The world of photography is full of gifted artists who create incredible images and write interesting articles. This list is composed of some of the best links that Toad Hollow Photography has been able to find, featuring tutorials, special features and great photography. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
How to Get Great Flower Photographs with a Telephoto Lens – Light Stalking’s very own Sheen Watkins writes and shares a terrific tutorial that covers techniques that can be used to capture wonderful flower photographs using a telephoto lens. By carefully managing the distance between the camera and the subject, and shooting with a wide aperture, the results are absolutely wonderful.
Introduction to the Content Aware Features of Adobe Photoshop – this great introduction covers the basic concepts behind using the powerful Content Aware features found in the latest versions of Photoshop. The video presentation is just over 6 minutes in length and when completed you will have a great foundation for knowing how to apply this with your images.
Tips on How to Pose Newborn Babies – go behind the scenes and see how a wee little newborn is posed for its first photoshoot of its life. This post features two very short video presentations that are full of inspiration and ideas on how to go about achieving these once-in-a-lifetime images.
Ken Kiefer on Photographing Big, Scary Creatures Underwater – we’ve all seen those incredible underwater photos that feature a big and frightening waterborne creature in their natural habitats, and we’ve all wondered how the photographer came away with the images and all limbs intact. This great article gives us some insight into this genre of imagery through a great interview as well as some really incredible photographs.
How to Colourise an Old Photograph in Adobe Photoshop – this tutorial takes you through all the steps of colourising an old monochromatic photograph. The results are almost magical, producing a natural looking picture that feels correct for the period. This tutorial covers all the key steps in applying the technique, including screenshots for each step to visually illustrate the point.
Why There’s Nothing Wrong With Photographing Your Cat – this delightful post from Light Stalking’s very own Jason Row takes a series and comedic look at why photographing cats can be a fun learning experience. As Jason notes, these furry creatures are rather independent, requiring quick planning and execution to capture that next great cat picture.
Top Tips for Taking Portraits – this is a great tutorial on shooting portraits, covering many different topics and including great sample shots to illustrate the points covered. Natural light and studio lights are discussed, as are locations, angles and posing, all key prerequisites to understand when trying to take a great portrait shot.
Go Where the Light Already Is – Joe McNally shares a great, yet simple, trick that delivers terrific results by accenting and mimicking the existing light that streams into the room being shot in. The results are subtle and very effective, creating a shot that shares all the personality and character found in the two guys that are the focus of the image.
A Simple Recipe for Adding Dramatic Color to Your Portraits – this brief tutorial shows you how to apply color gels to your lighting to create contemporary portraits that exude interest and color. Sample photos accompany the notes shared in this piece, giving you a great overall idea of how the technique can be applied in your work to achieve new and fresh results.
How to Create Your Own Light Ray Brushes From Scratch in Adobe Photoshop – an in-depth article that takes you through all the steps in creating light ray brushes that can then be applied to post-production. The results can be quite natural looking, adding a wonderful and delightful dimension to the piece being crafted.
History-makers & risk-takers: 15 of the most compelling photos shot in the last century – London's Osborne Samuel and Beetles + Huxley galleries are hosting a special presentation ending on December 24, 2015 featuring some of the work from a selection of the greatest photographers. This set of 15 photographs is a selection from this larger set and shows how the technical and the artistic have progressed since the inception of photography.
Scott Turner Lives With and Photographs the Kyrgyz People | Powerful Photographs Expose Climate Change in Mongolia – these two photo exposes take us to remote spots on earth where long term projects have been completed that showcase changes and current aspects of contemporary life. These two presentations are great examples of how long-term photography projects create a canvas for a powerful medium to express important topics visually.
The Great Bear Rainforest – world-famous David duChemin visits an area that is near and dear to our own hearts here on the west coast of Canada. David’s profound post features a series of incredible black-and-white photographs of a very rare bear, that is a white black bear known as a Spirit Bear or Kermode bear. In the summer of 2016 my wife and I are heading up to this general area to photograph the Grizzly Bears, making the shots shared here by David both amazing for what they are, as well as having a personal connection for us. David also shares some important thoughts on the dangers facing our area with the ongoing discussions of running huge oil supertankers up and down one of the most pristine coasts in an area known for shipwrecks.
