The Toad has been away working on location quite a bit lately and we finally find him back at his desk working on a new weekly list of links to tutorials, special features and great photography. This week's list covers a wide variety of genres and subjects, all posted and shared online by some of the best artists and writers working in the field today. We really hope you enjoy this compendium of links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing it to you.
Bite Size Tips: How to Get the Perfect Exposure with a Histogram – this article is a great primer for learning how to fully leverage the built-in histogram feature of our modern digital cameras. Mastering the application of the histogram is a very powerful feature available in contemporary cameras that can help you visualize the quality of the exposure which often results in better images.
How to enhance colors in sunset photos with a single layer, and get optimal results – in many cases when it comes to photo post-production the simplest methods create great results, as we see here in this short 5 minute video tutorial that shows us how to use a channel mixing technique in Photoshop to accent vibrant colors in the sky in landscape shots. This is definitely a good technique to have available in your own workflow.
7 Ways to Make Your Photos More Interesting – we all strive to capture those images that please our inner artist by expressing a personal style. This short tutorial covers 7 key points that can help you focus in achieving your goals, and it also includes great shots along the way to help you visualize the topic being covered.
Easily Balance Flash With Natural Light – using a single strobe or speedlight in a natural light situation can produce amazing results in terms of portraiture. This short video presentation shows us how to quickly and easily take advantage of these techniques and includes some great sample shots to show you the final images.
How to Isolate a Moving Subject: Panning for Beginners – learning how to fully leverage panning techniques is an important skill for those of us who strive to capture dynamic shots that include a strong sense of motion. This short video tutorial covers the basics of how best to capture this genre of image through an understanding of the various working elements used in this technique.
Tips for Creating Stunning Images of Seascapes – capturing compelling seascape shots is a skill all its own that requires different techniques from other types of photography. This video tutorial covers this style of photography in just over 11 minutes and includes some breathtaking sample shots sure to inspire you in your own quest.
Photographer Travels the Globe to Capture ‘The World in Faces – photography has the power to transcend geography in the case of Alexander Khimushin,a Queensland, Australia-based photographer who has traveled to many different countries in a quest to capture as many portraits of the people who live there as possible. This selection of images from his project each tell a story of the person pictured, and for those who love diversity and the art of portraits, this post is a real highlight in this week’s list.
This Photographer Snuck Into the Wrecked Cruise Ship Costa Concordia – the rusty and dirty remains of the infamous Costa Concordia tell a haunting story of a first-class cruise ship after it was sunk in a terrible accident. These images capture what is left in the ship just before the dismantlement process was undertaken, creating a compelling catalog of shots and a great video presentation of this sad story.
Martin Gonzalez’s Hypnotic Black and White Seascapes – this great interview frames a series of black-and-white seascape shots that possess a deep sense of wonder and magic for the viewer. The insight provided in the interview adds a perfect layer to the overall presentation, sure to inspire you to follow your own passions in the field of photography.
19 Places to Find Free Stock Images for Commercial Use – this collection of websites is useful for those looking for online resources that provide free stock images for commercial use. Great sample shots are included with the listings, giving you an idea of the quality that is available on these sites.
Budapest Noir – Jason Row uses black-and-white post-processing to emphasize the inherent drama found observing the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest at night. The spectacular architectural elements of this grand building are underscored in this composition by the smooth reflections of light beaming across the waterway towards the spot where the photograph was taken.
Manarola twilight – soft pastel colors creates swatches across the sky as the day’s light gives way to evening in this wonderful shot from Jim Nix. This tiny community in Italy sits perched on the steep cliffs that overlook the ocean, with wonderful buildings and homes that create the sense of character the region is so well known for.
Purple colors – for those who love and appreciate the vibrancy of the color purple, this is a must-see shot for this week, captured and shared by Lensup. Captured in southern France this wonderful photograph features rows of lavender that form perfect leading lines into the picture where a terrific sky creates a perfect finishing element.
Spanning the Columbia – Astoria, Oregon – Len Saltiel does a great job in capturing a shot of a landmark bridge on the west coast of the US, one that is 4 miles long and is widely considered to be the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. The bright blue skies create a perfect canvas for the architectural wonder to stand out against as it creates a strong leading line that culminates in a vanishing point in the distance.
