An incredible week in the world of photography has just passed us by, and Toad Hollow Photography has been very busy searching high and low online for the very best links to collections, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This week's list features some really incredible images and blog posts, of a wide variety of places and subjects. We really hope you enjoy viewing these great images and posts as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
by Dani_vr, on Flickr
45 Amazing Examples of Fractal Art – the word amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this collection! It’s really amazing how science and nature can work together in the realm of fine art, and these advanced mathematical algorithms are the perfect example of this embodied in life. This is, indeed, an amazing collection, one that is sure to delight and amaze everyone.
A Roundup of 24 Long Exposure and Macro Photography Shots– Hold your breath!!! – an exceptional series of photographs featuring both long exposure techniques as well as incredible macro work. Details, colors and expressions of wonder are all found in this large set, making for a post that will whisk the viewer away as you absorb the incredible features.
12 Classic Cameras That Look Nothing Like Cameras – sometimes when I work on these weekly list’s I have a wee bit of a struggle coming up with a description for what to expect when you click the link. Sometimes the titles are rather self-explanatory, as in this case, adding a further challenge. Basically, if you’re into photography, click the link and be very amused.
17 Pieces of Glass Art and Architecture That Will Blow Your Mind – glass deflects light, casts colors and generally adds depth to the world we live in. This series of images shares some of the more dramatic examples of glass in architecture seen, producing a striking series that is sure to amaze everyone with some of the creations.
Going West 2012 ~ Part Five: The Space Between – this is the conclusion to a long running photoblog series by A.D. Wheeler that finds us joining him on a whirlwind adventure. A.D. has brought us along to some of the most incredible places, and this final post features a huge collection of images to wrap the entire adventure up. Be prepared, this is a very comprehensive post and requires some time to fully enjoy; bring a snack.
Benedictine Monasteries: Melk Abbey, Austria – Lee Brown takes us straight into the heart of this incredible facility in Austria. Painstakingly restored to directly model the original building, this epic European church showcases the finest architecture and details. Lee shares a very comprehensive set of images, each with it’s own details and treasures.
Blue Lion Birds: The Exhibit (Part 3) | (Part 4) – John Mead shares a few shots from an exhibit of his work that features some of the most beautiful and incredible birds. The expressions and character of these feathered-friends is truly brought to life in John’s collection, leaving little wonder why his work was selected for the presentation. Guaranteed to be enjoyed by nature lovers everywhere, this is a must-see set of posts in this week’s list.
HDR Imaging – What Is It – HDR photography is a controversial and in many ways still emerging technology. As such it can be used in many different ways to many different end results. Mark Neal writes a concise and brief article here that discusses HDR imagery, the number of brackets required to achieve a specific effect and shares a pair of great images for reference.
And now for something completely different – sure, it’s a prop, staged for our viewing pleasure, but there is something absolutely beguiling and haunting about seeing this “Push ‘n Go” fire truck in the middle of a completely empty old mill floor. Bob Lussier is well-known for his work in the mills, carefully documenting the important history they represent, so this is a great departure from his typical style of imagery.
The Curious Case of the Pelican (As opposed to a Pelican Case) – prepare to be utterly amazed. Edith Levy manages to get very close to a pelican who appears to be posing for the camera. Edith comes away from the encounter with not one, not two, but three absolutely incredible pictures of this gorgeous bird who appears to have met a new friend in Edith. A great example of something you’d only have a chance to see with great photography.
Space station – great leading lines, an absolutely incredible vanishing point to forever and fabulous lighting reflecting off the polished concrete converge in this stellar photograph by Alexander Dragunov. Identical trains parked across from each other complete the epic study of symmetry in this awe-inspiring image.
100-Foot Wave Shredded By Fearless Surfer Garrett McNamara – this is one of those pictures that you encounter that takes a few seconds to fully set in. Chase Jarvis captures an extraordinary shot of surfer Garrett McNamara as he crests a record-setting wave and begins to ride it in. As you explore the image, the true scale of this epic wave and the feat accomplished here become quickly evident.
Autumn Glacier Sunset – incredible colors in the evening sky only form the initial rush of wonder when seeing this picture for the first time. Fabulous details in the landscape, both near and far, lead the viewer straight into a shimmering lake lying in the heart of the valley. An incredible photograph by Zack Schnepf.
Fleur de Paris in NOLA – the incredible architecture of old New Orleans is featured here by Edith Levy. Edith’s great shot gives us a wonderful peek down Royale St., showcasing all the rich details that go into the character that creates the foundation for what New Orleans is all about.
