As another week passes by Toad Hollow Photography is busy searching the internet for the best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone. This week's list contains some really great images and posts to enjoy featuring the work of some truly gifted artists and writers. We really do hope you enjoy this list as much as the Toad did in bringing it to you.
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An In-Depth Guide to Long Exposure Water Photography – this is a comprehensive guide to long exposure water techniques. Antoinette Seaman shares some great tips and tricks on how to work in this area of photography coupling the detailed and easy-to-follow writing with some incredible photographs as examples.
Another Sunrise – this is a great post from Blake Rudis that shares a set of really wonderful HDR photographs, each processed using the different numbers of brackets to merge from the same source set. The results are quite astonishing, in some ways they speak to the adage “less is more”. If you practice HDR techniques, this is definitely a thought-provoking piece to see.
Time Lapse Video Tutorial – Part 1 – Scott Wood delivers the first part of his video tutorials that shows how he goes about doing his incredible time lapse photography. Scott does fabulous work in this genre of imagery and his tutorial is sure to be of interest to anyone pursuing this.
Tips on photographing fireworks – as summer is now upon us many events are being planned, and many of them include great fireworks displays. Jim Nix does a top drawer job in this post in both sharing some great fireworks photos as well as sharing some really informative and useful tips and tricks on how to achieve the images you are hoping for.
Western Meadowlark Comes to Life with Exposure Compensation – Lee Brown delivers a wonderful photograph of this beautiful bird enjoying life. Lee also gives the reader some insight into exposure compensation with a great example and detailed write-up.
“Monster” Monster Bite – a completely fabulous and large series of photographs is presented here by Howard. A visit to a zoo coupled with what seems to be an endless supply of picture storage has resulted in Howard coming away with a really epic set of images of the animals who call this magical place home.
The Ride for the Ring – what a fabulous piece to visit here, as presented by Mike Criswell! It appears that a wedding day approaches for Mike and his lovely bride-to-be and Mike has created a series based on this that incorporates great writing with great imagery. So many details come to life in this shot he has posted, delivering a picture that is sure to share all its secrets with those who spend time taking it in.
The Edge of Night – to call this image amazing is not doing it justice at all. Jimi Jones captures and posts a photograph taken during the blue hour looking over a creek. Boats parked on a pier and a lovely character home peeking through the foliage with gorgeous lights from inside help to fully bring this image to life.
New Wave Academy – MMA Fighters – a stunning series of portrait photographs is presented in this post from Mark Blundell. Mark takes us behind the scenes to a MMA practice session where he performs a portrait photography session on the fighters. His perfect use of lighting, depth of focus and composition is strongly shown in this set.
Army Amphibian – sure, we have an affinity for frogs and toads here, but this isn’t the only reason we’ve shared this link in this week’s list. Katherine White does a wonderful job in capturing this photo of three frogs, delivering a scene full of character and accented by a wonderful reflection.
The Drowned Girl – an absolutely stunning minimalist piece is shared, producing a compelling picture to be viewed and enjoyed. Using a waterproof camera David takes a shot half in and out of the water, and in turn captures a bright and beautiful sunset that is truly accented by the visual effect shared.
An Enduring Gift – beautiful flowers are the subject of this photo-post by Laurie MacBride as she shares two images of Foxgloves in full bloom. The beautiful colors of the flowers are very striking, and Laurie does a great job in putting this post together for everyone to enjoy.
iForged Audi R8 – John Zhang creates an image of an Audi with a city skyscraper skyline as a backdrop that is captivating. The crisp and sharp lines and details in the car are wonderfully accented by the sense of fast motion John has created with this really incredible composition.
Let There Be Light – a stone church sits on a hillcrest in New Zealand, and is masterfully photographed by Maxwell Campbell. Great details and textures in the historic stonework comes to life in this dramatic scene from Maxwell.
Red Iris – Tijuana Sunrise – a lovely bright and vibrant red Iris is presented in this post from Jerry Denham. A gorgeous flower is delicately captured and processed with this image, and Jerry shares a few behind-the-scene details about how he processed it.
Pink – Heather Neil creates a truly beautiful image by shooting and processing a gorgeous pink flower bloom. Her soft processing on the shot really brings all the beauty inherent in the scene to life, creating a photo that is absolutely stunning.
Beacon – an historic and iconic lighthouse on the east coast is highlighted in this picture by Len Saltiel. Great natural light drapes this romantic setting in light that produces really interesting shadows and areas of contrast to accent the beauty of the scene.
Circling Down – a fabulous architectural study is shared here by Adam Allegro, this one being of the Vatican Museum staircase. This spot-on composition brings the leading lines of this historic staircase to life, creating a must-see picture in this week’s list.
