As another terrific week in the field of photography passes, Toad Hollow Photography has been diligently searching all corners of the internet looking for links to the best tutorials, reviews, phone camera accessories, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here. This week's list reflects many different facets of the industry, all created and posted online by some of the best artists working today. We hope you enjoy this week's list as much as the Toad did in creating it for you.
Everything You Need To Know To Master Composition In One 30 Minute Lesson – mastering composition is a key aspect to creating great photographs. In this video tutorial, just over 30 minutes in length, Andrew Price covers all the important aspects of composition and shares great samples to illustrate the ideas being presented.
Photographing The Movement Of Dancers Using Speedlights And Long Exposure – photographer Phillip McCordall produces a video tutorial just over 11 minutes in length that takes us through the process of using rear-curtain configurations with speedlights to create images that capture both fluid and dynamic motion, as well as rich and crisp details in the subject that appears frozen in time and space. This is an advanced technique that has many applications, and this tutorial is exactly what you need to get your head around the theory and practice for yourself.
Five Lights, Done Fast – master of artificial lighting Joe McNally takes us on a behind-the-scenes exploration of how he lit and captured a stunningly dramatic image. Joe takes you through the entire process of light placement and intensity, and shows sample images as he goes through his process of setting up. At each step a sample photo shows how the image is coming together, layer after layer. The results, as expected, are astonishing.
Food For Digital Thought: People Like To See People In Pictures – this very brief discussion from Joe Baraban talks about the importance of people within compositions. Joe takes the concept a little further here by also discussing other nuances to great photography, creating a post that is sure to leave you with fresh ideas on how to capture that next great shot.
Soften Your Speedlight – Joe Farace discusses a very simple light modifier for your on-camera speedlight that produces pretty stunning results. He includes a great sample shot with the post to give you an idea of how effective the modifier is. This simple and cheap accessory is sure to make a big impact on your images.
Phone Camera Accessories
5 Indispensable Tools for Smartphone Photographers | Sharpen Your Selfies With Some Add-On Camera Phone Gear – these two articles hosted on NBC News feature various add-ons and widgets you can get for your camera phone to help boost your portable photography to the proverbial next level. These ideas are sensical in nature and really add some depth to your gear in affordable and portable ways.
Dramatic Aerial Photos Show Force of Buffalo Storm – almost everyone has heard of the storms that are battering the eastern section of the United States this week. Derek Gee takes to the skies in this feature presentation to capture and share a set of aerial photographs of the aftermath of one very brutal snowstorm. The shots are truly amazing, showcasing the power that nature holds over us all.
Pripyat City | The Grabber | The Gas Masks – my friend and adventuring photographer Mark Blundell has recently visited the remains of Pripyat City, not far from where the Chernobyl accident occurred in the mid-eighties. These three posts and photographs feature poignant vignettes of what remains of this long abandoned city, leaving us all with a profound sense of sadness for those who lost their lives and suffered from the effects of radiation poisoning, as well as a huge sense of tension in all the questions that still remain unanswered, even today.
Photographer Visits Real Life Haunted Houses Across America – this series of haunting and bone-chilling photographs are from an excerpt of a coffee table book. Seph Lawless delivers this collection alongside a bit of anecdotal information regarding the background of the various houses, and why they are notorious. You can literally feel the inherent creepiness of the stories as they are captured and exhibited in the photographs.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Everett Mill – this is a great shot from the studio of Michael Criswell, focusing on the profound impact natural light can have on a scene. In this photo, Mike takes us to one of the old mills where he captures a stunning piece that showcases the details and textures of these incredible spaces, as well as the natural shadows they cast and the rich artistic tension that is created from that.
ANNO 1651 – this is a profound piece, mixing poetry and visual art together to create an almost magical scene sure to be the source of delight for everyone who visits. G.Arnason Photopoetic captures a great and moody shot of an old stone church in Iceland, with a very dramatic sky and rich natural light tones to augment the overall feel of the picture.
A Colorful Wave – Nichols Ledge. Cabot, Vermont – Andy Gimino captures and shares a stunning panorama in this post, highlighting the wonderful myriad of colors that are exhibited in the fall. This large scale photograph is full of rich details, all just waiting to be noticed by the viewer who spends time following the natural leading lines on a personal voyage of discovery.
Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam (Nirvana) – this is a rather profound piece captured and shared by RanoPano. In this shot we are taken inside an old looking church that has been left forgotten over time, becoming a derelict that is mesmerizing to take in with all the great textures and details that remain behind.
Cabin by the lake – what a great shot, straight from the studio of Steve Alkok. The truly epic Canadian Rocky Mountains are home to some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscape scenes ever witnessed. This shot features the iconic boathouse on Lake Louise, under the dark blue cover of early morning light with a fresh snowfall gracing the scene to add a wonderful feel.
