With another week passing us by, we find Toad Hollow Photography searching all over the internet for links to interesting tutorials, special features and great photography to share here on Light Stalking with everyone.
As usual, this week's list contains a large variety of different subjects with something here sure to interest everyone who loves photography. We really hope you enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the articles published by some of the leading artists and writers in the field today in this list that was curated by the Toad himself.
AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIALS
Get Sharp Images Now – Use Your Camera’s Focusing Tools – Jason Row takes us through the streets of focus tools that are found in many of our modern digital cameras. Various techniques and features are covered in this piece, giving you everything you need to ensure you are capturing the sharpest images possible.
Snowdonia: an inspiring video that will help take your photography to the next level – Sean Tucker takes us on an exploration that is equal parts learning and equal parts inspiration in this video presentation that is just over 16 minutes in length. As we follow Sean on his adventure, we learn that learning is the key to staying motivated and excited about the craft of photography, and through it all we also see some of Sean’s finished pieces that express all this visually.
‘National Geographic Style’ Lighting Tips from a World-Class Photographer – check out this video tutorial, just over 10 minutes in length, that features a terrific interview with award-winning photographer Bob Holmes. Bob shares some of his insights into how to photograph, focusing on light management techniques that are easy to follow yet deliver a lot of punch for the final product.
Creating a Soft Window Light for Food Photography – Dylan Goldby shares a simple technique that produces a powerful lighting punch that is predictable and perfect for food photography subjects. The sample shots included in this article illustrate the efficacy of this technique, and will give you ideas on how to translate the concept into your own practice.
Lighting direction as a tool: Popping vs blending your subject within a scene – a very brief post discusses the concept of blending versus popping a subject out of a scene, all dependant on natural ambient light direction in conjunction with strobe lighting. This short article is a great starting point to help you make conscious decisions about light placement in terms of the expected end results.
The Grizzly Bears of Glendale Cove – join us here at Toad Hollow as we share the latest post from our whirlwind trip to the northern end of Vancouver Island in June this year. To celebrate my 50th birthday, my wife took me on a bear watching expedition that found us deep in the remote regions of the west coast of Canada where we were lucky enough to spend the day observing and photographing the incredible beautiful Grizzly Bears that inhabit the cove.
This photographer uses photo stacking techniques and a microscope to show the iridescent beauty of peacock feathers – this article and special feature takes macro photography to a whole new level, outlining the processes required to shoot with a microscope for the truly miniscule subject. The shots in this feature showcase the iridescent beauty of peacock feathers, undoubtedly shown in a way that you aren’t likely to have seen before.
Food Photography: It Is Not Just About the Food – food themed photography has a wide range of appeal, transcending the other forms of photography and creating an undeniable overlap that appeals to a wide spectrum of people. This article shares some insights from a world renowned food photographer and showcases some truly epic food shots that are guaranteed to leave your mouth watering.
JUST GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY
Classic Shanghai – Jennifer Bin creates a nighttime cityscape shot of the wonderful city of Shanghai, delivering a piece that takes on a cinematographic look with the dominant hues of the picture. The dramatic architecture finds perfect accentuation with this style, creating a piece that is dynamic and dramatic at the same time.
Thomas A Moulton Barn – Bob Lussier visits what is widely believed to be the most photographed barn in the United States, in his case photographing the barn in the early morning and then processing the shot as a black-and-white piece. The incredibly beautiful mountains that hang in the backdrop add to to overall impression the image creates, making for a fabulous rendition of this famous location.
Sunset on the Défense at Paris – Frédéric MONIN takes an elevated perspective of this old city, showcasing its inherent beauty and romance with gorgeous warm light enveloping the metropolis below. The great details in this shot highlight the natural beauty of the heritage architecture that makes this a must-visit destination for everyone.
Night Shadows – Stone Mill, Lawrence, Massachusetts – this moody shot comes to us from Len Saltiel who visits an unused historic mill and captures a dramatic shot on one of the floors during nighttime. The orange glow from the ambient light outside casts delicious shadows on the floor, adding a terrific element to this compelling composition.
Moon over the Cosmopolitan and Paris Las Vegas – the wonder and excitement of Las Vegas comes alive on our screens in this great photograph from Evan Gearing. This shot was captured in the heart of the night while the city bustled with activity as the stars slowly rotated high above, finished off with the artistic tension found in a full moon lingering overhead.
welcome to the lake – Frank King shares a wonderful landscape piece that showcases the rugged natural beauty of Alberta. A still lake in the foreground creates a muted reflection that also casts rich blue hues across the frame, adding to the feel of solitude created in this shot.
