The Toad has been busy hopping all over the internet this week finding the best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This weeks list showcases a series of really great images and blog posts sure to be enjoyed by the photography fan in all of us! We hope you enjoy viewing this comprehensive series as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
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[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskley/6949680181/]Stairway to heaven 63/366[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/dskley/]Skley[/url], on Flickr
Aquarium photography: hook great fish photos with five simple tips – Indoor home aquariums offer great photographic opportunities. Photographer Chris Wray offers up detailed guidelines for taking beautiful reflection-free, tack-sharp aquarium photos in this comprehensive guide.
The Power of Curves – Blake Rudis delivers a 9:37 video tutorial on the power of curves for post processing. Blake goes into great detail showing the viewer how best to employ this technique, delivering a great interactive tutorial.
Capturing Wildlife Photography from a Distance – a brief and straight-forward tutorial that discusses some basic tips and tricks for photographing wildlife. This genre can be challenging due to physical constraints and technical details, and this article touches on these points.
Sunset on the Salton Sea – you’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful sunset captured in this photograph by Mike Olbinski. Some of the most beautiful colors and tones are to be found here, as well as a really incredible reflection that gives the scene a strong sense of a never-ending horizon.
West Coast Sunset – another sunset image, this time from the studios of Edin Chavez. This image creates a natural leading line to guide the viewer through the frame by using a pier that terminates right on the most beautiful sun. Fabulous colors and tones are all captured here, producing a piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Little Red – gorgeous deep red tones are all captured and shared in this beautiful picture by Helene Kobelnyk. A truly lovely composition and sympathetic processing to the subject converge in this great image.
Fog – this picture has all the elements of a great creepy story; fog, an old cemetery and grey, brooding light. Rich McPeek captures and shares a shot sure to make you want to run for the exit. There are great details and textures here, however, sure to keep the viewer engaged as you take the scene in.
Fox' First Snow – if you love raw emotion and tension in a photograph, you will love this one! Roeselien Raimond captures and shares an image of a fox making it’s way through a snow-fall, producing a piece that is absolutely wonderful.
Lisior – great wildlife photos can be compelling to view, and this is a great example of this. Robert Babisz delivers a shot of what appears to be a fox making it’s way to the photographer, capturing all the emotion and drama inherent in the scene.
The Oliver St. John Gogarty – a wonderful and detailed Irish pub awaits the viewer in this almost iconic shot of this fabulous character-rich facility. Jim Nix continues his releases of shots captured in Dublin, Ireland with a picture that is sure to delight and amaze all who pop by to visit and view.
Right Place, Right Time – a colorful and vibrant picture of the Pittsburgh city skyline at night with an epic reflection creating wonderful symmetry. Dave DiCello delivers another breathtaking HDR city photo, one that is a must-see shot in this weeks list.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/timmy2s/6957047141/]St Pol De Leon Cathedral[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/timmy2s/]Tim simpson1[/url], on Flickr
It Looked Good To Sarah – a gritty and grungy piece, straight from the studio of Jim Denham. This dramatic HDR picture shares a few elements of interest, exquisitely composed and processed by Jim. The rich details and abundant textures add so much of interest to the scene, making this picture a highlight in this weeks list.
Egret Fishing – another incredible wildlife photograph of an Egret in it’s natural habitat, by Anne McKinnell. In this picture, we find another really wonderful reflection in the pool of water the beautiful bird is perched in, producing a really strong element of interest.
Statue – Scott Frederick delivers another compelling architectural study of a massive glass building. The wonderful composition in this shot produces interesting geometries to be viewed and enjoyed by all who visit.
Bro Fist Rock – a naturally forming outcropping produces the perfect subject for Aaron Barlow to photograph. This incredible phenomenon creates an interesting shape against the backdrop of the sky, producing a compelling image to view and enjoy.
The Devil's Bridge – a breathtaking piece by Vasil Anastasovski shares a view of a wonderful old bridge and it’s accompanying reflection in the still waters in the foreground. This stunning photograph is so detailed and so beautiful, it’s guaranteed to delight and amaze all who visit.
Winter Visitor – what a beautiful creature, as exquisitely captured and shared by Jay Taylor. Jay captures a shot so detailed, the Snowy Owl captured here comes to life. The perfect composition and expression in the bird adds a ton of tension to the scene, and Jay delivers a compelling piece sure to be enjoyed by all.