Photographer James Balog's struggle to capture climate change – the power of photography to change people is featured in this terrific interview of photographer James Balog. James has been working very hard to document and share the ongoing story of climate change and shrinking ice through photography and this interview gives us a behind the scenes look at what’s involved in a project of this nature.
For Photographer Kevin Truong, Telling Stories of Gay Life is Global – Kevin Truong shares insights into his great project that finds him traveling and visiting all corners of the world to capture images and share stories of gay men. This inspiring project not only shares a little of the subjects and their thoughts and feelings, it also serves as a great source of inspiration for photographers who become engrossed in important projects like this.
Grace Church – Manhattan , New York – for those who love historic architecture with dramatic features and details, look no further than this photograph of the inside of a terrific church in New York. Photographer Emil composes the shot to take advantage of the natural lines and geometry of this special place of worship, sharing a detailed interior view that is truly amazing.
Room with a view – a villa that is seemingly perched on the very edge of a cliff overlooking the sea comes to our screens in this terrific shot from Barry Turner. Sunlight graces an edge of the building in golden tones, and in the far distance a community is barely visible, adding a terrific element to this shot.
Bobbio night – an arched stone bridge spans a body of moving water in this terrific shot by bisignano fabrice taken during the blue hour. The bridge itself creates a perfect leading line into the frame where in the distance an old stone structure stands against the backdrop of rolling hills.
Sapphire of MKE – incredible details that showcase the architectural features of this facility in Milwaukee are gently cloaked in blue hues from the fading light of day in this great photograph from CJ Schmit. The sheer crispness of the details coupled with features like starbursts from lighting fixtures converge in this picture to deliver a piece that is truly wonderful.
Framed – the remains of an old brick wall create the perfect natural frame for Brad Truxell to compose a terrific shot that features manmade elements juxtaposed against the vibrant colors of autumn foliage. The wonderful textures in the long forgotten bricks add a terrific element to this shot, creating a strong delineation visually between that which is artificial against the natural elements.
Villa Lambin – Iris van Wolferen captures a great shot of what appears to be a long forgotten home that now sits nestled amongst a grove of trees that help to create a strong sense of silence and peace within a setting full of artistic tension. There are few straight lines evident in the remains of what once was a lovely family home, showcasing incredible textures and details that are created from years of neglect and natural weathering.
Dale’s First Car – Michael Criswell takes us inside a weathered barn where we find a handmade car featured, sitting inside a totally complementary backdrop. The wonderful details in this shot highlight the natural weathering of both the barn and the car itself, sharing textures that are as dramatic as they are compelling.
Skyfall – old churches remain on of my favorite photography subjects with the Church Of The Good Shepherd in New Zealand remaining on a list of must-see spots for me. This wonderful photograph of this world-famous church by Timothy Poulton captures the essence of the character of this historic location, as well as the incredibly beautiful natural environment that surrounds it.
Blessed Reflection – Grand Teton National Park,Wyoming – the power of a strong reflection to create a composite of sorts is captured and shared in this wonderful image from Len Saltiel. Len uses a reflection on a window in a chapel to capture a shot of the dramatic Grand Teton’s framed in an old window with a cross and flower superimposed through composition.
Manarola – a lovely European community sits seaside, perched on the cliffs that lead out to an endless ocean in this compelling shot from Franz Engels. The long exposure technique that Franz used in this composition has the wonderful effect of turning the waters into a silky reflective surface the serves to highlight the incredible architectural details of a town full of wonderful romance.
Tel Aviv Beach Promenade at Sunset – light trails from cars traveling the roadways lead you through this great capture from Edith Levy that showcases the promenade in Tel Aviv as the sun sets. Beautiful colors in the late days sky find harmony with a gentle curved line on the beach to guide you into the frame and into a personal journey of discovery.
Misty Morning on Valley – intense ethereal beauty comes to life in this study of a forest in the early morning light as a fog dances across the trees. Lauri Lohi’s shot features wonderful hues and tones in the natural light, leaving the viewer yearning for more in a personal moment of solitude.
Gray’s Camp Sunrise – Jim Denham creates a beautiful piece with this landscape shot, using a grove of trees in a lake as an anchor into the frame. The early morning colors dance across the skies as the silhouettes of the trees cast interesting shapes and providing context into the bigger picture.
Niagara Falls, Canada – Victor Hugo’s shot of Niagara Falls explores the blue spectrum, creating a shot that feels as cold as it does powerful. The exposure time utilized to capture this piece shares a strong sense of the raw power and drama that is found here, turning the roiling waters of this incredible waterfall into an almost abstract expression.
