Toad Hollow Photography has been working very hard all week searching the internet for the links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This week's comprehensive list features some great photography and blogs dedicated to the craft. We hope you enjoy perusing this list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
Check out the Toad's latest feature blog post “Resurrecting Our Heritage” that discusses a wonderful old heritage church on Vancouver Island that was almost lost to developers. A local art enthusiast has just purchased this beautiful church with plans to convert it to a community art center. A happy ending, indeed!
A Brush of Warmth – Behind My Eyes – Jim Denham delivers an in-depth look at new features delivered in the latest versions of Lightroom and Aperture. The newly included white balance filters now give the artist complete control over the white balance in a scene, helping to create images that appear more natural looking in nature or giving the artist extra tools to create the vision they were going for. This is a very well written piece by Jim that features example images and screenshots to walk the reader through the concept.
Life Before Photoshop: Microsoft – this article contains some great insights into how to compose and technically work on that perfect shot without the aid of post-processing. Joe Baraban delivers an article here that adds so much value, even if you do a lot of work in the digital realm post-processing as most of us do these days, as it will enhance your technical abilities and tools. This will, I believe, result in better imagery.
How to Use Bracketing in Your Photography – this is a great article that discusses the technicalities behind bracketing in photography. The post illustrates the points presented with some great example photography, allowing the reader to instantly understand the concept. This is a well written and easy to understand piece.
Chasing The Ghosts of Gettysburg – this extensive collection of photographs by A.D. Wheeler features the site of Gettysburg and the items on display there. A.D.’s spot-on compositions bring all the inherent drama and mystique of a place that must surely be haunted. Each image is easily seen as a masterpiece and the collection as a whole is enchanting beyond proper description, you just have to see it yourself.
Balinese Hut – Keith Cuddeback visits the incredible natural beauty of this tropical place and comes away with a great character shot of one of the huts there. The great textures and details that Keith has captured here really lend themselves to the overall charisma. The rich green surroundings add the perfect touch to the picture, merging with the other elements to make a complete scene.
Rolling Hills – the indescribable charm and character of the Swiss countryside is explored in this breathtaking photograph by Len Saltiel. As Len takes in the rolling countryside peppered with quaint chalets, he shares a scene of this part of the world that gives it a magical feel. This is one of those shots you simply have to see for yourself, but be forewarned… it’s going to want to make you move straight there.
The Market of Don Quixote (2012) – Light Stalking member @astaroth takes us along as he explores a really neat event hosted in Madrid, Spain. This festival immerses the visitor in a time now long past by featuring costumes, fair and items from the time being presented. This series of images does a perfect job in conveying the feel and tone of the occassion.
Austin, TX – what a lovely study of the Austin city skyline at night posted by Jim Denham. The rich details found in the architecture are all featured here which finds further interest through the soft reflections of the city’s lights shining off the gently moving water in the foreground. Jim shares this really great shot with everyone alongside some personal insights into life that converges to make this one profound post.
Ghostships | FR | 2012 – somewhere in France is what appears to be a forgotten pack of ships, left to the elements and time. This is an incredible series of photographs featuring these ships, creating a strong and dramatic exhibit that draws the viewer in immediately by sharing an extremely profound experience. Superb work.
Birds of Prey: Western Screech Owl – this tiny owl may not have the physical presence of a large bird but it really makes up for this shortcoming with some serious attitude. Dakota Visions Photography brings us all along as they visit the Black Hills Raptor Center. As a result of this visit they post two absolutely wonderful photos of this incredible owl.
Taking off over Seattle – this is a wonderful photograph that features the crisp details of Seattle’s architecture and some light trails as the busy citizens travel about their night. Scott Wood delivers a really stunning piece here complete with natural leading lines and fascinating features.
Canal Street at Night – everything about this photograph is incredible, from the captivating composition to the fine details that are presented. Tim Stanley overlooks New Orleans from his hotel, giving the viewer a fabulous piece that engages and mesmerizes with a single glance. If you enjoy spending time with a photograph, this will satisfy the craving.
Island View Beach – my good friend and local photographer Ehpem finds himself visiting one of our iconic beaches only to discover a raw scene strewn in garbage. He then works the area capturing a series of images to post-process, many in HDR, to share the gritty and dirty scene which holds finer details that lend themselves perfectly to HDR.
The Ranch at Grass Valley: Stable – Bob Lussier captures and shares a pair of HDR images here that embody what is so fabulous about HDR. This old stable is in a state of decay, and Bob’s processing does a great job of sharing all the details and textures that can only be found in old stone and wood used to build structures.