Blue Lagoon, Fiji – gorgeous colors and details all emerge as the viewer spends time taking this incredible scene in. Ben Canales masterfully captures this breathtaking night shot, full of twinkling stars, lights flickering in the houses on the bay and a great reflection off the water in the foreground section.
Paris in Florida – Jim Nix takes us on a brief adventure to EPCOT Centre in Florida, where we take in a wonderful Parisian scene. Fabulous colors and details are all to be found here, whisking the viewer away to a beautiful and exotic location. This is a top drawer shot by Jim, well worth the time to visit and take in.
Coney Island Black and White Winter 2012 – Shore Theater – Mark Garbowski continues his study of film based photography, producing a really compelling piece showcasing the Shore Theatre on Coney Island. The image as produced has a strong sense of nostalgia to it due to the black-and-white aspect, producing a really dramatic piece highly reminiscent of photography from earlier this century.
Snow Leopard – this is an amazing wildlife photograph by Don Johnston, featuring a most beautiful Snow Leopard as it runs towards the camera. Don utilizes a spot-on composition and depth of focus in this great shot, producing a compelling and highly dramatic piece to be enjoyed by all who visit.
A bit of Finland – slightly surreal and otherworldly, this night photo taken of a building in a snowy field at night delivers great textures and details to enjoy. The shack used as the main subject is in poor condition, producing a strong element of interest to draw the viewers eye through the frame. Well worth the time to visit and view.
Hellingly Asylum – Bricks and Mortar – this highly emotional piece by Mark Blundell documents the last days of this iconic facility in the UK. This asylum was once home to many folks in varying stages of need, and was also a beautiful piece of Victorian architecture. Mark and his group document the last days of this fabled place, immortalizing it forever.
Coney Island Cross Processed 2012 – Welcome to the Scream Zone – there is just something old-school and wonderful about this image by Mark Garbowski. Marks recent film based photography has been something to enjoy lately, and his cross processed pieces are absolutely wonderful and unique in this genre.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcalsa/6810971510/]LINCE[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/gcalsa/]gcalsa[/url], on Flickr
Shoreditch Toaster – UK based photographer Chris Maskell captures and delivers an unique picture of street art. This particular toaster is part of a larger series that Chris discusses in his post. This is definitely a great shot, well worth the time to visit and view.
Route 66 in the Mojave Desert – a wonderful brief study on the current state of Amboy, California after the decline of the famous Route 66. Renée Besta does a fabulous job here of both documenting this photographically as well as sharing some of the historical details which in turn adds context.
Spring Waterfall – a really beautiful image, straight from the studio of Jerry Denham, shares a scene captured of a waterfall. This high resolution image brings all the detail and wonder of the location to life for everyone who visits to enjoy.
Ice Calving – incredible tones adorn this great shot that documents the action of ice calving, where a big piece of an active glacier breaks away and falls into the surrounding ocean. Len Saltiel has great timing in capturing this scene, producing a piece that is sure to be a delight for all who visit.
On The Waterfront at San Marcos – the rich colors and details of Castillo de San Marcos are masterfully captured and shared in this post by the folks at Jay & Jacy Photography. Florida has some of the most beautiful waters, and this post documents what is believed to be the oldest masonry fort in this gorgeous area of the world.
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park – Mark Summerfield shares a wonderful history lesson with his viewers which in turn is accented by really great photography. The facility is full of interesting artifacts on display, producing a stunning scene for Mark to photograph and share.
Menomonee and Underwood at Night – CJ Schmit produces some of the very best black-and-white pieces I’ve ever seen, and in this shot he really delivers. Incredible crisp details are all vividly captured in this night shot that uses long exposure techniques to bring a sense of life and motion to the scene.
Mist Through the Trees – an almost surreal and perhaps even a little otherworldly scene awaits the viewer in this awesome image from Barbara Youngleson. This game reserve in Africa finds itself enveloped in a mist, which in turn is wonderfully captured and shared here by Barbara, producing a really compelling and dramatic image.
Loch Leven Reflections. Scotland. – what an utterly mesmerizing photograph, straight from the studio of Barbara Jones. This beautiful landscape photograph showcases the inherent beauty in the Scottish landscape, and is accented by one of the most incredible natural reflections in any image posted in this weeks list. A true must-see shot!
London Wall At Night – Mark Blundell delivers another one of his jaw-droppingly awesome 360* panorama’s, this time taken at night in the bustling city of London. The presentation delivers an incredible amount of detail and wonder in the format he uses, producing a piece that is absolutely breathtaking.
