The Hollow Goes Dark

Posted: 17th October 2011 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography

Hi everyone, welcome back to The Hollow today.  In light of recent events here, I have some news to share today that may disappoint some, and for that we are very sorry.  This will likely be the final blog post we make here for quite some time.  Please let me explain.

Photography always has been and always will be something I enjoy doing.  It’s a special connection I have with my father who was an avid, although never really recognized, photographer himself.  When he passed away a while ago, I managed to get his camera and was compelled to create what it is you see here: Toad Hollow Photography.

The premise was to turn a hobby into a new career.  But life changes, sometimes on a dime.  I find myself currently working a crazy Mon-Fri day job with a rather nasty commute, and now I have also been presented with an opportunity that could set things up rather nicely for my family and I for the foreseeable future.  The challenge for me personally is time.  Or the distinct lack thereof, to be honest.  I must pursue this opportunity, it’s a wonderful chance we have here, presented by a friend of mine who means so much to my family and I.  It’s just something I have to do.



The old saying “when God closes a window, he opens a door” truly applies here.  I won’t be able to spend much time anymore on our social networking sites and am a tad bit heartbroken about this.  I must also park this blog.  In some ways we can look at it as a book that has ended.  The stories in here, and the pictures, were all crafted with the utmost of love and I hope that people will continue to come and see this body of work.   I will continue to take pictures, and every once in awhile will post them on our gallery.  I will also continue to follow photography in general, and will be contributing our weekly post of great links to Light Stalking every week as before…  you can take the Toad out of photography, but you can’t take photography out of the Toad.

It’s hard to say what life will bring us in the future.  If this new project goes well, and I have no doubt it will, I hope to be back in the future…  with time and energy, ready to take on this challenge that has really meant so much to us in bringing to you.

We love you all, each and every one.  We’ve made some great connections and truly hope those won’t be lost.  Please feel free to email me directly at at any time if you wish to connect and talk.

And on that note, I must go my friends…  best wishes to you all, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  1. Oh Toad, I leave this bittersweet comment for you and Mrs. Toad. It’s hard to get my head around the fact that you won’t be around much any more 🙁 Your enthusiasm and good will have been something I looked forward to every day! I know thay you have made the best decision for your family and this isn’t really “goodbye”. I wish you both the best of luck. Until the next time . . .

    • Indeed, Barbara, thank you so much for everything you have done for us and all your friendship & support. This has been a difficult decision to come to, and if all goes well I hope to return next year in earnest to all this. I will still be following everyone as best as I can and contributing on Light Stalking… I can’t quit photography utterly, I just need to refocus my time a bit here. At any rate, best wishes to you my dear friend… until next time, indeed!!

  2. Scott, I don’t know what to say. You’re post today has saddened me but I’m also happy that an opportunity has presented itself which will benefit you and your family. Those opportunities don’t come often and you must jump at it when it’s presented. From my part I want to Thank you. I started my blog a short time ago in June of this year. Shortly thereafter I stumbled upon Toad Hollow and was blown away by the images. I posted a comment saying as much and you replied thanking me but more then that you visited my blog and your comments buoyed me on and encouraged me to set a higher standard in my own photographic pursuits and for that I thank you. You’re comments, retweets and inclusion of some of my shots in LightStalking has helped bolster my page views and for that I thank you too. Most importantly I made a new friend in you and for that I thank you as well. Good luck my friend…to both you and your family…I will definitely be on the look out for gallery posts and new images.

    • Thank you so much Edith, the sentiment is absolutely shared here. I am a little overwhelmed to see everyone’s comments here… it’s moving to be honest. I feel awful for having to step back, but sometimes we are left with little choice in life. I will still be contributing on Light Stalking every week, I can’t totally quit photography, I just need to refocus my time a bit. I am also hoping to return next year once everything sorts itself out. We will be following your work still, just in the wings so to speak… best wishes to you my dear friend.

  3. avatar Jason Hines says:

    My friend I am sorry to hear that you are moving away from your blog. Your presence, your genuine enthusiasm and your outstanding sense of courtesy will be greatly missed. You are truly one of the nicest people I have ever met whether online or in person and I wish you the very best for yourself and your family. Your photo blog will remain in my RSS reader and I look forward to a day in the future where your fortune may allow you to return to something you enjoy so much.

    Best wishes!

