As another week passes by, we find Toad Hollow Photography searching in all corners of the internet for links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This weeks list is full of great pictures and articles, hand curated by the Toad to delight photography enthusiasts from all walks of life. We truly hope you enjoy this list as much as the Toad did himself in bringing it to you.
9 Useful Tutorials on Powerful Black and White Portrait Photography – this weeks list wouldn’t be complete without including a link to a list of great tutorials. In this post hosted right here on Light Stalking, we learn about 9 different tutorials that are sure to help you achieve the results you desire in your own black-and-white work.
Joe McNally offers an insightful behind the scenes look at a garage photo shoot – for those (like me) who are fascinated by the delicate techniques that are required to create incredible strobe driven images, there is no one better than Joe McNally to follow. This article discusses his technique and also includes a video that is just over 5 minutes in length, packed full of great ideas and tips on how to achieve the same in your practice.
How to Shoot Surfing at Night – a terrific article is shared here, covering the key concepts required to shoot in these conditions. Awesome photographs are included here, illustrating the issues that need to be overcome, and the outcomes that proper preparation can make when trying to capture very technically challenging scenes.
8 Steps To Creating A Fantasy Lighting Effect – this step-by-step guide takes you through the entire process of how to create a fantasy effect in a photograph using some advanced techniques in Photoshop. Illustrations are included in this great article, showing you how each step in the process comes together, and the final result is shared as well to inspire you.
Color Casts, Vignetting, and Sharpness: Which Neutral Density Filter Is Best? – this is the definitive shootout for comparing various filters in a controlled environment to find the best one in terms of specific criteria. Sample images are included, allowing you to instantly visualize the core ideas discussed, finishing off with a clear winner in these particular categories.
How To Shoot Photos Of Dancers and Flour – all the key concepts used to create this magical feeling images are discussed in this brief article, from lighting to timing nothing is omitted here. The finished images are really ethereal in feel, and a great sampling of these shots adds a great dimension to this short piece.
At the Velodrome – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) shares a terrific collection of themed photographs in this post, showcasing the dynamic nature of cyclists making their way around a velodrome. Various aspects of the event he attended pop to life on our screens with this set, making for a fascinating post and selection of photographs to view and enjoy.
Finding a Home – Gleeson, AZ – Mark Hahn creates a terrific photo-essay with this piece, sharing some personal insights alongside some incredible urbex themed shots that feature a long abandoned trailer and it’s environs. Mark’s thoughts really drive home the meaning of the images he creates by bridging the now with the past, peppered with his own personal experiences that have helped him become the artist he is today.
HIGHWAY 163 – Monish Mansharamani shares an awesome panoramic format image that uses a ribbon of highway as a leading line to create a great vanishing point. In the distance, beautiful rock formations stand tall and proud, creating a compelling feature in the shot based on the landscape of the region.
North Cornwall – all the character and personality of Europe is captured in this wonderful frame from Barry Turner, featuring a seaside composition full of wonderful details. In the foreground, a boat creates a perfect anchor for the shot that finds the viewer exploring beyond to discover a sampling of the great architecture and the rugged and beautiful landscape in the distance.
Bled – Slovenia is home to one of the most amazing locations on earth, known as Bled Lake. In this shot, Legends of the Winter uses a terrific composition to create an image full of character, with the center weighted with the medieval monastery that has stood at this location for countless centuries.
Sweet Seat – Michael Criswell brings his style to bear on these two shots that feature the interiors of long abandoned buildings, with the sole remaining inhabitant being a chair. These shots exude artistic tension with all the unanswered questions they pose, and Michael’s flair for the dramatic exposes images full of rich texture and detail.
Pristine – Rana Jabeen shares a detailed architectural study of the inside of the Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi, using the rows of columns as a compositional element. As the viewer follows the natural leading lines in the shot, in the far distance a wonderful vanishing point delivers artistic tension.
Golden – Anita Megyesi shares a stunning shot that features very old architecture in the heart of what is presumably Europe. The darkness of the evening highlights the terrific architectural details, which are also highlighted by a terrific reflection in the foreground for an added touch.
