It's been another great week in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy compiling this list of tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. The Toad is pleased to present this comprehensive list of really great links showcasing the work of some truly gifted photographers and artists. We hope you enjoy checking this weeks list out as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Shooting Your First Product Photograph – this is a fabulous and thought-provoking tutorial that discusses product photography, and specifically lighting. Some great insight, tips and tricks are shared here which can help everyone understand how to effectively provide lighting for this style of photography.
Boudoir Part 8 : Complex Light – another installment in Erik Kerstenbecks running series shows us how to achieve a specific look and style in the world of boudoir photography. A behind the scenes look at the setup gives the reader a deeper look, well worth the time to visit.
Boudoir Part 9: Simple Lighting – a follow-up to the previous link, this post showcases the results of simple lighting. Erik Kerstenbeck shares some great insider tips and tricks and discusses how this style of photography can be accomplished with minimal gear. A great and short article to read.
Using Camera Angles in Photography – a must read guide for how to use alternative camera angles to express your desired vision photographically. A well written and thought-provoking piece, this is sure to give almost everyone a fresh insight into composition.
Dodging and Burning – a great video tutorial sharing tips and secrets on how to properly dodge and burn HDR photos. Well worth the time to view, this is a great resource to take in.
Custom Brushes – The Secret of Background Effects – a how-to guide showing you some tips and tricks on creating a bokeh effect in your photography without the need of any plug-ins. This is a great post, well worth the time to read.
Off-camera bounce flash – photographing kids in their room – a brief article on effective use of bounce flash in photography. Stephanie Zettl shares some inside tips and tricks, sure to expand everyone’s use of this technique.
Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass – sometimes less is more. A truly awesome clip of a video interview of one of the world’s leading photographers discusses the intricacies of a great photo.
Learning to See Part 7 – in this installment of the series that our very own @tomdinning has been posting, we find ourselves coming away with a deeper understanding of what we notice and what we don’t during our adventures in life. This profound series by Tom Dinning really has changed the way I approach my photography, and even on a broader sense how I look at the world around me. The accompanying photography illustrates his crafted points with astonishing imagery, coming together to create a post that is sure to teach everyone a little something about our surroundings and how we take them in.
Casa Mila – a wonderful architectural study by Barbara Youngleson shares a vision of a dramatic landmark in Barcelona, Spain. Great lines and composition in this image, coupled with the fabulous details and textures so evident converge to create a truly unique and captivating image. Absolutely guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops over for a visit!
Trail Rider – a beautifully framed and captured photo of a horse awaits the viewer with this post. Chris Frailey delivers a truly dramatic and emotional piece, processed in black and white to bring all the contrast and details to life to enjoy.
Jen & Mike: Engagement at Look Park – it’s wonderful to have a chance to capture great photos of a couples special moment, and O'Brien Photo really does a great job of this. A fabulous series of images of this occasion are shared here, producing a post that is absolutely delightful.
Orb Weaver Vs Honey Bee – a classic David and Goliath battle is captured in this pair of great images from the studio of Aaron Barlow. Perhaps slightly creepy, this close-up set of images shows a rather large and unpleasant looking spider going about placing a dinner order… and receiving it.
Helghast Invasion – a master of toy photography, Chris Nitz delivers another iconic image from his studio. Exquisite lighting produces a serious amount of drama in this image, processed in black and white to even further accent the contrast.
Back In The Marsh – a great series of wildlife photographs, straight from the studio of Troy Stewart. Perfect compositions coupled with wonderful depth of focus highlighting the details of the scene converge to deliver a truly compelling set.
Dundas Streetcar, Toronto – candid street photography can truly produce incredible results. Ren Bostelaar shares a simple image, taken in a streetcar in Toronto, that really gives us a glimpse and sense into life in the city. Wonderful and emotional, this is a great image to take in and enjoy.
Aim for Contentment – a wonderful bit of advice is wrapped up in a great set of images taken in the Toronto area in the summer. A festival highlights the expression by the artist here, producing a compelling post to visit & enjoy.
Established Design of Autumn – a vibrant and colorful piece is delivered in this post by Gareth Glynn Ash. Crisp details and a lone bench combine in this wonderful image to create a strong and dramatic image, sure to delight everyone who pops over for a visit.
A misty morning fog – a powerful and moving image from the studio of Jim Nix. Great details begin to emerge as the viewer takes the picture in, rounded off with a absolutely stunning reflection in the still waters of a creek. This is some of Mother Nature’s finest work, as captured and shared by a gifted artist.
