With another wonderful week in the wide world of photography passing us by once again, Toad Hollow Photography has been tirelessly searching all corners of the internet for great links to share here with everyone. This week's compendium features some great tutorials and special features, a wonderful selection of great photography and a very interesting blog post featuring pictures taken with a super fast lens. We really hope you enjoy checking out this list as much as the Toad did bringing it to you.
Learn About Managing Reflections in This Simple Product Photography Tutorial – this is a highly informational video tutorial that reveals lighting tips and techniques using simple and inexpensive materials to create reflective surfaces. Andrew Boey reveals some really incredible tricks in a very easy to understand and appreciate manner in the style of his delivery.
15 Awesome Food Photography Tips – this terrific article discusses key tips and tricks for producing great food based photography suitable for many different needs. These common sense tips are full of insight, a direct result of considerable experience, and really show the reader how to create this type of photography that wows both the customer and the end viewer.
Meerkats! – this wonderful YouTube video showcases Will Burrard-Lucas in the field as he photographs lively and spirited Meerkats. These little creatures are so photogenic, and as Will works he directly interacts with them. This is an absolutely wonderful video you won’t want to miss!
Take a Look at the Unseen Side of NYC with ‘Exploring Off-Limits New York’ – join urban explorer 2e as he visits various forgotten and abandoned spots in New York City. Be warned that the video is full of very colorful language NSFW, but really well worth the viewing for those who love this genre of imagery. The post includes a sampling of photographs taken in these lost facilities.
Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes – Mark Summerfield shares a pair of images featuring a stone constructed church in New Mexico. The wonderful textures of the stonework creates a fascinating subject that Mark takes full advantage of in his great photographs.
Bluebell Owl – absolutely spectacular details in a flying owl are explored and shared in this image by Matt Binstead. As the owl flies headlong towards the camera, Matt captures this great shot that features context in the surroundings of the bird.
Shadows Light and Bridges – this great black-and-white from the studio of Rachel Cohen features a bridge that is also a piece of art. The lines of the bridge cast terrific shadows upon the walkway creating a strong dimension of drama in the shot, and this is all wrapped up with the great vanishing point that’s explored in this composition.
Sabrina's last anchorage – an old wooden fishing boat lies prone in shallow waters as time works fervently on the process of decay. Trevor Cole captures a haunting piece here complete with a terrific reflection that adds a great element to the powerful composition.
something good – the remains of an abandoned barn sit in a field as the sun sets in the distance on the horizon, splashing the entire scene in comfortable hues and colors. Jay Daley’s great composition with this shot accents the raw artistic tension found within, making for a picture that is sure to delight everyone who’s a fan of rustic settings.
Gay Fish Co. – Mike Criswell captures a fleet of classic fishing boats docked at the Gay Fish Co., famous for the work they participated in for the famous movie “Forest Gump”. Lines, shapes and features all converge in this image to deliver a special shot, one that showcases the great character of the profession and the region.
Easter in London – wonderful details and lights greet the viewer in this shot that features the London Eye and surrounding architectural elements lit for the season. The long exposure that Giuseppe Torre used to capture this scene softens the water of the river, allowing the viewer to focus on the crisp details of the city.
Hotel du Canada – Michael Lewis Glover creates a highly stylized artistic render of a character building on display at Disney EPCOT in the Canada section. The wonderful and grand architecture is accented by the touches that Michael introduced in post-production to bring his vision to life.
Stranded Ship – this square format shot delivers a very dramatic scene to the viewer, one that features an old wooden boat in shallow waters. The long exposure used to create this particular shot adds a silky effect to the waters and softens the dramatic reflection of the boat.
A Colorful Song – Andy Gimino captures a stunning piece on the shores of Lake Champlain as the evening arrives painting the skies and landscape in incredible rich colors and tones. The gorgeous natural colors from the sunset add a feeling of mystique and wonder to this very dramatic image.
Lightning Strike on Mt. Wooley, Grand Canyon – as the heavens appear to open and unload a torrential downpour, Don Smith finds himself capturing a very dramatic shot at just the right moment as a lightning strike makes contact with the ground. The natural formations of the park underneath the brooding sky that is home to the powerful storm work together in perfect harmony in this photograph.