  4. avatar Jim Nix says:

    A fitting image my dear friend, but I must say this is terrible news for all of us – though it sounds like you have a wonderful opportunity in front of you, and of course you must seize it my friend!
    Here are some quotes that I think fit this occasion:

    All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. -Anatole France

    Our real duty is always found running in the direction of our worthiest desires. -Randolph Bourne

    So, go forward my friend, conquer and enjoy, live long and prosper, and of course take some wonderful photos along the way.

    Personally I can say that I will miss your daily posts, very much.
    Best wishes and Godspeed. Jim

    • Jim, your kind words and thoughts this morning have me a tad bit choked up to be honest. I really feel we’ve made a great connection here and it’s a very difficult thing for me to have to face here, to refocus my time. I’ll be thinking of you often, and will still be posting weekly on Light Stalking, so I hope to still have a chance to say hi.

  5. avatar Kristi Hines says:

    It’s going to be sad to see you go, but it sounds like you’ve made the right call when it comes to all the other things you’ve got up your sleeve. I hope everything goes well for you and that it won’t be too long until you have plenty of time to put the Toad back into photography again. 🙂

  6. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    Toad, I am so happy to hear that life has presented you with an opportunity that will benefit both you and your family but am very sad to hear that you will no longer be hanging around the social networking/blog arena. You are an inspiration to all of us, and your sincerely kind comments, your tireless support through Light Stalking, twitter, blogs and Google + all were so greatly appreciated. You are truly one of the nicest people I have ever met and you will be missed. Make sure you post something from time to time to let us know how you are. All the best to you and your fmaily my friend!

  7. avatar Heather says:

    I am sad for this, but I completely understand and I wish you the best in your new venture Toad…you can bet I will be e-mailing you and checking on you both from time to time!

  8. Congratulations on your new exciting opportunities! Life is often a transition of sorts and I’m thankful for the things you’ve seen and shared here. And since you’re still out taking pictures.. sooner or later they’ll find their way forward in one form or another 😉 😀

    Thanks again and pleasant travels!

  9. This is, I’m sure, both the saddest and most hopeful news I will read today. Whatever will we do without you, Toad? Your exuberance, cheer and infectious personality will be missed. Bless you and your family.

    • You are one the of the folks I will miss the most Mark. I love your work and your style in life. Thank you, as well, for such a wonderful blog post you made on our behalf this week, it truly moved us immensely. Hoping to rejoin everyone next year if all goes well.

  10. Well Toad you will be sorely missed in the blogosphere, but you must do what is best for you and your family. You are truly one of the nicest people I have come to know online and I am deeply grateful to you for your constant support of my photographic endeavors. You are an inspiration to everybody and I look forward to seeing you back on here someday. I wish you and your family the best in your pursuits. I will keep up with you on Light Stalking and continue to enjoy reading the articles that you write every week. Take care my friend.

  11. avatar Jim Denham says:

    To say that it has been a pleasure becoming a friend of the Toads is a vast understatement. Your wonderful attitude and extreme kindness to me, my work, and even my family, have been inspirational to say the least. You will be missed in more ways than you can imagine in these circles. My only regret is not getting to know you sooner!

    With that said, family comes first. I think we aspiring photographers sometimes have a hard time dealing with this, but it does not surprise me one bit to see you put the needs of your family ahead of the wonderful network you’ve built – it’s very much who you are and why you’ve become such a constant presence here.

    Here’s hoping we can stay in touch, but also hoping for the best when it comes to the Toads. Lord knows you deserve it! Not that there is anything, but if I can help you in anyway, let me know.

    God Bless good friends!

    • Wow, Jim, I am fighting back tears here reading your kind and wonderful words… you have no idea how much all your friendship & support has meant to me. I hope not to disappear forever, but rather just take a chance to refocus and set things right here. Best best best wishes to you and your family, my good friend.

  12. avatar Jan Winther says:

    Scott, please know that I admire you and your tremendous efforts on this blog. I find it very hard to comprehend how much time you must on writing, photography etc. Each and every day you manage to write, not just a couple of lines, but a complete essay about some place in your community or part of the country that I can tell you truly love. You are one if not the nicest guy I know in the group of blogs I frequent daily, you always have a nice word to say to every one that leaves you a comment.

