Search
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Toad Blog

My blogs about anything related to photography, and equipment, with a focus on non-technical enjoyment of photography. I like to publish these for the pure pleasure it brings. My equipment, and techniques shared here with a mix of landscape, macro, birds, flowers and all articles written by the person who uses the equipment - TrueToad.

The Toad Blog

Summer Flower 25 July 2017

Summer Flower

Mid Summer Dream

On June 20th we officially enter into summer known as the summer solstice and on that day summer arrives.  I took a stroll through open  wooded area looking for signs of summer, you know - Dragon flys, and beautiful cone flowers.  I was greeted with this wonderful specimen, using my long telephoto I took a moment and snapped a couple images.  The color and contrast speak for themselves. Summer is Here!  

Cedar Waxwing 29 May 2017

Cedar Waxwing

Chasing Berries

Each year I am blessed by the migration of the Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum through my area of the country. Their visits are timed almost perfectly with the arrival of the fruiting trees and bushes.  These delightful birds will stay in the area for several months basically as long as the fruit holds out. See my gallery and read more on these birds.

Flower Photography 28 May 2017

Flower Photography

Beautiful Details

I have a couple photographic weakness, Birds and Flowers.  Whenever I am out doing some photography shooting regardless what my intentions are, if i run across a great looking flower I stop and take a photo or try to incorporate the flower into my scene. The great thing about flower photography is you really dont need any specialized equipment.  I have even taken flower photos with a fish eye lens. I you want to discover more about flower photography read on...

Carolina Wren 20 May 2017

Carolina Wren

Super Song Bird

When you spot the Wren it looks to be rather plain but is a Whitney Houston of birds song wise; mostly brown with some lighter brown and speckles on the wings. The Wren is commonly found over nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. Listen for its rush-and-jumble song in summer and you’ll find this species zipping through shrubs and low tree branches, snatching at insects. Wrens will will accept and use man made nest boxes.

Rainy Day Photography 13 May 2017

Rainy Day Photography

Shooting in the Rain

I admit I like being out during rainy days  Why?  It is refreshing and stimulating to walk a wooded trail hearing and feeling the rain,  and besides that, It offers many opportunities for photographers - if we come prepared.

Birds 8 January 2017

Birds

Life is Good

Many times each year I take time to appreciate wild life and nature, These creatures who fly, walk, slither and live along side us humans. Several things stand our as I write this, one being how amazing are the birds survival capabilities out doors in the cold, wind, and snow, I took a few hours today to brave the near 0 temps to go out and take a few photos of birds being birds. 

The Common Buckeye 10 September 2016

The Common Buckeye

Junonia coenia Hübner

A common buckeye caterpillar shown on a host plant. This species is  resident across the southern United States, much of Mexico and as far north as southern Canada.  When in the butterfly state, it regularly expands its range each year  northward to temporarily colonize much of the U.S., reaching Canada. Starting in late summer and continuing through fall, huge numbers of adults migrate southward, where the adults overwinter.

American Yellow Warbler 1 July 2016

American Yellow Warbler

I think

Time to enjoy Summer.

Flowering Tree of Summer 13 June 2016

Flowering Tree of Summer

Beautiful Colors

When you are able to go out carry along your camera, then take a few minutes to look around, you will find nature is beautiful. The colors, texture, sounds, and smell came rushing in.   Today as I walked through an area I  spotted a blush of color that caught my eye in the distance, a flowering tree so, I took a moment to capture a few images of the  plants and life happening around me my photographic reward captured.

Dinosaur 3 June 2016

Dinosaur

Still Roam Earth

This past May was Turtle and Tortise Month! In the area close to the Potomac many river turtles climb out of their natural habitat and walk to higher ground to dig out and lay their eggs. This big girl is on her way back from depositing a dozen eggs in an area that is close to water but not too wet to cause the eggs to not survive.  Turtles naturally deposit eggs in best of locations.   I now wait for the eggs to hatch....
Wild Turkey 26 May 2016

Wild Turkey

American Turkey

The Wild Turkey is an interesting bird, who as groups share in the child rearing duties among other females. The male gives gobbling call to attract females. In courtship, males puff out feathers, raise and spread tail, swell up face wattles, droop wings; in this exaggerated posture they strut, rattling the wing feathers and making humming sounds. One male will mate with several females. Nest site is on ground, often at base of tree, under shrub, or in tall grass. Nest is shallow depression, sparsely lined with grass, leaves. The American Wild Turkey is a keen aware bird - always on the look out.

Cedar Waxwing 25 May 2016

Cedar Waxwing

Forest Treat

I found a small flock of Cedar Waxwings going about their child rearing chores. These birds  are social that you’re likely to see in flocks year-round. This small flock was in a Mulberry tree swallowing the berries whole, and some plucking them in mid-air with a fluttering hover.
Nest Building 23 May 2016

Nest Building

Beautiful Warbler

This Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea

) migratory bird is visiting the North East USA  for some nest building and baby rearing duties.  You can find this fine bird along trails near wooded swamps or marshes.  Here I was able to get a photo of the activities of preparing the nest.  