Arundel Castle – a stunning European castle with construction that began in 1067 is the prime focus in this terrific photograph from the studio of Barry Turner. The incredibly majestic features of this grand castle makes their presence known peering above the treelines that line the waterways surrounding the castle itself.
Serendipity – fast moving waters over a gentle fall create the perfect accent to this forest themed shot that features great details in the wood and rock that frames the scene. The colors and feel of the scene captured here by Tula Top do a great job of defining the name of the image, delivering a shot that truly is the embodiment of serendipity.
Yellow Valiant – Tim Stanley uses an absolutely perfect depth of focus in this shot to isolate the great subject being showcased. This trainer plane was used in the States by the services and today it is a wonderfully restored and maintained example of this aircraft. Tim’s photo captures it’s personality in this shot just perfectly.
Orta Lake – wonderful architecture peeks up above the tops of the trees that produce a screen in this great shot by Daniel Metz. This Italian lake produces a striking landscape, finding further interest in the layer of cloud cover above that creates a sense of overall drama.
Stormy Motif – Steven Perlmutter visits an oft-photographed subject on the east coast of the United States, coming away with a very dramatic image he has posted here to his blog. This classic structure is considered to be one of the most photographed buildings around, and Steven finds this wonderful old facility on a day when brooding clouds loom overhead, adding terrific drama to the overall setting.
Motif #1 – Bob Lussier shares his own interpretation of this famous spot on the east coast, using long exposure techniques to smooth out the waters and composition to give a sense of scale and context. The red colors in the main building in this shot work together nicely with the surroundings to deliver a wonderful shot, sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Friendship – three masted tall ships are some of my personal favorite photography subjects, and in this case Len Saltiel visits the famous region of Salem to find this great replica ship of the original tied to dock. The wonderful backdrop of the town itself features authentic and incredible architecture, adding to the sense that this picture was originally taken hundreds of years ago capturing the spirit and essence of the town during the times.
Mr & Mrs Grumpy – a pair of little owls stand guard outside their apparent nest, glowering at a pheasant that was inbound on the family. The great natural light enhances their facial expressions, creating an image that is as mesmerizing as it is entertaining.
Flying Puffin – this shot features a flying puffin bird, gently backlit to accent the beauty in the wings and other elements. The bird appears to look right as it approaches Ron Niebrugge, adding a touch of wonderful artistic tension to the scene.
Getting the Shot – Edith Levy posts a wonderful architectural study shot featuring the inside of the George Weston Recital Hall. Edith uses selective color to accent another photographer who happens to also be shooting the inside of the hall, adding a great element of interest to the shot.
A Barn In A Field – Jim Denham does a terrific character study of an old and weathered barn in a field, full of natural decay and erosion from the relentless march of time. Great colors in the sky from the fading light of day swash the skies in rich tones, the results of Jim’s application of a ND filter to achieve a very long exposure time.
Springtime along the Raasch Trail – we join John Mead on this post as he visits the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to see and photograph the various birds that call this park home. The first and last shots in the set features wonderful pathways that leads into great vanishing points, and the others feature the wonderful birds that live in the area.
Natural History Museum – this is a terrific wide angle view of the inside of the Natural History Museum by Richard Harris. Great lines and textures are revealed, showcasing the incredible majestic architecture that comprises the facility.
Grand Palace Theater – Canton Ohio – this panorama features the inside space of the Palace Theater as shot and shared here by Mike Criswell. Extreme low-light conditions created difficult working environs for Mike, yet he has come away with this wonderful shot that showcases the terrific character and colors found inside the wonderful theater.
Bagan Sunrise – an absolutely breathtaking sunrise in Myanmar casts a wonderful warm glow over the landscape captured by Zay Yar Lin. An elevated composition allows the viewer to look out into the distance over the rooftops of the buildings, creating a picture full of rich drama and depth.
Light Painting a Ghost Town – this is a powerful image, conceived and captured by Anne McKinnell in a deserted town in Nevada. The effects of Anne’s work is quite astounding, delivering a piece that is full of natural artistic tension, leaving the viewer wondering so much about the contents of the scene and how things came to be.
This is What Photos Captured with a 50mm f/0.75 Lens Look Like – this interesting piece showcases several images captured with a super fast lens shot wide open. The soft and dreamy effect created by this glass accents the subject matter being photographed, isolating the subject entirely from it’s backdrop with delicate bokeh.
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.