Rock Tower – there is an intrinsic romance found in pictures with lighthouses as the primary subject, as we see here in this warm shot by Alexander Riek. As the sun hangs low on the horizon for this picture, it casts a golden hue across the scene and the face of the lighthouse itself, creating a strong feeling of hope and joy.
Howler Monkey – as Ron Niebrugge visits a place that is on my personal bucket-list, Costa Rica, he comes away with a detailed portrait of a Howler Monkey hanging from a tree as it stares back at the camera. Ron’s shot does a great job of capturing the wonderful personality these creatures are known for as it hangs about in its natural habitat.
Ancestral Roots – Enrico Fossati captures a moody and ethereal shot deep in the forest that focuses on the incredible root structure found at the base of a large moss-covered tree. A thin fog lingers over the scene, muting the colors and enhancing the overall feel of the picture.
The Trundle hill at Fall – beautiful colors in the trees create a warm set of tones that find harmony with the collection of sheep milling about the countryside in this wonderful bucolic shot from Barry Turner. This shot exhibits great detail along with various layers that help to create the overall mood.
Golden sunset over pacific ocean – a stunning sunburst peers through an opening in a natural rock formation that leans out towards the open ocean on the shore in this great picture from David Dai. David drags the shutter a bit in taking this shot which smooths out the energetic waters as they lap against the beach to complete this wonderful composition.
Barnstorm – my personal penchant for old and weathered barns finds ultimate satisfaction in this terrific shot from Michael Criswell. The patina on the old wood that comprises the structure of this well-loved barn reveals the years of harsh climate and use that has gone into the making of the character found here.
End of the Day – there is just something mysterious and magical about the sun as it sits just above the horizon at the end of day, creating warmer color tones and adding a great feel to a scene. This shot from Ricardo Mateus looks out over the open waters as a lone sailboat and its occupants ready for the coming nightfall, taking advantage of the perfect conditions.
the soaring ceiling – intricate architectural details come to life in this tack sharp shot of the interior of an incredible cathedral located on Prince Edward Island in the eastern region of Canada. Frank King’s shot takes advantage of the incredible scale of the space to capture all the delicate features of the design for all to view and enjoy.
november fog – Kai Ziehl creates a composition that exudes the eerie feeling of a fog-shrouded scene found at a bridgeway as a lone person walks away in the distance. The finishing of this shot as a black-and-white enhances the overall moodiness of the scene, highlighting the sense of drama and artistic tension.
Fill Er Up – CJ Schmit delivers a great monochromatic shot that features the front facade of what looks to be a very old gas station. Regardless of whether or not this is an authentic gas station, the nostalgia captured in the frame whisks the viewer back in time to a point where things old and weathered had true character.
Upper Antelope Canyon – I just love the abstract swirls and shapes created by this natural rock phenomenon found in the world-famous Antelope Canyons as captured by Evan Gearing. The natural geometrical shapes and openings that allow in the light create amazing color artifacts that play with light and shadow, drawing you in as your eye wanders through the image.
A Strange, Soggy Beauty – many photographs find beauty and allure in things that are not widely considered to be such, and close-up studies of these things can be a compelling artform for those interested in taking a deeper look. In this pair of shots from Laurie MacBride we see the remnants of autumn and the decaying effect time has on all things eventually.
Gluggafoss Iceland – the island of Iceland is on my bucket-list of must-see places with all of it’s incredible landscapes and waterfalls. Urs Schmidli captures a stunning long-exposure piece to share here that features one of these majestic waterfalls, with the exposure time smoothing out the fast moving waters set against the lush greens of the surroundings.
Fushimi Inari Shrine – repeating shapes and colors dominate the frame in this great shot from Barbara Youngleson that uses the lines of the red posts of an old shrine in Kyoto, Japan as a main compositional element. Barbara’s unique composition with this image blends in natural elements of the surrounding trees with the vibrant colors of the shrine to create this strong picture.
The Dark Side – talk about crushing the blacks here, this dramatic photograph by Ricardo Mateus is a pure exploration of contrast against subtle light that peers out through a thick cloud cover. The bridge that forms the prime subject in this shot also creates a strong leading line, and the long-exposure time smooths out the waters in this epic black-and-white piece.
Drop stories – all the magic and wonder found in the convex surface of a water drop creates a wondrous lens into our local universe as explored and shared here in this selection of shots shared by Mathias Lucas. This is a great set of this genre of photography with each picture capturing a unique essence of this phenomenon in the context of a single still frame.