Another wonderful week passes us by and Toad Hollow Photography has been busy searching the internet looking for links to the best tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list features post and photographs from some of the finest artists working in the field today, and we really hope you enjoy checking out these links as much as the Toad did in bringing them to you.
Photo by Jonathan Leung
How To Enhance Eyes Using Lightroom – this is a terrific tutorial, full of screenshots of both the image as it’s being worked on, as well as the specific slider adjustments used for each step. The process seems straightforward based on the way the article is written, and the results are quite astonishing in terms of highlighting the eyes in a portrait.
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Mirrorless Camera – this is a terrific and detailed point-form article written by one of the leaders who is very active in the field, Brian Matiash. Brian covers 5 key points when considering the move to a mirrorless paradigm, whether it is intended for yourself or as a gift for a photography enthusiast in your group of family or friends.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Modifiers – this is a terrific article, full of example photographs that do a great job of illustrating the point being discussed. Several modifiers and their respective placements are covered in this piece, potentially helping to reduce the time you would need to analyze the options and identify your personal style.
The Phoblographer’s 2014 Guide to Photography Lighting Tutorials – here is a comprehensive list of links to various tutorials covering lighting for photographers. All aspects of lighting are covered in the myriad of posts featured here, creating a complete set of links for those seeking to learn more about managing lighting, whether it is artificial or natural.
Don’t Get Hysterical Over Histograms – histograms for many folks are considered to be a complex feedback mechanism with specific rules associated with them. In this post Joe Farace takes some of the mystery out of the concept by showing how in some circumstances breaking the proverbial rules is both intended and required to achieve specific looks or feels with an image.
Photo by Simon Hadleigh-Sparks
The Year in Pictures: 2014 – this collection of photographs represents a curated collection of images by NBC News that showcase a selection of the most powerful photographs of the year. Many of the images presented are heart-rending, showing the suffering and hope of humanity, sometimes all within one frame.
Nos deux regards se promènent à Londres | Nos deux regards – these two posts represent the works of two different photographers shooting the same subject, in this case the city of London. Mathias Lucas and Anne-Laure K. share their two distinct impressions of a visit to this wonderful city, revealing glimpses of personal perception that are totally unique.
The Dark Stronghold – a moody and ethereal gothic style castle peeks out from behind a veil of intense fog in this very dramatic photograph by Kilian Schönberger. Terrific textures in the stone walls comes to life, adding a great element to a picture that leaves the viewer wanting more.
Shepherd of Fire | Church of the Good Shepherd – this world renowned location is on my personal must-visit list as a destination pretty much made for photographers. Michael Cockerill and Paparwin Tanupatarachai share two distinct renditions of this amazing old stone church, one picture taken at sunrise and the other at sunset.
Transformed by the Tide – local Vancouver Island photographer Laurie MacBride shares a terrific photograph showcasing the rugged coastline of the west coast of Canada. Laurie also includes some simply wonderful background information on the site and the local history, adding a great layer of interest to the post.
Antelope canyon layers ahead – this is a highly stylized and processed abstract piece, focusing on the natural shapes, colors and lines found in the world-famous Antelope Canyons. Ali Erturk delivers a pleasant piece, full of expressive color and shadow, which brings the entire picture together in a cohesive way.
prairie love song – there is just something intrinsically perfect about old wooden barns for the bucolic photographer. This particular barn was captured by Frank King and does a great job of showcasing the inherent character and artistic tension that is found in scenes like this.
Photo by Mika Andrianoelison
The Avenue – Andy Hooker (LensScaper) shares an image processed in both color and black-and-white here to show the incredible differences that can be found in images delivered this way. The color rendition has a true autumnal feel to it, while the monochrome piece focuses on deep contrasts and shadows.
Lights – this wonderful study of a cathedral in Italy finds us enjoying a looking up view at the cupula and the intrinsic details in this architectural wonder. Mauro Tandoi captures this scene that also reveals a stunning light stream coming in from the windows above, adding delicious tension to a very dramatic scene.