Blue Heron Standing Guard | Snack Time – Scott Wood posts a pair of images this week that feature wildlife in the great Pacific Northwest. Fabulous details in both the bird and the squirrel that Scott captures and shares here bring these beautiful creatures living in their natural habitats to our monitors for us all to enjoy.
Gentoo Penguin – a slight tilt in the ice sheet finds itself a perfect perch for a small group of penguins to hang out and express themselves on. Ron Niebrugge captures a shot here that showcases the rich personalities and abundant beauty of these creatures and their habitat.
Richmond Park – Red Deer – my good friend Chris Maskell grabs his camera and heads straight into the wilds to capture a fabulous set of photographs of the deer living in the forest. This great series showcases the majesty and intrigue of these gracious creatures, accenting the shots with peeks and glimpses of modern life and architecture in the backdrop to anchor the pictures and provide context.
portrait of Tiggy – cutest pussy cat, ever!! Well, it might be mighty, mighty cute today, but one day it’ll be one ferocious big kitty. This wonderful photograph by Irawan Subingar connects the viewer with this sumateran tiger cub in a very, very special way, instantly. A true must-see in this week’s list.
A Day at the San Diego Zoo – the ability to capture a moment in the mind of soul of the animals that inhabit our planet with us is clearly one of the best attributes of photography. This wonderful post by Anne McKinnell takes us along to the San Diego Zoo as she and her husband spend the day visiting all the wonderful creatures that call this place home. Anne has come away from the visit with a stellar series of photographs that really feature the incredible character of the animals housed there.
Mountain Goat – the knack for a great nature photograph of an animal in the wild usually is centric to capturing a bit of it’s character and spirit. This awesome image by Rick Louie does just this, featuring a truly charismatic goat posing near the road for Rick, just long enough anyways for a terrific portrait.
Little Guy – an incredibly expressive piece that shares a portrait of a snow monkey in Japan that is interacting with Marsel van Oosten. This terrific photograph showcases the incredible emotions that these little creatures have, with the added dimension of the obvious connection made between the monkey and the photographer.
by Jonathan Combe, on Flickr”
A View from the Cockpit | The Manager’s Office – two distinctly different but totally complementary views of aeronautical life, one taken from inside the cockpit of a plane and the other from inside the manager’s office. Tim Stanley takes us along as he explores the 1940 Air Terminal Museum and comes away with these great shots of features on display.
Tranquility – a beautiful landscape scene in Holland finds the viewer taking in a boat tied to a wooden pier in the foreground, and character homes in the backdrop. These great elements are separated in this photograph by a gentle river, making for a great image as created by Iván Maigua.
2012 at the Farm – a terrific collection of photographs by Al Guden that takes us all along to visit the good life, surrounded by beautiful animals, elegant horses and riders. Al’s perfect timing in the photographs featuring the horse and rider in action deliver a strong sense of beauty in motion, and the other images in the collection are just as compelling.
The Waiting Room – a terrific architectural study that features a waiting area with great classical detailing. Jim Denham’s perfect composition brings all the textures and patterns of the room out, and his careful post-processing puts the finishing touches on it creating a great shot to visit and view.
Five Signs – I love photography that makes you work for it! Mark Garbowski does a wonderful job with this concept in this image, producing a very dramatic back alley shot with hidden treasures buried if you spend the time to wander through the frame looking for them.
Under and Through – colors, lines, light trails, we’ve got it all going on here in this great image by CJ Schmit. A tunnel in downtown Milwaukee forms the basis for an architectural study by CJ, sharing a shot that delivers more as you spend time taking in the intricate details.
Lake Louise – the incredible natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies is explored in this awesome photograph that features the world-famous Lake Louise in Banff National Park. The incredible mountains create a cradle for this breathtaking lake to live within, making for an image that is sure to be enjoyed by nature lovers everywhere. As photographed by Mario Couture.
Horizon – brilliant colors fill the top half of the frame, and a wonderful waterscape fills the bottom. Mohammed Al-Jawi creates silky, smooth waters by utilizing a long exposure, producing a truly mesmerizing picture.
Midtown Glow – the city of Atlanta literally glows at night in this photograph from Aric Jaye. A lake in the foreground gently reflects back the warm tones from the city’s architecture, adding a terrific layer of interest.
Winter Walk… – a terrific black-and-white image with a great composition that features a leading line cutting the image in half with two distinct pieces. This shot by Tony Matthews has a few people walking the pathway, adding a great element of tension in this very dramatic picture.
