Global Giving

We've chosen not to have any advertising on our blog - okay, except Marcia's inspiring book!! - but we do support the idea of Global Giving.

Basically, what they do is match donors with nonprofit organizations around the world.

What do you have to give?

Artists Bill of Rights

Hugging hitchBOT

Hi Folks:

Last Thursday was our ninth hugging session this year. So far this year we’ve hugged people from 34 countries (that we know about): Australia, Austria, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Columbia, England, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the US, Venezuela, Vietnam and Wales – and we always welcome more!

Free Hugs

Hugging Victoria!

Thursday was special in another way, however, because after our hugging session we headed over to Open Space to meet hitchBOT! Continue reading “Hugging hitchBOT

Through the Looking Glass at AGGV

Hi Folks:

Earlier this month we went to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to view the Kimono Exhibit, and while we were there we stumbled upon another exhibit titled ‘Through the Looking Glass‘. This exhibit is both a wonderful romp through the world of Alice and Lewis Carroll and an exhibit of some of the gallery’s contemporary art, tied into the theme. While the exhibit may be viewed (and toured) from any number of perspectives, it’s clear that someone had a lot of fun with this. Continue reading “Through the Looking Glass at AGGV

Photo of the Month - Ancient Forest

Hi Folks:

At the end of July we did a two-day trip around the south end of the island, visiting places as various as the Sooke Potholes Regional Park, Fairy Lake, Cowichan Bay, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park and the Coombs Country Market. Our favourite place on this visit was Lower Avatar Grove, near Port Renfrew. We arrived just before dusk and didn’t have a lot of time or good light for photographs, but we did have the area to ourselves so we could drink in the quiet. Well, not quite to ourselves… there were the ancients and a passing red squirrel sharing the space with us. Few of the images from that trip have yet been processed, but this one will give you an idea of the place. Continue reading “Photo of the Month – Ancient Forest

Waving to Bogey

Hi Folks:

The other day we were driving south back to Victoria when an SUV passed us. In both the front and rear passenger seats were two boys who were waving to other vehicles as they passed, and they were both quite excited when I waved back. It reminded me of another day, another highway, and this story:

Before we continue, we need to introduce Bogey. He’s the oldest of our (currently 317) kids, and Bogey and Mike have been traveling together for more than thirty years. Bogey has been to Europe, several US states, and across Canada from one coast to the other. He’s been stuffed in backpacks, ridden on ferries and when sitting in the back seat always wears his seat belt, of course.

Continue reading “Waving to Bogey

2014: The Year of Hugging Exuberantly

Hi Folks:

Well, this is our fifth year of hugging Victorians (and others); mid-July and we’ve already had six free hugs sessions this year!

Marcia's Hugging Stance

Basic Hugging Attire – Poster, Sun Hat, Winning Smile…!

Continue reading “2014: The Year of Hugging Exuberantly

Photo of the Month - June: Collecting Stories

Hi Folks:

There’s an old adage that says ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, and since we’re both writers and we’re both photographers, in a given month we can collect a lot of ‘words’. In June we shot nearly 600 images between the two of us, and choosing one image is never an easy task. That’s my excuse for choosing two images for June. :-) These two images were chosen both because they’re good images in their own way and because of the stories they have to tell… Continue reading “Photo of the Month – June: Collecting Stories

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Hi Folks:

While we may not always be very vocal about it (typically Canadian), us up here in the Great White North are proud to be Canadian, and that’s never more evident than it is today – Canada Day.

When we were downtown yesterday there was someone from the local news channel who was asking people whether (as with this year) Canada Day should be celebrated on July 1, or whether it should be celebrated on say the Monday of that week (like Easter Monday, for example) to allow for a long weekend. While there are some celebrations that are based on a certain day of the week (for example, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox), July 1, 1867 marked the signing of the British North America Act that made Canada into a country. We’ll keep our date, thanks – quietly, but proudly! Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Canada!

Photo of the Month - May

Hi Folks:

Things have been quiet around here of late; we’ll have to see what we can do about that!

Our photo of the month for May is a tribute to Marcia’s dad’s sweet partner, Joyce. She slipped away quietly on Friday, May 30. In her own way she was the perfect blossom of his life.

For Joyce

For Joyce


Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!


Photo of the Month - April

Hi Folks:

One of the (many) benefits of living in Victoria is that we have the beauty of Beacon Hill Park to enjoy year round. In addition to the many wildflowers, the wildlife, natural landscapes and gardens populated by flowers, shrubs and trees from around the world, the park is also home to about three dozen peafowl. The vivid displays of the peacocks are very popular with tourists and locals alike (not to mention, hopefully, the peahens), but many people are surprised to discover that peafowl can fly.

The image of the month for April is one Marcia captured with her new pocket camera. We trust you’ll enjoy it!


Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!

Marcia and Mike.

Creating 'Solarized' Images in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

Solarization or the Sabatier Effect is a technique that goes back to the 19th century. While it was likely first discovered accidentally, it came to be used for creative purpose. Solarization is a technique of grossly overexposing a negative so that some or all of the image becomes reversed – the brightest become darkest and vice versa. This was sometimes seen even in early Daguerrotypes and was later adapted to printing as well.

Fast forward a couple of centuries, and overexposing your sensor simply gets you a histogram with no highlight detail… not nearly as exciting.

While it’s possible to create this kind of effect in Photoshop using layers and blend modes, as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts I like to play around to see what I can create in Lightroom. Now, since Lightroom doesn’t work natively with layers, it’s really impossible to do this with just Lightroom, so I turned to the LR/Enfuse plugin from Timothy Armes instead. Originally created for merging HDR exposures, the LR/Enfuse plugin can be used creatively in other ways as explained here: Using the LR/Enfuse plugin for Lightroom. LR/Enfuse is donationware, and well worth whatever you can afford to pay for it.

Creating this effect in Lightroom is actually quite simple. Essentially one begins with an image, converts it to monochrome (B&W), duplicates it and creates a negative version of that. Then the two are joined together using LR/Enfuse. We’ll go into that in a little more detail. Continue reading “Creating ‘Solarized’ Images in Lightroom