As another week passes us by, we find Toad Hollow Photography looking in all corners of the internet for links to tutorials, reviews, special features and great photography to share here with everyone. This week's list contains a very wide variety of subjects that cover most popular genres of photography, created by some of the finest artists and writers working in the field today. We really hope you enjoy these links as much as the Toad did in curating and bringing this list to you.
How To Use Reflectors For Better Portraiture: Part One | Part Two – a two-part feature article shows you how to use inexpensive light reflectors to create stunning portraits in daylight. The second part shares a more advanced technique using two reflectors that creates key and fill light, the same as is done using strobes during a portrait shoot.
Five Tips to Help Your Outdoor Adventure Photography Experience – this well thought out article covers many aspects of outdoor photography, with some key insights and tips that can really help you as you travel to exotic places and have terrific adventures. There are many factors to a successful session, and one of them is being able to enjoy the experience while coming away with the shots you need.
How to shoot super detailed macro photographs with the help of an Arduino and a bunch of LEDs – concepts and technology constantly evolve in the world of photography when ideas or hardware changes occur, creating new and exciting techniques that can be considered game changers for certain fields of photography. This article discusses one such concept, sharing in brief detail a very complex method of capturing incredible detail in macro photography of static objects. Links to a detailed article is included for those wishing to follow through on this interesting paradigm.
How to Get Perfect Color in Your Photography From Camera to Computer – color management is a key concept for making consistently great and professional looking photographs. This video tutorial is just over 10 minutes in length and takes us through some very insightful tips on how best to accomplish this.
This is how you light up a climber on a cliff with speedlights attached to drones – this is a very advanced concept that involves utilizing new drone technology in a way never really thought of before. The results are astonishing inasmuch as they help overcome height barriers when trying to light a subject by using a drone to hover as subjects climb a mountain.
Reviews – Comparing Noise Reduction Processes
The Ultimate Comparison of Nine Noise Reduction Methods for Night Photography – this comprehensive article compares and discusses various noise reduction processes available today. Sample images are included at every step, giving you a visual reference to the detailed and technical steps explained in this extensive piece.
From Leeds to London: portraits of English cities in the 1970s – in pictures – life in England in the 1970’s looked quite different from how it does today, and through the magic of photography we find ourselves heading back in time to check it out. This special feature shares a terrific collection of photos taken some 40 years ago, featuring terrific vignettes of life and the architecture of the region during this time.
This Photographer Placed Strobes Inside Aerobatic Planes – I’d do this in a heartbeat, without a second thought, and talk about having the best job in the world. In this special feature, photographer Dan Vojtech joins the Red Bull aerobatic flying team, the Flying Bulls, as he captured truly amazing images of these daredevils in action.
Check Out These Amazing Neon Photos Of Tokyo’s Exciting Nightlife – an amazing set of photographs featuring the bustling city of Tokyo at night is showcased in this great post. The neon colors captured with the ambient light of this vibrant city really sets off the shots, producing a series that takes on an ethereal sense.
Just Great Photography
The Bear – this post comes to us from Bob Lussier who happened upon a scene that not many nature photographers get to see; that is a grizzly bear having a nice leisurely breakfast several hundred yards away. Bob comes home from the experience with a terrific set of images that show in great detail how beautiful these animals are in their natural habitat.
Cuddly Cubs – if you love bears half as much as I do, you will be amazed at this incredible photo from Ron Niebrugge. A pair of delightful bear cubs lie together in their habitat as Ron reaches in with his telephoto to capture an image that is sure to captivate your heart.
Tribute to Thomas Alva Edison – staircases make for terrific photography subjects, creating leading lines and geometrical shapes that lead the eye when shot from a low perspective looking straight up. This shot from Jesús M. García features a terrific staircase that takes on the shape of a lightbulb, thus the title of the image.
The Path – a beautiful reflection in the still waters of the lake offset the terrific natural leading line featured in the walking path that leads into the far distance in a vanishing point, as captured and shared here by Michael Criswell. An interesting cloud formation lingers overhead while a burst effect from the sun as it crests the horizon adds a great element to this stunning image.
Chicago Nights – the city of Chicago at night pops from our screens in this terrific photograph from Ryan Millier. Ryan’s processing techniques take on a bit of nostalgic feel, adding a great element to the architectural features explored in the frame.