The Heart of Dubai – the city of Dubai lies far below as people drive about in the countless ribbons of interconnecting highways, leaving behind dramatic light trails. Truly incredible sharp details showcase the interesting personality of this great city in this photograph by Bee Eye.
Moonlight – a veil of smooth water sits underneath a starry night sky in this gorgeous nightscape by Jorge Maia. The beautiful colors created by the night cast a serene feel over the vista, making for a beguiling image that is simply wonderful.
Cold Dawn – as the morning sun begins to crest above the horizon, it reveals an awesome seascape with an architecturally stunning bridge to lead the viewer naturally through the frame. The bridge creates an epic vanishing point that ends in a gorgeous burst of morning color in this shot by Carlos Silva.
Antelope beams (III) – the wonderful natural abstracts only found in the Antelope Canyon cast different tones and depth of color against the sharp edges in the rock formations. Carlos Luque captures a shot that features these with an incredible beam of light in the center giving it all quite the magical feel.
windows II – an incredible Urbex photograph featuring an abandoned room full of falling down ceilings, grit and character, perfectly shot by markus studtmann. Great details in the weathering process produce many elements of interest, producing a piece that shows the relentless power of decay through time.
mystery of the stone pyramids – photography can be a catalyst to revealing mysteries, but sometimes those mysteries are destined to remain locked away forever. Oneowner shares a great heartfelt story that shares these principles just perfectly, satisfying some answers but leaving many alone.
St Botolphs thousand year old wall paintings – Barry Turner takes us inside a 1,000 year old church with just fantastic artwork adorning the walls for the last millennia. Barry’s great work with HDR does an awesome job of exposing all the details and textures for everyone to enjoy.
off to work we go . . . – wonderful tones in the waters and the skies work together with the crop in this picture to produce a strong sense of tension as the boat in the scene makes it’s way out to sea for a days work. This fabulous shot from dragonflydreams88 has abstractual elements to it, as well as the instant sharing of a distinctive west story for the visitor.
architectural appreciation – if you love lines, patterns, tones, shapes, textures and details, then we’ve got the picture for you! david stoddart uses a very creative composition to bring all these elements together in this picture taken in the Bury Cathedral.
Golden Haze – Adam Allegro finds himself perched high atop the world as the evening begins to descend upon Xingping, China. As the city below finds itself expecting the cloak of darkness to drape over it, great details and layers in the never-ending landscape reveal a truly stunning scene.
Frosty Truck – an old truck sitting in a field finds itself encroached upon by an advancing frost. A delicate burst of light works in conjunction with Jerry Denham’s black-and-white processing to create a highly dramatic and compelling piece to take in and enjoy.
Lightroom 4 HDR Processing of Japanese Cave – Keith Cuddeback delivers an awesome HDR image taken far underground of a cave complex. Keith discusses his methods and strategies for post-processing this shot and also shows both the finished and the original pieces, giving the viewer a great comparison to see the incredible effects great HDR processing can have on a picture.
In Monochrome – a massive snowfall produces an almost monochromatic landscape in many cases. Andy Hooker (LensScaper) visits the Swiss Alps during an event and comes away with a truly dramatic collection of monochromatic images that do a terrific job of sharing the cold and bleak vista that was happening during the storm.
February – the lovely Irish coast finds itself amidst a February rainstorm as Magnumlady makes her way around. She captures a pair of really great pictures here that show the raw natural beauty of life in this enchanted part of the world during this time of the year.
1903 Ford Model A – an now for something completely different… Rachel Cohen who shared the shot of the Corvette above takes us back 110 years to check out an original Model “A”. These old classics truly exude the best character, showcasing great flowing lines, details and brass fittings to add an element of class.
Don’t Blink – a wonderful connection between photographer and wild deer is shared in this photograph by Rob Nopola. Rob’s shallow depth-of-focus and black-and-white post-processing work together just perfectly to create a picture that is sure to leave the viewer feeling something.
A Few More Steps – the old mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts form the perfect subjects for great photography such as the shot shared here by Steven Perlmutter. This fabulous composition uses the lines created by the architecture to create leading lines, and the tones from the woodwork that comprise the staircase adds a tone of warmth to this captivating scene.
If Halls Could Talk – Mike Criswell takes us back to the famous Eastern State Penitentiary where he shares a new image of one of the hallways deep in the prison. Reportedly haunted, this shot does a great job of sharing the moody and gritty remains of this facility. Mike’s composition reveals a vanishing point that takes the viewer right into the heart of the frame.
Garrapata State Park – Big Sur CA – a rugged coastline leads the viewer through this colorful picture, captured and posted by Wayne Beauregard. This incredible place is truly special, and Wayne’s great landscape photo does a great job of whisking us away to this spot.
