This week has been full of great tutorials, photography and truly interesting blogs to enjoy and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy collecting links to share with everyone. The end result is this comprehensive page of great resources to visit showcasing incredible talents and posts in the exciting field of photography. We sincerely hope you enjoy the sites in this list as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/6890935137/]Shadow[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/jonathankosread/]Jonathan Kos-Read[/url], on Flickr
How to Shoot Silhouette Photography – this is a thought-provoking and very clear tutorial on how best to achieve silhouette based photography. These great tips and tricks will help everyone to achieve the exact results they are going for in this genre, and it’s an article that is truly worth the time to read.
Back To Arizona – this is a truly great post by Blake Rudis that belongs in both the Tutorials section as well as the Great Photography section in this weeks list. Blake captures and shares a few truly epic shots in this post, but he also shares some great tips and tricks for low light photography that is guaranteed to deliver some great information for how to go about performing this genre of image production.
Creating An Abstract Landscape Image – a highly detailed post takes the reader step-by-step through the process that Curt Fleenor utilized to create a really wonderful abstract piece. Each step is carefully documented with great visuals and screen captures, producing a well-rounded article that is sure to teach everyone a little about this style of imagery.
The Ultimate Do-it-yourself Small Flash Modifier – a truly top drawer tutorial piece by Doug Pruden details how to go about creating an inexpensive flash modifier to reduce the harsh effects of on-camera flash systems. The technique that Doug discusses is so simple, yet does result in some pretty dramatic changes to the images captured. This is a well-written and detailed piece, well worth the time to read.
Personal Pearls of Wisdom: Getting Over The Hump – I never cease to be amazed at what I learn by following the blog of Joe Baraban. In this great post Joe shares an image from one of his students that is really wonderful, and Joe uses this as a teaching tool for great composition by finding the courage to come out of your shell to interact with your surroundings and to get the shot that you truly want. This is a great post, one that is truly worth the time to visit.
Evolution of An HDR Image – a truly wonderful scene awaits the viewer in this great post by Shane Lund. He discusses in great detail his post-processing techniques that were used in the creation of this colorful and vibrant image, producing a post that is both entertaining as well as educational. Sample images are displayed by Shane as he discusses the steps taken, illustrating how each step brings something new into the frame being worked on.
Using Graduated Filters to Improve Your Photos – this is a comprehensive and well-written article that discusses the use of graduated filters. The ability to adjust the perceived exposure between the top and bottom half of landscape photography is a powerful mechanism to use to balance out the high and low spots of a scene. This great article goes into detail to discuss the applications and how-to’s of this apparatus.
Male Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird, Costa Rica – the details are so sharp and crisp in this amazing image, you’ll swear you can read this little birds mind! All the wonderful colors and tones are exquisitely captured of this beautiful bird, as shot and shared by Mark Paulson.
Luna…Who? – this wonderful Saw-Whet Owl is a native to Canada and is also one of the tiniest owl species to be found. Edith Levy captures and shares a series of photos of this just gorgeous little bird, really bringing to life all her character and spirit. No matter what style of photography you prefer to view, these shots are absolutely guaranteed to bring a huge smile to your face and there is no way we can express strongly enough how wonderful they really are.
Life Cycle – prepare to be absolutely blown away by this epic photograph from the studio of Barbara Youngleson. Using a completely unique composition and then post-processing the shot in black-and-white, Barbara delivers a strong and dramatic picture that is guaranteed to take your breath away and leave you wanting more. Definitely one of the highlights in this weeks’ list, this is truly a must-see shot.
Avian Friday: Snowy II – what a truly stunning and mesmerizing piece by Jay Taylor. Jay makes his way to Canada during the height of owl season to capture this absolutely incredible and highly detailed image of a Snowy Owl in it’s natural habitat. The exquisite details and perfect depth of focus used in this composition really serve to bring this gorgeous bird to life for all to enjoy.
