Back from a brief hiatus, the Toad has been busy hopping around the internet looking for the best tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This weeks list contains some of the very best images, tips and tricks from some of the most talented artists. We really hope you enjoy following the links here as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/min0n/6885700665/]la biblioteca[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/min0n/]M Trombone[/url], on Flickr
HDR Tutorial: Dual Processing HDR Images – this is a great HDR tutorial that shows how to use a different process to go about creating HDR imagery. This well thought out video shows the user some tips and tricks, producing an article well worth the time to visit and view!
Life Before Photoshop: BMW Motorcycle Campaign – Joe Baraban shares a fabulous article that discusses how to achieve great photography in-camera. The importance of working on composition and technique away from modern manipulation software helps us all to create better photography by focusing on some of the basics and essentials.
Ask JoeB: How Do I Show Scale? – another truly informative and thought-provoking post by Joe Baraban discusses the hows and whys of providing a sense of scale in a photograph. This is a well written piece using a picture for example that will leave everyone with new outlook on this age-old question. Well worth the time to visit and read!
10 Tips For Capturing Life’s Precious Moments – Shane Lund shares a set of really wonderful tips, tricks and thoughts for how to go about capturing this type of imagery. Sometimes things may seem obvious to some, but when compiled in a list like this we come away with a renewed outlook.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/efectonegativo/6861900731/]Cleptomanía.[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/efectonegativo/]Efecto; Negativo[/url], on Flickr
Oregon Part 2: What I Learned about Making Pictures of Eagles | Oregon Part 3: AI Servo Mode for Photographing Eagles in Flight – I have to admit that at times I’ve been pretty intimidated to even try and make a shot like this given the complexity of all the factors at play that must come together perfectly to create on of those breathtaking shots we sometimes see. In this great series of posts by Lee Brown, we get an inside look with some truly wonderful tips and tricks on how Lee goes about performing this type of photography. This is a great pair of posts that is guaranteed to teach pretty much everyone some advanced procedures to use in this realm; well worth the time to visit and read!
Project in development: Inexpensive way to shoot jewelry – master photographer Alex Koloskov continues his work with shooting in-studio and sharing a great set of tips and tricks on inexpensive lighting techniques that deliver million dollar images. This is a true must-see article in this weeks list, sure to give everyone a little insight into this technique, and for some it will give the reader a whole new set of tools in their arsenal.
LEARNING TO SEE – The conclusion – the much awaited finale to the running series by our very own Tom Dinning (@tomdinning) here at Light Stalking. Tom is not only one of the most gifted photographers of modern times, but he is also a knight when he wields his mighty pen to produce words and thoughts that speak to the very essence of photography, and by association, us as human beings. This truly profound series leaves the reader with a strong sense of what it means to be alive in our times, as well as an insight into the power that photography can bring to the world as a whole.
The Historic Ghost Town of Jerome – this is a truly must-see post, straight from the studio of Renée M. Besta. This epic ghost-town was once a thriving community. Today it poses the perfect subject material for Renée to carefully capture, process and share. We also receive a wonderful informational background in this post, rounding it out fully. These top drawer shots are guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who visits!
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaibara/6865728695/]Frozen Lagoon Sunset[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/kaibara/]kaibara87[/url], on Flickr
Some Trifling Changes – antique items are some of our personal favorites to shoot and share with everyone, and in this fabulous post from Eden R. Ellis we find a most wondrous photograph of a page in a classic, antique book. The razor sharp depth-of-focus that Eden employed to capture this shot brings with it a serious amount of interest, producing a must-see image in this weeks list.
Meet Dexter – who doesn’t just love puppies? Bev has a new friend in the house and she has taken a most wonderful photograph of her new fur friend to share with everyone. The expression on his face alone is well worth the time to visit and see for yourself!
Cotehele Quay – Mark Blundell masterfully captures, processes and shares another one of his epic 360* panorama studies. This one is of an iconic quay, complete with fabulous details and textures to enjoy as the viewer spins around the scene. This is a unique format that is exquisitely handled by Mark, producing a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone.
Crossing Howe Sound in the Winter – this wonderful shot is of a subject we know very well here on Vancouver Island. Our very own local photographer Jordan Oram delivers an image captured on one of the ferries used to shuttle people and vehicles back and forth between the mainland of Canada, producing a picture of our locale that is stunning and beautiful.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkjetcity/6853616123/]Port Willunga[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/inkjetcity/]James Yu Photography[/url], on Flickr
The Photo Studio – a truly wonderful pair of images is presented to us by Edith Levy in this post. On a visit to a Pioneer Village, Edith uncovers a presentation of antique photography equipment and carefully captures and processes some fabulous imagery to share with everyone. Well worth the time for a visit and view!
