This weeks list of links features a selection of tutorials, special features and great photography that covers a wide variety of subjects and topics. Toad Hollow Photography has been searching in all corners of the internet, finding some of the very best images and posts that artists and writers have been creating and sharing online, and we truly hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
The Best Photography Software for 2016 – Jason D. Little right here on Light Stalking shares a terrific list of photography software applications available in 2016. Jason creates a great matrix that is super easy to read, allowing you to quickly identify the applications which work best for you in your particular practice.
How to Create the Perfect Hero Shot in Broad Daylight – this brief video tutorial is just over 4 minutes in length and shows us how to create terrific lighting at what is commonly thought to be the worst time of day. As the bright midday sun beats down, a couple rides in on a massive elephant, and a single Profoto B1 strobe does the heavy lifting.
How to Shoot Futuristic Cityscapes of Dubai – this article shares a stunning set of photographs showcasing the epic cityscapes of Dubai, along with very useful tips and tricks pertaining to gaining authorized access to elevated positions to capture these shots. The pictures alone make this article a must-see in this week’s list.
Understanding Light: Large Light Sources and How To Use Them – this terrific tutorial covers a variety of lighting techniques, discussing the pro’s and con’s between them all in specific photographic circumstances. Sample shots are included here to illustrate the core points being discussed, and showing the power of harnessing and controlling light.
A Lesson on Depth of Field and Lens Equivalents – just over 17 minutes in length, this video tutorial covers in great depth the physics and laws behind depth-of-field in photography. Focal lengths and sensors are discussed in good detail, revealing some of the underlying mystery behind the science that allows us to create compelling images.
This is What a Migration of 3,500 Reindeer Looks Like to a Camera Drone – in many cases, the perspective used in a composition creates the shot, as is evidenced in this short video presentation that shows an incredible herd of Reindeer migrating. The aerial shots reveal a story of this natural occurrence that simply cannot be seen otherwise, producing a video that is stunning to view.
Ordos: An Architectural Photographic Study of a Ghost Town – this incredible architectural study takes us into the heart of a world-renown city in China that is by-and-large uninhabited. Built only 10 years ago roughly, the city features contemporary architecture and art, yet is slowly deteriorating due to the lack of maintenance and care.
Bled II | Early Morning Mist on a Quiet Island – these two shots come to us from photographers Alex Meidany and Sandi Bertoncelj, each showcasing the amazing location of Lake Bled in a completely unique way. One shot was captured from an elevated perspective, revealing context of the medieval monastery in the middle of the lake, and the other takes a straight-on perspective that reveals a magical scene enshrouded in a thick fog.
Mono Lake ~ California – A. D. Wheeler takes us to a location that at first glance truly belongs on another planet entirely. This lake is hundreds of thousands of years old, composed mostly of an alkaline solution that in turn creates a very unique habitat for those who live here. A. D.’s shots of this location are absolutely stunning.
Golden Ticket – the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge is the main subject in this terrific photograph from Ryan Millier. Processed in what appears to be a cinematic style, this overhead view of the bridge creates a terrific leading line that guides the viewer through the frame.
Promenading – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) captures and shares a great black-and-white shot created by a bit of people watching on a bright sunlit day. The hard light created by the day allows Andy to capture silhouettes as people make their way through their busy day, leaving us all wondering what their personal stories are.
Storm – Tanja Brandt shares a wonderful shot, full of character and spirit, as a tiny owl peers back at the camera with a bemused look as a leaf sits upon it’s head. The expression of the owl immediately draws you into the picture, where the incredible details spring to life.
Keep On Rockin – this amazing shot from Michael Criswell literally exudes artistic tension in both the rich textures from the natural decay inside this forlorn building, coupled with the lingering and haunting feel you get from the rocking chairs that pepper the hall. Michael includes some anecdotal information on the facility itself, once an asylum that housed over 2,500 patients, creating a feel for the viewer that leaves you wondering.
Angry bird – Strix nebulosa – this terrific shot from photographer Miroslav Hlavko reveals a portrait of a large owl in the snow with it’s wings spread wide as it stares back intently at the lens. The terrific expression on it’s face says it all, revealing a glimpse into it’s wonderful personality and spirit.
