Another wonderful week has passed us by in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been looking in all corners of the internet to find links to helpful tutorials, reviews, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share with here with everyone. This week's list features the work of exceptionally talented artists, and we hope you enjoy checking out these pieces as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Compositing Full Length Portraits into Scenes – this video tutorial is just over 9 minutes in length and it shares some great tips and tricks on this particular technique. The results are quite astounding with a very natural look to them.
How to Mix Daylight with LED Light – this informative video presentation discusses the application of LED light mixed with ambient light to deliver a totally natural feel. Just over 7 minutes in length, this short piece is sure to shed some light on this technique.
How to Photograph an Affordable Car Like a Supercar – this entertaining tutorial discusses techniques and compositional practices for producing great automotive themed photography. Great shots are included in this article to illustrate the key points being discussed, helping the reader to understand the principles at work as well as giving you countless ideas on how to achieve the same results.
Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a7R Compact Full Frame Camera – this detailed review takes a very close look at this new offering from Sony after being in the hands of an experienced photographer for a good period of time. This article takes a very close look at the good and the bad of this new platform, giving the reader a great idea of whether or not this is a good fit for your purposes.
Demolition Derby – A Redneck Rodeo – all the action and excitement that only takes place at demolition derby’s is captured here in this large collection of photographs posted by Howard Jackman. Many of the shots posted here have terrific composition, bringing the down and dirty event right into your home where you can sit and watch in safety from behind your monitor.
The Deserted Village, Achill – Magnumlady brings us along on a wonderful exploration of a long abandoned village in Ireland. The ruins of what once was a lively village is carefully explored with her camera, revealing images that tell their own stories in many ways, yet leaving much to the imagination in what is left unsaid.
Over Booker, Texas – so many terrific elements come together to help make this image as dramatic as it truly is. The fabulous storm cell image, captured by Mike Olbinski, documents the raw power and fury of Mother Nature. Incredible cloud formations linger overhead and in the distance you can see the effects of ravaging winds and fierce rain as the cell passes over just before the light disappears in the day.
Thetis Lake – friend and fellow photographer Ehpem takes us along as he explores the shore of Thetis Lake here on Vancouver Island one morning. He uses black-and-white in processing to really accent the raw beauty and drama found in the setting, with a thin mist adding a wonderful layer of moodiness to the overall scene.
The 219 Steps of The St Augustine Lighthouse – terrific patterns and lines work in harmony in this shot from the studio of Mike Criswell. An upward view of a spiral staircase consisting of 219 steps creates an almost abstract image that displays strong elements of scale, drawing the viewer right into the very heart of the frame.
Flatiron – Edith Levy shares a great black-and-white photograph of the iconic Flatiron building in New York City. Edith use of monochromatic processing accents the details of this classic piece of American architecture, and the composition lends itself perfectly in terms of expressing the character of the building.
Reflection – I just never tire of seeing photographs taken from Lake Bled in Slovenia. In this shot taken by Miran Mlakar we enjoy the majestic view of the old building on the island in the centre of the lake against the backdrop of the epic mountains that surround it. Captured during the blue hour, this picture reveals more as you spend time taking it in.
Church on the Hill – a great pair of images created by Trev and Chris Barre showcases the wonderful stonework and strong architectural features of a grand facility constructed in the mid nineteenth century. The great tones and colors that comprise the facility work in harmony with all the details to deliver a captivating set of photographs.
Cathedral Rays – wonderful details and textures are accented in this image by the incredible light beams cascading into the church from frame right. This wonderful image captured by Adrian Evans features great architectural details, designed and constructed during the thirteenth century.
winter sunset on the lake – beautiful tones from the fading light of day captured in the heart of winter create a wonderful mood in this shot posted by David Stoddart. Trees without leaves cast perfect silhouettes against the contrast of the sky, completing the image and making for a truly captivating picture to take in.
