It has been another wonderful week in the wide world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been looking all over the internet for links to tutorials, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share here with everyone. This week's list features a wide variety of subjects, both in pictures and articles, and represents the works created and shared online by the finest talents on the global stage today. We truly hope you enjoy perusing this list as much as the Toad did himself in bringing it to you.
3 Techniques for Retouching Skin – this is an in-depth tutorial that takes the reader through three different touch-up techniques, each with their own pro’s and con’s. These are complex techniques, and the photographs included in the article to illustrate the key points reveals just how powerful these post-production procedures can be.
Photograph the Moon (Part 1) – this terrifically detailed post discusses technical aspects of shooting the night sky; in this post the primary subject being the moon. Matt Quinn goes into detail in all aspects of this genre of photography, revealing tried and true techniques that have great impact on the resulting images.
Diffraction Limited Photography: Pixel Size, Aperture and Airy Disks – if ever you’ve wondered about how diffraction affects image quality, or how to take control of this side-effect of light based physics, this is the most detailed article I’ve ever seen on topic. Great detail is covered from a very scientific perspective, shedding light on an often-discussed topic that frequently leaves many of us with more questions unanswered than were answered.
The Milky Way – Amazing Time-Lapse and Images from Rural Greece – enjoy this special feature from Konstantinos Vasilakakos, a 22-year old avid photographer with a very bright future, indeed. Konstantinos creates and shares a terrific time-lapse look at the universe found in the nights sky, as well as a stunning series of still pictures that are guaranteed to amaze everyone who loves this type of imagery.
Alcalá, vieja y ahora encarcelada – this is a wonderful study of an important archeological site in Spain that appears to be somewhat neglected with promises of future work to preserve the site. Astaroth captures a great series of shots, mostly in black-and-white, of the site and compares these to shots he took several years back. It appears not much has happened since then, but by bringing awareness to the site as he has done, perhaps some good will come to the story.
Louisville Riverfront, October 18, 2014 – Syd Weedon brings us along to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Belle of Louisville by sharing a great catalog of pictures taken during the event. Many of the shots posted here feature the classic riverboats, with many of them featuring paddlewheels. This is a great combination of the contemporary against the backdrop of romance found in this genre of river travel from a bygone time.
Photo by Vinoth Chandar
First Light at Carlton Wharf – Boston – Mike Criswell captures a stunning piece by visiting the shores of Boston in the early morning. Mike uses old wood pilings from a pier as a foreground element in this shot, adding a perfect accent to the early morning light as it gently greets the vibrant city of Boston.
To infinity… – layer upon layer of abstract is revealed in this stunning landscape photograph by Zsolt Kiss. Natural colors in the fading light from the day create jagged outlines of mountains in the distance in Norway, creating a truly breathtaking shot.
Japanese Maple in Red – Rachel Cohen delivers a stunning study of the leaves of a Japanese Maple Tree in Autumn in Michigan. As Rachel notes in her post, the changing light of autumn highlights the predominantly red toned scene, creating a picture that is comfortable and beautiful to view.
City of Darkness – this awesome black-and-white cityscape study comes to us from the studio of Ashraf Ahmed. Using a long exposure, Ashraf have turned the waters in the foreground into a silky, smooth canvas that the distinct sharp lines from the architecture of the Dubai towers in the UAE works in perfect visual harmony.
Canal – CJ Schmit captures a great cityscape shot taken at night featuring a vantage down Canal Street in Milwaukee. Light trails from moving cars adds a dash of the dynamic to this shot that also features great natural leading lines to guide the viewer through the frame and into a journey of discovery.
Glenfinnan Viaduct – an ancient stone viaduct in Scotland curves it’s way across the countryside, providing a perfect platform for an old steam train to work it’s way across. Marius Kastečkas’ shot features all the inherent romance and intrigue one would expect from a setting like this; a setting that is full of rich nostalgia.
Embrace obstacles to improve photo composition – Brian Matiash has a wonderful way of sharing stunning photography at the same time he shares some technical photographic anecdotes to help those striving to learn. The photo that Brian posts to this article is a wonderful scene of a fast moving body of water strewn over with logs and trees that really add great natural leading lines in the frame.
Farm… – the indescribable beauty that can only be found in the rolling hills and vistas of Tuscany in Italy pops to life on our screens in this terrific image by Krzysztof Browko. Beautiful natural light graces the scene, creating wonderful depth and dimension to this piece that also features an absolutely incredible old farmhouse in the frame.
