With another week behind us, Toad Hollow Photography has been looking all over the internet for links to the best material to share here with everyone. This weeks list is composed of a particularly profound interview from an industry leader, a selection of tutorials, a review and a special feature, wrapped up with the usual great photography and interesting blogs. We really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did himself in bringing this list to you.
Video: In Conversation with Joe McNally: Building A Lasting Photography Career – the process of creating a lasting career in the field of photography is an ever-changing process as the world continues to evolve. Industry leader Joe McNally has done and seen it all over the course of his career, and in this extensive 1 hour video interview he shares his background and story and gives incredibly insightful and profound advice on how to traverse the challenges that will arise as you build your own practice.
Brush Up On Your Skills With 20 Free Wedding Photography Video Tutorials From Profoto – for those working in the wedding photography field, there seems to be a never-ending learning curve to stay current and on top of the latest trends and styles. This article delivers a series of video tutorials that cover various aspects of shooting a wedding.
Everything You Need to Know About Lens Diffraction in Photography – a terrific video presentation that takes you through the entire process that involved lens diffraction. The video uses sample photos zoomed in to high level of details to illustrate the key points being discussed, making this an in-depth piece that isn’t so detailed that the bulk of the issue is lost on most people.
How to Review, Edit, and Sequence Photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – this written tutorial is a highly detailed, step-by-step guide to take you through the entire process of selecting (culling) a sequence of images, all the way through the actual editing. Screenshots are used throughout the piece to quickly show you where in Lightroom these features exist, and how best to apply them to your specific workflow and style.
Scrim It and Light It – How to Photograph in Hard, Direct Sunlight – a brief but very insightful tutorial that covers several key ways of managing light when shooting portraits in the middle of a bright and sunny day. Sample shots are included as the points are covered, giving the reader a clear idea of the style of imagery and type of lighting that can be achieved when using these great techniques.
Create Perfect Portraits in Lightroom Using These 6 Classic Retouch Techniques – this is a terrific tutorial by our own Jason Row here on Light Stalking. Jason shares some great Lightroom tips and tricks that are specific to portraiture, helping you make fine adjustments to your images that take your pictures to the next level.
Photo by Susanne Nilsson
New High-End Real Alternative To Photoshop – Can It Shake The Paradigm? (+ Free Beta) – this brief article discusses an exciting new piece of software intended to take on Adobe Photoshop head-on. Currently in a public beta testing cycle, this seemingly powerful alternative to the Adobe suite looks promising in terms of the underlying technology, the core feature-set and the licensing structure. Only available for the MAC at this time.
The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards – a post that features a wonderful selection of entrants who have submitted work for consideration for the prize. Some of the shots feature humanity in it’s rawest form, delivering dramatic and true imagery that showcases the contemporary human condition.
I Am the Uninvited Darkness: The Death of Self – this is the second installment in the continuation of a series conceived and executed by Chris Nitz. Chris uses his considerable talents in the field of photography to visually express a very dark and personal aspect of depression and the hold it has upon those who suffer at it’s hands, and he then adds a layer of the profound in his writings that drive the point home. While I am sad to hear of Chris’ personal suffering, I am also thankful for the courage he has in expressing these inner feelings in a way that can be helpful to many.
Spirit Island – extremely high on my personal must-visit list is the famous Spirit Island that lives high in the Canadian Rockies and is really only accessible by boat. This terrific island embodies artistic tension due to the remoteness and the rugged landscape that surrounds it, and this is all perfectly captured in this stunning photograph from Mike Reyfman.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Futuristic Tron Cityscape – Jimmy McIntyre delivers another of his unique cityscape pieces, showcasing what I believe to be Dubai from a highly elevated perspective. Jimmy discusses his post-processing technique alongside the spectacular image, revealing secrets of a master in this genre of image creation.
Glass | Metal | Fog – this amazing image comes to us from the studio of Daniel Cheong who has garnered a reputation with his elevated pieces depicting the beauty and drama of the dynamic city of Dubai. This shot takes us high in the Burj Khalifa where we enjoy a top down view of the fog encased city below, with a glimpse of some of the incredible architectural details that went into the design of this skyscraper in the left of frame for context and interest.
Jefferson County Courthouse – Mark Summerfield captures a great architectural study in this post that features a storied courthouse in the US. The rich history that surrounds the building, in conjunction with the overall history of the area in general form a tapestry of early life in this part of the country.
SEA-TRON – this image is carefully and deliberately processed as a composite by Chris Williams Exploration Photography. The city of Seattle is under stormy conditions, adding a terrific mood to the scene as captured and shared here.
