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This week's list of links is hand curated by Toad Hollow Photography and features links to tutorials, special features and great photography. The articles and photographs highlighted here are collected from posts made by some of the finest artists and writers working in the field today, and we truly hope you enjoy checking out these sites and images as much as the Toad did himself in bringing you this list.
Street Photography Rule: Foreground Interest And When to Use it – this great and detailed article is written by Federico Alegria and hosted here on Light Stalking, covering an in-depth look at how and when to use compositional elements that add foreground interest to your pictures. Sample shots are included as you follow the key precepts along, adding visual illustration to the concepts and showing you how to apply them.
Useful Tips for Combining Flash and Ambient Light – combining ambient and flash lighting can produce very dramatic results, and when done well will create natural looking shots that are full of details and depth without looking overdone. This video tutorial is just over 5 minutes long and it gives us all a behind-the-scenes look at how to accomplish this.
5 Easy Methods for Adding Realistic Film Grain to your Digital Photos – I had no idea there were this many different approaches to adding grain to digital photographs to emulate the look and feel of film. This article covers 5 methods, and includes great shots that illustrate the techniques and show you how to pick the one that works best for you.
How to Make a Retro 80s Composite Portrait – this detailed and technical tutorial takes you through all the key steps in creating an 80’s themed composite image. The concepts discussed can be transferred to any composite image where a green screen is an option for backdrop, showing you in great detail how to achieve this look and effect.
How to Batch Download Facebook Photos? 4 Free Tools That Still Work in 2016 – Jessica Carrell shares 4 different software tools here that allow you to download your photographs from Facebook with ease. Each tool is covered in good depth in this article, allowing you to select the best tool for the job you have in mind.
This is What Different Light Modifiers Do for Studio Portraits – with such a wide range of choices available, it can be difficult to find the ideal light modifier for your particular application. This article covers all the basic types and includes samples shots to show you the effects they all create in the finished product.
OUR SPECIAL FEATURES THIS WEEK
Breathtaking Bird Photos: The Winners of the Audubon Photo Contest – check out this year's winning batch of bird photos for the annual Audubon photography contest. These shots are all truly amazing with each one standing out on it’s own, and when viewed together as a collection they tell a story of nature that is sure to delight and amaze everyone.
Moulton Barn at Sunrise – the Moulton Barn sits under the watchful gaze of the Teton Mountains, and is widely believed to be the most photographed barn in the United States. Matt Anderson’s terrific shot of this landmark finds us joining him at sunrise as golden light dances across the facade of this old and weathered structure, creating an image reminiscent of the old masters.
What Went Wrong? – the Palouse region of the United States is full of great photography opportunities, showing off incredible abstract landscapes and features that are found nowhere else. In this great shot from Len Saltiel we find an abandoned home in the middle of a field that is full of questions regarding how and when this home got into this state.
Sink – this incredible black-and-white shot is shared here by Ivan Lee, featuring an old wooden boat lying upon its side in shallow waters, long forgotten and forlorn as the ravages of time and weather slowly create decay on the remaining skeleton. A terrific series of light beams peer into the frame from between the moody clouds above, adding a perfect feel to this shot that is full of rich artistic tension.
There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless – Emil delivers a truly striking shot that features the skyline of New York City at nighttime. Incredible crisp details find harmony with the vibrant colors of the lights of the buildings, creating a strong dynamic feel within a still frame.
Maligne Lake – the magnificent beauty found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains graces our screens in this gorgeous landscape shot by Chris Burkard. Snow-capped peaks dot the horizon, adding a terrific sense of scale and depth, accented perfectly by the kayaker in the foreground.
K’uuna Llnagaay – the incredible Haida Gwaii region on the west coast of Canada is full of history that dates back thousands upon thousands of years, revealing landscapes and details observed and enjoyed by the native population for time immemorial. This terrific black-and-white photograph by Ehpem reveals a scene of an old mortuary pole surrounded by the thick forests of the area, showing us all why this area is considered to be one of the most incredible and beautiful spots on the planet.
Aria at City Center at Night – dramatic architecture found at the contemporary Aria Hotel in Las Vegas creates strong geometric lines that guide the viewer into the frame in this shot from Evan Gearing. In some ways this shot takes on a strongly abstract feel to it with the repeating patterns created by the striking facility, making for a shot that is just as much an architectural study as it is a piece of art.