Hanging On in the Garden – Loudly – this is a wonderful post from the studio of Laurie MacBride. Laurie takes us into her garden where she captures a great set of shots of plants of all varieties, and she adds a terrific element to the shots with her thoughts on topic… sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face!
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – exercising the reach of his 300mm telephoto lens, Jean-Claude Sch. captures a truly stunning shot of one of these majestic birds in flight. The detail in the great eagle is truly astounding in this shot as it stands out from it’s beautiful cloud filled backdrop.
Une Cadillac … la nuit … à Paris – sometimes simple is the best ingredient to create a delicious image, as exemplified in this great black-and-white shot shared here by Mathias Lucas. Mathias takes advantage of the raw drama of nighttime in Paris by shooting a portrait of this classic car in black-and-white.
Wet fly – for those who love macro photography, this is a great shot to view and enjoy in this week’s list. Pritesh Chooramun captures an awesome close-up macro of a portrait of a wet fly, creating a picture that is astonishing to take in with it’s detail, as well as more than just a little creepy in the subject explored.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard
Connected in the deep… – a wonderful scene is shared here by Sherry Galey, featuring a jutting out piece of land that is encircled by waters. A gentle reflection in the water reflects back a soft mirror of the landscape, casting a wonderful and peaceful image to take in and enjoy.
Edwards Mill – this still functioning mill is a wonder to view, and Mark Summerfield’s photographic study of this place that was built in 1972 focuses on the way this site was designed and built using old techniques. Based on Mark’s compositions here, you’d swear you were looking at a facility that was well over 100 years old, and this discovery is augmented by the story that Mark shares and the realization that this facility is still quite active.
A great day in Parksville, Vancouver Island – local photographer JoeRos grabs a really great shot of windsurfers enjoying the volatile waters found off Vancouver Island. His shot showcases a dynamic element of motion against the crisp details of the surfers to deliver a picture full of raw artistic tension and wonder.
Silica Dome – a simply stunning natural palette of colors is exhibited and captured here by Ron Niebrugge. Ron visits a state park in Nevada, and comes away with a layered landscape that highlights the scale of the park through the sense of depth, as well as the epic beauty in the colors found in the sky.
Autumn River – this is a great shot from Averil McPhedran Hall that showcases the natural beauty of a Canadian river as it meanders through the heart of a city. Gorgeous green trees are found frame left, and to the right we take in the architectural details of the city, with the river forming the perfect leading line to guide you into the heart of the frame.
Footbridge – Mount Desert Island, Maine – this is a truly breathtaking piece, captured and shared here by Len Saltiel. A classic wooden footbridge creates a beautiful arc across an autumn filled landscape that is punctuated by the intrigue of the wonder of the classic white wood house in the backdrop.
Photo by Mickaël
Time For Me To Bail – Tay captures a stunning shot here, featuring a gorgeous Canadian lake against a backdrop of majestic mountains. She uses a Lee ND filter to capture this piece using a long exposure technique, turning the waters of the lake into a silky smooth surface that gently takes the viewer into the landscape in the distance.
Tuscan Rainbow – this beautiful shot comes to us from Edith Levy as she captures a great scene of the Tuscan landscape with a pair of rainbows. The incredible landscapes of this part of the world are truly one-of-a-kind, and when you add in the natural beauty found in a rainbow, you have a picture of wonder and hope to view and enjoy.
Capital Creek Color – Rick Louie captures one of the most stunning autumnal landscapes I’ve seen in quite awhile in this shot that showcases the diversity of color and detail found during this time of year. These scenes present themselves on a fleeting basis, and leave in the blink of an eye, and in this case we get to enjoy the fruits of Rick’s labor as he happens to be here at just the right time.
Along the Jetty – Jimi Jones shares two renditions of the same beautiful scene; one in vibrant color and the other in black-and-white. Jimi gets up at the proverbial crack of dawn to capture this piece that features the jagged shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware.
Tip: Shooting Fewer Frames Will Make You A Better Photographer – this fundamental tenet of photography is briefly explored in this post that discusses how shooting fewer frames will strengthen the quality of the ones you do capture. This is a very short post that leaves you pondering both sides of the topic, searching for the right approach to bring to your own practice.
On the Roofs climbers scale new heights – this CNN news brief talks about a group of photographers that are making themselves quite the reputation in the field. These brave souls find their way to the very top of buildings in nearly 50 different countries, capturing shots that leave many of us with a strong sense of vertigo… and a strong desire to see more.
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.