Archives

Global Giving



BlogWithIntegrity.com



Artists Bill of Rights

Free Hugs on Black Friday

Hi Folks:

Free hugs on Black Friday – the ultimate irony? Perhaps not, but we had fun anyway. It’s true we had a certain resemblance to the Michelin Man with the layers we were wearing and Marcia had to trade in her signature sun hat for a set of ear muffins but she was still as beautiful as always.

Free Hugs on Black Friday
The cruise ship season is over and being a weekday afternoon it wasn’t as busy a day as some we’ve had, but every hug we share is unique and special to us. Our thanks to everyone who stopped by Friday afternoon, all of the people who offered hugs, honks, waves, bicycle horn beeps and greetings… and special thanks to the three people who pulled over just for hugs!

We’ve never before done a Free Hugs session in November. Depending on the weather we may do another one next month; it’s about time to get that red suit back from the cleaners anyway. Remember to hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!! 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

It's Our Birthday!!

Hi Folks!

It’s our birthday! Our blog is 7 years old today!! We’ve definitely moved beyond toddler stage; in the past seven years we’ve published 513 blog posts and 138 pages of stories and poems and the like, and there’s plenty more where those came from… 😉 In the past seven years we’ve written on a variety of topics, from photography and software tutorials to random thoughts, insightful news, and (of course) Free Hugs. Thanks so much to you for continuing to come and visit and share with us.

Continue reading “It’s Our Birthday!!

Photo of the Month - October

Hi Folks:

It’s raining heavily as this post is being written; many locals complain about our wet time of the year but we look forward to knowing that the aquifer (and us and everything else) will appreciate the water next summer during our dry period. Apparently we had 26 days of rain in October this year… too much of a good thing, perhaps? 🙂

Collectively we made a good number of images over the past month; as usual selecting just two was a challenge but here’s what we have to offer.

Marcia’s image first.

Stepping into Fogtober

Stepping into Fogtober

This image was made in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, showcasing a copper beech tree and morning fog. In addition to the rain we get, October is also a month where we get a lot of fog…to the point that our 10th month is often referred to as ‘Fogtober’.

Fall Colours

Fall Colours

While Vancouver Island doesn’t have as many large deciduous forests as there are in eastern North America, there are some places around Victoria to view autumn colours. Beacon Hill Park is one, Ross Bay Cemetery is another. But there’s another kind of colour here, and that comes from chalk art playfully rendered into form. In our opinion this piece is worth submitting to the National Gallery in Ottawa, but we’re quite happy to leave it where it is. Our appreciations to the artist!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!! (and don’t forget the brollie…)

Hugs,
M&M

A Tribute to Mike's Dad

Hi Folks:

Mike here. My dad, Jacques Séguin passed away last week so we wanted to take a moment or two to honour him. He turned 83 years young last spring, and he’s lived a good, long life. He showed up in mine when I was about four, and he’s been the only dad I ever had. Much of who I am today is because of his influence. My dad was not perfect (few of us are) but he had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. He was almost universally liked, and he would go a long way out of his way to help others, to engage someone, to generate a smile and/or a laugh. He taught me many, many things, some of them tangible, and others simply about how to be. He was invariably patient and kind. He will be missed. Continue reading “A Tribute to Mike’s Dad

Hugging the Royals... (almost)

Hi Folks:

Victoria’s October rains are among us once again, which is very good for the aquifer but not so good for hugging (even though we did get our new posters laminated). Once we get a free day that’s clear we’ll be back out again!

As it happened, our two most recent hugging sessions coincided with the arrival and departure of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and family on their tour of Canada. We knew something was up when we saw the legislature grounds being set up the day before their arrival, but needs must so the following day we headed to our usual location at the Homecoming Memorial. We had thought they might get time in their schedule to come and see us, but alas it was not to be. Nonetheless, we had a steady stream of people passing by on their way downtown so we had a wonderfully busy afternoon! Continue reading “Hugging the Royals… (almost)

Photo of the Month - September

Hi Folks:

September was a busy month for Victoria, hosting (among other things) the Classic Boat Festival, the Chalk Art Festival and a visit from the British Royal family. However, in sorting through the 1100+ images we made last month, we were drawn once again to images we made in Beacon Hill Park. It really is a magical place for us. Continue reading “Photo of the Month – September

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