Another truly incredible week in the world of photography passes us by, and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy compiling a list of the best tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This weeks list contains some really great works by some really gifted photographers and artists, and we hope you enjoy viewing these images and reading the posts as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
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7 Action Sports Photography Tips You Should Know – an introductory article into the genre of sports photography is presented here. This challenging field presents its own technical challenges, as discussed, with a few tips and pointers on how to get that next great action shot.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Part III – But I do it like this… – our friends at Dakota Visions Photography continues their great in-depth series on HDR image creation. This post discusses the workflow and outlines some really great tips and tricks.
PTGui Tutorial – Mark Blundell shares very detailed tips, tricks and secrets in regards to the phenomenal 360* panorama shots he produces. This tutorial takes the reader step-by-step through the process, discussing some problems and caveats. This is a highly comprehensive tutorial.
How to use Photoshop Selection Tools – Tutorial – a fully interactive tutorial that takes the reader through the process of using selection tools in Photoshop. If you’re trying to use Photoshop with minimal experience, this is a great place to start.
India > Rajasthan | India > Mumbai – two very wonderful galleries of photographs taken in India by Hunaid Hussain are presented here. This large series of images produces unique and vivid views of this beautiful country and will be enjoyed by all who visit. Hunaid, a fabulous photographer, is also the author of the iPhone/iPad app Photoverse that we use and love.
In the frosty morning – an epic and slightly surreal image is shared by Fedor Fedor complete with great tones in the sky and a frosty mist adding tension. The natural beauty of nature is explored leaving the viewer amazed and delighted.
Ghost Sunbeam, Slot Canyon, Arizona – a magical plume of light comes in through an opening above to dramatically paint this canyon feature. Mark Paulson captures a beautiful abstract scene with the light presenting a ghostly feel, guaranteed to mesmerize all who view it.
In Conjunction with… – a fabulous lesson in astronomy is coupled with a breathtaking image from the folks at Goldpaint Photography. This nighttime sky shot was taken with Jupiter and Venus peeking up over the horizon, creating a captivating piece.
Sunset out at Four Peaks – wonderful colors in the sky are accented by the great details in this landscape shot from Mike Olbinski. The Four Peaks mountain range gets dusted in snow, and Mike is ready as the sun sets to grab this most wonderful photograph.
Never Never Land – wow, this is amazing! Surreal, mystical and definitely mesmerizing, this color muted shot depicts some people in a boat with a marvelous mountain backdrop. This shot by Teuku Jody Zulkarnaen is a must-see image in this week's list.
Piering Into The Blue – Curt Fleenor masterfully plays on words in this great shot. The pier that Curt has captured here forms a wonderful natural leading line that also serves to bring a vanishing point to life for all to enjoy.
Crew Arno – a wondrous Italian landscape scene is captured by Rob Nopola. Rob explores the incredible architecture and its stunning colors and tones in this picture, producing a piece well worth the time to visit.
Museum of the Weird – weird is definitely the word of the day with this location, as shot by Tim Stanley. A colorful and vibrant shot of an unique museum in Austin Texas forms the perfect subject for Tim in this detailed night photograph.
Half an Anniversary – A milestone is reached and noted in this great post by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). His 6 months of active photography related blogging has resulted in countless hours spent enjoying his work and in this great post he shares his top images as shared to-date.
The Brilliant Red Northern Cardinal – Steve Creek captures and shares a pair of images of this beautiful and vibrantly colored bird. Great details in these shots really bring the beauty and grandeur to life for all to enjoy.
Luke, I’m Your Fava – Rob Hanson continues his tradition of mixing truly top drawer photography with witty words. This wonderful play on words is accented by the strength of the image that Rob shares here, producing a wonderful piece to view.
Cholla Cactus – a bit of information on interesting plants and a great photograph combine in this post by Aaron Barlow. This detailed shot of the Cholla Cactus is really wonderful, well worth the time to visit.
Aisle Seating – gentle light drapes the seats in this moody and dramatic image by Bob Lussier. The abandoned theatre poses the most striking subject matter for Bob as he pulls out and accentuates all the great details and textures in this long forgotten place.
Approach – the most incredible owl shot I’ve seen in quite some time awaits the viewer in this epic post. The majesty and power of this gracious bird is eloquently captured and shared in this photograph from Johnny Krüger.
Winter Wonderful – the beautiful Aurora Borealis paint the sky with a delicate green as the beautiful winter landscape scene is gently illuminated and brought to life in this breathtaking shot by Arild Heitmann. Gorgeous tones in the sky and the wonder of the beautiful landscape converge to create a truly compelling image to view.
Winter Lingering – Jay Taylor shares another image of the beautiful Snowy Owl from his recent photography excursion and collection. This incredible bird is wonderfully captured with all the details and character brought to life for all the view and enjoy.
