Never one to spend too much time lounging, the Toad is always searching the internet for tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This week's list contains a set of links to some truly incredible pieces of art posted by some truly talented artists. We really hope you enjoy seeing and reading these posts as much as the folks at Toad Hollow Photography did in bringing them to you.
The Toad is well into writing his second publication of eBooks intended to share some tips and insights into the world of HDR photography. These publications are made available for free to subscribers of his Free HDR Guides, Tips and News. If you haven't signed up already, head on over and subscribe to get your free copy of his first edition “The f-stops Here”.
Studio Photography Insights: shooting fabric, clothing and shoes – Alex Koloskov takes us behind the scenes on a video comprised of input from various top notch photographers. This video is fairly long and will hopefully present some great insights and details into this genre of photography for anyone interested.
Photographing Animals at the Zoo – Photography Tips – this is a well thought-out post with some great tips for this style of photography. You will find some pointers and inside tips here that are sure to help with achieving the results you want.
Documenting Madness: Lauren E. Simonutti – this special post is so incredible, we find it difficult to find words to describe its importance. This dramatic and captivating series of images was captured by an artist as they struggled with their illness. The results are a profound and poignant collection of engaging and mesmerizing photographs that give the viewer a glimpse into the inner workings of the creator. Prepare yourself for a heartbreaking story, but it’s also an important one that needs to be shared and seen.
Stone Mill Revisited – Bob Lussier once again shows us why he is the “stair whisperer” in this incredible photograph. Bob captures and shares an image complete with great geometry and lines as created by the architecture of this old mill.
Fort Tryon Arches and George Washington Bridge – we’ve got all the best elements in this picture by Mark Garbowski. The arches deliver great textures and details to enjoy, and as you spend time viewing the image further elements of interest begin to emerge.
Hot Frosty Buzz – beautiful flowers take the viewers eye down and through a valley, coming back up to a tall and snow-covered mountain range. All these wonderful details are accented by a mysterious fog shrouding the valley and a full moon hanging in the sky.
Adrenalin foot – this is absolutely mesmerizing and absolutely creepy, both at the same time. This highly detailed macro shot of a fly drinking from a drop of water is captured and shared by Ondrej Pakan.
Sunrise Silhouette – there are a lot of great elements working together in this image by Jerry Denham. A fog covers a lake as the sunrises, with a very dramatic pair of trees producing a really wonderful silhouette to enjoy.
The Mystery Church – Adam Allegro shares a short series of great black-and-white photos of a church in Sweden. Adam doesn’t remember where these were captured, but we sure are glad he took these images to share.
Wayside 905 – all the romance and mystery of classic trains is captured in this great shot by John Sotiriou. Great tones as expressed in post-processing really bring this scene to life for everyone to view and enjoy.
Weekend Relaxer #16 – if you like Stormtroopers and beer, you will love this post by Chris Nitz. He continues his regular feature with another installment of a great photograph of a beer label, accompanied by a really awesome review of the beer itself. Tough job, but someone has to do it.
Violet Green Swallow – perfect depth of focus coupled with a wonderful and eager subject combine in this great shot by Jay Taylor. This beautiful bird is wonderfully captured, producing a piece that is sure to delight and amaze everyone.
A1 Auto Service, Toronto – we find a candid street photograph from Ren Bostelaar in this post. Ren has a great ability to capture natural looking images, full of great tension and drama. This is really a good example of this, well worth the time to visit.
A Vibrant Flower – gorgeous colors await the viewer in this detailed macro shot of a beautiful red flower. Helene Kobelnyk shares a really wonderful image of this flower, producing a piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Moon – Andy Gimino shares a slightly abstract piece captured at Old Mill Park. The rocks have been smoothed by countless years of gentle friction by running water, producing a scene that Andy finds and shares with us.
The Clear Path – a fabulous selective focus technique is applied during post-processing by Eden R. Ellis to create a really compelling image. A pathway in the forest creates a perfect natural leading line for this picture.
Lavoir à Charbon A – Pincer Action – this is an incredibly grungy, dramatic and texture-rich scene as photographed and shared by Mark Blundell. The poor condition of the facility is full featured in this epic photograph, delivering an image that is sure to be enjoyed by all who pop by for a visit.
