It has been a very active week in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy finding the best tutorials, photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This comprehensive list contains some of the most compelling pieces in this realm, and are all a true joy and inspiration to take in for the viewer. We certainly hope you enjoy going through this list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
Sunset / Novosibirsk / Siberia / 07.11.2011[/url] by mksystem, on Flickr
Two Easy Ways to Add Texture to Your Photos – a great and brief tutorial that describes and shows you how to easily add a texture overlay to your images. The results can be quite dramatic and worth the effort.
How to Use Diagonal Lines in Photography – this brief tutorial guides the photographer through the process of composing a shot with great lines in it, to add an element of interest. Wonderfully written, this piece is sure to teach everyone a little something about this technique.
Flash + Ambient Light – a wonderful photograph punctuates a short blog post that discusses the use of flash in conjunction with ambient lighting. Definitely well worth the time to visit.
How to Use Curved Lines in Photography – we have another tutorial here today on the employment of lines in photography, this time we’re looking at curves. This is a great piece that is well written, sure to leave all photographers with a little deeper understanding and vantage of using these specific techniques.
Improve Your Flash Photography – a great post discussing off camera lighting and how to use it, and how it applies to photography. Doug Pruden shares some great tips and tricks on how to move beyond the pop-up flash that comes with almost all DSLR cameras these days.
Canon 5D Mk2 Infrared Conversion – Keith Cooper discusses the ins, the outs, the whys and wheres of converting a Canon 5D Mk2 to a permanent IR camera. This detailed article shares some tips, trick and insights as well as a truly incredible set of example photographs. This is one compelling read, well worth the time.
DIY: Turn Photos into a 3-D Tunnel Book! – a thorough and complete how-to guide on this form of creating unique artworks. Absolutely detailed, this guide takes you through a step-by-step process to produce something that is really incredible.
The Rule of Thirds in Photography Composition – much discussion takes place in the wide world of photography in regards to rules, and specifically the rule of thirds. This great and detailed guide explains the whys and hows of trying to compose images using this set of rules.
Wrinkles[/url] by Steve-h, on Flickr
Strolling in the Summer Surf – the words beautiful and captivating only begin to describe the incredible photograph that awaits the viewer here. As the sun sets, Chris Maskell carefully captures a shot of incredible colors that drape the ocean in color, all punctuated by a truly awesome silhouette of a woman as she walks the shore. The dedication that Chris shows to the craft comes through in both the picture, and the accompanying blog post, well worth the time to visit.
Early Morning Sentry – a compelling and detailed photograph comes to us today from the studio of Len Saltiel. As the sun rises over this iconic lighthouse, Len is ready and primed with his camera to capture and share a picture that is just absolutely breathtaking.
Minimalism & Clarity – CJ Schmit finds and shares a minimalistic photo he had on the archives on his drive. This picture is absolutely beautiful to behold, full of absolutely great colors, the exquisite depth of focus employed to capture this leaves the subject to jump out of the monitor.
Amidst the Arches – Ryan Brenizer captures and shares a first-dance wedding image so spectacular in both composition and tones that it truly makes me want to remarry my wife all over again. A wonderful moment captured in a truly breathtaking manner, sure to delight and amaze everyone.
A Hidden Gem – we’re back at the Kensington Market checking out a few images captured by the talented Edith Levy. A great set of photos showcasing the wonder of the market, each picture posted has a plethora of details and textures to take in and enjoy.
Lair of The Orb Weaver – Pt:1 – Lair of The Orb Weaver – Pt:2 – Aaron Barlow weaves another tale of creepiness with the combination of great photography and awesome writing. Be prepared, lots of creepy-crawlies await the visitor to this post, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. This is a two-part series.
Ghost – there’s something striking in this image from Scott Frederick that is hard to pin down. Great details and textures are the obvious factors when you first bring this image up on-screen, but as you spend some time with it, you’re left with a moody and dramatic sense that someone is standing right behind you. A truly awesome photograph, well worth the time to view.
Brothers – a great post that showcases a water tower in NYC. Historic artifacts are some of my personal favorite subjects for photography, especially in terms of capturing them before they disappear. Mark Garbowski delivers one such example, and shares a really awesome picture.
