Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low all over the internet for the very best links to tutorials, great photography and interesting blogs to share as another week passes us by here. This comprehensive list of some of the very best pictures and posts found is sure to keep the photography enthusiast busy. The Toad hopes you enjoy perusing this list as much as he did in curating it and bringing it to you.
by Rubén Chase, on Flickr
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TIPS & TUTORIALS
Innocence Lost, Attitude Gained: Using Juxtaposition To Strengthen Your Portrait Photography – this article from Sandra Hale gives us some really fabulous insight into portrait photography and locations. Sandra takes us deep into her rationale for selecting certain venues for her work in this very well written piece, and in doing so helps to expand our mindset in the field of portrait photography.
10 Studio Photography Tips For the Best Portraits – this is a very comprehensive list of tips and tricks for studio based model photography. Everything from lighting, lenses and posing is discussed in this article, delivering a well-rounded piece that contains very useful information.
Dark Sharks – Karen Glaser delivers a stunning series of very grainy black-and-white images captured in the depths of the ocean. Karen’s images, often surreal in nature, share a compelling and dramatic story of life in the depths. The high level of grain in these images accents the drama of the set, and her compositions really convey the stunning seascapes that exist under the cover of deep water.
2012 Porsche Boxster S – if you love cars, you will cherish this series of photographs from Rick at Hansrico Photography. The latest rendition of the fabled Porsche Boxster S is featured against an old industrial backdrop, making for the most amazing images of this stunning red roadster. These shots are all second-to-none and are well worth the time to visit and view for yourself.
Photostory: A taste of Prince Edward County – Sherry Galey brings along as she explores the beautiful wine country found in Ontario, Canada. Sherry’s use of wonderful photography is brought to life with her great blog post here, making for a great way to have a fabulous experience all from the comfort of your home.
Golden Gray – I have come to have a deep love for the world as seen through the lens of Gost ∞ Ridr. This shot of the city of Dubai tells an instant story of the famous city below taken at night, and also delivers some of the most stunning details you’ve seen in this genre of imagery.
Kite photography – oh wow, you just have to stop what you’re doing right now and click this link, you’ll thank us later! Edin Chavez does something I’ve never seen before, nor have I ever considered it. He uses a kite that floats about 500 feet above the ground to create some of the most stunning imagery found in this week’s list. This entire set is absolutely amazing!!
At Home With The Dutch Angle – I just love to celebrate unique things, especially when they deliver something that is unusual. Mark Garbowski goes through quite a lot to capture this image, facing many challenges to his day. As it turns out, through an act of discovery, he finds that he used a popular compositional technique that in the case of the picture posted here really adds a huge element of interest and tension.
Backyard – reflections created by composing still waters into a scene can provide for very compelling photography. Jacky CW captures a shot of a beautiful lake in California with a commanding volcano present in the backdrop.
Renwick House – Wayne Frost does a stunning job of creating painterly styled images from his photography works, delivering really unique and captivating pieces to view and enjoy. This picture of a classic heritage home is colorful and beautiful to see, a real gem in this week’s collection.
The Owl Club – I’d strongly recommend you give a hoot and fly on over to see this image for yourself. Bob Lussier captures a shot of an iconic building in Nevada, making for a far better post to view and enjoy than my poor attempt at punning the place up.
Henry Fords “Hideaway” – we get two distinct images for the price of one in this post from Mike Criswell. The first shot, processed in black-and-white using a long exposure technique, delivers an almost mystical feeling piece full of great drama. The second image is a HDR of the shoreline of the same lake, creating a beautiful landscape to view and enjoy.
Mornings First Kiss – a gentle seascape piece is beautifully accented by lovely flowers growing on the shore. Andy Gimino creates a truly beautiful picture here, sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Do my eyes deceive me? – if not for photography, we may never have seen this incredible sight ourselves. LensScaper (Andy Hooker) photographs a store window in London that is just so different, you just have to see for yourself. This picture delivers many layers with interesting reflections, creating a bit of visual confusion that in all actuality is totally magnetic.