Look Through – I love these sorts of compositions, where a door becomes a frame for another scene. In this masterful shot from the studio of Steve Beal, we see a unique perspective of an old, abandoned paper mill.
Brookfield Place – a pair of truly incredible photographs by Edith Levy. Incredible architecture provides the most exquisite leading lines in these pictures, what are both just masterfully composed, processed and delivered. Well worth the time to visit and see!
Mirage – The Mirage Hotel is the subject for this incredible photograph from the studio of Jim Denham. This iconic hotel is masterfully captured and processed, resulting in a truly captivating and mesmerizing image full of great details, colors and tones.
South Bronx Sunset – old derelict buildings produce some of the most striking imagery, in my opinion, and this incredible shot straight from the studio of Mark Garbowski really highlights this. The details and textures are absolutely exquisite in this image, with truly great light to accent the overall feeling. A truly top drawer capture!!
Let It Snow! – a stunning set of images from New Mexico after the first snowfall of the season. The great expanses really come through in these images, with detailed expressions of the scale of the landscape surrounding the area. Who wouldn’t want to live in such an idyllic location?
#12 – the combination of a wonderful photograph and an interesting title can work together to make for an image the viewer spends time exploring. In this incredible black and white photo from the studio of Scott Frederick, we have the perfect combination of these things. The image itself is strikingly compelling and is guaranteed to amaze everyone who visits, and when put together with the hunt for the meaning behind the blog title, you’ve got yourself a true homerun.
The Atrium – another icon of the city we live in here, this new building has become a much discussed structure on our skyline. These wonderful internal architectural pieces by our local photographer Keith really shows off the great lines inherent inside the building with a picture-perfect set of images showcasing great composition.
Astaroth's Photography 2011 – our very own @astaroth here at Light Stalking delivers a new blog post showcasing some great imagery. If you aren’t familiar with his work, we encourage you to check out his profile here and to see some of his other pieces posted online through his blog. There is some incredible photography in these pages!!
Anna’s Hummingbird – great wildlife photography takes a unique set of skills, and in this wonderful photo Jay Taylor really delivers. A beautiful hummingbird is literally captured in mid-flight by the lens of Jay, and he shares a truly wonderful photo sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
We Love Food, Toronto – real life, captured candidly, can really be a foundation for incredible imagery. This wonderful photo from Ren Bostelaar showcases a food isle in a local grocery store in Toronto, and it truly shares all the interest that can be found in such a place. Great lines lead the viewers eye right through the frame, showcasing a wonderful composition.
Abandoned Port – this is a highly detailed image taken of an abandoned port used primarily for limestone transport in Michigan. Scott Hovind captures and shares a stunning image, sure to delight the viewer who spends time taking it in and slowly uncovering all the wonder that is within.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – another fabulous piece from the studio of Heather Neil. This dramatic black and white photo delightfully captures a fence-line, which in turn becomes the leading line in the image to guide the viewer through the frame. This absolutely tranquil image is the epitome of peace, well worth the time to visit and view.
Hummingbird Sitting – a wonderful natural shot of a hummingbird at a feeder, as captured by one of my favorite local photographers. A great composition in this image really helps to show off the gorgeous colors that envelope this beautiful bird, and the accompanying blog entry discusses it’s history in our area and some of the technical challenges in capturing this shot.
Royal Photographic Society Visual Art Group Exhibition 2012 – Viveca Koh shares a set of images, including one that has been selected for inclusion in an upcoming exhibition. Her masterful use of textures has gained her a reputation as being one of the leaders in this form of fine art photography, and a visit to this blog post will abundantly reveal why. A truly incredible set of images here, sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits and views.
Storm Chasing in Arizona – December – Scott Wood shares a jaw-droppingly awesome photograph taken during his storm chasing in the monsoon season. This image is absolutely stunning, and is featured in his new calendar offering as the image for December. Scott is a master at lightning photography, and this image really showcases his skills.
Rich Room – a stunning HDR photograph from Jimi Jones shares a peek into an exquisitely finished and furnished room in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Incredible tones, details and textures are all revealed in this image, producing a mesmerizing piece that reveals more interest and details as the viewer spends time taking it in.
No Private Boats – great colors, great tones and exquisite details await the viewer in this post. I am left to wonder how Len Saltiel goes about making sure all the water in his photographs is so still, producing the most incredible reflections. No matter how he does it, this picture is yet another example of his incredible photography, delivering an image that is truly mesmerizing.