The Fog Lifts – this is a truly breathtaking landscape piece as shot and shared by Jason Hines. The Grand Canyon after a snowfall creates the most wonderful and perfect subject matter for Jason to capture, and he does so with truly epic results. Fabulous details are all captured for everyone to enjoy, as is a strong sense of the scale of the place through his picture-perfect composition. A truly must-see shot in this weeks list!
Sheffield – Phlegm – here we have a photograph by a truly great artist of a truly great artists work. The graffiti artist by the name of Phlegm uses an abandoned hotel as a canvas, and Mark Blundell is there and ready with his camera to capture a series of great shots. Marks subtle use of HDR helps to create a strong juxtaposition with this set, by giving us a glimpse of the outside world which is thriving, through the windows of this now completely abandoned facility. These are great shots. well worth the time to visit and view.
Holga Impressions of Venice – let’s call this a wonderful mistake! Viveca Koh uses a film based Holga camera while on a trip to Venice and comes away with an epic set of images to share. A theme was captured in this set, and Viveca masterfully processes the resulting images to create a truly breathtaking series of images to view and enjoy.
Leaving Manhattan – prepare to be absolutely blow away with this breathtaking shot from the studio of Hansrico Photography. Rick uses a completely unique composition in this shot to create a stunning photograph that uses the Brooklyn Bridge as the main leading line in the shot, which naturally takes the viewers eye right to the beauty and magnificence of the Manhattan city skyline at night.
Hoi Thanh Buddhist Temple – this picture has absolutely perfect composition, which goes a long way to help the viewer enjoy this truly detailed and vivid image. Tim Stanley captures a truly spectacular shot of inside this temple in Houston, producing a breathtaking and mesmerizing piece that is sure to delight and amaze all who visit and view.
Juxtaposition in the Distance – what a wonderful picture, straight from the studio of Gareth Glynn Ash. Taken in Illinois and carefully post-processed into a black-and-white image, this highly dramatic scene delivers a strong sense of nostalgia as well as interest. Well worth the time to view, this image is one of our must-see shots in this weeks list.
Sun and Cloud: The Creative Struggle – one of our local photographers, Jordan Oram, takes us on a metaphorical journey through the use of prose and photography. This fabulous post gives us all a little insight into what it means to be an artist, and the struggles that we constantly find ourselves facing. This is a well written piece, which is punctuated by some truly gorgeous west coast photography.
War in Victoria the Legislature Opens – the pomp, ceremony and cannon-fire of the Legislature opening is captured by local photographer Joseph de Lange. In this set, we get a great and emotional series of images of this event, creating a post that is truly wonderful to visit and view.
Little things that made me smile – a wonderful piece by Sarah Ria shares a picture of a bunch of colorful and vivid flowers. The accompanying blog post is full of joy and hope; this is one of those posts that you will leave with a big smile on your face and a renewed sense of wonder and optimism.
Lonely Snow Covered Trees at the Grand Canyon – Kristi Hines captures and delivers a highly dramatic scene, full of tension and wonder. A lone tree stands in a landscape completely covered by snow, producing a striking and commanding subject against the backdrop. Kristi’s perfect composition adds so much drama to the overall scene, this is truly one of our must-see shots in this weeks list.
Autumn Night – it’s just as much about the hues and tones as it is about the strong silhouettes in the sky with this shot from North Metro Photo. An exquisite colored sky awaits the viewer in this breathtaking photograph, resulting in a strong and compelling piece, one that is sure to delight and amaze all who visit.
Fort Pickering Light – Lighthouses make for fabulous photography subject-matter, and in this case John Sotiriou really delivers a stunning example of one. The wonderful processing techniques that John has applied to this image add so much more in terms of interest and drama to the scene resulting in a truly breathtaking shot that would look great on any wall.
There Shack – Jim Denham captures and shares a truly wonderful shot of a ice fishing shack as it sits on a frozen lake. The foreground elements that Jim uses in his unique composition further add interest by taking the viewers eye straight to the main subject, in the distance. This shot is full of great details and shares some fabulous surrounding context, giving the viewer a strong sense of scale here. Absolutely wonderful.