Brick and Stone at Fort Macon – great textures in the old brickwork are accented by a wonderful shadow in the back hall adding drama and tension to the scene. Mark Neal delivers 2 version of the same image, each post-processed slightly differently, creating a post that is really quite captivating.
Looking Down at The Fort – this is a follow-up post by Mark Neal. In this image, we see a top down look of the fort which in turn creates the most incredible natural leading lines to guide the viewer's eye through the frame.
Down – what an incredible sense of motion. Jonas Nefzger creates an image taken on a moving skateboard that creates such a strong sensation of speed, it’s sure to take your breath away.
A Fun Campout! – we get to join John Mead on a camping trip in this post as he explores the great outdoors and comes back with some awesome photographs. John is a science teacher and really does a great job of sharing his perspective of the world with a larger audience.
Urbex Palace – NON PLUS ULTRA – the most incredible details are captured and shared in this epic image by Mark Blundell. An abandoned palace with exquisite detailing is the source of this breathtaking image; truly this is a must-see shot in this week’s list.
Pere Marquette 1225 – a glorious piece of history is explored in this post by Scott Hovind. Old steam trains make for the best subjects in photography, and Scott really takes us on an in-depth exploration of this storied steam train.
How much wood would a wood chopper chop? – this is just such a neat image. Chris Maskell takes a photo of a pile of wood, and then uses specialized treatments in the post-processing phase to bring the scene to life.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – a commanding church built with limestone is the subject in this series of images by Scott Hovind. Really incredible details and textures are explored in this study, delivering a post that is really a must-see in this week’s list.
Country Church – Jimi Jones takes a photograph of an old church as night begins to fall. The great colors and architectural details are all exposed for everyone to enjoy, and these are accented by the strength of the sky overshadowing the scene below.
Blackberry Falls Revisited – a beautiful waterfall is captured and shared in this post by Len Saltiel. We majesty of this waterfall is captured by Len, bringing all the drama out of the scene for his visitors to enjoy.
To Grandmother's House I Went – one of our alltime favorite photography subjects is old character homes. The details in the architecture in the houses built during this time are truly second-to-none, and Blake Rudis does an absolutely wonderful job of capturing a pair of these beauties to share with everyone.
The Old Model A – this is a stunning photograph by Tim Stanley. This wonderful old historic vehicle has been meticulously restored, and Tim takes a shot of it against a timeless backdrop, producing a piece that is guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone.
Sunday Reflections & Lessons Learned – a delicately processed image delivers a really strong reflective scene in this photograph by Edith Levy. Edith uses a really great texture overlay to create the vision she wants to share, producing a wonderful image well worth the time to visit.
Three Male Wood Ducks, Minnesota – Mark Paulson grabs an image of 3 ducks that is so crisp and sharp, you might mistake it at first for a painting. Mark captures the character of the ducks in this really wonderful composition.
Carpet Flowers – an accident by Aaron Barlow in the field delivers a most beautiful image to view and enjoy. It just goes to show that even the most innocuous accidents can bring the most incredible results.
Watcher – if you’re looking for superb tension and drama, look no further. Mark Garbowski captures and shares an image taken in a great urbex location, with his fellow photographer adding a touch of real interest to the overall scene captured.
frontier – in what appears to be a landscape from an entirely different planet, a man stands against a lone telephone booth. David Mar Quinto shares a highly emotionally charged piece, one that is sure to take your breath away.
Chicago at 4am – a crisp and highly detailed city skyline awaits the viewer in this great shot from CJ Schmit. This is definitely one of those shots that gives more to the viewer as they spend time taking in all the lovely details. Great colors and lights merge with the composition to create a compelling and unique piece.
Eastern Woodpeckers – Troy Stewart delivers another wonderful set of images of birds in the wild. This post focuses on the woodpeckers of the area, and Troy captures and creates a series sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
New York International Auto Show: My favorite shots – Jason Knight takes us on a tour of the NY auto show. These gorgeous cars are all carefully captured and shared in this post by Jason, creating a piece that is really something that most car fans will absolutely love.
Death Ship – this dreamy and dark piece straight from the studio of Omur omur creates a scene so dramatic it’s sure to take your breath away. The long exposure technique gives the water an almost silky feel to it and the lone boat lying half sunk brings all the drama to life.
Little House on the Prairie – a very dramatic and profound image awaits the viewer in this photograph straight from the studio of Hansrico Photography. The wonderful composition used to create this image really brings all the inherent drama in the scene to life.