Vineyard Storm – dramatic clouds are some of my personal favorite features to enjoy in great photographs, and Renée M. Besta finds herself amidst a scene that does a wonderful job of presenting the natural drama and beauty of the area. The rich dynamic range that Renée is able to pull out of the scene delivers a complete image.
by TORLEY, on Flickr
Runnymede Station, Toronto, 2013 – Ren Bostelaar captures a shot that is amazing on many levels. The subway station in Toronto creates the perfect natural frame for Ren to grab a shot of a woman sitting on a bench as a train whisks past her, exhibiting incredible natural tension.
Fort Pitt Bridge – a perfect composition by Rich McPeek shares a view into one of the gateways into the great city of Pittsburgh. The incredible architectural details of the Fort Pitt Bridge produce an incredible leading line that takes the viewer right into the heart of the vibrant city.
Long Eared Owl – these magnificent creatures are a true wonder to behold, and this wonderful photograph by Milan Zygmunt shares a bit of this bird’s personality with the viewer. Sitting on a perch in a pine tree, the background disappears with Milan’s subtle use of a shallow depth-of-focus, bringing the personality of the owl to the forefront.
the tube – this great shot is all about motion. laurent aublé uses a slow shutter speed in a tunnel to create a striking abstract that truly captures an immense sense of speed. The shot also benefits greatly from the way the road bends in the distance, creating a great vanishing point.
Temple – a fabulous HDR image that features a very old Cambodian temple in the foreground with a vast, rolling vista in the background. This breathtaking scene has some great details and textures, as well as a horizon that has no end. A photograph by La Mo.
Marine City – if reflections are something you really enjoy, this picture has some of the best. RYNTEN captures a cityscape at night with a reflection in a pool of still water in the foreground that isolates the section to make a picture inside the picture.
Swamp Land No More – a pair of old, beautiful trees frame a view of an iconic American scene of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. Just as the suns begins to rise, the crystal clear skies twinkle in starlight and the edges of the horizon glow beautifully as strong reflections mirror the scene back to the viewer. Photograph by Metro DC Photography.
Poor Phil – prepare for a good laugh with this awesome photograph by Terry Border. Terry’s highly unique utilization of carefully created, placed and lit props create instant classics that are a pure joy to see, each and every time.
Hoover Dam – an absolutely striking image by Scott Prokop that features this world-wonder from up high in a helicopter. This really unique perspective creates a vista that goes on forever, and Scott’s bold post-processing delivers great contrast and crisp highlights and details.
Somewhere Near San Francisco Bay – a very dramatic black-and-white image taken by photographer Aaron Barlow. His clever dynamic thinking figured out a way to use his ND filter for another lens in making this shot, and the results are absolutely incredible. The long exposure turns ocean into a mystical, frothing ethereal phenomenon, making for a truly mesmerizing shot.
Path to the Abbey – the ruins of Fountains Abbey sits on the side of the river’s bank in this awesome image by Phil Robson. The dark, moody processing really highlights the deep shadows, accenting the incredible sense of drama that Phil has so perfectly captured.
Venice – Giuseppe Peppoloni creates a HDR image that showcases the wonderful canals and architecture of old Venice. Guiseppe’s careful processing details great textures and the great color and reflections off the waters add a great element.
Colorful Flight – Mark D. Needham grabs a terrific shot of a wild short eared owl in flight, coming straight for the camera with a pretty great look on it’s face. Mark’s perfect composition and depth-of-focus combine to isolate the awesome details in this beautiful bird, making for a truly compelling photograph.
Blacksmith Shop – taken just a few miles from where we live at the BC Forest Discovery Centre, this photograph showcases some of the great displays and items they have at the facility. It’s both an indoor and an outdoor museum, featuring artifacts from the early days of settling Vancouver Island. This great picture by Lotus Johnson does a great job of showcasing the typical west coast scene on the island from times past.
El velero – a haunting sailboat makes it’s way across frame, under the ever watchful eye of the moon. Terrific colors in the night sky and the way the boat sits in the composition work together just perfectly here to create a strong feel of tension and drama in this great photograph by Jorge Cacharrón.
underground bunker – this shot is all about texture and light, a terrific photograph by david stoddart. A long forgotten underground bunker exposes terrific textures and details in the weathered stone work, all accented just wonderfully by natural light streaming in from a few sources frame left.
Woman in the Alley – several fabulous elements converge in this shot by Bob Israel to deliver something absolutely entrancing. Processed in black-and-white, a woman walks down a dark street at night. The street forms an incredible leading line that leads us through and into a vanishing point that is rather spectacular.
