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Saturday, September 23, 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

2 January 2017

2017

We Made It!

WOW! 2016 is gone. It is hard to believe another year is behind us. For me, I spent the last couple of days of 2016 in reflection thinking about the great times with my photography.  But, now is time to start thinking what in 2017 I want to accomplish . lets find out.

8 September 2016

2016 Update

Where have I been

Hello again, It has been awhile I know. You may have noticed I trailed off postings around late May 2016.  This was not because I left Photography.  I felt I needed a break.  

24 May 2016

Out Door Photography

Love It

My passion is being outdoors with my camera. The TrueToad site extends to you the many hours and rewards that nature and wildlife bring. I offer these images, articles, and encouragement as my proof that Nature has a desire to thrive. What a treat to be part of it!  Each encounter restores my hope, a moment in time that I will never forget but to be remembered in a photograph.

23 May 2016

I love to go dot com

Ben and G

Another wonderful find on YouTube is this channel in Thai – Although I don’t understand the language I have an appreciation for their travel VLOGs, food, and photography shoots and many bag reviews.  Ben an G are tops.

20 March 2016

Spring Time Photography

Rain Rain

Here in the North Continent Spring has finally arrived and am I stoked, My new Nikon D500 is now in my hands along with my work horse D810.  So we ask ourselves how best to prepare and capture the magnificent beauty of the season? No right answer here,  but in general you can enjoy it by being in it! Take along your favorite camera and lens combo and set out for a wooded trail or open grassy one, it does not matter – spring flowers, flowering trees and mild temperatures make the experience all worth the effort.  Here are some suggestions for your spring collection of life called Spring Time.

14 March 2016

Creative Photography

Get Creative

Most photographers have an objective to their pictures, It could be they intend only to capture the action in a ball game, others may wish to capture the essence of the person in a Portrait setting.  Their picture will be the end product of a creative process that may have taken weeks, years, or a mere instant. In a broad sense, we as photographers have the ability using our camera and light to convey something others may have missed.  Be it color, texture, drama, or an isolated portion of something much larger that would have been lost to everyone. Some photographs stand on their own and need nothing more that a frame, others are enhanced by techniques from Photoshop to bring out the idea and turn a picture into a handmade unique object of art.  Here on this page you will find several creative examples, not as perfect example but just something of my creative beginning exploring what is possible.  This year I intend to explore more creative photography, and those images will be posted here..
9 February 2016

Favorite YouTube Channels

Photo Tube

Most every photographers who use YouTube will run across interesting YouTube channels in their quest for information, and most likely those channels will be photography related and why no 10 ratings
9 January 2016

Nikon D5, D500 & D850 - Nikon’s Magic Cameras

Best of 2016

The New D500 is now a reality, Nikon began shipping these cameras on April 21, 2016.  The D5 cameras are in the hands of many photographers by now. Nikon has raised the bar on digital imaging, with the introduction of superior electronics and craftsmanship.  We are at the beginning of a new generation of digital imaging. Nikon Rocks and I am a pleased  customer of the products they produce.  Thanks Nikon. I may have the very first image from a production D500 ….
2 January 2016

Beyond Photography

With Andrew Boey

A great YouTube Channel from the far east hosted by Andrew Boey
Andrew Boey - Beyond Photography
19 June 2015

Happenings

Whats Up

I will be very busy as we move into Spring Migratory season. Hopefully the photography will pick up and can managed to write a few reviews, below are some URLs which you may find useful. One new article posted is my upgrade project to my Astronomy Mount System, you can find it in the blog.
23 May 2015

Best Wishes & Thank You!

About Me

I wish you the very best in this year of 2016! Enjoy life, and enjoy your photography!
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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.

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....

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.

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.

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.....

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..

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.

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...  

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.  

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Get Wired

Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious (And Play Super Mario Bros.)

  • 23 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
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Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious (And Play Super Mario Bros.)
Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.

Hackers Break Into the SEC, DHS Tells 21 States Russian Hackers Targeted Them, and More Security News This Week

  • 23 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
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Hackers Break Into the SEC, DHS Tells 21 States Russian Hackers Targeted Them, and More Security News This Week
An SEC hack, a Russian dark web takedown, and more security news this week.

What's So Great About Kids Fighting Monsters?

  • 23 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
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What's So Great About Kids Fighting Monsters?
Stories like the one in 'It' are pretty common in horror, but audiences never tire of them.

Space Photos of the Week: Spiral Galaxy's Secretly a Giant Gasbag

  • 23 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
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Space Photos of the Week: Spiral Galaxy's Secretly a Giant Gasbag
Cassini takes one last look at Saturn's moon, Jupiter's swirling clouds, and a star in a great big bubble this week in space.

London Wants to Kick Uber Out of the City

  • 23 September 2017
  • Author: TrueToad
  • Number of views: 0
  • 0 Comments
The ride-hailing company's offensive? Waging a popularity contest.
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