Early Arrival 22 April 2016

Early Arrival

Gnat Catcher

This tiny bird smaller than a sparrow was  very busy jumping from branch to branch in hunt of small insects to eat. He was so quick, I had a very difficult time capturing a usable sharp image not to mention the distance and size of the bird, with patience I was able to acquire a few images.  Although this bird species looks similar to a pygmy nuthatch but is a Blue Gray Gnat Catcher. The Gnat Catcher has an expanded breeding range through the northeast and now is seen up the East Coast into lower New Hampshire, and expansion may be continuing. Enjoy this fine bird this spring & summer season.
June Flower 7 June 2015

June Flower

Super Telephoto

On a otherwise boring day I ran across this wonderful flower growing in the sunlight next to the Potomac River, Not having a macro lens, I used my 400mm to capture the beauty.

Great Blue Heron 30 May 2015

Great Blue Heron

Passing by

The Great Blue stands 132 cm (four feet) tall, has a 213 cm (seven-foot) wingspan and weighs 2.5 kg. It has a long yellow bill. Adults have blue-grey wings and back and a white head with a black cap and a long black plume. In flight, the long neck is held in an S-shape with the long legs trailing behind. This bird flies with strong deliberate wing beats.

Fox 24 May 2015

Fox

On the Beach

A fox wanders close but discovers me before it is too late.  Picture taken - Foz.

Flower Pink 16 May 2015

Flower Pink

April is wonderful

This image was taken using a Nikkor 105mm Macro Lens (old style lens) and a D700 in the Month of April. I enjoy the Spring time, life and everything it brings with it. In and around my home are bird houses and I have returning generations that reproduce and I am in AWE!  Nature is simply amazing.
RSS

Savage Product Pro Led Light Table Review

Savage Product Pro Led Light Table Review Read more

Do you need a small led light table for your ads for selling of your products or used gear, if so read on about the Savage Product Pro Led Light Table.  A somewhat straightforward approach for obtaining pleasing images of the smaller type products you wish to sell or place in ads.  In operation, it is simple to use and the results are good.  Read the full review here....

Sigma 180 Macro Lens Review

Sigma 180 Macro Lens Review Read more

This week I bring to you a full two years of the Sigma 180mm Macro lens. Is it a solid lens and worth the price? Does it deliver as a medium telephoto? Can you use this lens as your go to portraiture lens. Over the course of two years now, I will give you my opinion and a few Macro shots.

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Black & Yellow Garden Spider Read more

Over the last few years I became interested in the Orb Spiders, in particular the Black and Yellow Garden Spider as the common name or the Argiope aurantia, scientific name. Ultimately my fascination for spiders and insects in general always cause me to stop and take a closer look when I run across them out in the wild. As a photographer I enjoy taking a few photos at any opportunity, here in this write up I share my observations and images of the Black and Yellow Garden Spider.

Macro Photography Best Lens

Macro Photography Best Lens Read more

I spent a few hours outdoors enjoying my macro photography and I hope you enjoy and find inspiration in the images I captured. What do I use for my Macro setup and why?  read on...

Nikon D85O Real World Review

Nikon D85O Real World Review Read more

My Intel back in 2016 was close to what Nikon announced in the next release of the 800 series, the D850.   This camera is CLOSE to a game changer and now that I have mine let me give you my initial input.

Thank You Nikon!

Thank You Nikon! Read more

Thank you Nikon for being a wonderful company. In particular as my camera company of choice, I could not think of photography without Nikon as being part of it.

Wood Duck Photography

Wood Duck Photography Read more

I was not all that lucky in previous years of getting any real useable photos of Wood Ducks in the location I lived, due to the scarcity and short time frame they seem to stay in this area during the late spring season.  I find the Wood Duck a stunningly beautiful waterfowl. The males in particular with iridescent browns, blacks, white green, ornate patterns on nearly every feathe, this is one pretty bird.   Females very attractive but have a less colorful pattern but the same distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. I find Wood Ducks in the wooded marsh ares that have hardwood forest adjacent to the water.  With some research I discovered they nest in holes in trees or use man made nest boxes. Little did I know they are one of the few duck species with claws that can grip bark and perch on branches- see my photos of a group perching.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing Read more

Each year I am blessed by the migration of the Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum through my area of the country. Their visits are timed almost perfectly with the arrival of the fruiting trees and bushes.  These delightful birds will stay in the area for several months basically as long as the fruit holds out. See my gallery and read more on these birds.

Flower Photography

Flower Photography Read more

I have a couple photographic weakness, Birds and Flowers.  Whenever I am out doing some photography shooting regardless what my intentions are, if i run across a great looking flower I stop and take a photo or try to incorporate the flower into my scene. The great thing about flower photography is you really dont need any specialized equipment.  I have even taken flower photos with a fish eye lens. I you want to discover more about flower photography read on...

