With another week passing us by, we find Toad Hollow Photography searching the internet for links to the very best tutorials, special features, collections, great photography and interesting blogs. This weeks list features some of the finest pictures and posts found by the Toad during his regular adventures, and we truly hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as he did in bringing this list to you.
Photo by Hefin Owen
Creating a Realistic Composite Photo with Displacement Mapping – this video tutorial is just over 11 minutes in length and goes into good detail showing the viewer how to create compelling composite imagery. The example photo used to show the results of this processing style is quite compelling and gives you a good idea of what’s possible using these techniques.
How to Shape Light Using a Parabolic Reflector – this is a truly fascinating video tutorial that covers the application of employing a parabolic reflector to shape the light and produce incredible results. The tutorial shows the viewer a model dressed in white in front of a white backdrop, a very difficult shot to master for sure, and the results are simply astounding.
Full Tutorial for a Creative Grunge Retouch – this in-depth video tutorial is over 20 minutes in length, taking the viewer in a detailed journey through the process of retouching for a grunge feel. If this is a style you are working towards, you won’t want to miss this video tutorial that is sure to expand your horizons.
Main Street, Pine Bluff: A Once-Thriving Town Now Fades – this photo-essay takes a look at a town in an active state of decay as the effects of the poor economy continue to have an effect. The images tell a story that is too-often found in today’s contemporary world, using strong artistic tension to create the feel of a society amidst abandonment.
The Grey Man In NYC – my friend Mark Garbowski takes artistic tension to a whole new level in this special feature. The Grey Man series is a style Mark came up with awhile ago now, featuring black-and-white images of a mysterious man in an overcoat roaming the streets of NYC. In this special feature, Mark takes a series of the shots he created and puts them together into a concise storyline that truly leaves the visitor with 1,000 unanswered questions and pining for more.
Abandoned and Historic St. Louis, Missouri – join Renée Besta as she explores several sites in Missouri that are long abandoned. Renée uses HDR to fully capture and express the intricate textures and details of the various facilities, making for a very special collection of photographs. Each piece is accompanied by a brief background story to add depth to the feature.
The Quiet Charm of Haarlem Netherlands – this special feature from Lee Brown finds us joining him and his wife as they explore the Netherlands and all it has to offer the visitor. Lee includes shots of all types; buildings, the beautiful waterways, people in the city and a stunning pipe organ that is as much a piece of art as it is a musical instrument.
Photo by Francesco De Martino
Photographer Illustrates The Beauty In Abandon And Decay In Stunning Urbex Collection – this special feature focuses on the natural decay process of forgotten and abandoned buildings, a special project being conducted by photographer Rebecca Litchfield. Rebecca has the perfect touch for finding the inherent beauty in these locations and bringing it to life in her artform for all to enjoy, preserving the current state forever.
Inside The Cathedral – our latest article from our ongoing Anglican Church Project features the beautiful interior of one of Victoria’s most iconic buildings. Steeped in history, this gothic inspired church is an integral part of the community, and is a gorgeous representation of turn-of-the-century architecture on Vancouver Island all inspired from the originating roots of the pioneers who settled here from the UK.
39 Stellar Supermoon Images You Need To See – as promised, this wonderful set of curated photographs represent some of the finest images captured during our recent supermoon event. Each artist brings his or her special talents and stylizations to the party, and the result is a spectacular collection of dramatic and compelling photographs.
Impromptu Paris – join our very own @karamen right here on Light Stalking as she shares a great set of photographs captured on a recent trip to Paris. The city of romance comes to life in this set that features a wide variety of subjects and types of images that when taken in as a collection reveals the true personality of this wonderful city.
Olympic Peninsula and Beyond – our most recent supermoon is captured and shared in this great image from the studio of Patrick Downs. Patrick sets himself up on Blue Mountain in the Olympic National Park as the big event unfolds and incorporates the people who were on the mountain observing as terrific anchors in the picture.
Molly Stark Sanitarium – this is a terrific special posting from Michael Criswell that features a long shuttered hospital facility in Ohio. The facility is not safe to enter due to asbestos so Michael conducts his study of the facility from the outside only. The accompanying storyline adds a great dimension to the piece, giving the viewer a deeper understanding of the history and the current circumstances that surround it.
Dream flying – this truly incredible photograph finds us enjoying a Kingfisher bird in flight. A perfect composition and shallow depth-of-focus work together in this very difficult piece to capture due to the fleeting nature of time. A terrific shot by photographer df h.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
1940 Ford Coupe Street Rod – this is the ultimate post for the avid car-lover featuring a highly modified 1940 Ford Coupe that is full of intricate hot rodding details. Jimi Jones carefully captures angles that feature the front, back and interior of this richly detailed car and notes that it’s still for sale as he leaves the venue. Does anyone have some money I can borrow??…
We Are The Zenith, Busan – a view from a mile high featuring the sprawling metropolis of a city in Korea is shared in this wonderful image by Jimmy Mcintyre. The composition of this shot is one of it’s strongest points, showcasing the amazing city that sits on the shores of the ocean with layer-upon-layer of landscape in the distance.
