Another wonderful week in the world of photography has just passed us by, and we find Toad Hollow Photography looking in all corners of the internet for links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This weeks collection of links features a vast variety of topics and types of imagery, and we really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
10 Basic Tips for More Interesting Photos in Big Cities – while indeed these concepts may be basic in nature, the end results these techniques have on city themed photography is unmistakeable. Check out this brief 10 point list that includes great illustrative photographs to show you the effects of the various techniques.
Make Your Street Photography More Dynamic By Choosing What to Put In the Frame (and What to Leave Out) – this is a terrific short video presentation that shares an interview with an avid street photographer who shares some very special insights with the viewer. The context of the frame is the primary subject of this presentation as it relates to street photography, but when you consider the topic on a larger stage the concepts can be applied to many other styles of photography as well.
5 Tips From Lindsay Adler To Help Your Subject Relax – industry pro Lindsay Adler shares 5 really important tips on how to connect with and get your subject to relax in front of the lens. The effects a relaxed environment has on a subject being captured is quite profound, and these simple precepts will help you to achieve that perfect level of balance in your session to produce incredible results time and time again. A
Beginner's Guide to Shooting Long Exposure Water – this may indeed be a primer for long exposure water photography, but the tips and tricks can be helpful to anyone trying to photograph using this style. All the prime concepts are covered in this piece that also includes some great sample images to illustrate the various points being covered.
The Basics of Bouncing a Flash’s Light Output – when I first tried to use speedlights for my photography, I was truly baffled by how to fully control the effects on the strobe light versus the impact of ambient lighting. This terrific tutorial is short and basic in nature, but it does a great job of covering the basics of this procedure, which will give you the foundational understanding of how to control your image and the effective light within it.
How to Create A Realistic HDR Panorama – Light Stalking’s very own Dzvonko Petrovski writes and shares a terrific article on how to leverage the powerful functionality of Lightroom 6 to create stunning HDR panorama images. Dzvonko takes you through each step of the process and gets to the core of the methods to show you how he does it, delivering a great tutorial for those looking to make images that stand out.
Everything You Need to Know About Capturing Sharp Photographs in Any Situation – most of us working in the field strive to create the sharpest images possible. There are many factors that need to come together to truly achieve this desired result, and this must-read article covers all the key subjects ranging from lens, aperture setting, to shutter speed, and post-production, just to mention the highlights. Even if you think you can’t make your shots any sharper, there is likely something in this article you hadn’t considered before, making this an article you will be sure to bookmark and return to time and time again.
15 Tips for Cinematic Drone Video – this is a very in-depth article and 8 minute video tutorial that covers a large range of issues and topics related to drone based aerial video capture. The results of following these time tested techniques are evident in the high quality video that they can produce. The video portion of this tutorial includes great sample footage to illustrate the points being covered, making this a go-to article for those looking to step up the quality of their drone footage.
No Budget For A Drone? Put Your GoPro On A Kite Instead – we are all under budgetary constraints in this economy these days, and finding alternative ways to achieve a goal is key. This article discusses the use of kites to get your GoPro camera up in the air to capture high quality stills. There are most certainly obvious limitations to this approach, but this concept is an inexpensive way to get your camera elevated.
Shooting a Swan Lake Photo with Wet Plate Collodion Photography – wet plate collodion photographer Alex Timmermans conceptualized and executed a truly amazing photo shoot that resulted in a surreal image full of rich and delightful artistic tension. This feature reveals both the final image, as well as all the behind the scenes planning and techniques used to create this stunning photograph.
Smoldering Roses Scene Built From Scratch, Used Burning Coals – necessity is the mother of all invention it is said, and this post shows how ingenuity and creativity can create a conceptual flame that results in a simply astounding image. A group working together has an idea and then goes through the step-by-step actions of creating the setting and the subject by hand, resulting in something that stands on it’s own.
A Guide to Layers and Blending in Gimp – Gimp is a very powerful post-production tool, offering a viable alternative to the paid options, with Photoshop being the most widely used tool in that category. Light Stalking’s own Jason Row covers a few great features built into the free offering, showing you how to take full advantage of a serious tool for serious photographers.
Photos: The Beautiful Architecture of India’s Ancient Stepwells – the simple concept of containing large bodies of water for use during dry times has never really revealed such wonderful architecture as it does in this series. These old stepwells feature all sorts of terrific natural leading lines, shapes and geometries, all converging to create unique images that when taken in as a collection as they are here they create a terrific photo-essay.