The Las Vegas time machine – some of the most vibrant and vivid colors in a picture are evident in this compelling piece by Jim Nix. Jim pumps up the volume in this shot of an iconic hotel and casino entrance in the city of Las Vegas, resulting in an incredible picture.
Johnny Rockets – a spot-on composition is punctuated by wonderful colors and tones in this photograph by Jimi Jones. Jimi does a wonderful job putting this image together, producing a piece that is easy and pleasing on the eye.
Antelope Canyon – a study in abstract minimalism as produced by nature awaits the viewer in this great image from Jason Hines. This naturally forming element in Arizona serves as the most incredible photography subject for Jason, who in turn delivers a picture that is guaranteed to delight and amaze all who visit.
Street Opportunities in Turkey – Adam Allegro shares an epic set of images captured in the streets of Turkey. Processed in black-and-white, with a smattering of selective color in 2 of the posted images, this wonderful set is both dramatic and compelling; well worth the time to visit and view.
Speedway Sunset – what a truly wonderful sky we see in this awesome shot by Curt Fleenor! The empty speedway produces a dramatic element in this photograph, which is masterfully captured and processed by Curt for all to view and enjoy.
Lightly Covered – a wonderful architectural piece by Jim Denham shares a scene of the Caldwell Banker building, now abandoned. The beautiful architectural detailing is accented by the beauty of the recent snowfall, producing a must-see shot in this weeks list.
Colourful Skies at Cedar Key, Florida – a breathtaking series of images taken in Florida by Anne McKinnell. Several of the shots are composed with abandoned and derelict objects as primary and secondary subjects, adding so much interest. Fabulous colors and tones are all evident in the skies that Anne captures, producing a post that will be enjoyed by all who visit.
What’s Old is New Again – Bob Lussier has a magical way with a camera, and in this shot we see exactly why. His composition produces serious amounts of tension through the clever perspective which leaves as much to the imagination as is revealed. A truly must-see shot in this weeks list!
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/padraigmerr/6807635664/]Salton Sea lith[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/padraigmerr/]patrickMphotography[/url], on Flickr
Downtown Toronto – great black-and-white imagery can actually produce more through the act of including less. In this case, the removal of color produces a skyline shot that is full of rich details and drama. Roland Shainidze delivers a really wonderful piece here, sure to delight and amaze all who visit.
Millennium Bridge – with details so crisp you can almost cut yourself on them punctuated by wonderful tones and colors, this image of an iconic bridge in the UK reveals a view that is sure to take your breath away. This shot from the studio of Aubrey Stoll is a wonder to view.
FLY – an amazing macro photograph that is so sharp, the fly literally pops out of the monitor at the viewer. An absolutely spot-on depth of focus brings the subject right out, producing a mesmerizing piece sure to delight all who view and visit.
Tudor In Winter – a beautiful architectural study of an old, historic character-rich house. Jessica Jenney delivers further interest in the inherently wonderful scene by cleverly applying a rich texture to the resultant image, producing a compelling and unique piece.
Dolphin Resort – the bluest of skies and most beautiful modern architecture awaits the viewer in this great shot from Michael Lewis Glover. The resort at Walt Disney World casts a magnificent reflection in the water in the foreground of this great scene, adding a wonderful element of interest.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin – fabulous architectural details and breathtaking interior lighting converge in this stunning photograph by Jim Nix. Jim shares a shot of the interior of this iconic cathedral, which appears to be frozen in time.
Royal Exchange – a historic location forever captured in time by Mark Blundell. All the character of the setting is carefully composed by Mark, punctuated with the added touch of modern architecture peeking out in the backdrop leaving lingering questions for the viewer.
Puretones (I): Rafel, Miquel, Pep i Lluís … – a wonderful portrait study of four very serious looking men. Tomàs Rotger captures a scene with some really great lighting especially noticeable in the shadows, producing a striking and dramatic piece to enjoy.
Diego Rivera Mural, Detroit – my eye wandered around this scene in a very deliberate pattern starting with the lively mural, working the way through the field of chairs and finally resting on the man with the camera. Ren Bostelaar is the master of candid imagery, and as such draws the viewer directly into the image.
Ballys Atlantic City – I love this composition, with the great detail of lights being on in some of the rooms adding a touch of interest. Jimi Jones shares another vivid and sharp image with a focus on striking architecture in this photograph.
