As we head into the Easter long weekend, the Toads are pleased to share this weeks list of tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs. A wonderful week exploring the world of photography is reflected in this weeks list of links from Toad Hollow Photography. We really hope you enjoy viewing the works listed here as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
The Toad has just released his new eBook “The Toads Tog Tips || The f-stops Here” which is the first in a series of publications from Toad Hollow Photography. This first edition is available for free exclusively to the subscribers of Free HDR Guides, Tips and News. Sign up to download your free copy today!
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/renaud-camus/7044316141/]Le Jour ni l’Heure : Méditation d'Hapax — Plieux, bibliothèque, c. 1995[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/renaud-camus/]Renaud Camus[/url], on Flickr
Photoshop CS 6: New Features, Iris Blur and Oil Paint Filter – a video tutorial takes us on a tour of the latest version of Photoshop, focusing on two new features. Blake Rudis takes us behind the scenes in this 5 ½ minute video.
Life Before Photoshop: Miata Campaign – Joe Baraban shares and teaches us an awful lot about the intricacies of great lighting in a staged shot. This Miata picture was shot to use in an advertising campaign, and Joe gives us all the tips, tricks and secrets on how to pull a shot just like this off, right in camera.
Food For Digital Thought: Creativity – this short essay, another post this week by Joe Baraban, will leave you absolutely inspired. Guaranteed. Read this, then grab your camera and sprint out the door.
Pro Tip: Minimum Shutter Speed in Photography When Shooting Handheld – a quick and thoughtful post that discusses proper shutter speeds while shooting handheld to achieve crisp and sharp photography results. Well written and easy to understand, this short post is a great primer for this issue.
The Abandoned Clark School in Flint, Michigan – if you love UrBex photography half as much as we do, prepare to be engrossed for quite some time in this great, great post by Scott Hovind. Scott takes us on a journey and adventure exploring a school now long left abandoned. Last used in the 1970’s, this incredible facility is slowly marching towards its inevitable meeting with chaos and decay. Scott captures a large series of really stunning images, and shares them here.
Perspective – a lesson in the power of Mother Nature as decay takes over order is explored in this incredible image from Chris Maskell. Chris captures a shot highlighting some wonderful natural leading lines, accented by delicate shadows.
#jarviewalk the Google+ photowalk in Utah – Park City – a real highlight in this week’s list is this wonderful post from Howard. We join him on an extended photowalk where he captures and shares a great set of images, quite a few in HDR, that bring the viewer right along on the adventure.
Natural History Museum – a masterpiece awaits the viewer in this top drawer image, as captured and shared by Marc Haegeman. Marc shares a picture of this incredible facility, highlighting the wonderful details and tones inside.
Ruins of the Arizona Verde Valley – Renée M. Besta takes us on a fascinating and wonderful journey, exploring the deep Arizona deserts. The Tuzigoot ruins are photographed and researched bringing the history and wonder of the iconic place to life.
Quiet Time – this one stopped me dead in my tracks. A breathtaking piece by Barbara Youngleson shares a scene with a great wood bench that finds itself surrounded by gorgeous natural elements.
Quenching a Thirst – here we find LensScaper (Andy Hooker) sharing a bit of prose, both linguistically and visually. The spirits have attracted his lens and pen as he shares a piece sure to captivate.
Row Your Boat – this photograph by Andy Gimino really showcases strong drama and tension in a candid scene. This great shot of a man in a row boat is perfectly processed in black-and-white. Truly an image to view and enjoy.
Contrast – the wandering fence line leads the viewer's eye naturally through the frame, never really ending and forming a marvelous vanishing point. The stark contrast between the lighthouse and the deep blue sky adds so much more interest in this great shot by Steven Perlmutter.
City life – a really great cityscape shot, complete with a brooding cloudy sky is presented here by Dave DiCello. Awesome details in the NY city skyline are perfectly captured, presenting a photograph guaranteed to amaze.