Mount Rundle Sunset, Banff, Canada – the majesty and beauty of the Banff National Park landscape is perfectly captured in this shot from Mark Paulson. A gorgeous reflection sits in the foreground of this shot adding some interest, and the commanding mountain peaks in the back create strong drama.
Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome – incredible details in the intricate artwork are masterfully captured in this shot of this iconic location by Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. This is definitely an image that delivers more to the viewer as you spend time taking it in.
Celio's Roll – a pair of dice are perfectly lit and captured by Gareth Glynn Ash. Who knew that such a simple subject as dice could be so captivating in a photograph? Perfectly composed and captured, this image is definitely a joy to take in.
Golden Reflections – wonderful deep golden hues drape this incredible landscape shot of incredibly detailed jagged rock formations in this wonderful photograph from Adam Allegro. A still pool of water in the foreground reflects the surroundings back to the viewer, creating a truly mesmerizing shot to take in and enjoy in this week's list.
The Scottish Rite Cathedral Theater – Rod Arroyo captures and shares a small series of epic images of this incredible place. The wonder of the intricate architecture and the beauty of the venue merge in this great set.
Three Layers – Mike Victorino captures and shares a black-and-white shot showcasing 3 layers of interest. The foreground tree elements provide some drama and framing to the slightly mystical scene as captured and shared by Mike.
Sunday, Peaceful Sunday – another in the long running series of posts of images without words by Heather Neil. The majesty of the landscape as presented and shot speaks for itself, presenting a piece that is absolutely mesmerizing.
Coney Island Winter 2012 – NY Aquarium Station – great shadows and lines are accented by the rich textures in this shot from Mark Garbowski. This fabulous shot is intricate in its simplicity, creating a compelling piece to view and enjoy.
Sheffield Abandoned Factory – a wonderful composition of a long abandoned factory awaits the viewer here in this great shot by Mark Blundell. Fabulous textures in the natural decay are all perfectly captured, and these are accented by a great leading line that delivers a vanishing point due to the size and scale of the facility.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbh/6879859060/]Hiding in a bubble[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/sbh/]Steve-h[/url], on Flickr
Sunrise on a country road – I really love great leading lines that produce vanishing points in imagery. A captivating country road produces a line that takes the viewer’s eye right through the scene, culminating with a road that appears to go on forever.
Orchid Pearls – beautiful, beautiful details and colors are captured in this photograph by Barbara Youngleson. This distinctly spring scene is perfectly captured and shared for all to visit and enjoy.
Revisiting Brickworks – this textured image is slightly ethereal and surreal in its form and subject. Edith Levy captures and shares a wonderfully detailed image of a brickworks, producing a piece that is sure to delight and amaze all who visit.
Light and shadow – Dave DiCello captures and shares a pair of cityscapes that will take your breath away. Incredible details in the city as it sits below are all masterfully captured and shared, producing a compelling pair of images to enjoy.
The Front Door – a wonderful image from the studio of Jim Denham shares a view of a now closed train depot. Absolutely mesmerizing details and textures in both the weathered wood and the brickwork converge here to deliver a great piece to take in.
The Mount – a grand manor sits perched atop a beautifully landscaped hillside, producing a dramatic and captivating piece to take in and enjoy. John Sotiriou delivers a highly vibrant image that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Grandfather’s Legacy – I can stare for hours at great shots of tractors, absorbing all the details and textures that well-loved and used farming tools can present to the viewer. This epic shot from Rob Hanson delivers all that and more, by sharing the wonderful story behind this tractor as well as the top drawer image he has captured and posted.
Boiler Room – a long deserted boiler room produces a striking scene for the photography workings of Scott Frederick. The light coming through the open door adds a huge element of drama and interest to this texture and detail-rich scene.
Living in the edge – guaranteed to captivate and mesmerize you, this image of a castle sitting atop a rocky atoll is produced by combining several images into the one presented. This make-believe world is just gorgeous, as created and shared by Robert Weber.
The Guinness Brewery waterfall – Jim Nix shows us why we love photography in this incredible post. Jim shares some great shots taken inside the Guinness Brewery of their waterfall feature, something we’d never have seen without the wonder of photography.
Abrams Falls – we find a most wonderful landscape photograph in this post featuring a great waterfall. Michael Lewis Glover captures a mesmerizing shot and shares some of the fabulous history behind the location in this post.
View from Brooklyn – an amazing and detailed nighttime shot of the NYC skyline awaits the viewer in this post from Hansrico Photography. The gorgeous details of the lit-up city at night really produces a stunning scene.
Blue Hour – incredible blues are all captured in this stunning shot by Micha H. A boat sits alone at the end of the pier bringing a strong sense of drama to this breathtaking scene. Well worth the time to visit and view.
