The folks at Toad Hollow Photography never seem to rest. This week's list is a great compendium of some of the finest tutorials, photography and interesting blogs encountered during their weekly online adventures. We really hope you enjoy viewing these works of art, produced by some mighty talented artists, as much as the Toad did in bringing the list to you.
As spring rolls in, the Toad has been busy with automotive car photography and this week's feature “The Deafening Sound Of Fury” showcases a series of 30 HDR images captured during a recent slalom event hosted by the local Corvette club. If you love supercars half as much as the Toad does, we think you'll really enjoy this post!
Food For Digital Thought: “The Law Of The Light” Part One – if you read one thing this week, this really ought to be it. Joe Baraban shares a great tip on how to use light to your advantage to capture truly stunning images.
Dynamic Brushes In Photoshop CS 5 – Blake Rudis delivers a concise tutorial showing you how to use custom brushes in a very unique way. Blake’s tutorials are always great, delivering a valuable tip or trick well worth the time to both read and view in the brief video included.
When the lights come on – a great video tutorial is shared here by Edin Chavez, as well as a top drawer photograph. Edin shows us how he goes about creating his long exposure photography, and shares a shot of a rolling and hilly coastline that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Camera Light Metering Modes Illustrated – Doug Pruden shares a great article that outlines the differences in various light metering modes that are available on most modern DSLR cameras. This easy to read and understand piece really sheds some light, if you’ll pardon the pun, on this concept. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for Doug’s Free Newsletter!
Shutter Speed Chart for Photographers – this is a great primer for folks interested in learning about appropriate shutter speeds for specific subjects and lighting conditions. This is a very brief article that includes a few really important insights.
Tim Wallace Photographer: Automotive Car and Commercial Advertising Photography – we really love great photography of all things mechanical; cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, ride-on lawnmowers… we love it all. This week we have found the most incredible car photographer in Tim Wallace, and his site is a real must-see destination. While you’re there, make sure to see his “Car Photography” page.
Grandpa’s Garage – another post that highlights a great automotive photograph. Blake Rudis sneaks us all into his Grandpa’s garage where sits the most incredible Model T, and as chance would have it magical light comes through the window bathing the entire scene in an almost mystical luminescence.
Yeti | Yet (i) Again! – wow, where do we even start here!! Edith Levy shares a great set of shots of this most beautiful Canadian Lynx doing what it does best! All three photos are truly incredible. Edith has really captured the spirit and character of this amazing cat for everyone to enjoy!
A Photo Walk on London's South Bank – Part I – Craig Desjardins takes us on a recent photowalk in the UK. As the group travels around London capturing shots at night, Craig collects and shares his set of images from the event, all of which are well worth the time to view.
The Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona – Renée M. Besta takes us away to Arizona in this wonderful post. We get to enjoy a detailed description of the area being photographed as well as some just terrific photographs. Renée manages to capture some of the most amazing reflections in this week’s list, frozen in time in the stillest of still waters.
Heaven’s Hallway – Before and After – Adam Allegro performs some photography magic, right in front of our eyes! He shows an image as captured, and then performs some post-processing to create an entirely contrasting image from the same frame.
Castel Fontana – a historic and character-rich old historic castle peeks out from the coverings provided by its surroundings to create a truly spectacular scene. Andrea Paolicelli does a top drawer job in capturing this amazing photo to share with everyone; a must-see image in this week’s list.
Portrait: my friend Rodri … – this wonderful black-and-white portrait really delivers all the character and expression in the face of the subject. Tomàs Rotger captures and shares a really fabulous photograph, one that is really well worth the time to visit and view.
Crazy.. – some really great elements are brought together in this photograph by LightChaser. A complete vision and story are shared here in a single frame, creating a truly compelling piece to view.
A Day at the Track – as spring approaches here in the Northern Hemisphere, the cars start to slowly come out of the garages and head for the highways or tracks. Hansrico Photography takes us away to a track and shares a great series of images showcasing all the character of these gorgeous cars.
iPhone fun in Amsterdam – Jim Nix takes us on a journey around Amsterdam, showing images of the streets and many canals that are present there. These fabulous shots are totally delightful and are sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Me and My Shadow – photography is just as much about what you do see as what you don’t in an image. Jimi Jones shares a great shot that has the added touch of his shadow draping across the wall creating a strong impression of drama and interest.
