As a photographer, every once in a while you see something that catches your eye.  You hope to return later with time permitting to shoot it, and sometimes Father Time is helpful in this regard, and other times when you return the item or subject is gone.  This is particularly true when it comes to buildings.  Many times when I see a building that catches my eye, especially the derelict ones, and by the time we get back to them they are long gone.  Thankfully, this is not always the case.

2014 Ford Escape at Derelict Industrial Site - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

2014 Ford Escape at Derelict Industrial Site – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

I have no idea what this site originally did, but it has been like this for years now and every time we drive by I say I want to return to photograph it.  I have been working on a light painting technique lately for cars and with summer in full swing here I decided to finally head to this old industrial site to use it as a backdrop for a car shoot.  In this shot here, I was trying to create a magazine quality shot with our very own Toad’s Truck, making it pop out of the scene.  I rather like the effect.  We’ve had our trusty steed here for a little over 2 years now, and it has over 90,000 kilometers on it and runs like it did the day we bought it.  I also think it photographs well.

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We awoke in Telegraph Cove very early in the morning, anticipating what lay ahead for us.  This day had been in the plans for months on end, and in some ways it felt strange to find ourselves readying for the adventure that was about to unfold.  We knew that we would be moved beyond our wildest expectations if the encounters proved true, but what we didn’t appreciate at the time was how personally profound the experience would be.  After all, how could we anticipate how it would feel once we were immersed in the natural landscapes and beauty of the west coast of Canada, a land that is rugged and untamed, and a land that the mighty Grizzly Bear calls home to.

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours - Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours – Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The morning fog slowly gave way to an amazing day as we boated our way up Knight Inlet.  Slowly the sun began to push the fog out of the still inlet and the features and landscapes began to emerge in the bright light of day.  Our first encounter, the beginning of what was to become a day that we will never forget, found us in awe as we observed Bella and her three cubs on the shore.  Our boat came to a quick halt as the sighting began to unfold, and we stood in awe on the back deck amazed beyond words at what we were witnessing.  A few hundred yards away was one of Canada’s most beautiful creatures with her three young, seemingly oblivious to the wonder we all felt in our hearts as we took in the brief sighting.  As quickly as we noticed and saw them, they disappeared back into the thick forests that surrounded the area.

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Ah, the smell of the ocean breezes, the sounds of lapping waves against the shores as gulls cry in the distance…  sights and sounds that bring an instant sense of tranquility and peace to all.  It’s truly hard to beat the feeling you get while visiting the shore and experiencing all the ambience it has to offer.  One of our favorite places to visit in this context is most definitely Fisgard Lighthouse, a lighthouse that has stood tall and proud for a very long time here on the west coast of Canada as it guided sailors into harbor after a voyage out to sea.

Fisgard Lighthouse - Colwood, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Fisgard Lighthouse – Colwood, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Fisgard Lighthouse forms an integral part of our heritage and history out here on the west coast of Canada, a history we’ve discussed and shared previously in our post “A Beacon Through The Fog“.  It’s been noted many times before that even though our colonial history dates back only around 150 years, there is a deep sentiment formed from the stories that create the tapestry of this history.

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Adventures With Light Painting

Posted: 9th August 2016 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography, The Toad's Musings
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Well, as with most great things in life, adventures always start with a curious drive to see or learn something new.  We are no different, of course, and as opportunities and new techniques come to light we tend to chase them.  In today’s post we are going to discuss a new light painting technique we have begun to include in our repertoire, adding a new method to our bag full of tricks here at Toad Hollow that can be applied to many different kinds of subjects.

2014 Ford Escape - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

2014 Ford Escape – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Here we have the “Toads Truck”, a handy all-purpose SUV we bought a couple of years ago to use as we explore the island from top to bottom looking for great things to photograph and share with everyone. Today this vehicle has over 90,000 km’s on it, a testament to how much time we spend on the highways here on the island.  Yes, that is a lot of miles in a short period of time.

During a recent visit with a new affiliate we are working with (more on that bit of exciting news later), we discovered that we needed to look into light painting techniques to achieve the look and feel of the images required for this specific job.  Nothing is more exciting than learning something new to us, so we dove in, headfirst.

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Seeking Rusty Beauties

Today’s post is a bit different from what we usually post here at The Hollow, so please bear with us.  We are extending a plea for help here today as we are actively seeking rusty beauties on Vancouver Island.  We have a very exclusive client who is a private collector of our work, and we have been commissioned to create and deliver some new pieces for his collection.  These pieces are intended to be displayed in his private car garage, a custom facility covering over 7,000 sq feet that cost over $4M to build, and is hosting his multi-million dollar car collection.  Over the past year, we have delivered enlargements of some of his favorite shots of ours, printed using a very special and custom printing process called “dye sublimation on aluminum“.  These prints are 4 to 5 feet wide and look terrific in the context of a beautiful bespoke garage full of wonderful classic collectible cars.