North End Red Rock – John Thompson shares a terrific panoramic piece in this photo, revealing the natural beauty and textures found in this incredible canyon close to his home. Fabulous clouds add a dash of drama, as do the great shadows cast by the rock formations that enhance the sense of scale and scope of the landscape itself.
TOMORROW AT VASCO? – the world-renowned bridge in Portugal at sunrise casts a striking subject against the vibrant colors in the sky as the sun begins to rise to greet a new day. Paulo Benjamim’s terrific composition in this shot delivers a very dramatic leading line in the form of the bridge that caps off the shot by creating the ultimate vanishing point.
The Gornergrat Railway – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) captures a terrific monochromatic shot that showcases the incredible train that leads high up into the Alps where skiers and non-skiers alike can take in and enjoy the epic scenery. The vast expanses of crisp white from the snow in the area is contrasted against the train moving it’s way up the mountain-pass, delivering a stunning winter-time piece sure to be enjoyed by all.
Photo by Keerti Siag photography
The Ship – a haunting shot the shows a cruise ship, now long abandoned and unused, lying prone in shallow waters. Mohammed Abdo’s is carefully processed to accent the mood and feel of the composition that exhibits the pure definition of artistic tension within a single frame.
Refugium Pompos – a wonderful shot taken on what I believe to be an Urbex excursion finds us enjoying the inner space of a foyer in a grand old and now abandoned building. Urban Vagabond does a stellar job in this piece in both the raw composition, as well as the post-processing that highlights the lingering feeling one has in visiting long-forgotten spaces.
Canal – this lovely image is captured and shared here by Averil McPhedran Hall, delivering a shot that has us as the viewer overlooking a canal. Boats and people are seen enjoying the area, and the lovely natural light and wonderful details of the scene work in harmony to create something special.
Ricochet toward the end – Melinda Green Harvey delivers a terrific black-and-white picture featuring a long abandoned hallway in a school that has been defunct for nearly 40 years. The act of decay as a result of the time the building has spent unmaintained reveals incredible textures in the natural weathering process.
NO DAD! Vikings do not clean their rooms! – this awesome image embodies the concept of humour within photography, finding John Wilhelm is a photoholic in a room with what we presume to be his kids all decked out in play Viking gear. The facial expression on the little girls face is absolutely priceless in this image, guaranteed to make you smile a grin a mile wide.
Divinity – Rob Hanson delivers a terrific piece in this image that features the spire from a historic church reaching for the heaven’s under a cold night sky. The light that illuminates the architectural elements of the frame highlights the drama of the overall design, and this all comes together under a canopy of dramatic cloud cover in the evening’s sky.
Photo by Kool Cats Photography
Hong-Kong at night – the combination of the old and the new converge in this great shot by Beboy Photographies that features the bay of Hong Kong at night. In particular, the splash of red from the sails of the old styled boat and how they are backlit really captures the viewers mind as you explore the frame checking out the dramatic architecture of this world-famous city in the backdrop.
George’s Knobs – Scott Wood delivers a great capture in this black-and-white piece that literally focuses on George Washington. Scott’s tour of the Washington State Capitol building finds him noticing small details in the incredible building, including this door knob that is adorned with details that bring attention to the world-known statesman.
Heddal Stave church – these old Stave churches are truly architectural wonders from another era, indeed. Originally built in the 1200’s this facility today serves as an awesome subject for dramatic photography that brings a distance past to today for everyone to enjoy.
Stone Mill Courtyard View – this great shot seen and captured by Mark Garbowski frames the exterior of the subject building by framing it with an old and weathered window from inside. This picture within a picture is full of details and textures from the old structure, bringing its character to life for us all to enjoy in a frame.
Massive Iron – this terrific shot by Takahiro Bessho is all about the art of timing, revealing a scene that looks down a lit runway as a large jetliner comes in for a landing and is just a few short feet off the ground. The terrific method used to process this shot highlights the true scale of the airliner, and brings all the key elements found within the frame together to create a shot full of natural artistic tension.
Can Family Pictures Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem? The Experts Speak – it is a well-known fact that the act of documentation in the form of photography is an important cultural element in both our contemporary times as we produce and enjoy the work, as well as far in the future when these images form the foundation of history. This in-depth piece takes this a step further in analysing and assessing how photography can be a very positive and powerful influence in the formation of a healthy sense of self-esteem in our children.
Photographer Peter Lik Has Sold Nearly Half a Billion Dollars in Prints – the highly successful career and story of photographer Peter Lik is hard to ignore, no matter what your feelings are in terms of how he markets his work. This incredible story reveals a little of what drives his practice and how he works in the modern theatre of fine art photography.
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.