Northern Pygmy-Owl – a truly delightful shot from Gregory Lis, featuring a character portrait of a very cute owl perched on a limb. The crisp details in this piece help to share a glimpse into the personality and character of these tiny featured creatures, sure to satisfy the cute craving of all wildlife photography enthusiasts.
School Days – this urbex themed shot is the perfect subject for black-and-white, sharing an interior view of what is a now a long forgotten schoolhouse room. CJ Schmit’s terrific composition highlights the natural drama in a scene like this, bringing all the textures and details of years of decay out in the final image.
Yorkdale – patterns and geometric shapes pop to life in the terrific shot that utilizes an escalator as a leading line into the frame itself. Ryan Millier then processes this shot in a highly cinematic manner to create a compelling image with carefully managed tones.
Sunset – Baroness Danuté captures and shares a stunning image taken at sunset on a bridge, overlooking a river with beautiful architecture gracing the shores. At just the right moment, a boat appears from under the bridge and with the long exposure time set for the image, it creates a terrific dynamic light trail to guide the viewer into the frame.
Awakening – a gorgeous and colorful sunrise peeks out over the horizon in this long exposure shot from Ricardo Mateus. An amazing bridge comes in from frame left to create a perfect leading line, guiding the viewer into the image where the vibrant morning finds harmony with the silky waters to deliver something special.
Artist Exposé – Abandoned Places In UK – Dave Wares shares a set of photos captured in urbex locations in the UK. Each image tells its own distinct story, and when viewed together the entire set creates a haunting tale of things lost and long forgotten.
Nidarosdomen Nidelva Gamlebybro and Elgeseter bru – a panoramic shot from Norway comes to our screens from photographer Aziz Nasuti in this amazing photograph. The snow covered landscape is accented just perfectly by the beautiful colors in the sky, all of which come together to highlight the architecture of the area.
And Just Like That… – Lisa Gordon creates a pair of beautiful images shared in this post, focusing on the natural wonder that is found in a Magnolia blossom. She also shares some thoughts that add a terrific element to the post, sure to touch the hearts and souls of all who visit personally.
Balfour Castle – a stone castle awaits the viewer in this terrific shot, discovered as you follow the pathway of a road that leads up to this amazing example of medieval architecture. Kyle Kuiper’s shot also brings a bit of the contextual landscape into view, creating the perfect forested setting for such a dramatic home.
Sea Lion Greeting – some images speak for themselves, particularly when they are aptly named as is the case with this wonderful shot from Ron Niebrugge. Here we have a sea lion, in great and crisp detail, waving back at camera in a very playful manner. A shot sure to bring a smile to your face.
Icelandic Pool – beautiful reflections mirror back the top half of this colorful composition in soft eddies in this landscape piece from Chung Hu. The ice formations in the body of water find further wonder in the glorious colors draping the sky above.
Avon Sandblasting – Jim Denham captures a very stormy shot on his 50th birthday, processing it as a monochromatic piece to accent the raw drama of the scene. Using a long exposure, Jim softens the roiling waters and uses a pier as a leading line in this very haunting piece. Happy Birthday Jim, great work!
Cutting Through – a foggy Canadian landscape peers through the thick mist in this visually fascinating shot from Lee Bodson. As a CN train makes it’s way through, it adds a dash of red to a shot dominated by lack of color, and the leaning power poles add a perfect touch of artistic tension.
Covered Bridge – Rachel Cohen finds a wonderful covered bridge in the early fall, and she then captures two slightly different compositions and then processes them slightly differently. Each image can easily stand on its own merits, exuding different feels and qualities through the post-production process.
Some Way Out – Lawrence Mills – Mark Garbowski creates a haunting piece full of rich artistic tension in this shot taken inside the Lawrence Mills with an outward view in a window. The dark shadows he accents in this picture really create a strong feel of drama, leaving the viewer with many questions.
A look into the personal life of photography mogul Peter Lik – photographer Peter Lik is a controversial artist, with personal opinions of his work and personal style being actively discussed everywhere in the photography world. This presentation discussed his background and also includes a video that shows you what drives him to create the pieces he does.
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.