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The Toad has been searching the internet all week for the very best tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This weeks list contains some really wonderful images as captured and shared by some of the most talented artists and photographers the Toad knows. We really hope you enjoy viewing these great works as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you this week.
Check out the Toad’s latest blog post “The Toad Loves Trucks” featuring antique logging trucks on his photo blog, as well as his extensive gallery of 1750+ images on their Canadian Fine Art and Landscape Photography site.
A Vignette of a Different Color – I haven’t had time to get into Photoshop myself yet, but hope to this year. This article looks like a great resource for creating wonderful and unique vignette’s with this tool, and is an article I will surely return to later.
My Student’s Work: Seeing Past First Impressions – guaranteed to make you see your world through a different lens, if you’ll pardon the pun, this is a great post by Joe Baraban.
Fun With A Speedlite – Jim Denham shares with us some great tips and insight into using an off-camera speedlite flash unit for great portrait photography. Great tips and tricks are all found here, and I know I will be referring to this post as we begin our foray into flash photography this year. Well worth the time to visit and read.
Look, ma’…no hands! Tack-sharp self-portraits without an assistant – a really great tutorial full of tips and tricks on how to achieve great self portraits. Chris Wray masterfully shoots himself, with a camera, and describes the entire process in great detail… this is a blog post well worth the time to see.
Creative Ways to Use Hard Light in Photography – a great article that details the difference between hard and soft light, and discusses how to use hard light as an advantage in some circumstances to create strong and compelling imagery. A very well written piece, full of great tips and tricks.
Prisoner – this image make my heart stop in it’s tracks! An abandoned prison is made accessible to the masterful photographic talents of Scott Frederick, and he wastes no time in getting this first black-and-white image onto his blog to share. Incredibly dramatic and moody, this perfectly composed shot is full of textures and details to take in as the viewer spends time trying to understand what it must have been like to be incarcerated here. Guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone, this incredible photograph is a true must-see for this weeks list!
Hotel California – Scott Hovind once again delivers a truly dramatic and compelling scene with this post. A moody and eerie abandoned building serves as the subject for this picture, and Scott captures and delivers something that is truly unique.
Detroit Photographer – a wonderful shot by Rod Arroyo shares an iconic spot in Detroit. Rod cleverly composes and processes this image to produce a totally special piece, well worth the time to visit.
Breaking Bad Converse, Toronto – Ren Bostelaar employs absolutely top drawer composition for this image to create something that is dramatic and compelling. A wonderful piece, this is a must-see shot from this weeks list.
Enter The Bean: Chicago – this is a wonderful photograph, straight from the studio of Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. An iconic location in Chicago, The Bean is oft photographed by professionals and tourists alike, and in this case Erik and Kathleen deliver a version that is absolutely wonderful.
Man Shoots Dolphin – before you get all upset at what might be expected to be some mass carnage, pop on over to Jim Nix’s blog post for a look at a great photograph. Creating a wonderful composition using a silhouette and a swimming dolphin, Jim captures and delivers something that is both truly dramatic and compelling at the same time.
Frozen Pink Lemonade – truly incredible colors and tones await the viewer in this great post from Rachel Cohen. A beautiful landscape is punctuated by some of the most beautiful colors and details I’ve seen in quite a while, well worth the time to pop over for a visit.
CSX Explosion – a wonderful technique employed by Jerry Denham produces a stunning piece of art. Abstract in nature, this “moving” train shot is something that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits and views.
White Mountain Crossing – I love great architecture, especially buildings and structures that have great historical interest and character. In this shot by Len Saltiel, we get the best of all worlds here as he captures a delivers an image of one truly stunning bridge.
The Old and the New – this is definitely one of those shots that delivers as you spend more time taking in all the intricate details. Fabulous composition combines with truly great elements both old and new to help create a strong sense with this emotional piece by Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck.
North Tawton Wool Grading Centre – I love the light, textures and details that are all captured in this fabulous shot by Mark Blundell. Mark has performed some serious processing here to achieve this wonderful result, producing a striking piece that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Gray is Good – as Steven mentions in this post, the weather and sky conditions that we find ourselves in when shooting outdoors can be considered a blessing when viewed in the right context. In this great black-and-white shot, Steven Perlmutter delivers a truly dramatic and compelling scene of a roadway that is truly a highly emotional piece.
