We've had another wonderful week in the wide world of photography, with many photographers and writers submitting content for everyone to see, read and enjoy. With so much content being shared, here we find that Toad Hollow Photography has searched in all corners of the internet for links to the very best tutorials, reviews, special features and great photography in one hand-curated list. We really hope you enjoy checking out these pictures and reading the tutorials and articles as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Editing Time in Lightroom – if you are like many photographers, the act of sifting through, identifying and then post-processing a large quantity of photographs can sometimes be a highly daunting task. This great article helps you to focus your time on the best methods to cut down on wasted time, allowing to complete your images in a timely manner and with the best results.
This is how I meter and expose landscapes for color film – while this article has a focus on the film side of exposure in photography, there is much to be learned here for the digital photographer as well. We get a chance to go in-depth here, looking at various conditions that affect exposure settings, coupled with awesome sample shots that show you how those settings can produce amazing imagery.
Useful Photography Tip #170: When Shooting Portraits, Raise the Chin – sometimes the simplest tips are the best in terms of results, as is evidenced in this brief article that discusses posing subjects for portraits. The placement of the chin in this context is very important when trying to capture your subject in their most flattering form, as shown in the sample shot that accompanies this short post.
Simple Trick Helps You Find Hyperfocal Distance Without Charts or Apps – this short tutorial shows you how to easily setup your focal distance to create sharp pictures with a great depth of field, particularly useful in landscape settings. This method is not as precise as an app with advanced algorithms and distance calculations will give, but is a great way to increase sharpness in your photos.
5 top tips to improve your food photography – I love that a 7 minute video presentation can give you so much depth in learning, particularly when these tips and tricks are shared by a master as we find here in this tutorial. These 5 tips are easy to follow and apply in your own work, yet the results truly do speak for themselves visually. Suddenly I have a strong urge for a donut, I’ll be back in 5 minutes…
Quick Tip: How to Handle Difficult to Remove Spots in Lightroom – it’s amazing how powerful our modern tools are for post-production, and what can learned in less than 60 seconds to take full advantage of that power. This video tutorial covers a great tip for Lightroom users wishing to remove spots or blemishes in a photo, showing you a quick way to work with tricky artifacts.
Using Continuous Light in the Studio – Joe Farace talks briefly about the application of continous lighting in a studio environment, sharing some insights that reveal this is a great method to use in this environment. Sample shots are included here to show you the results you can expect to see in your work.
Photomemo: A Simple Tool For Film Photographers to Log Their Exposures – when shooting film, there is no such thing as EXIF data as is found in the digital realm, making for many quizzical moments later when reviewing your work and wondering what lens and what settings were applied during the capture. Enter Photomemo, a small portable journal that was designed and created for taking important notes out in the field, allowing you to maintain a record of your work over the course of time.
Huangshan – The Yellow Mountains of China Part 1 | Huangshan – The Yellow Mountains of China Part 2 – you have never seen such haunting beauty than that which is found high up in the Huangshan mountain range. These mountains are known the world over for their incredible and dramatic peaks that seem to reach endlessly for the very heavens, revealing an ever changing landscape that tells a new story with each passing moment. Join Anne McKinnell as she shares a wonderful set of photographs from her visit here, showing us all why this spot simply has to be visited in person to fully appreciate the raw and rugged views afforded to those who take the time to do so.
‘Bringing dead city back to life’: Urban explorers turn on Chernobyl lights – we’ve featured various photo essays from Pripyat, the site of the world’s worst nuclear reactor accident in history, but we’ve never had the chance to feature one like this. In this special feature, a group of brave photographers head back to the exclusion zone, this time armed with a power generator along with their cameras, to capture images of various buildings and features lit up, the first time this has been the case in over 30 years.
Stunning display of northern lights captured by photographers – in May of 2017 a phenomenon unfolded in various parts of the world whereby the northern lights were visible much further south than typically seen. This resulted in some of the most amazing scenes playing out in the night sky, with many photographers capturing these sights in the most unusual fashion in the most unusual places.
Maik Lipp Used Geometric Lines In Urban Architecture Photography – geometry and patterns can be very powerful visual elements in terms of great compositions, as is evidenced in this catalog of shots that user architectural features to express a distinctive artform. For those who love this style of imagery, you won’t want to miss this post that includes some great photographs in this genre.
Photographer Captures Colorful Close-Ups of a Fiery-Throated Hummingbird – you have never seen color and detail like what you will find in this post that features the natural beauty of a Fiery-Throated Hummingbird in it’s natural habitat. The close-up shots are spectacular, showing off the wonderful beauty of these tiny, fast-moving subjects.
Left Turn – Herman van den Berge uses a sweeping boardwalk along the edges of a body of water as a leading line in this terrific photograph that showcases the great architecture of the area. Soft reflections in the semi-still waters add a great element to this composition, as does the warm swatch of color in the sky as the low hanging sun works its way through thick cloud cover.