Got Milk? – great details, textures and tones are all present in this photograph by Len Saltiel. This old, classic sign really takes the viewer back in time, showing an advertisement from years ago.
Lightning 2012 – the power and grandeur of Mother Nature lies exposed in this wonderful photograph by Scott Ackerman. A lightning strike lights up the city skyline, producing a dramatic scene.
Razorback – both sharp and soft elements are explored in this wonderful black-and-white image by Andy Gimino. The long exposure used to capture this shot smoothes out both the water and the cloud in the sky, which in turn is juxtaposed against the craggy outcroppings of the shoreline.
his & hers . . . – a pair of Adirondack chairs sit on a pier, posing the perfect subjects to convey a strong sense of emotion. This wonderfully captured scene by dragonflydreams88 delivers a highly emotional picture sure to be enjoyed by everyone who visits.
A Brooklyn Morning – we join Dave DiCello in this post as he makes his way around NYC grabbing some fabulous photos. We get several different vantage-points captured using a few different techniques, creating a varied and interesting set of photographs to view and enjoy.
Radio Equipped – all the romance and nostalgia of trains are captured and shared in this post by John Sotiriou. John post-processes this image to create a certain feel emphasized by his color palette, in turn creating a really mesmerizing shot.
Stormy Moon, Minnesota – Mark Paulson shares a great shot of a full moon that really takes the viewer to an eerie, yet fascinating, place. The dramatic clouds that circle the moon really add a touch of drama that take this shot to the next level.
Spring Blues – a visit to our very own hometown finds the viewer seeing some of our spring flowers in their vibrant colors. Benjamin Madison captures and shares a pair of images with really great colors and details.
Weekend Relaxer #17 – you’ll never look at a beer label the same again after visiting one of Chris Nitz’s weekly features. Chris always manages to combine a really great beer review with a photograph that is sure to bring a smile to everyones face.
Gold & Blue – I absolutely love IR photography, the details it tends to expose are really second-to-none. It also has a wonderful effect of shifting the tones in the image radically, often producing an otherworldly experience as shown in this awesome photograph from Dacel Andes.
Woody – Jay Taylor always takes great wildlife photos, often of species that are local to us. This Downy Woodpecker is perfectly captured, with a wonderfully shallow depth of field to bring this lovely little bird to life for everyone to enjoy.
Fantasies – to say this is a wonderful image would be a huge understatement. Helene Kobelnyk captures and delicately processes this wonderful image that immediately takes the viewer to a spot of time in the 50’s. A must-see image in this week’s list!!
24 April 2012 Day 115 – another shot as shared by Helene Kobelnyk shares such a fabulous scene that it’s difficult to properly describe. This really incredible photograph is of a girl in a mirror with a captivating hat; just mesmerizing.
Rocky Road – this picture has so many great elements at play. The first and most obvious one is the ribbon of road that leads the viewers eye to a fantastic vanishing point. From there, you are naturally taken to the incredible landscape in the backdrop that Michael Trauffer masterfully captures and shares.
Teach Him to Fish – Gareth Glynn Ash shares a great photograph that is punctuated by his fascinating accompanying blog post. Gareth’s perfect composition in this image accents the natural tension he has seen and expressed.
US Army Kitchen Car # 89639 – this answers one of those questions that many of us have, wondering what something looks like inside. Scott Hovind delivers a great series in this post, one that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Breeding Bluebirds and Beautiful Photographs – what a wonderful set of photographs to view with a really heartfelt post! Lee Brown delivers a profound piece, one that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Weekly Photography Challenge: ‘Q' – Quarters – this is a great set! Dakota Visions Photography brings us a series of images of a quarter in action. Captured in various states of spin, we get to see this American icon in really unique poses.
Lufty Baptist Church – Michael Lewis Glover delivers a dramatic black-and-white photograph of a very old and historic church. He finds and really explores some great textures and details in the scene, creating a real must-see image in this week’s list.