French Chateau Series – Lee Brown continues to delight and amaze us with his awesome imagery. This post highlights a series of photos taken in France all processed in sepia and pseudo-framed to give the viewer a distinct idea of how the work would look hanging. I have to say in my mind, these images are all truly breathtaking.
SNBC – My Ticket Out Of Here – a dark and dramatic picture taken by Mark Blundell and processed with the latest HDR techniques really brings out all the emotion of this train shed in Belgium. Mark continues to create some of the most incredible images, and this one is absolutely guaranteed to carry on this tradition.
At The Switch – another train photograph, this time from the studio of Jim Denham, and this time this picture was taken in the US. A great composition and perspective await the visitor in this post, sure to delight the train buff in anyone!
From Flare to Eternity – sunflares are difficult to pull off well, and in this post Rob Hanson does just this. A great reflection in the foreground swimming pool of the sun, and the rest of the frame having an element of beautiful sunlight throughout it, produces something that is truly breathtaking.
Flora – for some, the photograph is only the very beginning in the creation of a wonderful piece of art. Well-known UrBex photographer Viveca Koh shares two images that were created with the foundation of a photograph and were further manipulated to create something absolutely unique. A departure from Viveca’s usual style of imagery, this set is both beautiful and striking.
Bad Taping Technique – guaranteed to make you laugh, this post showcases a wonderful style of image production that Chris Nitz uses. By posing Lego characters with surrounding props and carefully composing a scene, Chris is able to bridge the world between toys and reality in a very unique and uplifting way. This is an awesome post, well worth the time to visit.
Ice Cream Delivery – I love, love, love old artifacts and historic items, and Jimi Jones delivers a truly special one in this post. One of the last remaining original ice cream delivery trucks around in a museum, Jimi masterfully captures all the details and textures in this historic unit and shares a truly wonderful photograph.
Encroaching – wildlife can make for fabulous photography subjects, and in this case we’ve got an elk that is making his personal feelings known to Mike Victorino as he captures this glorious animal on camera. A great composition and perspective of this glorious elk, this picture is absolutely top drawer!
Blackbird – Close Encounter – another two part series here shows the iconic SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft from the front and back. Each image displays a totally unique vantage of this incredible aircraft that only the masterful photography of Bob Lussier could capture and deliver in such exquisite fashion.
Northern Flicker – Jay Taylor captures and shares a truly wonderful picture of a beautiful and colorful bird. The Northern Flicker is not uncommon in the northwest area of our continent, and in this shot Jay captures all the personality and brings it to life for us all to enjoy.
Impression of Reflective Sequence – a wonderful landscape photo of a marsh and waterfront straight from the studio of Gareth Glynn Ash. Great tones and perfect composition merge in this scene to deliver something that is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful in it’s own right.
Frosty Morning Fall – another set of images taken in my hometown, Victoria, BC, Canada. Beacon Hill Park is an icon of our beautiful city, and as fall sets upon us here, the park takes on a different persona that is wonderfully captured here in this series.
moss plant[/url] by onigiri-kun, on Flickr
New Weapon – I wasn’t sure what category to put this post under this week as it kind of falls across two. Jerry Denham has acquired a new 85mm lens that is perfect for sports photography, and he captures a truly incredible set of images of the action. But, he also discusses in pretty good detail some of the challenges and techniques he uses to do this style of photography. Basically, this post leaves you with the sense you’ve seen a great set and learned a little about this type of photography.
Magic Castle – this is the epitome of fine art photography, right here! Viveca Koh captures and processes a dreamy scene, and with her application of textures creates something that is indelibly unique and breathtaking. This image will delight everyone, young or old!
Boudoir Shoot – Boudoir Part Two – these two posts sit back-to-back this week to serve two purposes. One is the obvious beautiful imagery created here, but the other is the exquisite lighting techniques that Erik Kerstenbeck uses to achieve these stunning results. He even shares a few tips and tricks about this style of photography, producing a compelling post for all to see and read.