Weekend Relaxer #5 – a truly great shot that is accented with a wonderful blog post. Chris Nitz is the master of prop photography typically using Lego’s as a form of adding personality to his work. Coupled with wonderful wit and a light-hearted approach, Chris delivers another great installment in his semi-regular feature.
North Skyline, Toronto – I love great skyline photography, especially if taken during the blue hour or at night. In this epic shot by Ren Bostelaar, we get a view of the Toronto skyline at night that exposes great architectural styling and wonderful details that can be enjoyed as the viewer spends time taking the picture in. Well worth the time to visit and view in this weeks list!
Mormon Row Barn, Teton Nat'l Park, Wyoming – I love this shot, it speaks of both a beautiful landscape as well as truly wonderful antique architecture. Barns form the most wonderful of subjects for photography, especially if they are weathered, and in this case Mark Paulson captures one such building and posts it for everyone to enjoy.
Encountering the Sandhill Crane – I love everything about this post, from the truly great photography to the wonderful writing and back-story that fills it in. In this wonderful post, Heather captures a great series of shots of a beautiful bird in it’s natural habitat and delivers some truly interesting facts about it; well worth the time to visit and read!
Parrots – vivid colors and spectacular details await the viewer in this wonderful post from the studio of Scott Hovind. These gorgeous birds are a true joy to spend time viewing, and Scott masterfully captures this pair of shots to share, producing a wonderful post.
Tropical Butterflies – 12 beautiful shots – another wonderful post by Scott Hovind that is far too good to pass up for this weeks list. This series of shots of butterflies is full of great details in the beautiful little animals, as well as truly vivid colors. This is a wonderful post, sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Blazing Man – this is a truly wonderful character study of a truly wonderful character. Edin Chavez masterfully composes this black and white shot of this man, producing a piece that delivers an entire lifetime of stories in one view. Well worth the time to visit, this is a truly great photograph!
Snowfall In Rome – a rare snowfall in Rome produces great scenery for the lens of Giuseppe Sapori to capture and share. This wonderful set of images of this event give us all a glimpse into the city, punctuated by the beauty of the freshly fallen snow.
Is That An Alligator Or A Crocodile? – is this a lesson in biology or a great series of photographs? How about both! Anne McKinnell composes a truly unique blog post that encompasses both topics, and does so with great skill and attention to detail. This is a true must-see post for this weeks list.
Horsing Around in Old Montreal – another post in our weekly list by a photographer employing selective color techniques in their post-processing. In this case, Edith Levy, captures an image of a horse in this storied city and carefully processes the photograph to deliver a piece that speaks of the character of the city. Absolutely wonderful!
Murray’s Mill – historic architecture has always been one of my personal favorites in terms of subject matter. In this fabulous post from the studio of Mark Summerfield we get a view of a heritage facility that is exquisitely captured by Mark. Details in the building and surroundings begin to emerge as the viewer spends time taking the image in, producing a strong image that is sure to delight and amaze everyone.
Quiet Morning – to call this shot beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. Jimi Jones captures a shot of a brick roadway that meanders it’s way through a quiet neighborhood. Wonderful lighting, details and tones await the viewer in this wonderful image, producing a piece that is sure to captivate the imagination of all who visit.
The Other Side – this is a stunning shot from the studio of Len Saltiel. This iconic and oft-shot location is approached from a unique angle in this capture from Len, producing a compelling piece that is truly breathtaking. A must-see shot!
Old Into New – reflections can produce stellar elements of interest in image creation, and when composed well can result in breathtaking pieces. John Sotiriou captures and shares a great example of this by juxtaposing the old John Hancock building in a reflection in the glass in the new John Hancock building in Boston. This is a breathtaking piece, well worth the time to visit.
Split Personality – Jim Nix employs all his HDR skills to capture and produce a truly compelling image of the Bay Bridge. Great colors and tones await the viewer in this expansive landscape shot, guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by to view.
Night Rider – Chicano Park, San Diego | Details – Harley Davidson | Flames – Harley Davidson – my love for all things mechanical, especially vehicles, is tickled in this great series from Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. The Harley-Davidson motorcycle is an icon of the American landscape, and can be the most incredible subject material for great photography. This great series from the Kerstenbeck’s showcases this fabulous bike, producing a compelling set that everyone will enjoy.