Morning Solitude – absolutely incredible tones and an applied texture combine in this breathtaking image from the studio of Barbara Youngleson. An absolutely delightful piece, sure to amaze everyone who pops by for a viewing.
View of Daytona Beach – Florida is a wonderful place for a photographer to adventure. Great colors and tones in the architecture and artifacts on display combine with some truly stunning landscape subjects to provide Anne McKinnell the perfect composition to capture and share.
Streets of New York – Mike Olbinski carefully composes and crafts this shot of a NY City street, producing a piece that is utterly dramatic and engaging. A slightly different approach to most, Mike truly captures a real piece of fine art here to be enjoyed by all.
Weekend Relaxer #1 – change is good, and in this case master photographer Chris Nitz changes up his weekly blog feature to a new and wonderful format. A truly great stage and composition are employed for this capture, creating a compelling shot that is a true delight to take in.
The Visitor – drama and intrigue are the words of the day here in this shot as shared by Rob Hanson. A dolphin appears under a dramatic and brooding sky, which in turn is full of great sunbeams to add even further interest. A great shot, well worth the time to view.
Dublin – a brooding and dramatic sky provide the incredible subject matter for this great shot by Keith Dixon. A simplistic and minimalistic shot that is full of drama and interest, guaranteed to amaze everyone who visits.
Winter Village – romantic, mesmerizing, surreal and absolutely lovely! This incredible image as produced by Paul Blaisse is absolutely stunning and will delight everyone who visits to view.
Sunrise – some truly incredible colors and tones are captured in this gallery of sunrise images as captured and shared by Tim McAdam. A wonderful set, well worth the time to visit and view.
Chair – a chair sits in a dramatically lit room creating a strong sense of drama and tension in this truly awesome shot by Ted Fines. Truly a piece of fine art, this is a great image to visit and view in this weeks list.
Beach Walk – beautiful colors and a wonderful leading line converge in this great photograph David A. Ziser to produce a striking image that is an absolute delight to view. Well worth the time to visit, David’s work never ceases to amaze us here.
Manarola at Dusk – I don’t know where to even start in describing this INCREDIBLE image! A small town in Italy forms the subject for this shot, as captured and shared by Paul Hogie, producing a post that is a true must-see for this week!
On Embracing The Dutch Tilt… sparingly – Brian Matiash shares a truly unique and wonderful image, and as usual shares some insight into the technical nature of our craft. This incredible photo accompanied with his great post combine to create a page that is well worth the time to visit.
Portchester Castle – a wonderful photograph, straight from the studio of Chris Maskell, shares a study of classic architecture with the viewer. Great composition and wonderful details all quickly emerge in this carefully processed image, producing a striking and compelling picture.
Bluebirds – a wonderful photograph captures a pair of Bluebirds near a feeder. Kat White masterfully captures this pair of beautiful creatures, with one in mid-flight which adds so much interest to the scene.
Eurasian Kestrel Taking Off – John Mead once again delivers a striking and dramatic wildlife image. This iconic bird is masterfully captured with incredible details, guaranteed to amaze and delight the viewer!
Blackbird and Berries – a wonderful and detailed image of a blackbird in a tree as captured and shared by the talented photographer Bev in the UK. Great details in the bird emerge as the viewer spend time taking the image in, producing a striking shot!
Super Squirrel! – what’s better than a squirrel photograph? A flying squirrel photograph! Kerri Farley captures a truly stunning image of a squirrel in mid-flight, producing a must-see piece for this weeks list!
Wood, Bricks and Mortar – a wonderful, wonderful image straight from the studios of Helene Kobelnyk shares a scene of an old stone building, adorned with several old artifacts. Fabulous textures and details are all evident in this great image, an image that is truly captivating.
Dead Zone – it may be hard to image the word color being used to describe a cemetery photograph, but in this case Gareth Glynn Ash definitely delivers. A great composition of a graveyard with just incredible colors and tones in the sky combine to create something dramatic and moody, well worth the time to visit.