Weekend Relaxer #13 – letting a Stormtrooper loose in the dwelling of Chris Nitz is sure to result in some pretty entertaining results. There’s nothing better than reading a great beer review and enjoying a great image.
DPS – the textures and decay are so crisp in this incredible photograph by Scott Frederick, it’ll leave you wanting a shower. A gritty and moody piece with unbelievable details is sure to take the viewer on a journey into a long abandoned place.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/josemanuelerre/6892208072/]Pack your memories[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/josemanuelerre/]josemanuelerre[/url], on Flickr
The Middle – this is awesome. Mike Olbinksi produces a scene with a great vanishing point by using the perfect perspective and composition to drive the image home. A must-see shot in this week’s list.
Seasons of Farwell – one of the best parts of getting to create this list every week is seeing some of the really great personal interpretations and perspectives artists share with the world. This image by Jim Hunt is so haunting and mesmerizing, it speaks for itself.
And while … growing old … – I can’t totally understand why, but I find this image to be highly emotional, and visually alluring. The drama that Tomàs Rotger exposes in the simplicity of this black-and-white piece is really wonderful, well worth the time to visit.
Come Sail Away – a sailboat’s silhouette strikes the sky as the sun sets on the Chesapeake Bay in this beautiful image by Michael Trauffer. Gorgeous colors in the sky punctuate this almost iconic picture.
For The Birds – what a fabulous set of shots of our avian friends. Scott Hovind shares a great series of various types of feathered beings, delivering a post guaranteed to delight and amaze all.
Push Pull – great tones, textures and details are captured in this shot of a wooden door and its personal hardware. John Sotiriou does a great job using a totally unique composition to produce a special piece.
– incredible details in the beautiful architecture is exposed and explored in this great shot straight from the studio of Jim Denham. Jim uses a road to create a leading line which comfortably leads the viewer through the image.
Travel through time – Kathleen Kerstenbeck takes us on a journey back to her initial foray into the world of digital photography, sharing a series of great landscapes of Alaska. The beauty and magnificence of this stunning location is brought to life for all to enjoy.
The Golden Arches – Giuseppe Sapori takes us on a wonderful journey to a river crested by some incredible architecture expressed in a beautiful bridge. A great sunburst and smooth silky waterway combine to produce a really captivating picture.
Hellingly – Mark Blundell takes us back to the now long-gone facility, Hellingly. Mark manages to create a compelling piece that contains both a really great reflection cast by a small body of still water, and a vanishing point created using a never-ending hallway.
flamingo dreamin' . . . – strong and beautiful natural colors are explored in this great photograph of a flamingo. dragonflydreams88 really brings the viewer right to this wonderful bird, producing a mesmerizing piece.
Grand Central Terminal – Main Hall – Mark Garbowski delivers another one of his fabulous black-and-white film photographs. Grand Central represents an icon almost everyone recognizes, and Mark shares a really dramatic and captivating version.
Grand Opening – Jerry Denham captures a moment in the life of a glorious tulip. Great colors in the petal are brought to life by the extremely shallow depth of focus.
Girl With Fagotto – a intricate technique is applied to this image, creating a picture where the subject is in perfect and crisp focus through its entire depth. Gareth Glynn Ash really showcases this process with a wonderful end result.
Faith Victory Church – I share this love for architectural photography, and churches do make for the best subject matter. Mark Moore finds and photographs a church with a great red trim, adding a layer of interest.
A place called home – Jim Nix delivers a sunrise shot of the Austin city skyline guaranteed to mesmerize everyone who visits. Details in the buildings bring a extra punch to the image, making it a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Farm Life – complex composition and processing techniques pay off in this awesome image by Jimi Jones. The stark contrast of the white farm against the earth tones that comprise its surroundings combine to produce something that really delivers “wow”.
