What an exciting week in the world of photography, and Toad Hollow Photography has been searching high and low for the best links to tutorials, reviews, special features, great photography and interesting blogs to share with everyone here. This week's list has links to all sorts of resources and great images, posted by some of the finest artists and photographers out there today. We really hope you enjoy reading this week's list as much as the Toad did in writing it, we can think of no better way to spend some time that by perusing these great links!
Joe McNally on Creating Lighting That Matches the Character of Your Location – one of the masters takes us through a video presentation discussing the intricate details of how he lit the scene to create the image shown. Joe’s insights into artificial lighting are absolutely terrific, removing some of the shadows of this type of lighting and giving the viewer a deeper insight into how to make that next “wow” shot.
Detailed Tutorial On Shooting Day To Night Timelapses – this highly detailed 50 minute video tutorial takes the viewer deep into the world of day to night time lapse video production. Several different techniques are discussed, each with it’s own set of strengths in dealing with problems in post-production.
Photoshop CC 32 bit HDR Workflow – Blake Rudis delivers a new video tutorial that takes us along on a 19 minute journey to learn about his workflow. Blake’s work is well-known and his video presentations are always well worth the time to check out, giving the viewer a fresh perspective on some of the latest techniques and processes.
Testing TAMRON 90mm: macro-pictures in nature – Light Stalking’s @astaroth creates this great in-depth review of this macro lens in the field. He includes some really stunning imagery to illustrate the points he is talking about, making this a must-see article in this week’s list for many reasons.
The Nikon 200mm f/2 VR II: The World’s Best Portrait Lens – Nicholas Gore makes some pretty lofty statements with his assessment of this exotic and very expensive lens. He shares some great insights into all the pros and cons of the lens, and shares a few sample photos which really do a great job of visually showing the key points being made here.
A Race To The Checkers! – we’ve just launched a new series on our blog, titled “The Toads At The Rally” that we thought we would share with everyone here. We were asked to participate in a great event sponsored by Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism called “Parksville Qualicum Beach QR Code Road Rally 2013”. The basic premise found us on a scavenger hunt going from spot-to-spot to find the QR Code that would give us a clue and lead us to the next spot. We spent the entire day touring all over the mid-island and have just launched this fresh photoblog series to highlight our experience in the rally, and all the terrific points of interest we encountered.
It’s Still Raining… – we get to tag along as Joe McNally takes on a pair of projects from two entirely different parts of the world. This great piece features some of Joe’s absolutely incredible photography as well as some personal insights into the various cultures as well as what it’s like to be a pro out there in the field getting the job done.
Stunning Views Atop the World’s Tallest Building Come to Google Street View – I can’t get enough of this place. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest manmade structure in the world, and a must-see destination for many photographers. This terrific presentation from the Google team takes you along to check out a few observation points from outside and inside the tower. This immersive feature is sure to send everyone down a hole where one interaction leads to another which leads to another, ultimately resulting in a serious time investment. Incredibly cool.
Patterns in the Urban World: Photography by Jared Lim – if lines, shapes and general geometry are your thing in the world of photography, you will love the work of Jared Lim. Jared captures scenes in a highly metropolis setting that take on an abstract feel by exploring and expressing all the shapes and lines created by the architecture.
2013 Supermoon Photos: 8 Pictures of the Perigee Moon – Jason Hine’s first foray into his The Art of the Chase feature takes us deep into the project with a short video that introduces us to the planned shoot, leading into a series of shots of the supermoon that are simply astounding. Several of Jason’s images have been featured in mainstream media, and with little wonder as they are stand-out pictures!
Fine Art Photography – our very own @john-crothers here on Light Stalking has an awesome gallery posted online, full of great images to check out and spend time enjoying. Ranging from terrific landscapes, to wildlife, to birds and insects, to rusty old trucks… there’s a little something here for everyone to enjoy. On the second page of this gallery is a special piece titled “Life Goes On” which is particularly profound and poignant as a piece of visual art.
Road to Nowhere – Supermoon – prepare to be absolutely blown away by this epic image from Aaron J. Groen. This years event lends itself perfectly for the concept where Aaron creates a composite image with a great ribbon of road leading into a vanishing point, anchored by the supermoon at the apex. This is a piece of fine art photography that is sure to be enjoyed by all who visit.
Good Morning Mt. Bromo – a wide and expansive vista is captured in this shot from Indonesia that shows the incredible colors and details in the landscape below. Anuparb Papapan’s shot features an active volcano with smoke coming from it’s stack, as the epic natural beauty of it’s surroundings add a dimension of interest in the colors and tones it expresses.