Pie-Billed Grebe & Chick at Montlake Fill – a truly captivating picture as captured by Jay Taylor. A mom and her little chick make their way across a body of water, and Jay is ready with his camera to capture this great shot to share.
Built Ford Tough – Jim Nix and I share a love of tractors and trains, especially old ones with character and historical interest. In this shot, Jim captures a tight shot of the engine bay and front tire, which are full of textures and details to take in. An absolutely wonderful image to view and enjoy, to say the least!
River Views – benches have a unique ability to produce drama and tension in a shot, and in this case Steve Beal delivers the goods. A wonderful and character filled bench forms the main subject of this image, carefully composed and processed by Steve. This is a truly awesome image, well worth the time to visit.
Grand Central Station New York – an oft-shot location, Grand Central Station in NY can produce incredible photography. In this case, Edin Chavez captures and shares a very unique composition of the station, producing a captivating piece sure to delight and amaze everyone.
Zen Monkey – I can’t remember a time before where I’ve thought to myself I’ve got to become more like a monkey. In this case, however, John Mead captures an image of a monkey in a zen-like state causing me to rethink my thoughts entirely. This is a truly great photo, well worth the time to visit and view.
Broadway 2011 – a truly epic shot from the studio of Mark Garbowski awaits the viewer with this post. This black-and-white photograph of the iconic location in NY is punctuated and accented by the subtle processing Mark uses, as well as a truly great composition that brings out all kinds of drama and tension in the scene.
Five Male Wood Ducks – a picture so detailed and wonderful, at first glance you may think it’s a painting. Mark Paulson captures and shares a truly wonderful wildlife photograph of these beautiful birds, producing a stunning piece that is truly well worth the time to visit and view.
I Think We’re Off to a Good Start to the Year – Vancouver Island can be the source of some great imagery, and in this case we have a local photographer who is out and about in the back woods after a snowfall. Incredible hills and valleys await the viewer who visits this series, a great set that gives the visitor a strong sense of what Vancouver Island is all about.
Marilyn Monroe In Chicago – what a truly incredible image, as captured and shared by Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. Marilyn Monroe is a cornerstone of Americana and in this shot Erik and Kathleen truly compose and share a shot of a statue of her that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
National Trust – Cotehele Courtyard #2 | National Trust – Cotehele House | Cotehele House – Ornamental Pond – Mark Blundell captures and shares another set of epic 360* panoramas of this historic and heritage site in the UK. Rich in details and textures, these incredible images are delivered in a completely unique format and are definitely something that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by for a visit.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – a wonderful and abstract black-and-white piece from the studio of Heather Neil. Great shapes and tons of drama and tension are all evident in this picture, which all combine to help create a truly, well, peaceful image to view and enjoy!
Baby Falls Leap – what a truly astonishing shot, straight from the studio of Jerry Denham! Capturing action is a skill in-and-of itself, and in this shot Jerry masterfully composes and captures a shot of a kayaker as they head over a waterfall. Guaranteed to make your jaw hit the floor, this is a really great shot!
Hedrick Pond Overlook – a truly stunning landscape photograph of the Teton Mountain Range awaits the viewer in this epic shot from Hansrico Photography. The beautiful landscape is highlighted and accented by Rick’s careful composition of the scene, producing a truly breathtaking photograph.
IR Windows – Scott Wood shares a new image from his recent acquisition of a IR converted camera. Full of great details and textures, this perfectly composed image is definitely well worth the time to visit and view.
Dover Jail – you simply have got to see this post! An old jail in Dover forms the subject for this great series that Jimi Jones carefully captures and documents for all to view and enjoy. The building is full of interest and character, and Jimi is ready with his camera to capture and share this wonderful series with us all.
Planetary Boil – this breathtaking photograph is of something that I cannot identify, yet somehow find myself absolutely mesmerized! Given the truly incredible composition and details in the water drops in the picture this abstract piece is a wonder to view and enjoy! Other visitors have identified this as an egg, we’d recommend you pop on over yourself and see what you think.
Dreary Day at Beckley Furnace – a stunning landscape photograph done in HDR to bring out all the tones and details, using long exposure techniques to smooth out the incredible waterfalls. Len Saltiel masterfully captures and processes this incredible shot, producing a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who visits and views.
