Photographers! I don't know about you, but I really love this time of the week, when indulging in a world of pure photography is an absolute guilt-free pleasure.
So, please join us once again as we explore the best the world of photography has to offer in this week's list of photography links hand-curated by Toad Hollow Photography.
In this fantastic compendium, we find a selection of tutorials, special features and great photography to enjoy for photography enthusiasts of all types. We truly hope you enjoy this list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you. Let's cut straight to it.
Tutorials for Photographers
A Quick Guide to Fill In Flash – Great Tips to Help You Out – the technique described in this brief yet instructive article is a great way to combat dynamic range issues, and a great way to highlight your subject in low-light or backlit situations. This article is a quick read and quite easy to follow, and should give you a great new tool to add to your photography that can open a whole new world of opportunity.
10 Great Lighting Effects With One Softbox – this is a great primer post that discusses several different ways you can use one softbox in your photography practice to achieve a myriad of different looks. Sample shots are included to illustrate the key points, giving you instant visual feedback on what you can expect with your own shots.
Lighting Basics: How to Light Portraits with an Umbrella – umbrellas are inexpensive and easy-to-use light modifiers with unlimited potential in terms of how you apply them. Many different lighting looks are capable of being generated by an umbrella, and many photographers like to ensure they have one readily available at all times in their kits. This article covers this topic and also includes some great sample shots.
Correct Ways of Shooting with a Smartphone – even though this article is brief and light on details, it does cover some important basic principles when using your cell phone as your camera. Knowing the power and limitations of your camera is an important first step to being able to fully leverage the power you have right in your pocket.
Lighting Basics: How to Light Portraits with a Beauty Dish – beauty dishes are another type of light modifier than can give you different results, especially in the realm of portraiture. This article gives you some great tips and clues on how and why to use them, and also includes some great sample shots to show you results.
Exploring Rim Light Gels With The Slanted Lens – this is a super fun 4 minute video presentation that shows you very quickly how to select and use a gel for your rim lighting in conjunction with a haze machine to create great ambience in your photography. We watch as several colors are auditioned in the shoot, and how each color affects the overall feel, with the end result of the one color selected and how it completely alters the setting.
Photography Special Features
New Close-Up Image of Jupiter's South Pole is Mind-Blowingly Beautiful – NASA does it once again, sharing photographs of planets that are far away with breathtaking detail. This set of shots is very recent, from the Juno spacecraft as it circles Jupiter on a mission to learn as much as possible and to send back incredible shots of this planet not seen before.
Two Days in Shanghai, China – Anne McKinnell brings us along on a delightful adventure, exploring some of the features of one of the most amazing cities on earth, Shanghai in China. This special feature shows us some of the icons and landmarks of the city, sure to inspire everyone to head out on their own exploration in a city that exhibits a never-ending supply of must-see destinations.
15 Photos of Abandoned Bedrooms I Found While Exploring – there is no escaping the artistic tension that can be found in abandoned buildings, particularly bedrooms where people spent a portion of their lives in a private place. This special feature shares a selection of bedrooms from different locations, each telling a story at the same time that they leave us with so many unanswered questions that are sure to haunt your very soul.
Watch Light Wash Over a Portrait Subject Nanosecond by Nanosecond – if you have ever wondered what light looks like as it washes over a subject, this post is sure to please. Using special equipment and techniques, we get to see how the physics of light works by breaking it down into extremely tiny time sequences and then stitched back together in a timelapse type format for easy viewing.
Great Photography Links
Crazy doorway at the green door tavern – Evan Gearing captures a great shot, one that is full of character in the form of details that are found everywhere in the frame. This picture features the inside of a terrific bar, with special attention focused on the odd shape of the door that leads into the establishment, leaving us all wondering how that could possibly work.
Morning near the church – beautiful golden light graces the landscape as we take in a terrific church sitting under the watchful gaze of a rugged mountain range in the backdrop. Daniel Řeřicha’s composition reveals the character of the region by showcasing the incredible architecture that is unique to the area.
Die To Live – the disarray found inside an old and weathered abandoned church takes on it’s own personality in this dramatic shot from Michael Criswell captured during an Urbex session. Patina and decay form their own beauty as the ravages of time take effect on what once was a center of fellowship and prayer, creating a scene full of rich dichotomies.
Golden Stag Night – a silhouette of a stag standing in a field under a thick veil of fog shares an ethereal image full of artistic tension. Mark Bridger’s shot focuses on a limited color palette, adding to the overall drama and feel of the setting that draws the viewer in.