Les Invalides – Tim Stanley takes us along to see an iconic building in France officially known as L’Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids). This is a gorgeous architectural study that reveals all the wonderful details in the edifice as well as the surrounding beauty of the gardens.
Fauquier Co. Courthouse, Warrenton, VA – a famous historic courthouse in Virginia is photographed and shared in this shot by Perry Bailey. The strong architecture that comprises this facility creates an enduring scene that Perry does a top-drawer job of capturing.
last light before darkness – as dramatic light beams in through the openings in an abandoned structure in Berlin, markus s. is at the ready to capture this scene and create a sensational picture guaranteed to delight and amaze everyone. The surreal magic of this scene is augmented with the rich textures from the inherent decay.
by El coleccionista de instantes, on Flickr
City View – this is an epic night capture of the Manhattan city skyline. Rich details in the architecture and city are all highlighted with the vibrant colors streaming from the sleeping city. This is a fabulous picture, one that is well worth the time to visit and view.
Obersee ! – I believe this is a boathouse, sitting nestled on a still body of water surrounded by gorgeous hills and mountains. —Jan — composes the scene in a way that brings out all the reflections of the setting in the waters, adding further interest to the textures and tones of the old boathouse itself.
Northern Harrier – incredible details in this harrier are all exposed and shared in this wonderful photograph by Jay Taylor. Jay’s extremely shallow depth of focus in this shot really makes the bird stand out in this picture, making for something that is special and is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Sangan River Blues II – gorgeous hues of blue, fabulous textures and wonderful natural leading lines all come together in these photographs posted by Ehpem. The abstract complexion of the images created by Mother Nature and captured here by Ehpem combine to convey beauty that can only be found through the artwork of nature itself.
Biker Dog – some things we encounter in life are so unreal they sometimes defy description. How about a really cute dog sitting on the back of a motorbike, sporting a pair of goggles? Yep, you read that right. Robert Berry does a fabulous job in capturing this scene that is full of character, forever immortalizing the spunk and spirit of this wonderful dog.
The Tree of Life – a wondrous Japanese Maple Tree poses for Jim Nix who creates a special and unique image from the scene. Great natural lines, shapes and geometry are exhibited by this beautiful tree, and Jim creates a stellar picture from the setting presented to him.
The Tall Ship Dewaruci – historical large sailing vessels make for the best photography, and Jimi Jones showcases why in this great post. Known as Tall Ships, these classics are full of character and romance, and in this case Jimi captures a great shot and shares it in his post in both color and black-and-white.
Orange Duo – gentle lines and vivid colors are expressed in this picture that is host to a classic old hot rod and a beautiful woman. Both are dressed in their best orange outfits, and Wayne Frost uses this chance to compose and create an image that is sure to delight everyone.
The Gorner Glacier – we get no sense of scale, no sense of context and certainly no color in this set of photographs from LensScaper (Andy Hooker). Yet this entire series is some of the most compelling abstract pieces I have ever seen. The natural wonder of a glacier is explored from high above in this sequence, making for a must-see post in this week’s list.
A Rabbit Blowing A Raspberry – laugh and say awww, everyone! This is a pretty cute picture! Steve Creek manages to grab a shot of a very spirited bunny doing what bunnies do best.. pose and entertain! This is a wonderful image, guaranteed to be the source of joy for everyone who visits.
Stone House – great colors and tones found in the sky converge with the wonder of the old stone building to create a compelling piece of imagery here from Steven Perlmutter. There is a strong symbiosis between the drama in the sky and the inherent drama found in the old stone facility, creating a great balance that makes for an image that is sure to be a source of delight for all.
Molten Clouds – there are so many fabulous elements that make up this picture from Chris Frailey. A dark, brooding sky is accentuated by great tones found both in the clouds and the city far off in the distance. The added bonus of a stiff downpour in the distance helps to converge in this picture to deliver something that is truly exceptional.