Ocean Post Sunrise – long exposure techniques help to produce an almost fog-like effect in this great shot from local photographer Ehpem. Wonderful details in the rocks and surrounding landscape are accented by a perfect leading line via the shore, producing a piece that naturally leads the viewers eye through the frame comfortably.
Brooklyn Bridge – Bob Lussier shares a shot of the iconic bridge, focusing on the architectural details of the spans and lines that create the supports. The black-and-white processing adds so much drama to the scene, combining with all the other elements to create a truly compelling piece to visit and view.
Booth Service – so beautiful, so stunning, you’d be certain you’re looking at a painting! Great colors and details are all masterfully captured and shared by John Sotiriou, producing a piece that is truly sympathetic to the subject at hand; an old diner. Well worth the time to see!
Staying Local – Steven Perlmutter carefully composes and captures a shot of an old barn in his area. Full of character and drama due to the fog rolling in, this iconic shot is most definitely a breathtaking image of this historic and alluring location.
Under the Moon – a truly breathtaking image, straight from the studio of Jason Hines. As the sun sets, Jason stands in deep snow to capture a landscape full of colors and tones that are just exquisite. A lone tree stands sentry, producing a strong silhouette which adds some serious drama to the overall scene.
Diffusion – Curt Fleenor practices shooting with his latest addition to his toolkit, a ND filter. Using long exposure techniques, Curt creates a truly stunning piece that is absolutely full of drama, intrigue and a touch of tension. This image is an absolutely delight to view and is well worth the time to visit.
Long Bumpy Dirt Road – a ribbon that carries on forever, Rachel Cohen masterfully and carefully creates a wonderful composition using a dirt road as a natural leading line. Wonderful colors and tones in the autumn foliage drape the roadway, creating gorgeous splashes of color, producing a truly breathtaking image.
Time Aside – a wonderful trilogy of images as produced by Stéfan shares an anecdote that is all too important for most of us in our busy everyday lives. Wonderful insight accompanied by fabulous imagery await the viewer with this post, well worth the time to visit and see.
Winter Light – a must-see image from the studio of Steven Perlmutter of an iconic lighthouse in the dead of winter. A truly incredible architectural study, this image also delivers a splash of color through the composition that includes several fabulous out-buildings.
Steel Bench – a black-and-white study by Bob Lussier delivers a compelling and dramatic image taken inside a Steel Fabrication Shop. Incredible details are accented with the perfect composition, further punctuated by the careful and sympathetic processing Bob applied to the scene.
The Three Watchmen – an absolutely breathtaking piece, exquisitely composed, straight from the studio of Mike Olbinski. A lightning strike hits the ground behind three Saguaro cactus, producing a compelling and dramatic piece that is sure to take your breath away! A truly incredible piece, guaranteed to amaze everyone who pops by for a visit.
Sprinkler – can a fire sprinkler be a real source of great photography? When left in the talented hands of Steve Beal, the answer is a resounding “YES!”. Steve employs a delicious depth of focus to really bring all the details out of the sprinkler, producing a striking piece that is truly wonderful to view.
Tree of Soles – profound and poignant, this truly epic capture from Aaron Barlow shares a view of a tree adorned with abandoned shoes, creating a dramatic and compelling image that is absolutely guaranteed to delight and amaze all who visit to view. You’ve got to see this.
Antique Truck – I admit I have a true weakness for old vehicles in the realm of photography. The lines and details that can be exposed are just wonderful, and in this image by Helene Kobelnyk we have a truly great example of such. An antique truck sits in the field, creating the perfect subject full of textures and details for Helene to capture and share.
Chris Nitz – this great post by Scott Wood features an IR shot of the talented photographer Chris Nitz as he goes about his work. The photographer captures the photographer, and with the great details in the image due to the IR technique, we get a wonderful and unique glimpse into the action as it unfolds.
Early Morning Light – Mont Blanc Massif – three black and white images await the viewer in this incredible post today from the studio of LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Two of the shots are scanned film photographs, the other is a digital shot… guess which one is which!
Tidal Pool Sunrise – a really great series of images taken of local tidal pools. Incredible details and reflections are all captured in this set, producing a series that is compelling and captivating. Absolutely well worth the time to visit and view!