It Still Feels Like Summer – Rachel Cohen’s summer visit to Lake Superior Provincial Park, in Ontario, Canada has her coming away with a great set of shots that she shares here with us all. Rachel focuses her attention on two key features of the park, the rugged coastline and the incredibly beautiful falls that grace the landscape.
Classic Colours of Italy – pastel hues of the homes perched on the cliffs of Italy pop to life in this wonderful image from Albert Dros. Incredible colors in the blue sky add to the overall feel of the shot, delivering a piece that resembles a delightful painting from one of the masters from years gone by.
Shelf near San Manuel – storm chaser Mike Olbinski finds an epicly dramatic storm in the heart of the United States and captures a stunning shot of a brooding cloud formation. The juxtaposition of the raw drama and energy in the storm itself finds harmony with the landscape below which forms an anchor in the frame.
Kobe, Japan – this shot takes on a cinematic feel as strong contrasts and carefully managed tones are exhibited. Takashi Yasui’s shot takes advantage of the dramatic setting found in this world-class city, delivering a piece that showcases the incredible architecture alongside the sense of life in this city that never sleeps.
Kanaka Bay – Vancouver Island based photographer Randy Hall finds himself in a marina as the early light of the morning graces itself upon the anchored boats below. The still waters found at this time of day create a mercury looking reflection, accenting the tall masts and features of the ships that soon will head out to soon on an adventurous day.
Night sky over the King of Wings – the badlands of Northern New Mexico form a very unique landscape with a giant hoodoo rock formation forming the anchor for the setting. Christopher Wray captures this wonderful in the heart of night as stars dance high above, creating a celestial feeling shot that reveals how small we truly are within the universe that we live in.
Marble Plains Baptist Church – Michael Glover is out and about exploring the region he lives in when he comes across this incredible church. Michael’s HDR shot brings out all the texture and details found in this place of worship, perfectly highlighted by the golden light that drapes the entire scene with warm tones.
The Boat – the untold tale of a rusty ship is presented in this great photograph by Panos Laoudikos that is the true epitome of artistic tension in imagery. Great textures from years of being forgotten pop out of our monitors, leaving the viewer with many unanswered questions pertaining to the mystery of how this ship got here at this stage in it’s life.
Back to School – it’s that time of year once again, the time when the younger generations head back to school to start a new year of learning. This post comes to us from Michael Criswell who visits an abandoned school and comes away with a terrific pair of Urbex themed shots that showcase the natural patina found from years of weathering and neglect in what once was an active building in the community.
King of the forest – MARC PHOTOSPOT shares a stunning shot of a great lynx cat sitting perched atop a moss covered rock in Bavaria in this image. The perfect composition used here really brings out all the character and personality of this incredible cat, revealing a side to it that most people don’t have the opportunity to see.
American Bison – Bob Lussier shares a trio of awesome black-and-white shots showcasing the raw beauty of the American Bison roaming the plains they inhabit. One of the shots features a terrific reflection as this graceful creature takes a drink, creating an instant classic that is sure to be enjoyed by nature photography enthusiasts.
The Sun on the Horizon – a contemporary bridge in Portugal creates a perfect anchor subject for this brightly colored shot that takes advantage of a vibrantly colored sun on the horizon. The bridge forms a great natural leading line into this shot, captured and shared here by Ricardo Bahuto Felix.
Drama or Picture perfect? – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) explores the world-renowned Matterhorn mountains in this post, featuring shots of the peak in both bright blue, clear conditions, alongside a moodier and more dramatic look that features the mountain skirted by dramatic clouds.
Falls of Rivendell – Max Foster (TheWorldExplored) performs a complex post-production technique upon this shot of the world-famous Multnomah Falls in the northwest region of the United States. The effect of the image creates a magical feel for the viewer, transporting you instantly to another world where anything is possible.
A little bit from Oregon – Jim Nix shares three incredible photographs from the state of Oregon in this post, showcasing the raw natural beauty that draws people from far and wide to visit in person. These differing perspectives of the region really exhibit the vast types of landscapes you can expect to see when visiting here, delivering picture-perfect postcard shots that all landscape enthusiasts will enjoy.
Tennessee River and Spring Creek – this shot comes to us from Jim Denham who awakes at the literal crack of dawn to head out with the hopes of capturing the essence of the morning while overlooking a beautiful landscape. Jim’s shot takes advantage of the natural blue palette that emerges as the light begins to make it’s presence known, sharing a glimpse of the area that leaves the viewer with a distinct feeling of peace and tranquility.