This week has been filled with great photography, tutorials and interesting blogs as shared by some truly gifted artists. The photography community has been busy, and Toad Hollow Photography has compiled this list of some of the very best pieces encountered during their weekly adventures. We sincerely hope you enjoy viewing these posts as much at the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
The Toad is offering several Limited Edition Prints for sale on his gallery, please feel to pop over and check them out. These prints are only being offered in runs of 25, all printed on KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Metallic VC Digital Paper which brings an extra dimension to the images, almost giving them a 3D look.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/6820565620/]Forest dream![/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/vinothchandar/]VinothChandar[/url], on Flickr
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Part II – The Inner Sanctum of Photomatix Pro – a fairly detailed look into one of the premier software tools used widely by photographers for producing HDR images by Dakota Visions Photography. Basic steps are outlined and tips are provided on the individual settings the software presents, demystifying the process.
A Simple 2 Light Setup for Great Portraits – Doug Pruden delivers a comprehensive piece sharing details on a simple 2 light setup that produces astonishing results for portrait based photography. This is a well written piece, that is easy to follow and implement.
Food For Digital Thought: Incident vs Reflected Light – Joe Baraban produces another information-rich post detailing the different types of light. Joe’s technical tips shed some important light on this complex subject; this is a must-read piece in this weeks list.
How Less Can be More in Photography Composition – a concise tutorial that discusses some of the finer points of photography composition. This brief read will leave the viewer with a renewed view of the old expression “less is more”.
State of Decay – one of my favorite posts from this week, Chris Maskell shares a compelling and dramatic piece taken inside an abandoned derelict building. The accompanying words and thoughts that Chris shares combines with the wonderful image to deliver a must-see piece in this weeks list.
Revisiting Padula – this breathtaking series of black-and-white images showcases an ancient monastery founded in 1306. This epic series from the studio of Adam Allegro is sure to leave you breathless.
Amazing Reflection Photography Ideas and Photos – 35 wonderful reflection themed photographs await the visitor in this post. I love the power and interest that come from great reflections in imagery, and this compiled series shares some great examples.
Heresy – an astonishing image of a monk overlooking mountainous terrain is shared by Karezoid Michal Karcz. This stunning piece has all the elements of a masterpiece with great drama and tension delivered through the perfect composition.
The Open Range – an image that takes the viewer immediately to a time where cowboys roamed the land, and the terrain was rugged. Hansrico Photography captures and shares a wonderful shot of the Monument Valley in Utah.
Puffed Dreamer – Rob captures a Dove as it sits on the bird feeder in the morning. The absolutely exquisite natural light highlights the edges of the feathers, bringing this beautiful bird to life for everyone to enjoy.
Vive la Difference – Barbara Youngleson completely separates her subjects from the background in this beautiful photograph of a pair of flowers. The dramatic capture and subsequent processing delivers a piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey – this old abbey produces the perfect subject for Adam Allegro to visit and photograph. The rich character of this historic location is wonderfully captured and processed to deliver a great series to visit and enjoy.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/nameless-profile/6974209869/]Prairie[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/nameless-profile/]@Michael[/url], on Flickr
Light Tunnel – the best natural abstracts can take the imagination on a journey. Jason Hines captures and shares a perfect example of this from Antelope Canyon. This photograph has some of the most compelling natural tones and light I’ve seen in quite a while.
The “way back machine” on I-5 – Scott Wood captures and shares a really dramatic and fluid image taken in Washington State at night, overlooking a fast moving freeway. The wonderful colors and subtle details work together to create a truly compelling piece.
Lost Children – a composite piece is produced by Andy Gimino that shares a dark and eerie scene of an abandoned house with textural overlays. The end result is a dramatic and moody piece that is really a wonder to take in.
Ants Marching – a masterpiece taken from the roof of the Steel Building in downtown Pittsburgh shares an overhead view of the city that is guaranteed to keep the viewer mesmerized. Dave DiCello captures and shares a city shot sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
No Way Out – doors can produce the most striking photography subjects, creating in some cases a perfect frame for the overall expression. Steve Beal captures and shares such a shot of an old, character-filled door of an abandoned factory.
A Brooklyn Bench – Mike Olbinski and I share a love for dramatic leading lines in photographs, and in this case he delivers a wonderful example. The Brooklyn Bridge is an often filmed spot in the world, but each image seems to deliver a unique and personal view of this piece of grand architecture.
Stone Exit – a wonderful texture-rich shot taken in the attic of the Stone Mill awaits the viewer in this exquisite piece from the studio of Bob Lussier. The composition and processing Bob uses to create this image help to produce a strong image that is highly sympathetic to the subject.
