Another terrific week in the world of photography has just passed us by and Toad Hollow Photography has been very active online searching for links to the best tutorials, special features, collections, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This weeks compendium features works from some of the very best artists working in the field today, and we really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Broad Light, Narrow Light – this post from lighting guru Joe McNally covers the use of multiple exposures, and broad and narrow lighting paradigms. Behind the scenes photos give the reader a good understanding of the lighting setup, as well as the dynamic nature of Joe himself as he imparts his knowledge upon those seeking it.
How to Calibrate a Light Meter – few of us consider worrying about calibration of our light meters, yet this is an important thing to do to ensure exposures are correct and as expected. This in-depth tutorial discusses the why’s and how’s in great detail on how to properly calibrate your light meter for optimal results every time.
Tutorial: Focus Stacking for Landscape Photography – focus stacking is a powerful and complex process, and the results speak for themselves in terms of getting crisp and sharp details throughout the entire depth of field. This detailed tutorial shares great screenshots to illustrate the concepts covered, helping to remove some of the mystery behind how to properly utilize this technique.
How We Shot This Photo Of A Floating Woman With A Simple Lighting Trick – the interesting photo created with this simple lighting technique is carefully analyzed step-by-step in this tutorial that walks you through the entire process. Images from behind-the-scenes as the shoot progressed along with detailed notes on the successful and unsuccessful aspects of the work underway combine to deliver a strong tutorial that is sure to spark creative concepts for everyone.
How Creating an Outdoor Studio Can Make You a Better Photographer – having direct control over lighting when shooting a session is paramount in terms of the end result. In this great tutorial we follow along as an outdoor venue is staged and setup for amazing photos, showing you how you can still achieve incredible quality photography by utilizing what is readily available.
Memphis Belle – Scratch “Go inside a B-17 bomber” off the Bucket List – for those who love aircraft, the old ones most definitely capture your attention when you hear they are in town for a visit. In this terrific post from Howard Jackman, we get to see a great series of shots of this famous plane both in the air and parked on the tarmac. As the post continues we also get a chance to see inside the plane, both where the gunner and navigators sat as well as the cockpit itself.
65 Amazing Photo Series Inspired by the Earth – this thoughtfully curated collection of photographs from the editors of LensCulture showcases the wonderful detail, the delightfully abstract and the sometimes harsh realities found in nature. All sorts of subjects are showcased in this set, creating a mesmerizing series of images to spend some time with.
Man of War Bay – wonderful colors and terrific natural lines find a comfortable home in this stunning composition from Barry Turner. The sunset paints delicate hues in the sky in this great shot as the constant ebb and flow of time and nature create incredible landscapes below.
Dead Horse Sunrise – an endless expanse is captured in a panoramic photograph, featuring the incredible natural formations of this well-known spot. Michael Criswell and his troupe of traveling photographers find themselves in the perfect spot very early in the morning to grab this gorgeous and highly detailed shot of a place you wouldn’t believe if not seeing it for yourself in imagery.
Luxembourg Palace – the wow factor of photography pops out in this terrific shot from Rob Nopola, featuring the epic architecture of a world landmark. Wonderful colors in the surrounding landscape adds a great element to this dramatic shot that finds the palace sitting under a very dramatic and brooding sky.
Storm over Pehoe – an almost surreal image is shared here by photographer Ian Plant. A sunset covers a rugged mountain range as storm clouds swirl overhead, capturing beauty and power in a single frame and showcasing the incredible dichotomy of nature in a fleeting moment.
wet dawn – a quintessential Vancouver Island morning scene graces our screens in this terrific shot captured and posted by Frank King. Nanaimo is a large city on the island, and on this particular rainy morning the natural ambience of life on the west coast living in a rain forest comes out wonderfully in a single frame.
Fog falls – this epic shot feels like it’s been captured from the top of a mountain as we look down upon and endless range of peaks that lead off into the distance. Reto Savoca’s finishing touch with this piece has to be the way the fog appears to fall off the side of a cliff creating a foggy waterfall, the likes of which I’ve never seen before.
Rossiter Lake Ramble – a distinctive and dramatic black-and-white piece captured and shared by Dave Ingram takes us deep into the forests of Vancouver Island where our incredible landscapes are explored and shared photographically. This remote location is one that many folks will never have a chance to see in person, and Dave’s incredible capture will share a glimpse of a place that is really only inhabited by wildlife.