2012 Perseid Meteors from Cannon Beach – the lights from civilization add a huge element of wonder to this great photograph by Scott Wood, which serves to emphasize the beauty of the stars at night and a streaking meteor in the night sky. This is a great juxtaposition of mankind and the universe we find ourselves living in.
Untitled – Heather Neil captures and shares a gorgeous landscape scene that contains many layers to ponder and enjoy. Wonderful still waters sit in the foreground of her composition here, adding a touch of interest by way of a fascinating reflection.
ciudad de las ciencias Nº 7 – a wonderful study in architecture at night is highlighted here by a mirror like reflection. miguel zambrana molina magically creates two images in one with his composition, making for one of our must-see shots in this week’s list.
Futuroscope by night – a futuristic structure is perfectly photographed and shared in this awesome HDR image from David Tavan. There are so many contrasts and details to be enjoyed in this shot, which is just perfectly post-processed to bring all the mystique found in the setting to life for all to enjoy.
Sunset on the Medway – a gorgeous sunset is reflected back subtly and gently in the lapping waters in this captivating piece from Tony Matthews. The wonderful, rich tones from both the sun and the surroundings skies converge in this piece to deliver a drama that can only be found in nature.
No Brand Required – a classic old hot rod that is exquisitely designed and built is featured in this post from Tim Stanley. The rich tones of the car reflect back the depth surrounding it, creating an image that leads the viewer’s eye naturally through the frame to take in the wonderful details.
Seeing Double – fabulous natural light drapes the surrounding scenery as Jason Hines captures a photo that exhibits two images in one. The wonderful reflection cast back from the still lake in Yosemite makes for a picture that contains many separate scenes in one.
Evening Walks – our own @astaroth here on Light Stalking goes for a walk in the evening and brings us along with him. Ultimately, we are the winners in this equation as he shares a breathtaking series of images taken as the sun makes its trek below the horizon.
by VinothChandar, on Flickr
the morning after – an early morning exploration of an abandoned building in Berlin nets a truly amazing image to view and enjoy. markus s. captures a shot here that expresses great tension through the capturing of awesome light beams making their way through the openings of the facility.
Haircut for the school – this picture features the cutest little kitten you’ll see today, guaranteed. As its mother tends and cares for it, Zoran Milutinovic grabs this emotional and wonderful photograph to share with everyone, making for a great picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
August Sunset on the Lighthouse – a gorgeous series of images is presented on the forums here on Light Stalking this week, from @mikell. As the sun sets behind a stunning lighthouse, the bright and vibrant colors paint the skies and surroundings in beautiful tones.
125sec at Bare Island – this is a beautiful blue hour image, composed with a perfect leading line in a pier that takes the viewers eye naturally through the frame to a tiny island. Noval Nugraha delivers a fabulous shot, taken using a long exposure technique, that is both surreal and intriguing at the same time.
Rome….buildings and their beauty – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck take us along on their journey to Rome where they come away with this epic shot of classic Roman architecture. The beauty in the details and textures in this picture are truly unsurpassed, creating a compelling piece that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Morning on the Mon – the beautiful Pittsburgh city skyline is revealed in this shot that finds the interesting architecture reflected back to the viewer. Rich McPeek captures this shot with so many different elements of interest at work, it’s a picture that you just have to see for yourself to fully appreciate.
Come Dine With Me – the elegant dining room at the Greenbrier Resort is captured in this photograph from Jay&Jacy Photography. The elegance of the beautiful chandeliers that hang in the room is complimented perfectly by all the wonderful little details that converge to create the most perfect setting to photograph.
St. Mary’s [Immaculate Conception] Church, Yonkers, Rose Window North Side – the beautiful colors intrinsic to the stained glass that makes up the main subject in this shot are all perfectly accented by the gentle light that adorns the edge of the balcony overlooking the main area of the church. Mark Garbowski creates a lovely image with this composition, one that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Fogust: Love It or Loathe It – the natural mystery found in a fog-enshrouded environment makes for wonderful photography, as discussed here by Laurie MacBride. As she explores the coast by boat over the summer months, Laurie finds shots like the one posted here to share that really express the special beauty and magic found on the west coast of Canada.