Beautiful Portraits Of Redheaded Models Are Bursting With Summer’s Vibrance & Inspiration – this terrific collection of photographs focuses on the beauty of redheaded models surrounded by sources of nature. This set of photographs features a selection of shots from photographer Maja Topčagić that really expose a special and unified style.
Latino History: Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero's Fascinating Journey – this article is a brief look into the storied life of a very successful photographer who led a very interesting life, Pedro E. Guerrero. The article discusses how he got his start, and where that led him on his journey, and this is definitely a piece that can be a great source of inspiration for those looking for one.
nThambo Tree Camp | Day 3 – Big & Small | Day 4 – Another Day in Paradise | Day 5 – New Sightings and Old Friends | Day 6 – A Legendary Morning! – for many of us, the notion of visiting Africa and taking part in exciting safaris is something relegated for dreams only. This ongoing series of posts featured by John Mead allows us all to visit this truly unique and incredible part of the world, experiencing the adventures and sightings through his lens. John has great knowledge of the area and the creatures that live there, adding a great element to the stunning photographs he posts in the blog articles.
Photos of a Happy Baby Orca Leaping Out of the Sea – the wonderful community of Orca whales that inhabit the Pacific Northwest region of North America are a constant source of wonder and joy for locals and visitors alike. In this post, wildlife photographer Clint Rivers shares a set of photographs of a young calf playing in the ocean as she breaches and jumps for joy, over and over, creating a wonderful show for those observing and for Clint who has captured this incredible series of images.
This is a Rooftopping Photographer From the 1920s – photographs taken from the highest highs, usually from atop skyscrapers, has been a trend that has been enjoyed by many in the last few years. In this post we see this style of imagery has been around for the better part of 100 years now, and even though the images are very old the sense the viewer has of incredible vertigo is still evident in these extremely dramatic black-and-white pictures.
Ontario storm captured in wild weather photos – storms are increasing in both count and intensity these days it seems. This post on Canada’s CBC site features a set of images and short videos of a really incredible storm in Ontario that truly defies description. This is a case where a picture tells 1000 words.
New horizon 6 – one of my personal mentors and favorite photographers publishes a new black-and-white street photograph along with profound personal prose that adds so much context to the image itself. Tom Dinning has a truly magical way of framing his shots with his words, and this piece is a great example of how powerful this combination can be.
Interconnected – Jimmy Mcintyre delivers an epic cityscape in this high elevation shot captured at night featuring the vibrant and lively city of Dubai. Incredible light trails from fast moving traffic creates strong leading lines, guiding the viewer through the frame and out into the city that truly does exhibit some of the most stunning architecture contemporarily found.
island amongst the peaks – a terrific photograph from Frank King that takes advantage of the natural light found in the setting in the Canadian Rockies against the incredible visual effects of a still body of water. The mirrored reflection of the scene in the waters highlights the terrific composition that features the silhouette of a small island and it’s grove of trees against a backdrop of the rugged Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Bled Lake – one of my personal favorite photography subjects takes on a new life in this great shot from Gürkan Gündoğdu. The processing of this image takes on a strong painterly aspect to it, adding to the ethereal and dreamy feel this location reveals to those inclined.
Vulcan Cockpit Throttle Controls – a multi engine plane cockpit becomes the prime focus of photographer Art Hakker in this nostalgic feeling image. The controls and dash panel are the features in the composition, and Art Hakker’s composition highlights the raw artistic tension of a space that was someone’s workspace in a bygone time.
Alla Italia – a foyer of what appears to be a long forgotten house forms the basis for this highly detailed shot from Iris van Wolferen. The long running effects of time and decay are prevalent everywhere in this frame, revealing a scene full of rich artistic tension that leaves the viewer with so many unanswered questions.
Summer School for Seals – this lovely post from Laurie MacBride shares a few personal and intimate moments between her and a mother and her baby seal as the young one goes about learning to swim. The images really do tell the story, and Laurie’s anecdotal thoughts add a terrific element of interest to the presentation.
Pasha Bulka Evacuation – the raw power and drama of an active evacuation comes to our screens in this awesome photograph by Robert Downie. As a ship lies stranded near shore a helicopter busily makes it way through the storm on a mission to save those left onboard.
Emerald City – Michael Criswell captures and shares an awesome cityscape photograph in this post, featuring the beautiful city of Seattle just as the sun sets. Dramatic architecture reaches for the brooding clouds in the sky and the lights of a dynamic city twinkle below from the hubbub of the city dwellers.
Memory Of The Sea – the wonderful harmony found in the way the movement of the sea crashing against the rocks works against the crisp details of the architectural character found in the seaside village makes for a compelling shot in this piece from Pasquale Di Pilato. Vibrant colors create a sense of life and joy, all under the brooding sky high above that presents the promise of a pending storm.
