The internet plays host to so many fabulous photographers and artists, and Toad Hollow Photography searches high and low every week trying to find the best links to tutorials, great photography and blogs of interest to share with everyone here. This week's list is chock-full of awesome images and great posts by a wide variety of super-talented people. We really hope you enjoy checking out the photographs and posts as much as the Toad did in bringing this list to you.
Top 7 Natural Light Portrait tips that I’ve learnt – a fabulous list of tips and tricks for doing portrait photography in natural light settings. Tristan Jud outlines a short series of thoughts here that can really help you make the most of this genre of image production.
DIY: Keep Your Turkey Company with Beautiful Photo Place Holders – what a neat idea! With the Thanksgiving Holidays nearly upon our American friends now, this timely article shows how you can incorporate great photography into dressing up the dinner table. This step-by-step tutorial takes you through the entire process.
Your Guide to Stunning Surf Photography – this a superb, in-depth article that takes you behind the scenes to see and read about all the tips and tricks that the pros use to work in this field. This well-written article is peppered with great photography, so even if you’re not looking to do this work yourself, you will certainly enjoy the stunning imagery.
10 DIY Photo Filters on the Cheap – this is a great list of ideas that show how you can create interesting photography filters on the cheap, mostly using stuff you’ve probably got lying around your house as you read this article. These are very clever ideas that very well may spawn off new thoughts for yourself, allowing you to create your own custom filters.
Secrets Of Traveling With One Lens – a comprehensive guide is presented here that shares all sorts of thoughts and insights into traveling with just one lens in your camera bag. So many considerations are to be taken into account with this approach, and this article will shed some light on key points helping you to make the right decision for the work you are trying to do.
The Importance of Being Alone – Erik and Kathleen Kerstenbeck share an absolutely poignant and profound piece in this blog post. Featuring a natural formation only found in the Salton Sea in California, a desolate wasteland that really resembles scenery from another world, the Kerstenbecks use this image as a metaphor for a very profound piece of prose that allows us to learn a little more about ourselves and the broader world we find ourselves living in.
Comiaken Hill’s Butter Church – this post features a large selection of images of one of our very favorite photography locations. Now sitting long abandoned, the Old Stone Butter Church sits high atop a hill in the Cowichan Valley, with commanding views of the valley and the ocean below. Joseph de Lange does a wonderful job in creating this moving post, featuring a bit of his experience during the shoot in the morning as well as some truly riveting pictures that bring this storied place to life for all to enjoy.
The Ghostly Hallows – I don’t typically do this with our weekly lists, but this was pertinent and potentially interesting for our visitors here so this week I have done so. This is a link to a post that features the Old Stone Butter Church from over a year ago that shares a large collection of HDR images I shot at this site. We’ve also included a little of the history and the stories that circulate about this locally famous spot.
Back Whence It Came – I’ve seriously got goosebumps after visiting Rob Hanson’s blog to take in his latest post. Rob’s unique ability to create great photography and wrap it up with really personal and captivating writing makes his blog a destination. This post features an old and decaying wagon from many years gone by, and also shares a story of how the photo was made.
High Altitude viewing – the vistas from high atop the Swiss mountain range are the source of LensScaper’s (Andy Hooker) latest blog post. Andy is well known for creating breathtaking and captivating photographs that detail the natural beauty in this special place in the world, and this post features an image presented in both color and black-and-white for comparison. Without any doubt, the monochromatic version is much more dramatic, exposing the rich contrasts that can be found in the bright light.
St Marks on Salt Spring Island – this is a fabulous architectural study of a heritage church on one of the tiny islands here by Vancouver Island. The rich history in the area and the church itself is gracefully captured in this great series from Joseph de Lange, who provides some additional historic details to add extra depth. This is a very quaint building which Joseph has photographed to share here, and his photos bring these features out for everyone to enjoy.
Old door in Bratislava – Jim Nix shares a wonderful photograph of a door in Bratislava, Slovakia. The warm tones in the wood door create the character in the scene and Jim does a great job in composing this piece to share a glimpse into what is one of the most remarkable places on earth.
The Bird Cage – incredible details in something as simple as a bird cage is photographed and presented here by Len Saltiel. The foyer in the Fort Wilderness Lodge, a lovely Disney facility, is home to this quaint feature which fits in just perfectly to the warm and inviting surroundings that it calls home.
