Sometimes referred to as a “photography addict” the Toad never seems to stop hopping around the internet looking for great tutorials, photography and interesting blogs. This weeks list contains a comprehensive set of links to some of the best resources that Toad Hollow Photography could find during the course of the week. We really hope you enjoy viewing and reading these images and articles as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Check out the Toad's latest blog post that takes us inside the oldest schoolhouse in Western Canada to see what life was like over 150 years ago! The feature “Don’t Be Late For Class” showcases 15 new images of the interior and discusses the rich history and heritage that makes this one of Canada's most prized National Historic Sites.
Let’s Talk About Water: Tips for Photographing Waterfalls – this brief article from Blake Rudis discusses varying techniques to use to capture waterfall images. Blake includes a set of example images in this post to help illustrate the point he is making here.
Photographic Equipment: The Reflector – as a natural light photographer myself, I use reflectors periodically in my work. This is a brief but good article discussing this practice by Joe Baraban that also includes 12 sample photos that showcase the results.
Master the Art of Photographic Composition – this is a fabulous post that discusses the art of composition in photography. Illustrated with great images, this feature goes in-depth into the concept of composition, with the promise of more articles to come in the future.
A Comprehensive Introduction to Focus Stacking – this is a tricky form of image creation, and this video tutorial gives us some great ideas and tips on how to work in this genre.
Down Low – Behind My Eyes – Jim Denham delivers a great article here that goes in-depth into how to use perspective to create compelling imagery. Jim is a master in this field and shares some great ideas and tips that are sure to give you some new tools in your photography bag-of-tricks.
Guitars, Cadillacs, Hillbilly Music – click this link and you’ll be amazed, especially if you love old cars! This is a huge collection of new images, as posted and blogged about here by A.D.Wheeler. A.D. brings us along inside the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum where we get to enjoy a set of photos that detail some of the intricate elements that make these old nostalgic cars so compelling.
The Grey Man Is Comfortable With His Place In The World – The Grey Man Wonders Why They Never Made A Third Ghostbusters Movie – a pair of new posts from Mark Garbowski that takes us along as the Grey Man explores the world around him. This new series is absolutely wonderful, sharing a bit of tension and nostalgia through the art of very clever photography and writing. These are guaranteed to leave you wanting more.
The Crystal Grotto – the grace and beauty that Mother Nature exposes to the world can leave the visitor absolutely speechless. This is one great example of this concept, from the studio of Christian Klepp. Christian risks life and limb to go inside a truly magical ice cave to capture the photo shared here.
Exploring Alison: Beyond Superlatives – the rugged coasts of western Canada really are unique in the world, producing scenes that are truly second-to-none. Laurie MacBride comes home after exploring all summer in her boat with a new set of images showcasing the natural beauty of this place we call home. The epic peace, beautiful coasts and commanding mountains all come together in this fabulous place, creating perfect opportunities to capture breathtaking photos.
Mansion G – great UrBex photography can both deliver documentation of a site that is in active decay as well as produce some striking fine art. This is a great example of this concept, featuring a comprehensive set of photos of a mansion that looks like the previous owners left in a quick hurry leaving tons of stuff behind and the perfect setting for tension-filled photography.
Storm Cell 9 – this is one of those incredible images that if you didn’t see it for yourself, you’d never believe it to be true. Chris Frailey happens to be at the right time and place, with camera ready and in hand, to capture this very dramatic photograph of a powerful storm cell.
Intact Passenger Car – a fabulous black-and-white image by Tom Slatin that takes us inside a long-abandoned railway car. Perfect details and textures are all explored and brought out in this great image.
The Same, Yet Different – this is a wonderful photograph of classic hot rod cars on display at a car show, from Tim Stanley. The beautiful colors found in these classics highlights the wonderful natural lines they create.
Want a Haircut? – you sure won’t once you see this image from the studio of Len Saltiel! Len takes us inside the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia to take a look at one very decayed barber’s chair, which casts the most dramatic shadow on the debris encrusted floor.
Norway – this is an absolutely stunning part of the world, and this incredible photograph by Apo Japo takes us to the heart of why. A beautiful rolling vista with a fabulous little wooden bridge takes the viewer directly to this peaceful spot in this breathtaking country.