Patchwork quilt hills – a wooden country gate creates the perfect starting point to follow the natural leading line from an often traveled path leading out to the rolling hills in the distance in this terrific shot from Barry Turner. This quintessentially rural shot also features a couple walking down the path in the distance for a perfect touch of artistic tension.
Hong Kong by Night – contemporary architecture reaches for the sky in the heart of night in this great photograph by Paulo Costa. The panoramic format used to create this piece works perfectly with the black-and-white processing to deliver a piece that is absolutely mesmerizing for those who are fans of broad cityscapes.
Take Me Home – a terrific architectural study that leads the viewer into the heart of the city of Pittsburgh is shared in this great shot by Brad Truxell. Incredibly sharp details in the bridge span and city’s buildings are explored, sharing an image that will leave you visually enamored as you find yourself on a voyage of wonderful discovery.
Singapore Merlion B&W – this terrific black-and-white long exposure piece was captured at night, adding to the deep and rich contrasts explored here by Paulo Costa. The incredible architectural details of this incredible city are framed perfectly by the anchor of a fountain in the foreground.
Blue Hour at the Marina – Barbara Youngleson creates a wonderful and unique piece that she shares here with everyone. This image is a highly stylized piece with what looks to me to be an overlay for texture, adding to the wonderful tones and the nautical feel that she captures as the last vestiges of the sun give way to evening.
Short-eared Owl – a wonderful portrait of an owl perched on a limb greets the viewer in this stunning photograph by Young Sung Bae. Terrific details in the bird coupled with the glint in it’s eye works perfectly against the soft out-of-focus backdrop, creating a dramatic and compelling image sure to be enjoyed by wildlife photography fans everywhere.
Looking for Salmon – a big brown bear lumbers its way through a pool of water, ever diligently looking for its next delicious catch. The wonderful details in the bear captured here by Ron Niebrugge in a very candid moment gives the viewer a strong sense of the character and spirit of this incredible creature in its natural habitat.
The Ocean Is The Life – a turtle makes it way through the rich blue ocean waters in this incredible image by Vitaliy Sokol. There are so many terrific elements in this image, all of which converge in a single frame to deliver something that is special and captivating.
Liquid sunsets… – the raw beauty of the Northwest Territories provides unique aspects that can only be found in this region, as captured in this great shot from Sherry Galey. The vibrant colors in the sky reveal a covering of dramatic clouds that work in perfect harmony against the silhouettes of the trees in this landscape.
Beauty of Palouse – Michael Criswell shows us all exactly why the Palouse area in the United States is often considered to be a photography mecca with this pair of wonderful abstract shots. The rolling landscape of the region creates terrific shadows that accent the texture and depth of the incredible vistas he has explored.
I'll Catch You! – the youngsters of any species are some of the best subjects to photograph as they play and act in ways that only kids can. This shot from Roie Galitz showcases this with a pair of very young polar bear cubs at play as one chases the other across the frozen landscape.
Saint-Anne d’Auray – Mathias Lucas shares an extensive catalog of images, all processed in black-and-white to accent the character of the architectural features being photographed. Mathias’ amazing compositions pop right out of the screen, showcasing all that the location has to offer by taking advantage of the natural artistic tension created through his viewfinder.
Church in field – the quaint English countryside comes to life in this photograph that features the rolling expanse of a lush, green series of hills with an old church settled in the middle of a field. The vibrant blue sky above creates an inviting sense of peace sure to inspire everyone to head to their local travel agent to book a flight straight over.
[ aurora pools ] – beautiful green skies dance with the aurora borealis in this wonderful photograph from Deryk Baumgärtner. Norway features some of the best landscapes to contrast against this magical natural phenomenon, and Deryk does a great job of taking advantage of this in his terrific composition.
walk through the rainforest – Frank King visits my home island, Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, where he finds and captures an amazing scene that is so stereotypical west coast. The lush greens of our rich rainforests create terrific settings for vibrant imagery, and in this shot we enjoy a view of one of our forests with a wood walking path meandering through, all brought together perfectly by his wife standing in the distance to create a sense of scale.
a fairy tale – the magical location of Lake Bled in Slovenia continues to present compositional opportunities for photographers that are simply mesmerizing and mind altering. This wonderful shot features an elevated perspective of this famous lake, with the tiny island and the ancient monastery that it hosts sitting front and center. Photo by İlhan Eroglu.
