This week's list of photography links by Toad Hollow Photography features tutorials, a great special feature, a curated collection of great photography and a couple of really interesting blogs. We hope you enjoy checking out these photographs and articles as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Taking Your First Steps With Product Photography – this primer article shows you how to achieve good results in the field of product photography with a simple setup and studio. Using a flash, a reflector and household furniture, we go through the entire process of staging and capturing product photographs ready to deliver.
5 Painless Steps for Getting Rid of the Fear of Street Photography Once and for All – this is a totally terrific article that discusses practices and mindsets for becoming comfortable performing candid street based photography. There is so much more than the end image to this genre of photography, it actually begins and ends with a specific attitude. This is a great post, full of practical tips and tricks.
Studio Technique: A Three Light Portrait – Joe Farace discusses a specific three light setup for his studio that produces astounding portrait images. He shares details on the exact equipment used and tips on how it was set up, and shares a great picture taken using this technique to illustrate all the points.
22 Epic Places You Didn't Know Existed – whether you’re looking for a very unique place to photograph or are just looking for a place to getaway to that is well off the proverbial beaten track, this comprehensive list of places on planet earth is sure to please. Many of the locations outlined in this piece I have never heard of or seen before, so it seems my bucket list increases in size to take these all in.
Daybreak at One Boat Bay – the incredible landscapes and seascapes we find here on the west coast are truly without peer. Laurie MacBride brings us along on a trip she made where she stayed moored for 3 days in a lovely little bay, and in this post she shares a photograph taken in the morning that features a great silhouette of the distant landscape and an utterly perfect mirrored reflection of it.
St Andrew’s Cathedral – one of Victoria city’s most dramatic and architecturally captivating cathedral’s is photographed in this study conducted and posted by Joseph de Lange. Majestic details both inside and out are carefully photographed in this set to highlight the incredible details that went into the design and construction of one of the cities most famous landmarks.
Point Iroquois Fly-Over – when it comes to photography, sometimes timing is everything, as shown in this wonderful photograph by Rachel Cohen. As Rachel is taking a picture of a landmark lighthouse at Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a plane happens to fly overhead adding a terrific dimension to the shot.
Critters – Derrick Birdsall captures and shared four distinct photographs from a large farm in Texas. The wildlife living on the farm makes for terrific photography studies, and Derrick’s great shots are exquisitely captured and rendered here for everyone to enjoy.
Summer revisited – 4th of July Parade with a photo pass! – Howard Jackman takes us behind the ropes to take in some of the vignettes and features on display at a 4th of July parade. Wonderful details in the vehicles and items displayed all come to life in this extensive collection of great images.
In the Hills – master storm photographer Mike Olbinski takes us into the hills where we get to share a dramatic lightning strike in action. As the multi-pronged tendrils of electricity strike the ground in the distance, the rolling hills find themselves gently lit accenting the depth and dimension expressed in the landscape and the scene.
On being alone…. – our very own Tom Dinning (@tomdinning) posts a great black-and-white photograph that depicts a man sitting alone on a bench looking out to a field where some boys are playing ball. Tom’s profound insights share a little about who we are as people as well as taking a slightly humourous look at the overall concept being shared.
Golden morning – an extremely foggy morning plays with the autumn colors under the canopy of trees in this photograph by Lynn Jim Hopwood. The sense of drama is palpable in this piece that is further accented by the fence line that creates a terrific natural leading line into the frame.
Brave New World – this shot expresses a true natural dichotomy, one that finds super heated lava flows running into the cold waters of the ocean. Gary Randall’s image is full of natural tension and drama as rock being newly created meets ancient rock in a dangerous and powerful dance.
Hopperstad Stave Church – old world mystery and wonder converge in this great shot captured and posted by Rune Askeland. Widely believed to be one of the very oldest Stave Churches of its kind still standing, this wonderful facility is an absolute gem photographically speaking and a real wonder to see.
Red Forest – although this is obviously heavily processed, this photograph of a meandering ribbon of highway cutting a swath through a forest of red covered trees is completely mesmerizing. The highway itself creates a subtle and perfect natural leading line to carry the viewer through the frame in this great picture by Alfon No.
Wordless Wednesday ~10.30.13~ – David Williams produces a piece that showcases the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A thick and heavy fog drapes across most of the scene here, and the epic bridge makes brief appearances by peering through the odd clearing here and there.
Bald Eagle, Georgia – Mark Paulson creates a portrait of a bald eagle in this post that is just marvelous. Incredible details in the face and feathers of the bird deliver a really strong sense of the personality in the bird, making for a truly engaging picture to view.
Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge | Bob White Covered Bridge – the absolutely incredible character of American covered bridges is covered in this pair of posts from the studio of Mark Summerfield. Both of these bridges are wonderfully studied in a set of photographs in the posts that also include great details on the story behind them.
Sand Dunes – a wonderful abstract piece by David A. Lockwood showcases the inherent beauty in rolling sand dunes in Oman. Layer upon layer of depth is revealed in a shot that tickles the senses with great tones and natural lines.
Antelope Slot – Ron Niebrugge captures and produces a breathtaking abstract in this shot featuring the incredible natural formations found in the Antelope Canyons in Arizona. Wonderful tones play off the sharp edges of layered rocks, painting the entire scene in lovely tones working in perfect harmony with the natural beauty of the canyons themselves.
500 Frames, 10 Great Photographs, 1 Stunner…. Priceless! – Spencer McDonald’s ability to capture the world as he sees it translates into wonderful photography for the entire world to enjoy. This may be one of his best so far, featuring a wonderful roadway as a leading line that heads off into the far distance culminating in an awesome vanishing point.
A Calm Sunset – gorgeous tones of a Florida sunset captured on the beach work in harmony with the silhouettes of people walking, creating great natural tension. The water’s edge forms a terrific natural leading line in this shot by Tim Stanley, gently leading you in and through the image.
Cruising Glacier Bay – Len Saltiel takes us along on a cruise as he encounters a majestic mountain scene on his journeys. The blue waters create a wavy reflection of the mountains sitting underneath a clear blue sky, creating strong definition.
Surfin’ USA – Edith Levy shares not only a great set of surfing photographs, she also puts a song in your ear sure to follow you around all day. These action shots showcase the terrific character and spirit the surfers have as they take on wave after wave.
Red Horned Mule Deer – you have simply got to see this photograph by Rick Louie. Rick finds a rather unusual deer in the middle of a field of grasses that Rick perfectly uses in his composition to create an image that is downright iconic. Terrific details and a shallow depth-of-focus work together just perfectly in this picture.
Traction – this study in lines, shapes and drama is perfectly executed by Jim Denham. Jim delivers a black-and-white image featuring a lined concrete section that leads the eye right into the heart of the photograph where we find a dock leading out to the waters.
Leaving Edinburgh Castle – I love castles, too, we just don’t have very many out here where I live. Jim Nix shares a great image of Edinburgh Castle with a cobblestone street as a leading line that takes you right up to the fortified and incredible architecture of the castle itself.
Horticultural Prowess…A Bountiful Harvest! – Mike Criswell delivers on a wonderful recipe that finds humor mixed in with great photography and a dash of a great cause to make a dish sure to be enjoyed by all. The famous Empress returns, this time at harvest time, dressed up in her usual terrific style onboard a very serious looking tractor contraption of sorts.
Keep out – a billion little convergences occur in this great photograph by Melinda Green Harvey. This striking black-and-white piece features a weathered wall with a spray painted warning with a window that looks into what Melinda describes as a place that requires no warning.
Smoky Dreams – three processed renditions of the same frame produce a striking set of abstracts to view and enjoy by Mark Neal. The rolling hills create terrific layers that make for an image with incredible depth and definition.
Misty Ranch – Chris Nitz features a terrific photograph on his blog processed as a black-and-white to fully realize all the drama. As we look out over a Colorado ranch, the distant horizon finds a majestic snow-covered mountain creating a wonderful dimension in the picture.
waiting for a train – a dark and derelict building produces a striking frame for the tension created with a fast-moving passing train. The grit and flotsam from the decaying building create a strong basis for this strong photograph by david stoddart.
Monsoon Storm Rolls Over Tempe – this highly dramatic and beautiful picture by Chris Frailey takes us up high to a vantage overlooking the city below as an incredible storm front moves through. Great layering produced by the sheets of rain work with the sense of power and motion in this shot to create something truly special.
Slice of New York – the skyscrapers of New York loom overhead, lit up in all their beauty, showing off the strong architectural elements they are so famous for in this great photo by Jimi Jones. Strong leading lines from the edges of the tall buildings lead the viewer through the image, revealing all the great details.
Five Kind-of-Weird Photography Tips No One Ever Told You – we’ve all heard anecdotal advice from all sorts of sources trying to help us achieve that next level in our professional development. This list of 5 very basic and simple premises is a fresh approach to all this, presenting 5 unique concepts that you probably haven’t seen before. Simple but very helpful.
How to Drop $725K on Gear: The Priciest Items Sold by B&H – OK, this is just beyond fun. Who here hasn’t dreamt of loading up your favorite photography vending website and pressing the “Add to cart” button on the top of the line Hasselblad? Raise your hands? No one? This list goes well beyond that, creating a shopping cart wish list of pure joy for photographers of all walks of life.
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.