The Chair – this is a highly profound and poignant piece, finding us inside the long abandoned Belchertown School for the Feeble Minded. Bob Lussier finds a discarded wheelchair in one of the rooms and poses it perfectly under a beam of natural light, creating a haunting setting that is an instant classic. Terrific textures and details in all the decay work with the key subject to really set the feel for the picture.
T.A. Moulton Barn – if you love barns half as much as I do, this is a must-see destination in this week’s list. Rick Louie captures an iconic shot of a very famous barn under the watchful eye of the Grand Teton mountain range. The epic light Rick encountered does a fabulous job of creating long shadows and dramatic effects in the scene itself, producing a shot that is a true instant classic.
Supermoon Rises Over the Arizona Desert – typically once a year a lunar event occurs that creates what is commonly referred to as a supermoon. Chris Frailey takes us out into the Arizona desert where he uses the Superstition Mountains to create silhouettes that add dimension and context. This post features a trio of amazing images, well worth the time to visit.
Flower's & Landscapes – this link takes us to a gallery featuring the photography of Corinne Viggiano. This terrific gallery showcases the natural beauty of Mother Nature’s flower bed as well as some truly captivating landscape scenes. The rustic scenes captured work perfectly with the intricate beauty of the flower shots to create a gallery well worth the time for a visit.
Black Mirror – a chunk of ice sitting on the black sands on a beach in Iceland forms the perfect subject in this photograph by Erez Marom. Comprised only of various tones of blue, this breathtaking piece showcases a scene that we would never have a chance to see without photography.
Transbay Transit Center Construction – Moving Dirt – San Francisco – what a terrific image, not just for the scene it presents and shares with the viewer, but also for the incredible way that Keith Cuddeback goes about capturing it. This image is highly satisfying for the little boy in all of us, with cranes, earth movers and semi trucks to keep you busy, as well as all the surrounding elements that work together with the key anchors to make a special image sure to captivate the imagination of everyone.
Tom & Jerry – guaranteed to elicit howls of delight from almost everyone, this terrific shot of a cat peeking out above the edge of a box at a toy mouse is an absolute marvel. On the surface, the humor found within the frame is truly marvelous, but there is also a touch of tension to add a further dimension.
365 Project: Day 279 – a set of rails and a discarded tire form the perfect anchors in this long exposure black-and-white image from Timothy Moss. The long exposure technique used to capture the shot creates a silky and ethereal feel to the waters, making for a shot that is as captivating as it is fascinating.
Going Down… – Lisa Gorden captures a monochromatic image in Boston that features a really rivetting spiral staircase on the side of a brick building. Fabulous lines, textures and shapes are explored in this shot.
Urbex: Non-Functional – I find ultimate beauty hidden within chaos, as exemplified by my love of Urbex themed photography. This shot from the studio of Marcel Mason takes us inside a room of a long abandoned motel, complete with terrific decay and mayhem that exhibits great details to take in.
Schoolhouse – on a cold and windy day Melinda Green Harvey visits an old schoolhouse. The dramatic use of monochrome in creating this image really brings out the fine details in the old facility. Melinda’s careful composition and processing are highly sympathetic to her subject, making for a nostalgic and fascinating shot to visit in this week’s list.
Erosion – a fabulous shot from Andy Gimino that shares a gorgeous landscape scene overlooking Lake Champlain. The amount of planning and work that goes into an image like this is astounding, and the results are clearly worth all the effort. Perfect light converges with great tones and details to create a special piece here.
The SS Beaver – there is much ballyhooing locally in Cowichan Bay regarding the hot topic of derelict boats. I love them as a photographer, but many of the local residents consider them an eyesore. Joseph de Lange focuses his camera on the latest target in the debacle, showcasing a really interesting ship named the SS Beaver with quite the interesting history behind it.
Perigee Moon Rise Time-lapse – Ehpem produces another of his terrific time lapse presentations and includes a fabulous HDR shot of the supermoon, albeit one day early. Both the image and the video are really incredible to check out, definite highlights in this week’s list.
Livermore 4th of July Fireworks – a rather specialized and tricky technique is used here by Scott Rivera to capture a breathtaking image of fireworks. The results are beautiful. Colorful tendrils drape their way across the night sky in this light show. Scott has an entire set posted on his Flickr feed of this type of imagery for those interested.
Chateau de Chambord – Jim Nix heads into the heart of France where he encounters a stunning chateau. The epic details that go into the design of places like this creates incredibly striking photography subjects, and Jim really takes advantage of this coming away with a really breathtaking piece to view and enjoy.