Rainy Day Photography

Rainy Day Photography Read more

I admit I like being out during rainy days  Why?  It is refreshing and stimulating to walk a wooded trail hearing and feeling the rain,  and besides that, It offers many opportunities for photographers - if we come prepared.

Stellarvue SVR102T Review

Stellarvue SVR102T Review Read more

I have been around the Astronomy community for some time with many telescope adventures under my belt. One of the scopes that I was looking to acquire is a nice 4" refactor, not just any refactor but a premium performer, capable of doing what I wanted to do visually and imaging wise, my choice was.....

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit

Lower Cost Wildlife Kit Read more

You probably noticed most of my blogs cover the upper end of the Photo Spectrum. I owe it to many my recommendation for getting a 90% solution for fantastic wildlife photography.

Rest in Peace Easter

Rest in Peace Easter Read more

Our family feline of 13 years passed away early this morning, bringing to closure Easter's wonderful life with our family. At his passing he was believed to be 20 years + of age. Everyone in his family will miss his presence and are saddened by the loss of  our cat Easter. He is survived by Teeny his fellow feline house companion, and three caretakers who provided and received his love over the years. 

Nikon WT-7

Nikon WT-7 Read more

This is a write up from Don C who added an extensive "comment" to my WT-7 post/review. I though it was worthy of an individual post.

The remainder of this post is Don's comments: I decided to breakdown and purchase the WT-7a,..being that 1) I own a D500, and 2) I love to shoot untethered. Note, my forte' in the photography world is "Event Photography. That is, capture and print "onsite". It's 90% of my business model and every since the days of the mighty D2X and WT-2a, I've always admired the ability of "capturing and image and it instantly popping up on a display monitor" for customers to see, and of course, buy prints! Well, time has changed since those 'good old days' to newer 'good old days' of the D500 and WT-7a!

Woodland Photography

Woodland Photography Read more

I truly enjoy the outdoors especially during spring months, plants and animals begin to flourish and the forest comes alive with colors, sound with a calm atmosphere.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron Read more

I am lucky to live in an area that the Great Blue Heron is found in most of the year. Here in North Va, you can expect to see the Great Blue Heron in numbers starting in Mid April through Late September. I really enjoy watching and photographing these birds. They are large and somewhat predictable and with some good planning you can acquire a few good photos on most occasions..

DX or FX Camera Bodies

DX or FX Camera Bodies Read more

This is about using a DX camera body or FX body with teleconvertor. Which combination is better?  I am sent this question many times - it depends...  

Photo Storage +

Photo Storage + Read more

So, you are an avid photographer with thousands of images in your collection.  Maybe you have been relying on an USB 3 external drive to as your file backup along with your lightroom database;  one copy on your work computer and a backup on the external - does this sound familiar?  While that approach is a viable one, you just might be at risk of serious data loss.  Here is my story on the near loss of many years of work, and why I decided to go pro, and invest in a serious NAS.

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount

Wimberly CK-100 Sidemount Read more

This is my review of the Wimberley CK-100 Sidemount Conversion Kit.  I have owned the Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base for a couple years without any issues.  But, I was looking for a more compact setup to use.  I ran across the sidemount kit from Kimberley and decided to give it a try.

Coming of Spring

Coming of Spring Read more

This wonderful Male Cardinal sits on a perch as sleet comes raining down, and is undaunted by the ice crystals that are falling on his face and feathers. The Cardinal is a native species of North America and suited for the elements, he appears well protected from these elements.  

RSS

Get Wired

Donald Trump’s United Nations Speech Stokes North Korea Tensions

  • 19 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Donald Trump’s United Nations Speech Stokes North Korea Tensions
At the United Nations Tuesday, Donald Trump's incendiary North Korea remarks pushed the word even further from a peaceful outcome.

Zack Snyder Left *Justice League*—Then He Made an iPhone Movie

  • 19 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Zack Snyder Left *Justice League*—Then He Made an iPhone Movie
The director's new 4-minute short was released today.

Udacity Launches an Online Course for Flying Car Engineers

  • 19 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Udacity Launches an Online Course for Flying Car Engineers
Sebastian Thrun's online education company wants to prepare more people for the future of flying.

Waymo and Intel Combine to Power the Future of Self-Driving Cars

  • 19 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
Waymo and Intel Combine to Power the Future of Self-Driving Cars
The rich Google self-driving car spinoff and the global chipmaker make excellent dance partners.

The Best Toronto International Film Festival Movies to Look Forward To

  • 19 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
The Best Toronto International Film Festival Movies to Look Forward To
This year's festival was a standout, and proved there's plenty of quality heading to theaters later this year.
RSS
Copyright 2017 TrueToad Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top