Walking On Water – Jim Denham shares an extremely dramatic black-and-white image that he uses as a compositional lesson. Using long exposure to smooth out the waters surface, Jim finds the remains of a tree root buried deep in the water with a flourish of dead branches just above the surface. There is a lonely sense to this picture, almost haunting, making for a shot that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Around the Bend – this is a great photo of an abandoned hallway in an old hospital. Mark Blundell captures a shot here that features a bend in the hallway that creates compelling natural lines in the photo, and all the textures and details from the weathering bring a lot of additional interest to the picture.
No Smoking – Bob Lussier is famous for his photographs of staircases, often being referred to as “The Stair Whisperer”. Bob’s perfect composition with this picture delivers a few layers of interest, including the incredible character that is found in the facility being photographed.
Sparks Lane Fog – Jerry Denham shares an incredible autumn scene that takes the viewer through the frame by following the quaint road. The fog adds a great touch of drama here, and the overall picture resembles a painting.
False Creek Exposed – the city of Vancouver strikes a commanding pose for the talents of Rick Louie who uses long exposure techniques and advanced post-processing to create this mesmerizing piece. The great details in the architecture are brought out in this shot that features the character of this vibrant city at night.
Tranquillity Gate – what a lovely rolling landscape, as captured and presented here by Barry Turner. Great natural tones in the picture beckon the viewer to spend some time finding and enjoying some of the finer details contained.
Topsy Turvy – a pair of fast-moving jets perform a maneuver and Derrick Birdsall comes away with a great picture of the action. The top jet is flying upside down directly above the plane flying below it in very close formation, and Derrick’s dramatic scene does a great job of bringing the action to the viewer.
Pensacola Beach Skyline – the bright city lights of the Pensacola skyline are captured and shared here by Tim Stanley. A giant ferris-wheel bathes the scene in great light, and all the surrounding architecture adds further to the inherent interest in this picture.
To Trespass, Or Not to Trespass – a long abandoned tool manufacturing facility is the prime subject for the photography of Steven Perlmutter. Great details in the weathering that the building has undergone over the years of neglect bring an extra level of relevance to this picture posted.
The Edge Of Reason – a lovely contrast of a beautiful landscape that finds itself host to a moving body of water is explored in this great shot from the studio of Andy Gimino. The gorgeous Vermont landscape is a constant source of photography for Andy who shares exceptional imagery of the surroundings and area.
The Grey Man Pauses to Contemplate His Future, and Purpose – Mark Garbowski shares another installment in his running series featuring the Grey Man. Mark’s incredibly unique theme to this series creates special pieces that share a strong sense of tension as the Grey Man goes about exploring his surroundings. This is a great black-and-white addition to the set.
“Fall” at the Falls – Howard Jackman delivers a large collection of images featuring waterfalls, pathways and steps. Each image can easily stand on it’s own as an excellent representation of the theme, but when taken in as the collection as presented, this post takes on another level entirely.
Traveling to imaginary worlds… – Sherry Galey creates a composite image that features an imaginary place. The lovely architecture in the old building contrasted against the majestic mountains in the backdrop all come together just perfectly with the addition of a gentle texture layer to complete the scene.
Paris Enlightment – a study in geometry, tones and shapes is presented in this fabulous image from Jurjen Harmsma. As the perspective of the image works it’s way upward, the visual shift creates the most alluring lines and details producing an abstract piece through the exploration of great architecture.
Bedtime Story – even dark overlords can find the time to share a nice little bedtime story with the wee ones, as is evidenced by this great photograph by Chris Nitz. Chris is well-known for his work with Lego figures, and this wonderful post does a great job of showing just why. An entire story is shared with a glimpse in this post, one that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
Moraine Lake – the power of reflections can never be overlooked, if you’ll pardon the pun. Moraine Lake is situated in the heart of the Rockies in western Canada and is home to several national parks of unparalleled beauty. This photograph by Daniel Guinn features incredible colors in the body of the lake and epic reflections to mirror back the beauty shared.
Viens of Dubai – I’ve been seeing more and more of these types of shots lately, taken from a very high vantage point overlooking Dubai at night. The scope and grandeur of the architecture here creates a fingerprint that is not seen anywhere else in the world, and Vineet Suthan shares a special shot of this subject that also features the fast moving light trails in the city below.