Under the Sea – Erin Duke creates an image collage featuring photographs from several displays at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The presentation compiled here by Erin showcases several varieties of fish, sure to captivate the imagination of those who are fans of the underwater worlds.
Approaching Storm – the epic world found at the Arches National Park in Utah is the prime focus in this shot posted by Len Saltiel. The unbelievable natural beauty in the rock formations form a dramatic subject base under a group of clouds moving in to add a great dimension of interest to the shot.
Super Sunset – the pure romance that can only be found when looking at a historic lighthouse under the fading light of the day is perfectly captured here in this shot by Steven Perlmutter. The beautiful colors in the sky work in conjunction with the captivating architectural elements of the lighthouse to create a compelling piece to view here.
I dont roll on shabbos | Rust and dust | Trip advisor said it had rustic charm | Fixer upper – this is a quadruple serving of decay and weathering, featuring a series of photographs taken in various Urbex locations. Dan Raven’s focus on abandoned and textured settings comes to life with this sampling of his work from Flickr. For those who like this genre, check out the rest of his stream which is full of great material.
180 degrees – a short eared owl on a branch looks over it’s shoulder back at the camera in this shot, creating an absolutely incredible image full of artistic tension. Alessandro Rossini’s photograph showcases incredible details in the owl, and the shallow depth-of-field does a marvelous job of isolating it from the backdrop.
Moraine Lake – the bluest of blues greet the viewer in this breathtaking photograph that features the epic beauty of the Rocky Mountains reflected back in the waters of one of it’s most famous lakes. The Canadian Rockies are a special place, full of rugged peaks, deep valleys and scenery that is as special as it is unique. A photograph by Gilles Baechler.
The Treasury View – one of the world’s most incredible sites is visited during evening hours when thousands of candles illuminate the epic site and it’s details. Abdullah Suleiman captures and shares an astonishing image with a perfect natural leading line to guide the viewer right through the passageway towards the incredible facility in the background, expressing a little artistic tension amidst the intricate beauty of the location.
“Welcome Sun” – Light Stalking’s very own @jscorales posts a stunning scene that features the shore of the ocean looking out to sea with incredible colors in the sky. The perfect shutter speed is used to capture this shot, smoothing out the waters enough to add a touch of mystery, but still revealing enough detail to create a very natural feel.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas – Mark Summerfield takes us along on an exploration of an outdoor living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Mark’s great photography shares a pair of images taken in the museum delivering a glimpse into what life was like hundreds of years ago in the area. He accompanies his great photographs with some truly interesting historic information that adds depth to the post.
Blue Bridge – this terrific architectural study focuses on a bridge in Singapore shot during the blue hour. Antonio Obispo’s shot features the bridge lit artificially by it’s own lighting, making it literally pop from the scene onto our monitors here.
Canet Carousel – Barbara Youngleson’s fabulous shot here features a close-up look at a carousel in France. Barbara’s use of sepia in the post-processing phase delivers a strong sense of nostalgia, sure to transport many of us back to a time filled with magic from our childhoods.
a bluebird of happiness! – this is one cute little bluebird! Sitting perched atop a post, Brenda Widdess composes and captures a great shot that really shows off this little birds terrific personality and character. Well worth the time for a visit in this week’s list.
Lift off – what a really, really interesting and different perspective of an owl in flight. Pedro Jarque Krebs captures a shot of this bird as it’s wings are folded just before they open for a fresh flap to carry it along on it’s journey, delivering a unique and completely fascinating glimpse into this bird’s life.
Classic – barns are such terrific photography subjects, especially old and weathered ones the exude great character. CJ Schmit captures one such barn in the middle of a field, complete with incredible textures and details that can easily captivate the imagination of the viewer for an extended viewing.
Spearfish Creek – this gorgeous South Dakota creek was the setting for a well-known movie, “Dances With Wolves”. Robert Berry delivers a shot of this running creek and with his vignette the viewer is drawn straight into the heart of the frame becoming totally immersed in the beautiful landscape.
The Painter and His Model – a candid shot of a painter in the middle of work captures a fleeting moment that suddenly becomes an intimate moment for the viewer. Everything about this shot supports this feeling, combining all the elements together to deliver a genuine photograph. A fabulous photograph by Anita Megyesi.
Nhớ Tây Bắc – this image showcases a green terraced landscape with a single wooden structure to add a dimension of context, as photographed by Thachhan. The incredible beauty of how the various tones of green are expressed in the zones of the image, creating natural leading lines for the viewer to enjoy.
Three Valley Lake Chateau – Brenda Widdess captures a stunning piece; a lovely chateau lakeside in BC. The incredible reflection works perfectly with the vibrant red details of the facility, delivering a picture that instantly captures the mind of the viewer with great details and features.