The Russian Sub and the Queen Mary – Trey Ratcliff delivers in his epic style as he shares a mysterious photograph accompanied by a cryptic, rather adventurous sounding, statement. Great details in both boats emphasizes several key elements that add layers of interest to a terrific image.
Fall Tracks – this shot has all the key ingredients that combine to make for a breathtaking photograph. Jake Olson Studios captures a frame of railroad tracks that go on endlessly into the horizon, making a great vanishing point. The tracks are cloaked in the vibrant autumn foliage from the area, adding a layer of beauty and interest to the scene.
Autumn Falls – our adventurer and photographer friend Jordan Oram continues his trek across our great country, periodically sharing photographs and stories of his travels. This great shot of an autumn leaf is perfectly composed with great details and colors that bring the scene to life for the viewer.
Silence … (China) – somewhere in China a person sits in their boat, surrounded by beautiful waters and mountains. A light positioned at the front of the boat casts a warm glow over the front of the boat, creating the perfect setting for Yury Pustovoy to photograph and share.
*OO* – macro photography shares a world often unseen by the naked eye. In this case we get a picture of a pair of eyes on an insect of some sort. Lo Ma does a great job with this photo to deliver something that is full of details, so much so that is leaves the viewer with a slightly creepy feeling.
Overgrown Tracks…. – some pictures are very easy on the eyes, taking the viewer right through the frame effortlessly. This is a great example by Tony Matthews who photographs an overgrown train track with a fence to the right of it that when combined they both form a fabulous leading line.
Fall is here 🙂 – as we find ourselves right in the midst of an active fall season many photographers are capturing and posting beautifully colorful images. Manish Mamtani delivers on this with a photo of a ribbon of road that runs into the distance covered on both sides by the rich and vibrant colors of fall.
Drying Bed – Ehpem delivers a pair of HDR images from the same brackets, but processed to a different end result. Each can easily stand on it’s own as excellent, but when you get to view them both the fascinating contrast that the two styles reveal side-by-side comes to life for all to enjoy.
Before Opening – a lovely and colorful flower sits unopened and Anita Megyesi does a fabulous job of brining it’s inherent beauty to life in this photograph. The rich tones of the flower are accented here by Anita’s very shallow depth of focus, which isolates the flower from the rest of the scene and brings it to life.
Steps and fennel – shapes and lines are captured and find emphasis here by the delicate shadows cast by the vegetation. Lotus Johnson delivers a picture here that has a touch of the abstract to it, creating a picture that is pleasing to view and take in.
Milky Way over Legend Lake – this is one of those epic shots that is more alluring the longer you spend viewing it. Bob Israel creates a picture here of a shore on the lake which finds itself inhabited with homes all beaming their bright lights to illuminate the area. The incredible cosmos in the sky above adds a layer of natural tension.
Winchester City Bridge over the River Itchen – a comely old stone bridge creates a natural arch that joins two sides of this historic city. Lovely details and textures in the stonework are all exposed perfectly in this shot by Barry Turner, creating a truly compelling picture.
Philadelphia – a majestic monument in Philadelphia is wonderfully photographed by Jim Manahan here. Warm natural light dapples the surface of the stone and the dramatic statue and memorial flame are really brought to focus as a result.
Red October – this highly colored saturated image emphasizes warm red tones that embody the true feeling of autumn. Johnny Gregg shares a picture that frames a rustic dirt road with perfectly aligned trees, creating superb natural leading lines culminating in a dramatic vanishing point.
Sunset Pier – if you love great sunset photography, you will certainly love this. Marco Carmassi finds a spot where a dramatic, brooding sky hangs over a truly incredible scene. A perfectly still body of water reflects back a near perfect copy of a fabulous wood pier that takes the viewer through the frame. The finishing touch is found in both the sky and it’s resulting reflection that introduces the most wonderful warm colors into the picture.
The Grey Man Doesn’t Stop To Reflect – perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek but no less brilliant for it, this fresh Grey Man post from the studio of Mark Garbowski shares a delightful new installment in this running series. This monochromatic shot of the Grey Man as he strolls through town creates a strong sense of curiosity and tension as the viewer takes in all the subtleties presented.
there is a Light that never goes out … – talk about deep, deep drama! This simple composition takes the viewer up a stone set of stairs into the great unknown. Tomàs Rotger creates a strong statement here with this powerful black-and-white picture.