Sandbanks … – low tide reveals a striking landscape in this sunset scene captured in England. Pawel Tomaszewicz captures vibrant colors in the evening sky that defines and adds layers of interest atop a scene with rich details sure to captivate the viewer as you spend time taking it all in.
The Yacht Club – an absolutely perfect composition highlights the incredible architecture and marine features found in Dubai. The huge skyscrapers are peppered with lights of those living and working within the suites, allowing Daniel Cheong to capture and share a scene that is pleasing to the eye and alive with interest.
Emerging beauties – this is one of those shots you’ve just got to see to believe. A grove of trees emerges from a still body of water and their vibrant leaves create strong and compelling splashes of color. The gently moving waters under their canopy produces a soft and wavy reflection, which Marco Crupi has used to carefully compose a shot that delivers an abstract from the palette of nature.
Kidney – an epic composition shares an architectural study of a very uniquely shaped staircase in Berlin, Germany. The viewer finds two distinct images in one with this piece by Philipp Götze, sharing both great details in the fine architecture as well as abstract shapes and designs in the flowing lines.
Drain Gull – this great shot takes on an almost high-key feel to it as it shares a view of a drain working it’s way out to sea. Local photographer and friend Ehpem found himself at this familiar spot photographing it when a seagull landed and stayed put long enough to become a truly intricate part of the overall image. This is a wonderful piece, sure to capture the imagination of all who pop by to view it.
Getting in Close – Edith Levy shares a very close-up macro shot of a vibrant and colorful flower. The wonderful details that can only be found in nature are delicately lit in this piece, which gives it a soft sense of depth and scale. This photo contains shadows so soft they are almost imperceivable, yet they form an intricate part of the interest found in the scene.
Cette semaine (de Magda), La cathédrale a rougi – truly fabulous architectural details that have found further interest in the hands of time are showcased in this photograph of Notre Dame in France. Mathias Lucas finds the lovely cathedral with a sentry of vibrantly colored autumn trees, adding a dash of color to an absolutely fascinating scene.
Oak Creek Vista – a stunning vast vista is captured and shared in this post by Jay Taylor. Jay does a great job of capturing the interest that is held in the Arizona landscape, featuring a view that appears to go on forever punctuated by lovely details in the surroundings. This is definitely a picture that delivers a stronger sense of scale as the viewer spends time with it.
Thai Sunset, Classic Style – a most beautiful Thai sunset is explored and shared in this gorgeous picture from the studio of Anita Megyesi. The wonderful tones in the evening sky find further favor in the way they gently reflect off the waters of the ocean, all nicely brought together with the silhouette of a lone fisherman paddling about as the evening settles in.
hatchery reflections . . . – the inherent power of a strong mirrored reflection is expressed and shared in this great picture from dragonflydreams88. Near perfect copies of the majestic trees that create the main subjects glow back in the perfectly still waters in the foreground, creating compelling and strong elements of interest here.
Minneapolis Night – this is an incredibly dramatic black-and-white architectural study of a bridge span in Minneapolis. Bob Israel does a great job of composing and processing a scene here that delivers strength in the industrial feel of the bridge and the crisp contrasts that can be found in the monochromatic end result.
Going West 2012 ~ Part Two : Hotel, Schmotel! – A.D. Wheeler adventures in the most amazing places you could imagine in the US, and this post is a follow-up feature to one he shared last week. As we continue along with A.D. who is visiting the incredible natural canyons of Utah, he also brings us along to check out a ghost town that once was a Hollywood movie set. A.D. images are all top drawer in themselves, but when taken together in a collection as he shares here, a special story and adventure begins to emerge.
39/365²: Dando la cara by anieto2k, on Flickr
Frosty Barn – Mike Lilly finds a quaint old weathered barn in a field, covered in frost. Great character springs forth in this shot, which shares an almost iconic form of a rustic scene punctuated by the lovely colors found in the surrounding fall foliage. This is a magical picture, one that will be enjoyed by all who visit to see.
Tired Workhorse – an old truck, rich in details and textures, comes to life in this HDR photograph posted by Robert Berry. Seemingly abandoned, this truck is starting to take on features through the natural weathering process that work perfectly for HDR, making for a shot that is both dramatic and compelling at the same time.