Other Side – a big helping of gorgeousness with a side of profound insight, this post contains a set of images of beautiful flowers. The act of photography can make us all take notice of things we’d typically let past without a second thought, and this wonderful post really makes you stop and think about this.
On The Wall – another just incredible post from the studio of Mark Garbowski. I love great leading lines, and when you combine that with awesome textures, you’ve really got something going on. This shot is absolutely perfectly composed, and naturally leads the viewers eye through the frame. A wonderful image, to say the least.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – Heather Neil once again delivers a powerful Sunday blog post. She typically let’s the picture stand on it’s own, speak for itself… and in this case, the message is delivered loud and clear. We’ve got ourselves a most beautiful rolling vista to take in here, which most certainly leaves the viewer feeling quite serene and in tune with nature.
Barber Shop, Toronto – there is just something nostalgic about barber shops, and this image really shares a truly iconic image of a Canadian shop. Ren Bostelaar captures a shares a great image, full of life with great composition, one truly worth spending the time to visit.
Under the Gun – a fabulous and unique picture captured by Jimi Jones gives us a totally novel view across Baltimore’s inner harbor. Wonderful framing and composition are evident in this piece, one that is sure to entrance all who take the time to view.
Echo Reflections – straight from the studio of Len Saltiel we enjoy this wonderful landscape photograph. This beautiful lake shot produces the most striking reflection I’ve seen in quite some time, and the result is an absolutely breathtaking image.
Wall Of Water – waterfalls can add so much interest to a photograph with the juxtaposition of the fast moving and fluid water in contrast to the stillness of the surrounding landscape. Curt Fleenor masterfully captures and shares such an image with us in his post here, well worth the time to visit and view.
An Italian Vignette – a very crisp and detailed photo taken on a street in Florence, Italy. Edith Levy delivers an absolutely breathtaking image of this iconic area of the world, sure to mesmerize any viewer who spends the time to visit. What a beautiful, striking and amazing image to be enjoyed!
Another day, another person fighting off more than the cold – the masterful work of Alan Shapiro never ceases to absolutely amaze me. This image when held in contrast with the wonderful words he has written produces a strong work of drama sure to leave everyone with a profound impact.
Moving On, Down the Highway – an absolutely dramatic and compelling portrait from Joe McNally, carefully staged and shot, delivers a picture sure to amaze all who view it. It’s not any one single entity in this frame that makes it, rather it’s the whole of the parts and how they work together. Absolutely top drawer.
Don't lose the lesson… – this post contains 2 great photographs that serve to punctuate an interesting story that I am sure has happened to all photographers, at least once in their lives. This story shows us how sometimes mistakes or oversights can result in the most profound outcomes.
Lobster Tractor – pass the garlic butter, please, we need to dip this wonderful photograph in it to fully savor all the flavors and details that are held within! Steven Perlmutter once again captures and delivers a truly wonderful picture, full of drama and interest… and yes, even a crustacean of sorts!
Bridlington Sea Front – a wonderful landscape shot with excellent tones in it presents an image that is compelling to view. Steve Simons delivers a strong sea-side photograph that is complete with great details and leading lines.
Pirate Boat – OK, who here doesn’t like pirate ships? This great photo of a ship as it comes back to port, in contrast with the modern buildings in the background, is a very strong image straight from the studio of Joe Kozma.
Mirror – great reflections are one of the most compelling features of a great photography subject, and this picture from Andy Korolis really exemplifies this wonderfully. A gorgeous landscape that is reflected almost in mirror fashion in a body of water, well worth the time to view.
A Welcome Return to the Coast – a lovely photograph of a pier as it extends over the water, complete with a gorgeous sunburst that truly creates the most incredible colors and tones you’ve seen. This beautiful picture from Anne McKinnell is just absolutely breathtaking!
Old Town Shadows – I find that long shadows can create the most incredible drama in an image, and Jim Denham captures a shares a truly wonderful example of this. Jim has captured an image with incredible detail, sure to delight all who take the time to view.
The Last Temptation – Jacques Gudé delivers a truly commanding image taken of an abandoned location… somewhere. Exquisite processing and fabulous details are here to greet the viewer, with the end result being an absolutely compelling image.