Weekend Relaxer #10 – all the character of a crafted beer label is wonderfully captured and shared by Chris Nitz. A regular feature on Chris’ blog, this installment is definitely well worth the time to visit and view.
Miss Harrier – all the power and strength of the Northern Harrier is eloquently captured in this photograph by Jay Taylor. The composition creates a strong tension in the scene, and the perfect depth of focus brings this incredible bird to life for all to enjoy.
Look – an owl stares back at the viewer in this engaging picture by Sasi – smit. The shallow depth of focus brings the scene alive with the beautiful bird presenting itself as the true star of the show.
Little House of Horrors – HDR photography is often used in the capture and processing of UrBex based themes. The wide dynamic range can be used to produce pieces of fine art that are without peer, as illustrated by these great images from the studio of Renée M. Besta.
Three Rivers – two rivers meet to become part of one larger system with a wonderful city backdrop in this compelling piece from Rich McPeek. Wonderful tones and details are all captured in this shot, producing a piece that is a must-see in this weeks list.
The Rock – without a doubt, one of the most dramatic pictures I have encountered during this weeks adventures online. A simple rock is perfectly composed and processed by Stefano Pedroni delivering an image that is beyond proper description and must be seen.
Moonrise over Lake Massabesic, Auburn, NH – an incredibly dramatic piece from the studio of John Sotiriou delivers a moonrise that gently paints the landscape, creating wonderful silhouettes and shapes to take in and enjoy.
The Alma – Crystal Palace – Mark Blundell shares another one of his epic 360* panorama presentations, this time showcasing the inside of a wonderfully done pub. This style of interactive presentation immerses the viewer directly into the scene, delivering a really special experience sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Alphabet – Scott Frederick shares an image of shelves holding old and weathered letters of the alphabet. The wonderful composition and details inherent in the scene bring this moody and fascinating place to life for all to enjoy.
The photographer Iker Aizkorbe – this is one of the most striking scenes in this weeks list, hands-down. A photographer perched atop a rock platform creates a stunning silhouette against the beautiful night sky. A must-see image from the studio of Martin Zalba.
Italy, 2012, Post #1 – a must, must see set of epic images from the studio of infraredatelier shares all the character and wonder of Italy. This is a comprehensive set of infrared-based photographs, well worth the time to visit and view.
Three Generations – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck share a black-and-white study of the beauty of the camera. Three generations of these incredible pieces are captured and shared in this post, a highlight for the week.
Blue hour at The Modern – wonderful colors and tones are generated by the gentle blue hour light, serving to produce a truly compelling piece by Jim Nix. The Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth presents a striking pose for Jim to capture and share here.
Rockefeller Chapel – B&W – CJ Schmit captures and shares a striking architectural study done in black-and-white of this iconic building. Crisp details are highlighted by the great contrast in a piece sure to delight and amaze all who visit and view.
It’s About Time! – a colorful and lively piece from the studio of Jimi Jones shares a picture of a historic time piece wonderfully captured. This captivating piece is a must-see picture in this weeks list.
Flashback – I love the perspective as well as the rich textures as captured in this great shot from Blake Rudis. A brooding sky adds a ton of interest to the scene, delivering a really wonderful image to visit and view.
South Street Seaport- The View from Pier 17 – the cold bite of the winter air takes nothing away from this stunning cityscape shot of NY by Edith Levy. The Brooklyn Bridge leads the eye into the city skyline, producing a dramatic piece to be enjoyed by all who see it.
Movement – Milwaukee – this is a great shot with so much active motion! Jim Denham pans a scene of a quick moving cyclist, and at just the right moment composes a dramatic scene and captures it frozen in time for us all to enjoy.
USS MIDWAY (CV-41) – Jerry Denham delivers a dramatic black-and-white shot of this epic aircraft carrier. The great composition Jerry used to capture this shot delivers a unique piece.
I Double Dog Dare You! – Rob Hanson magically shares and image and a wonderful post that is sure to leave you smiling. This wonderful photograph of a Carolina Anole is accented by Rob’s clever humor; a piece guaranteed to delight everyone.
New Orleans Streetcar – this classic streetcar piece straight from the studio of Anne McKinnell shares a new perspective of this iconic scene. Wonderful textures and tones reveal a wonderful city street scene, one that is a must-see in this weeks list.
Expedition Everest – Mark Garbowski takes a break from his recent series of film based photography to share a vivid and colorful scene of a beautiful Florida morning. The mountain at Disney World produces a striking silhouette, wonderfully shot and processed by Mark.
Tipton-Haynes Historic Site – a wonderful series of images showcasing Tennessee’s Most Historic Site from the studio of Mark Summerfield. This facility is presented through a short set of photographs, delivering a top drawer post in this weeks list.
