It's been another wonderful week in the world of photography and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching all corners of the internet in an effort to find links to the best tutorials, special features and great photography out there. This week's list features a hand selected list, showcasing some really useful and interesting tutorials, a special feature and a wonderful selection of incredible photographs to view and enjoy. We really hope you like checking out these great articles and images as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
20 More Ideas To Improve Your Landscape Photography! – this is a great list of 20 points and tips that can help you get that next great shot in the realm of landscape photography. Many of the principles that Andy Gimino shares in his post are also very applicable to other types of photography, making this a brief article that is well worth the time to read with the hopes of expanding your photographic horizons.
7 Photo Tips for Capturing Epic Lava Shots 100% In-Camera – I’m not sure what’s really better in this post, the terrific tips and tricks shared on the technicalities behind this type of photography, or the actual photographs themselves. Many of the processes discussed in this post are highly useful in other genres of photography, making for a must-see post in this week’s list.
Tutorial: How to Pick the Best Focal Length When Capturing Landscapes – this is a terrific video tutorial that discusses and shows you the differences in focal length and perspective that is created with the field of view of the lens and subject as you work in the field. Great images are introduced during the presentation that illustrate in a easy-to-understand way the different applications and how best to choose the lens for your work.
Quick Tip: How to Take Great Portrait Photos at Night – this detailed tutorial discusses the key factors required to produce terrific looking portraits, shot at night. Placement and strength of artificial lighting is covered in this piece that also includes some great sample shots to show the technique in action.
The Mojave Desert Ghost Town of Ballarat, California – the long forgotten remains of a once famous town in the middle of proverbial nowhere becomes the focus for this special feature created by Renée Besta. The evocative photographs that accompany the article add an element of depth to the overall story, evoking a feeling of natural tension in the mysteries that remain behind even though the residents have long left.
Being green – once again we find our very own Tom Dinning (@tomdinning) posting a photograph with some incredible accompanying text, guaranteed to leave you feeling a bit introspective. Tom’s unique ability to interpret a scene through the use of prose adds a huge element of interest to a shot that can easily stand on its own.
Manhattan – dramatic tones of Manhattan’s city skyline are explored as night approaches, working in harmony with the key elements of this shot captured using a long exposure technique. Krzysiek Rabiej’s photograph features the incredible architecture lit at night along with a series of piers in the foreground that produce terrific natural leading lines.
IR Lightning – Scott Wood captures an extremely dramatic photograph of a massive lightning storm in the southern Arizona desert outside of Tucson. The terrific details in the lightning strike work in perfect harmony with the details in the city and the brooding storm that appears to be unleashing everything it has in its power upon those below.
Machu Picchu – an ancient civilization that once was a thriving community situated high in the mountains of Peru is kept alive through the magic of photography in this dramatic and compelling piece from the studio of Victor Hugo. Originally shot in film, this digitized picture explores the ruins of this great old civilization, revealing mysteries and wonder to the viewer who spends time taking it all in.
Manhattan Skyline – Long Exposure From Weehawken – this unique perspective of the grand city of Manhattan, featuring it’s incredible skyline is brought to us by Mark Garbowski. The long exposure technique Mark used to capture this piece adds a dynamic sense of motion in the clouds overhead juxtaposed against the crisp details of the city’s architecture below.
The Moody Pier – beautiful hues and tones from the pending sunset work together with the pier that gently guides the viewer through the frame and out towards the neverending expanse of water in the distance. Gary Clark’s terrific image delivers a surreal and ethereal feeling piece, creating a scene that seems to come from another planet entirely.
Reflected Colors – for those who love vibrant natural colors, this shot is one you won’t want to miss. Rob Nopola greets the early morning light in this shot as it casts warm tones over the beautiful landscape. The scene is accented by a wonderful reflection of the colors back to the viewer in the waters that sit in the foreground.
The Shining II – Mark Gvazdinskas takes advantage of the power of vanishing points in this shot to deliver something full of natural artistic tension. This picture was captured at Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge and features a hallway with arches that appears to go on forever.
Vintage Dodge – Harold and Grady – you just have to love old cars and trucks as photography subjects, each one tells its own personal story in a picture. This terrific shot by Barbara Youngleson features one such classic Dodge truck, and Barbara’s processing does a great job of sympathetically creating an image that expresses its true personality.
