With another week behind us, we find Toad Hollow Photography searching high and low online, seeking to find the best links to ebooks, tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list features a wide variety of subjects presented by some of the most talented artists working in the field today. We really hope you enjoy these links as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Photo by amira_a
essential – world-class photographer Ian Plant takes the reader through his process of managing light, composition and “the moment” to expand your base of knowledge in photography. This in-depth eBook will reveal tips and secrets that are held by the masters, helping you take your photography to the next level as you turn the pages.
How To Get The Perfect Corporate Photo – this brief video tutorial takes you through the checklist and preparations required to capture that perfect corporate photo for a client. These common-sense tips can really help in giving you fresh ideas on how to stage a shot, even outside a corporate environment.
Tips To Improve Your Beverage Photography: Secrets Of The Craft – this video presentation is almost 18 minutes in length and features some awesome tips and tricks on product photography, specifically beverage photography. Learn from one of the industry’s masters as he shares some of the lessons learned over a long period of time in the field.
How To Mix Natural And Flash Lighting Using Shutter Speeds – this tutorial presentation discusses advanced lighting techniques and shows you how to control a mix of natural and artificial light to illuminate the key points of the image. Wonderful example photos are included to illustrate the points being shared, leaving the reader with a deeper understanding of how the two types of light can be controlled to make stunning imagery.
The Use Of Gestalt In Photography: Wetting The Viewer’s Whistle – a great post by Joe Baraban that takes us deeper into the concept of Gestalt in creating imagery, and the power and allure behind it as a compositional tool. Joe also includes a great selection of photographs that exhibit this concept, giving the reader a quick look into how to add depth and interest to photographs through the power of composition.
12 Bone-Chilling Images Of Abandoned Places – this post features 12 creepy and abandoned locations found all over the world. Each one is full of raw artistic tension and holds mysteries and secrets that may never be truly revealed.
A Visual Tour of Chateau De Chenonceau – Jim Nix captures and shares a great set of photographs of this architecturally fascinating facility in France. Wonderful stone turrets and incredible textures and details are all explored in this very old castle, and Jim’s additional information on the facility adds great depth to the series.
Love Shack ~ The Abandoned Poconos – A.D. Wheeler brings us along on an extensive exploration of a now long-forgotten recreational facility. What once was a thriving destination complete with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and shag carpeting found everywhere, today is a decaying and lost facility that only holds the memories of those who visited long ago.
Newfound Gap Dark To Light – Jim Denham captures a terrific sunset featuring an endless vista with rolling hills that lead into the distance. Jim carefully converts the frame into black-and-white, highlighting the dramatic natural light he captured as well as revealing layer upon layer of mountain range in the distance that adds a great sense of depth and dimension.
The Broken Promise – José Ramos captures a scene full of rich tension, showcasing an old wooden pier in an advanced state of neglect. The pier itself creates a meandering and rickety natural leading line, gently guiding the viewer into the frame where we discover vibrant colors in the sky to add a perfect layer to the image.
Motif #1 – Michael Criswell delivers a great shot featuring what is widely believed to be one of the most painted/photographed buildings in the US. This bright red fishing shack stands out from the grey weather that envelopes it with Mike’s shot here, making for a picture that instantly takes the viewer back 150 years.
Photo by Geraint Rowland
Blue Hour & Little Cloud, Hallstatt, Austria – this wonderful long exposure shot by Europe Trotter features a tiny town perched on the side of a shore as the blue hour descends, bringing with it the night. Beautiful tones in the natural light work in harmony with the wonderful architecture and character of this location, creating a picture that is magical in feel.
Trinity Episcopal Church – wonderful stonework and a bright red wooden door greet the viewer in this awesome shot by Michael Lewis Glover. The shot finds further interest in the rich textures and details in the stones that comprise the structure, anchored by a dramatic bell tower that adds a dash of wonderful character.
Deep blue – a panoramic format shot by Miguel Angel Martín Campos that features the predominate tones of blue. This perfect composition is nearly mirrored left-to-right and features the awesome architecture of one of the world’s greatest cities.
“The Beginning and End” – a pair of vibrant images are featured here on Rachel Cohen’s post that showcases the incredible colors that can only be found in nature during sunrises and sunsets. Both images posted exhibit strong abstract tendencies, making for stunning images that truly express the raw beauty created by nature.