Rusty Antique Car Planter - Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rusty Antique Car Planter – Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Visit our blog “Headlights In The Field” for the story behind the photo.

Abandoned GMC Truck - Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

Abandoned GMC Truck – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
Visit our blog “Haunting Eyes” for the story behind the photos.

Rusty Artifact - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rusty Artifact – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The theme for the collection is quite obviously rusty cars and trucks. These pieces are great additions to the space in how they juxtapose against the beautiful and pristine collectible cars that are on exhibit on the floor.  We are now asked to provide 6 more pieces to include in this very special place, and this is where we need to reach out to you, our fans and friends.

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When you think of the words “old” and “charm” do you think of Vancouver Island?  Not many people do, to be honest.  We’re located on the very westerly coast of Canada, with the next stop from here being basically Russia and China off our shores.  The west coast of Canada has only been colonized for a little over 150 years, so our history doesn’t run thousands of years deep as it does in many places in Europe and in the far east.  Yet, we do have our own history, and with it our own character and flavor.  Living on the coast of an active rainforest plays havoc on wood structures over time, and this havoc translates to weathering that creates distinctly west coast scenes.  One of our favorite types of scenes features weather stressed barns and outbuildings, and can always be found on a Vancouver Island farm.

Crooked Weathered Barn - Vancouver Island Farm, British Columbia, Canada

Crooked Weathered Barn – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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We were recently assigned a visit to St. George’s Anglican Church located in the heart of Cadboro Bay, a tiny community in the city of Victoria, British Columbia here on Vancouver Island.  The Cadboro Bay community is a wonderful place to visit as it sits by the ocean.  Here you will find delightful landscapes and architecture that speak of our west coast lifestyle.  Our ongoing “Anglican Church Project” has been a real source of adventure and discovery for us these past few years as we get to explore these wonderful churches, learning why each and every one is unique and a reflection of the community it serves.  Join us here today as we visit St. George’s Anglican Church.

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George's Anglican Church - Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

St. George’s Anglican Church – Cadboro Bay, Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Upon arrival, we were immediately struck by the recent changes the church has taken, adding on to the existing building with a very contemporary west coast addition that blends in with the old church and the flavor of Cadboro Bay.  The new structure, known as a narthex, is constructed of beautifully finished wood and is a sympathetic addition.  It creates a passage between the entrance and the nave of the church itself, with terrific architectural features and a dramatic, tall ceiling.

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Island living has many perks.  The landscape and oceanscape changes by the hour, revealing new vignettes as the hands of time march along.  Summer is now upon us, and with it comes bright, sunny days that showcase the island and the communities that dot the shores.

Anchored Boats - Chemainus Oceanscape, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Anchored Boats – Chemainus, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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The excitement was building as we headed up Knight Inlet in search of Grizzly Bears in an early June morning on the west coast of Canada.  There was a chill in the air, and a thick fog covered the still ocean as our boat made its way up the inlet.  The anticipation of what laid in store was truly palpable onboard the boat, yet there was an eerie stillness that lingered in the air as we made steady time.  It was only a matter of another hour or so and the scene would change rapidly as the sun broke through the morning mist and a bright day emerged.  It was a truly magical day, one that will follow us forever.

Knight Inlet - West Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Knight Inlet – West Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Knight Inlet is a place unlike any other, with seascapes that change by the minute as land emerges and then hides again as the rolling fog transitions.  These landscapes are alluring and haunting at the same time, leaving us all profoundly changed as people as our personal experiences intermingle with the reality just outside the window.  An island emerges from behind the veil of fog, leaving us all speechless as the profound natural beauty sinks into our very souls.

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It’s really hard to believe that July is here already!  With summer just around the corner in Canada, it’s time to start planning for visits to our local car shows.  The weather is getting nice on Vancouver Island, and with it comes a bevy of sightings of classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles.  In other words, this is the time of year that Mr. Toad, yours truly, loves to get out and meet new people and spend time checking out the cars!

Custom Chevy Nova SS - Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2015 - Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Custom Chevy Nova SS – Beverly Corners Show and Shine 2015 – Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

In today’s post, we are going to celebrate a stunning classic hot rod, one that can easily stand on its own in terms of detail, raw power and earth-shattering speed.  There is a bit of a deeper backstory to this beaut, though, one that is personal to me.  For those who follow us regularly, you already know of my love for classic hot rods.  I have owned many myself and continue to be amazed at the quality and attention to detail that goes into our contemporary builds up here in Canada.  This custom Nova SS is a perfect example of this.  It exhibits a wonderful blend of impeccable beauty and earthquake inducing power.

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