Family Portraits (HDR) – a wonderful, detailed and tone rich photograph awaits the viewer here in this post by farbspiel photography. They also share a few and informative technical details into how the image was created, creating a post that is both informative and captivating.
Epic Storm – as massive thunderheads make their way across a beautiful landscape, Curt Fleenor stands ready with his camera. The low lying fog formations add to the strong sense of otherworldliness that Curt has so beautifully captured.
The Chateau – Lake Louise is a must-stop destination in Banff National Park, and Len Saltiel captures a stunning image of the chateau. The gentle reflection off the still water brings the scene to life for all to view and enjoy.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7042247705/]Nocturne In Central[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]/]Ding Yuin Shan[/url], on Flickr
The Driskill Hotel – a gracious and commanding presence stands tall in the city of Houston posing a striking figure against the city skyline. This beautiful old storied hotel is wonderfully captured and shared by Tim Stanley in this great photograph.
Monte Terminio at Sunset – Adam Allegro takes us to the top of the world in this stunning photograph. The sun gently sets on the horizon and as we stand high atop the mountain, the low lying clouds add a touch of drama to the scene unfolding below.
My Neighbors Dogs Hate Me – perhaps not the most foreboding looking agent of evil ever encountered by humanity, but no-less a source of frustration for Steve Creek. While Steve struggles with his setup, we are all in for a smidgen of humor. This is a great post, well worth the time to pop by.
Unitarian Memorial Church – Bob Lussier rolls out a new series, showcasing a wonderful turn of the century church with striking architectural details. In the opening salvo of Bob’s new series, we get an outdoor overview of the facility, which is truly punctuated by the awesome green door. A must-see series is coming here, I suspect.
Cathedral of St. John The Baptist – another study of a church is presented in this shot by Jay&Jacy. The glorious spires of this building reach far into the sky, and the vibrant doors add a touch of color to the scene, producing an absolutely mesmerizing piece to visit and enjoy.
New Year’s Night – at first glance, this image might appear to be a painting. An old wooden house is lit from the inside at night, producing a strong sense of tension to this wonderfully composed and delivered scene.
Shanghai – like a scene reminiscent of another planet entirely, this huge city is overlooked and photographed by rastaschas. The muted tones and swirling fog add to the drama and mystique of this breathtaking piece.
At the base of Enchanted Rock – a tree stands sentry by a gentle creek, and Jim Nix grabs a wonderful shot of the scene. This landscape image is beautiful, with just the right amount of color to bring the surroundings to life for all to enjoy.
Out for a Stroll – the canals of Venice form the perfect subject for Len Saltiel to capture and share here. This wonderful photograph of this historic place really brings all the interest and character to life.
iPhone Tuesday – a camera is a tool, not a destination. This great post from Steven Perlmutter shares a pair of shots captured with his iPhone that are really quite wonderful. Each has its own artistic flair and feel, producing a post that is really something to view and take in.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/6888782364/]Indian Robin[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/kkoshy/]Koshyk[/url], on Flickr
Pillsbury Dome – details so sharp and crisp, you swear you can reach into your monitor and feel the old stonework. Jim Denham shares another shot of this iconic location, producing a piece that delivers more to the viewer as you spend time taking it in.
Life Amongst the Ruins – Rob Hanson takes us to an abandoned building, and gives us a wonderfully framed shot that takes the viewer from the outside into the inside. There are so many rich details to take in here, this is a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Morning Mist – an abstract painted by Mother Nature herself awaits the visitor in this post. Roberto Bertero captures a shot of the morning mist rolling over a mountain-range, producing a piece that is full of great drama through its simplicity.
42nd Street – a super long telephoto shot of a busy NYC street is presented by Steve Beal here. This is definitely one of those captivating shots that gives more to the viewer as you spend time taking in all the intricate details.
Cellophane – a dilapidated and water-filled cell in an old unused penitentiary is captured and turned into a masterpiece by Scott Frederick. So many mysteries lie within the shadows of this shot, making it a dramatic and compelling picture to visit.
