showcases rich textures and details in the subjects that are so sharp you’ll swear you need a tetanus shot just to look at it.
Tosa Sunset – a beautiful, beautiful sunset shot by CJ Schmit showcases a colorful and vibrant evening sky against a silhouette of a grand tree. The clouds in the scene add both a touch of drama, as well as producing a stage for the fading days light to subtly morph.
Seeing the Art in Artichokes – this is a terrific photograph featuring a bowl of artichokes. Laurie MacBride trains her camera’s lens upon this pending feast, exposing great colors and details in the plant harvested before it flowers and making for a great subject to explore artistically.
Bugs in HDR – Light Stalking’s very own @astaroth shares a set of macro shots that focus on close-ups of insects. He uses several different post-processing techniques on the base images and shares those interpretations in this post, allowing the viewer to see different representations of the identical scene.
Big Mill from Sapello – a fabulous old heritage mill is captured in this pair of shots by Mark Summerfield. The beautiful old architecture and engineering form a great subject for Mark to share with us all here with pictures that have an absolutely authentic feel to them in terms of what you would expect to see in the late 1800’s.
Burgh Blue Hour – a beautiful cityscape at the blue hour is presented here by Rich McPeek. Crisp, clear details in the city’s architecture come to life in the glow of the city at night, and the incredible beauty of the rivers convergence in the foreground really adds a lovely touch.
Paldi’s Sikh Temple – Vancouver Island photographer Joseph de Lange takes us along to see the final remainder of the town of Paldi on the island here. This Sikh Temple was almost lost if not for the dedicated work of caring people in the community, and the ruins of the town are something we’ve shot and blogged about before ourselves due to the haunting remains of what once was a bustling little town.
Million stars hotel – as the startrails form brilliant circles in the nights sky above the Italian Alps, a pair of tents is lit below the canopy of light, adding the perfect splash of color and context to the scene. Andrea Vallini’s terrific shot juxtaposes human life under the watchful eye of the rugged landscapes formed by Mother Nature herself.
Today's Sunset – for lovers of the color yellow, we’ve found you the perfect picture! A gorgeous field of sunflowers is captured and shared in this photo by Elena Simona Craciun taken in a field in Romania somewhere.
The Day the Wall Came Down – this terrific shot from Tim Stanley showcases an incredible statue that symbolizes the importance of the Berlin Wall coming down. Four beautiful horses stamped over the wall in an effort to find freedom and happiness, a perfect metaphor for that important event.
Learning or begging? – a mother and baby bear stand over a clam in Alaska as Ron Niebrugge captures this great shot. The wonderful relationship between mother and cub is explored in this shot that greatly benefits from the terrific expression on the cubs face.
Lessons Learned on Trail #701 – Spencer McDonald shares his beautiful vistas and profound insights in this great post. Although these things were realized and discovered on a major hike to photograph a gorgeous scene, the points that Spencer discusses can be applied to life in general.
Rhyolite Ghost Town, Nevada – I just love ghost towns as photography subjects, there is something obviously haunting and compelling about them, at the same time. Anne McKinnell shares a trio of images from Rhyolite, each of which tells a thousand stories in a glance.
Sunset in West Austin – Jim Nix’s cityscape of Austin, Texas showcases a beautiful evening sky over a rolling city’s vista. The highway on the left part of the frame serves as a terrific leading line, culminating in the distance in a vanishing point.
Keeping Watch on “Creepy” Alvin – I just love the added context that Mike Criswell brings to this great shot taken inside Alcatraz Prison. As usual, Mike’s HDR interpretation of the scene captured is perfect with great colors, tones and details explored, but when taken in as a whole with his blog post it takes on a whole new dimension.
One Good Night of Photography – Blake Rudis shares a terrific evening out with the camera by showcasing a set of photographs he took on this fateful night. Blake’s HDR images convey several different subjects in very dramatic fashion, taking advantage of the natural lighting conditions and the weather.
A Good Deal – Jim Denham captures a quasi-candid shot of his son being a real character, and as a result he comes away with a stellar image. As always, a good portrait finds its anchor in the eyes, and Jim’s son has a great expression here peering back at the camera.
The Kitchen Sink – this is a great shot, with nary a straight line to be found anywhere in the subjects being focused on. Bob Lussier and his gang visit the abandoned town of Cisco where Bob grabs this shot of a few remaining buildings, each of which displays true character in the weathering they’ve experienced over the years.
Milky Way in Sedona – beautiful colors in the deep night sky create mesmerizing patterns and silhouettes in the landscape below in this breathtaking piece from Chris Frailey. It’s really incredible to see this cluster of stars like this, and it’s easy to see how Chris’ planning and perseverance have paid off big time here.
1960 – Rachel Cohen captures a great scene here, an authentic representation of a diorama hailing from the early 60’s, including a very classic car. Rachel’s image immediately whisks the viewer back to a much simpler time, with terrific details included to really accent the feeling.
Chateau de Chenonceau – incredible and majestic architecture awaits the viewer with this stunning photograph by Jim Nix. This famous chateaux in France features all the best elements of such a place; turrets, arches, grand details and a breathtaking setting. A definite must-see shot in this week’s list.