Vision Thing – the sharp peaks of distant mountain range peek above a seamless horizon producing a truly magical photograph by Zsolt Andras Szabo. Wonderful tones and colors add further depth to the magic captured.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/6829305136/]Master[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/jonathankosread/]Jonathan Kos-Read[/url], on Flickr
Twister – a truly breathtaking piece by Aubrey Stoll shows a bright and lively city skyline as the backdrop to a stunning marine themed photograph. The wonderful reflections in the water produce a piece that is really most enjoyable.
Small Falls – Michael Glover shares a shot of a waterfall taken using a specialty lens made by Lensbaby called the Composer. The effect is really quite compelling, producing a piece that is sure to be a delight for all who visit.
Visions of Banff – one of Canada’s most incredible features finds its way in front of the lens of Len Saltiel. The beautiful Rocky Mountains are the home to the wonderful little Town of Banff, a Canadian icon.
Stir of Trade – a compelling image from the studio of Steven Perlmutter takes us into the heart of Newburyport. Wonderful colors and tones accent the scene, bringing it to life for all to enjoy.
The Office Desk – a desk and chair sit frozen forever in time in this great shot from Bob Lussier. Spot-on composition and impeccable processing converge to help create an image full of tension and interest.
Into The White – a high-key shot with a natural leading line that becomes a vanishing point, I love it! Aaron Barlow uses this technique to create a well-balanced minimalistic image that is truly mesmerizing.
Last light – great, great colors in the sky accent a beautiful landscape scene as presented by David Keochkerian. Wonderful golden oranges in the evening sky are blended with delicate blues in the body of water in the foreground, combining to create a breathtaking piece.
That Wathn’t Vewwy Funny – a Carolina Anole continues to be the source of Rob Hanson’s photography work and clever penmanship. Guaranteed to leave you smiling, this must-see post is highly entertaining on several levels.
The Cathedral – an intense and massive sense of scale strikes the viewer in this highly dramatic piece from the studio of Stefano Pedroni. This strong monochromatic architectural study is a great piece, a must-see piece in this weeks list.
waiting…………… – stunning and breathtaking colors await the viewer in this beautiful image by hamni juni. A wonderful boat sits in the foreground with a gentle reflection of light from the water dancing on its side, adding further interest to this compelling scene.
Beautiful Detroit Photos – a pair of wonderful images by Rod Arroyo shares a glimpse of some of the beauty and grandeur that can be found in the great American city, Detroit. One image is highly dramatic in its black-and-white state and the other is mesmerizing with wonderful colors and tones.
Ponte dell’Accademia – a peek overlooking a wandering canal in Venice shares a view of the beautiful cityscape. Giuseppe Sapori captures and shares a beautiful image of this wonderfully romantic scene.
Blue hour in Old Montreal – the lights of the city glisten and reflect off the wet cobblestone street in this iconic shot by Jim Nix. Wonderful colors and tones in this image really bring this historic Canadian city to life for all to enjoy.
Night Witch – a mystical and captivating image awaits the viewer in this incredibly wonderful photograph. This haunting picture is captured and shared by Mieke Suharini, and is truly one of our must-see images in this weeks list.
Cardinal’s Domain – the snowy winter surroundings contrast wonderfully against the bright and vibrant Cardinal, creating an almost selective-color piece naturally. Rob Nopola captures a really special and unique photograph, well worth the time to visit and view.
The Little Wooden Barrel – a magical little wooden container for a magical elixir. This great photograph by Tim Stanley showcases a Crown Royal barrel, wonderfully composed and captured.
Passage To Nowhere – a bit of an optical illusion, a bit of mystery; Curt Fleenor captures a shot of an underground casement with a standing pool of water on the floor. The natural leading lines as created by the floor and bricks in the ceiling coupled with gentle reflections on the floor combine to create a truly mesmerizing piece to enjoy in this weeks list.
Ahhh, Spring! – Jim Denham delivers a series of shots of skateboarders practicing their feats as spring sets in in his area. The frozen action shots Jim captures here are all really sharp, and capture the character and essence of the scene.
Bourbon Street, New Orleans – the energy, color and liveliness of Mardi Gras is captured and shared by Anne McKinnell in this series of New Orleans photographs. Anne tries out her Lensbaby, producing a truly unique set sure to delight and amaze all who pop by.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6838416016/]Lake sunset[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]Nick-K (Nikos Koutoulas)[/url], on Flickr
The Final Curtain – Bob Lussier conducts another photographic study of natural decay. The theatre in the Belcehrtown State School for the Feeble Minded is in rapidly deteriorating condition, and Bob captures a great shot, forever memorializing this iconic location.