A hike to Dunnottar Castle – prepare to be amazed as we get a chance to explore the ruins of a medieval through the lens of Jim Nix in this post. Sitting perched high atop a rock formation that overlooks the sea, the remains of this once great castle cast a foreboding presence against the contrast of the beautiful landscape and oceanscape that surrounds it.
Firework in Da Nang City – there is something inherently exciting and dramatic to be found in great photographs that feature fireworks exploding high overhead. Khoi Tran Duc’s shot is one such photograph, sharing incredible colors from the explosions overhead as the city below reflects the predominantly red tones explored in this frame.
Tentative – this great shot from the studio of Randy Hall defines the expression artistic tension in the way the surfer is sitting in the ocean as huge waves break and pound all around them. The sense of excitement and fear in the surfer is palpable in this wonderful composition that brings all the key elements of a story together in a single frame.
Winter is Coming – wonderful romance that can only be found in a classic steam train as it makes its way across a snowy countryside is explored in this great image by Alexander Riek. Thoughts of being nestled in a railcar as snow cascades across the landscape and the train speeds from point A to point B fill our imaginations in this delightful image.
North of Pampa – the power and drama of nature finds expression in this stunning frame from famed storm-chaser Mike Olbinski. The fields of Texas sit expectantly under the wrathful clouds that form overhead, creating a perfectly dramatic scene that Mike carefully composes and captures, in essence freezing this moment in time forever.
Raindrops – this heart-rending shot features a tiny, tiny owl who appears to be standing under or near a mushroom cap for shelter as the rain pounds relentlessly around it. Tanja Brandt’s wonderful composition elicits a strong feeling of wonder and empathy in the viewer as we reach out to connect with the natural world we live in by caring for those too small to speak on their own behalf.
Delicious Autumn – Rachel Cohen shares a pair of delightful shots captured in her favorite season to photograph, autumn. The first shot features a collection of beautifully colored leaves with some of them being backlit, and the second shot showcases the dramatic beauty of the shore that follows the ocean as whitecaps race ashore.
Long Shadows – Scott Wood captures an abstract image in this shot that features the rolling hills of the Palouse from Steptoe Butte. The long shadows from the early morning light accent the strong contrasts created from the natural undulations, casting a natural scene that is both simple and mesmerizing at the same time.
Whale’s Tail – Vancouver Island based photographer ehpem is out visiting the far reaches of the west coast as he comes across a scene that many hope to see when taking advantage of the myriad of whale watching tours available out here. This shot features a clear whale tail as the giant create finished its breach and heads for the cold waters below the surface.
Love is only one fine star away – Emil captures a terrific shot of the New York city skyline at night under a cloak of stars the circle the great city. Wonderful details in the city’s architectural features are explored in this shot, revealing a unique take on an often photographed landmark in the United States.
Polar Bear Snow – there is something truly amazing about the polar bear, a predominantly solitary animal that not many humans have seen in person. Ron Niebrugge captures a terrific portrait of an adult polar bear as it saunters it’s way towards the camera, capturing a brief glimpse into the spirit and personality of this amazing creature in its natural habitat.
cool ride . . . – vibrant colors burst to life in this wonderful photograph of a classic hot rod captured against a dramatic background of a brick building with graffiti. ƊƦคƓ๏ƝŦlץƊгєคɱʂ88 does a perfect job with this composition, revealing a hint of the character that this wonderful car exudes.
Lithium – a monochromatic study of geometry, shapes and lines is shared in this interior architectural study captured by sherin atrouni. Natural leading lines guide the viewer through the frame as dark contrasts and shadows keep secrets that leave you wanting to know more.
Banff Morning – the Banff/Jasper region of the Canadian Rockies is a place that is very meaningful to me personally, a place we visited often during summer vacations when I was young. This wonderful shot from Len Saltiel shows just why, revealing a landscape scene captured in the early morning that shows off the majestic and dramatic beauty of the rugged mountain range.
Glowing Vancouver – this awesome cityscape shot features the city of Vancouver as dusk settles upon the dynamic city. Andreas Agazzi’s shot features incredible details in the architecture along with a fabulous soft reflection to add a perfect extra layer of interest to the image.