    You have a great eye and a gift of writing, and perhaps one day you will get the urge to actually put some words down on paper and publish a book. You should have plenty of material just from your blog.
    I wish you all the best in your new endeavor, I hope to see you back here on the blog some day. Until then, you will be missed.
    Take care.

    • This is a difficult day to pop over and see all these comments everyone is leaving. What fabulous words, Jan, you just can’t possibly know how much this means to me kind sir. I do hope to return, and thank you for all your support and friendship.

  13. I, like others will be sad to see you end this wonderful series of posts and all the great pictures you’ve shared with us. I am very happy see that it is for very good reasons that you’ve made this choice; never look a gift horse and all that jazz. I wish you all the best in your new endeavour and look forward to see the occasional post when you get the chance. You’re a truly great guy, always commenting and promoting everyone else’s work and never having a bad word to say about anybody.
    Take it easy my friend!

  14. All the best for your new endeavour.

  15. When I first read this, I thought it must be some sort of a joke. Toad leaving? Nahhh….

    As I wrote to you in email, and others have written here, you are without question one of the nicest and most generous people to have hit the photography circles. Every day, without fail, you put out great posts, collected interesting links, and encouraged others with your comments.

    You will truly be missed, my friend, but I know that this is the right thing for you to do, and we wish you nothing but good fortune in your new endeavors.

    We will all welcome the times that you jump off the pad and make a splash, as you always have.


  16. avatar steve beal says:

    Toad, your enthusiasm always gets me fired up, I’m really going to miss you but work always should come first. Don’t be a stranger my friend!

  17. avatar Wayne Frost says:

    Family always comes first, so if you have an opportunity that improve your family’s quality of life, go for it, Scott. When you are ready for a break from your new grind, don’t forget, we will all be hanging out on the ol’ internets.

  18. avatar gerrychaney says:

    You will be sadly missed not just by me but by the huge number of people who have been inspired by your work and encouraged by your comments. I was made redundant several weeks ago and have decided to (try to) follow the dream and start a photography business. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Life is too short to look back and regret not having done something that you really wanted to do.
    All the best for the future for you and your family and I hope everything works out for you.

    • Wow, Gerry, that means an awful lot to me here, my friend. I am so sorry to hear of your situation there, but also knowing how fabulous your work is I have every reason to expect full success for you in your new venture. Best wishes, kind sir, from the bottom of my heart.

  19. avatar Rick says:

    Toad, you will be missed. Loved your stories, but i know you have to do what is best. I hope you stop in for a visit every once in a while. If you are ever in the Denver area give me a holler and we’ll go shooting. Take care and best of luck!

  20. Although we only recently began interacting through our respective blogs and social media channels, you have been a kind and inspirational friend. Best of luck on your new endeavor.

  21. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Thank you Toads for all that you have shared here mate.If you and Mrs Toad ever get down this way stop by for tea and crumpets.Good luck in the future and keep a stiff upper lip old boy!!

    • If there’s one thing you can count on Fred, it’s that my upper lip is stiff! And green! And a tad bit warty! Thank you for ALL your support and encouragement here, we appreciate it more than we can possibly say.

  22. avatar Brian Smith says:

    Thank you for much enjoyment!
    May your future endeavors bring good things to you far into the future

  23. […] generous and talented people in the blogosphere, photosphere, Twitter, Facebook and G Plus announced he is taking a hiatus, possibly for good, but certainly for a long time. Toad, aka Scott Johnson, aka husband to the […]

    • What a fabulous post by my dear friend Mark Garbowski. That was a very emotional piece for me to read, my friend, you have left a permanent mark on my heart, a good one… I will be missing everyone, very much. Thank you again for taking the time and effort to write that, it was just wonderful.

  24. Wow Scott – best of luck in the future, you’ll be missed!

  25. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    This just maybe one of the hardest posts I have ever read. I may never have met you, but damn if you were not just an awesome person to follow and know. First and foremost, I wish you all the success in this new endeavor and I hope much happiness follows.

    Secondly, I am extremely saddened to see you leave. You brought countless smiles to my face, brightened my day more times than I can count, and always made me feel “Top Drawer” on even the most mundane days. The loss of your enthusiasm, positivity, and upbeat attitude will be missed and create a void that only you will ever be able to fill. You’re one of the best folks around.