Red Moth ! – never in my life have I seen such a vibrant red in the insect world as the tones captured in this photograph by bug eye :). The razor sharp depth-of-focus completely isolates this incredible little creature, making all the details and colors literally pop.
Between Fire and Ice – an icy cold landscape sits under a sky casting terrific colors at sunset in this shot captured in Norway by Max Rive. On the left side of the frame a row of red houses create a perfect natural leading line to gently guide the viewer through the frame.
Coffee House & Cafe – Mark Neal delivers a new HDR image in his blog here, this one taking the viewer down a sidewalk in New Bern, North Carolina. The main subject is the great coffee shop the viewer first encounters while following the natural leading line, exposing wonderful textures in a scene that really expresses the character of the community.
Gaddy Express – Jay Taylor delivers a terrific shot of a Gadwall in flight, showcasing incredible details in the bird and highlighting it’s colors. Jay’s perfect composition with this shot works in tandem with the shallow depth-of-focus to really create a special piece, well worth the time for a visit.
Can I take your photograph, please? – Phil Kneen does a terrific job with this post, sharing a set of photographs of willing people in Alaska and talking about how if you don’t ask you’ll never receive. Phil’s insights work perfectly with the shots posted to create a post sure to expand many peoples horizons in the field.
Decay – a scene draped completely in rich decay is presented to the viewer in this picture by Len Saltiel. Len’s thoughts on the facility add a great dimension to the shot, making you ponder what has gone on here and who remains behind trying to tell their story. This entire feeling is captured perfectly in this photograph.
An Overcast Day in Vancouver BC – even under the grey skies of an overcast day, the city of Vancouver takes on an alluring look in this detailed photograph by Anne McKinnell. Terrific details in the boats moored in the marina provide a lot of interest with the skyscrapers in the backdrop.
Visitors At Grey Cloud – this gorgeous shot from the studio of Jim Denham features a look out over a body of water that has some terrific rocks in the foreground and a jaw-droppingly beautiful willow in the backdrop. The long exposure times Jim used to catch this shot smooth the waters out, creating a silky feel to them and further adding to the overall feel of the scene.
The Blue Hour Tacoma Dome – I just love the details and clarity found in this shot of the famous Tacoma Dome at the blue hour, as shot and shared here by Scott Wood. So many features come to life for the viewer when you spend some time with this image, creating a picture sure to captivate the minds of everyone.
Photos Taken Aboard One of the World’s Largest Ships, the Emma Mærsk – this is a once in a lifetime chance to see what it’s like aboard one of the biggest container ships in the world. Jakob Wagner brings us along as the ship is loaded, piloted and then unloaded on the other side, with a plethora of fabulous shots taken during the journey to give a little insight into what it’s like aboard such a vessel.
Jetty – a very dramatic black-and-white piece that is simplistic in nature, yet delivers tons of interest in the textures and waters captured in the frame. This strong image from the studio of CJ Schmit shares a great scene that benefits from the monochromatic treatment applied in processing.
Eastern Point Light – Bob Lussier posts a very dreamy shot that features the Eastern Point Lighthouse at sunset. The long exposure shot that Bob shares here benefits greatly from the technique by creating smoothed out waters that work perfectly with the blue tones from the light late in the day and the emerging colors from the sunset.
Solfatara Volcano – The ancient saunas – the overall tones in this shot work perfectly to help create an general mood that features an ancient sulphur sauna created over 100 years ago. Really incredible textures are explored in this shot that exposes terrific details in something we wouldn't have a chance to see without photography.
Guilin February 12, 2013 – a slow moving river in China creates the perfect mirrored surface for reflections in this epic photograph that shares the incredible beauty of this great country. fabrizio massetti’s shot here shares a view of grand mountains that seem to literally emerge from the surrounding landscapes to create strong and dramatic outlines.
Menton – this great shot showcases the town of Menton as the day’s sun sets, in a big panorama format. The panoramic aspect works perfectly with this shot from Marco Galletto, allowing the viewer to take in the scene in it’s entirety and enjoy some of the finer intricate details that create the character of the town.
La atalaya – a beautiful moon sits above what looks to be an ancient stone structure with a red light coming from within, creating a sense of mystery and tension. This fabulous photograph from Eduardo Menendez features some really terrific colors and tones, and some textures sure to satisfy the highest of expectations.
Geirangerfjord, Norway – the epicly beautiful frozen landscapes of Norway are explored in this shot taken from a very high perspective overlooking a snow covered fjord below. Europe Trotter captures a great shot that exhibits a bit of tension with the boat making it’s way across the body of water, surrounded by rugged snow-covered peaks on all sides.