Teton Barn – Phil Matta captures a breathtaking shot of this world famous barn sitting under the watchful gaze of the Grand Teton mountain range. As the sun begins to rise to greet the new day, it paints the face of the barn in delightful colors, revealing old details from years of weathering in the harsh winters of the area.
Timeless Rose – this wonderful black-and-white study of a single rose is captured and shared here by Rachel Cohen. By removing all color from the image, Rachel allows us to focus on the natural beauty and subtle shadows of the flower, finding expression in both depth and texture.
GERONIMOooo – once again we find ourselves discovering a natural wonder in this awesome shot by Austin Thomas. Austin’s shot features a wonderful Little Owl in mid-air, leaping as if for the greatest of joys. As always, the expression on the face of this little bird is what makes it so truly endearing.
Painted Lightning – the Arizona plains make for perfect conditions to capture stunning lightning photography, and Scott Wood takes full advantage of this opportunity to capture and deliver the piece posted here. A brooding storm overhead causes bolts of energy to strike the rugged landscape, creating a breathtaking setting for Scott to work in with his photography.
Kanarra Creek – this stunning study of geometry and color as expressed by nature is captured in a photograph by Wojciech Dabrowski. These world-famous canyons are a true destination for the avid photographer, and this shot features many of the elements that make it the attraction it is.
Photo by Imtiaz Tonmoy
After the Storm – a wonderful white wooden barn creates a perfect subject for photography from Steven Perlmutter immediately after the passing of a storm. Steven uses a ND filter to employ a long exposure technique, creating a dynamic piece that features both movement in the colorful skies as well as crisp details in the barn.
Ice Cave Photography – if you’ve never seen images from this amazing part of the world before, prepare to have your breath taken away. The epic ice caves of Iceland make for stunning photography subjects, and in this shot Skarpi Thrainsson creates an image that also included a friend who is also shooting in the caves, adding the perfect element of scale and context to a scene sure to amaze everyone.
Hummingbird Landing – Anne McKinnell takes advantage of a really thoughtful gift from her husband that has the tendency to attract fabulous photography subjects right to her work area. As this wonderful hummingbird closes in for a landing, Anne grabs a perfect shot just before touchdown that does a great job of showcasing the beauty of these birds that all-too frequently can’t seem to sit still.
Hot Zone – my love for old churches is far from secret, particularly if they are located in surroundings that are sympathetic to their core character. This great shot from photographer Timothy Poulton features a terrific old stone church on a hill with bright sunshine streaming in to add wonderful personality and artistic tension to the frame.
The Texas Medical Center at Night – this terrific architectural piece is captured by Tim Stanley, featuring a subset of the dramatic buildings that comprise the Texas Medical Center. The architecture studied in this piece only form a small portion of the entire facility, and are full of great details to view and enjoy.
Kinsol 2 – this fabulous moody shot by Will Datene features one of Canada’s best kept secrets, the Kinsol Trestle. This trestle is widely considered to be one of the largest free standing wooden trestles in the world, and is most certainly an engineering marvel. We’ve covered this story before ourselves in our post “A Bridge Of Hope”.
View from Dinefwr – this wonderful photograph comes from the studio of Dave Wares, featuring the elegant beauty of the Welsh countryside. This shot was taken from high atop a tower, overlooking the rolling hills and landscape below and featuring terrific natural light that adds wonder and drama to the overall scene.
Photo by Dirk Förster
Just Another Great Blue Heron Up Close – Steve Creek grabs a great portrait shot of a Blue Heron, focusing on it’s face and using a very shallow depth-of-focus to isolate the beautiful bird from it’s natural backdrop. These grand birds are beautiful to take in, and Steve’s shot really showcases the natural personality and inherent beauty they share with those who care to observe.
Natural landscapes: the glory of a Jasper sunrise – this very dramatic piece is a result of the work of Frank King as he explores the gorgeous and rugged landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. The perfect finishing touch for this shot is found in the still reflections of the epic mountain range in the still waters that sit in the foreground of the frame.
Researchers Create World’s Fastest Camera, Captures Frames at 1/6th the Speed of Light – as technology continues it’s relentless march towards achievement, new concepts and products are brought to light every day. This highly complex camera captures frames at the highest speeds noted to date, opening up worlds of imagery that were previously impossible.
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.