Vancouver Island history is part of a rich tapestry of stories and events that have unfolded here, creating the communities and landmarks that are so meaningful to those who live here.  These features speak to the efforts undertaken during the early years of colonization, resulting in a myriad of museums and sites to visit that exhibit the pioneering spirit that formed our towns and cities.  Port Alberni sits in the heart of Vancouver Island, and is home to the McLean Mill National Historic Site, a location that is a treasure that shares exhibits from the period the mill was active, and provides a learning opportunity for those who are interested.  Today it is staffed by an enthusiastic group that focuses on maintaining this important link to our past.  This group maintains the buildings and exhibits, including a set of steam-powered machines that seem to come from another time entirely.  This is a place that isn’t easy to leave for those who love this sort of thing.

McLean Mill National Historic Site - Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

McLean Mill National Historic Site – Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

MacLean Mill was operational from 1926-1965, quickly becoming an integral part of the community of Port Alberni, providing commerce and employment for many who lived here during those times.  Originally a family owned and built business, it exhibits the best of the pioneering spirit that helped to form the towns and cities on Vancouver Island during the period of colonization.  You will find many historic buildings on the site, exhibiting features and items that were a daily part of the lives of those who lived here, alongside a collection of truly amazing machines.  Many of these machines are still active today as the staff fires them up and displays them proudly.  If you love antiques and old machinery half as much as we do prepare to spend a day here, only leaving when the site closes.  You will undoubtedly want to return again, as we do.

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Growing up in the times that I did, it was common to see muscle cars roaming the streets of our city, looking to line up at traffic lights and tear off in a wild plume of smoke in an effort to obtain the crown of having the fastest car in the city.  All my friends owned one, and I was certainly no exception.  There is just something nostalgic and immutable in terms of the feeling you have when driving these beasts.  They were always on the verge of being out of control, and that sense of danger really does add to the whole experience.  One of my personal favorites is the Chevrolet Camaro, having owned several myself over the years.  Join us as we head back to the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit where we check out some of the coolest Camaro cars on display at the 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering.

Chevrolet Camaro - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Chevrolet Camaro – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

In the late 60’s there was a real push from the American car manufacturers to create fast cars.  The basic premise was to build cars that had more horsepower under the hood than could be handled by most, and then to wrap that horsepower in stunning, beautiful body lines to evoke a sense of momentum and motion, even when standing still.  The Ford Mustang had taken off in the mid 60’s and Chevrolet had to play catch-up, thus the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro.

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We offer a complete service portfolio here at Toad Hollow Photography, from commercial sessions to high quality framing, and personal and family portrait sessions.  One of our favorite services is our Portrait Special here at Toad Hollow, where we will visit a location to capture a set of photographs for a client.  This often entails a full family portrait sitting, or can be for an individual who wants professional pictures taken at a favorite location.  No matter where we go, this special package is a great way to get terrific profile pictures for social media, shots for business purposes, or to capture memories of your family to enjoy for years to come.

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island is a great place to live and visit, and has some fabulous locations that are easily accessible to use for our sessions.  We will join you at a location of your choosing and will spend time capturing a set of photographs that reflect who you are and how you would like to be portrayed.  We are very passionate about photography and are very familiar with Vancouver Island, so a session is always a fun way to spend a bit of time on any given day.

Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Bride Portrait - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Bride Portrait – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Our Portrait Special is priced at $175 for a session and includes delivery of high resolution copies of the photographs, allowing you to use them in any manner you wish.  We love to see our clients enjoying the photographs, so we also offer no charge cropping and formatting services to make it easy to use your new pictures online or in print.  Call today at 250-510-7693 for a free consultation, or send us an email to scott@toadhollowphotography.com for further details.

As we continue to work on our personal projects here at Toad Hollow, we find that some of these projects leave us with a distinct sense of the profound.  This is especially true in regard to our project we refer to as “The Anglican Church Project“.  This exciting undertaking finds us visiting all of the churches within the Anglican Diocese of BC, photographing them inside and out for the sake of documenting them for future generations to enjoy.  Through this process we have enjoyed many personal moments exploring these wonderful parishes, focusing on both the wide views they present along with the vignettes that are found everywhere that express the personality and character of each church.  We were recently asked to work with a team to create special photographs and a video presentation to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Paul’s Anglican Parish located in the heart of Esquimalt in Victoria, BC.  The history of this wonderful church is amazing, and the sessions and photographs we captured for the work we did for the church are something that will remain with us forever.