Somewhere in Utah – classic landscape scenes found in the heart of the United States often evoke memories of trips and pictures we’ve seen in the past at some point, as shown in this great shot from Robert Lussier. Processed as a monochromatic piece, we find a brooding storm lingering overhead of this dramatic setting, adding a perfect element to the inherent wonder.
Mountain Road – a winding mountain road cuts a narrow swath through the beautiful countryside in this shot from Matthias Hermann. Captured from an elevated perspective, the scale and depth of the scene reveals nature's beauty as the viewer is gently guided in by the naturally formed leading lines.
Autumns fall – Barry Turner shares a captivating shot in this post, featuring a pathway that once was an active rail line that today is used as a walking path. Surrounded by vibrant colors of autumn, we find a person and their dog making their way down the path, adding a perfect finishing touch to this piece.
mediterranean sky – Vassilis Tangoulis captures an extremely dramatic shot, and then processes it as a black-and-white to accent the raw drama of this scene as it was found in Greece. In this shot we find a boat lying on it’s side in shallow waters, framed by the dynamic clouds and waters captured using a long exposure time.
Rising Moon – contemporary architectural features of Pittsburgh create the perfect frame for this shot that focuses on the supermoon from late last year in this terrific image by Brad Truxell. Crisp details in the buildings find harmony with the large moon that dangles just over the roofline of one of the skyscrapers, giving the viewer a strong sense of scale.
Another One Coming Straight At Me – for those of us, like me, who aren’t familiar with the Grey Headed Flying Fox shots like this from Michael Cleary leave us feeling as if we have just seen a creature from another planet. In this shot we find the Flying Fox as it skims still waters and flies straight towards the camera, creating a terrific portrait of this unusual animal.
The Surprise Visitors – Laurie MacBride has a surprise in the evening in her yard recently, a group of Barred Owls visit as they begin the night's hunt. During this visit, Laurie managed to grab a great portrait of one of the young Owlets as it patiently awaited its mother's return with a morsel for the evening.
Tokyo city – Takashi Yasui creates a cinematic feeling cityscape shot of the city of Tokyo, highlighting the terrific architecture and character of the city as it rushes about below. Great details in the buildings coupled with the inherent interest of ambient light creates a great mood and feel with this photograph.
the barns – farms and barns remain one of my personal favorite photography subjects, sharing a little of the character found in these bucolic settings and often exhibiting wonderful textures and patina from years of weathering, use and wear. This shot comes to us from Frank King and feature a set of barns with a particular red one as the primary subject to draw you into the frame.
Sunset Avenue II – Herman van den Berge’s photograph uses the canals of this European setting to cast terrific reflections of the old and fascinating architecture native to this city. The brick buildings that line the canal are full of wonderful character, revealed in this terrific portrait.
Arizona Sunset – the incredible sunsets of Arizona are widely known for their colors and cloud formations, often casting pastel-like abstractions that are perfect for those who love photography. Ron Niebrugge captures one such shot that also contains the silhouette of a cactus, finishing off the beautiful natural palette of colors with a great feature.
Spin Cycle – Bryson Gibbons uses a long exposure to capture this terrific cityscape shot looking down upon Manhattan below just before day breaks. This creates great trails from moving vehicles, contrasted against the striking view of the architecture of the city lying far below.
Guardians – The Watch – Pawel Pentlinowski creates a highly conceptualized piece in this post that features three eery looking cloaked apparitions standing over a person on a rail bridge as snow swirls all around. This highly moody piece is somewhat dark in nature, but is a great example of a shot that was planned and executed to create a specific mood.
Winter Tracks – Alexander Riek shares a romantic scene of a steam powered locomotive making it’s way down the track, moving directly towards the camera. A beautiful snow storm eddies around the train as it moves along, adding a happy winter feel to this already incredible scene.
My friend, the Flatiron… – the Flatiron building in New York City is either revered or loathed, depending on your taste in architecture, but it’s hard to argue that it is well-known. This rendition of the building comes to us from Sherry Galey who uses her artistic acumen to capture and create a very evocative image featuring this landmark.
After that awesome roundup, I'm sure your head is spinning…ours were!
To put the whipped cream on the cake, we go and throw in the opportunity to get this incredible Landscape Photography Guide by the pros at Photzy – I know, your day's now looking pretty cool.
See what author and professional photographer Kent DuFault can share with you to take your landscape shots beyond the confines of your mind!
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.