The amazing Pulpit Rock and Lysefjord – Jim Nix takes us along as he travels to what feels like the very top of the world, a rocky overhang that dangles high above the waters below in the country of Norway. The incredible beauty and perspective shared from this elevated perspective gives the viewer a sense of the amazing work of Mother Nature herself, and the dramatic scenes that can be found when you go outside of your comfort zone on a personal adventure.
Statler and Waldorf – Harry Eggens captures a stunning shot of a pair of Bald Eagles sitting perched as they observe the world they live within. The title of this shot pays homage to a pair of characters from The Muppets, adding a wonderful element of humor to a very dramatic image.
Blood Moon At Fairy Lake – this eerie shot comes to us from Vancouver Island photographer Randy Hall. Randy composes this image by using the silhouette of the forest that surrounds a tiny lake out in the middle of nowhere on the island as an anchor as a blood red moon lingers just above the horizon, creating an image that will follow you for quite some time.
Maligne Lake – this wide panoramic shot features the incredibly dramatic mountains of the Canadian Rockies and a mirror reflection from the world-famous Maligne Lake, presumably captured in summer showcasing a different side of the personality of this part of the world. David Dai’s breathtaking shot really gives the viewer a strong sense of the incredible scale found here.
Space Needle With Skyline – Seattle’s Space Needle is a landmark that cannot be missed for those who visit Seattle. In this shot, Mark Garbowski takes full advantage of this dramatic piece of architecture, composing a shot that features the Space Needle along with the Seattle skyline to add context and scale.
Ooh my goooodddddd!!!! – the combination of a terrific photograph and wonderful humor is something I simply cannot resist. This perfect example of this is shared here by Alberto Ghizzi Panizza featuring a pair of truly entertaining owls in a candid moment sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Oldster – Dave Wares captures a terrific character portrait of a classic Chevy pickup truck. By taking this shot from a very low perspective, basically putting the camera on the ground, the resultant image freezes forever in time a bit of the personality of a truck that has seen many miles and many adventures over the course of its life.
Giant – incredible architectural delights pop to life on our screens in this 94MP vertical panorama shot by Daniel Cheong who is well known for this style of imagery. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world's tallest building at this time, and it makes for a very dramatic subject in the heart of night for photography.
Beautiful Virginia Autumn – as promised in the title of this piece, the beautiful and vibrant colors of a Virginia fall are exposed in this photograph by JayJacy Photography. The serene location accents the rich colors of the scene, creating a picture that is sure to please the eye of everyone.
Super Moon – the huge super moon lingers just above the skyline in this wonderful photograph from Ichiro Murata. A dramatic bridge creates a perfect anchor for this shot, giving you a great sense of context for all the key elements found in the image.
Yaquina Light, Oregon – beautiful yellow hues and tones dance across this photograph by Mark Paulson. A lighthouse perched on the side of the shore in the distance creates a perfect anchor point in the photo that is very subtle, rewarding the viewer who takes time in exploring the finer details and aspects of this amazing piece.
Furon town Hunan china – beautiful colors in the surrounding trees create a terrific frame for the old buildings that are found interspersed amongst the landscape. This great shot by enrico barletta showcases the incredible natural interest found in the harmony between nature and community in this part of China.
Arch with Door – Ruins – David A Lockwood explores terrific textures and details in the remains of ruins found in the heart of Oman. By processing this shot as a black-and-white piece, the rich contrasts found in the frame add to the overall drama and artistic tension found in a place with a deep history.
~ Coimbra of lovers IX ~ – a dense fog hangs over the moody landscape in this ethereal shot from the studio of David Gomes. The early morning light creates a terrific hue that covers the scene finding further artistic tension in the silky waters in the foreground that create a soft and delicate reflection.
The Boat – Pawel Pentlinowski takes a shot featuring the skeletal remains of a wooden boat, now lying prone and decaying on the shores of the ocean. What appears to be the remains of what once was the mast of the boat creates a perfect natural leading line to gently guide the viewer into the frame where many unanswered questions add to the overall feel and wonder of the image itself.
Here’s What Edgar Allan Poe Wrote About the Birth of Photography in 1840 – one of the world’s most prolific writers shares some incredible insights into the birth of the practice of photography in the mid 1800’s. It’s amazing to see the understanding and forethought realized by Edgar Allan Poe as this new technology was created and began to take root in contemporary times as an important means to create art and document people and places.
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.