After the Storm, Pacific Beach, California – an almost dreamy and ethereal piece, straight from the studio of Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. After the passing of a storm, Erik, his wife and guest photographer that we’ve featured here often, Jerry Denham, head out to the ocean to capture this powerful and epic piece. The strong sky and clouds further add to the compelling nature of this photograph, producing a must-see shot that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who pops by to view.
McCormick Farmall – I can’t help myself, if it’s got a tractor in it, I’m drawn to it like a fly to light. This fabulous shot as captured and shared by Chris Frailey really brings home all the character and wonderful details that make tractors such a great photography subject. This one in particular appears to be in mint shape, further adding so many details and textures to enjoy while viewing.
Skate Boarders, Mates – in the Tutorials section above, we highlight a great article on silhouettes in photography, and here Joseph de Lange captures and shares a shot that really uses this technique to draw out all the drama and tension possible in such a shot. Taken here, in my hometown, in an alley we’ve shot ourselves many times before, this highly dramatic image delivers a bit of the feel of our city and it’s character.
Barred Owl – a set of truly fabulous shots of this beautiful owl awaits the viewer in this great post from Troy Stewart. Troy has so much patience, his hikes deep into the woods with his camera by his side and then carefully spots and goes about photographing this beautiful subject. These wonderful photos are absolutely full of great details that highlight this gorgeous bird, producing a post that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Dartmoor – Underworld – seriously, I sometimes wonder if Mark Blundell even lives on the same planet that we do as he finds the most incredible subjects to photograph I have ever seen! A long abandoned pumping house is now partially filled with water, producing a scene that really does appear to be alien in nature. Mark carefully captures and processes this pair of great shots, giving the viewer a strong sense of the feel of the location as well as some truly great details and textures to take in and enjoy.
Fernwood – a local photographer takes on an iconic part of Greater Victoria area, showcasing some of the heritage and historical architecture and details of the buildings. This great blog post really showcases the unique style and character that is so readily evident in Victoria, producing a post that is sure to delight everyone who pops by for a visit.
Crystal Sunset – a truly stunning and beautiful piece by Jerry Denham captures and shares a sunset in San Diego. The pier creates the perfect leading line in this shot, guiding the viewers eye right through the frame, producing great natural points to pause for a moment to take in some of the wonderful details here.
Recycling – Jim Denham, Jerry’s brother in the link posted just above, creates a mesmerizing piece with just perfect composition. The composition is just the beginning, however, as the natural leading lines carry the viewers eye through the shot allowing you to take in and enjoy some of the rich details and textures that Jim has brought to life.
Detroit Foundry – 19 Images – what an absolutely astounding set of images taken of a foundry in Michigan, by Scott Hovind. These shots are all breathtaking, with no favorite emerging in the bunch. They are all carefully captured and processed to carry forward all the inherent drama and tension that the facility and location have to offer. A must-see set in this weeks list!
Corner Boutique – great colors and tones merge with great architectural details in this wonderful photo by Tim Stanley. The deep blue sky highlights the wonder of the buildings in this picture, producing a piece that is absolutely a wonder to take in and enjoy.
Line Of Sight – a wonderful long-exposure image from Andy Gimino really delivers all the drama and interest that can be found in the scene captured. Andy carefully uses black-and-white processing techniques to bring all the interest out of the scene, with strong leading lines to bring the viewers eyes through the frame just perfectly.
Bridge Over Quiet Waters – this has to be one of the most profound and beautiful shots of Vancouver I have ever seen, straight from the studio of Hansrico Photography! Fabulous colors and tones can be found in this skyline shot of this iconic city as night begins to set. This is a breathtaking piece, sure to delight and absolutely amaze all who visit to view.
Making a Splash at Ding Darling – this is a wonderful photo of an Egret going about it’s daily process of fishing for dinner. Anne McKinnell manages to capture a shot of this gorgeous bird in action at just the right moment, capturing both the bird in mid-fishing as well as an exquisite plume of water from it’s activities. A stunning shot that is well worth the time to visit!!