Laundry – this is a truly wonderful and compelling image from the studio of Barbara Youngleson. In this awesome photo, Barbara captures all the character and textures in the homes in Italy as she goes about capturing street photographs. The wonderful tones and colors in the image combine with the wonderful composition to deliver a stunning piece.
Leading Line – the powerful black-and-white processing that Andy Gimino used to create this strong image serve to introduce an element of drama into this landscape picture. Nature in this case provides the drama, and Andy is ready to capture it and share this story with everyone.
Reel Closet – oh yes, this is a truly amazing shot straight from the studio of Scott Frederick. An abandoned theatre creates the perfect setting for the masterful skills of Scott to capture using his specialized HDR techniques. I wish we could attend the workshop he’s putting on here in the near future, it will undoubtedly be an incredible event that almost everyone would enjoy partaking in.
Great Horned Owl – a great set of images of this iconic owl awaits the viewer in this post by Troy Stewart. Great compositions result in fabulous expressions captured of this bird, producing a post that is compelling and wonderful beyond words. Well worth the time to visit and view.
Phlegm – Inside the Mind – a great piece of art that captures a view of a great piece of art. Mark Blundell masterfully captures this jaw-droppingly awesome piece of graffiti art as produced by the well-known artist Phlegm in the UK. Incredible details punctuate the setting chosen for the posting of this art-work, producing a truly compelling piece.
Evening at the Mandir – a wonderful and epic shot of this iconic place in Houston awaits the viewer in this top drawer image from Tim Stanley. Fabulous colors and tones are exquisitely captured in this shot, adding further interest to the overall setting that Tim so masterfully captures and shares.
Birds of the Bosque – this collection of great shots of birds from Helene Kobelnyk delivers a post that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who pops over for a visit. Helene shares a series of birds, each different from the other, and creates an entry that is sure to delight and amaze everyone.
Infirmary – Abandoned – this wonderful location provides just the perfect subject for Shane Lund as he captures a shot complete with the wonderful textures and details you’d expect to find in an abandoned facility. The peeling paint adds a strong element of drama which is accented by the truly incredible sunburst that streams through the window. A must-see shot in this weeks list, to say the very least!
Star Blossom Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 – a master of photography and textures alike, Viveca Koh has the incredible ability to move people with her work. In this case, she is working on a series of images that will form the basis for illustrations in an upcoming collaborative work she is involved in. The images Viveca has posted in these fabulous posts are truly delightful and full of interest for everyone to enjoy. Pop on over to see, you will not be disappointed!
Joe – I don’t recall a time where a cup of coffee looked so good! This great image from the studio of Gareth Glynn Ash delivers a strong photograph to be enjoyed by one and all; even if you are not a huge fan of coffee!!
The Laughing Camel – this is a truly wonderful photograph from the studio of Kristi Hines. This camel provides the most wonderful character for Kristi to carefully compose and create an image of. Great details in the image bring all the wonder and incredible raw nature of the camel to life for everyone to enjoy.
Sorrento Overlook – a stunning landscape image of the Italian coastline taken from high atop an overlooking bluff awaits the viewer with this incredible post by Adam Allegro. Wonderful colors in the sky are punctuated by the incredible details in the shoreline below the lookout, delivering an image that exposes the truth of the beauty in this wonderful location in the world.
Nathan’s Famous – Cross Processed – the engineer in me just loves all the technical aspects of great image creation. This post from the studio of Mark Garbowski shares a pair of truly wonderful images of an iconic place in NY. He also shares in great depth the technical methods used to create these film-based images, combining all the elements in the post to create a piece that is a must-see entry in this weeks list!
Snowy Owl – what a strong and fabulous image, straight from the studio of Jay Taylor. Jay makes the journey into BC, in Canada, to capture the elusive Snowy Owl in it’s natural habitat, and in doing so he exquisitely composes and captures a truly stunning shot of this most beautiful bird. Well worth the time to visit and view!
Ross Bay Promise – a truly dramatic shot, full of natural tension, awaits the viewer in this wonderful post from our local photographer Ehpem here on Vancouver Island. The black-and-white delivery of this shot really serve to drive all the drama to the forefront of the picture, producing a very strong and compelling piece.
Wedding Preview Jared & Shay – great wedding photography is something that never ceases to amaze me, especially if done well. In this shot from Chris Frailey we get a lovely, quintessential wedding type photograph that is absolutely full of great emotion, resulting in one of the most incredible wedding photos I’ve ever seen. Drop what you’re doing and head over to see for yourself!