    So before I completely get all gushy and sappy, I wish you and your family much happiness and success. We will keep the light on, a warm bed ready, and a cold beer in the fridge for when you come back for a visit. Remember, you are welcome to stay anytime. Until then, I raise my beer unto you and bid you farewell and much love.

    • Wow, Chris, I have to say I am having a real hard time fighting back some tears here as I read your kind, kind words. I am not sure I am deserving of all that, but you must know that your friendship & support mean so much to me. Mrs. Toad and myself truly hope one day to get a chance to meet you, perhaps toss that beer back (can we take pictures of the label first, together?) and have a chance to sit and talk. We love you and your wife, too, very much Chris.

  26. avatar Dave Wilson says:

    Your updates will be sorely missed! I wish you all the best in your next venture but hope that, rather than abandoning us entirely, you’ll just check in a bit less frequently.

  27. Well I’ll start by saying I wish you well on the new adventure. However I will miss your enthusiasm, comments, and most of all your wonderful photography.

    I have really enjoyed “meeting” you and following your travels. Your blog posts are something I aspire to as they are always so well written and convey a story with the image.

    Those of us that have been blessed to interact with you are losing a great inspiration and a Top Drawer friend. Life sometimes just happens and we all have to roll with the punches.

    I will miss you dearly. Best of luck and look forward to your return.

    • Thank you Chris. Wow, what can I say… it’s overwhelming to read this, I will miss you all so much here. I hope this is not good-bye, but moreso just a short hiatus. You are the real deal, Chris, I hope the very best for you and your family in the future.

  28. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Toad, let me just say that while this is a bummer for me, as I consider you folks one of my best interweb friends. I however wish you and your family the best of luck and am confident you’ll be back.

    The best to you and your my friend. I’ll cya around!

    • Indeed you will, my fine friend, indeed you will. Your friendship & support has meant so much to me Aaron, I hope not to lose touch with you. Best of luck in your endeavors, and I look forward to getting a chance to come back around later.

  29. avatar Mike says:

    Hiya Scott. Although I am a bit saddened by the prospective loss of what I consider to be a valuable commodity, I understand the constraints brought on by time, life, family and responsibility. Perhaps just having a camera in my hand for a time each day is enough. I will be keeping your feed in my reader and watching everyday for you to return.

    I wish you well in your future endeavors. You and your family have my wishes for the best of luck!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you Mike! What wonderful comments here, my friend. I will be missing our daily interactions quite a bit, my friend… looking forward to getting everything sorted out and coming back at a later time, if all goes well.

  30. We have to do what we have to do. Of course, family comes first. All the best dude!

  31. avatar James Howe says:

    I’m not sure how much more I can add to what has been said above, but I would like to add my voice to those who will certainly miss you and your work, but also wish you well in wherever life takes you. I certainly hope that once you settle in to a new routine you might be able to post something now and again, but I know that can be a challenge.

    Thanks for all of your great comments and feedback in the past, and I hope to hear from you in the future. Good luck to you and your family.

  32. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    Your kind words were always a welcome sight and the images you brought to us gave us insight into aspects of the world few of us ever see. To say you will be missed is a serious understatement my friend. I wish you and your family all the best in your new endeavor.

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    Good luck and Godspeed Scott!

  33. avatar Karen Brown says:

    Your photography has been inspiring and I have enjoyed your blog more than I can tell you. I’m sure we all understand that family is always first, so congratulations on your new opportunity. Thank you for having shared and I look forward to whatever you have time to share in the future.

  34. avatar Bob Lussier says:

    Scott …

    Everyone above has said what I am thinking. I’m sad that I won’t ‘see’ your smiling face on twitter and G+ on a daily basis. And I’ll miss your comments on my site. They always bring a smile to my face. Please be sure to check in and say hi when you can. Best of luck with the new opportunity!


    • Wow, Bob, coming from you this just means so very, very much to me here. You have inspired and taught me more than you can possibly know, and you kind wishes really mean so much to me, good sir. Looking forward to having the chance to reconnect once again in the future, my good friend.

  35. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Toad / Scott

    Just got back from my photography worship and discovered that my favorite blogger is taking a “rest”. Congratulations on your opportunity Toad. There are always tough decisions in life but taking care of our family and loved ones always comes first. I gave up photography for 15 years as a hobby to further my career and, in hindsight, I would do it again in a second. I hope that it works out the same for you.