Colorful Buildings, St. John's Antigua – remarkable colors are captured in this set of really unique images by Mark Summerfield. The little shutters and their respective hinges really add a lot of character to the shots.
Texas Longhorns – Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – no bull about it, these great shots from Steve Creek share a significant moment of angst between two rather large examples of this incredible animal. Steve captures and shares a great set here, sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
The Silent Withering – we find Mark Garbowski delivering a really dramatic shot of what appears to be an abandoned attic. Really great light drifts through the open hole in the structure, completing a perfect scene.
Limmer’s Workbench – Rob Hanson takes us behind the scenes at a bootmaking shop. This wonderful image is full of rich details, almost sharing a secret with the viewer.
Ready…action – an amazing underwater scene is carefully composed and crafted by Ellen Cuylaerts. A shipwreck being photographed by a group of students beckons Ellen as she creates an almost magical scene to enjoy.
Return of the Swallows – Laurie MacBride shares a splendid post highlighting the spring activities of these wonderful little birds. She accents her article with some really incredible photographs of the birds, sure to delight everyone.
Minimalism in Photography and Life – a minimalistic view of the world around us presents it in an uncluttered way. Anne McKinnell posts an almost abstract piece that is both profound in the message shared as well as absolutely fascinating with the images she posts.
Red Hot (hi-boy) – red is passion, red captures the mind and imagination, red speaks of love… and in this case it also presents itself on a beautiful old classic hotrod car that is carefully photographed by Bob Byington.
Crow Man – a composite image is created and shared by Chris Maskell in this image. Chris pulls several elements together in this creation, delivering a strong and dramatic piece that tells an entire story with a single viewing.
Moss – the Pacific Northwest area of North America is predominantly comprised of rainforest, and thus moss is a huge factor. Scott Wood has moved to our area here, and as the boxes begin to unpack he takes his camera out for the first time to explore his new environs.
Left Over – Scott Frederick takes us inside an abandoned hospital where an old wheelchair is left behind. The rich textures in the surrounding decay are truly accented by the dramatic and tension-filled presence of this lone remaining artifact.
Heritage Softail – a wonderful composition featuring the distinctive front clip of this classic American motorcycle awaits the viewer. Tim Stanley captures a shot full of great chrome, colors and shapes that are iconic in nature.
Mischeif – squirrels are awesome photography subjects, especially when captured in the middle of being a bit of a trouble-maker. Aaron Barlow delivers a great example of this as he encounters this little creature right in the midst of its plans to overthrow the power-base of the world.
A New Spin – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck shares a metaphorical image of a wind farm. This photograph symbolizes some life changes they are making, and the picture is a perfect representation of this expression.
Lake Mead Panorama – this is a very detailed, colorful and visually expansive shot as captured and shared by Michael Trauffer. Taken at the Hoover Dam Overlook, the viewer is presented a scene so expansive it seems to go on forever.
Two For One – what’s better than a bright lightning strike to photograph? Two! Chris Frailey grabs a photograph of two very active bolts as they strike terra firma, delivering a truly dramatic scene to view and enjoy.
The One That Didn’t Get Away – we have several fabulous elements working together to deliver a really compelling photograph here. Jerry Denham captures a serene view of a morning on a lake, complete with a great reflection and the subtle silhouettes of fishermen in the distance to add a touch of tension.
Fox cubs – can anyone tell me if these lil’ guys would make decent pets? I ask because this photograph from the studio of Luke Massey delivers a picture of cuteness that is hard to describe.
Alberta Morning – once again Len Saltiel takes us to the glorious mountain ranges in the Jasper/Banff area of Canada to enjoy a serene scene. The early morning light casts a wonderful tone on the majestic mountains, creating an absolutely mesmerizing scene to take in and enjoy.
USCGC Taney – I just love the details and wonderful colors exposed in this great photograph by Jimi Jones. This iconic ship creates the perfect pose for Jimi to capture and share, resulting in a piece that is full of great elements.
