It has been another incredible week in the world of photography, and here we find Toad Hollow Photography looking all over for links to tutorials, special features and great photography to showcase here. This is yet another list with a wide variety of topics and subjects covered, with something here for everyone. We truly hope you enjoy checking out these sites as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Photography In-Camera DIY: Learn To Set A Custom White Balance – getting your white balance correct can be crucial to a great image, and this article posted here on Light Stalking talks about why and how to go about controlling this aspect of your photography. Sample images are included that illustrate the concept, adding a great element to the article.
How To Photograph Birds – Anne McKinnell shares a well written article that covers all the key aspects of photographing birds, whether they are sitting still or are in mid-flight on their way to their next meal or adventure. Anne’s terrific insights are sure to give you great ideas and concepts that will translate into the results you achieve in the field.
How to photograph under moonlight and calculate long exposure times – this article features a video presentation that is almost 9 minutes in length and covers some great tips and tricks for setting your exposure properly when shooting in the dead of night. The behind-the-scenes aspect of the attached video adds context, allowing you to see the photographer in action as the shoot unfolds.
Adobe’s new “Guided Upright” tool makes distortion correction a breeze – the power and featureset inside of Lightroom and Camera RAW continues to grow in amazing ways, and this article discusses a new tool that will help you straighten out elements in your composition. This short video presentation takes you through the quick steps needed to apply the Guided Upright tool, and shows you two images and the end results from doing so.
How to remove Wrinkles using Photoshop – this brief article covers a topic of interest for those who shoot portraits, that is how to reduce the effect of wrinkles in skin texture. The total removal of wrinkles can result in an image that is obviously retouched, and this article gives you a couple of approaches you can use to subtly apply this technique and yet still produce realistic looking results.
SPECIAL FEATURES IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD
Ten Must See Photography Documentaries and Their Trailers – finding inspiration can be a daunting task, and when it comes to photography one of the best ways to do this is to take a look at another photographer and their body of work. This list features 10 documentaries that cover a wide variety of subject and style, revealing exactly why photography is such an interesting venture that can be personally fulfilling.
A surreal look at lightning captured at 7,000 frames per second – lightning is something that many photographers try to capture over the course of their lifetime. In this post we get to check out a brief video that shows us nature in all its fury as lightning traverses downward towards earth, striking it with a light explosion you’ve likely never seen before.
EXAMPLES OF GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY
Brooklyn Cove Panorama – Edward Reese shares a stunning panoramic formatted shot that showcases the incredible skyline of Manhattan in the distance. Edward’s shot is framed by the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges on either side of the image, creating perfect natural leading lines into the heart of the city that never sleeps.
SGang Gwaay III – Vancouver Island based photographer ehpem shares a terrific shot that is so quintessentially west coast of Canada in this post, taking us up to the northern regions of BC on the coast to visit the Gwaii Haanas. A stone lined path leads the viewer into the frame where a delightful series of discoveries awaits, each one telling it’s own story of life in these remote places.
Man and Nature – sitting amongst a patch of incredible icebergs in the Antarctic, a cruise ship sits moored as the adventurers aboard enjoy the epic scenery. This highly detailed shot comes to us from Jason Row, a regular contributing author right here on Light Stalking.
Hard Times – Colfax, Washington – my personal love for barns as photography subjects comes to life in this wonderful photograph from Len Saltiel. This shot features a barn in poor state of repair, with wonderful textures and details that play into the feeling you get when viewing this old storied building.
It Was a Very Good Summer For… – Lisa Gordon shares a series of macro shots of her lavender plants, showing off the gorgeous details that can only be produced by nature. The wonderful purple colors from the flowers are accented by the shallow depth-of-focus that Lisa used to isolate the subjects from the backdrop, adding a perfect element to the compositions.
Over the Bridge – a low perspective is utilized in this composition that finds the viewer following a ribbon of roadway into a terrific vanishing point. Sandra Sachsenhauser’s takes this shot and then processes it in black-and-white to accent the raw drama of the scene, and a carefully applied series of processing techniques manipulates the backdrop in a highly sympathetic manner.
Tel Aviv Beach Promenade – Edith Levy shares a truly colorful and detailed shot, one that looks like it sprang forth from a postcard. The promenade in Tel Aviv is buzzing with activity in the daytime, and Edith’s wonderful composition showcases great features and details for those who spend time moving around the frame visually.