Fluted Point – Dan Stueber – a truly stunning macro study of a replica fluted point captured with really wonderful light to highlight all the textures and details of the piece. A great commentary accompanies this post, highlighting both the history of the piece and the underlying technical challenges and procedures used to capture these shots.
Blue hour over Nashville – wonderful colors, tones and details are all captured in this jaw-droppingly gorgeous shot of the Nashville skyline as shot by Jim Nix. The bright city creates the most incredible reflection in the waters, and the incredible level of detail only emerges after the viewer spends time taking it all in.
December 2011 Desktop Calendar – Curt Fleenor shares a wonderful landscape photo of a rushing waterfall, that also doubles as a desktop calendar for the month of December! The crisp details of the surroundings in conjunction with the silky smooth effect of the rushing water combine to create the perfect image to use as a calendar.
Jekyll Island, Georgia – this is truly a wonderful pair of images, from the studio of Anne McKinnell. Both posted images are stunning in their own rights, but the second one in particular is absolutely dramatic and somber. These incredible captures are well worth the time to visit and view.
Bolton Emerson Americas: Well Oiled – a black and white study from Bob Lussier highlights an oiling can in a factory. The wonderful depth of focus brings the subject to life under the masterful skills of Bob as he captures and shares an image that is great to view.
Complexions – another iconic shot from the studio of Mark Garbowski of yet another boarded up building in NYC. These gracious buildings form really wonderful photographic subjects, and the perfect composition Mark employs to capture this shot really brings all the highlights and details to life for everyone to enjoy.
Shot of the Day-Copper Bike – striking a commanding presence is this incredible chopper bike, as captured and shared by Edin Chavez. The black and white processing further serves to brings all the details to life, creating a compelling piece sure to delight and amaze everyone.
Some Locals Having Breakfast – a truly great shot by Kristi Hines shows us the local wildlife working on breakfast in the Grand Canyon Park. The snow on the ground serves as an effect to add so much natural beauty and interest to the landscape and it’s surroundings; a photo that is guaranteed to bring a sense of serenity to all who view it.
Night Time Wanderings – Saint Kevin’s Church forms the object of an architectural study in this incredible image. The beautiful church and it’s stonework work together to compose a wonderful photograph, a true joy to view.
Black Rock – White Surf – a gorgeous and dramatic black and white photo straight from the studio of Chris Maskell. As a storm pounds the shore, Chris masterfully captures and processes an image that captures the raw power and beauty of both the location and it’s weather. Guaranteed to leave you feeling that a hot toddy is well in order, this incredible shot is a must see for this weeks list.
Antarctica in Black & White – David duChemin shares a pair of stellar images with us in this post. The location provides the most stark contrasts for photography, and the native penguins are both cute and extremely photogenic. Guaranteed to delight everyone, this is a truly great post.
Weightlifter – who doesn’t love squirrels? Especially when they ham it up for the lens? Kirk Norbury captures and shares a totally unique and wonderful shot of a squirrel that is absolutely entertaining and delightful.
China – a panoramic landscape shot of what I believe is China produces such a striking photograph, at first glance it might even appear to be a painting of sorts. Absolutely wonderful.
The streets of Chinatown – a wonderful, colorful and vibrant shot of Chinatown in San Francisco as morning arrives, straight from the studio of Jim Nix. This image displays incredible details and tones of the area as it sits quiet in the morning before the days rush begins.
2 Old Michigan Farms – the magic of rural life is captured in this set of awesome photographs by Scott Hovind. These landscape photos provide great detail, and capture all the character and interest inherent in rolling farms in the United States.
Four Peaks – a stunning landscape photo from Mike Olbinski shares a view of Arizona after one of the seasons first snowfalls. The majestic peaks are magnificently framed by saguaro cacti, producing a breathtaking image sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits for a viewing.
Backstage – a stunning and breathtaking image taken in a theatre backstage, delivered by Scott Frederick. Some of the most incredible textures and details await the viewer with this wonderful shot, sure to mesmerize everyone as they spend time taking it all in. A truly top drawer photo for this weeks list!
Steam Punk – a slight play on words that delivers the goods with much gusto. The most incredible lighting produces a strong dramatic effect in this shot, taken by Bob Lussier of a steam engine that hasn’t seen the light of day in over 100 years. Using a pair of flashlights to produce the required lighting, Bob shows his skills in all arena’s of photography and produces a truly stunning picture.
Lisbon’s Torre de Belem – a commanding fortress in Portugal provides the most perfect photographic subject for the lens of Adam Allegro. Strong composition and a dramatic presence combine in this great shot to deliver something absolutely unique and wonderful.