Orange County Fair 2012 – this shot has it all going on here, great colors in the sky, a natural leading line defined by the piers in the water and a vanishing point. Aaron Barlow captures and creates a truly stunning picture here, one that is sure to delight and amaze everyone who visits.
Evening Respite – wonderful colors in the sky cast the most beautiful light upon this scene, as captured and shared here by Jay&Jacy Photography. The beautiful colors are reflected back in the still waters, creating a truly dramatic and beautiful scene to view.
Summer Is Actually Here – Mike Victorino creates a stunning photo shared in this post. The shallow depth of focus that Mike used when capturing this frame create strong character for this picture which is all accented by the monochromatic processing.
St Edmund King & Martyr, West Kingsdown – an old, old church in the UK poses for the lens of Tony Matthews here. It’s amazing to think that this church is probably around 1,000 years old and this great shot by Tony takes us right to the heart of the matter allowing everyone a chance to see this storied place of worship.
307 steps to go – a never-ending staircase winds its way to the heavens, creating the most alluring natural lines and geometry. Mickaël Lootens does a splendid job in making the perfect picture in a challenging place for composition.
Obersee – I believe this is a picture of an old boathouse sitting on a lake. Jonas Funck captures and shares the most striking picture here, complete with a reflection so astounding that at first glance it really looks like a mirrored surface.
Mr. Osprey – the mister of the house enjoys a brief outing for a snack, leaving his mate back at the nest to take care of the young. Jay Taylor’s photograph of the bird as it sets to land is full of great details, bringing the majesty and power of these incredible birds to life for everyone to enjoy.
T-Bird Cockpit – the old, classic cars are fabulous photography subjects and Wayne Frost wastes no time in capturing and creating an instant classic here. The natural lines of this beautiful car are accented by some of the customizations done by the owners, creating a picture that is sure to captivate everyone who loves these sorts of things.
Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills – an almost voyeuristic image is captured and presented here by Trey Ratcliffe, taken in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the city of LA. His great framing for this shot gives the viewer an impression we are peeking at the city through the cover of darkness, creating a compelling picture to view and enjoy.
Inside SWAT – Tim Stanley shares a sneak-peek into the inside of a SWAT vehicle, all setup with the gear that these brave people use in their daily jobs to ensure our personal safety. Tim does a great job in composing and capturing this scene, presenting a picture here that is really something else.
Stepping Stones – compositing images is an art form unto itself and Andy Gimino is a leader in this field. Manually blending three frames of the same scene by using complex focus-stacking techniques, Andy is able to create this intimate yet dramatic outdoor shot taken at one of Vermont's beautiful brooks.
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin – if you like rich colors and dramatic architectural details, this is the post for you! Jim Nix creates a stunning image inside this incredible place, one that is a true must-see in this week’s list.
Switzerland’s Highest Mountain – an epic set of mountainous photographs awaits the viewer in this post from LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Andy takes us along as he explores the lofty mountain ranges of Switzerland, and he comes away with a series guaranteed to delight everyone. Andy’s great writing adds huge interest to this post being well-thought out and written, making it one of our must-see posts in this week’s list.
Snowy Egret With A Dragonfly – it’s always astounding to watch wildlife in action, and this post from Steve Creek brings this concept to our screens quite nicely. This gorgeous bird is catching dragonflies out of the air, and Steve gets a fabulous set of shots to showcase this.
Three Wild Geese – these little fella’s are some cute, I have to say! Barbara Youngleson captures a shot of three baby geese making their way through the water that is sure to melt the heart of everyone who pops by to see.
A lucky lightning strike at sunset – Mike Olbinski is a leader in the field of storm photography, and this epic shot from him really shows us why. He manages to capture a photograph of a lightning strike smack-dab in the middle of a rather foreboding looking storm, which creates a truly mesmerizing and dramatic picture.
Stokes Castle Blue – Bob Lussier brings us along as he captures a wonderful shot of an old castle in the blue hour. Great lighting accents the compelling lines and architecture of this historic facility; a picture well worth the time to visit and view.
Majestic Mountain – what a fascinating picture to view here, as presented by Scott Ackerman. This landscape photograph is taken just before the sun sets for the evening, casting a lovely purple glow to the scene which is perfectly punctuated by the silhouettes of the trees of the rolling hills.
Breaking Through – a beautiful and striking image is created and presented here by Chris Frailey. As Chris is out and about chasing storms to photograph, he encountered this incredible cloud formation which was perfectly accented by the colors in the sky to combine and create this perfect setting.
No word….. – an almost patchwork quilt effect is created in this landscape photograph by Giuliano Mangani. The plots of farmland are well defined and by exposing different colors and elements in each zone, this picture perfect composition creates a strong and wonderful effect.