Fall Stream – Steve Beal gives us a great shot to enjoy, captured from a very low perspective sharing a view of the dramatic waters and the colorful leaves that pepper the area. The silky effect of the fast-moving water is accented here by allowing the viewer to see under the water near the front of the frame creating different zones of interest within the frame.
Seattle Stadium District – we get another overhead view of the bustling metropolis of Seattle from the studio of Scott Wood. This shot contains tack-sharp details in the architecture and a strong sense of motion from the light trails produced by the cars. This is a truly mesmerizing piece, sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Drink & Fold – you will need a hot shower doused in bleach after you see this epic shot taken in an abandoned penitentiaries laundry room. Scott Frederick takes us deep inside this decaying structure to see a room that most would not consider visiting. We get to enjoy the fruits of this labor from Scott with this photograph that embodies the concept of detail and texture.
How To Hide If You’re A Moose | Another Way To Hide If You’re A Moose – Rob Hanson delivers a visual how-to manual for any Moose who need to hone their hiding skills. Rob does a great job here of combining a truly compelling pair of posts and photographs of a particularly large bull during the rutting season with some really fabulous insights.
Double Impact – all the inherent drama and power that mother nature unleashes with her ability to fling lightning bolts to the earth is perfectly captured and shared in this great storm photograph from Mike Olbinski. The black-and-white processing Mike used to create this image adds so much drama to the overall scene.
Tree Lined – the incredible tones that occur during fall are perfectly photographed in this shot by Steven Perlmutter. Steven takes us to a lovely rural farm where a gentle road and white picket fence create the most perfect natural leading lines.
Split Rock Lighthouse – Rob Nopola takes us right to where an incredible lighthouse sits perched high atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. Rob’s perfect composition on this shot brings extra surrounding context to the viewer, creating a complete image that is a pure joy to view.
Finally – Mike Victorino visits the lovely city of Seaside, Oregon and comes away with a terrific shot overlooking the city at night. The light trails from the moving cars add a distinct layer of interest here, and as Mike points out a police car sitting at a light leaves a great little present behind in the form of a very captivating ghost.
La nuit, sur le pont Alexandre III (Les “Vendredi” avec Anne-Laure) – this series showcases great composition and framing techniques by taking us along to the Alexandre III bridge during a wet evening. Mathias delivers a stunning collection here sharing both the incredible beauty of his city as well as his abundant talents in photographing subjects like this.
Les “vendredis” avec Mathias – the contrasting post to Mathias’ featured above, this one by Anne-Laure K. Her series features the same bridge but photographed during the day. The vast change in feel lends a great extra layer of interest to the feature.
Shock n Awe 12 – a very serious and dramatic selection of photographs is shared here by Mark Blundell. Mark’s work in the field of photographing live MMA events is truly second-to-none, and this series of images shows just why. His distinctive ability to capture just the right moment as all the power and emotion of the moment unfolds creates truly compelling imagery.
Maligne Lake Sunrise, Jasper NP, Canada – the incredible natural beauty of Maligne Lake is eloquently captured and shared in this feature from Mark Paulson. As the sun rises heralding in a new day in this magical spot, Mark is ready to capture a shot that really showcases the majesty of this epic national park.
Mt. Washington – the majestic Mt. Washington range sits high over top a gorgeous hotel and its surrounding rolling hills. Bob Lussier does a great job of creating this strong panoramic image that brings all the character of this naturally beautiful area right to the viewer.
Old Wood, New Wood – this is a great study in textures by LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Andy finds two distinctly different genres of wood structure to photograph creating a post that studies the differences that aged wood goes through as it weathers naturally.
An English phone booth – the vibrant reds that cover typical English phone booths create a strong splash of color in this great shot from Jim Nix. All the lovely details and textures in the booth are brought to light here, making for a shot that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all who view it.
How Much Is Too Much Photoshop ? – this image is both a stunning picture in itself, but it also serves as an anchor point to an underlying discussion. Kevin McNeal creates a picture taken at Thors Well on the Oregon Coast featuring phenomenal colors in the sky from the sun setting along with a very dramatic natural feature.
From Out Of A Dream – this photograph is a great example of how a tilted horizon can add natural tension to a scene. Mike Victorino produces a piece that showcases a rock bed in the foreground and a gorgeous landscape and rock formation in the back. This picture exhibits fabulous tones, lines and shapes.
Autumn Colors – Heather Neil does a great job letting her imagery do the talking, and this autumn picture showcases this rather nicely. Fabulous colors in the fall leaves are found within several layers and the white wood fence creates a great natural leading line breaking the picture up into several segments of interest.