“The Reckoning in Gray” – this landscape shot comes to us from photographer Rachel Cohen, featuring a dramatic scene overlooking a body of water with brooding clouds hanging overhead. She processes this shot in both black-and-white and in color, revealing two distinct looks at a single scene.
Dimitrios – what once was an active ocean-going ship now lies on the shores, long forgotten and slowly deteriorating as the ravages of time continue their relentless march. The rich rust on the hull of the remains reveal terrific textures, all of which hides a story that is left to our imaginations.
Palouse Abandoned Farmhouse Black and White – Mark Garbowski shares another shot in his series captured during a visit to the Palouse region of the northwest of the United States. This shot was captured on film, revealing stark contrasts in the lit and shadowed regions of the image, and highlighting the natural drama found in an abandoned building.
Alpe di Siusi – this shot comes to us from the northern part of Italy where the landscape lies covered in a thick blanket of snow. Christopher Kaeppeler’s terrific composition features a pair of wood cabins sitting in this stark environment as the morning’s fog circles, creating an almost magical feel.
Owl Storage? – this fabulous shot comes to us from photographer Ron Niebrugge, sharing a great portrait of a Horned Owl perched high atop the rafters of a storage building. As this incredible bird stares back at Ron, a certain look in it’s face tells a story of it’s thoughts and what it feels about being the subject of such shenanigans.
Cosmic Dance – as star trails dance overhead, photographer Elia Locardi finds the Church of the Good Shepherd sitting below the amazing sky creating the perfect anchor into the shot. The wonderful textures of this very old stone church finds perfect harmony against the dynamic nature of the universe spinning overhead to create a really special image to view.
Light Travels – CJ Schmit captures a terrific shot in Milwaukee, framing the wonderful city in the backdrop through the dramatic lines of a bridge. As CJ shoots the scene, fast moving traffic creates stellar light trails that add a sense of life and dynamicism to the overall scene.
Time stands still but stops for no one – the rusty skeletal remains of a once active steel ship lies on the shores of a body of water in this great shot from Daniel Herr. So many unanswered questions linger in this shot, fueled by the wonderful landscapes that hang in the backdrop to create compelling elements in the composition.
The Darkside of Lincoln Cathedral – David Stoddart Photography creates a stunning image taken from inside Lincoln Cathedral with this piece, focusing our attention on a dark rendition of this incredible example of old architecture. The application of a fisheye lens accents the incredible scale of the interior of this space, and highlights the terrific details.
Hands up – a pair of birds stand across from each other, flaring their wings in an obvious attempt to make themselves look larger to their foe. Georg Scharf’s unique composition showcases a side of nature that is not often seen, revealing the workings of feathered creatures in their natural habitats.
Down town – a walk around town reveals a series of terrific photography opportunities for Dave Wares in this post as he shares a set of fabulous images captured during his outdoor adventure. Ranging in subject from old and forgotten cars to windows and walkways, this post showcases a unique side of the community Dave calls home to.
SMS – this black-and-white shot features a man sitting on a chair surrounded by a totally bokeh’d fore and background, creating terrific natural tension. iD's composition leaves the viewer with a sense of curiosity as we all strive to know what is capturing this person's imagination.
Athens Marina – Barbara Youngleson creates and shares a wonderful shot with this image, featuring the character-filled marina in Athens with boats moored as the community that surrounds it rises up the hills beyond. The incredible clouds that linger overhead add a terrific element of interest to this shot as a finishing touch.
Orchid Bloom, Minnesota – as spring quickly approaches here, we begin to see the signs of new life emerging everywhere. This beautiful orchid was discovered by Mark Paulson in Minnesota and it exhibits its own form of natural beauty with delicate colors to set it off.
Master of the Prairie – Dakota Visions Photography finds a bison in the prairies who is evidently not afraid of having its portrait taken. This front facing shot of the mighty buffalo gives us a glimpse into it’s unique personality and spirit, getting us closer to this subject than many of us would brave in person.
Bald Eagle – the bald eagle is a photography subject that many of us enjoying capturing up in the Pacific Northwest region, as is evidenced by this stunning piece from Jay Taylor. This shot features one of these incredible birds in flight, presumably inbound on a landing spot.
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.