We've had another terrific week here in the wide world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching all known corners of the internet for links to share for tutorials, special features and great photography. This weeks list of hand selected posts and photographs represents some of the best work in the field today, and we really hope you enjoy checking them out as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Photoshop for Beginners – We Take this Back to Basics! – Photoshop os arguably the best tool out there today for post-production of photographs, with tools and techniques available to users that cover the entire gambit from easy-to-use all the way up to the extremely complex. Knowing where to start can be slightly daunting for those getting into it, and this awesome tutorial posted right here on Light Stalking is an awesome way to get the proverbial ball rolling.
Improve Your Night Photography with Foreground Lighting – night photography is a genre all its own, with a unique set of challenges to deal with when trying to create stunning imagery. This terrific tutorial covers various aspects of night photography, including some of the subtle techniques employed with light painting. The sample shots included are all terrific, sure to get your inspiration ramped up to get outside during the dark hours to create great art.
7 Tips for Capturing More Powerful Fine Art Landscape Photography – this articles shares a fundamental set of tips that will definitely help you in capturing stunning landscape photographs that can be considered fine art. As with most things in life, it’s all in the nuances, and in this article these are covered and accompanied by a stunning selection of example pictures to illustrate the topic.
5 HDR Photos Done Right, and How to Make Your Own – HDR techniques have the unique ability to overcome dynamic range limitations inherent in digital photography, and in many cases are highly polarizing among the community with many people loving the technique, while others despise it. What is inarguable is the outcome, which in many cases when applied methodically and carefully can create stunning and compelling shots when used in specific circumstances.
Correcting Sky Discoloration in Adobe Lightroom – Adobe Lightroom is an awesome post-production tool with a myriad of options available to help you achieve the look you are going for in your final picture. This brief video tutorial covers a key concept of fixing issues in the sky that appear when using certain presets.
How to Shoot Portraits Street Fashion Style: a Tutorial – this brief and concise tutorial covers the basics behind street fashion and style photographs, an apparent trend on Instagram. Terrific sample shots are included to give you a visual idea of the key concept, giving you an instant head start to capturing your own shots in this genre.
Shooting a 300MP photo of a Hotrod – full frame digital vs large format film – this interesting post features a set of super high-resolution photographs that showcases an epic hot rod. Both a large format film shot and a high-res digital shot created by stitching multiple exposures are shared in this post, allowing us all to see the differences between these two modalities. Ultimately the customer selected the analog film version of the shot, as I would have done too.
Humpback Whale Breaches Right in Front of Swimming Photographer – this is the kind of thing that most definitely only happens once in a lifetime! This special feature shares a clip of video whereby a huge Humpback Whale breaches the waters and crashes back below the waves, only a few feet away from an expectant photographer who happens to have a camera rolling at this exact moment.
Monochrome Proves You Don’t Need Golden Hour for Great Landscape Photos – these shots are slightly reminiscent of the work produced by one of the greatest photographers of all time, Ansel Adams. This set of landscapes feature the rugged and majestic Alps, shot and processed as high contrast black-and-whites to accent the texture and depth of the scenes explored.
Train Full Of Emotions Is a Series of Telling Portraits Shot on a Train – trains can be terrific locations in terms of capturing great candids, as evidenced in this stunning catalog of portraits shot of people in various poses in trains in India. The faces tell stories of the spirits behind the eyes, drawing you deeply into each picture that forms an integral part of the overall collection.
Desert Sky – Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California – Len Saltiel takes us out deep into the desert where he was greeted with an extraordinary sunrise that painted the sky in vibrant color and accented the surroundings just perfectly. The rolling dunes create a perfect shot that accents the depth witnessed in this incredible location.
Small Red Cabins in Denali National Park, Alaska – Chris Burkard captures a great shot that he shares here, featuring the rugged and unique landscape of Alaska with a set of three small red cabins dotting the side of the hill. These tiny cabins are likely intended to offer the barest of accommodations for visitors to the park, with what is undoubtedly an awesome view, and in this shot they also create fabulous elements of interest to augment the photograph.
Antelope Flats – in terms of old wood barns that create a striking subject in their natural habitat, this one is one of my absolute favorites; the Moulton Barn that sits under the watchful gaze of the majestic Teton Mountains in the backdrop. This rendition of this famous structure comes to us this week from photographer Michael Criswell who does a fabulous job of capturing it’s weathered beauty as the sun begins to rise and greet a new day.
Winter evening in Meissen – the small community of Meissen in Germany is the home of Meissen porcelain, the Albrechtsburg castle and the Gothic Meissen Cathedral, along with other key landmarks. Daniel Řeřicha captures a fabulous composition during the blue hour here that showcases the dramatic beauty of the castle, along with a silky reflection of the overall scene created by the slow moving waters of the river in the foreground.
