The world of photography has been very active over the last week and here we find Toad Hollow Photography searching online for links to share with everyone. This weeks list features a selection of tutorials, reviews, special features and great photography to peruse. We truly hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
How to Get Better Landscape Photos Through Correct Metering – this is one of the best articles I have read regarding proper metering, with a specific slant towards landscape photos. Kent DuFault’s terrific article is hosted here on Light Stalking, and includes some great sample shots with overlays to really illustrate the core concepts shared.
10 Tips for Successful Street Photography – this great tutorial covers some very useful tips and tricks in regards to capturing candid street photos. Several points are covered, along with some great sample shots, helping to inspire you to get out there to capture the human condition as it unfolds.
Making What You Feel: Editing a Landscape Photo – great photos are much more than a file captured via a camera’s sensor, they are also the product of personal inspiration and a creative vision. Combining all these factors together is what is needed to create an image that comes from your heart and this brief article covers some great basic principles to help achieve these core goals.
Five Ways to Improve Your Photography in the New Year – finding inspiration for creating great images is an all-year endeavor for those of us who love practicing our craft. This brief article covers five key points that if followed will surely help you elevate your own images as the year progresses.
Using Lightroom Presets to Create Dramatic Black and White Photos – this 12 minute video tutorial takes us through the act of post-processing images in black-and-white. Lightroom is the application highlighted in this tutorial, with tips and tricks that will be helpful to those just starting all the way up to professionals who are extremely experienced.
Review: Macphun Aurora HDR – this review covers a new HDR tool available to photographers, this one created in collaboration with world-famous HDR photographer Trey Ratcliff. This review includes some sample images to give you a good idea of what to expect, and in this case it sounds like a tool that is fairly straightforward to use, bringing some fun into HDR photography.
Stunning Imagery Created With Only Mobile Devices and Apps – mobile phones have become a truly important tool in the photographer's arsenal over recent years, and the images they create can show you how the photographer is the important element in an image, not the equipment. This collection of shots features award winning images, all of them captured and processed on mobile platforms.
In the Rain: 16 Winning Photos from Photocrowd and Miggo’s Photo Challenge – check out this amazing collection of rain themed photographs as judged and selected by Marius Vieth. This set of shots features terrific shots submitted for a running contest, revealing many different compositions that take advantage of this natural weather condition and add so much to the overall image.
A Journey Through The History of Photography in Kodak’s Technology Vault – for those fascinated with the history of photography, this video presentation is just over an hour in length and takes us deep into the vault at the George Eastman House where almost every camera of significance in history has a spot in the exhibit.
Urbex Photography Taken to the Next Level: On Top of Christ the Redeemer – these guys have more bravery in their ring fingers than I do in my entire body, and as a result of this they find themselves in unlikely and often dangerous locations attempting to get an awesome shot. In this short video presentation, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov bring us along as they scale this incredible monument under cover of night, coming away with shots that are truly amazing.
Iceland: Hraunfossar Lava Falls – Anne McKinnell brings us all along on what I would have to call an epic adventure in Iceland in this post. Anne finds a location with a plethora of natural waterfalls cascading over rock faces created by lava flows, culminating in turquoise waters swirling in the river below, all framed by the beautiful colors of the local vegetation in autumn.
“…The answer is blowin' in the wind.” – Mark Gvazdinskas creates a mesmerizing monochrome image, featuring the mighty jagged peaks of the mountains in Yosemite. Mark’s shot finds terrific serendipity in the shroud of fog that dances amongst the mountains adding a dash of drama to a very moody image.
Wispy Weber Infrared – the Weber house in the Palouse region is a famous spot for photographers to visit from far and wide. This old farmhouse now stands in a state of decay, creating haunting compositions that leave us all yearning to learn more of the story behind the images. This great shot was captured and presented by Michael Criswell.
Autumn in Bled – Lake Bled in Slovenia is an amazing place, presenting landscapes and views that are truly second-to-none. This great photo by Stefano Marsi features the ancient monastery that sits on a tiny island in the middle of the lake, with a wonderful rippled reflection of the old architecture to add a perfect finishing touch.
Final Approach – Vancouver Island photographer Randy Hall captures another stunning shot with this photograph, featuring an adult bald eagle just a brief second before it lands. The incredible sharpness of this shot highlights the powerful and dramatic nature of these incredibly beautiful birds in their natural habitat.
