Old Friends

Last week, while looking for some family photos,  I stumbled upon a folder of unedited from a 2012 trip to Florida.  I remember what a great morning it was taking bird and nature photos.  Sadly, the next day I learned of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the folder was put aside and forgotten.  I wrote these thoughts a couple years ago but, I…

Time Marches On

The forces of nature are powerful but, even they cannot withstand the test of time.  Nothing can.  It feels, too often, that time passes slowly when, in fact, time is fleeting.  We mistakenly assume there will be more time; another chance or another day.  Time is not on our side.  The clock and calendar move at the same…

Why

Years ago, during high school, I had a teacher who continues to influence my life today.  During English class he would often suggest that the only question needing to be answered in our work, or our lives, was “why”.   In photography the process of creating an image means first answering the questions of why as well.  Why that place.  Why that moment.  Why that setting. …

Travel and Enjoy Every Place

Every trip, no matter how near or far, should inspire photographers to learn and create.  Wherever you may roam it is important to take the time and educate yourself about the people, their history, their culture, and the local lore.  Once there, immerse yourself as much as possible and, temporarily, leave home behind.  The more you invest in learning about…

Abandoned Dreams

People, as a whole, share many common traits despite a global array of diversity and individuality.  Despite our many differences everyone has hopes and dreams for their future.  Some dreams are big; some are small.  The pursuit of our hopes are sometimes hesitant steps forward while others are giant leaps of faith.  Either way, sadly,…

Something Out of Nothing

In photography, and life, there are times when you seem destined to come up empty.  You set out toward a goal with the best of intentions but, conditions change and it appears there is nothing to be salvaged from what you see.   Despite the gloomy outlook there is something there; there is always something there. …

Have a Heart

There is no shortage of beauty in the world but, I do believe there is a lack of appreciation for it.  Every day, wherever we may go, our senses are assailed by beautiful people, captivating things, and stunning scenery but, sadly, too often, we do not take the time to absorb the value of what, or who, is…

Creating on the Go

As a photographer I am on the go a lot. In the course of a year I take tens of thousands of images and in every scenario I want to create the best images possible. A significant part of the creative process is having the right tool for the job. When Bob and I are…

Think Change Beach Gloucester

Think Change

The world is full of beautiful detail. Everywhere you go there is opportunity to enjoy expansive views that are stunning and inspiring. We tend to gravitate toward scenes that feature wide open spaces but, the landscape is full of small scenes with their own unique beauty. Always be willing to change your perspective. In photography…

Don Toothaker Toothaker Photo spring nature photography

Thinking Spring

Forget Winter. Spring is still more than two weeks away according to my calendar but, the crocus’s blooming in my yard think otherwise. I am putting Winter behind me and jumping right into spring. I love to capture the feel of moving water. Some people may like a faster shutter speed to freeze action; others…

Open Door

An Open Door I love doors. I particularly like open doors where light spills through into the shadows creating depth, interest, and mystery. An open door is an invitation to something new, the unknown, and unlimited possibility. Next month I will be stepping through an open door with Kevin Loughlin and Wildside Nature Tours as…

History Everywhere

Every place, and every person, has a history. History should be embraced for it holds the key to every future. Know your history. Haverhill was once called the “Queen Slipper City” due to its prominent shoe manufacturing industry up until the early 1900’s. The decline of manufacturing and devastating fires propelled the decline of Haverhill’s…

Don Toothaker Photo Blog tea time

Tea Time

Winter finally decided to show up. I am not complaining about that, at all, but I was just getting used to the spring like weather and now we have some snow, more snow arriving soon, and wicked cold temps forecast for the weekend. Time for some nice hot tea. Tea Cup and Saucer Nikon D750…

Plan B

One of the things I stress during our workshops is the need to make the most of every situation that is presented to you and limit whatever is working against you. If you keep your creative mind open, and you pay attention to what is happening at all times, you can make some fantastic images…

Don Toothaker Photo blog Story Telling footprints sand

Story Telling

Being a photographer means being a photo journalist. Each of us, no matter what our chosen subject or genre, is faced with the difficult challenge of telling the most compelling story possible using only a still image. It’s not always easy. Think about what you are doing and invest every bit of yourself in the…

Don Toothaker Photo blog Time Alone desert

Time Alone

Solitude has seemingly become more and more difficult to find. The digital age and social media has shrunken the global map so much that there seems to be no more unexplored places. Perhaps now, more than ever, the solitude that we seek and occasionally need, should be reflected upon differently. Solitude comes from within. I…

Don Toothaker Photography Travel photography church

Colorful Illumination

I loved the stark white crosses against the mountain sky. The blue just seems to sing and compliment the stucco and the white so nicely. In my composition, as a helpful hint, I worked hard to move around and make sure the lower cross was isolated against the stucco and did not merge with anything…

Don Toothaker photo blog travel photography

To the Heavens

Inside the missions there was wonderful simplicity found in most of the features. Yes, there was some fine ornate detail. Yes, there was some beautiful craftsmanship. Yes, there were stained glass windows, sculptures, and more. But, and perhaps it was the light and the colors, it all had a much more humble feel to it.…

Don Toothaker Photo Santa Fe Travel photography

Seductive Color

The colors of the Southwest are alluring and beautiful. Be it the landscape or doors and windows there is a vibrancy to the colors that draws your attention and keeps it. I love it. In Santa Fe I walked around looking for such colors. It was bitterly cold at 13 degrees at 8am but the…

Side of the Road

Running around New Mexico I found myself looking for things along the road that caught my eye. Personally, its pretty hard to pass any old rusted truck so, I stopped in Carrizozo at The Bike Shoppe to take some quick frames. The 12-40 lens is wicked sharp. Rusted Relic Olympus EM5II Zuiko 12-40 f2.8 lens…

Don Toothaker Photo Quiet Peace blog mission church

Quiet Peace

Inside the missions, no tripods allowed, was where the superb image stabilization of the EM5II really showed its stuff. I had good success and good “keepers” handholding shots like this at 1/15th of second. Pretty impressive. Given the slightly smaller sensor I was worried about a lot more noise shooting at higher ISO’s. Shooting at…

Don toothaker photo travel photography bosque del apache

The Light

My first stop for a few days was Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Here the main concentration was on photographing the many cranes, geese, ducks, and other birds that call the refuge home. But, it was/is impossible to not be captivated by the light that seems to dance across the land in the most…

A Journey

Last week I hit the road a bit more than usual and got the opportunity to experience more of beautiful New Mexico. The land, the light, and the culture possesses a loud, spiritual voice that is captivating. Once there, exploring, it is easy to understand what drew so many amazing artists to this special land…