Grand Central Terminal – Lexington Passage – a wonderful black-and-white piece adorns our monitors in this wonderful shot from Mark Garbowski. Mark has recently undertaken his photography activities using a film based camera, producing some new pieces that are absolutely unique and compelling. This shot of an iconic place in NY really brings all the drama of the location to life for all to view and enjoy using a perfect composition.
Garbage Time – a sprawling waste management facility becomes the prime subject in this epic shot from the studio of Bob Lussier. As night begins to set, the natural light drapes the scene producing a compelling and dramatic piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze all who visit. Definitely a must-see shot in this weeks list!
Bold But Shy – minimalism at times can be a tough trick to pull off well, and in this case we’ve got a great shot that shows how to deliver on this genre. Eden R. Ellis really brings home all the beauty that can be found in the delicate petals of this orange flower, using a totally unique composition and post-processing style to deliver a one-of-a-kind piece guaranteed to delight all.
Portrait: My Friend Lluís (II) – this is a highly dramatic and absolutely epic black-and-white portrait shot, straight from the studio of Tomàs Rotger. The wonderful lighting employed to bring this shot to life adds so much further drama and tension to the scene, producing a piece that is without any doubt utterly mesmerizing. Well worth the time to visit and view!
Flare – the incredible sun-flare is definitely the main topic in this shot, but this is backed up by the inclusion of some truly epic shadows that bring all sorts of drama into the composition. Edin Chavez shares an image that is sure to delight the viewer upon the initial viewing, but also continues to deliver interest and drama as you spend time taking some of the finer details in at length.
Oregon Part 4: Taming Cape Arago – Lee Brown takes us on an adventure to Oregon, where he risks life and limb to put himself in position to capture the most beautiful shots of the pending sunset against the seashore. The craggy and highly active shore produces the most striking landscape scenes for Lee to carefully capture and process to share with everyone.
The Kiss Off, San Diego – this iconic statue in San Diego poses the perfect subject for this photographic assignment for Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. In participating in the event, they capture and share one of the most striking images I have ever seen of this statue, producing a piece and a blog post that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Better Days – this is an awesome shot from the studio of Jimi Jones! This old and forlorn cabin cruiser lies tied up to the dock, with the power of Mother Nature slowly working her magic to reclaim all the elements that went into the making of the boat. Truly great details and textures are all here to be found in this wonderful photograph.
Mysterious Istanbul – a truly epic post from Adam Allegro shares a few of the sights in Istanbul. This vibrant and colorful place becomes a photographers mecca, especially when the sun sets. In this case Adam really grabs a pair of images that are the perfect visual representations of life in this iconic place in the world.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6900203895/]Dawn at Woy Woy #2[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]dicktay2000[/url], on Flickr
Who Wants Seafood? – Tim Stanley captures and shares some of the most striking imagery I have seen, and in this great post he shares a shot taken of a restaurant at night. The fabulous details and incredibly vivid colors all combine to create a stunning piece, one that is well worth the time to visit and view in this weeks list.
Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf? – a pair of just gorgeous Grey Wolves are discovered and photographed by Edith Levy in this great set. The Muskoka Wildlife Centre is an interactive viewing and learning facility and Edith gets up close and personal with these awe-inspiring creatures to grab these truly wonderful photographs.
Fort Myers Beach Pier – quite honestly this has to be one of the most incredible pair of sunset photos I’ve ever seen, the colors are so rich and deep they almost jump out of the monitor at the viewer!! Anne McKinnell really captures the most breathtaking shots in this post taken during sunset in the southern states of the US. These are gorgeous images, well worth the time to visit and view.
All the Better to See You With – a truly unique and absolutely wonderful composition result in an image unlike any other in this great post by Gareth Glynn Ash. The black-and-white processing used here really takes the viewers eye through the image without any needless distractions, producing a piece that is both highly emotional and dramatic.
Bright Eyes – Scott Frederick roams the streets of Philadelphia searching for the perfect architectural piece to capture and share and comes home with this stunning image. The monochrome processing technique brings all the details to life for everyone to enjoy, resulting in a must-see image in this weeks list.