Flexing Mesa Arch – Chris Nitz is very well known for the work he does in the field of photography, using toys as props to create truly unique and compelling shots. This great monochromatic offering from him features a toy Jeep overlooking the vast vistas behind it, and Chris’ perfect composition and processing work in tandem here to create something that is both unique and incredible.
“Homage to Vincent” – a field full of beautiful and colorful sunflowers awaits the viewer with this shot posted by Joe Farace. And seemingly endless sea of yellow creates a strong feeling of joy in the viewer, making for a real must-see shot in this week’s list.
Look, But Don’t Touch! – a selection of shots is posted here by Erin Duke featuring poison frogs. These incredibly dangerous little animals might be innocuous to look at, but they pack a punch big enough to take down a small army of men. This image collage shows how beautiful nature can be, even in the most unique of ways.
All that remains – this terrific shot plays double-duty here, sharing a wonderful and simplistic landscape as well as providing a poignant statement on modern life. Andy Hooker (LensScaper) creates and shares this shot alongside a few personal insights, adding a profound dimension to the story being conveyed in the image itself.
Purple Iris – a vibrantly colored Iris with incredible details joyously greets the visitor in this post from Lotus Johnson on Flickr. Lotus’ use of a shallow depth-of-focus really highlights the beautiful flower, leaving the multi-colored backdrop as a secondary element to the shot that really does a great job of featuring the Iris.
Super Moon – the silhouette of a very strong church sits underneath a supermoon hanging above in the sky. The combination of elements work perfectly in harmony in this shot, creating an image full of romantic tension.
Early Summer Water Lily – Beverly Everson’s great shot of a Water Lily features a very subtle reflection in the still waters that host the beautiful flower. This beautiful flower truly defines the term “serenity” and creates a stunning subject to visit and enjoy in this week’s list.
Prepare to Fly – who doesn’t love hot air balloons? This terrific shot by Anuparb Papapan showcases one at either sunrise or sunset, in mid-inflation on the ground. The incredible colors captured in the scene truly enhance the overall composition, making for a stunning image.
WW II Memorial Washington Monument Reflecting – the iconic Washington Monument sits basking in warm tones with a compelling reflection, shot and posted here by Frank Kendralla. A strong leading line gently guides the viewer through the frame, eventually settling upon the monument as it stands tall and proud in great natural light.
Turtle on a Rock – Bev captures a great shot that showcases a turtle on a rock, as advertised. The details in the turtle are accented wonderfully by the shallow depth-of-focus in this picture, revealing a little of it’s personality and spirit.
Great Blue Heron In Flight – in an amazing display, Kerri Farley captures a huge Great Blue Heron in mid-flight. These incredible birds are epic in size, and the way Kerri composed this shot by including some surrounding elements in the frame does a great job of conveying the size of this amazing creature.
How I Transitioned from Being a Hobbyist to Being a Pro Photographer – there’s a common thread amongst those who have gone completely pro in photography, and that is one of hard work and dedication. This inspiring piece discusses one potential path to take on your way to becoming a pro with some great concepts to explore.
An Interview with Eric Draper, George W. Bush’s Presidential Photographer – this is a terrific insight into a world that very very few will experience firsthand. Presidential photographer Eric Draper sits down for an interview and shares some details into what it’s like being a photographer for such a high profile subject.
10 Practices Every Editorial Photographer Must Know – a detailed article that takes you through the key steps to transition into the world of editorial photography. This genre of work requires different approaches and techniques to stand out in the crowd, and this article seems to go through the key points in good detail.
David duChemin: Vision is Better – one of our generations most prolific and famous photographers sits down for an in-depth interview. There are some real gems in this piece sure to expand the horizons of everyone who reads it.
Documentary: The Story of Life Magazine, Where Pictures Could Change the World – in a tumultuous time such as the ones we live in, our photography practices are ever-evolving as it the landscape of the industry around us. This hour long feature presentation showcases and discusses the impact that LIFE magazine had on popular culture, taking a close look at what sits behind the publication and why it became so prolific.
Why I don’t Use Watermarks – industry guru Trey Ratcliff lays out a pretty strong argument against watermarking your images on the internet. Whether or not you agree, these points are really important to see as a point of reference.
4 Simple Tweaks To Make ‘YOU’ The Easy Choice As ‘The Photographer’ – as a rule, photographers have a hard time marketing themselves effectively as we all tend to really prefer time in the field over time on the computer or on the phone. This brief article delivers a few key points and thoughts that can help overcome some of these hurdles, as well as giving you some great ideas on how to build a long-term business.
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.