Joy and Context – Gareth Glynn Ash captures and shares here a gorgeous macro shot of a flower in bloom. The incredible colors in the frame are perfectly accented by the perfect shallow depth-of-focus that isolates the subject from the backdrop, converging to create a true representation of the majesty of nature.
Be Present, Be Thankful – a gorgeous autumn scene creates the perfect foundation for a profound message on life. Sandra Hale uses a very unique perspective with photographing the vibrant colors of a tree in autumn to create a sense of awareness and beauty that helps to ground us in a busy world.
Early Morning Jog by the Monuments – I find it amazing the tension that a person can give an image when properly composed or positioned, as it perfectly exemplified in this shot from Metro DC Photography. The elaborate monument in Washington DC creates a compelling backdrop as the sun begins to rise and a jogger is making their way across frame.
Autumn at Straight Branch Falls – waterfalls make for great subjects as you can explore both the still facets of the surrounding landscape and contrast that against the movement in the water. Wonderful fall colors bath the panorama in lovely tones as Curt Fleenor captures a shot of the scene that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Brentsville Courthouse – Mark Summerfield takes us along as he captures a set of great photographs of an iconic courthouse in the US state of Virginia. The elaborate brickwork in the classic architecture really comes to life in this post, sharing all the character and spirit of this historic place.
Pacific Sunset – the Pacific Northwest area in North America plays host to some of the most epic sunsets you’ve ever seen, and Scott Wood captures a shot of one of these to share here with everyone. Breathtaking silhouettes of the trees create a perfect leading line that guides the viewer directly through the frame. The finishing touch is the strong and mesmerizing reflection found in the still waters.
Black Lotus – this is a fabulous architectural study that renders a view of a temple in India at night that almost takes on an abstract feel to it with the shapes and lines presented. Mathijs van den Bosch does a great job with this shot, finding further layers of interest in the gentle and soft reflection in the waters in the foreground.
Shadow in the light – sharp lines in the crests of the sand dunes creates perfect natural light barriers that are composed to capture a scene here featuring incredible abstract lines and rich, dramatic shadows. Mohammadreza Momeni captures and shares here an almost iconic vista of the rolling sand dunes found natively in the desert.
Abandoned Bridge (HDR) – a wonderful old, character-rich bridge leads the viewer right through the frame with this piece, culminating in a near perfect vanishing point in the distance. The brooding and moody skies capture in this scene adds further inherent interest to this dramatic photo, as captured and shared here by Keith Dobbs.
Pimp My Ride II – Mike Criswell is a top drawer photographer who produces striking imagery with every post. This post features a dilapidated car left unattended for years in the middle of some sort of building. The juxtaposition found in the car being left in it’s surroundings is perfectly captured here, producing a picture that shares all the drama found at site.
A Dry and Lonely Road – selective color techniques turn a ribbon of highway into a truly mesmerizing piece to take in and enjoy, as posted and shared here by Adam Allegro. Adam’s perfect composition turns the highway into a magnificent vanishing point, sharing all the vast scale and context of the interesting surroundings that make up the Death Valley area.
Fresh snow over the clouds – this is one of those shots that requires you to spend some time, and when you do the realization of what you’re looking at will eventually hit you. We find ourselves high atop a mountain range that is covered in show and surrounded by thick cloud cover. A breathtaking piece by Moreno Geremetta.
Endless passion – vibrant reds created by the autumn colors create a canopy in the trees that leads the viewer naturally through the frame. There is something deeply haunting about this image that draws the viewer into the image, both nervous about what awaits down the road yet driven by an unrelenting curiosity questing for more. A stunning photo from the studio of Ildiko Neer.
The Denver Performing Arts Complex – rich architectural details are highlighted in this wonderful photograph by Jim Nix that features really terrific colors and tones inherent in the building being photographed. This picture definitely delivers more to the viewer as you spend time finding and enjoying all the little details hidden within.
In The Wilderness – this is like an endless box of candy that once opened continues to reveal more and more treats as you spend time soaking it in. Michael Lewis Glover takes us inside a lodge at the Disney facility that is full of great details and textures, and this post showcases the intricate and absolutely fascinating custom light fixtures in the resort.
Financial District – Rick Louie delivers a dramatic photograph of the NY city skyline, taken before the epic storm Sandy hit it. Rick’s use of black-and-white in processing this photo is truly sympathetic to the scene being shot, creating a very dramatic picture that is sure to be enjoyed by all.
