It has been another wonderful week in the fascinating world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been very busy searching all over the internet for links to interesting tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list is comprised of links to some of the best images and articles found online, produced by some of the best artists working in our field today. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Jörg Schubert
Photographing the Local: How to See the Spirit of a Place and Show It in a Photo Essay – this detailed article gives great insight into how to plan for and execute a photo essay on a particular subject. Key points are covered in this piece, shedding some much needed light on how to plan for a session like this, and the accompanying photographs illustrate the power of the concepts explored.
Making the Most of Window Lighting for Photos – this brief and well-written tutorial covers the basics of using natural window light for photography. Various aspects of the artform are covered, including portraits and food photography, giving the reader a wide perspective on how best to leverage these techniques.
Website Design Tips for Wedding Photographers – this brief article describes key elements for your website that you simply must have if you are a professional wedding photographer. Some of the concepts are common sense, but others are a little more subtle, adding to the overall experience your visitor, and potentially client, will have with your site.
Life Before Photoshop: Hawaii – Joe Baraban shares some great insights into exposure and light metering in this post that also showcases a terrific photo that was captured in camera before the time and age of digital post-processing. Joe’s tips and tricks are always terrific, helping us to achieve better photographic results at the source, and even in today’s digital age these principles still totally apply.
Let It Snow! 4 Tips For Super Snow Photos – this short article shares some basic tips and tricks for snow themed photography to help you take your winter images to that next level. This is a great time of year to shoot, with wonderful natural light and ambience, and this tutorial will inspire you to get out there and capture your own memories.
Shooting Under Mixed Lighting Conditions – Joe Farace discusses shooting under differing lighting conditions in this piece that is short in length, but long in concept. The pair of pictures that Joe includes in his article to allow you to visualize the concepts discussed are great shots, adding an important element to this brief tutorial.
Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Pen, Brush and Camera: A 1998 Documentary on the Life and Work of Henri Cartier-Bresson – this 50 minute video presentation delivers a wonderful glimpse into the workings of one of our most famous and well-known peers in our field, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Even though our media and styles have changed over the years, there is truly inherent interest in learning about those who came before us, and in many ways pioneered this wonderful artform we enjoy today.
Words of Wisdom for Photographers by Renowned Photojournalist Steve McCurry – this is an amazing 6 part series, revealing the thoughts and musings of one of contemporary times' most famous photographers. This feature presentation is sure to inspire you, no matter what level you practice at, or what your long-term goals are for your photography.
Otter Cliffs Spray – Acadia National Park | Otter Cliffs at Acadia National Park, Maine – Mark Garbowski and Rob Hanson share two distinctly different renditions of the scenery found in the very, very early morning near the Otter Cliffs in Maine. Mark’s shot is processed using a color palette and features a dramatic wave as it crashes upon the shores, and Rob’s shot uses a long exposure technique to smooth out the waters surface, which he then processed as a black-and-white to accent the terrific drama.
Sedation – this shot is full of interest and character, featuring an old wooden building in the foreground, while in the background we find the majestic Italian mountains looming overhead. guerel sahin’s shot is perfectly finished with a still mirror like reflection that adds a perfect element to the composition.
Prelude to happiness – this is a terrific piece, one that is captured using film and shot with a Hasselblad, and then scanned for the final digital representation. A wonderful nostalgic feel is found within the image by Dave Wares, with a seat from a swing being the primary subject which is wonderfully accented by the light and the shallow depth of focus used here.
The Royal Oak Pub at Langstone Harbour – Barry Turner captures a terrific shot, featuring an old English pub that once was a mill and now is converted. The waters in the foreground of the shot add a soft, milky reflection to the picture, enhancing the key elements and primary subjects.
Photo by Olivier Noirhomme
Big Sur Sunset – Big Sur in California is world-famous for the photography subjects it creates for the avid landscape photographer, as evidenced in this breathtaking piece captured and shared by Yan L. Incredibly dramatic clouds in the sky hang over a rugged landscape that overlooks the powerful ocean that created it through erosion over a period of millennia.
Old World Third Street – CJ Schmit captures a terrific shot on a street in Milwaukee at night. The light trails from the fast moving cars add a strong sense of dynamism to the image, contrasted by the crisp details found in the architecture of the city.
Godafoss in winter… – this simply epic photo showcases predominantly blue tones, as captured in the frozen and frigid landscape of Iceland. Iurie Belegurschi used a long exposure technique in this piece to turn the moving waters into a silky smooth surface, adding a wonderful layer of interest to the picture.