Le Massif de Charlevoix – Travel Poster – Edith Levy captures an iconic shot of the ski-hill and then uses this image to create a poster. The results of her masterful photograph produces an image of incredible beauty guaranteed to delight everyone.
1986 – a graffiti laden deliver truck forms the main subject in this shot from the studio of Mark Garbowski. This wonderful image shares some great colors and tones, and some really incredible artwork, albeit mobile on the side of a truck.
Capturing Lizards With A Rented Lens – this is a great wildlife shot of a lizard, and Anne McKinnell also shares some technical information of lens rentals and specifications. Our little lizard-friend here has never looked so good, as Anne masterfully captures and shares this shot with us, producing a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze.
Birds and a Boarder – a wonderful and captivating piece, straight from the studio of Aaron Barlow. This black-and-white shot is full of drama and tension, created by the masterful composition and processing used to create it.
Cloudless Sunrise over Naples – a truly stunning landscape photograph, by Adam Allegro, shares a view of Naples as the sun rises. Fabulous colors and tones await the viewer with this top drawer shot, one that is a must-see from this weeks list.
Damaged – textures and details can be an utterly intriguing part of a great image, producing elements that cause the eye to pause and take in details. In this exquisitely composed shot by Scott Hovind, we get a scene of broken windows on a building, an image that is truly most excellent and captivating.
Dancing Light – an iconic lightning shot by Chris Frailey delivers a dramatic scene to enjoy. The lightning creates incredible shapes and details in the sky, producing some truly striking colors. Well worth the time to visit and view, to say the very least.
Butterfly Detail – Costa Rica – exquisite light drapes over this scene, painting a delicate and beautiful butterfly in fabulous light. Mark Paulson captures and shares a truly spectacular wildlife photo of this butterfly, producing a piece that is just delightful!
Frozen Waterfall – photography itself is sometimes about freezing the action in a split second, to share with viewers. In this case, Mother Nature herself freezes the action in this waterfall for Kristi Hines to capture and share with us, producing a wonderful image.
Chinese Photographs Look Like Traditional Paintings – a truly delightful and incredible set of photographs, sure to amaze everyone who pops over for a viewing. Absolutely exquisite composition and processing merge in this set, creating something astounding and well worth the time to visit.
The Benefits of a First Look – top drawer wedding photographers Pat and Kate share some great insights into this genre of photography. I remember when I first saw Mrs. Toad as she came down the isle on my wedding day, and I can honestly tell you my legs almost buckled out from under me. This is a great post, guaranteed to delight everyone, and to share a great tip for this style of work.
Travel Adventures: Gasoline Alley Automobile Museum, Calgary, Canada – I love cars, especially classics and antiques. In this great slideshow post by Doug Pruden we’re taken on a virtual tour of a fabulous car museum… I could sit here for hours looking at these great shots!
Future Cameras – Is The DSLR Bound To Go The Way Of The 8-Track Player? – an interesting blog post on the future of photography. Well worth the time to visit and read.
The Russian Girl And The Rocket Factory – great photographs and a TRULY compelling story await the visitor in this fabulous post. The courage and determination that Lana Sator displayed in the act of procuring this set of photos is truly inspirational for us all, and this post highlights her great works!
Cameras Travel the World: Disposable Memory Project – what a truly interesting blog post to read and see. Cameras are sent to all corners of the world and are returned full of great images, an exercise that is both interesting and wonderful.
The Importance of a Wedding Album – the good folks over at O'Brien Photo discuss the importance and value in having a wedding album to go along with the CD’s/DVD’s of the big day. This is a well thought out and written piece, using pictures of pictures to exemplify the points. Well worth the time to pop over for a visit, even if it is just to look at the great pictures they have included.
Exploring the Royal Hospital Haslar, UK – the ultimate UrBex exploration is carefully performed and documented by a talented group of photographers/explorers. This is a truly compelling post, guaranteed to captivate the imagination of all who visit to see it.
First Images of a Living Burmese Snub-Nosed Monkey – this is astounding, a new monkey species is discovered and here we have a small set of photographs of this new monkey as captured by hidden cameras in the forest.