Gathering – Scott Frederick delivers another one of his epic pieces in this post, and compliments it with some profound personal thoughts. This picture of a room in an apparently abandoned facility has a set of disparate chairs in it, all surrounded by some of the most incredible textures and details that are exposed through the natural decay.
Early Morning Calm – a lovely nautical piece is displayed here from Edith Levy. As the sun begins to rise in Maine, Edith finds an almost magical composition with small boats bobbing in the morning sea tied to very quaint docks, producing a very fascinating photograph to view and enjoy.
kinsol trestle – one of our very favorite spots on Vancouver Island is photographed and shared here by local photographer dragonflydreams88. This wooden trestle is widely believed to be the largest free-standing structure of it’s kind in the world. Our blog post “A Bridge Of Hope” details the history and efforts that went into refurbishing this bridge to make it one of the key treasures we hold dear on the island here.
Path to the Light – a wonderful little wooden building sits seaside with a walking path that leads the viewer through the frame to rest upon a romantic lighthouse. Len Saltiel’s magical composition with this scene really does wonders in conveying the natural beauty and intrinsic interest found here.
The beauty in the simplicity of a stamped flower – A Beleza estampada na simplicidade de uma flor – a gorgeous yellow sunflower is explored visually in this piece by Novais Almeida. The absolutely incredible colors captured here are all emphasized by the rich details in the center part of this flower.
Blue hour at Haystack Rock – a massive and well-known rock formation is the main subject in this stunning blue hour photograph from the studio of Jim Nix. The sharp contracts found in this scene produce a wonderful silhouette effect of the formation, all brought together with the wispy and subtle reflections cast in the ocean.
Alone – incredible blue hues drape the remains of a sunken ship in the water. The remains of the ship itself resemble the skeleton of a whale, making for a very surreal scene to be captured and shared here by Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr.
Reflejos en B/N (reflex in B/W) – a truly awesome reflection is cast in the water of the local architecture composed in this picture from Juan Carlos Simón. The black-and-white processing used to create this image serves to create a strong sense of drama and the crisp reflections bring a lot of interest.
Setting Sail – the deck of a luxury cruise ship as night sets is photographed and shared by Metro DC Photography. The luxury accoutrements beckon the viewer with soft gentle lighting creating a picture that is sure to be the source of amazement for all who visit.
Dirty Dancing – the pure force and power of mother nature is exposed in this shot of an incredible lightning strike from Christopher Eaton. The fabulous tendrils of energy captured in this shot create a scene reminiscent of a pair of dancers, and the black-and-white processing used brings all the natural drama of the scene to life.
The Golden Gate Bridge! – simply wonderful golden tones bathe this iconic bridge that is poking out from a shroud of fog in this epic shot by Jim Ross. Incredible details in the bridge itself are full of points of interest, which are punctuated by the silky smooth water effect created by the use of long exposure.
Decay on Chestnut Street – wonderful details and textures are explored in this photograph from the studio of Mark Garbowski. The building shot here is most certainly abandoned, and all the windows and entrances boarded up. This is definitely one of those pictures that shares more with the viewer as you spend time taking in all it’s secrets.
Without You I’m Dust – a very abandoned room is carefully photographed and presented here by Scott Frederick. The wonder of decay is explored in this great shot, and Scott pulls the post together with some very profound thoughts that serve as a metaphor for life.
Solitude – wonderful natural light exposes a bench in a clearing in this great photograph from CJ Schmit. CJ’s use of black-and-white to express his vision in this photo brings a great sense of drama to the picture, making for a shot that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
See The Light – the romance of lighthouses is well recognized, and this fabulous shot from John Sotiriou brings this concept fully to life. Great colors and tones are captured in this scene and shared here with the viewer.
by susivinh, on Flickr
Austin – From The Hip – Jim Denham has many talents in the field of photography, one of them being portraits. This is a great, great black-and-white shot of this young man, full of character and spirit. Definitely a shot well worth the time to visit and view.