Engine 61 Responding – fire trucks in action can be great subject for photography. In this example, Wayne Frost captures a shot of one as it leaves its home headed for an emergency. Great details, colors and tones bring the scene to life, creating an image that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Stillwater Design – I have a total weakness for great architectural photography that showcases heritage structures full of character. Jim Denham delivers a great example of this in his blog post here, sharing a view of an old home so full of interest and character it defies proper description. The variations in the surrounding iron fence just serve to add more interest to this absolutely captivating scene.
Breaking Dawn – almost magical rays of sun beam down upon this beautiful landscape scene. Mike Olbinski does a wonderful job of capturing this wonderful moment in time, creating an image that is sure to delight and amaze all who pop by for a visit.
Theme: “Coffee” – “Shrooms and Brew” – Howard delivers another strong theme based photo series in this post. Using Lego characters to create a specific, and absolutely delightful, set of scenes, he captures and shares a really interesting series that also branches out into the realm of expressionism.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada – one of Canada’s most iconic hotels is featured in this post from Doug Pruden. Nestled deep in the thick forests of Banff National Park, this beautiful facility is so stunning, the only way to describe it is through seeing it yourself.
Youghiogheny River, below Ohiopyle Falls – when the weather is overcast and grey, capturing incredible landscape photographs can sometimes be found in the world of black-and-white processing. Perry Bailey delivers a very dramatic landscape scene, complete with strong cloud formations and wonderful contrasts and details hidden in the surrounding area.
Seattle Nightscape – Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and in this epic photograph by Jay Taylor we get a glimpse of it as night falls. Incredible details and lights from the city bring this photograph to life, creating a true must-see shot in this week’s list.
Challenger RT – Bob Byington shares another image of an American muscle car. Bob has copied a popular composition and processing style to create a great shot that is truly his own. Strap yourself in, things are about to happen fast 'round here!
Moraine Lake Storm – a really incredible photograph full of drama and intrigue awaits the viewer in this post. Jeff Clow captures an image of Mother Nature and her incredible forces at work, creating a wonderful juxtaposition of static and highly dynamic elements at work together and against each other.
Balestrino – Abandoned Church – Mark Blundell creates and delivers the most compelling 360* interactive panorama presentations out there. This one showcases an old and abandoned church, full of great textures to be enjoyed through decay. This is an epic presentation, one that is sure to keep the visitor engaged for quite some time as you take in all the intricate details and points of interest inside this old structure.
Haunting Graffiti in the Heart of Abandoned Chernobyl – this incredibly emotional and heart-wrenching series of pictures depicts artwork placed in various spots in this now long abandoned nuclear city. The silhouettes of the children serve to create a echo in time, delivering scene full of power and raw emotion. Truly, a must-see post in this week’s list.
Famous Portrait Photographers of All Time – this great blog post highlights a list of the most influential and famous portrait photographers of all time. Definitely a list of greats to peruse and enjoy!
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi Tweets Amazing Photographs From Space – isn’t this the coolest job ever?
The adventures of film photography – this is a truly inspiring post by Tristan that takes us on his adventure with a film based camera. He even develops his own roll, taking us through the entire process in a really great way.
2012 London Olympics: The Buildings from the Air – this is a great set of aerial photographs showcasing some of the Olympic buildings for the upcoming games. These images share a view of these facilities that both demonstrates the scale of the building as well as its character.
Moving on a float house 1 | Moving on a float house 2 | Moving on a float house – Arrival – this is one of those series that really highlights the wonder that photography can bring. Joseph de Lange brings us along as his wonderful float home is moved from one marina to another.
Superhero Ancestral Family Photos – this is just so fun. What if Spiderman had an uncle that inspired him to pursue a life of crime fighting? His uncle’s portrait would be on the wall in the hallways of his home. This great post gives us a look into this concept, delivering an absolutely wonderful piece to read and enjoy.
Hello Victoria – roaming photographer and author Jordan Oram brings us along on his journey with a stopover in my home city of Victoria. Jordan takes us through the city, highlighting some of the sights that are unique to our place, and in turn creating a really compelling post to visit and enjoy.
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.