Grand Central Terminal Light – in some cases it’s what’s missing or implied in a shot that produces all the drama and interest. This can especially be true in black-and-white photography, and in this fabulous post from Mark Garbowski we get to see an incredible example of this. A light poses for Mark in this shot that leaves just as much to the viewers imagination as it provides.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – another installment in her weekly series of images that are accompanied by no words at all. The peace and tranquility in this scene as captured and shared by Heather Neil really comes through in this strong image, producing a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze all who pop by to view!
Shadow Play – shadows are just as important in terms of lighting and emotion as pure light. So much tension and drama can be found in well composed shots that employ these techniques, and in this case we have a truly wonderful shot from the studio of Chris Maskell that delivers on this!
February Frost – the beauty in nature is exposed through the wonderful photography of Chris Wray in this fabulous pair of images taken in a frosty morning. Chris’s Ponderosa Pine trees cling onto the beautiful white frosting, producing a scene that is masterfully captured and shared for all to view and enjoy. This is a must-see post in this weeks list!
Follow the Path – the meandering covered pathway in Italy produces a stunning composition for Edith Levy to capture and share. The perfect leading line caught in the image leads the viewers eye comfortably and naturally through this wonderful frame, producing a piece that is just absolutely stunning!
Blue Nugget – using a painterly type processing style on this shot helps to produce an almost iconic shot that takes the viewer straight back to a time now long past. Mark Summerfield carefully captures and processes this wonderful image, one that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone who pops by to visit and view.
Steeple Chase – a wonderful architectural study awaits the visitor in this great shot straight from the studio of Steve Beal. Terrific details and textures are all captured in this fabulous piece, producing an image that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all.
Not Open For Business – this wonderful composition as captured and shared by Jay Taylor gives us a view inside a store in Seattle. This iconic shot is full of period correct details, taking the viewer back in time to place now long past. Wonderful details begin to emerge as the viewer spends some time taking the scene in, producing a strong and compelling piece.
A Walk In The Park – Jerry Denham captures and shares a wonderful image of a park walkway that sits beside the bay in San Diego. The city skyline pokes it’s head above the horizon in the distance, helping to deliver an image that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone.
A Sunday Visit To An Abandoned Church – a study in the beauty that can be found in decay by Shane Lund awaits the viewer in this truly spectacular post. This series of images taken of an abandoned church that is well into it’s period of decay forms the main subject in this great post here this week; a series that is truly a must-see in this weeks list.
Skyline – the Victoria city skyline, my hometown, forms the basis for this shot. Local photographer Benjamin Madison captures and shares a wonderful photo looking across the inner harbor at the beautiful city skyline, a shot that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Irish Pub Crawl – this is a great, great shot from the studio of Jim Nix that is full of fabulous colors, tones, textures and details. Jim is ready before the crowds fill the streets as he goes about capturing a series of brackets for this vibrant HDR photograph.
Rosecrans National Cemetary, California – this is a highly emotional and dramatic piece from Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. The clouds as captured in the sky are truly brooding, which in turn helps to produce the overall mood and feel of the scene as shot. This is a wonderful photograph, one that we highly recommend to view in this weeks list.
Under The Crossing – long exposure techniques smooth out the fast moving water in this wonderful photograph by Mike Victorino. The power and force of the water provides a strong juxtaposition against the still landscape elements that surround it, producing a piece that Mother Nature would be proud to hang on her wall.
Standing Tall – a sunburst unlike any other! In this great shot by Jim Denham, we get a landscape scene that is absolutely stunningly beautiful in the tones captured, but also provides strong elements of interest including one of the best sunbursts I’ve ever seen. The fabulous composition Jim employed here further adds so much to the shot, producing a strong and compelling image that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Williamsburg – top drawer composition coupled with wonderful post-processing techniques combine in this shot from the studio of Bob Lussier. This iconic bridge is studied in this image, which has been processed with a subtle texture filter to give the picture a slightly nostalgic feel. This is truly a great photograph, one well worth the time to visit.
Bahia Honda Rail Bridge – a really interesting bridge facility forms the basis for Anne McKinnell in this wonderful set of images. Great tones in the sky await the viewer in the first shot, and as the light changes Anne continues to capture incredible compositions that each have their own feel. Definitely a highlight in this weeks links list to check out!
Gussy’s Girls – a wonderful image from Steven Perlmutter is presented, with the well-known and famous Motif #1 shack as the backdrop. The pure essence of the water scene is skillfully captured and processed for all to enjoy, producing a strong and beautiful image to take in.
Albino Snake – a really great shot by Kat White displays a scene of an albino snake at Zoo Atlanta. Great details in the face of the snake really brings the wonder of this animal home for everyone to enjoy.