Golden eagle – a near perfect capture of one of natures most amazing birds comes to our screens with this shot by Helena Kuchynková. Extraordinary details in the body of the eagle in mid-flight finds further elements of interest in the dappled snow that falls around it and the sense of motion in the leading edges of it’s wings.
Indian Creek Covered Bridge – Mark Summerfield shares another installment in his series of posts that feature the epically beautiful architecture of covered bridges in the US. These bridges form an important part of the history of this part of the world, and Mark’s terrific photos are always accompanied by informative text to add a layer of interest.
Silk – the world-famous Niagara Falls is the prime subject in this amazing photograph taken either just before sunrise or immediately after sunset. Christine Clark-Hess manages to deliver a composition that juxtaposes the silky smooth look of the fast moving falls from an extended shutter speed against the beautiful details of the surroundings.
Alaska Kayaking – a kayaker is captured in a tight frame in this fabulous shot from Ron Niebrugge that features the Alaskan lifestyle on the water. The close crop to the lady in the boat splashes a great swath of yellow into the frame, and the surroundings are both comfortable and full of raw artistic tension at the same time.
Blue Howler – a curling wave is captured and forever frozen in time, creating a strong abstract piece created by the power of nature. Clive Wright’s incredible composition stops motion and delivers both elements of fluid motion as well as crisp edges of the water as light graces the entire frame enhancing the overall mood.
Avian Friday: Skagit SEO – Jay Taylor shares a new shot of a local short eared owl in flight over a farmer’s field. Jay captures this compelling shot from a slightly elevated perspective to carefully control the backdrop to ensure it’s very sympathetic to the bird in flight, highlighting the wonderful details of the winged creature as it seemingly flies straight towards the camera.
Reflections of the past – wonderful colors from the sunset cascade over this frame that showcases the inherent artistic tension of the world’s oceans. Christian Hvolby captures this wonderful shot, complete with a strong sense of dynamism from the roiling waters against a setting full of nature’s details.
San Fran, CA – a great shot captured by Wayne Beauregard shares a very unique vantage of San Francisco and the features that it’s so very famous for. As we look down Hyde St., the road creates a perfect natural leading line that goes out into a vanishing point that features the waterfront of the city and the famous facility of Alcatraz in the far distance.
sunrise – as the sun sits just below the horizon one morning, a lone car makes it way away from the camera over a rolling roadway. Ray An captures a very strong sense of artistic tension in this piece that is beautiful and haunting at the same time as we all wonder where this single vehicle is headed.
Fury – aptly named, this shot features the raw power of nature as a huge wave breaks under the cover of a stormy sky. Whitecaps come to life as the massive curl creates an amazing leading edge in an almost abstract shot, as captured and shared here by Majeed Badizadegan.
Speeding Along – Brad Truxell captures and creates a dynamic and compelling image, featuring the Sixteenth Bridge of Pittsburgh under the blue tones of a sky heading into sunset. Brad’s terrific composition in this piece captures snippets of terrific architectural details and textures against the surrounding city, and it all comes together with the fabulous light trails that give the frame a sense of life.
ab – a black-and-white image featuring a sole person on a train platform surrounded by a thick veil of fog. The monochromatic approach to post-processing this image by Kai Ziehl lends itself perfectly the the theme and mood of the piece, leaving the viewer with a series of compelling unanswered questions.
Chase Tower Observation Deck – this great shot from Tim Stanley frames the metropolis of Houston through the floor-to-ceiling windows of a 60th floor observation deck. The wide perspective of the shot shares terrific scope and scale of this city, and a few people mingling in the room adds a great flair of life to the scene.
Rugged Beauty – the rugged rock formations of “The Wall” in Badlands National Park are explored in this stunning photograph by Len Saltiel. The warm tones of the early morning light create shadow-play in the frame, adding to the deep drama found in this amazing landscape, and the whole scene comes together perfectly with the tones and colors of nature’s palette.
On Real Photographers – one of my favorite active photographers in the field, David duChemin, shares a great article revealing great insights he has into the current state of our industry and craft. No matter how you look at photography, whether you consider yourself amateur or professional, there is a lot to be learned about things by taking a close look at the concepts being discussed in this post.
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.