Art of Stairs – photographer CJ Schmit takes advantage of the dramatic lines found in a staircase as a frame into the heart of the image. Just beyond the terrific stairs we find a city alive at night, and CJ’s shot delivers a very sharp rendition of the architecture and character of the city of Milwaukee.
Banpodaegyo(Bridge) – the world’s longest bridge fountain forms the foundation for this architectural study of a terrific bridge in South Korea. Inhyun Jeon processes this shot to accent the terrific blue hues found in the scene, highlighting the great fountain and the bridge that hosts it.
Summer Fog, Oak Bay 2015 – a thick fog lingers over the Oak Bay Marina in this incredibly moody scene captured by local photographer Don Denton. A man walking through the shallow waters close to shore adds a perfect dash of artistic tension to an already mesmerizing and ethereal scene.
evening at the castle – an incredibly dramatic German castle beams to life in this terrific shot by Robert Karo. Robert creates this image with primary warm hues that add a sense of warmth and peace to truly accent this wonderful old stone structure. Morning Light – a gentle mist lingers over a still body of water, creating an image that is so inviting and peaceful it literally begs you to sit a spell. This lovely image from Lisa Gordon uses trees as a perfect natural frame into the soul of the image, adding a perfect element to this delightful composition.
…trakoscan castle XXII… – we feature another dramatic castle in this week’s list with this image from the studio of roberto pavic. The dominantly blue hues in this picture add a feel of cold to the shot that also features a lovely mist draped body of water in the foreground to deliver a great reflection.
Slowing Down for the Details – Laurie MacBride shares a terrific observation that can be applied to life in general, that is to slow down and enjoy the small details the comprise the world we live in. In the shot that she shares here, a speeding boat whisks by a scene that has a terrific bird in it, with the inhabitants seemingly unaware. All the elements come together at that point to create something quite compelling.
Haunted on the Prairie – the ghosts who once called this house home are the only inhabitants left in this shot created and shared here by Aaron J. Groen. A true sense of strong artistic tension is found in the subject and Aaron’s composition of it, creating a picture sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
McNeel Mill – Mark Summerfield captures a vintage feeling photograph that features an old wooden mill. Today it is being refurbished and brought back to life, and Mark’s essay on the history and the future of the facility really adds a lot of interest to the image itself.
follow the curves covered with rust, the bridge will be patient to lead at the greener side… – this image is full of rich texture and detail, featuring an older steel bridge composed by looking straight down the tracks. Urban Vagabond takes terrific advantage of the natural lines found in the bridge’s architecture, creating a perfect leading line that ends in a vanishing point.
Captured Island Sunrise Beauty – a vibrant and rich color palette comes to life in this stunning abstract piece captured and posted by JayJacy Photography. Nature creates the most beautiful abstracts, using clouds and incredible hues to paint an image that the imagination can fill in with whatever it sees.
Burning Pier – Jim Denham finds himself at just the perfect location one morning, standing lakeside as a beautiful sunrise comes to life and greets the day. Jim captures this shot composing it with a great silhouette of a pier, creating the perfect natural leading line to guide the viewer in the frame as a sense of peace washes over you.
Squeak – the old mills form the perfect setting for Mark Garbowski to capture this shot of an old cart left in the middle of a long unused space in the cavernous mill. Mark’s careful processing highlights the blue tones, adding a perfect touch of drama and a feeling of cold to the scene.
Ducking Into the 21st Century – Steven Perlmutter shares his rendition of a scene captured in an old mill, this shot featuring a chair left in an expansive area looking out towards a window. The natural light, and the resultant shadows and contrasts it creates, highlights certain aspects of the scene that perfectly draw the viewer right into the frame.
Getting Hired: 10 Tips from National Geographic, The Cut, Sports Illustrated & More – this is a list of 10 tried and trued tips for how to get hired by the big publications and media outlets in our dynamic world today. These insights may not be groundbreaking but can reveal things you may not have thought of before, and hopefully this will help you land that next exciting job.
Things That Stay With You – Joe McNally shares some insights and photographs that are truly profound in nature, showing how powerful a tool photography can be when applied with the mind of freezing a special moment in time forever. The primary subject of this short essay is a man by the name of Julian Bond, who left a permanent mark on Joe’s soul, and through that experience and by sharing it here, it has left a mark on us as well.
“A new light” : The world in infrared – this is a fascinating post discussing the application of infrared photography in a brand new way. Erik Kerstenbeck shares some of his insights as he goes about pioneering this particular technique and reveals a shot he took with it that is really amazing and surreal, as you would expect with an exercise in exploration of an alternative light spectrum.
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.