Blue Hour Sky – Monument Valley, Navajo Nation – Len Saltiel shares a lesson in natural light focusing on the different times of sunrise phases that begin well before the actual sun peeks up over the horizon. He frames this lesson in the form of a stunning photograph that features natural rock formations that create anchor silhouettes for this picture, along with incredible blue hues that dance across the sky just before the sun makes its first appearance of the day.
Look out – a tiny owl sits perched atop a small wood pole with one leg extended and the other tucked up underneath it in this wonderful photograph by H Atala. The expression on this tiny birds face as it stares back at the camera does a great job of revealing a glimpse into its wonderful personality.
Lone Bison – Scott Wood captures and shares a stunning portrait of one of North America’s most interesting animals captured in iconic Yellowstone National Park. This close-up shot reveals many details, and in doing so also reveals a glimpse into the free spirit they possess as they inhabit these lands that have been home to them for thousands of years.
Whimsical – this dark-themed shot features a grove of bare old trees sitting in what presumeably looks like a forest setting in the winter. Lars van de Goor uses the gnarly bare limbs as shapes and designs, all hand-crafted by nature itself, to draw you into the frame where each of us will find something different based on perspective.
Diamond Ice Eruption – the ocean’s waves roil all around this ice formation as it sits on the shores in Iceland somewhere. Alban Henderyckx’s features this strange dichotomy of frozen waters against an ocean that is anything but, with glorious colors in the backdrop to frame and accent the natural formation that forms the heart of the picture.
More Wynnewood – Mike Olbinski shows us exactly why he is considered a master in the field of storm-chasing with this photograph of a massive F4 tornado as it rips across a wide and mostly barren landscape. The raw drama of this scene is something that can only be found in this region of the United States, showing us exactly why it is that mankind can never win in a battle when nature is throwing its incredible fury in our direction.
seljalandsfoss. Iceland. – Tanner Wendell Stewart shares a great shot of this world-famous waterfall that leaves you amazed at the sheer size of this formation as it sits in the beautiful landscape found here. A thin veil of a mist from the vast waters adds a touch of mystique and the ethereal to this shot, completing the feel just perfectly.
The yellow house – an absolutely frozen landscape ensconced in a thick snow cover reveals a bright yellow house peering through the icy white forest. Andre Villeneuve takes advantage of the natural weather conditions and the effect they present on the landscape to create this shot that takes on a selective color aspect to it with the vibrant colors of the house.
Twilight in Boston – the city of Boston has never looked as picturesque as it does in this twilight shot of the cityscape from the studio of Jim Nix. The terrific architectural features of the city highlight the esplanade in this shot, literally inviting the viewer to step into the heart of the frame where the stone walkway creates a natural leading line for the eye to follow.
Snow for 3 days in a row! Red Fox In The Snow – Roeselien Raimond captures a delightful portrait of a beautiful Red Fox as it peers above a snowline. The incredible animal looks slightly bemused in this shot, likely due to the relentless snow that has created the inhospitable environment it currently finds itself in.
Frozen Lake Sunset, Minnesota – sometimes a photograph captures and visually expresses a scene that is far beyond our ability to describe with mere words, as shown in this colorful photograph by Mark Paulson. In this shot we find a lake covered in an amazing cover of cloud as the sun sets, casting gorgeous colors across the scene and revealing nature’s textures frozen in time in a photograph.
Berlin Cathedral – a long exposure black-and-white shot is presented here by photographer Jens Klettenheimer. This shot frames the cathedral with the old-world architecture that surrounds it in the city, all found by following the river that creates a perfect natural leading line into the photograph.
Gambel’s Quail – Ron Niebrugge’s portrait of this amazing bird does a great job of exposing a brief look at it’s spirit and personality during it’s visit to a water feature that Ron had setup near in anticipation of extraordinary photography opportunities. The day did not disappoint as he came away with this terrific image, along with others he shares on his blog.
Life is beautiful – a golden color palette is created by the waning natural light as it dances across the beautiful landscape of Tuscany in Italy in this shot from Gürkan Gündoğdu. The undulating hills of the region create long shadows that add a touch of drama to this incredible setting that showcases a villa right in the center of the frame.
Brandywine Falls – the dichotomy of a still landscape formed over 400 million years ago against the fast moving waters of a tall waterfall creates a strong sense of the dynamic against that which was formed from time immemorial. This shot from Wayne Beauregard shows the stepped falls in their entirety, letting us all see how amazing the effects of time against the creation of the landscapes work in harmony together to form something truly breathtaking.
~ Happy Hour ~ – a gorgeous sunset plays among the soft clouds the linger overhead in the distance in this wonderful photograph from David Gomes in Portugal. A rickety wooden pier leads out towards the waters, creating a character-rich leading line that leaves you yearning for a moment of solitude.
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.