Cracked Earth – a strong natural leading line created through the composition of a huge crack in the stone accented by the beautiful scene of the backdrop deliver a great photograph to enjoy. Andy Gimino shares a beautiful landscape, carefully processed in black-and-white for added drama.
Too Loaded to Fly – a sharp image that is perfectly accompanied by some sharp wit is the trademark of Rob Hanson. This incredible shot of a bee making its rounds has the added depth of a wonderful blog post, producing a piece that will be enjoyed by all who visit.
Brooklyn Bridge – Edith Levy shares a shot of this iconic bridge that will leave you swearing it’s a classic. Delicately processed in sepia to add further depth to this feeling, Edith creates a beautiful image full of wonder and nostalgia.
Stone Ascent – The Stair Whisperer strikes again in this incredible architectural study of historic stairs at the Stone Mill Bob Lussier has carefully documented before. Bob is well known for his particular skill of shooting staircases, bringing to life all the character inherent in the scene for all to enjoy.
Backcountry British Columbia – best put on a helmet before clicking this link, you are about to be amazed beyond words. Kevin McNeal shares a shot with some of the most wonderful natural light gently draping across the sharp and beautiful landscape scene. To say this is all accented by an epic reflection in the foreground doesn’t even begin to describe this must-see shot in this weeks list.
Green Fields… – green being the operative word here, this incredible image from the studio of Pawel Kucharski delivers a stunning landscape view. The beautiful tones of the trees that pepper the gently rolling hills dot the subtle variations in the natural light over the terrain.
Cellular – Mike Olbinski is a master of lightning photography, and this shot delivers all the drama and power of Mother Nature at work. The careful black-and-white processing brings a sharp silhouette of a cellular tower to life for all to enjoy.
Serenity on the Salton Sea – a whisper still reflection generates so much strength and beauty in this almost surreal shot from the studio of Chris Frailey. Further punctuated by the incredible colors in the sky, this shot is sure to amaze and delight all who visit.
my love my heart – utterly amazing, this incredible image of a mother cradling it’s baby who in turn has the most wonderful eyes delivers a piece sure to leave the viewer emotional. Sushan Shrestha shares a most compelling piece, one of our must-see shots in this weeks list.
The Liquid Love: developing a perfect shape for splash – Alex Koloskov masterfully creates a composite shot with breathtaking results. Alex is the master of splash photography, and he offers a detailed video tutorial of how to go about this complex process.
Waterscapes – a beautiful collection of waterscape scenes as photographed by Saija Lehtonen guarantees to delight and amaze all who pop by to visit and view. Great reflections and landscapes are all presented, creating an album to see.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarniebill/6801092844/]It is time to find a date[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/sarniebill/]sarniebill1[/url], on Flickr
Abandoned House – an abandoned house sits under the heavy cloak of a brooding sky casts a dramatic and compelling scene for Mindy McGregor to capture and share. This is a stunning piece, an absolutely must-see image in this weeks list.
Bennett's Mill Covered Bridge – historic covered bridges in the US make for great architectural studies in photography, and Mark Summerfield does a great job of sharing such a structure in this post. The wonderful old Kentucky bridge is preserved forever with Marks great work.
Rough Living – an old unused penitentiary in Philadelphia produces the most striking material for photographers. This converted prison is now a museum, and is a hot spot for photographers due to the many places of interest in the facility, rich with textures from years of deterioration. This particular shot also exhibits some really wonderful natural light, adding further interest.
Skeleton – a shipwreck near shore provide the most perfect subject for this great shot from Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr. Wonderful tones in the sky accent the bones of this forgotten ship, helping to add wonderful elements to the enjoyment of this photograph.
The Theatre – a dark moody theme awaits the viewer in this post-apocalyptic shot. Brandt Campbell captures and shares a dramatic monochromatic image that will leave the visitor with a foreboding sense, wanting more.
Naked tree – trees produce the most striking silhouettes at times, with their natural affinity for fractals creating striking lines and shapes. This particular photo is accented by a wonderful tone in the sky, creating a dramatic scene for all to enjoy from the studio of Alvar Astúlez.
Open Me If Your Dare – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck adventure out to the Salton Sea area in California, a true mecca for photographers. This image as posted shares a moody and dramatic image of a doorway with some really interesting graffiti alongside it adding tons of interest to the scene.