Indian River Inlet Bridge – an architectural study that features the Charles W. Cullen Bridge, a cable-stayed structure design that strikes a great silhouette in the early morning light. One of the key defining features is it’s purportedly being the first to use LED lighting. Jimi Jones takes a sunrise shot of the bridge that delivers great details and a fabulous subtle reflection of the lights in the surrounding waters.
Worldwide Photo Walk 2012: Weston – a terrific set of images is shared in this post that showcases the photography-rich Weston, MO. Each photo in the small series gives the viewer a glimpse into an unique feature. Blake Rudis may have had his visit cut short due to a rather sudden and nasty weather event, but he did come back with these great shots.
Big – an amazing sculpture is explored in a pair of photographs posted by Edith Levy. The contrast of the crisp and strict lines found in the artwork against the rough textures in the stone building in the back casts a striking pair of images sure to amaze.
Above Water – a striking photograph that puts a single vibrant leaf front-and-center. Jerry Denham creates a very special piece here composed of a leaf sitting on a rock surrounding by streaming waters. The feel and effect of this image is rather profound, even in it’s simplicity.
El Matador State Beach – a great pair of landscape photographs from the studio of Adam Allegro feature some really interesting natural rock formations. The great colors in the sky created by the setting sun are juxtaposed against the raw power of the ocean as it ebbs and flows, a sense that is truly palpable in these pictures.
Lakeside Retreat – Michael Lewis Glover shares a fabulous view of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. A boat moored in the foreground adds sharp edges and some tension, while the architecture and great red roof add contrast against the natural setting.
Red Roof – Steven Perlmutter delivers a new shot of a lighthouse he previously featured. This photo takes in some of the fabulous architectural details that comprise the building on the property, featuring a vibrant roof that really adds a lot of core interest to the great scene shown.
Winged Narrows – colors, shapes and tones all are created here in the natural rock formations found deep in the Lower Antelope Canyon of Arizona. Scott Ackerman comes away with an abstract piece that can completely engross the viewer, even in its relative simplicity.
Hangin’ Out with Momma Griz – this one’ll make you pucker a bit, no doubt!! One of the fiercest and most beautiful animals on our planet, a mother Grizzly bear, is carefully photographed by Laurie MacBride. This is seriously about as close as you would want to come to one of these incredibly powerful and sometimes a tad bit grumpy creatures!
Two Weeks in Irresistable Ireland – Part 4, The Dingle Peninsula – a stunning collection of photos shared here by Lee Brown who is just recently back from an extended visit to Ireland. The indescribable beauty of the green rolling hills dotted with the tiny farms and stone fences create the character that the country is so famous for, and Lee does a fabulous job in sharing these with his visitors.
Good Morning Virginia – a beautiful rolling vista is captured and shared here by Metro DC Photography. As the sun begins to rise painting the sky in vibrant colors, the rolling valleys below are draped in fog. This adds a huge element of intrigue to the already captivating scene captured.
Pumpkin Barn – a wonderful fall scene captured in a wonderful fall setting greets the visitor in this post from Rachel Cohen. Pumpkins are a well-known moniker for the fall time, and this shot features a collection of them sitting in front of really wonderful farm store that is truly sympathetic to the landscape Rachel is trying to share here.
Rust Op Twist Plantation – a set of incredible ruins dating back to the 1700’s is featured from the island St. Croix. Mark Summerfield delivers a picture here that shares both the incredibly beautiful surroundings as well as the actual ruins of the long-defunct sugar mill in context.
Evolving Season of Growth – this is a really great macro shot of a pumpkin before it grows and turns into pumpkin pie. Gareth Glynn Ash grabs a shot of this emerging plant, delivering a great photograph full of details that are sure to delight and amaze.
Infinity HDR – dramatic vanishing points are one of my personal favorite elements in photography. They can add drama and tension to a scene and can also serve to take the viewer through the frame, helping them explore it. Klaus Herrmann captures a great and detailed shot from inside the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in Toronto, Canada.
The Pineapple Fountain – this perfectly composed shot of an iconic fountain creates a striking image to view and enjoy, from the studio of Mike Criswell. Mike’s image does a fabulous job of expressing the flowing water as well as the crisp details that make up the architectural aspect of the fountain itself. He also includes a finer detail by including a pair of perfectly positioned flanking palm trees in the backdrop to add further interest.
Shack and Tracks…. – we get to enjoy another photo in this week’s list that features a great leading line that ends in a vanishing point. Tony Matthews finds a scene that is comprised of an old and highly weathered shack as well as some rail tracks that lead the viewer off into the never ending horizon. This is a highly dramatic and thought-provoking black-and-white piece to view and enjoy.