    That being said, I will sorely miss your images and the wonderful stories that went along with them. It always brightened my day to read your posts. You truly care about the right things in life and that comes through in your work.

    I could go on, but others before me have expressed some great sentiments, of which I concur.

    Let’s hope that your opportunity gives you what you and your family need and hope to see you back as soon as you want.


    • Len, wow… what incredible words you’ve shared here with me today, they mean so much and are really inspirational. I can’t begin to thank you for everything, kind sir, I am overwhelmed here. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  36. Scott, I was a little worried reading the title that something bad had happened. While I am really sad that you wont be able to do your photography as much, and that I wont be getting the inspiration I always get from your work, I am happy that this is a result of a good opportunity for you and your family. You are sure going to be missed!

    Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement you have shown me. Your comments on my blog are always met with a smile and I am honoured to be included in some of your “best of” lists on Lightstalking.

    Good luck with your new venture. I know you will still be doing photography even if only for a hobby since, like you say, you cannot take the photography out of the Toad. Can’t be done.

    Keep in touch.

  37. […] but I guess I have some stuff to get off my chest. So here we go. Toad, or Scott Johnson, recently announced that his blog is going dormant, his tweets dwindling to a trickle, and his support around the net […]

  38. avatar Viveca Koh says:

    Dear Toad, like all your other friends here I am saddened to learn that we will not be hearing from you for the forseeable future, but must remember that ‘future’ is the word here and that if this opportunity is a good one for you and your family then of course you must grasp it with both hands! I will certainly miss regular interaction with you and the sense of optimism and joy that you always bring, but the Nicest Man on Twitter deserves a break more! All love and best wishes to you, Mrs Toad and your tadpoles, and I will be waiting here if and when you come back. xxx

  39. When the window closes and the door has been opened, better run through quick before it and the screen door hits ya in the back ! Not a pretty picture of a Toad !
    God’s best to you Toad ! Will be keeping watch…..

  40. dude – what a shame, you’ve built up a great following and a huge amount of friends here, but you have to do what you have to do and looking after the family has to come first. You’ll find a way to balance things and I’m sure that you will be back.

    Wishing you all the best for the future and be waiting for you to come back with a vengeance!

  41. With all of the support you’ve given me over the last year or so I have no choice but to support you in your decision to support the most important thing in life. Family! Even though I don’t like the news I’ve just learned I’m happy that you are the man every family deserves. Putting your family first is the only way to live! Rock on my friend and keep on snapping along the way. We’ll all be here when your ready to start sharing again. Best wishes!

  42. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Toad, I just read this post, and am so sad that your journey with us is coming to and end. You have been such a wonderful friend, and a person who gives so much. You have always made sure to let everyone know how much you appreciate them, and I know that myself and everyone else feel the same way about you. I will truly miss all of your fantastic posts, and images, as well as all your encouraging words. I wish you and Mrs Toad the best of luck in your new endeavor, and I hope we’ll be seeing you around as much as your time will allow. You’re a great friend. Much love to you both!

  43. I write this comment with a lump in the throat, Toad. You’ve contributed so much to the photographic and social networking community. Toad Hollow Photography will be deeply missed. I do hope you will keep the site up, even if you’re not actively maintaining it. It becomes a part of your living legacy…a memoir of sorts. Seriously, please don’t take it down. I wish you and your family all great things and happiness in your new endeavors. Thanks so much for sharing. Please stay in touch.

    • avatar Viveca Koh says:

      I’m completely with Chris on this one, please don’t take down this blog Toad, even if you are unable to update it again for a long time, for it is such a testament to you and your work and how much you are loved and respected in this community….

      • My dear friend, I am fighting back some pretty heavy feelings as I read your kind words. At the moment, I have no plans to bring anything down, and all truth be told I am trying to find a way to balance both a bit here… you are a true and dear friend.

    • Thank you Chris, you’re kind words and sentiments truly mean so much to us here. Currently I have absolutely zero plans to tear anything down, in all sincerity I am hoping to find a way to straddle both worlds somewhat. It’s been a real tough week being away from the action and all my friends here, but I truly hope this is all just temporary. Thank you so much for all your support, friendship & kindness Chris… you’ve been a great source of inspiration to me both as a photographer, but also as a person.

  44. avatar theaterwiz says:

    Wow, sounds like you have a great opportunity Toad, good luck and best wishes, you will be missed

    Take care