Toward the life – a wonderful young birdling makes its way across the frame in this bright and vibrant shot from Stefano Ronchi. Razor sharp details bring out the terrific character of this tiny creature, and the shallow depth-of-focus does a perfect job of isolating it from its complementary backdrop here.
Matterhorn East Face – you’d have to be a newcomer to our humble planet Earth to not know of the Matterhorn, yet in this pair of shots Andy Hooker (LensScaper) shares a distinct set of perspectives that show off it’s natural beauty and drama. When you stop to ponder it, the sheer scale of this peak is hard to comprehend, and Andy’s shots do a great job of trying to translate that visually for us all.
Vortex – geometry and textures pop to life in this great black-and-white shot from the studio of Carlos Vazquez. This composition takes advantage of an upward looking composition to capture great leading lines in a staircase, and then is processed as a black-and-white to fully bring out the great drama.
Sugar Hill Revisited – Bob Lussier shares a wonderful pair of shots from the same location, each with its own merits and strengths. For my eye, I prefer the one he leads with in this post as it strongly resembles an abstract piece with lovely blue layers of mountain ridges that add scale and depth.
I See You Too – this shot is guaranteed to make you stop in your tracks as you take in the rich details of this gorgeous owl in flight. Faisal ALnomas takes advantage of how the bird is looking straight at the camera as it’s wings pound through the air to capture an instant of time that is purely magical.
1 2 3 4 – decay and natural patina are wonderful elements to discover and capture in photography, often leaving so much of a story left untold as the picture itself presents rich artistic tension. This shot from Michael Criswell is a terrific example of this, featuring what remains of an old church organ left forgotten for many years.
colors and reflection – incredible stonework forms the foundation for a bridge in this shot that features terrific natural leading lines to guide the viewer. Fabrice Bisignano’s capture also shows off the vibrant colors that comprise the scene’s lighting, taking you into the distance where fabulous architecture sits under a dramatic sky.
Shoreline Reflection, Minnesota – for those who are fans of nature’s palette, this shot is one you will not want to miss in this week's list. Mark Paulson shares a rich shot that focuses on the mostly still waters of a lake with incredible colors draping over the frame from the sun as it hides behind the delicate clouds on the horizon.
Through the dirt – capturing the essence of speed in a still frame is no easy feat, and in this shot we get to see great example of how that is done well. Red Bull Photography’s image captures a rally car as it forces its way through a mud bowl, spraying mud and dirt everywhere yet still maintaining incredible clarity in the body of the car.
Try The Front Door – Brad Truxell shares a shot he captured a few years back while exploring abandoned locations in the city of Pittsburgh, the place he calls home. This shot features the inside of an old church that is suffering from the effects of being neglected and forgotten for many years.
Hawes1 – this slightly moody shot from the studio of Barry Turner reveals a glimpse into a town in the UK that is rich with history and character. Barry composes this great picture to use the fast running river that runs through the heart of the town as a natural leading line, taking advantage of the great vanishing point it creates and guiding the viewer into the picture to enjoy the finer details.
Alone with the ocean – you have to love this shot from Frank King, exploring the rugged coastline of Canada as the sun begins to rise painting the sky in lovely pastel colors. The foreground of this gem finds us exploring the beach, with logs creating perfect leading lines out into the vast beyond.
Spirit Island – the world-famous Spirit Island on Maligne Lake in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains pops to life on our monitors in this breathtaking image by Michele Marrucci. One of the most photographed features in the park, this tiny island exhibits wonderful natural artistic tension as it sits surrounded by some of the most dramatic mountain scenes to be found anywhere.
In Desolation – deep shadows play with the rich contrasts accented in this black-and-white urbex themed exploration from CJ Schmit. Very little of this old and tired structure remains in decent shape, and CJ does a fabulous job of bringing out all the inherent tension contained within what remains of the walls.
Choose your own path – Matteo Abbondanza shares a striking black-and-white photograph here that features strong lines along with terrific artistic tension. This high perspective shot finds us enjoying a section of roadway with painted lines with people walking in various directions exhibiting terrific shadows for a dash of drama.
Canon at Brooklyn 5th Infantry memorial, Manassas Battlefield – this haunting shot comes to us from Perry Bailey, featuring an old civil war era cannon sitting in a field as the sun sets in the far distance. The lovely colors in the sky from the sunset creates perfect lighting conditions that naturally accent the weapon which hasn’t seen active combat in so many years.
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.