Island Flow – Len Saltiel posts a terrific black-and-white landscape piece that showcases the dynamic and powerful nature of the rivers in the Canadian Rockies, accented by the incredible natural landscapes that surround them. In this piece, Len uses a long exposure to really capture and accent the raw motion in the fast moving river, and the monochromatic processing he has applied brings that out visually.
HDR – this is a mesmerizing photograph, featuring many elements of interest that when taken in as a whole cast a scene that is hard to look away from. Nick Brundle – Photography captures a wonderful scene of a field seemingly split in two by a natural line that leads the viewer up to a lone tree standing on the top of a hill. The entire landscape is wrapped up with a dramatic and brooding sky overhead that adds great natural tension to the scene.
Sugar-coated Multnomah Falls – this often photographed bridge takes on a unique personality depending on lighting conditions and time of year. In this shot, Brian Matiash captures a great perspective of the bridge and waterfall behind it, covered in a frosting of fresh snow to give it a real winter feel.
Twilight at The Shard – the iconic and world famous structure known as The Shard is brought to our screens in this great shot created by Jason Row. Jason’s shot was captured during the blue hour, highlighting the terrific colors and lights of the facility and the architecture that surrounds it in the big city.
Morning Kayak – a kayaker gently makes their way across the frame in front of some of the most epic landscapes you can witness. Ron Niebrugge’s photograph features great natural tension inherent in the composition, showcasing the dichotomy of everyday life against a backdrop of nature that is remote and largely uninhabited.
Autumn Red – terrific, beautiful autumn themed colors blast onto our screens in this wonderful seasonal study from Cristiano Spini. A wooden and rather rickety looking walking path leads the viewer into the heart of the frame in this piece, adding a great natural leading line and a ton of character to this image.
Desert Lightning – storm chasing photographer Chris Frailey captures an extremely dramatic and engaging shot of a lightning strike in this photograph. The power and electricity of the strike itself is juxtaposed against the incredible landscapes, driving home the feeling of excitement and wonder that one naturally has when seeing photos like this.
Photo by Geraint Rowland
New York at night – a stunning cityscape study of the New York skyline taken at night is posted here by Krzysiek Rabiej. Wonderful colors and tone adorn the frame, and further interest is found in the way the long exposure technique smoothes out the waters and the leading lines created by the wood pilings that stand as sentries in the waters.
OBX Sunset Revisited – this is a terrific shot by Jim Denham, showcasing a beautiful sunset overlooking a mesmerizing water themed scene below. Wood posts stand above the waterline and are reflected back in the still waters, adding a fabulous element to the gorgeous colors expressed by nature.
After hours in the Leipzig Hauptbahnhof – this is a terrific feature by Jim Nix, showcasing the inherent grandeur and architectural elegance of a European train station after the throngs of passengers have all disembarked for the day. This brief set of photographs shares various features of the grand station, each standing alone as unique and yet still an important part of the overall collection.
The Watcher – this is a highly moody and ethereal piece, posted and shared here by Bob Lussier, featuring a lighthouse and a silhouette of a photographer near it. This shot is processed in highly contrasted black-and-white, maintaining all the inherent questions and tension within the scene.
Astoria in IR – Scott Wood delivers another of his unique and wonderful infrared photographs, in this case featuring an elevated perspective of a neverending landscape that eventually reaches the ocean. The infrared spectrum in this shot reveals all sorts of details that would otherwise be missed, combining the familiar with the unfamiliar to cast a scene sure to delight everyone.
The Office – once again we find ourselves visiting the old mill buildings with Steven Perlmutter as he shares a great shot of the empty office spaces. The huge windows in the facility make for a very dynamic environment in terms of natural lighting, and this particular piece does a great job of showing the scale and feel of these once thriving spaces.
Sleepy Saw-Whet – there is just something inherently cute about these tiny little owls, particularly when captured in candid moments of life. This wonderful photograph by Larry Tibbet finds one such little owl as it slowly falls asleep on a twig, resulting in a shot full of great personality and character.
McCurry's Work Teaches a Portrait is All About The Connection – world-famous people photographer Steve McCurry has his work featured in an exhibit currently, and this video presentation features him talking about his body of incredible work and the exhibit itself. This is a highly inspirational video feature, sure to inspire you to get out there and chase your own dreams.
7 Things Photographers Wish They Had Learned in Photography School – pressing the shutter is only the first action that a photographer takes to truly be on the road to success vocationally in the field. This list of 7 common sense tips shares insights from industry leaders and could help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls and get you moving towards your dreams today.