Silenzio – the wonder and intrigue of Venice at night is captured and brought to light in this photograph by Anita Megyesi. The still waters of the canals deliver really entrancing reflections for the viewer to enjoy, and the surroundings cast a scene of character that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Morning in the Mountains – a gentle rolling landscape is presented in this photograph from the studio of Hans Kruse that showcases a beautiful vista complete with wood cabins peppering the countryside. Far off in the distance, the majestic mountains loom on the horizon, bringing added beauty and drama to the setting.
Legend Lake Sunrise – a glorious sunrise with absolutely epic colors is highlighted here. Bob Israel captures a shot of this beautiful lake just as the sun makes it way above the horizon, delivering a scene full of gentle silhouettes and details.
Santa Catarina – a stunning manor is etched directly into the facade of a rock face with a commanding presence over a body of water. A lone boatman in the front of the frame delivers great tension in this scene, producing a mesmerizing piece straight from the studio of Daniel Metz.
In Bruges: Spiegelrei – reflections can be a very powerful photography element bringing in so much interest to the scene being shot. This wonderful study of Belgian architecture is a great example of this as the beautiful old buildings find themselves casting a reflection back to the viewer. This is a great shot by Allard Schager.
Edge of the World – Curt Fleenor asks us to join him high atop Whitetop Mountain in Southwest Virginia. The vast expanse of mountains that lie before the viewer seem to literally go on forever, and as Curt points out in his post it’s awfully hard to see where the never-ending mountains merge with the skies.
Into The Drink – an old log that lies in the water points the way for the viewer in this wonderful photo by Jim Denham. The beautiful hues in the sky and the details in the marina in the distance all come together quite wonderfully here, creating a scene that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
A Classic in Purple – HDR makes for a great technique to use in photographing old, classic cars. Mark Neal shows us how it’s done in this post that features two very vibrant shots of a great hot rod, and the first picture is set against the most incredible backdrop for such a car.
Snoqualmie Falls – even up here in Canada, these falls are well known and spoken of often. Scott Wood brings us along as he visits this iconic location, and he comes away with an absolutely breathtaking photograph featuring the power and majesty of these great waterfalls.
Vision Quest – the greenest of greens as can only be found in the naturally occurring phenomenon of the aurora borealis is captured in this gorgeous image from James Fougere. The skies seem to come alive as the light show goes on overhead, and this is reflected back in a pool of still water that sits in the foreground.
The Bright Side – Prague – the inherent beauty of this magical place is captured in an image here by Anita Megyesi. The intricate architecture that can only be found in old Europe truly comes to life in this picture, producing a piece that reveals more details to the viewer as you spend time taking the photograph in.
Early Fall – a beautiful waterfall rich in details so sharp and crisp you can almost count the individual drops that comprise this feature is presented by Steve Beal. This is a wonderful photo of a beautiful landscape, further accented by the long exposure technique that Steve used to capture it.
Collegiate Church of St Mary – 900 years of rich history is featured in this great image from the studio of Bob Lussier. The ancient architecture used to design this historic location is full of compelling details, sure to draw the viewer straight into the picture.
Crystal Palace Underpass – Mark Blundell takes us to a fabulous spot in England that is a highly secured underpass cavern. The incredible brickwork is constructed in such a way that intricate architectural patterns are formed in the facility, bringing a very unique element to the place that adds depth and character.
1929 Cadillac – they sure don’t make ‘em like they used to, as illustrated in this photograph from the studio of Michael Lewis Glover. Michael captures a shot of this iconic old classic motorcar on display at Disney in Florida, and delivers a picture that is captivating with the great details that are found here.
Mill Bay Marina – come along as Joseph de Lange takes us to a local marina here on Vancouver Island that was once victim to a rather nasty storm. The rebuilding process results in a great new facility that everyone can enjoy, and Joseph shares this with us through his great series of images.
Cabin Fever – a tiny cabin sits nestled deep in the woods, so tiny and nondescript that it almost vanishes in the surroundings. Robert Berry used a framed compositional technique to express the vision he captures here, producing a picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Motion – even when a scene is filled with motion from a stiff wind, photography can freeze this forever in time with an instantaneous imprint. Rachel Cohen captures a picture of a beautiful flower, and by using selective coloring in her post-processing she has created a piece that is breathtaking.
The Sandy City Balloon Glow: Folka Dots and Fire! – hot air balloons make for great photography subjects due to their vibrant colors and the romantic flair they add to any scene. This wonderful series of photos from Howard showcases a great local event he attended. As the sun began to set the colors in the balloons became more prominent producing striking elements that Howard has just perfectly captured and shared here.