Pandora Rising – an incredible landscape featuring the deepest greens and most intricate shorelines is presented in this great shot by Stanley Kozak. This gorgeous picture is guaranteed to delight and amaze all who pop by to see for themselves.
The Payung Man 3 – if you love tension and drama, you’ll be amazed at this image. A black-and-white picture is delivered by Meor Hasmadi here that pretty much defines this style of imagery.
In The Groove – a profound post that is acutely punctuated by a great image is shared here by Ehpem. The wonder and power of Mother Nature can be a great source for photography, and when coupled with the interesting facts surrounding a scene can produce stellar results.
Edgartown Light – an iconic lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard finds its way in front of Steven Perlmutter’s lens. He captures and shares a stunning image making both the lighthouse and its surroundings the main subject.
Breadcrumbs – Andy Gimino captures and shares a black-and-white landscape shot featuring a rock formation and the ocean it finds itself surrounded by. This picture is unique inasmuch as it’s both an abstract and a landscape in the same breath.
Higher Learning – doors can form the perfect subject material for photographers to capture. This great shot by Jim Denham exemplifies this perfectly, creating a mesmerizing image full of great tones, textures and details to enjoy.
Coney Island Winter 2012 – Papa Burger – Mar Garbowski leaves us all dangling on the fate of the bird in this great shot. Coney Island is a wonderful place for photography, and Mark finds and captures another really unique scene from the location to share.
Cactus Bloom – a beautiful flower poses for the lens of Aaron Barlow in this great shot. Wonderful colors present themselves here, and Aaron captures a great picture and the shares it with a great anecdotal story.
Yes, Honey! – oh good LORD! Bees make me nervous for sure, but Africanized bees? That’s a whole ‘nother story! Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck share a shocking image taken inside their porch of the bees handiwork. I’ll stop shaking in 5 minutes here.
This Old House – this picture is right up our alley; old and interesting architecture. Bob Lussier captures and shares a dramatic scene of a very old house full of great textures and character.
The Aragonese Castle – castles are our hands-down favorite photographic subject, and Adam Allegro captures a stunning set of black-and-white shots of this incredible facility to share. Each picture can stand on its own merits but when taken in as a collection, really take the viewer on a wonderful journey through this storied place.
Theme: “On A Shelf” Park City Boots – this is a totally unique and dramatic piece as shot and shared by Howard. Boots sit perched on a shelf and with a unique perspective Howard captures a shot of them that is absolutely wonderful.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/7020346167/]Mom & Me[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/vinothchandar/]VinothChandar[/url], on Flickr
Surreal Scotland – a wonderful and breathtaking series of galleries containing epic HDR images from Scotland. Wayne Crannell delivers site full of pictures that defy description and really showcase the power of great HDR processing. This site is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone, well worth the time to visit.
Pathway – is it a painting, or is it a photograph? Or is it both? I am not totally sure, but it’s a beautiful image that beckons the viewer to walk into the landscape and into another world entirely. A wonderful picture by Sebastian Luczywo.
The gate – if the subject is crooked, weathered or worn I always find deep interest in it. This incredible photograph of a well-worn pier by Jorge Maia delivers a dreamy image to enjoy, complete with a wonderful vanishing point.
Wasteland – a moody and dramatic black-and-white image of the Arizona Desert awaits the viewer in this great image by Chris Frailey. The great composition and brooding sky adds so much interest to the image.
Grapevine Hills – a stunning and detailed landscape image is presented by Anne McKinnell, sharing a scene of a really incredible view. The lovely details in the valley as it winds out into forever is truly captivating.
Vised – Chris Nitz delivers a witty and entertaining piece in this post. A Star Wars Stormtrooper is busy delivering his particular brand of evil on the universe and Chris grabs a wonderful shot as the events unfold.
Stand Tall Stand Strong – the Rockefeller Chapel on the Univeristy of Chicago campus creates the perfect subject for CJ Schmit to capture and share in black-and-white. Great drama and a commanding sense of scale are wonderfully presented in this image for all to enjoy.
Tokyo night colors – city skylines at night can produce stunning results, as shown in this wonderful photograph by miya miya. The lights from the city sparkle and shine, and the viewer is drawn through the image by the brightly lit tower.
Rolling in – raw drama and tension is naturally created and captured by John Harrison in this breathtaking photograph. Clouds roll in from the open waters, cresting over the buildings on the shoreline and creating a breathtaking piece to take in and enjoy.
Wreck Outside – an underwater wreck is masterfully captured and shared in black-and-white here by Dmitry Vinogradov. This is a captivating piece, with the wonderful detail of a scuba diver adding a strong sense of scale to the scene.
just another gray day in paradise . . . – the wet and damp here in Victoria has been relentless this year, but dragonflydreams88 still manages to find a wonderful composition to be captured. A pair of eagles sit atop a rock by the ocean, surveying their surroundings.