Sailor V2 – the word mesmerizing first jumps to mind when you see this incredible image. Simplistic in nature yet full of great tension and colors, this shot by Suresh Mano features a very colorful sky as a backdrop with a piloted sailing boat making it’s way across frame.
Autumn at Douglas Falls – water eddy’s can be really compelling features to shoot when it comes to landscape waterfall image creation. Joseph Rossbach shares a great shot of a small waterfall complete with awesome autumn colors in the surrounding trees, all brought to life with the fabulous details that are found here.
Klondike Park Autumn Lake – I just love the contrast the snow covered surroundings add against the very vibrant autumn trees that surround this whisper-still lake. Bill Tiepelman delivers an epic shot here that features all the elements described, as well as one of the most incredible reflections I have seen recently that brings a whole new dimension to the overall scene.
Argiope Aurantia – I think the creep-o-meter is bouncing off the top in this shot of a yellow spider I have never seen before by Michael Trauffer. The shallow depth of focus that Mark used to capture this only adds to the overall feel by completely isolating this creepy little friend and bringing it front-and-center in this shot.
Imposing Entrance – Len Saltiel frames one of Scotland’s most iconic castles in the stone gate that leads to it, creating a totally compelling piece to view and enjoy. The rich details in the very old stonework add a lot of character to this scene, and Len’s unique composition here leads the viewer right through the frame to a peek at this historic place.
Iceland – Columns – Iceland is one of the most incredible places on Earth. Interesting natural formations that feature rock and water elements can be found in many spots, and some of them cast the most impressive vistas to photograph and share. This truly breathtaking piece by Kilian Schönberger shares such a scene that features a fabulous waterfall and it’s surroundings.
The Executive Suite – the little ghost town turned into a living museum at Bodie in California is a must-visit destination for us one day. The fabulous photography opportunities found here in the weathered buildings and all the accompanying historical items are truly second-to-none. Raymond Jabola features one of the hotel rooms from town that is so full of period-correct character you are immediately whisked away to the gold rush times of the 1800’s.
Theme: “Funny” “Occupado!” – there’s no way to wave any magic wand to conjure up any better photos than these posted here by Howard Jackman. As the Halloween season approaches a local shopping center goes all out with it’s decoration, making for both a fantastic place to visit for a good ol’ fashioned spook-fest, but also delivering the perfect goods for Howard to photograph.
red geraniums on a red table . . . – a lovely still life scene is presented in this gorgeous image from local photographer dragonflydreams88. The bright colors evident in the flowers really pop in this shot, making for a picture that is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Mabry Mill in Autumn – this is a classic setting delicately and sympathetically photographed and shared here by Curt Fleenor. Curt shares a scene of an historic mill with its autumn surroundings, making for a compelling piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Ashy Faced Barn Owl – Bev captures another of her well-known owl photographs in this post. She has a remarkable talent in finding the perfect composition and timing to really capture the pure essence and spirit of these gorgeous birds in their natural habitats, and this shot is a fabulous example of this.
What a Pretty Face – this macro photo of a dragonfly from the studio of Kerri Farley shares a very expressive picture of the insect. Her extremely shallow depth of focus helps to isolate the dragonfly against it’s background, making for a shot that is both entertaining and captivating.
Monarch butterfly laying eggs – we get a picture here from Kat White that delivers something you just don’t get a chance to see in life typically. The Monarch butterfly is an enigma in many ways, having a fleeting life and in many cases travelling vast distances. This makes for a rather elusive photography subject, and Kat does a great job of photographing one as it lays it’s eggs. Fascinating, to say the least.
Nikon D600 – second impression – some working impressions and a pair of images are presented here to discuss the Nikon D600 when using DX series lenses. The attached photographers give the reader a great idea of the capabilities of this particular configuration.
Essential Development – 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4 – Edith Levy reviews and provides great comments on a new publication from Craft & Vision. This latest review and book it discusses looks to be a great in-depth resource for those looking to go further with their post-processing using Lightroom.
Apple Crumble for Toad – it’s bigger than us, we just had to feature this post in this week’s links list. We get to enjoy several great elements here, including some fabulous photography of the Hittys going about baking, some photography of the actual baking (and boy-oh-boy does that LOOK GOOD!) and of course the wonderful stories that accompany it all we’ve come to look forward to. This Toads family get-together is something special, indeed.
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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.