Standing Tall Against The Wind – Scott Frederick has mastered the art of long exposure photography, in this case delivering a dramatic and compelling shot. Shot at high noon, this image actually looks like it’s a capture from another planet entirely; absolutely mesmerizing!
Chi-town by Night – CJ Schmit delivers a powerful and compelling shot of the Chicago city skyline looking over the Chicago River. Great details and colors pop out of the scene, punctuated by a wonderful soft reflection in the river.
Broadway II – an ethereal and surreal piece with great tones and colors. The silhouettes of the people in this shot add a touch of tension and drama, producing a wonderful image well worth the time to visit.
Yonge & Dundas, Toronto – Ren Bostelaar captures a shot of Toronto as people make their way about their busy daily lives. This candid shot of the Toronto city is really quite compelling, with an awesome sunflare to add a touch of interest.
The USS Midway – this massive aircraft carrier produces a striking figure in the San Diego harbor for Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck to shoot and share. This incredible ship is masterfully photographed, producing a piece that is a delight to view.
Sail Reflections – this wonderful facility in the heart of Vancouver presents itself to Len Saltiel as the perfect subject matter. Great reflections off the windows coupled with wonderful natural lighting all converge to help create a truly mesmerizing piece.
The Hatter – LensScaper (Andy Hooker) shares a shot of a painting of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. This colorful and vibrant graffiti is wonderfully captured for all to visit and enjoy.
Blue Hour – colors, tones and details await the viewer in this wonderful photograph from the studio of Rich McPeek. Rich shoots the beautiful city of Pittsburgh overlooking the river, producing a truly striking piece that will be enjoyed by all who visit.
Battersea Power Station – a powerful and immersive industrial study awaits the viewer with this great photograph from Mark Blundell. The power station and coal cranes produce striking shapes against the night sky, making this a must-see shot in this weeks list.
A Symphony of Lights … – the Northern Lights paint the sky with a delicate brush of green, producing an utterly mesmerizing piece. Iurie Belegurschi captures and shares a shot so incredible, it is guaranteed to take your breath away.
Chair – a rocking chair captured and processed in black-and-white produces a striking and dramatic pose in this shot from Don Waters. The natural tension the lighting introduces to the scene helps to create a mesmerizing piece, one that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Dancing – a wonderful natural frame from the surrounding trees brings the viewers eye right to the silhouette of the girl as she dances in the beautiful light awaits the viewer in this wonderful shot by Peter From. Guaranteed to lift your heart and make you smile.
Magnolia macro – Kat White captures and shares a truly beautiful shot of a Magnolia flower blooming. The wonderful colors and tones are accented in this fabulous shot by the natural light at play, producing a gorgeous shot well worth the time to view.
A Sideways Look – a wonderful capture of an expressive owl is shared by Bev in this great photograph. Bev has a great collection of owl shots, and this one is definitely one of the more compelling and entertaining images I have seen in her series.
Present Blessings – a detailed macro of a gorgeous butterfly is masterfully captured by Kerri Farley in this stellar shot. The incredible details evident in the wings are brought to life for all to enjoy, making this a must-see shot in this weeks list.
History – Heather Neil begins a personal journey by sharing some of her grandfathers letters and opens this new series with two old photographs of him as well. This has all the elements of a wonderful series, sure to teach us all a little something about Heather, and in turn ourselves.
A few Skutz Falls photos – Joseph de Lange, a local photographer to my area, shoots and shares a series of images taken of a series of rapids and fish ladders taken on the historic Cowichan River. The accompanying blog post by Joseph shares some great details on our area, delivering a piece that is sure to by enjoyed by all who visit.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/katia_romanova/6983662615/]you're washing my heart away[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/katia_romanova/]katiaromanova[/url], on Flickr
The Lion of St. Mark’s – An HDR Collaboration – the collaborators come together once again to produce a really remarkable series of images as seen in the eyes of the individual artists. Once again, I am amazed at the deep diversity that comes from this projects, as each participant delivers a wholly remarkable image.
Photographer of the Month – March 2012 : Talk Urbex – a wonderful but dark journey into the work and mind of a leading UrBex photographer in the field. This fascinating interview is punctuated with great imagery, a piece that is sure to delight and amaze all who visit.
Do You Dropbox? – a handy and informative piece by Blake Rudis discusses this handy online tool. Blake shares some thoughts on how this site can be of use to photographers, producing a piece that everyone should read and consider.
Nikon D7000 – Quick Tips – the folks at farbspiel photography deliver a quick tip on fine-tuning the Autofocus feature on this specific camera.
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.