Falls into the Red Paradise – gorgeous colors in both the natural surrounding rock faces and the aqua blue water below combine in this epic shot to deliver something very special. Crazy Lense photographs a scene of a majestic waterfall that is sure to be the source of enjoyment for all who visit.
Rock City Park – Rich McPeek brings us along as him and his family explore this really mesmerizing place. Situated in an area that holds quartz deposits that are half a billion years old, the park has created a destination for visitors that sounds like a blast to visit, and for certain is the perfect setting for photography enthusiasts.
Moon Over Happy Valley – a never-ending sense of expanse greets the viewer with this gorgeous rolling landscape photograph from the studio of Jerry Denham. A dramatic sky sits above this beautiful scene, adding a touch of drama and intrigue to the setting.
Old Country Cabin – a rustic wooden cabin beckons the visitor inside to pull up a chair next to the fire and sit a spell. Tim Stanley photographs this truly romantic little hideaway and delivers a picture here that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
The Red Dog Saloon on Route 66 – Route 66 is the embodiment of Americana as once it was a major thoroughfare for the countries interstates. Today it is becoming part of the history of the States and this great photograph from Keith Cuddeback gives us a great taste of its character.
Morning at Mono Lake – gorgeous reflections and vibrant colors in the sky are both found in this beautiful landscape image from Jason Hines. The gentle reflections of the colors in the sky are also reflected back in the water, creating a fully composed scene that is a great joy to view.
Chino Community Center – Wayne Frost casts a painterly processed scene in this beautiful picture concentrating on the rich architecture of this facility. This is a highly compelling image, full of great areas of distinct contrast in the shadows that add a huge layer of interest to the scene.
Tide out Sun down at Bosham – this is a fabulous image full of natural intrigue. Barry Turner takes us water-side at sunset with this great photograph that has the additional element of softly silhouetted architecture in the distant background.
Pure Glass – a breaking wave forms the perfect frame for this shot by Cj Kale. This is a beautiful picture that shares a great view of some really wonderful colors and details.
Amish Buggies – textures in the old barn and fabulous details in the horse carriages are all captured and expressed in this great photograph from Gary Koenig. This picture immediately takes the viewer back to a time now long past through it’s highly immersive quality.
How Long – an angel statue captured in Rome by Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck creates a strong feeling of tension and drama through both the great composition that was used to photograph it, as well as the pose the statue holds. This is a highly emotional piece, sure to stir some personal inner thoughts.
Circle Of Life – this is a great example of expressional abstractism as shared here by Andy Gimino. Andy’s special techniques that utilizes focus stacking always results in breathtaking photography that has a special visual aspect to it. This photo of a gentle waterfall and eddy pool is really a top drawer picture.
A Quick Hello from Ireland – Lee Brown shares a photograph captured in Ireland in this post that really showcases the true character of this storied country. A man on a cart being pulled by a donkey on a lane casts a scene that is truly compelling to see.
Modern Day Steed – who doesn’t love to belly up to the bar at the local saloon for a tasty beverage? Mark Summerfield captures a shot taken of a very authentic looking American saloon, with a line of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in front. The contrast between old and new is rather striking in this shot.
A barrage of lightning over Phoenix – Mike Olbinski uses a technique called stacking to create this image that features multiple lightning strikes. When subtly applied, this technique can produce striking imagery, if you’ll pardon the pun here. Mike does a fabulous job with this image, creating a scene that is shocking and electrifying. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Amber River – this shot of the Milwaukee River features some really great colors and tones in it, as well as exquisite architectural details and a soft reflection. CJ Schmit does a fabulous job in capturing these scene, creating a spectacular image with the perfect composition.
Notre Dame of Strasbourg – lines, shapes and geometry capture the viewers mind in this great shot taken inside a very old cathedral. Adam Allegro captures and shares a truly breathtaking piece in this post, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Battle Ready – Knight in Armor – this is a very powerful black-and-white image from the studio of Scott Hovind that features a knight in armor. Scott brings us a close-up of the knight’s helmet, which is full of great textures and details. All these rich details are highlighted intensely through his post-processing.