Foggy Graveyard – a graveyard as a subject can be utterly dramatic and even spooky to a degree, but when you couple a great location like this with a blanket of fog, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a great photograph. Mark Garbowski captures and shares one such image, complete with all the drama and character you’d hope and expect to find here.
December – Christmas fast approaches, and a beautifully decorated tree can produce phenomenal photography opportunities. Heather Neil masterfully captures and shares one such picture full of color and light. I find the composition here to be spot-on and it absolutely works wonders with the scene she has captured.
Drinking Glass – lighting, shadows, lines and composition all converge in this great shot straight from the studio of Gareth Glynn Ash. This abstract piece uses a drinking glass as a subject, although you would never really recognize this in the picture. Great colors and tones are all evident, producing a strong and striking image.
Passing Through – I love this image. Chris Frailey braves life and limb to stand on the side of a highway as the sunsets to capture this truly breathtaking image. Great colors burst in the sky as a passing car provides light trails to create a strong sense of motion. Words can’t do this shot true justice, and the best way to describe it is to view it.
Stay Away – you have simply got to see this image. Hansrico Photography captures and shares a truly incredible photograph of a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep who is consternated by the presence of Rick in the field with him as he goes about trying to protect his family. Sometimes a picture is worth a 1000 words, and truly this is a great example of this.
Morocco – Dakhla Attitude #1 – if you’re anything like me, this picture will have the immediate effect of you getting on the phone to arrange a flight. This is a really fabulous 360 panorama taken by Mark Blundell of the accommodations and restaurant area of a resort in Morocco he is staying at. I hope he has a pull-out bed, we plan on being there by sunset tonight…
Misty Morning – an iconic shot of the Grand Canyon as the sun rises and tries to make it’s way through the morning fog, as shot and delivered by Jason Hines. This is a wonderful and dramatic landscape shot of this famous place, sure to delight and amaze everyone who views it.
Golden Morning – a light fog drapes the countryside as the sun rises over the farmlands in this truly incredible landscape shot by Len Saltiel. The sunburst adds a sense of joy and happiness to the scene, and as you spend time taking it in some truly incredible details begin to emerge. Well worth the time to visit and view.
Honolua Bay, Maui – you have got to see this shot! Erik Kerstenbeck captures and shares a truly, truly stunning image of Maui as the sun sets, displaying a complete spectrum of colors to take in and enjoy. The brooding clouds in the sky add a plethora of drama and interest to this shot, as well, producing something truly gorgeous and unique.
Montreal Lights – big city, bright lights! This gorgeous shot of the Montreal skyline at night, as shot and shared by Edith Levy, really gives us a great look at this famous city. Incredible details in the architecture are all visible, as well as some truly fabulous colors in the sky. Definitely a must-see image from this weeks list!
Low Clearance – this is a dramatic and emotional piece by Jim Denham taken at an abandoned drive-in. A poignant sign creates the perfect photographic subject for Jim, and the landscape and vibrant colors in the sky add further context and interest to this absolutely incredible photo.
The Nut Cracker – Christmas season approaches quickly, and all the elements we are used to seeing are beginning to come out of storage and closets everywhere to be put on display. In this case we have an iconic character who is standing tall guard at an amusement park. Aaron Barlow captures and processes this shot in black and white, which really accents all the drama of the background sky to combine and create a shot that is very moody. Not your typical nutcracker shot, this one is still guaranteed to amaze and delight!
Voyager – Steve Beal delivers more photographic magic in this shot, taken on a pier in Gloucester of an iconic fishing boat. Great composition reveals an image full of detail and interest which gives more the longer the viewer spends taking it in.
Abandoned Hotel – a epic series of images as shared by Frits Vrielink gives us an inner look at a now abandoned hotel. The entire set delivers a strong and dramatic series of images of the facility, sure to stir emotions in everyone who spends the time to peruse the album.
1910 Train Depot, Montpelier Station, Orange County, Virginia – a wonderful architectural study of a heritage train station. Great composition in this shot from Mark Summerfield really brings all the beauty of this great facility to life for all to enjoy, well worth the time to visit and view!
Top Of The Empire – a bright and detailed photograph by Edin Chavez taken from the top of the Empire State Building as night approaches. The fabulous perspective of this image coupled with crisp details converge to really deliver a beautiful shot of this iconic city as the sun sets and the city comes alive with lights.