Grain Belt Beer – this is a terrific architectural study by Bob Israel that features a bridge, some fabulous buildings in the background and a sign that has a strongly nostalgic feel to it. In this particular frame, Bob composes the shot to take advantage of the natural leading line in the bridge to guide the viewer through the piece.
Northern Pygmy Owl – a spectacularly shallow depth-of-focus works in harmony with the intricate details found in this tiny owl as it sits perched on a twig. Norman Ng takes advantage of the negative space in the image to bring the viewer right into the heart of it, that is to take in the character and personality of this truly amazing little bird.
Beauty on a Dark Day – this is a terrific shot captured and shared here by Laurie MacBride here on the west coast of Canada. A rainy and dreary day sets the stage for this convergence of elements, giving Laurie the absolutely perfect opportunity and composition to capture a colorful jellyfish going about its day.
Monasterio de Poblet – I love the raw artistic tension that can be found within shots that feature dramatic architecture with natural light streaming in from openings. This terrific shot by Jose Luis Mieza is a great example of this technique, revealing a glimpse into an ancient monastery full of history and character.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Sunset Sailboats, Mexico – this wonderful image by Mark Paulson features the silhouettes of a cluster of sailboats as the sunset gracefully paints the overall scene in gorgeous color. An instant sense of peace overcomes you as you take in this beautiful scene, and the feeling of the composition helps you to literally hear the waves lap against the sides of the boat and the shores as the waning light of day makes its final appearance.
Silver Lining – this is a terrific photograph, delivering several great elements that make an image compelling. Attilio Ruffo uses a wood pier as a natural leading line to guide the viewer through the frame and out towards a great vanishing point. He uses a long exposure technique here to creates a moody effect with the waters of the lake taking on a silky, smooth appearance.
Ice – Brad Truxell delivers a piece that showcases the best of HDR; wonderful details, even lighting and the ability to peek into aspects of a frame that are usually not evident. In this piece we get to take in a vantage of the city of Pittsburgh as winter has it’s icy grip firmly upon the city, covering it in ice and snow and revealing scenes that are lovely to take in.
The door out of the mist – if you’re one who enjoys freezing your limbs completely off, this is most certainly a picture for you. Jørn Allan Pedersen captures a fabulous scene he encountered in Norway, complete with a swirling blizzard and a tiny home peering out through the snowscape with the only evident color in the entire scene being the red front door.
Mission Concepción interior – this 300 plus year old church is the captured elegantly here by Tim Stanley, focusing on the amazing interior of this wonderful space. The wonderful lighting found inside this church has origins in both natural and artificial sources, adding a wonderful element and feel to this majestic interior.
Veins Of Dubai – this is a very vibrant, very dynamic photograph featuring the bustling city of Dubai at night. Cesar Castillo uses long exposure times to capture the fleeting light trails, adding a feeling of intense activity in a frame filled with incredibly detailed architecture.
Nubble from the Boat – York, Maine – the wonderful and inherent romance that is typically found in a classic lighthouse is captured and explored in this terrific image from Len Saltiel. In this shot, Len takes a boat trip to circle the island, providing him with a unique composition that truly showcases the wonderful character of the site.
Photo by darkday
Walk the road – this Norwegian winter scene is absolutely bereft of life, and it looks so cold here there is little doubt as to why. Simon Roppel captures a terrific frosty piece, complete with a frozen ribbon of highway that leads into the forever in a fabulous vanishing point, surrounded by the majestic rugged landscape this area is so famous for.
Curved – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) captures a great shot featuring undulating lines and curves found in a piece of architecture he sometimes visits. Light and shadow works in perfect harmony with the various angles produced from the architectural details in this piece, creating a composition that is slightly abstract in nature, while it is also a terrific study in interior architecture.
Oymyakon, Russia: the coldest place on Earth – this short set of photographs is quite enough, considering the prime subject here is what is widely known as the coldest place on Earth. The accompanying article gives a little context to what we are looking at here, making for a very interesting article and set of photos to read and see.
Watch How DSLR Shutters Work in 10,000FPS Super Slow Motion – my background in engineering makes presentations like this similar in nature to sending a kid into a candy store with a pocket full of change. This is a very interesting video that takes super high speed video of rolling shutters in modern DSLR cameras and slows it right down so you can see in great detail the mechanical action behind the magic of photographic imagery.
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.