Linden United Methodist Church – what a beautiful old church masterfully captured and shared here by Michael Lewis Glover. The surroundings that Michael has included in his composition here brings a lot of interest and context to the image, one that is truly well worth the time to visit.
Rugged – a majestic and commanding mountain scene is presented here by Len Saltiel for all to enjoy. The wonderful reflection in the lake in the foreground serves to add so much further interest to this already jaw-droppingly beautiful scene.
The Flower Way – if you love beautiful flowers, you will love this post. Our own local photographer Ehpem takes us on a brief journey to admire the inherent beauty in some of our local flowers.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – Steve Creek takes us on a wonderful photographic journed to a wildlife refuge. Steve captures a set of great images of the landscapes in this rugged and beautiful place, as well as a couple of shots of bison doing what they do best…
Stasis – Andy Gimino creates a complex image in post-processing that delivers a great landscape shot of a gorgeous waterfall as spring sets in. Andy captures some fabulous colors and details in the creation of this must-see shot in this week’s list.
Dolphin @ sea – a really fabulous candid shot of a pair of Dolphins playing it appears. Basem Habib gives us an insight into the spirit and character of this incredible animal in this wonderful photograph.
Reprocessing An Old Favorite: “Full Glory” – this image is gorgeous and will make you instantly happy, guaranteed. Eden R. Ellis shares an original version as well as a re-processed version of the same image with its subtle variations.
Everything Passes – there’s something distinctly emotional and captivating in this great image from Mark Garbowski. I love the look and feel of classic NY architecture, and this shot delivers the goods on several levels.
My Girl – what a wonderful set of portraits as shared by Chris Frailey. His daughter presents the perfect beautiful subject for Chris and his camera, and he in turn delivers a set of images sure to delight and amaze everyone who pops by.
Sunset at Nyhavn – Jim Nix captures a stunning image perfectly composed of a canal in Denmark. The beautiful colors of the surrounding buildings and the exquisite wood found in the boats converge with a breathtaking reflection in the water.
Keep This Door Closed – I don’t even know where to start here! We’ve got incredible textures and interesting elements at play in this really awesome photo by Rob Nopola. The graffiti punctuates a scene with really captivating elements to it; a piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all who view.
Traffic snakes along reopened mountain pass in Kashmir – a really epic set of images taken of this mountain pass that has just reopened. This photo expose takes the reader right to the site, sharing a really unique view of this part of the world.
Sweet Spot – Steve Beal takes us to NYC in this top drawer cityscape image. Steve manages to capture so many intricate details in this photograph, the viewer finds themselves immersed in the scene constantly discovering something of interest.
The Rock – a most perfect composition awaits the viewer in this moody and dramatic natural piece from the studio of Mike Olbinski. Mike delivers an emotionally charged image here, accented by a really great reflection.
Spicket River – Bob Lussier shares an image sharing a totally unique vantage-point. The Spicket River has a section of a waterfall, and Bob is there and ready to capture and share this dramatic photograph.
A Quiet Place – a lovely little B&B presents the most wonderful photographic subject for Perry Bailey to snap an almost iconic image full of American character. The fabulous light posts in the foreground really bring the scene to life, a true must-see image in this week’s list.
Reappearance of Method – a stark but compelling piece by Gareth Glynn Ash is presented in this post. The snow covering the landscape combines with the sharp elements found in the bare trees in this shot.
Salford Quays, Manchester – Dave O'Keefe delivers a most dramatic and moody study of architecture that comes complete with a great reflective element. Dave’s perfect composition brings all the character from the scene out for everyone to enjoy.
S i l e n t . m o r n i n g – romance and mystery are all to be found in this awesome photograph by Pedro Terrinha. A gentle fog drapes the scene and is accented by the most perfect natural leading line as created by a meandering pathway.
Backroad Storm – a great shot taken at a very low perspective serves to punctuate the incredible vanishing point in this photograph by Scott Ackerman. The viewers eye naturally comes to settle upon a brooding, cloudy sky, giving a strong sense of wonder and drama.
Old Lighthouse Museum, Stonington, Connecticut – this is a wonderful image from Mark Summerfield. This old historic lighthouse is perfectly captured on 35mm film, and Mark has scanned and processed the image with a great texture, creating an image with a very old and historic feel to it.