The Two Towers – Alexander Riek’s photograph showcases the wonderful spirit and personality of old European communities, sharing a scene full of medieval architecture and stone cobbled streets. The light from the city twinkles as mood and character exude from every street, punctuated delicately by a vanishing point that leads the viewer through the picture.
Raven’s Watch – Michael Criswell captures a very dramatic shot that features a raven perched on a sign overlooking it’s kingdom below. In the backdrop, the rugged mountains add drama to the backdrop, all brought together with the great job in processing this as a black-and-white that Michael did.
Point Reyes, CA – what appears to be the remnants of an old wooden fishing boat lies on its side on the shallow waters of the shore as time marches on all around it changing the scene slowly through the process of natural decay. This dramatic shot from Griffin Lamb highlights natural tension, expressed in the untold stories of this once active ship that now is a footnote in the manuscript of time.
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge – Michael Glover shares a great black-and-white shot of an amazing architectural feature in the landscape, a bridge span that sits 145 feet tall. The moody clouds overhead find harmony with the natural distortion a fisheye lens brings to bear on a composition like this, making for a shot with great leading lines.
Nagoya, Japan – repeating patterns and geometry find expression in this piece that uses a steel staircase to create an abstract image. Takashi Yasui’s terrific composition finds harmony in the post-production style applied to the shot, finishing it off by accenting the raw nature of the overall frame.
The painted church of Serbin – a pair of shots is shared in this post by Jim Nix that takes us inside a very beautifully adorned church in Texas. The vibrant colors used in the interior design add so much to the overall feel, and creates the perfect tapestry to capture in photography.
The last lighthouse ( c.v. ) – Carlos Vazquez shares a wonderful photograph of a lone lighthouse sitting on the shore, surrounded by a rugged coastline and enveloped in rich purple hues from the sky. The long exposure technique used for this shot turns the roiling waters into a silky smooth texture, accenting the overall feel and mood of the shot.
Jackson Point Overlook – Mark Garbowski’s shot features a beautiful landscape that finds inherent beauty in the contrasts explored in the frame. A blue lake sits in the middle of the shot, and in the backdrop we find snow-capped peaks that add a rugged and natural feel to the composition as a whole.
Macau, China – Alen Palander captures an upward looking shot that uses a building structure to create a compelling frame into the sky and the great beyond. At first glance, this shot takes on a strong abstract feel to it, but upon a deeper look the viewer starts to see details that subtly affect the overall balance, adding a great element to the photograph.
Redbud Lake Long Exposure – this extremely moody piece is captured and shared here by Jim Denham who visits a very still lake in the morning as the mist from humidity still lingers over the water. In the foreground, a drain apparatus adds a great element, as does the monochromatic processing Jim applied to the shot to create the overall feel of the shot.
Zhangjiajie Hallelujah Mountains – the scale of this landscape piece at first eludes the viewer, but a closer look reveals trees that speak to the height of the rock formations that create this unusual looking mountain range. Aaron Choi’s terrific shot here showcases the natural beauty of this region in China, a location that was apparently used in filming the movie Avatar.
Sunset Harvest – as a warm and vibrant sunset creeps down the horizon line, casting orange glors across the landscape, a collection of hay bales sits in the foreground to add an anchor to the composition in this shot from Barry Turner. This balanced shot was captured in a panoramic format to add to the sense of scale, adding a perfect touch to the overall setting.
Owl – an owl stares intently at the lens as it flies by in this dramatic and moving shot from Stefano Ronchi. Stefano’s composition is perfect in terms of capturing the spirit and personality in the bird, forever frozen in a still frame.
Break Through – CJ Schmit combines elements of intense industrial with raw art in this urbex themed shot that appears to be taken inside an abandoned factory of sorts. The incredibly colorful and detailed graffiti left by artists on the crumbling walls adds a perfect touch of artistic tension in a space that looks as if it has been years since it was last active.
Urban Monochrome – this shot is an extremely dramatic and dynamic piece, showing off the great city skyline of Dubai in great detail within a monochromatic color palette. The crisp details find ultimate harmony with the motion found in the clouds flowing overhead, adding to the overall sense of dramatic tension.
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.