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
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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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We’ve all heard about the Seven Wonders of the World, a list of places and things that are true marvels in every sense of the word.  Sometimes a wonder can actually be right in your own backyard, no matter if it lives on a list somewhere or not.  We have one such wonder of our very own called Maple Bay.

Maple Bay - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Maple Bay – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The entire west coast of Canada is full of great features that are totally unique to the region.  Here we find blue ocean waters, mountains, beaches, lush rain-forests, even great skiing in the winter.  In some places several of these elements converge, as is the case with Maple Bay.

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We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Toad Hollow Photography team today, “Bruce”.  Who’s Bruce, you may very well ask?  Bruce is a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone we recently acquired, giving us the ability to capture shots from a fresh, new perspective!  None of this would be possible without a special thank-you to one of our best friends Rich who has lent/sold us Bruce with the hopes we’d be able to put him in the sky to create images that just wouldn’t be possible otherwise.  Thanks so much, Rich!

Vancouver Island University (VIU) - Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island University (VIU) – Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island University (VIU) - Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island University (VIU) – Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

I’ve been a fan of remote control things for many years now.  A few years back, Mrs. Toad bought me a pair of toy remote control helicopters that I used indoors…  with less than stellar results.  One ruined TV later, we came to the conclusion that those toys were meant for outdoor use only.  But, during this time I also realized that this would be a great platform for photography, allowing us to reach new heights and show-off our area and some of it’s features in a whole new way.

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I really just can’t help it, I find rust to be visually delicious.  It’s got texture, it’s got character, it’s got years of stories hidden under that rich patina, stories that often remain secret and locked away forever.  When researching our trips up to Telegraph Cove at the northern end of Vancouver Island, it was with much delight that we realized that this gem was sitting right on the boardwalk, in the perfect setting.  It literally beckoned us.

Rusty Truck - Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rusty Truck – Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rusty Truck - Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rusty Truck – Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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1916 Franklin Motorcar

Posted: 4th October 2016 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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It’s not often at all that we come across a car that I’ve never heard of or seen before.  Every once in awhile, however, it does happen.  Such is the case with our encounter of a 1916 Franklin car we found one hot summers day as we were out enjoying the weather and landscapes of Vancouver Island.  You can well imagine my surprise as we were heading back to our car, and in the parking lot in the distance I noticed a front-end of a car that was completely foreign to me.  At first, I thought perhaps it was European, a Renault or a Peugeot or something along those lines.  Little did I know that this was the beginning of a new friendship and experiences with a car that I can honestly say I’ve never heard of in my life.

1916 Franklin - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

1916 Franklin – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

1916 Franklin - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

1916 Franklin – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

1916 Franklin - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

1916 Franklin – Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

As it turns out, the Franklin Automobile Company was a very important anchor in the history of automobile design and manufacturing in the United States as this new-fangled form of transportation was beginning to emerge.  During the early 1900’s, several car companies came to life, each espousing their particular virtues, and each exhibiting a personality and character that was really unique to the company and brand.  The Franklin was no different.

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It would seem that the good folks over at Topaz Labs never seem to sleep.  They are constantly enhancing and updating their current set of tools, and in all cases these advancements produce incredible results that make it easy for us photographers to create great images, easily.  In today’s fast paced world, we find it imperative to spend the least amount of time possible in post-production, allowing us to focus on our core business and being on-set in a session working for our clients.

The other aspect of having a great set of tools available is the end result.  Here at Toad Hollow Photography, we use Topaz Detail to finish off every image we create here as this terrific tool adds a controllable level of detail that helps to make the final product pop.  Sometimes, we also would like to add texture or a specific photo effect in the creation of fine art.  Enter the terrific toolset from Topaz Labs.  The Topaz Complete Collection is a must-have set of tools that we rely on time after time in our post-production.

Wood Barn - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Wood Barn – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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The hands of time relentlessly tick forward, constantly turning the present into the past and creating history.  Sometimes this history is profound, and sometimes it is mundane.  Sometimes it lives in a place that was very remote, meaning it now lives in the minds and memories of only a few.  Jordan River is one such place.

Abandoned House - Jordan River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Abandoned House – Jordan River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Abandoned House - Jordan River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Abandoned House – Jordan River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

At one time, the community of Jordan River numbered around 1,000 residents, likely brought here to service the booming logging industry that thrived here.  Over the years, economic changes have seen these numbers dwindle to somewhere around 100 people.  In the last 20 years or so that we have been visiting this place, it became a destination for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts who enjoyed camping on the shores of the ocean in the local campground.  The article “6 Things to Know about Jordan River, Vancouver Island’s Hidden Surfing Gem” highlights the active surf that is the allure for adventure seekers, and if you scroll down near the bottom there is a small video clip that shows exactly why.

During our visits to Jordan River, we’d frequently grab a burger at Shakie’s Burger Shack, a well known local landmark.  In early 2011 we visited the area and featured the story “No Burgers Today” which sadly discussed the closing of the restaurant.  Shortly after this visit, it was all gone.  A harbinger of things to come.

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It was the car show to end all car shows, the car show of a lifetime.  It was much more than we expected, and we expected an awful lot.  This year’s show was hosted at the brand new, state of the art facility, the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, a world class track with world class facilities.  Over 600 cars, trucks and motorcycles attended, and the crowds were huge and amazing…  the sheer numbers were astonishing for a show like this.  Exhibitors, visitors old and young alike, and children from points all over the world came together on what was to be a magical day, and we all came away with a sense of excitement as we were both saddened that the show seemed to end so early, and we all looked forward to next years event.  Join us as we explore the 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering.

2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering - Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering - Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

It was late in September, much later than most of the car shows we visit here on the island typically run.  The weather leading up to the big day was a bit of this, a bit of that, and a bit of everything really.  When we excitedly awoke, we found ourselves with a perfect day, the temperatures were comfortable, light cloud cover overhead helped to diffuse a bit of the light, and the rains held off for the entire event.  A picture-perfect Vancouver Island day to head out and explore the 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering.

2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering - Chevrolet Camaro Hot Rod - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

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

Those who follow us regularly know well of our deep love for cars, trucks and motorcycles here at The Hollow.  We have motorsports running through our veins, with a specific penchant for classic cars.  We love both the stock and original versions, as well as the highly customized and modified variety.  It is said that variety is the true spice of life, and we have to admit that this gorgeous 1969 Camaro Z/28 is the hot chili of spices in the context of cars that go fast and look good doing it.

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