Casablanca – Hassan II Mosque – Mark Blundell delivers another absolutely stunning panorama shot to enjoy in this post. This mosque is stunning in it’s architectural details, and when coupled with the incredible brooding sky, it really produces a striking image with a really fabulous panorama module allowing you to spin the picture around and look in great detail at any section. Absolutely well worth the time to visit and take it in.
Baby Raccoon Hanging in Tree – this is a truly wonderful wildlife photograph, straight from the studio of Mark Paulson. This baby raccoon makes for the perfect furry subject, and the end result is a wonderful image, sure to delight everyone who views it.
Red Rock Panorama – these sorts of shots can be tricky to pull off well, and in this example Jay Taylor has done just that. This breathtaking landscape shot is full of wonder and detail, and is absolutely well worth the time to visit and view.
Montserrat Landscape – Barbara Youngleson captures and shares a truly breathtaking image of the expansive landscapes in Spain. The wonderful composition in this shot really gives the viewer a strong sense of scale and majesty as the natural surroundings appear to go on forever.
A New Dweller – photography can serve as a wonderful means to sharing a thought or idea through the use of finely crafted imagery. This wonderful and profound post not only contains a wonderful set of images by Carlos, but also shares some profound thoughts for us all to enjoy.
O’Brien’s Castle – a lone castle stands sentry overlooking the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland in this jaw-droppingly awesome photograph by Bob Lussier. The processing is spot-on and really serves to add a lot of interest and drama to the spectacularly composed image, producing a picture that is without peer.
Canopy – a really compelling shot straight from the studio of Jim Denham. The wonderful textures and details captured in this great shot of an abandoned drive-in restaurant really hearkens us back to a time now long past. A truly nostalgic picture, well worth the time to visit and take in.
Move – a stunning landscape vista awaits the viewer in this wonderful photograph by Neil Kremer. Fabulous colors paint the sky in the distance, providing a strong sense of drama to take in and enjoy.
Providencia // Monochrome – a truly wonderful collection of photographs by Brian Furbush, all processed in black-and-white to deliver a strong set. The rainy day spent taking these images on this tropical island produces a series that is absolutely unique, well worth the time to visit.
Isola Liri Waterfall – a wonderful HDR study of a waterfall as delivered by Giuseppe Sapori. Great details and textures begin to emerge as the viewer spends time taking in the image, producing a striking picture that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
War Games – as a photographer with a sense of humor, I found this to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen put into film. Honestly, this is well done and is sure to leave you in stitches. I am not giving away anything beyond this, click the link, watch the video and once you stop laughing you can thank us later.
What’s Happening On the Other Side of the Earth? – a great series of images highlights a special event which appears to be destined to become a documentary film. Awesome photographs punctuate this truly wonderful article, producing a strong and compelling piece to enjoy.
Floating 3D Portraits in Panes of Glass – sometimes the creation of art can take a massive amount of time and effort. And sometimes the results can be utterly astonishing. This is a wonderful series of photographs of a style of art that is sure to delight and amaze everyone, well worth the time to visit.
2012 Landscape Calendar – one of my favorite landscape photographers has published a calendar for sale, full of beautiful and wondrous pictures. This blog post gives the viewer a peek at the images included in the calendar and given they are truly some of his best captures for the year, they form a wonderful blog post to view and enjoy.
Article in RPS Visual Art Group Magazine – a wonderful article that is utterly profound, as delivered by Viveca Koh. She has been commissioned to produce this article for a publication, which is displayed here for all to read and enjoy. Full of great insight and background, this article is absolutely amazing, and is well worth the time to visit and read.
Hasselblad H4x camera hands-on review: back to open architecture! – a great write-up with accompanying video from Alex Koloskov as he shares his insight into this new offering from the fabled group at Hasselblad. A great piece, sure to keep all camera buffs engaged, this post is well worth the time to visit and view.
Traveling with a Crystal Ball – a really interesting notion on how to take pictures using a completely unique item that is typically readily available all over the place. Amazing results, so much so you just have to see this post.
Traits of Photographers We Admire – Quality – a brief yet inspiring message for those who perform photography services professionally. Words to live by.
11 Outstanding Collections of Portraiture Photography – a fabulous collection of links that takes you off to sites showcasing great portrait photography. Doug Pruden compiles and shares this fabulous list with us, producing a post that is wonderful to take in and enjoy.
25 Great Photos of Berlin – a truly wonderful collection of images taken in Berlin, Germany as compiled on Flickr. These are really great photographs that help define the culture and feeling that this great city exudes to all who visit.
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.