HDR way to Torres de la Alameda – Light Stalking's very own @astaroth takes us along on a journey of discovery in HDR in this great post. His exploration of his locale takes us through the countryside where we also get to see some of the abandoned buildings and structures left behind in the area.
Head On – a cold look of determination exudes from the eyes of this Eurasian Eagle Owl is brought to life in this incredible photograph by Pete Williams. Terrific details in this crisp image are accented by the delicate depth-of-focus that Pete used to capture this, helping to isolate the incredible subject in flight from its backdrop.
Sunset on Ice Fields – Rachel Cohen delivers an almost abstract piece in this photograph that features a lovely sunset overlooking Lake Superior. Ice remaining from the cold winter can be seen in the distance, adding a terrific element to this landscape photograph.
fishing boat at sunrise – Art Hakker HDR delivers a stunning piece in this shot, featuring a fishing boat anchored near shore as the sun begins to rise. Beautiful colors in the morning sky work wonderfully together with the details in the boat and the still waters it sits in to create a breathtaking reflection that adds to the overall feel and mystery to the scene captured.
111 Huntington – Lisa Gordon shares a pair of shots that feature abstract perspectives of a modern piece of architecture in Boston, Massachusetts. Wonderful colors and tones are captured, but the real star of these shots are the lines created by the contemporary architecture and the light reflecting off the glass surfaces that adorn it.
“Teaser” de nos deux regards à l’In Situ Art Festival (au Fort d’Aubervilliers) | Nos deux regards – photographers Mathias Lucas and Anne-Laure K publish regular features that showcase their two different perspectives of the same subject or event, usually captured in the heart of France. These two pieces are wonderful in their own right, but in a larger sense show the viewer the unique differences in personal perspective we all have as individuals. These are both terrific and very dramatic and powerful shots.
Rise – this breathtaking piece was captured by Scott Ackerman in the dead of night. The beautiful star lights from the Milky Way cast a wonderful natural light over the landscape as Scott photographs Mt. Hood in the distance, adding a powerful and dramatic anchor to a simply magical environment.
Orleans and Bourbon – Tim Stanley delivers a terrific piece in this post, featuring the character-filled architecture of the city of New Orleans taken during the dark of night. Incredible colors and details are found everywhere in this shot, accented by the neon lights of the signs in the buildings and finished off with a terrific vanishing point created with Tim’s composition.
Fall Tranquility – Howell's Pond, Hartland, Connecticut – beautiful fall colors and a crisp reflection in the waters joyously greets the viewer in this wonderful photograph from the studio of Len Saltiel. The still waters in the pond that provide the reflection take on the look of a sheet of glass with how the wonderful details are mirrored back from the landscape that surrounds it.
Batman Goes on Holiday – Chris Nitz is well known for his fabulous compositions that usually feature an action figure of some variety perfectly posed to share an instant story in a photograph. This shot features Batman standing alongside his trusty Jeep, overlooking a beautiful oceanscape in front of him. Terrific long shadows add a touch of tension and drama, introducing the perfect element to this scene that was carefully staged.
Lights on Tempe Town Lake – Chris Frailey shares a pair of shots captured with his new Fuji x100s that really show off its capabilities to the fullest. Both shots feature terrific lighting, both natural and manmade, and both are full of great details that pull you right in to explore the scene in its entirety.
Wheat From The Chaff – Jim Denham captures a terrific shot here, showcasing the natural beauty found in a field of growing wheat. You can literally feel the breeze upon your shoulder as a brooding storm forms nearby, adding a great touch to drama in the cloud formations found high overhead.
Sunset in Amsterdam – ah, the incredible beauty found in Amsterdam! Jim Nix captures a pair of great shots in this post that finds this old city under the spell of wonderful natural light, allowing Jim to fully express the inherent character of a city completely interspersed with canals.
Waves Below An Ancient Castle – the terms dreamy and ethereal don’t even begin to properly describe what we find in this epic shot from Jimmy McIntyre. This post is more than just an incredible shot, though, it’s also an anecdotal story about a haircut that is very amusing to read, as well as the before post-processing and after pictures from the shot which really goes a long way to showcase the incredible talents that Jimmy has. Check it out, you’ll be truly amazed.
Palmetto State of Mind – this wonderful photograph from Mike Criswell finds him standing on the shore of Hunting Island as the sun begins to make its appearance for the coming day. Beautiful colors in the sky paint the scene perfectly as this lone Palmetto tree leans out towards the waters, as if reaching for something it desperately wants.
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.