Red Kite in Action – the majesty and power of this great bird is forever captured in this slice of time by Bev, a master of nature photography. The absolutely crisp and highly detailed image really highlights the power and strength of this wonderful bird, producing a piece that is a true must-see shot in this weeks list.
The Birdie Buffet – wonderful colors and tones are captured in this top drawer shot of a Robin sitting in a tree. Truly incredible details all emerge as the viewer spends time taking this wonderful image in; a shot that is truly well worth the time to visit and view.
Ring Tailed Lemur – John Mead captures an image of this incredible animal, with such great details in the eyes that you swear it’s looking right through you! Each strand of fur, each whisker is exquisitely captured to share with everyone; this shot is guaranteed to delight and amaze, pop by and see for yourself.
Newbridge House and Farm Dublin Ireland – a wonderful photo of a historic building in Ireland awaits the viewer in this great shot by Keith Dixon. Great details in the old brickwork are brought to life here and are accented by a dark and brooding sky which in turn adds so much interest and character to the overall scene.
Amelia Island Tranquility in HDR – a beautiful landscape, with beautiful colors and tones and a beautiful reflection in the body of water. Jay&Jacy Photography capture and share a truly breathtaking image at this spot that appears to be the perfect setting for anyone’s wedding photos. This is an awesome picture, guaranteed to delight everyone who visits.
Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep – a stunning picture, straight from the studio of Hansrico Photography, shares a view of the powerful and commanding big horn sheep. The perfect composition that Rick employed to capture this shot is further accented by the fabulous and crisp details in the sheep itself as the viewer takes the scene in. This is a top drawer shot, one of our must-see images in this weeks list.
Snowy Pond – prepare to have your breath taken away. This is a truly incredible shot of a snowy landscape with some trees that provide so much extra interest to the overall scene. The cherry on top of the cake here, however, has to be that epic reflection in the still body of water that sits in the foreground… there’s no way I can do this shot justice with words here, my friends, head on over for a look as I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed!
The Portes du Soleil ski area – this is a wonderful series, as captured and shared by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). This world class ski area presents the most incredibly beautiful landscape opportunities for Andy, who in turn grabs some of the most stellar winter photographs I’ve seen in quite some time. The natural beauty of the whole area is accented by the folks who are busy enjoying the outdoor activities that facilities can offer… well worth the time to visit!
Sea of Green – abstract minimalism is alive and oh-so-well in this great image as produced by Curt Fleenor. We can all get lost in the emotion that Curt has so masterfully created through the creation of this image, guaranteeing anyone who visits a truly delightful experience.
A Valentine From the Pacific Ocean – while Valentines Day happens once a year, we can all enjoy the intense beauty of a great landscape photo any day. Renée Besta captures a truly fantastic shot of the ocean-side as the sun sets on the horizon, producing a piece that is full of fabulous colors and tones which are all accented by the incredible surrounding landscape. Definitely one of the shots that falls into our must-see category for the week.
Lone Boat – a wonderful landscape shot complete with fabulous reflections, a single boat sitting as if it’s waiting to head out, and a beautiful house far off in the background awaits the viewer in this great post from Steven Perlmutter. The natural tension in the scene from the boat helps to create a strong emotional sense in the viewer as they enjoy this great shot; one that is truly well worth the time to visit and view.
Austrian Photographer, Mela (Life is Beautiful Photography) – this is a wonderful interview with a truly talented UrBex photographer that sheds both a little insight into the artist herself as well as showcases some of her great work. Definitely well worth the time to visit.
Liquid Photos By Super Dad – prepare to be amazed, you’ll thank us later. This incredible series of images employs a technique I’ve never seen applied like this before. Markus Reugels and his epic works are highlighted in this highly engaging and intriguing post; a piece that is sure to amaze everyone to pops by to read it and view the images.
Working on a new one! – a master of specialty props, Terry Border delivers another epic shot in his series of shots. Great wit is punctuated with awesome photography, and in this case Terry really produces a piece that gives the viewer much to delight in.
Fallen but not Forgotten – the good folks at Dakota Visions Photography have delivered a profound and poignant piece in this wonderful post. The incredible photography combines with emotional thoughts to produce a piece that will surely amaze everyone who pops by for a visit and to view the images.
21 HDR Photography Myths Busted – never before have we seen a photographic technique that has been the source for as much fierce debate as HDR. In this detailed and well thought-out article, we find a document that dispels a lot of myths that surround this technique. This is a great article that at the very least can be a fabulous source of discussion.
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.