A Misty Afternoon – an owl sits perched atop a pole, striking the most stunning pose as the mist swirls around it. Siegfried Noët captures a most wonderful and mystical image to share with everyone, producing a must-see piece in this week’s list.
Storm – nothing like watching Mother Nature at work, especially if perched from a high spot. This incredible landscape by luca eugeni delivers a breathtaking piece sure to delight and amaze all who visit.
Subway Riders, Toronto – a candid shot taken on a subway shares a view of 3 distinct riders as they wait for their stop. Ren Bostelaar captures and shares a unique view of Toronto with great drama and tension to bring the scene to life.
Central Park Reflection – the Manhattan city skyline is wonderfully captured by Hansrico Photography in this stunning nighttime skyline shot. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir reflects the city lights gently back to the viewer in this shot, producing a striking piece.
Pier At Union Point – a long exposure shot using a ND filter produces a piece that appears to be of a pier hanging in space. This wonderful and dramatic effect is presented to us by Curt Fleenor.
Calm Sometimes – this image truly brings the viewer to another world entirely. Some rocks protrude above a smoky waterline, producing a dramatic scene as captured and shared by Mostafa Ammar.
Strata – natural formations can sometimes be the producer of the most interesting lines. Steve Beal finds and shares a photograph that truly exemplifies this concept, and includes some wonderful words to describe his experience capturing the shot.
Under the Bridge – great architecture, drama and vanishing points are three of my personal favorite elements in a great image. Rich McPeek delivers on all three in this epic study of a bridge in Pittsburgh.
Spring In Black And White – a really unique study of the beauty of a flower, shot and processed in black-and-white to bring some drama. Eden R. Ellis does a great job in capturing and sharing something absolutely unique and special.
Staged – I find so much tension in images like this one from Scott Frederick. A chair sits in an abandoned lace factory, waiting for its inhabitant to return. Based on the wonderful textures and details that Mother Nature herself has been working on, it appears to be a long wait. This is an awesome image, well worth the time to visit.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7010471217/]Fog[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]King Haan[/url], on Flickr
Looking For Spring? – a wonderfully expressive robin poses for Kerri Farley in this fabulous bird photograph. The perfect depth of focus that Kerri used to capture this shot helps bring this gorgeous bird to life for all to enjoy.
Peacock Butterfly on Veronica – a beautiful delicate butterfly sits atop a flower, and Bev does a wonderful job of capturing an image. Fabulous colors and details are all exquisitely delivered in this picture, producing a must-see shot in this weeks list.
Photomatix Pro 4 v Nik HDR Effex 4 – Chris Maskell does a great job of comparing these two HDR software tools. Each produces different end results that Chris exemplifies with really great and dramatic imagery.
Over The Moon: 20 Photos – the beauty and mysticism of the moon as wonderfully captured by 20 different artists in this great post. Each of the shots posted could easily stand on their own as a masterpiece, but shown together as a collection they produce a truly captivating post to visit and enjoy.
Monochrome in a Color World – a great article by CJ Schmit discusses the wonder of monochrome imagery. He begins his series with a high level look at the how’s and why’s to get photographers viewing the scene in front of them in black-and-white before pressing the shutter.
Why I Started PhotoMint – this is a well written, thoughtful and profound piece on the state of professional photography, and specifically discusses the challenges in getting your photography business up and running. Lara White writes a great newsletter, and this particular post speaks to the reality of the industry and business. I actually come away from this inspired and ready to go.
Why You Should ALWAYS Shoot RAW – Adam Allegro shares a great article on the power, flexibility and importance of shooting in RAW. He punctuates this well written piece by sharing a wonderful photograph of a tree in a field; shot in RAW, of course.
Kauffman Center… Gold to Blue? – great tips, tricks and pointers are wrapped up in a set of breathtaking images in this post by Blake Rudis. These architectural studies are all breathtaking on their own, but when added to the tips and tricks that Blake shares regarding long exposure and nighttime photography, they take on a life of their own.
The 25 Weirdest Animals On Earth – a collection of the strangest and most compelling creatures you’ve ever seen awaits the viewer in this post. This is a very interesting set, guaranteed to amaze and captivate anyone who pops by to visit.
Go With The Flow – a well-written piece by Joe Baraban discusses the importance of losing control in our photography endeavours and how to embrace it and use it to your advantage.
HDR Concert #2: A Fading Fortune – the second in a new series hosted by Blake Rudis shares a series of images as post-processed by varying artists. The results are radically different images of the same raw source material. This edition is absolutely wonderful, well worth the time for a visit.
The Zeiss Distagon 21mm Prime vs Canon’s 17-40mm Zoom – Lee Brown shares a gorgeous photo of some spring flowers and delves into details surrounding the issues with chromatic aberration in photography. This well written article will leave you wanting one of the high quality prime lens’ that Lee discusses.
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.