As another week passes us by in the world of photography, we find Toad Hollow Photography looking far and wide for the very best links to tutorials, special features, great photography and truly interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This weeks list is comprised of a wide variety of topics and photographs, created and covered by some of the finest artists working in the field today. We hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as The Toad himself did in bringing this list to you.
How to Get Professional Product Photographs With a Single Light Source – Light Stalking’s contributing author Dzvonko Petrovski shares a great tutorial in this article, discussing techniques and methods that can be applied using only one light source to create great product photographs. Even and complete lighting is key for great pictures in this field, and this article takes you through the entire process with behind-the-scenes shots of the setup, post production techniques, finally culminating with the finished result.
3 Precise and Subtle Noise Reduction Methods in Adobe Photoshop – this in-depth article covers a variety of techniques you can use in Photoshop to manage noise in an image. The concepts covered here are fairly advanced, and screenshots and sample images are included to really illustrate the processes involved and the results they create.
Useful Photography Tip #145: Creating Wrap Around Light With One Light Source – controlling light is key to great photographs and in this tutorial we learn about how the correct application of a single light source can create a full wrap-around look as if multiple lights were used. The sample photo shows you the great results that can be achieved, and the details shared in the article are more than enough to get you to try this technique for yourself if you have the proper gear.
How to Add Interesting Light Flares to Your Images – sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones, as we find out in this brief article that shows you how to add really great light and rainbow flare effects to photographs. Jason Vinson shares a set of great photos he took using this technique to illustrate the interesting effects and tells you exactly how to achieve this look.
Quick Photo tips: Let That Sunshine…Shine In – industry leader Joe Baraban covers an often discussed topic in the world of photography relating to exposure control and blown highlights. As Joe mentions in this great article, sometimes you just have to color outside the lines to create a great image.
Shooting with a Translucent Background – in this article Joe Farace shares some insight into using a background material that creates a soft wall of light, great for portrait shots. Joe shares a stunning photo of a model using this material to showcase the terrific results you can expect from utilizing it.
Francis Rattenbury – Heritage House – who doesn’t love a great murder mystery? Especially when the mystery is intertwined with local history involving one of the areas most famous architects, a man responsible for designing many of our local landmarks. Join us as we explore his original home, today a heritage site, and explore the story behind it. A feature story by us here at Toad Hollow Photography.
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015 winners – this compilation of images features some of the best pieces submitted to National Geographic for consideration. These 10 shots cover a wide variety of subjects, each of them unique and evocative in their own way, showcasing why this publication remains one of the best ones in terms of photography.
Château du Keriolet … la visite (enfin) – Mathias Lucas brings his personal and unique vision to bear upon this wonderful photo tour that takes us through an ancient castle. Wonderful details are to be found everywhere in the architecture, the features and the items on display, and Mathias has done an amazing job of capturing these all with his unique style, allowing us to join him on a terrific journey of discovery.
Light, lines and moments… – this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots, a moment in time where everything converges perfectly to allow the photographer to freeze a moment forever. This shot comes to us from Sherry Galey, who finds a woman standing in an archway in Central Park as she begins to sing. Sherry captures all three elements, light, lines and the moment, just perfectly and follows this by processing the image in black-and-white to really accent the wonderful artistic tension.
Shipwrecked Supertanker – Robert Downie delivers a stunning image with this shot, literally defining the expression artistic tension. A supertanker lies beached on the shore while a wicked storm broods overhead adding the perfect touch of drama to a picture that is sure to leave you with many unanswered questions.
Red White and Blue MKE 2015 – the city of Milwaukee twinkles in the distance in this terrifically detailed photograph by CJ Schmit. As fireworks explode in the night’s sky to the right in the frame, the city makes it’s dramatic presence known, showcasing the incredible architecture that makes this city a true destination.
Derelict Palouse – my love for photography that captures the forgotten and the decaying finds satisfaction in this terrific shot from Michael Criswell. This long abandoned house is full of great details, all the results of years of forlorn neglect as the original inhabitants appear to up and left suddenly one day.
One World Observatory – NYC – the cityscape of Manhattan comes to vibrant life in this terrific photograph by Emil. As he makes a trip to the top of the new Freedom Tower and learns about it, he also finds the opportunity to grab this shot that seems to showcase a city that has no borders or boundaries, all the while revealing the wonderful architecture and scale of this world-famous city.
Proud – Barry Turner captures and shares a terrific panoramic shot here, featuring a group of boats moored under a colorful evening sky. In the right portion of the image we find a British flag waving, in remembrance of the lives lost during a sad and fateful day.