Cologne Waterfront – the spellbinding architectural details that can only be found in Europe are explored in this picture from Len Saltiel that takes us to a famous city in the world. Interesting details, colors and touches are to be found everywhere in this picture. This is truly one of those quintessential shots of life in Germany.
Dans Notre Dame – Mathias Lucas takes right into the heart of one of the world’s most iconic spots, Notre Dame in France. For those who may never get a chance to visit it in person, this collection is sure to satisfy the questions that most of us have of the grand cathedral.
Chicken Savings Time – Wayne Frost captures a scene of Americana that features a well known fast food restaurant. Wayne’s wonderful and personal view of the art he encounters drives him to create painterly processed pieces that are vivid with colors and hold all the inherent interest of the scene being photographed. This is a terrific example of this.
Non ho visto nessuno andare incontro a un calcio in faccia con la tua calma. by Roberto Taddeo, on Flickr
On The Waterfront – rich hues of blue drape the city skies as Bob Lussier visits the Boston waterfront area. Bob uses a walkway to create a natural leading line to guide the visitor through the frame naturally, leading you right to the heart of the shot; the epic skyline that forms the storied city of Boston.
Landscapes – Heather Neil showcases a black-and-white landscape photograph that features a creek making its way into the far distance. The vanishing point created by the natural line of the creek leads the viewer straight into the majestic mountain range in the distance.
Perito Moreno Glacier Calving, Patagonia, Argentina – a giant glacier finds itself losing a chunk of ice into the frigid waters of the ocean surrounding it. Mark Paulson comes away from this with a engaging photograph of the event, just as it occurs.
Big Walls Little Man in Morocco – at first glance we get to enjoy a bit of the feel and sense of living in Morocco in this great shot from Mark Neal. A little more time spent starts to reveal fabulous details that tell a story, culminating in the man leaving a buildings opening that adds a strong sense of tension to the scene.
Secret – let’s crank up the creep factor with the one, shall we? This picture features a very close-up macro photo of a fly with dew on it. The incredible details in the creature find further interest in the water drop on it’s eye which gives a strong sense of scale to this image.
Harris Hawk Flying Low – Bev manages to capture this gorgeous birds entire wingspan in the composition that shares a vision of the bird in flight. Great details in the bird find further interest in the shallow depth of focus used here to isolate it from the backdrop. Lovely and compelling, at the same time.
Don’t Lose Hope – super strong details are shared in this great photograph by Kerri Farley. A a butterfly perches on a leaf, the bright light accents the beautiful colors it exhibits, and when taken in with the title of the photo and the thought behind it, we find ourselves beguiled with a profound thought.
Curious squirrel – Kat White finds a furry friend in a tree who seems to be less than concerned about her being there. Kat comes away with a great shot of this little creature, exhibiting and sharing all the character and spirit that this fuzzball seems to be exuding.
Surreal Skies: Single Image Time Lapse Photography – this is a totally unique and riveting application of image stacking and compositing in image creation. Matt Molloy created this piece by capturing hundreds of time lapsed images of a scene and merging them together in what I can only imagine as a fairly complex process to showcase a still and beautiful landscape that finds drama in a fluid and moving sky.
Asylum W September 2012 – Urbex explorers take us deep inside a long abandoned sanitorium that is slowly crumbling from years of neglect and decay. The poignant images of the remains of the facility produce a striking series that really makes one stop to reflect on times past and the effects of weathering over the course of years.
Children’s Photos Inspire Environmental Awareness – a stunning award-winning collection of photographs taken by children is shared in this post. Many of these images create emotional responses in the viewer, leaving many to think these shots were taken by seasoned pros. If you only visit one link in this week’s list, this may be a great candidate for consideration.
Heavenly Panoramas: The Church Ceilings of New York – architectural studies are some of our favorite subjects for photography, especially when they exhibit the deep character of the building being photographed. This is a highly compelling series that features the inside architectural details of several of NYC’s grandest churches. The vast similarities between the facilities is gently juxtaposed against the subtle nuances that make each of these buildings unique in character.
More landscapes from the hills – Light Stalking is home to many photographers and artists working on varied styles and themes. This week we feature our own @astaroth who has posted a comprehensive selection of photographs featuring the rolling vistas of Spain. This is a lovely set, one that takes the viewer right into the heart of this fabulous spot on earth.
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.