Wagon Decay – years and years have passed since this wood wagon saw service in the plains and fields of South Dakota. The beautiful stars gently lighting the night sky gently illuminate the rich textures in the weathered wood sitting forlorn in a field in this terrific shot by Aaron J. Groen.
Great Gray Owl Close Up – a looming face stares down Axel Hildebrandt as it heads straight for him and his camera. Incredible details in the bird’s face make for a picture that does a fabulous job of sharing a bit of the character and personality that makes this great bird great.
Molten Water – a natural opening in the rock faces at Big Sur in California streams sunlight into an inner chamber roiling with the fast moving waters of the ocean. This phenomenom only occurs at very specific times in the year, and Aaron M takes advantage of this to capture this breathtaking and almost surreal image.
We Believe in Film – incredible natural textures and details are found and captured in this wonderful photograph by Marks and Joey Culver. The detailed monochromatic post-processing done on the negatives result in an awesome image here showcasing contrasts that can only be found when using this media.
Turquoise Dream – a beautiful sea vista from Anita Megyesi captures and shares incredible colors in the blue skies and warm tones in the sandy beach. A lone person standing a ways out in the water adds a perfect touch of tension to wrap this great piece up, making for a wonderful shot to visit and view in this week’s list.
17 Mile House – I just love the nostalgic feel to this black-and-white photograph from Rick Louie that showcases this historically important house. Etched deep in the history of the area, Rick’s wonderful photograph here does a great job of bringing the feel of the area to life in his image, making for a picture that transports us right back in time.
Agape at Ecola – abstract shapes and colors merge with the craggy outcroppings of the seascape in this breathtaking piece by Jim Nix. Incredible details that can only be found in nature pop out of the screen at the viewer, drawing you straight into the serene scene.
Humpback Whale Breaching, Mexico – I believe these are the biggest mammals in the world, and having a chance to see one of these incredible creatures cresting as it breaches the water in this great shot by Mark Paulson is something very special, indeed. This is an awe-inspiring shot sure to amaze everyone who pops by for a view.
Il y a de la lumière au bout du chemin ! – a lovely street in France takes the viewer straight to this most romantic city, sharing a view of the character of the city and it’s architecture. Mathias Lucas’ composition in this shot is spot-on, full of great tones and details.
by Tiago J. G. Fernandes, on Flickr
Charleston Charm – charming doesn’t even begin to describe the wonderful scenes that Erin Duke captures and shares on her blog. This historic part of the United States is full of wonderful character, and Erin’s shots feature a variety of elements that make this true.
Stair Case – an incredible Urbex shot is created and shared here by Scott Frederick. Some of the richest textures and details by result of years of decay are captured in this photograph, making for a picture that gives more to the viewer as you spend time absorbing the intricacies of the frame taking in the details.
Squeezing Out the Competition – an instant and hearty laugh to be had in a glimpse, as created and posted here by Terry Border. Terry’s unique work in the use and employment of carefully staged props requires only a title and a picture to let the viewer’s imagination run wild, looking for the deeper meaning. Once it’s discovered, a sense of humor is shared that is absolutely vivid and completely unique.
Derelict Train Station & Rail Depot, Bulgaria – an absolutely incredible study in the natural effects of decay and weathering are shared in this collection of Urbex photographs featuring a train station left abandoned now for 20 years or so. Many of the shots present haunting views of what was once a thriving and busy station, now only left with the haunting sounds of voices left unheard for decades.
19 year old expressive photographer Jared Tyler – expressive, fascinating and at times totally mesmerizing, this absolutely incredible series of images created by Jared Tyler showcases a budding talent in the photography field. Well worth the time for a visit and view.
Albania: A Bunker for Every 4 People – an almost surreal series of images depicts bunkers embedded in urban life. The stark concrete structures create an interesting juxtaposition against the normal elements of life one expects to see in cities, like buildings, home and life underway.
Part II: When Orcas Attack – Channel Islands – this is a terrific post, one that merges great photographs with a story sure to keep the reader glued to their monitors from beginning to end. Nature is an amazing thing, good and bad, and this post really embodies this concept just perfectly. A must-see post in this week’s list.
A 3.8 Billion-Pixel Tour Of Mount Everest – this is an epic presentation, on many levels. David Breashears and his team are working on an absolutely amazing project featuring the world-wonder of Mount Everest in detail never seen before. This post features a huge zoomable image that transports the visitor immediately, with great detail, to many little spots on this massive mountain. A new and engaging presentation.
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.