Layers – Stefan Forster captures and shares a great landscape shot bathed in beautiful natural tones that feature an endless landscape of Swiss mountain peaks. The golden hour creates wonderful shadows and textures, showcasing the jagged edges of the rugged mountains as shapes that create a strong sense of the true endless scale of the region.
Another Palouse Abandoned Farmhouse – this terrific black-and-white shot from Mark Garbowski focuses on a long abandoned farmhouse in the famous Palouse region. Mark grabbed this shot using a film camera, creating an image with deep contrasts that accent the textures and details of what once was a thriving homestead.
Old Boat – the skeletons of old wooden boats now long forgotten make for great photography subjects, and in this shot we see one processed as a black-and-white to accent all the inherent drama. Photographer Sebas uses a long exposure technique with this picture, creating a sense of movement in the waters juxtaposed against the still remains of a ship that once traveled the waters of the world.
Fire in the Sky – Anita Megyesi captures a wonderful shot in Hungary that showcases a vibrant sky as the end of day and the outlines of the old architecture that creates the character Budapest is so famous for. A lone person stands by a fence taking in the entire scene, adding a wonderful bit of artistic tension to the shot.
Manarola – this shot is full of crisp details, both in the old homes that sit on the cliffs overlooking the ocean below as well as the beautiful stars in the sky above. Legends of the Winter creates this terrific piece that takes on a truly fine art aspect to it, bringing us all along to what feels like a mystical place.
Crossing Over The Ice – the frozen city of Pittsburgh features striking architecture, the perfect subject matter for photographer Brad Truxell. In this shot Brad captures a shot of a bridge roadway, leading the viewer right into the frame where the city sits in the backdrop. The roadway on the bridge also creates a terrific vanishing point, adding to the composition.
Leading Lights – as a huge jetliner sits on the tarmac, the vibrant lights of the city at night twinkle in the backdrop in this great shot from Takahiro Bessho. The gentle bokeh of the city’s lights isolates the plane from the backdrop in this picture, making it literally pop out of the frame on all our monitors and screens.
Above board… – this shot comes to us from Sherry Galey and features terrific natural light beaming down upon a scene of anchored boats in the heart of the night. Sherry processes this shot as a black-and-white, creating a truly haunting feel that leaves the viewer yearning for more.
Obertauern Winter 2014 – a beautiful white winter wonderland is presented in this stunning photograph from Friedrich Beren. Gorgeous colors in the sky add pastel tones to the scene, bringing in a perfect dash of color to an otherwise stark white scene.
when surgery fails… – Urban Vagabond shares no real details with this image, leaving it all to the imagination of the viewer to unravel the mysteries held within. This shot features what appears to be a morgue, adorned with religious artifacts, all of which creates a scene that is both haunting and strangely alluring at the same time.
Amsterdam – the city of Amsterdam is in a class all it’s own in terms of photography, as evidenced by this terrific photo from Remo Scarfò. The famous canals of the city intertwine seamlessly with the vibrant community of the city, and this all comes to life in this great shot that beckons the viewer to visit.
Canada Place – Vancouver, British Columbia – Len Saltiel captures this great shot of the city of Vancouver’s skyline as the cruiseship he is on comes into dock at the end of a journey. The docks themselves are truly amazing to see, and they are wonderfully accented by the dramatic architecture of this world-famous city as a backdrop.
Jump into the New Year with a spring in your step – this wonderful portrait features a small owl in mid-step as it hurriedly makes it way from point to point. Austin Thomas’ shot was captured at just the right split-second to freeze forever in a frame the wonderful expression on the tiny birds face, revealing a glimpse into its terrific spirit and personality.
The Neon Lights of Broadway – this highly dynamic shot comes to us from Edith Levy, featuring the city that never sleeps as crowds hustle and bustle through the heart of the city. The colors of the neon signs work perfectly with the light trails created by fast moving cabs, creating a wonderful shot that literally exudes the spirit of New York.
Tunnel Vision – this shot showcases the power of framing within composition, leading the viewer through a rocky opening and out into the oceans beyond. Jay Daley’s photograph also features beautiful colors in the sky that envelope dramatic clouds in the distance for an added element.
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.