Eastern Point’s Other Side – we get to enjoy another great lighthouse photograph in this week’s list with this post from Steven Perlmutter. This unique composition exposes a different view of these iconic facilities, creating a mesmerizing photo that is sure to be really enjoyed by all.
Welcome to Istanbul – the wonderful ancient architecture and wonder of Istanbul is shared in this gorgeous photograph from Giuseppe Sapori. This is most definitely a historic location in terms of the world, and the unique details in the structure here really make for a compelling photo.
Blue on Blue – lines, shadows, shapes and colors are all examined in this wonderful photograph from Bob Israel. Bob creates an almost abstract piece with his unique composition of this building, delivering an almost monochromatic image that is full of inherent drama.
Awaiting Boats – a great set of colorful boats sits tied to the dock of this beautiful lake in Alberta. Len Saltiel composes this top drawer shot with the majestic mountains as a backdrop, and finds a truly special reflection in the still lake to mirror the image.
Lilies – beautiful water lilies sit atop the water in this great photograph. Great colors are captured in this image, and the picture-perfect composition Robin used to capture this brings a mesmerizing quality to the picture.
Pointed Petals – gorgeous and colorful flowers are perfectly photographed in this shot by Kat White. Her shallow depth of focus brings the natural beauty of these flowers to the forefront for everyone visiting to truly enjoy.
So Happy TWO-Gether – as a pair of the most beautiful butterflies play about, Kerri Farley is there to capture this detailed and colorful photograph to share. The incredible colors and hues in both the butterflies and the surrounding vegetation come together just perfectly to create an alluring image to view and enjoy.
News on Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photomatix Pro – Keith Cuddeback shares some great insights and thoughts about how to create first-rate imagery with the least amount of expense. As HDR technology continues to advance and improve, the creation process simplifies and the output gets better. Keith discusses the current and evolving state of the art, presenting a piece that is sure to be of interest to everyone in the field.
Learn to be a better Photographer the Old Fashioned way… – Doug Pruden writes and shares a great post here that discusses at a high level the importance of taking manual control of your camera in terms of it’s exposure settings. This is a well written piece that concludes with a great challenge that forms the basis of an important exercise.
The Beautiful Sphinx Observatory in the Swiss Alps – a wonderful observatory is explored in this post, featuring a very thought-provoking series of photographs of the facility and its surroundings. A drop of over 11,000 feet presents the viewer perched high atop the world with a view that can only be had here.
by fusion-of-horizons, on Flickr
Photographer of the Month – August 2012 – this is a great interview with award-winning and acclaimed photographer Rebecca Litchfield. This in-depth piece gives us a behind the scenes peek into her work, and shares a great set of her images. She definitely has a personal and unique style, one that I love very much. This is most definitely a must-see post in this week’s list.
Hitting Missouri's Back Roads In Search of Hidden Treasures: A Visit to Historic Blackwater, MO – Sandra Hale takes us along as she explores the hidden gem of a town known as Blackwater. This great post delivers some really wonderful photographs, all of which are accented by the in-depth and thought-provoking article that Sandra has written.
Hidden in the Wallpaper: A Camouflaged Body of Art – great optical illusions are created and photographed in this wonderful post that serves as a metaphor for modern life for women. Cecilia Paredes is critically acclaimed for her work, and this post showcases both her acute artistic vision as well a keen skills in photography.
Iceland Saga VIII – the continuing story of the adventures of the Quimper Hittys continues as they explore the vast lands of Iceland. This series of images and stories is both wonderful and quaint in nature, as well as highly educational. We are presented with incredible photos in this post that showcase the deep history of the land as well as some of the fascinating features found on the trek.
Theme: “Motion” 134,000 mph Perseid and the Milky Way – this is a wonderful blog post full of breathtaking imagery. Howard and his family head out into the cold desert night to photograph the Perseid Meteor Shower, and in doing so he creates a series of presentations that are without peer. This post is host to two videos and a series of great images, coupled with some behind-the-scenes technical details that are interesting to 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.