The Mill – lush, green environs are typically reserved for rainforests and well manicured gardens, but in this case we also find this inside a long abandoned factory that has been left to render the effects of years of natural decay. This shot from photographer chammoudeh takes us inside the remains of this factory where machinery now long forgotten forms the backdrop for nature's largest garden experiment.
Dubai Marina through the Nikkor 19mm Tilt Shift Lens – Daniel Cheong exhibits the visual power of a great tilt-shift lens when applied to photographing architecture in this awesome elevated perspective shot of the Dubai Marina sitting far below. The blue hour accents the dramatic architecture, highlighting the city as a whole as the people rush about taking advantage of all the city has to offer.
Витебский вокзал… – this shot literally oozes artistic tension with the light beams streaming into the scene and a lone person walks through the frame in an empty rail station. The terrific shadows in this shot highlight the raw drama, creating a picture that draws the viewer in to explore the intrinsic details of the composition as a whole.
under the dawn sky – Frank King uses an active highway as a natural leading line in this landscape piece that also features a sense of dynamic motion in the light trails on the ribbon of roadway from fast moving traffic. The highway creates a perfect vanishing point in this shot, gently leading the viewer into the frame where the grand Canadian Rockies stand guard over all that lies below.
after the storm – the cityscape of Singapore peers back at us in the top half of this frame, anchored by a boardwalk that divides the lower half that creates the perfect compositional feature to complete this photograph by Alexander Lauterbach. The perfect finishing touch is found in the brooding clouds that hang overhead, the remnants of a storm that passed through the area just before this picture was captured.
Alaska Polar Bear Photography Tour – if you love bears half as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this post that features a stunning portrait of a polar bear as it stares straight back at the camera. Ron Niebrugge uses this post as an opportunity to discuss this year's photo expeditions, and for those who have a brave heart and a desire to visit untamed nature, this may be a trip you’d want to consider. I know I do.
Seryang – there are a lot of wonderful elements in this stunning landscape piece by Tiger Seo, dominated by the mirror-like reflection of the scene in the still waters that sit in the foreground. A moody atmosphere adds to this key element in the form of a thin fog that hangs over the beautiful landscape that creates a series of terrific light beams.
The Great Egret – Wayne Beauregard’s photograph features one of these gorgeous white birds as it sits in a shallow pool of water near the shore, presumably on the lookout for a delicious bit of food. The reflection of the bird in the waters adds a great reflective element to this shot, highlighting the grace and beauty of this bird.
Golden Gate Bridge – this world-famous landmark has never looked as good as it does in this breathtaking photograph by Serge Ramelli. The blue hour accents the colors of the bridge and the lights that follow its lines, along with a thin mist that is created by the waves crashing against the rocks underneath the bridge itself.
Bethesda Terrace – Edith Levy shares a great architectural study, focusing on what appears to be a terrace with graceful arches that lead into an interior space with delicate lighting. The grand details of the overall structure are rather striking and dramatic, forming perfect natural leading lines that culminate in a great vanishing point in the distance.
Dropping down – the raw fury of a powerful waterfall dominates this frame, yet the inquisitive viewer will also find an easter egg buried in the roiling waters in the form of a kayaker who has taken their own lives in their hands as they plunge off the face of the falls. Red Bull Photography does it once again as we enjoy a shot that features someone braving disaster as they overcome a foreboding challenge created by the magic of nature.
Fishing Shacks and Seagulls – a trio of fishing shacks create great silhouettes against the rich purple hues in the sky created by the early morning sunrise in this fabulous shot from Bob Lussier. A group of seagulls lingers overhead in the gentle eddies of air, adding a perfect finishing touch to this captivating photograph.
Fishing Shacks – Steven Perlmutter shares his rendition of a similar shot featured above by Bob Lussier, this one taking advantage of a different composition to create a very unique photograph. Steven’s shot brings in a large swatch of color on the mostly still waters, reflecting the early morning palette across the entire composition.
Seljalandfoss – vibrant colors in the surrounding landscape finds harmony with the dark storm clouds the linger far overhead in this shot from wim denijs that features an amazing world-reknown waterfall. As the waters crash far below, they create a pool and a mist in the landing zone, adding a sense of dynamism to this epic landscape.
Just A Little Kiss – Timothy Poulton leverages the power of selective color in this shot that features a lone tree standing in a body of water with one of it’s branches touching the pool, lending to the perfect name of the image. In the backdrop we find rugged and dramatic mountains dominating the horizon, adding a perfect touch of artistic 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.