Norwegian winter morning – this fabulous shot by Kenneth Nilsen really delivers the scale and wonder of the Norwegian landscape. The epic mountain range in the backdrop creates a strong sense of scale and grandeur and the wonderful reflection in the body of water in the foreground produces a significantly strong element of interest to this image. This is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by to view, well worth the time for a visit.
Sunrise in Las Vegas – great cityscapes have the potential to really deliver strong imagery, and in this case Jim Nix is ready with his camera as the sun rises in the iconic city of Las Vegas. The incredible skyline presents a striking and commanding view of the city, complete with truly wonderful colors and tones.
Perfect Morning – great reflections have the ability to add a huge element of wonder and interest to an image, and in this case Len Saltiel captures the most beautiful reflection in the still body of water in a national park. The mountains produce a striking outline against the sky as the scale of the scene sets in as you view this epic photo. This is most certainly well worth the time to visit and view in this weeks list!
Slow Prosperity – the ability to take in our surroundings in a close-up manner really has the power to produce some incredible and striking imagery. In this wonderful post, we get 3 such images from Stéfan as he shares some profound insight with the great imagery producing a piece that is truly a must-see post!
Galata Spiral – shapes, geometry and top drawer textures are all masterfully captured and shared in this stunning architectural study by Adam Allegro. This spiral staircase in an iconic tower is perfectly composed and captured by Adam, delivering a piece that is mesmerizing and breathtaking at the same time, one that is well worth the time to pop by to see.
Morning Glory – Andy Gimino captures a sunrise shot that is so rich and full of vivid colors it’s guaranteed to take your breath away. The beautiful tones gently produce a gradient effect in this landscape composition, creating an epic shot that will absolutely delight and amaze everyone.
Sauced: Bad Taping Technique – the magical ability to combine fabulous photography with sharp wit is a key talent for Chris Nitz. I just love following his blog as the posts he shares always bring a smile to your face by combining the two incredible skills that Chris so wonderfully possesses. This post is a great example of such, by combining carefully staged Lego props and a touch of personification, we get an absolutely special and unique piece to view and enjoy.
Power – split second motion is rendered still in this truly incredible shot from the studio of John Sotiriou. The Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, NY presents John the perfect subject matter and in this awesome photograph John stops time in it’s tracks for everyone to enjoy the rich details that can be found in the power of a horse as it races around the track.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6908985303/]img117[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]efanphotography v2[/url], on Flickr
Linzee’s Window – wonderful colors and tones are all so strongly evident in this great shot of a piece of stained glass in a church in Maine. Rob Hanson carefully captures a wide set of brackets to capture all the dynamic range in this epic HDR image, producing a piece that is guaranteed to take the breath away from everyone who pops by to view.
Ebenezer Bridge – rich details and architectural character are all eloquently captured in this series of images from the studio of Mark Summerfield. These covered bridges are a rare sight, and they produce the most amazing subjects for photography. In this post, Mark grabs a series of great compositions of this particular bridge, bringing all the details and beauty of it to life for everyone to enjoy.
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) – Benjamin Madison is a local photographer who posts a new shot taken in Victoria, my hometown, every day. In this great picture we get a shot of a group of Harlequin Ducks as they try to evade Benjamin as he goes about capturing this incredible shot. Great details in the birds all bring this shot to life, producing a must-see piece in this weeks list.
Little House at Rocky Neck – a rundown cottage presents the perfect opportunity for the master photographer Bob Lussier to capture and share a wonderful photograph. Perfect composition combine with wonderful colors and tones in this shot to really bring out all the incredible wonder inherent in the scene. This is truly a top drawer image, one that is well worth the time to visit and view.
And then the storm was over – a set of truly spectacular HDR shots of the Norwegian landscape, after a storm. The first two images, in particular, are absolutely breathtaking here, capturing and the drama and intensity of a brooding sky and a rolling landscape. Kenneth Nilsen also masterfully captures some great shadows as cast by the trees, producing further interest and drama to the pictures.