178 – Dave Wares creates a terrific black-and-white shot with this composition, sharing a scene of a wooden boat sitting on the shore. The shallow depth-of-focus helps to define the boat within the frame by helping it to jump out of the image against the soft backdrop of the waters it travels over on a daily basis.
EMERALD DRAGON – Beno Saradzic creates a stunning single toned panorama shot that features the city skyline of Hong Kong at night. This wide frame is composed of several shots stitched together, delivering a picture with incredible detail and feel for those who love dramatic skylines.
Smoked – CJ Schmit brings the skyline of Milwaukee into relief for us in this great shot taken during the blue hour. A fabulous cloud formation hanging overhead creates a strong point of interest in this shot, making a perfect foundation for the name that CJ has given this piece.
Marina Dreamscape – the incredible fogs found in Dubai create ethereal moods in this elevated cityscape shot captured at night. Daniel Cheong takes advantage of the feel of the night with diffused colors bleeding through the underlying fog to deliver a magical looking shot of this very dramatic city.
Lake Michigan in Monochrome – if you are a fan of the minimalistic and the abstract, you will love this set of three photos posted by Rachel Cohen. Rachel’s shots focus on the scenes found at Lake Michigan, and her thoughtful processing of the shots as black-and-whites really highlights the contrasts found in the scenes.
The Owl and the Bee – such wonderful character is to be found in this lovely shot from Simon Roy that features a small owl perched atop a wooden fence as it stands on one leg. To the right of the frame a cluster of flowers adds a dash of color, and the inquisitive viewer will also notice a tiny bee playing in the nectar.
Spirit Island – this is my favorite spot on earth, a remote spot that is not easy to access yet it reveals scenes of such beauty that they are nearly indescribable. In this picture, Len Saltiel takes us into the heart of the Rockies in Canada where we get to see Spirit Island on a lovely day.
Mr. Grumpy – once again, we find that you simply cannot beat the incredible spirit and personality that owls tend to exhibit in their natural environs. Leif Ipsen captures a terrific shot of an Eagle Owl as it stares back ever so intently at the lens, revealing the mood of this bird in a single glance.
The wonder of being – a veil of fog envelopes the Lake Bled landscape, revealing a glimpse of the ancient monastery that sits on a tiny island in the middle of the lake. Uroš Demšar’s shot has an old-world feel to it in both the natural elements that grace the setting, along with the sympathetic processing applied to create the image.
After Sunset – Vancouver Island photographer Randy Hall shares a scene that depicts what makes this island so special. Captured in the Parksville/Qualicum area of the island, this central region provides incredible shore themed shots, as showcased here in this picture taken just after sunset as the colors in the sky are still beautiful and the day fades to give way to night.
Face to Face – there is something just captivating about this image that features an old weathered car in what appears to be a rural setting in the middle of night. Alfon No’s shot looks to have been a challenge to capture, using artificial lighting to illuminate key aspects of the shot and create a strong feeling of curiosity in the viewer.
I ❤ Tracks – Rob Hanson shares a uniquely created image with this picture, using a railroad track as a natural leading line into and around the frame for the viewer. He creates a mirrored image of the main composition here that once combined, creates a picture that will make your mind jump the proverbial tracks as you explore it.
Autumn Journey – with autumn colors on display everywhere, a steam train works its way across a trestle in the distance in this mesmerizing image from Hidetoshi Kikuchi. The body of water that the trestle crosses is full of gentle ripples, creating a muted reflection of the bridge and delivering a shot reminiscent of years gone by.
Here Lies Alfred – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) takes us into an overgrown cemetery that has centuries of interesting history interned within its grounds. The picture he takes is converted to black-and-white to accent the drama and the sense of history, and his article that accompanies the shot does a great job of framing the picture in the annals of history.
“Antigua Industria” – “Old Industry” – a long abandoned industrial site forms the basis for this great shot that is full of artistic tension. Aitor de la Fuente’s photograph is composed of a water channel created by stone walls that look to be ancient in origin, delivering a picture that is sure to leave us all wondering about the history of the location.
Kayaks and Boats, Wallowa Lake, Oregon – Mark Paulson shares a shot that features a lake with a grouping of kayaks and boats in the foreground to act as an anchor into the frame. The beautiful landscape that surrounds the setting adds great context to this shot that also benefits from a lone man standing on the dock surveying the surroundings.
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.