As another week passes by under our wheels, we look back at the best this week has to offer in the world of photography in this hand curated list of links from Toad Hollow Photography. This weeks compendium includes links to tutorials, special features and great photography, with something here for photography enthusiasts of almost every genre. We really hope you enjoy checking these links out as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this week's list to you.
5 Challenging Problems I Have Encountered Trying Macro in My Garden – macro photography, particularly shots that are found outdoors, is a tricky type of photography to get into while yielding the results you are hoping for. This great primer, posted here on Light Stalking, gives you some great insights and tips on how to find your own style and create stunning shots you will be happy to create for years to come.
How to Master the Content Aware and Patch Tool in Photoshop – a brief article that covers a very powerful feature inside of Photoshop that allows you to make natural looking adjustments with the content aware tools is shared here. Screenshots and a sample photo are included to give you a great idea of how to apply this to your work.
Improving your night photography with foreground lighting – great images are almost always about the light that was naturally or artificially found in a scene, and applying this concept to night photography takes the premise to another level. This great article covers this topic with some fabulous photographs that show you how applying these techniques can really make your images stand out.
You Don’t Need a Great Studio Space to Shoot Great Portraits – finding the right location for a portrait session can be as easy as finding an available area in a building near a staircase, as proven by the stunning photographs showcased in this article. If you appreciate great portraits you will not want to miss this article just for the incredible photographs posted here.
How to Get Started in The Business of Headshot Photography – starting a new photography practice from scratch can be a daunting undertaking. This brief video tutorial covers some of the basics that can help you build a portfolio that will support a professional practice in the field.
This Video Shows You How to Shoot 35mm, 120, and Large Format Film – shooting on different media formats presents different challenges and benefits, as shown in this video presentation that takes just over 14 minutes to watch. This video shows you all key aspects of using these cameras, giving you an instant idea of how to go about this on your own.
Make Your Portrait Subject Face the Light Source For More Flattering Light – sometimes the best tips are the simplest in nature, as shown here in this short article that shows the subtle, but noticeable, differences in getting your subject to face the light during a portrait session. The wrap-around lighting effect by doing so creates a less dramatic look with reduced shadows on the face, creating a striking look that is highly contemporary.
Watch Annie Leibovitz shooting Sony mirrorless – get a sneak peek behind the scenes as world-famous photographer Annie Leibovitz shoots still for a commercial session for a car company. These behind-the-scenes looks at how industry leaders work in the field can really reveal techniques and methods that can be brought into your own work.
This Photo Project Showcases The Beauty Of Nature At Its Best, Untouched State – nature can be a stunning photography subject, leaving you either clamoring for your luggage and the phone number to a great travel agent, or leaving you with a distinctive sense of artistic tension found in a stark landscape without signs of mankind. This feature falls into the second category, showcasing an incredible series of highly contrasted photographs that reveal the beauty and drama that can only be found in nature.
How Nikkor optical glass is made – as a photographer, we are always taking for granted our lenses without any real consideration into how they are designed and manufactured. This great video presentation takes you behind the scenes to see all the incredible steps and details that are followed in the design and creation of optical lenses.
Magical – join Michael Criswell and his wife, the Empress, as they explore a place that is truly magical for young and old alike; Disneyland. Michael’s series of shots he posted here from his whirlwind day really does the place justice, leaving the viewer with a yearning to experience the rides and get a set of Mickey Mouse ears as a souvenir.
Cryogenic City VII – Daniel Cheong takes us aloft to the 73rd floor of a skyscraper in Dubai to reveal this stunning look at the city below as a thick fog encircles the bases of the buildings, only leaving the tops to peer above the ambience back at the viewer. The details in the dramatic architecture here are spectacular, as is the light encountered during this particular time of day.
Harvest – Steptoe Butte State Park, Washington – incredible shadows play off the undulating hills and ridges that are found in this photographer’s paradise, Steptoe Butte State Park in the western part of the United States. Len Saltiel shares a great shot that takes on a highly abstract feel with a strong sense of depth in the natural color palette shared here by nature itself.
Misty evening … – a wonderful castle presents itself in the lush green landscape that surrounds it, creating a distinctly fairy tale looking shot that whisks us back into a time long ago. Krzysztof Browko uses the stone walkway as a leading line to guide you into the frame, taking advantage of an existing feature in the scene as a key compositional element.