Platform 12 at Glasgow Central Station – train stations are inherently full of great romance and make for fabulous photography subjects, as shown in this photograph from Jim Nix. All the textures and details in this great station are brought out through Jim’s use of HDR here, making for a very compelling image to view and enjoy.
The Ring – a lovely shot of a wedding ring that embodies the true Celtic/Gaelic heritage that Gareth Glynn Ash and his wife share is posted here for everyone to enjoy. Gareth accents this post dedicated to his wife with a lovely little poem, making for a great blog post that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Classic Dungeness – an old fishing boat is presented here in black-and-white, producing an image full of rich natural drama. Tony Matthews shares a poignant piece here, one that speaks of a life supported on the seas.
Retired 13 – Edin Chavez captures a shot of an iconic American helicopter sitting on display. Edin’s composition and perspective are rather unique, forming a picture that has a slightly different and altogether alluring appeal to it.
Seacrest Sunrise – a wonderful view of the Seattle skyline as the sun rises is shared here by Jay Taylor. The natural beauty of this great city is illuminated gently here as the sun begins to rise, and the raw shorelines create a gentle natural leading line to draw the viewer's eye through the frame.
. Gone . – this is a heartbreaking image featuring a portrait of a very cute family dog that has recently passed away. Rob Hanson and his family are in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this terribly difficult personal process, and we are appreciative of Rob for sharing such a wonderful photograph of this fabulous little spirit.
Desert Color – a beautiful and vibrant desert flower is the subject of this wonderful photograph by Derrick Birdsall. The rich details captured in the flower here literally bring the flower to life, all perfectly accented by the shallow depth of focus that Derrick has used to isolate the subject.
Rainbowflected – a stunning city skyline is reflected back in the perfectly still waters in this photo feature by Gost • Ridr®. The super crisp details in the buildings take the viewer on a visual stroll through the use of rich colors and a perfect composition.
Looking into the cab – trains make for great photography as they exhibit such interesting features in the gauges, dials and plumbing that make them work. Lotus Johnson brings us along to a place here on Vancouver Island that I am anxious to get to myself to photograph, as she features a shot of the cab of a locomotive and showcases the intrinsic interest found there.
Twilight on the Thames – what a stunning photograph, as posted here by Jim Nix. Jim takes us to this iconic architectural wonder of the world and creates an image full of great colors, details and textures to view and enjoy.
Driftwood Art – island photographer Anne McKinnell shares a set of photographs featuring some of the artwork people have decorated a campsite with on Quadra island on the west coast of Canada. The quirky and whimsical pieces on display here are perfectly captured and described in this post by Anne.
Painted Houses – a lovely row of character homes is showcased in this great photograph from the studio of Edith Levy. Portland, Maine is a city full of rich character and wondrous features to explore, and Edith comes away with a shot here that really expresses the true spirit of living here.
Beach House – my local friend and photographer Ehpem takes us along as he explores some truly quirky beach houses that sit here on Vancouver Island. Ehpem is starting to work with HDR techniques to create his work, and this set of monochrome images showcases how the technique can really bring great details and textures to life in the realm of imagery.
Pacific Green – incredible light, colors and shadows converge in this awesome photo by Bob Lussier, featuring the outside of a mill that Bob loves to shoot. The rich details that can be found in this frame are sure to be enjoyed by all.
marina bay singapore – we’ve seen quite a few images of this iconic piece of architecture in Singapore, and it never gets old or fails to mesmerize us. hamni juni does a great job in this piece by using a slightly different perspective than we’ve seen before to deliver a stunning photograph.
The Grand Organs – this picture absolutely blows me away. A grand old pipe organ is meticulously composed and photographed in this piece by UrbexJunkie. An alluring light from the left side of the scene drapes the picture in light that creates some of the most dramatic and compelling shadows.
It Never Rains Forever – our very own @astaroth here on Light Stalking shares a set of photos taken of his local landscape that features a far-off rain storm. The delicate and captivating beauty that can be found in this phenomenon is capped off with a gorgeous shot of sun rays as the storm tapers off in the distance.
Teleport – awesome colors and a fascinating sky come together in this photograph from Chris Frailey that features a powerful lightning strike. The details in the tendrils of the strike as it hits the ground, making for a truly captivating image to view.
At the top of the steps – we get a great image from LensScaper (Andy Hooker) to enjoy in this post from him. This is a black-and-white image that features great leading lines through the composition, with a perfect touch of tension added by his wife standing at the top of the stairs.