Mom’s tail – this is so, so, so cute. Paolo Maffioletti grabs a great shot of a baby lion with its mother. I asked my wife, and apparently I can’t have one as a pet.
Old Main – the Veterans Medical Center in Milwaukee created in 1869 is the subject of this photograph by CJ Schmit. CJ does some stellar work in the realm of dramatic architectural studies in black-and-white and this is a great example of this.
Passion Flower and Milky iPhone – a great pair of splash based product images are displayed in this post from Alex Koloskov. Alex is the master of this genre of image production, and shares a lot of technical information with photographers. These two wonderful shots are great examples of his work.
Obstacles in the Path – natural roots from trees intertwine and intermingle to create the most striking patterns on the forest floor. Jerry Denham grabs a great image of this and shares it on his blog in this post.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep – this is a beautiful image, no doubt about it. It’s also highly engaging, colorful and even has a touch of tension to add interest. Hansrico Photography delivers a great shot of a field of sunflowers, producing a completely unique piece guaranteed to delight.
Coral Cephalopod – if you pick up a dictionary, I am sure beside the word “color” will be a link to this great photograph from Rob Nopola. The most wonderful colors are captured in this intricate flower, and Rob does a great job capturing it to share.
Starry Light – lightning bolts pierce the night sky, illuminating the immediate landscape surrounding Giovanni Mirabueno in this breathtaking piece. Great colors and details in the sky add a huge element of interest to this incredible image.
Gothic II – an epic architectural study awaits the visitor in this great photograph. All the fabulous details of this facility are explored and shared through the lens of Viktor Korostynski.
Tequila Agave, Texas – what a great pair of images from Anne McKinnell in this post. The common plant as seen in the southern regions of the US and Mexico forms the main subject, but her first image includes a wonderful old character-rich house in the composition, adding so much interest.
Sugar Processing, Whim Plantation – a great pair of photographs is accompanied by a short blog post discussing the historic nature of this sugar plantation. Mark Summerfield delivers a captivating piece here with the photos he shares.
Smile – my advice is to simply hand it what it wants, and to slip away as quickly and quietly as possible. Klaus Wiese captures and shares an image of a menacing, yet absolutely beautiful, tiger as it bares its teeth.
I hope you like color… – the title really does reflect what awaits the viewer in this great post by Michael Lewis Glover. A flower presentation is captured by Michael, producing a mesmerizing and vivid pair of photographs to view and enjoy.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregandmellina/6896208222/]Between the bridges[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/gregandmellina/]Greg and Mellina[/url], on Flickr
Change – this is a wonderful landscape photo, captured and processed in HDR by Andy Gimino. With this technique, we get a peek into the corners and shadows of the scene that would typically be lost, producing a photo that is well worth the time to visit and view.
2005 Napa, California – we used to watch the show that Kathleen Kerstenbeck refers to here all the time, but didn’t know you could stay a night in one of the rooms! Grapes make for great photography subjects with fascinating shapes and colors to enjoy, and this post really brings this notion to life for everyone to enjoy.
Texas State Capitol – a rich and detailed architectural study is presented in this great post by Tim Stanley. The majesty and drama found in viewing this commanding facility is really brought to life in this photograph.
Oxbow Bend – a stunning landscape is shot in the morning by Hansrico Photography, showcasing the power and drama of the mountains in the background. A gentle flowing river brings with it an incredible reflection here, really producing a striking piece to view.
Your table’s waiting – geometry, patterns and soft, warm tones await the viewer in this really interesting shot by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). The natural formation of the tables and chairs brings the viewer eye quite naturally through the frame.
C. H. Hartshorn, Inc. – a perfect, shallow depth of focus brings this subject to life for everyone to enjoy in this shot by John Sotiriou. John exposes all the wonderful textures in this piece, really delivering an image that is well worth the time to pop by and see.