End of Day – a lovely lake scene is presented as the sun begins to set here by Bob Israel. The beautiful evening sky adds perfect color and tones to the setting, and the boat presented brings a touch of tension to the scene.
Zen – this is a super image, very striking and dramatic in composition and content. Danilo Faria uses a ND filter to create this picture, smoothing out the waters to a silky ethereal presence and accenting the incredible nature tones that Mother Nature presents.
The Bali Healer – a very interesting post that discusses a healing practitioner in Bali and accents this compelling story with a great photograph. Keith Cuddeback shares this personal journey with everyone, making this one of our must-see posts in this week’s list.
Jewel of the South – there are many facets to this image that are truly captivating. Curt Fleenor captures and shares a great panorama here that includes elements of great detail, light trails from moving cars and really compelling architecture.
Stormy Night – lightning shots can really be a great expression of light, color and drama and Rich McPeek does a great job in delivering on those points here. The crisp tendrils from the lightning bathe the scene in a purple light and the silhouettes from the surrounding trees brings context to the scene.
Matera at Sunset – a gorgeous view of the city of Matera in Italy as the night falls is sure to take your breath away. Great details in the old, historic architecture create a strong element of interest to captivate the viewers eye for quite some time.
July 4th 2012 – the 4th of July is a great chance for photographers to get out and make incredible imagery. CJ Schmit wastes no time in taking advantage of the event and comes away with a great photograph showing a beautiful and colorful firework display, accented by the natural tension of the surrounding crowd.
Splash of Yellow – beautiful, yellow flowers create the main subject point in this great photo from Jim Denham. Jim uses a shallow depth of focus to create a strong bokeh effect with the backdrop of a forest, creating a wonderful image to view and enjoy.
The Ghost Rider – a great black-and-white image is presented here from the studios of Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck. Taken as night falls on a deserted road, the Kerstenbecks employ a slightly long exposure with very specific lighting to create this picture that is an awesome representation of tension in an image.
The Tonight Show – Ben Kensington creates a composited image combining multiple exposures of lightning strikes over a seascape. The truly epic colors and tones in this image really cast a scene reminiscent of another planet entirely, creating a captivating picture sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Lightning Strikes Twice – this is a great image on its own, but when you consider it was captured hand-held by Ryan Brenizer during a lightning storm, his skills in the world of photography come to light. This highly dramatic scene of a storm in play is really a fabulous image, well worth the time to visit.
Medieval Ambiance – a wonderful European architectural study is shared here by Anita Megyesi. Using a low perspective for her composition really adds a strong element of majesty and drama to this captivating scene, and Anita does a wonderful job in capturing a shot that is sure to be a delight for all who visit.
Flying Burrowing Owl – a great capture of a Burrowing Owl in mid-flight is displayed here by Bev. Her perfect timing in capturing this shot really helps to bring all the character and interest out for everyone to enjoy.
Swan Sets Sail – the natural beauty and majesty of this gorgeous bird is forever captured in this stunning piece by Bev. This is an absolutely striking shot, with natural light draping the scene accenting the features and intrinsic interest naturally found in swans in the wild.
Carolina Wren Stretch – a lovely little wren sits and stretches, looking for a bit of something to eat, and Kerri Farley is there and ready to photograph this. The result is this wonderful composition and great details that are brought out for everyone to enjoy.
Macro of a Nile Lily – Kat White delivers a beautiful shot of a Nile Lily bathed in natural sunlight. The crisp details showcasing the natural beauty of this flower are accented here by the gorgeous colors and tones in the image. Definitely one of our must-see images in this week’s list.
Pollination by Wasp – a great macro close-up of this wasp at work is on display here, as shot and shared by Alan S. Hochman. The intricate details of this insect are all perfectly captured, creating a piece that is sure to amaze everyone who visits.
52 Worst photoshop mistakes – this link is just for fun… can you spot the mistakes in these images all of which made it to print?
Kilgii Gwaay Finds – we join local photographer Ehpem as he continues his exploration of an active archeological dig in a pretty remote location. The captivating photographs shared here are accented by the detailed story behind them, painting a picture for the viewer that is both astonishing and compelling to read. A must-see post in this week’s list, for sure.
Ocean Sky Time-lapse Photography at Night – a stunning time lapse video produced at night showcases the beauty of the night sky, the ocean and the inherent drama that Mother Nature provides with dramatic cloud-covers. This presentation is absolutely beautiful and is really well worth the time to see personally.
Interactive Street Art: Ernest Zacharevic – this is pure wonder, captured forever in a series of photographs. Ernest’s artwork is on display in George Town in Malaysia and since has taken on a life of its own acting as a prop for people to use in creating secondary art.
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.