Lightning Photobombs a Photographer’s Firework Photographs – we’ve all got that crazy uncle or whacky friend who pops into a frame at just the right moment, transforming a sweet family shot into a chuckle-fest in less than a second. How about lightning? Have you ever seen lightning persistently pop into a scene being captured? Delilah Carter did, and this epic series of photographs is proof.
speed – an incredible sense of motion culminating in a spectacular vanishing point is presented in this shot by Ursi Mäsing. A gate at Zurich Airport provides the subject and Ursi provides the artistic input to create a shot that immediately invokes a sense of speed.
Barn Find – Joe Farace finds an old and weathered automobile in a storage building and then shares that find with us here. The lines on this old car are really quite wonderful, as are the textures and details from the car being left unused for so long.
The Darth Vader of the Bee World – half expecting to hear it proclaim something about being my father, I find this shot of a black bee by Beverly Everson to be compelling on several different levels. I’ve never seen one like this before, Beverly’s shot does a terrific job of sharing a portrait of this bee by isolating it from the backdrop with a super shallow depth-of-focus.
Harris Hawk – one very serious looking hawk peers back at the viewer in this frame captured by Alan Pendleton. Alan’s perfect composition allows us to focus on the personality of the bird, exposing terrific details in it’s face by taking us in close.
Freedom – beautiful rolling mountains bask in the warm tones of a low lying sun, accented by incredible details in the landscape and a colorful hot air balloon. This great shot from Peter From benefits greatly with the reflection in the scene, mirroring back the landscape in such a way as to capture the hearts and minds of those who view it.
Copper Paint – there is just so much to be found inside buildings left in a state of disrepair for extended periods. Steven Perlmutter brings us along as he takes a quick explore inside the former Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory in Gloucester, MA, showcasing really wonderful textures and details that can only be made by Mother Nature herself when left to her own devices.
Storm Chasing 2013 – Scott Wood’s work in the realm of lightning photography is well known to many, and it’s really easy to see why when you check out this shot. A lightning strike in Arizona illuminates the area in muted light, creating a dramatic piece sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Blue Moraine Lake – the epic beauty of the Canadian Rockies comes to life in this shot by Carlos D. Ramirez. Moraine Lake has some of the most incredible waters of the bluest blues, and in this shot it serves as a great anchor for the majestic mountains that surround it.
I know an old lady who swallowed a fly … – if you love natural texture, this is definitely a shot for you. Oneowner takes a photo of a dead limb and at the most opportunistic moment a solitary fly pops by for a brief visit. Just long enough to capture this terrific shot.
The Marsh, My Marsh – a terrific wooden walkway leads the viewer out into the warm tones found in the marshes shot here by Jay&Jacy Photography. The walkway plays with the light, creating subtle shadows which add a touch of drama to the shot, and the colors in the sky are rather captivating.
Keep on Trying – incredible natural colors and fascinating details are all explored in this fabulous picture by Kerri Farley. This great shot of a dragonfly perched on a plant reveals terrific details in the creature, all accented perfectly by the shallow depth-of-focus Kerri uses to isolate the subject.
Big Beaked Bird – Bev posts a side shot of a bird who’s got quite a bit to say it would seem. Terrific details in the bird’s face are all brought out in this image, creating a picture that does as much to share a bit of the bird’s personality as it does to share a terrific wildlife photograph.
That Photon Hitting Your Camera Sensor Took Thousands of Years to Arrive – we all know that cameras are designed to capture errant photons, but do we know how those photons are created? Or even beyond that, how long they take to go from creation to your camera sensor? This great article discusses these points, presenting concepts on this topic that are hard to fathom due to their scale and dimension.
Feeling Too Relaxed? Anxiety Inducing Photographs – this collection of photographs by John William Keedy is a subtle glimpse into his inner workings as he struggles with a personal condition. Poignant and profound at times this collection features some pieces that are instantly decipherable while others take a bit of work to fully appreciate and uncover their hidden meanings.
Back to the pinhole future – moving forward by going back in time, we find Srdjan Zivulovic featuring the work of Elvis Halilović who is manufacturing wonderful pinhole cameras. The incredible attention to detail that goes into the creation of these cameras constructed of wood serves as a dichotomy against today’s modern age that finds us shooting and distributing images easily and quickly.
Photoshop CS6 Shortcuts Infographic – this keyboard overlay for Photoshop shows some of the common keyboard shortcuts that can be used in post-processing. This may be very useful for you to print out and keep handy as you work, potentially saving time in keystrokes and mouse movements over the long run.
Squito: A Throwable Panoramic Camera Ball that Captures 360° Aerial Shots – if you needed any further proof as to the ingenuity and creativity of mankind, look no further. As the title states, this is a ball with various camera components and sensors strategically placed to allow it to capture high speed images when the ball is thrown, stitching the images together to create panoramas.
LightZone Photo Editing Software is Now Open Source and Completely Free – with all the talk lately of Adobe’s cloud based service model, it’s refreshing to see alternatives like this. Undoubtedly this software is nowhere near as powerful as Photoshop is, but for those looking for an inexpensive alternative, it just might do the trick.
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.