Untitled – a rather simple title creates a cloak for a really wonderful still life shot. Heather Neil captures and shares a minimalistic image that is very serene and truly a reminder of life at home for us all.
The Greys – an abstract piece straight from the studio of Andy Gimino is a dramatic and compelling piece. Sometimes in photography, it’s the pieces that are left to the viewers imagination that produce the strongest emotions, and I think this is a great example of this.
Goshawk – wow, seriously, this is an amazing portrait of a commanding bird perched by Bev, one of the best nature photographers that I have encountered in my adventures. Great emotion and composition come together in this image, to produce something that is beyond breathtaking.
Lady Bug Stretch – an absolutely wonderful photograph from Kerri Farley depicts a ladybug in her natural environs. A wonderful macro shot that produces great details, this picture is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by for a view.
Los Angeles Central Library – a truly breathtaking interior shot of this library delivers a lot of details and rich tones to enjoy. Neil Kremer shares a picture with incredible details in the ceiling and floor, creating a truly stunning image to view.
Bodie Ghost Town – a jaw-droppingly awesome set of photos taken of a ghost town in California. This type and style of photography is one of my all-time favorites, and this series really exemplifies why. Great details, truly interesting artifacts and wonderful textures await the viewer, presenting an experience well worth the time to take in.
Tsusiat Falls – just a few miles from here are some of the most pristine and uninhabited places on earth, and this incredible shot of a waterfall that falls into the ocean here on Vancouver Island is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Andy Korolis delivers a truly incredible photo of Mother Nature at work, sure to amaze everyone who takes the time to view.
Perched Eagle – nature photographer Buck Shreck captures a picture of an eagle sitting perched in the cold Alaska wind. Fabulous details and exquisite depth of focus greet the viewer, this photo is absolutely incredible.
Walker – a jaw-droppingly awesome image from the studio of Scott Frederick taken of what looks like a walker left behind in an abandoned facility. Some wonderful words of advice that most photographers would find useful also accompany this post, making it one of our must-see pictures for this weeks links list.
Scalby Mills Bend – to call this one amazing doesn’t do it justice. A fabulous long exposure night shot of a building and a bend in the road with fabulous light trails from a passing car make this a fabulous image to enjoy, straight from the studio of Steve Simons.
Clandestine Ablutions – my goodness, we’ve got some great work featured here this week, and this incredible photograph is one of the most compelling, dramatic and visually interesting shots I’ve seen this week. Teresa Stover captures and shares a scene of absolutely ethereal drama and beauty, well worth the time to pop over for a view.
Israel, Jerusalem & Settlements – a series of really fabulous street shots, some in black and white, taken in Israel. Jarek Łukaszewicz shares a unique and dramatic set of photographs, rich with emotion and drama.
Steampunk in corridor – the photograph is amazing, but so are the words that accompany it. Almost like taking us back in time, Gary Heller delivers a very detailed image full of interest and textures to enjoy.
Mount Everest view from Kala Pattar / Nepal / Khumbu Himal – stunning, breathtaking, absorbing and dramatic, this shot of the iconic Mount Everest is guaranteed to amaze. From the studio of Carsten Kopp, we have this absolutely incredible photograph, well worth the time for all to view and enjoy.
Na barragem – the moon presents the most amazing subject for this stunning photograph. Great colors and tones, as well as a plethora of drama, await the viewer in this incredible picture. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.
Time Stands Still – wow, this almost looks like it originated from another planet entirely. Infrared photography can produce the most compelling and beautiful pieces, and this photograph from the studio of Paula Cobleigh is one of the best examples of this I have ever seen.
Fossilized trilobite – a 400 million year old fossil that is an astonishing 15mm across forms the subject of this fascinating post from the studio of Chris Wray. This macro shot shares incredible detail, not often seen, of this ancient artifact and is an absolutely amazing photo to take in.
Horniman Museum – Animal Nitrate – once again, Mark Blundell delivers a strong and dramatic image rich in character and details. Perfect processing and composition merge in the creation of this masterpiece, creating a picture guaranteed to amaze all who take the time to view.