Boston Cold – a fabulous cityscape shot is featured and shared here on Steven Perlmutter’s post, showcasing the terrific city of Boston shot from across a harbor. Old wood piers add the perfect element to this piece, creating a natural leading line to gently guide the viewer through the frame and into the distance.
Pu'u Pali Lavafalls – incredible drama is captured and revealed in this shot that shares a vantage of red hot lava as it meets the cold waters of the ocean in Hawaii. The dichotomy of the red hot lava against the cold blue ocean exposes the raw contrast that can be found in nature.
Château de Chenonceau – Mark Summerfield shares a terrific photograph he captured some years ago. This shot features the incredible architecture of an old stone castle in France, complete with exquisite details in both the design and construction of a place full of natural grandeur.
Swallows in a Spring Snowstorm – in yet another example of how powerful a medium photography can be, documenting the world we live in by capturing moments of time. Keith Williams takes a stunning shot in this image, featuring a row of tiny birds huddled together on a limb as a snowstorm rages all around them.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Seward Morning – gorgeous colors in the early morning sky highlight the landscape below, captured in the early morning in Alaska by Ron Niebrugge. Below the epic colors sits a marina full of boats, with the entire scene being ready to greet the new morning as a wonderful day begins to unfold.
Don Mills Subway Station – Roland Shainidze does it again, this time taking a wonderful shot of an empty subway station in Ontario, Canada, and leveraging the power of composition to create something unique and special. This picture becomes abstract in nature due to the lack of people in the shot, and features some very strong lines, colors and shapes for the fan of geometric themed photography.
Crowfoot – Banff National Park, Alberta – Len Saltiel posts a terrific shot of the magnificence of the Canadian Rockies, sharing the dramatic and rugged landscapes the area is world famous for. As the morning sun begins to drape across the mountainous landscape below, the true scale of the park itself begins to make itself known, casting a breathtaking vista we are lucky enough to share through Len here.
Legend of Ronda – the chasm and the waterfall itself would be well enough to satisfy any landscape photography lover, but when you include the epic architecture that creates a gateway to this amazing scene it goes to a whole new level. Max Foster captures this breathtaking piece that shares more with the viewer who spends time checking out the intricate details that are hidden at first glance.
Snowy – this is a stunning photograph from the portfolio of Megan Lorenz that features a wonderful Snowy Owl in Canada as it appears to be taking off for flight. Great details in the bird are accented here by the piercing eyes of a raptor readying to take to the skies in the hunt for it’s next meal.
Breaking Formation – this shot is the epitome of artistic tension, featuring a brick wall with the outline of what once was a window breaking up the natural line formations. The textures and details captured in this piece play with the natural light that graces the wall to enhance to overall photograph.
Photo by Ramón Portellano
Morain Lake – the emerald waters of Moraine Lake in the Canadian Rockies comes to our screens in this breathtaking piece captured and shared by Anatoli Erekhinski. Incredible details in the landscape are highlighted in this crystal clear image, revealing a little of the epic natural beauty found in this world famous spot.
Bergen Norway – wonderful layers in a vista the has no end reveal an old church peering above the treetops in this great photography from the studio of Barbara Youngleson. The deep layers presented produce a strong sense of scale and context in this piece sure to be enjoyed by everyone who loves landscape shots.
Photograph Sells For $6.5 Million, Sets New World Record; Has Some Asking How Much Are Photos Actually Worth? – I’m actually speechless here, and for those who know me this is no small feat. Pete Lik raises the bar once again in terms of value of fine art, and specifically fine art photography, with his series of recent multi-million dollar sales of prints.
This Is What Light Looks like at 100,000,000,000 Frames per Second – I don’t know if it’s just me or if there are others out there who would give their proverbial left toe to see light in action. I’m not talking about your reflection in the mirror in the bathroom as you get ready to face the day, I am talking about actual light particles moving and bouncing off of surfaces… this video answers this question and leaves me yearning for much more.
Steve McCurry: Don’t Focus On Your Destination So Much That You Miss the Journey – this very brief video presentation featuring one of the world’s most iconic and famous photographers is amazing and utterly profound.
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.