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Hugging Kelowna

Hi Folks:

Well, since Mike’s mother’s birthday is in September, a week or so ago we departed our little island hideaway for the Okanagan valley. And (for the first time in seven years) our ‘Free Hugs‘ posters departed the island with us. Our Hug Certificates have been downloaded and given out by people all over the world, but we’d yet to do a ‘Free Hugs’ session outside of Victoria. It was time!

Hugging Kelowna

Hugging Kelowna

Mike’s mom was a great sport, not only indulging us in our madness but willingly joining in. We set up by the Sails sculpture off Bernard Street, down by Lake Okanagan. When we do our hugging sessions, we offer but people have to come to us. Those who aren’t interested are welcome to simply pass us by and continue on their way. This location offered us ample space for people to move around us and a bench for Mike’s mom to sit when she tired of standing. We had a lot of fun, and hugged Kelowna tourists and locals alike! We’ll have to remember to bring our posters the next time we go traveling… 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. Many thanks to the entire(?) wait staff at Earl’s Kitchen + Bar for coming out and hugging us en masse!

Creative Use of the Lightroom Radial Filter

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since we did a Lightroom tutorial, so it must be time for another one. The Radial Filter is our focus this time; it’s the third and most recent of the three tools in Lightroom (the Adjustment Brush and the Graduated Filter being the other two) that allow you to target specific parts of the image by masking out certain areas and making adjustments to the rest. As such the Radial Filter uses the same layout and the same presets as the other two tools. Let’s get started. Continue reading “Creative Use of the Lightroom Radial Filter

Photo of the Month - August

Hi Folks:

One of the benefits of living where we do is that we’re frequent visitors to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. In addition to the many trees from all over the world, shrubs, perennials, ferns, etc. the park staff plant several thousand flowers every year. And we haven’t mentioned the wildlife, from dragonflies to black-tailed deer. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and the changes through the seasons are something to behold.

As usual we have two images for our photo of the month post, one from Marcia and one from Mike. Both were made with our cell phone cameras, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom. Continue reading “Photo of the Month – August

Trends in Photography

Hi Folks:

I originally posted the following as a comment to an article written by Neal Rantoul, titled, “A Disturbing Trend“. It’s probably best to read the article first… I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

Here’s my comment:

An interesting read for photographers (and others). For the most part I agree with him. I am a poet, a writer, and a photographer and as such most of my images tell stories. However, I don’t pretend to insist that any photograph tells only one story. Each viewer connects the image to his/her own perceptions and memories and together they create their own stories, their own relationships. If I have to explain it, then I’ve failed.

Having said that, there’s still an overarching idea that photography must be representational. Computers allow us to create images that were impossible in an analog world. I remember Robert Bateman saying (of one of his abstract works), “It’s a painting. It’s not a painting of anything. It’s a painting.” Digital images allow us to create works that are abstract or non-representational as well.

I think we need to loosen our hold on definitions like photograph, image, digital art… For example, if I make 40 images at +1/0/-1 EV and combine those 120 images into an HDR panorama then push it around a bit in post-processing (like the image below) – is it still a photograph?DSCF24996-PAP_HDR_2-blend

Two photographers whose work I admire are John Paul Caponigro and Stephen Johnson. Elizabeth Carmel is another. They all do landscape photography, and yet their styles are all very different. Each is using similar tools, yet they’re wielding them in their own ways. Photography begins with vision.

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

Hugs,
M&M

Hugging

Hi Folks:

We came across this file recently, in an old computer folder. There are a number of versions of it online, but none of them (that we’ve found) know or list the original author. To that end we’ve posted it as Author Unknown, but if you know who wrote it please leave us a comment to let us know!

Hugs,
M&M

Hugging

Hugging is healthy:
It helps the body’s immune system
It cures depression
It reduces stress
It induces sleep
It’s invigorating
It’s rejuvenating
It has no unpleasant side effects
And is nothing less than a miracle drug!

Hugging is all natural:
It is organic, unnaturally sweet
No pesticides, no preservatives
No artificial ingredients
And 100 percent wholesome

Hugging is practically perfect:
There are no moving parts to wear out
No periodic checkups
Low-energy yield
Infection-proof
Non-fattening
No monthly payments
No insurance requirements
Theft-proof
Non-taxable
Non-polluting
And, of course, returnable.                                             Author Unknown

 

Two-Fisted Hugger!!

Two-Fisted Hugger!!

Photo of the Month - July

Hi Folks:

July holds the birthdays for both of Marcia’s parents, and while her Dad turned 93 this year, her Mom passed away several years ago. To honour her Mother’s memory, every year Marcia buys a rose and gives it away to a passing stranger – usually an older woman with whom she feels an affinity. Below is an image of this year’s gift:

Mom's Birthday Rose

Mom’s Birthday Rose

One day while Marcia was away celebrating her Dad’s birthday, Mike went for a walk in John Dean Provincial Park, just north of Victoria. There are many levels of beauty in this park, from the old Douglas fir trees to the salal berries, to an insect superhighway cut through a leaf. One only needs eyes to see.

Insect Highway

Insect Highway

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

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. For Marcia’s Dad’s birthday we put together a 40-page book containing 68 of Marcia’s photographs. If you’re interested you can see a preview of the first 15 pages (and purchase the book) here: My Photographs

Echoes, Reflections and Speaking Into the Void

Hi Folks:

I don’t remember the last time we had a post that attempts to string together several semi-coherent thoughts, so it must be time for another one. This one is different from but connected to a few other posts we’ve done, including:

Continue reading “Echoes, Reflections and Speaking Into the Void

Love is Universal

Love is the one thing that connects us all.

Hi Folks:

The video below from Atlanta Buzz, streamed live on Facebook, has been seen more than 27 million times (so far). If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching. If you have, it’s worth tucking away in a quiet corner for the next time you need a little uplifting. Last Friday hundreds of people came to Thanks-Giving Square to honour the five Dallas police officers who were killed in the line of duty on July 7, and several officers were on the scene to direct traffic. Very shortly a huge line-up of people stopped to offer appreciation to the officers present and share condolences, handshakes and hugs.

Dallas

You can read more here: This video of people hugging Dallas cops has been viewed 25 million times

Wherever you are today, we send you love.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. In seven years of hugging locals and visitors to our fair city, so far we’ve share Free Hugs with people from 53 countries (that we know about). All it takes is a piece of cardboard, a marker, a little courage and an open heart.

Photo of the Month - June

Hi Folks:

Choosing our photos of the month for June was, well, a Mammoth undertaking!! This was mostly because the mammoth exhibit from the Field Museum in Chicago is currently on loan to the Royal BC Museum here in Victoria. As museum members, we were among the first to get to see the exhibit when it opened. Continue reading “Photo of the Month – June

International Free Hugs Day, 2016

Hi Folks:

As last Saturday (the first Saturday in July) was International Free Hugs Day, we were out at our usual location (Victoria’s Homecoming Memorial, by Ship Point) offering hugs to locals and visitors alike. This was our 9th hugging session this year, but because it was International Free Hugs Day we extended an invitation to friends and members of our local photography group to come and join us… and join us they did! Continue reading “International Free Hugs Day, 2016