Partially Lit – Mike Victorino delivers a piece created using a unique style of photography, taken with minimal lighting. The results are absolutely astonishing, presenting a picture that is dramatic and compelling, and beautiful, all at the same time.
Harbor Lights – a truly incredible monochromatic shot of the Seattle harbor as delivered by photograph Jay Taylor shares a detailed and wonderful vista shot of this beautiful city. Truly captivating, this shot is guaranteed to delight and amaze all who take the time to visit.
World’s Tallest – totem poles make up a large portion of the historic background of the area we live in here on the West Coast of Canada. This series of incredible photographs shares the world’s largest totem from a few angles with some really incredible compositions. A real gem, this series is absolutely amazing.
Kong Kee Food Corp. – a truly captivating shot taken in NYC, straight from the studio of Mark Garbowski. Great tones and textures comprise this awesome piece, delivering a bit of an architectural study in the city.
Leaning Lighthouse – a dramatic sky forms the perfect backdrop for this incredible photograph of a compelling lighthouse. Steve Beal shares this wonderful photo and some anecdotal background, sure to delight and amaze everyone who takes the time to visit and view.
Glorious Autumn in Sherando – incredible tones and beautiful colors await the viewer in this incredible landscape autumn photograph. Jay&Jacy Photography capture a picture that is just awesome, complete with a stunning sunburst poking through the trees to add a sense of joy to the scene.
Rabbit – kind of creepy, kind of macabre, and most certainly dramatic and compelling. This really incredible photograph from the studio of Viveca Koh shares an image of a rabbit artifact in a museum that is just so compelling, you can’t look away.
The Glass Ceiling – a wonderful architectural piece with exquisite composition showcases a shopping centre in Rome. Edith Levy captures an image that is just so beautiful in colors and tones, and full of rich detail; absolutely guaranteed to captivate all who take the time to view.
Tenacity – a really inspiring blog post from the studio of Rob Hanson shares a compelling picture, but also a great message of hope and motivation for the waning artist. Rob truly has a wonderful way with words, and this post really brings all the character and insight in the inner workings of an artist to life for all to read and enjoy.
Reintegration – a profound blog post from a talented photographer outlines the challenges many of us face while trying to earn a living as well as follow our true passions of producing art. Chris Nitz is a real class act, a true friend and supporter of many. His challenge is one that many of us as photographers face, including myself, and this post is absolutely timely and well worth the time to visit. He has punctuated this great post here with a truly poignant picture that is most definitely an original piece, straight from his vision and studio.
Chair on Wheels – grungy, dark, morose, foreboding and absolutely incredible… great words used to describe this compelling piece from the studio of Scott Frederick. Scott goes through great lengths to capture and process his amazing UrBex works, and this piece is guaranteed to amaze all who spend the time to view.
Refresh Part II[/url] by Ian Sane, on Flickr
Ignis Vena – I personally love the work from Aaron Barlow, master photographer and visionary. This slightly abstract piece shows his unique style and character off to it’s fullest, creating a captivating piece.
Customer Parking Only – fabulous character, tones and textures await the viewer in this compelling piece from the studio of Chris Maskell. Exquisite composition and tones work together in harmony in this image to deliver a dramatic and compelling scene, sure to delight the curious viewer.
BC Ferries – this post delivers two shots of our local BC Ferries, captured and processed in HDR. These large boats form an important part of our highway system, connecting the island to the mainland. These shots really deliver all the interest and scale of these large boats to the viewer.
The Side Door – just incredible lighting and details are to be found in this character-rich scene, as shot by Jim Denham. A wonderful architectural study of an old shed, full of just jaw-droppingly awesome details to take in.
Underground – you have just got to see this image. Risking life and limb, master photographer Steve Beal goes the proverbial extra mile to capture a scene that is guaranteed to amaze everyone who take the time to visit. This picture speaks for itself, I will let it do any further talking.
The Glow of First Presbyterian Church – the talents of photographer Michael Glover are abundant in the field of landscape and architectural photography. This shot of the oldest church in Kissimmee Florida is absolutely captivating and breathtaking, a true gem sure to delight all who visit.