Sunset on the Saskatchewan – a beautiful sunset in the Canadian city of Saskatoon blends in perfectly with the cityscape photographed by Averil McPhedran Hall. As the eye follows the leading line created by the river, it settles upon the great architectural features of a bridge that spans the river, accented just perfectly by the soft reflection created in the waters that flow underneath it.
Bognor rocks at sunset – lovely colors from the sunset glows within the scene to highlight wonderful features of this natural landscape. Barry Turner anchors the shot with some fantastic rock formations in the foreground, leading you right into the frame to discover and take in the intricate details.
Podere Belvedere – a rolling landscape reveals layer after layer of detail, featuring perfectly manicured land plots juxtaposed against patches of natural forest cover in the distance. This shot captured by Gianluca Sgarriglia definitely reveals more of the countryside for those who spend time with the image, culminating in a realization of the true scale and scope of the scenery.
King Penguin – this shot features patterns and colors that can only be found in nature, as explored on a single penguin by photographer Ron Niebrugge. The details in this image are exceptionally clear, producing a study in animals that is really quite extraordinary.
Goldfield Ghost Town – wonderful artistic tension comes to life in this shot from the studio of Mark Summerfield. Today the town stands as a living museum, allowing visitors from near and far to experience what it must have felt like during the times after the town had it’s heyday. The tractor captured in this shot features great textures and details and it’s surroundings really add to the authenticity of the overall scene.
Wildflowers – wildflowers dot the foreground as the majestic mountains of the Grand Teton National Park hover in the backdrop forming a dramatic element to the landscape. This gorgeous photograph by Len Saltiel delivers the raw and natural beauty of this world-famous park, immersing the viewer in a place that is truly astonishing.
‘Gator, Resting – just below the surface of the still waters lies a patient alligator, just waiting for it’s next encounter and adventure. Rob Hanson comes away from his experience with a fabulously detailed shot of the animal, as well as retaining all his limbs, making for a highly successful photograph of one very serious creature.
Dawn at the Light – as the morning sun makes ready to appear, Steven Perlmutter waits for the perfect conditions to capture this wonderful shot of an iconic lighthouse. The frigid temperatures of the season work in harmony with the tones and details captured here to really produce a special image full of romance and intrigue.
Pelicans up close… – Sherry Galey shares a terrific set of photographs of pelicans going about their business of grabbing some food. This short series features wonderful details in the birds, revealing a little of their great character as Sherry performs her magic to capture and share these images.
Washington Square Arch, Empire State Building – Mark Garbowski uses this famous landmark as a frame in this shot that showcases both the Arch and the Empire State Building in the distance. The fabulous architecture that makes up the city of New York is featured in this shot, and the road in the middle of the frame creates a perfect natural leading line into a vanishing point.
Getting Air – Young Bobcat – talk about energy and spirit! Jeff Wendorff captures a fabulous shot of a young bobcat as it runs through the snow, sharing the incredible personality and character of this wonderful cat in its natural setting.
Blue Sky Red Barn – Jeff Clow captures a breathtaking picture of the Moulton Barn in Wyoming. Wonderful details and textures in the iconic barn are brought to life, showcasing the terrific character of the structure against the majestic backdrop of incredibly snow-capped mountains.
The Pump House at Morris Arboretum – Bill T creates a mesmerizing shot of an old stone construction pump house run off an old waterwheel. The composition and the snow that surrounds the building work in terrific harmony to reveal great character in the scene.
fog – Brenda Widdess captures a layered scene here on Vancouver Island that showcases the wonderful layers that present themselves in the rolling mountains of the island. A wonderful fog blankets the scene, adding terrific tension and drama to a setting that is simply beyond description.
Worn Arches – the inherent drama found in a terrific vanishing point is explored in this terrific photograph from the studio of Len Saltiel. A wonderful line of brick arches is featured in this shot, producing striking shapes for the light to dance around and delivering a piece sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
10 Things I've Learned as a Professional Photographer – this great article written by a pro practicing for 10 years now gives the reader 10 key points for success. Some of the points shared here are common sense in nature while others can only be learned the hard way. This is definitely a great piece to read for those who are relatively new to the field of professional 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.