Grand Central Terminal – Track 38 – Mark Garbowski takes us on a brief journey to explore the underground tunnel of this iconic place. Great drama is found in the black-and-white photograph, and the vanishing point created as the walkway trails off into the far distance is really mesmerizing.
Watching bokeh – a menacing gargoyle overlooks the city beneath it in this epic photograph by AG Photographe. A great composition and perfect depth of focus work together in this picture to create a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone.
The Long Wait Over – a beautiful and dramatic picture of a flower is presented here by Eden R. Ellis. The composition adds a touch of drama to a seemingly gentle scene, producing an image that is really wonderful.
Great Falls in Autumn – Dave O’Keefe delivers a really wonderful set of images taken in this iconic location in Maryland. The power and beauty of the fast moving water is wonderfully captured to share, a set well worth the time to visit and view.
Spring 2012 – the beautiful colors of a budding cherry tree are wonderfully captured in this shot by Heather Neil. The signs of spring are everywhere, and this shot is in perfect time for the Easter Weekend.
Springtime Blossom – Kat White captures and shares a beautiful picture of an emerging flower in this wonderful photograph. The perfect depth of focus that Kat used here really brings the flower to life in this scene; a real joy to view.
Brown Creeper – Birding at Bisset Park – almost camouflaged in the tree here, this wonderful little bird becomes the perfect subject for Kerri Farley to capture and share. Sharp details in the bird emerge as the viewer spends time taking this scene in, producing a fabulous shot to enjoy.
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/shihwa/6898859288/]+[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/shihwa/]★ Nisa Yeh ★[/url], on Flickr
The Colours of my Dream – as the title suggests, Bev captures the beautiful markings and colors of this delicate butterfly for everyone to view and enjoy. We find that the spot-on depth of focus brings the butterfly to life, producing a must-see photograph in this week's list.
9 Months of Nomadic Life & the Meaning of Time – Anne McKinnell shares a set of images and a very well-written piece that is pretty much guaranteed to motivate and inspire you. Anne and her husband have been away adventuring for 9 months, and we all reap the rewards and benefits from their fabulous journey and resultant work.
Another Peanut Politician – Terry Border delivers a new piece, delivering a message to those politically inclined. Through subtle humor and wit, as well as some delicate craftsmanship, Terry presents an image sure to delight everyone who visits.
Magic Photography from the Woods to the Sea – an absolutely surreal series of carefully crafted images is created by Kevin Corrado. Each picture draws the viewer in deeper into Kevin’s world. This is really a must-see set in this week's list.
29M – our very own @astaroth here on Light Stalking delivers a first-person, journalistic view of a recent general strike in Spain. This great series of images really captures and shares the drama of this large gathering, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
Creators of ‘Silent World’ get rid of all residents – Lucie and Simon create a pair of images that show two iconic cities as they would appear if completely desolate. No people, no cars, no signs of life. This is really an interesting set of pictures, giving us a little insight into a world without residents.
Bulldogs and HDR, Odin’s Raven – April 2012 – a look into the inner workings of a lead UrBex photographer presents itself in this great interview. The interviewer asks some great questions and a series of top drawer images are posted, creating a piece that is sure to really captivate the imagination of all who visit.
25 Ridiculously Cool Concept Yachts – the odds of any of these actually being built is rather slim, but this post really highlights a great set of images to view and enjoy.
Fuji X10 Review – a detailed review of the Fuji X10 is presented here by Chris Nitz. Chris goes into pretty good detail in this review, giving the reader a sense of what the camera can accomplish, from the perspective of a hands-on photographer. He also mentions how handy it would be in case of Zombie infestation, as it might make a suitable weapon to vanquish the undead. Definitely something to consider.
Experience “flow” – A.D. Wheeler presents a whole new format of motion video to enjoy that intermingles HD video with HDR still photos. This is a fabulous format and A.D. Wheeler is working on a tutorial to share that takes the artist through the process of this genre.
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.