Classical architecture – I share the love of architecture that Jim Nix talks about in this post, and in this case we’ve got a stunning example. Centennial Park hosts a full size replica of the Parthenon in Greece and Jim masterfully captures and processes a shot that delivers all the wonderful details in the scene, as well as some fabulous context to really help the viewer get a strong sense of the scale involved here. Well worth the time to visit and view!
Thor’s Hammer – an absolutely perfectly composed shot from the studio of Jason Hines delivers a truly epic landscape scene. This natural wonder as discovered in Bryce Canyon is truly an amazing thing to see, and in this case Jason shares a strong and dramatic piece that contains all the key elements needed to create a compelling photograph.
Escaping the Surf – what a wonderful landscape scene as captured by Jerry Denham. So many elements combine in this image to create and deliver something absolutely unique and mesmerizing. Fabulous tones, great natural leading lines and truly intriguing reflections all await the viewer in this top drawer image, making it one of our must-see shots in this weeks list.
Silent Shadows – Jerry’s brother, Jim Denham, photographs a truly breathtaking scene taken looking into a cemetery. Jim discusses his love for shadows, which is something I find compelling as well, in this wonderful post. And indeed, the incredible long shadows are beyond description, adding so much interest and detail to the scene.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/llum66/6905675591/]Buscant …….[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/llum66/]Llum66 (… buscant)[/url], on Flickr
Skinny Dipping – textures, details, colors and fabulous elements of interest all intersect in this stellar image from the studio of Scott Frederick. An abandoned swimming pool creates the perfect subject matter, and even though Scott’s visit was cut short he came away with this amazing image. Well worth the time to visit and view!
Photographer of the Month – February 2012 – the publication Talk Urbex shares a series of images from the talented photographer David Smith (aka Wiffsmiff23) as well as a few truly interesting quotes. The photography in this article is truly breathtaking with absolutely perfect compositions, creating a compelling set that is sure to delight everyone who pops by for a view.
HDR Collaboration: Little Things – a wonderful collaboration of HDR specialists takes a series of brackets from Bob Lussier and each apply their own vision in the post-processing phase. The results are both astounding and fun. This is a truly great post, which showcases how the same image as seen by varying artists can truly result in some unique and spectacular pieces.
Intricate Building Sculptures in the Bonsai Style – a truly epic series of pictures highlighting the great works of Japanese miniature artist Takanori Aiba. These fabulous shots of his work are sure to delight and amaze everyone. The amount of effort, care and detail that has gone into producing these has to be astonishing.
Pinterest, Or Not to Pinterest…That is the Question – the latest online social media site produces just as many questions as answers for many who have not embraced this medium yet. Dakota Visions Photography goes into pretty great detail discussing the pros, cons and how-to’s on this new system. Definitely well worth the time if this is something of interest to you.
10 Questions with…Jeff Clow – a fabulous interview with renowned photographer Jeff Clow gives us all some truly great insight into what it takes to go pro in this field. Jim Nix conducts a great interview here, asking all the questions that we would want to ask of Jeff and the answers are all informative and interesting. This is one of our must-see blog posts in this weeks list!
Kalahari 47°: The Heat of Africa on Oven Toasted Prints – we get a truly breathtaking set of images here as captured by photojournalist Anton Crone and published by Visual News. This really great series takes us on a journey to one of the driest and hottest places on earth giving us a true view of life here. This is an epic series that both entertains and educates at the same time, well worth the time to visit and read.
Tabletop Product Photography in examples – Alex Koloskov releases a new ebook that goes into detail describing how to perform wonderful product based photography. Alex shares the details that went into the lighting with each shot included in the book, producing a piece that is sure to teach everyone some truly epic tips and tricks on how to participate in this style of image creation.
Overtaken By Nature: Decaying Cars From the Past – I love everything related to cars. Old cars are even better. Old cars decaying in natural environments that exhibit some of the most amazing colors, textures and details? It’s a cornucopia of photography! This is a truly stunning series of images that is guaranteed to engage all who visit, making this a must-see post in this weeks list.
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.