Welcome to Borgund Stave Church, Norway – built somewhere around 1200 AD, this amazing wooden church stands tall amidst the incredible landscapes of Norway. The dramatic architectural features create dramatic details that accent the overall feel of the scene, as composed and shared here by Europe Trotter.
Barely Standing – Colfax, Washington – in an act that truly appears to defy gravity, we find this old wood farmhouse now long abandoned as it takes on a heavy lean from years of weathering and decay. Len Saltiel’s terrific shot of this old character home captures the essence of the building, or what is left of it, in a way that is wonderfully sympathetic to the subject.
I love Istanbul – travel to exotic locations with photographer Gürkan Gündoğdu in this photograph that features the incredible city of Istanbul at night. A bridge spans the open waterway in this composition, leading the viewer into the frame where the city in the backdrop pops to life on our monitors and screens.
The Road to Peninsula Ridge – this shot is featured here by Edith Levy, sharing a view of a wonderful old character home that is situated on a winery. The roadway that gently leads to the house itself creates a perfect natural leading line, and once you have found the house in the shot the wonder of it and its surroundings comes to life.
The Milky Way above Santorini – the rich character of the island of Santorini in Greece comes alive in this nighttime shot by Daniel Řeřicha. Daniel captures this shot from an elevated vantage point, capturing the essence of the community at night below under a blanket of stars twinkling elegantly in the Milky Way.
Avian Friday: Hummertime! – nature is full of wonder and mystery, with one of the most interesting creatures having to be the hummingbird. Capable of hovering in place by beating it’s wings at a very fast pace, the hummingbird creates terrific photographic opportunities as we see here in this post by Jay Taylor who captures one such bird as it feeds on a colorful flower.
Reflections of Rotterdam – Herman van den Berge captures the incredible city of Rotterdam at night using a long exposure. The technique and the composition converge perfectly in this piece that features the most incredible natural hues and tones from the lights of the city against the backdrop of the night sky.
Protecting our Coastal “Salad Bowl” – local photographer Laurie MacBride applies her terrific skills behind the viewfinder to bring a broader awareness to a serious issue we are all facing here on the west coast of Canada. In this post Laurie shares a few shots of the various lifeforms and shorelines of the coast and discusses the potential impacts of running huge supertankers filled with bitumen up and down these pristine waterways.
Wolkenschloss – there are so many wonderful elements at play with this image from Stefan Thaler that focuses on an old castle in Europe that really does resemble something straight from a fairy tale. The castle itself is well beyond description, and when you look past it you find wonderful colors in the sky, a misty fog draping the scenery in the distance, and beautifully colored trees from the vibrant palette of autumn.
She’s a Beauty – Lisa Gordon shares a wonderful trio of shots of a female deer that makes a regular appearance in her yard. The great details that Lisa has captured in her photos really brings the true spirit and personality of this beautiful deer to life for all nature lovers to view and enjoy.
New Dawn – the world-famous Moulton Barn is the primary subject in this great photograph by Pasi Kaunisto. Captured at dawn, the character of the barn that has been photographed countless times over the years is really brought to life with the golden hues of the early morning contrasted against the rugged Teton mountain range that rises towards the sky in the backdrop.
Yellow Barn – barns make for some of the most interesting photography subjects, revealing a look at a bucolic lifestyle that is hard and challenging, and rewarding all at the same time. In this shot, Mark Summerfield finds and captures a great shot of a yellow barn accented with wonderful stonework on the foundational level for added texture and detail.
Church of Decay – the interior of what appears to be a long forgotten space of worship is featured in this wonderfully detailed photograph from Iris van Wolferen. Incredible columns and sweeping lines lead the viewer right into the heart of the frame, culminating at the altar where the effects of time are so very evident.
Brown Bears – bears are another of my favorite topics to cover in photography, although my wife has been clear all these years that I am not allowed to bring one home as a pet. Ron Niebrugge shares a great shot of a family of bears that appear to be foraging in a field of grass, revealing their incredible character and spirit alongside the incredible power they possess.
Tell Stronger Stories – David duChemin shares some profound and prolific insights into what makes a photograph great or compelling in this blog post. His thoughts, while certainly very deep, are also clues that can give you extra tools while you are out and about shooting, helping you to capture that next wow shot we all crave so strongly.
How Credit Card Scam Targeting Wedding Photographers Work and How To Protect Yourself – this scam appears to be making the rounds these days, targeting hard working photographers who provide professional services. We were actually hit by this very tactic ourselves recently. Thankfully I had heard of this approach several times before and saw it coming before it did any damage. The best form of protection is being aware.
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.