A ship’s bell clangs in the distance through the fog.  By the time it hits your ear it almost sounds muddy, as if the thickness of the fog in the air weighed it down.  As the echoes drifted across the bay and slowly subsided the gulls began to fly past, never afraid to let their presence known with their distinctive call.  I was already 5 minutes late for my meeting, but I also knew that this moment was only to last a few more minutes, and once passed would be lost forever.  Realizing the choice I had to make and the result of that decision I grabbed my tripod and began to setup for the shot.  A few minutes later a quick peek on the back of the camera, just to double-check the focus and composition, I ran to the car and bolted towards my meeting hoping I had something special for our new limited edition portfolio.  I was now 10 minutes late…

"Anchor Watch" - Limited Edition Print - Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

“Anchor Watch” – Limited Edition Print – Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

Thankfully, the person I was rushing to meet was fine with my delay.  This suddenly made the stop well worth it, and almost validated it.

This entire event all started as I was coming down the hill approaching the lovely little town of Cowichan Bay in the very earliest hours of the morning.  As you make your way into town, the road suddenly comes across a clearing that finds you driving alongside the bay and ocean.  It was here that my ears heard the call of the Siren’s Song, and it was bigger than me…  the still waters, the veil of fog rolling over the mirrored surface, the ship docked with it’s gentle reflection cast back, it was a scene of pure magic that was fleeting.  I take my commitments and schedule very seriously, so even contemplating running late for a business meeting due to something that was completely personal in nature drove me a little batty.  Regardless, I almost felt as if I had no choice.

Even the name of the picture was a bit of an adventure in itself.  My first attempt was less than perfect, so Mrs. Toad and I sat down to find just the right name together.

“Anchor Watch” – Maritime Terms and Definitions

The detail on deck at night, when at anchor, to safeguard the vessel (not necessarily at the anchor; a general watch)

This was the exact feeling I had when photographing this scene, it fits perfectly.  You could almost sense the detail patrolling the decks of the ship in the fog, ever vigilant, ever watchful for any sign of danger or concern.  The same serenity that brings peace to a place can also be the harbinger of an uneasy sense, almost as if you expect something to pop out of the shadows at you.  This strong feeling of trepidation and tension really came out quite nicely in the picture, making for an image we recognized as an instant classic and a perfect candidate for our new Limited Edition Prints launch.

We have a few really exciting projects that we’ve been immersed in the last few weeks and this is the first step to putting these plans into motion and starting a whole new phase in our photography practice.  In the meantime, thank you so much for your kind visit today.  We really hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this new image in our portfolio as we celebrate this exciting milestone at Toad Hollow Photography!  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please do feel free to leave any comments or thoughts you may have.  Until next time!




  1. Well worth the stop!! You just would have kicked yourself had you not stopped!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You know it, my friend, thanks for saying that Derrick! We sure do appreciate your kind visit today, my friend, it means the world to us!

  2. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Really lovely capture Toad!! The fog, hues, and comp are wonderful my dear friend! 🙂
    BTW, congrats on your new limited edition prints! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you on all counts here, Rachel, we really appreciate all your kind support my dear friend!! 🙂

  3. Well worth adding an extra five minutes to your lateness. Its amazing what you can achieve in just 5 minutes when you put your mind to it. Good luck with the Limited Prints endeavor.

  4. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    Beautiful capture, Toad. Very peaceful.

  5. Now thats a beautiful shot, wonderful image!

  6. avatar Russ Scullen says:

    For me, when “pure magic” happens like in this scene it is probably the most motivating factor for going out there to take more pictures. Thanks for sharing.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You know it, Russ, you and I both my friend! I completely agree. Sometimes, too, when you get home and start post-processing something, you really begin to see the finished piece and that surprise can be a lot of fun, too. Your visit here today really means an awful lot to us, thanks for taking the time to pop by and for leaving us your fabulous comments! We sure do hope to see more of you at The Hollow, Russ!

  7. avatar Jim Nix says:

    love the blues and fog Toad, nice work!

  8. Love the subtle blue tones, really works well. Good luck with the new project

  9. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    What a great capture, Toad. So glad you took the extra time to grab this. As you pointed out, would have been lost forever. You would have regretted the decision as well.

    This makes an awesome addition to your Limited Edition print collection.

    The image strikes a great mood, one I can certainly appreciate as one who lives by the sea. Brings out the wharf rat (affectionate term) in those who love the open waters of our grand world.

    Well done, sir!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I love, love, love your comments today, Jimi, thank you so much for taking the time to leave these here for us and for everyone else to enjoy!! You’re a true scholar and a gentleman, sir.

  10. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Well worth the stop Toad. Love the mood of the image with that great blue fog. The write-up really supports the feel of it.

  11. Wonderful image, Toad! Great composition – love how the pilings lead my eye in – lovely texture and colour tones. And enjoyed the post too. Good luck with the new venture, sounds exciting and I look forward to hearing more.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We’re so happy to read your comments this morning, Laurie, thank you so so much for those! That truly means so much to us, my good friend!

  12. Congratulations on going with your gut on this one, finding the perfect title with the help of Mrs. Toadie, and on the exciting new business feature of limited prints. This shot is a winner!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Keith, coming from you my friend that really means a lot to us amphibians here!

  13. It’s so nice to be rewarded for the inconvenience with an image like this. Vey nicely done.

  14. avatar LensScaper says:

    Every element in this image is important to the sucess of the image. Well composed and well worth being late for!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you ever so kindly, Andy, that is kind of you to say! We sure do appreciate it, my friend!!

  15. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Ahh…well worth being a little but late. Beautiful image Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much, Edith, we really appreciate all the friendship and support you show us here!

  16. Keeping an eye open for pics of Cowichan Bay I have come across many beautiful photographs of this bay. Your photograph here is definitely among the best.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Oh wow, Joseph, you have no idea how much that means to us here! Thank you, my friend, we’re humbled by your kindness good sir!

  17. avatar abarlow says:

    Wow man, this one is way cool. Just love the fog!

  18. avatar Richard Taylor says:

    Shows how great it can be when shoting in so called less than perfect weather.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Just the other day I was saying to another photographer that “you can’t be afraid of the rain if you’re a tog on the west coast!”. Granted, it wasn’t raining on the day I captured this shot, but it was totally overcast and foggy… and cold! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, Richard, and for your fabulous comments my friend!

  19. Beautiful balance and symmetry in this one, in addition to the magical misty tones!

  20. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Dude! Killer image! Love the fog, reflection…it all just works!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much there, Rick, we really appreciate your visit and terrific comments here today, good sir!