Guiding Fence – a wonderful leading line as produced by a fence-line delivers a dramatic image from Jim Denham. The beautiful morning light drapes the scene, gently covering the snow and producing great shadows from the surrounding trees; well worth a visit and view this week!
Bridge of Sighs – this black-and-white shot from the studio of Gareth Glynn Ash shares a moody and dramatic look at a bridge with a wonderful sunburst punctuating the scene. The gentle line of the bridge produces an almost vanishing point feel to the scene, creating a compelling shot to enjoy.
Lifeguards – I am totally with Steve Beal on his comments on this photograph; I love my 50mm prime lens! The power to isolate your subject in the scene is a great tool to have as a photographer, and Steve really showcases this technique with a great story he shares with his viewers visually.
The Old West – a picture that makes you feel like you are in a time 100 years ago, standing on a hill at night overlooking this incredible scene. Steve Steinmetz captures and delivers an image so detailed and sharp, it leaves the viewer discovering details as time is spent soaking in the picture.
Ural Owl Spreads his Wings – gifted nature photographer Bev has a way with timing when it comes to wildlife photography. In this wonderful shot, she captures an owl mid-flight with it’s wings spread and a delightful expression on it’s face.
Cardinal with Cold Toes – Kerri Farley captures and shares a vivid photograph of a Cardinal as it sits in the snow. The wonderful composition Kerri uses brings all the details of this beautiful creature to life for everyone to enjoy.
Bald Eagle – a closeup shot of a majestic bald eagle, as shared by Robin Lamb. This powerful bird sits stoically in a tree, producing the perfect subject for Robin to photograph and share with everyone.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/winnu/6960472795/]IMG_7438-2[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/winnu/]winnu[/url], on Flickr
The Maori Wrasse – Species of the Reef – a totally unique species of fish creates a great subject for this pair of photographs. The folks at New Horizon capture and share this post, highlighting a fish we don’t see very often.
Crafted By Nature – a spiders web delicately adorned with dew-drops presents a picture that at first glance looks to be of a beautiful necklace. The intricate web design is wonderful captured with a shallow depth of focus by Kerri Farley, producing a striking piece sure to be enjoyed by all who view.
Winter Ant – a wonderful macro shot of an ant in it’s natural habitat straight from the studio of Rick Lieder. Once again, in this shot the fabulous depth of focus used helps to isolate the tiny ant, drawing the viewer right to the subject.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Part I – a great primer on the history and tools available for HDR photography, by the folks at Dakota Visions Photography. This well written piece was extensively researched, giving the reader a solid background on how this genre came to be.
10 Compelling Posts on Portrait Photography – a list within our list! Doug Pruden compiles and shares a comprehensive list of great sites that discuss various aspects of portrait photography. Well worth the time if this genre of image creation is of interest to you and your practice.
The Incredible, Invisible Mercedes – what a novel use of imagery. Mercedes-Benz uncovers, if you will, their latest invention that embodies zero emission technology by filming it in various places in Germany using a completely unique technique.
I’m in ‘Digital Photographer’ Magazine! – life can change in the blink of an eye. In this great post from Viveca Koh she shares with us her story of how her work came to be predominantly featured in a well-known print publication. This is wonderful news for her, and is well deserved! It also serves as a wonderful source of inspiration for those of us trying to follow in her footsteps.
Icy Caverns Under The Tianuksa River – this naturally forming phenomenon is carefully documented and shared by Yuri Ovchinnikov. The scene as captured here is something so unique, it defies description and truly falls into the “you’ve got to see it to believe it” category.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/godrichufflepuff/6947436731/]The Forgotten[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/godrichufflepuff/]Godric Hufflepuff[/url], on Flickr
AskJoeB: Winter – I always come away with a deeper understanding of my craft, a touch of entertainment and the ability to view a great photograph when I visit the site of Joe Baraban. This image critique has all the best of these elements, creating a post that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all who pop by.
Breakwater Mural II – this post belongs in both the Great Photography section as well as here in the Interesting Blogs section due to the vast amount of background information presented by local photographer Ehpem. Our area is rich with history, and we are devoted to preserving this for all to remember and enjoy. In this post, we go in-depth into the making of a famous local mural and dive into the surrounding history. Well worth the time to visit and view!
Nat Geo’s Extreme Photo of the Week – National Geographic continues to deliver powerful and incredible imagery of the world we live in. This feature set of images contains a series that is just wonderful to explore visually, whisking the viewer away to far away places and situations that are beyond astonishing.
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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.