Grotto “V” – Jerry Denham captures and shares a truly beautiful picture of a set of waterfalls. Great colors and textures are highly evident in this wonderful capture, creating a really awesome picture.
Blocking The Sun – Anne McKinnell captures and shares a picture of incredible beauty through gorgeous colors and tones and captivating leading lines. This abstract piece is so compelling, a true gem to behold for all who take the time to visit.
Low-Key Lighting – a really compelling form and style of photography is exemplified and described in great detail in this post from the studio of Erik Kerstenbeck. His fabulous talents in the field of photography often serve as a learning tool and form of inspiration for us, and we are sure that everyone will really enjoy this post.
To The Last – slightly minimalistic, yet full of colors and rich tones, this beautiful photograph straight from the studio of Curt Fleenor is sure to delight and amaze everyone. Fall sets in, and this time of year is one that most photographers just love for all the diversity of colors. This picture embodies this time, and delivers a stunning image to enjoy.
Wastin’ Time – wow, seriously, the reflection and tones in this landscape photograph would be compelling on their own. The added drama and interest of the leading lines created through the clever composition of a highly textured dock, and the reflection it poses in the surrounding waters, truly delivers something that is so very amazing. Straight from the studio of Steven Perlmutter, this is sure to amaze everyone.
Liquid Landscapes – a truly astonishing post showing a different style and technique for creation of art. The results are absolutely incredible and well worth the time to view.
Rebel Surf Photography by Keegan Gibs – a unique style of imagery awaits the visitor in this fabulous set of photographs. The surfing community and lifestyle is explored in this series, taken by Keegan.
Photo Tips for the Holidays – Rod Arroyo shares a series of tips to bear in mind as the holidays make their way closer to us here. Sometimes the simplest things can slip ones mind, and this list is a great checklist to go over before heading out to the family’s big turkey dinner over the coming holidays.
Heading Out To Photograph The Fall Foliage? Don’t Forget The Polarizer Filter – a truly great post that provides visual examples of shooting the fall colors with and without a polarizing filter. This definitely opened my mind to a new technique I hope to try in the coming days, and I found it well worth the time to read. The accompanying images are absolutely wonderful to take in, as well, producing a complete package here.
Buachaille Etive Mor[/url] by Alan Weir, on Flickr
Dispatch from Roatan – one of my favorite professional photographers, David duChemin, produces a completely profound blog post here. HIs photography is without peer under the worst of circumstances, but beyond that his ability to share his experience as an artist and human being leaves all visitors with a sense of renewed hope and understanding of the broader world we live in. Guaranteed to leave you with new insight, this blog post is a must-read for this weeks list.
What does it take to make a good street photograph? – an utterly compelling piece by Simon Garnier discusses the finer points of great street photography. Whether you practice this style or not, you will find this article to be riveting and full of interest for photographers of all walks.
The Suitcases of Willard – I am left speechless with this blog post. I, too, share a complete fascination about items of historical interest, and this blog post that discusses the photographing of a series of suitcases found in an asylum are sure to leave everyone with a sense of wonder and profound insight.
What about HDR time-lapses? – our very own @astaroth here on Light Stalking has posted a fabulous thread that talks about doing HDR time lapse videos, and a tool that’s been created to make that easier. The accompanying link to the YouTube video done by @astaroth is absolutely amazing and is guaranteed to amaze everyone who takes the time to view.
70+ Incredible Examples of Silhouettes – a well written piece on capturing silhouettes of various people and items as a means to create compelling and dramatic imagery. A large set of examples accompanies this piece, creating a blog post that is sure to captivate the reader for quite some time.
25 Inspiring Examples of Snow Photography – there’s something magical about snow scenes that almost everyone finds compelling. This really incredible collection delivers a series that is sure to delight all who take the time for a visit.
The Mexican 1000: Honoring the Past, Forging the Future – a harsh climate and relentless pace sets the stage for this incredible series of photographs taken of vehicles involved in a massive classic car Baja style race. Captivating and compelling, this series is sure to delight the classic car fan in everyone.
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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.