Spirit Island Glory – Håkon Askerhaug captures a wonderful picture of a place I would personally love to visit time-and-time again. Spirit Island is located on Maligne Lake in the Canadian Rockies, and is a tiny island that is very difficult to access. It seems to hold a grasp on everyone who visits or sees it in a photo, and I am certainly mesmerized by it’s haunting beauty under the watchful gaze of the gorgeous Canadian mountains.
Consolidation Steam Locomotive – a great post by Mark Summerfield, sharing both a terrific portrait of an old steam locomotive as well as some background historical information on it. Mark’s great composition and processing in this shot highlights the raw character and romance found in these old steam powered trains.
Little Owl – no weekly list would be complete without at least one photograph of the spirited Little Owl doing something. In this shot captured by Russell Savory we find one such little creature in a mid-air leap, heading straight towards the camera with a very serious look about it.
Photo by Yosuke Shimizu
Groot Goes Unicorn Hunting – Chris Nitz creates a fresh shot utilizing his trademark style of including toy props in the scene to add a great element of interest. In this shot, a toy figurine of Groot comes around a tree trunk, and the lighting that Chris has captured in this shot really makes it stand out.
LBI #6 – one of my favorite all-time photography subjects will always be heritage architecture. Bill T’s shot features one such home, showcasing the wonderful details and trim that was designed and used in construction from homes around this time, adding so much character to an already amazing house.
Las Sirenas – this is a stunning image, seemingly originating on a planet far away from our own Mother Earth. Luis Marín uses a long exposure in this piece to capture a shot featuring silky waters against crisp details of rusty rails that form perfect leading lines into the inherent and mysterious beauty in the frame.
Paris from the Tower – Tim Stanley takes us up onto the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower where we get to enjoy the vast cityscape that lies below. Tim’s great composition also features a looking glass that is mounted to the railing at this level of the tower, creating a leading line that takes the viewer into the heart of the frame on a voyage of visual discovery.
Early morning in London – incredible details come to life in this great shot captured and shared here by Shooting Mad. Tons of dynamic range is explored in this picture, featuring the famous Tower Bridge both as an architectural element of interest, as well as a leading line into and through the frame itself.
Stark – Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – one of the United States most famous, or perhaps infamous, prisons is featured in this post by Len Saltiel. Eastern State Penitentiary has a storied past, being home to many notorious figures, and today it stands as a monument and a museum to preserve those stories for future generations.
Budapest – a lonely roadway leads the viewer onto the bridge, through a dense fog, and deep into a thick layer of fog in this piece by Laszlo Gal. Muted colors and gentle contrasts add to the overall drama inherent in this shot, adding a certain mystique that is defined by artistic tension.
Sunflowers at Sunset – there is just no beating sunflowers as subjects that can bring a wide smile to your face in a single glance. Rick Louie captures a stunning shot of a field of sunflowers that has no end, all under the beautiful colors in the sky cast by the fading light of day.
Photo by David Rosen
Pandora – a gorgeous sea eagle is captured in a profile portrait here by Rikke Christiansen, displaying in dramatic character why these creatures are so respected in the wild. Wonderful details in the feathers and features of the bird come together in this shot, delivering a mesmerizing image full of spirit and personality.
Sea Grass – Scott Wood shares a great shot here, predominantly featuring the silhouettes of strands of grass blowing in the gentle breeze against a vibrant sky created at sunset. You can almost hear the whispers of the grasses as they move back and forth, undulating with the ebb and flow of the winds that envelop them.
At the Louvre – the old and the contemporary converge at the Louvre in Paris, casting a scene that is as unique as it is wonderful. Averil McPhedran Hall captures a poignant shot of this world-famous museum, featuring both facets of this facility and giving the viewer a glimpse into the community that fosters and maintains it.
Photographer Brings $140,000 Camera Into The Ocean To Capture This Jaw Dropping Surf Film – if you’ve ever wondered what 1,000 frames per second looks like captured in a high quality camera, check out this 6 ½ minute video presentation. Featuring various surfers doing their particular magic, the ability to view the entire event in super slow-motion adds great drama to a film that is sure to amaze everyone.
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.