Mean & Green – you know how much we love hotrods here at The Hollow, and when you have an example with a Roots style blower on it, you’ve got pure heaven. Bob Byington does a perfect job in capturing and delivering all the inherent character in this classic coupe, creating a piece that is truly a must-see in this week’s list.
911 GT3 RS – if you’re into cars, you just won the lottery and the first prize is a great image by Hansrico Photography!! This truly epic supercar is perfectly captured here, with the end result being a photograph that is truly mesmerizing.
Waikiki revisited – I love this image by Kathleen and Erik Kerstenbeck. This beautiful sunset has all the best Hawaii elements in it, including a plethora of palm trees and a beautiful sun making its way below the horizon.
Vivid Dreamscape – this is a truly wonderful photograph accompanied by compelling and inspiring words. Adam Allegro captures a shot with a pier that creates a fabulous vanishing point. Guaranteed to delight and amaze all who pop by for a visit.
As far as the eye can see – I can fly! This is one of those epic NYC shots that captures your imagination and keeps you entranced as you move around the frame taking all sorts of incredible details in. Dave DiCello shares a picture that is without any doubt one of our must-see images in this week’s list.
Belly Of The Beast – gauges, dials, knobs, details and textures oh my! This highly dramatic image by John Sotiriou shares a great vantage of classic mechanics at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
“How do you get from Point A to B?” Slowly! – a great theme based set by Howard really shares a great experience in both the sharing of a great photowalk as well as some really great images. Personally, the second shot with the train coming right at you is my favorite, how about you?
53 Chevy – great lines, colors and reflective chrome are perfectly composed in this truly wonderful photograph of this classic car. Bob Byington shares another image from his automotive collection that is absolutely wonderful..
On The Way To Lunch: Eastern-Kyoto Stroll – Jeffrey Friedl takes us on a journey through parts of this Japanese city, delivering a series that is absolutely wonderful to view. Jeffrey’s candid street shots are second-to-none, full of great emotion and interest.
Ethereal Portraits Taken Underwater – three really mesmerizing photos of a girl taken underwater await the viewer here. There is a dreamy feel to these dramatic black-and-white shots, a series that is sure to delight all who visit.
Long Term Solution – Blake Rudis delivers another one of his HDR Concerts whereby a group of HDR photographers all share the same brackets and share their personal vision of the end result. This week’s concert includes a submission from Yours Truly, The Toad, and we are honored and delighted to be part of it all.
Projector Room – HDR Collaboration – when these amazingly talented artists get together to work on one of their collaborations, great results always ensue. The image worked on by the group is of a long abandoned projector room in a theatre. That’s all we’re going to say on this, we’ll let the images do the rest of the talking.
Photo Restoration – a really interesting post that shows an original photograph that is very well worn, and after a restoration process we also get to see the finished results.
He always had to do things differently – Terry Border delivers another installment in his series of highly creative pieces. This is sure to delight everyone and bring a smile to your face.
Shorebird Migration 2010 – Steve Beal creates a really interesting video of birds in migration that is a real joy to watch. Steve does a great job using a lens with an extremely long reach to bring all the inherent interest in the scene to your computer monitor for you to enjoy.
25 of the World’s Coolest Concept Cars – a post of an entirely different variety, in this feature we get to see some really interesting concept cars. Whether you like them or not, I am sure that taking this post in will at least create a great discussion point.
Bohemian Dreams in Digital Art – this is a really astonishing set of images as produced by the talented Alexander Jansson. A certain feel is expressed in his work that is really a joy to view, well worth the time to visit.
Perfect Photo Suite 6: Review of Perfect Layers & Perfect Mask – this post delivers a quick review of these two photo processing applications. Dakota Visions Photography does a great job reviewing and describing these applications in a short review.
Shoot & Share – Getting Your Photographs Out Into The World – A New Craft & Vision eBook – Edith Levy shares a brief but concise review of this new publication. It looks to present great value for the money.
All The Wild Horses – a breathtaking series of images of horses is presented to the viewer in this post. Each of the images shares a view of this graceful animal with many of them highlighting the amazing muscles and wonderful colors that they exhibit.
Getting the Picture, Developing the Image – a profound bit of writing is shared here by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Andy delves into the “why” of photography leading us on a private yet familiar journey as an artist in the field. This is a wonderful article, so very worth the time to visit and read.
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.