On waiting… – Sherry Galey delivers a compelling picture here that showcases several great photographic elements. We get to enjoy strong leading lines, shadows and contrasts, and tension via the silhouetted person standing in the frame.
Island Ferry, Toronto, 2012 – there’s something just magical about this picture. Ren Bostelaar delivers a great shot here of a deck on a boat that is without people, creating a series of natural questions in the viewers mind that adds depth to the image.
R'IR'flection – IR photography is fabulous for the different style of images it tends to produce, as is the case in this wonderful photo from David Keochkerian. David finds the perfect landscape setting, complete with a still body of water that produces incredible reflections, to photograph and share here.
Wake Up Pittsburgh – Rich McPeek captures and shares a stunning photograph of the Pittsburgh cityscape at night. Great details in the architecture are explored in this photo which finds further elements of interest with the great reflections in the river.
Niagara Apothecary – Edith Levy takes us inside a restored apothecary that is now a museum with her great photograph. The fabulous details Edith has captured here immediately takes the viewer back in time, creating a strong sense of nostalgia. This looks to be a fabulous location, one that we would love to visit personally!
Future Monarch Butterfly – Kat White captures and shares a great shot here of a Monarch caterpillar that will one day morph into a gorgeous butterfly. This is a great image of this little creature, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Kestrel in the Grass – Bev shares a wonderful photo of a beautiful and captivating bird. She captures all the fabulous details that can be found in it’s feathers, and it’s facial expression really adds an element of interest as well.
I Confess….. – I have to say I’ve never seen such vibrant colors before, and to make it even more interesting, these colors are all found on a fly. Kerri Farley captures and shares a great macro shot of a fly in this post that delivers a picture sure to amaze everyone.
Helicopter – steampunk is a fast-emerging art form that I find totally intriguing. Artists collect various bits and pieces of often discarded items and by repurposing and reassembling them into unique shapes, new pieces of art are born. My sister and her husband are masters of this new form, and this post showcases a helicopter that they created. Prepare to be absolutely amazed!!
Toronto Google Plus Photowalk – travelling writer and photographer Jordan Oram takes us along as he explores the city of Toronto on a photowalk. Jordan shares a series of fabulous photos here that highlight the features, architecture and nighttime beauty of this incredible Canadian city.
Ten Rupees: A Vibrant Collection of Photos from India – a fabulous blog post featuring the photography of Kevin Goss-Ross awaits the viewer in this post. The artificially lit photographs really bring all the spirit and character of this wonderful country to life.
The San Francisco Earthquake: Merging Then and Now – what a unique form of expression! By merging certain aspects of photos taken immediately after the massive quake documenting the unbelievable damage with new photographs taken in modern times, a juxtaposition of destruction overlayed on a brightly rebuilt city is created here that is truly compelling.
Leading Lines – 18 Photo Variations – this study in leading lines is conducted and shared here by Mark Neal. Mark posts a set of black-and-white images that perfectly illustrate this powerful photography concept, and by accompanying the pictures with detailed descriptions, Mark has created a post here that is both entertaining and highly educational.
Print Polaroid Pictures From Your iPhone – what a fabulous blending of old processes with new technology! This is a very clever way to produce these vintage style photos by using the iPhone camera as the capture medium. Check it out, it’s really amazing!
The Sony RX1 fullframe mirrorless camera is out – this is a short but interesting read that discusses this much-anticipated product launch from Sony.
Frustration in the Enchanted Garden – this is a great post that discusses the difficulties and challenges in photographing such a fast-moving and small subject. Jose Miguel Gomez comes away with a great set of images of the elusive hummingbird he came to shoot, and the accompanying post adds a lot of depth to the photos.
Where’s the Biz? – this is a great article that discusses how to generate business in the field of photography. By using statistics and breaking down demographics, the author creates a cohesive article here that brings fresh ideas to the table.
A Few Fall-Foliage Desktops To Get In The Autumnal Mood – truly breathtaking photos await the viewer in this post from Jeffrey Friedl who also shares some desktop wallpapers for everyone to download. These are beautiful and vibrant photos taken in Japan, well worth the time to visit and view.
Phoneography Guide: How to Shoot a Wedding on Your Phone! – some photographers may cringe at the concept, but when taken in the context of a professional approach with proper planning and supporting gear, the results can be both dramatic and amazing. Check it out for yourself!
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.