Heritage Pipe Organ Built in 1891 - The Anglican Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Heritage Pipe Organ Built in 1891 – The Anglican Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Heritage Pipe Organ Built in 1891 - The Anglican Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Heritage Pipe Organ Built in 1891 – The Anglican Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

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We’ve talked about the incredible natural beauty that is found at Qualicum Beach many times before, and as fall slowly gives way to winter and the crowds fade the town takes on a personal and intimate feel.  You can stroll the sidewalks and beaches in relative privacy, taking in all the best the area has to offer.  Scenery, outdoor activities, food and wildlife are all found here, making this much more than a simple destination, it’s an adventure that awaits you.

Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The air turns brisk and the skies begin to turn grey after summer slowly ebbs, and wandering the shores here reveals vignettes of ocean living that are unique and truly special.  This photograph of a blue boat tied to shore has become one of our favorites since we captured it.  The weathering speaks to the nature of the ocean on the coast here, adding personality and character.  Each piece of driftwood is different, having lived a life bobbing on the ocean before finally coming to rest on the shores.

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Ah yes, the follies of youth they say.  Some things follow us our entire lives, and in some cases we aren’t quite sure even why.  We now continue our running photoblog series called the “Motor Gathering“, and in today’s post we check out a model of car that has been in my mind and imagination all these years.  Behold the beauty of the Ferrari 308 GTS, a car made famous on the American TV show Magnum, P.I.

Fast Red Ferrari 308 GTS - Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Fast Red Ferrari 308 GTS – Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

I grew up watching Magnum, P.I., never missed an episode.  Recently I was lucky enough to get a chance to watch the entire series from beginning to end, and even though the years have gone by and some scenes were a tad bit cheesy, it still totally satisfied my craving for watching fast cars and helicopters chasing bad guys.  The backdrop of Hawaii didn’t hurt either, the scenery they captured during the filming of the show was beyond amazing, and it always left you feeling as if you’ve just had a brief vacation.

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It’s all in a name, they say, and in this case Four Acres of Rust says it all.  Our photography adventures find us exploring all sorts of wonderful spots here on Vancouver Island, and in doing so we meet the most incredible people.  In today’s post we are going to feature one of our favorite treasure troves here on the island for all things rusty, antique, and just downright beautiful.  Welcome to Four Acres of Rust!

Four Acres of Rust - Sooke, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Four Acres of Rust – Sooke, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

For those of you who follow us regularly, you already know of the incredible adventures we had this past summer going all over Vancouver Island looking for rusty cars and antiques for a very special client of ours who is a private collector of our art.  We traveled over 1,500 kms in the span of a few short weeks and saw all sorts of incredible things, and met a ton of great people.

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Fisgard Lighthouse is a special place on the southern end of Vancouver Island, and is a place we like to visit as often as we can during the course of a year.  Its personality changes with the seasons and the weather, and the angles from which you can view it create fresh and distinct compositions.  For those who are new to our blog, please feel free to check out all the posts we’ve done on Fisgard Lighthouse to see all the photos and to read about it’s incredible history and meaning to the community.

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

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

Fisgard Lighthouse sits in the heart of the Fisgard Lighthouse Historical Site and is accessible via Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites.  Built in 1860, before Vancouver Island was even an official part of Canada, this immaculately maintained lighthouse is located near the Esquimalt Harbor and has been an active safety beacon ever since.  It is also a lovely piece of historic architecture that creates an outstanding landmark in the area, easily recognizable from many different vantage points.

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Stranded Offshore

Posted: 28th October 2016 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The world is a strange place, and it seems to be getting stranger by the day at times.  Things we never would have even considered a decade or two ago are coming true today.  Some of these things feel as if they are scripts for a TV show or a movie, yet when you take a close and sobering look at them, they are true.  This is the story of container ships stranded offshore here on Vancouver Island, and how difficult it is to imagine the circumstances that brought these events together.

Container Ships - Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Container Ships – Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

We’ve been working on so many different exciting projects lately, it’s an amazing time here at The Hollow.  One of these projects found us just offshore from the city of Victoria recently in a boat working on a photography project for a client.  During this excursion we couldn’t help but notice a handful of container ships that were nearby, and although ships of this sort aren’t completely out of the ordinary around these parts, there was something different about this scene.  Something we couldn’t put our finger on until a few days later when a newspaper article made everything clear.

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As we continue our long-running photography project dubbed “The Anglican Church Project” here on Vancouver Island, we find ourselves visiting parishes all over the island and the surrounding Gulf Islands photographing the buildings and their surroundings.  Each church is unique and does a wonderful job of representing the local community they serve.  Each one exhibits features and details that are absolutely indicative of the parishioners and the history of the parish, and each one is a pure joy to visit and work with for us personally.  In today’s post we are going to feature Holy Trinity Anglican Church located in the North Saanich region of the island.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church - North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Holy Trinity Anglican Church – North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Holy Trinity Anglican Church - North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Holy Trinity Anglican Church – North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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