Do You Ever Wonder? – Lisa Gordon helps us to ponder why it is that certain things catch our eyes and what we see in them in this great post. She includes a set of terrific photos with some of her accompanying thoughts, answering the question that the title of the post proposes with more introspective questions.
Waning Gibbous – the moon has been a favorite subject of photographers over the years, with close-ups of the surface revealing details and textures that are wonderful to view and enjoy. Christopher Wray shares a terrific composition of the moon, with all it’s glorious craters and details in full relief in the half that is lit from the sun.
The Value Of Turning Around – as photographers we hear it often, “turn around when shooting to see if there is anything interesting behind you”. Scott Wood shows us exactly why this is important in this wonderful snowy scene that features a bright red barn in the heart of the frame for a splash of brilliant color.
Bled Lake – this location sits high atop my personal bucket list, revealing different faces of the beautiful lake and the medieval-era monastery that sits on a tiny island in the middle depending on the time of year and day it is visited. This great shot comes to us from Adnan Bubalo and features a terrific look at this magical place, including the ancient castle that sits on the bluff in the backdrop overlooking that landscape.
The most photographed staircase in the world – this extraordinary trio of shots comes to us from Jim Nix who happily found himself exploring the Vatican on a tour with an eye towards photographing this incredible staircase. Jim’s composition takes advantage of the repeating patterns and geometry to deliver an almost abstract study of this incredible bit of majestic architecture.
Hamnoy – a frozen vista greets us in this beautiful landscape piece by wim denijs captured in the heart of winter in Norway. The wonderful red homes that dot the shores of the body of water add a great anchor into the shot, showing a bit of the scale of the dramatic setting along with the surrounding beauty the locals experience on a daily basis.
Replacing the windows – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) does a terrific job with this composition, using the reflections in a set of floor to ceiling windows as a mirror to create an optical effect that is both abstract and captivating at the same time. The contrast of glass and slightly weathered wood work in great harmony together in this piece to add the perfect finishing touch.
I love Istanbul – this vertigo inducing shot features strong elements of dynamic motion against a clear subject of a fast moving train in a tunnel, captured in Istanbul, Turkey by Gürkan Gündoğdu. The perfect blending of the fast-moving train caught perfectly still in the blink of an eye with the blurry lines from the tunnel are totally remarkable here.
the windy sunset – Frank King captures a stunning shot, capturing beautiful colors in the sky as the sun begins to set over a frozen landscape. The natural color palette created by the fading light of day is quite extraordinary in this scene, perfectly captured and frozen in time in this photograph.
sunset in waves – a beautiful dash of color on the horizon offsets the deep and dark contrasts that form the silhouettes of natural features that fill the foreground of this shot taken on the shore. Agnès Perrodon uses a long exposure during this late time of day to create a sense of motion in the ocean, with great details filling in the rest of the frame.
Le tournis – a forlorn and long forgotten villa creates the perfect photographic opportunity for Yannick M. to capture this terrific urbex themed image. A spiral staircase, unused for many years, forms a terrific series of lines and geometry that naturally draw the eye upwards where details and textures are revealed from years of natural decay.
yosemite falls. yosemite. California – Tanner Wendell Stewart captures a moody landscape shot that focuses on a breathtaking waterfall in this world-famous national park. Low hanging clouds add a veil of fog to the upper area of the falls, adding a perfect bit of drama to a compelling image.
Todd Creek – local Vancouver Island based photographer Jason McKenzie captures a beautiful scene that speaks of our rainforests and fast running creeks that are found everywhere here on the island. The old trees in this composition are covered in a thick, luscious moss, adding color and texture, all creations by nature that reflect our landscapes and forests.
Singularity – this stunning shot was captured high atop a crane as a vibrant sunset painted the sky in wonderful color in this incredible photograph from Bryson Gibbons. The lines from the arm of the crane create a perfect leading line, culminating in a vanishing point that draws the eye into the very heart of the frame.
Benches and a Sunset – incredible oranges and reds dance across the screen in this wide panoramic shot from Barry Turner. Barry anchors this shot with a bench looking out over the still bay as clouds linger in the distance to add texture to the vibrant skies.
The Giant King – Marco Carotenuto’s shot features spectacular green hues in the dark skies above Iceland created by the very active aurora borealis. A rock formation adds a great anchor in this composition, accented by the muted reflection of the scene in the semi-still waters that sit in the foreground.
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.