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Hugging Fools

Hi Folks:

As two fools for spring (and pretty much everything else), we thought it was appropriate we hold our first Free Hugs session on April 1. Truth be told, we had hoped to be out earlier but had to wait on the weather…we certainly had a perfect day for it!!

This is our eighth year of hugging Victorians (and others). Yesterday we hugged people from 10 countries; so far we’ve hugged people from 56 countries (that we know of). Every hug is unique and special, and we appreciate the stories from those who stop to share.  We also wanted to offer a shout out to our first huggers of the day (who arrived within 10 seconds of our unrolling the posters), the mass of hugs we received from the group touring from China, the little boy who is a self-professed hugger, the dog hugs (and face lick), the honks and waves from passing motorists and the carriage drivers, our favourite pedicab driver, the air hugs from across the street (and those who crossed the street to get hugs), the cyclists who stopped for hugs, and the best compliment of the day, from the man who said, “Thanks for helping to tear down the walls between us.” It all meant a lot.

Last year was our biggest hugging year ever. We’ll do our best to top it this year! So if you’re over by the Homecoming Statue at Ship Point and you see us there, stop by for a chat, a wave, a handshake and even a hug! Or two… 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. (to Stephanie, good luck with your thesis!!)

Group Hug

Group Hug

Softproofing in Lightroom: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

In my opinion, digital photo printing is equal parts art and science. It covers much greater depth than can be contained within one blog post, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other resources on the ‘net. If you want an introduction to photography and colour management, you might want to start here: Photography and Colour Management.

Okay, this is going to be a quick (for me) blog post. Assuming that you have some understanding of colour models, you know that while Lab is completely device independent, CMYK is completely device dependent (RGB is somewhere in the middle). As Vincent Versace has been known to say, printers are default devices: they only work with the information you send them. As such, the colour on a print relies on the printer and the inkset it contains, the paper chosen and the .icc profile for that paper. The printer profile is a set of instructions that translate the RGB colour space from your monitor into a CMYK colour space that your printer will recognize. Every printer/ paper combination has its own .icc profile, whether custom made for an individual machine or provided by the paper manufacturer for their stock. Now, while the only way to know 100% what your print will look like is to print it (known as hardproofing), one can get most of the way there by softproofing. This simulates (as much as possible) what the print will look like on your computer screen. Once you have an idea what the print will look like, you can modify the settings to make the print emulate what you want. Keep in mind that monitors are emissive devices (they project light) while paper reflects light.

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Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It seems Pi Day (3-14) is upon us once again, and there’s no better way to celebrate all things irrational than with pie! In the past we’ve profiled recipes for pastry and for various dessert pies; this year we thought we’d take a different tack and mention a crustless, savoury pie instead: a potato bacon cheddar tart. The recipe comes from our favourite Canadian chef, Michael Smith, and may be found here: Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart.

As Michael himself would say, the best recipe for cooking is to cook without a recipe! To that end, and since Marcia can’t eat nightshades (including potatoes), we use yams instead. And if you want to switch up the cheddar for some other firm cheese like Havarti, that would probably work too. Have fun with it!! The recipe is pretty simple and straightforward to make, although, as mentioned, it’s important to stagger the placement of the bacon around the centre of the pie plate to avoid having a big mound in the middle. And remember to put a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips.

Bon appetit! Now, the 100,000th decimal place for pi is… ? Oh ya… 6.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. Happy Birthday, Uncle Albert!! E=MC2, huh. We’ll believe you. You could always see the beauty in the sinuous undulations of the rim of the crust, and you recognized that baking is all chemistry and physics… 😉

Photo of the Month - February

Hi Folks:

One of the things we love about Victoria is that there are always so many things to do (we have to choose from at least eight events that we know of for this Saturday). In February we like to participate in ‘Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown‘, and as part of that we invested several hours at the world-famous Butchart Gardens. We even got shuttled there in CVS Tours‘ EV550 electric bus!

February was also bitterly cold (We had snow! In February!!) but being the brave pioneers that we are, we soldiered on. Because of the cold the flowers this year are severely retarded, but we had a wonderful time. There wasn’t as much colour, but still lots to see.

So, Marcia’s image first. In addition to the gardens, Butchart also has an inside floral display, which was packed full with orchids and so many different species of flowers of all shapes and sizes. There was our colour! Amidst the hustle and bustle of all of that beauty she found this quiet point of reflection:

Overflowing With Beauty

Overflowing With Beauty

NB: Mike suggested several other (and equally fascinating) titles, like ‘One Good Urn Deserves Another’, ‘Taking an Urn for the Better’ and ‘Urn, Baby, Urn… Disco Inferno’ but she rejected them all in favour of her own idea (heavy sigh).

Since Marcia’s image was all about stillness, Mike’s was all about movement. Within the gardens there’s a building that houses an old-fashioned carnival merry-go-round. The children (and adults) riding on it had a lot of fun. Unfortunately there’s no way to capture the squeals and giggles in a still image but they’re there nonetheless.

Trans-Dimensional Fun

Trans-Dimensional Fun

Okay. That’s it for today. Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,

M&M

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Remember to share the love. Hug someone you love today. Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. The roses were a gift from Marcia. Henry and Henrietta Hedgehog are among our (300+) kids.

Photo of the Month - January

Hi Folks:

January was somewhat of a month of recuperation for us, and as such we didn’t make a lot of images. We did get out some, however! As always, Marcia’s image is first. This is a close-up image of some frost (uncommon for Victoria) on the glass of a bus shelter. Marcia loves her flower photography and although we did have flowers blooming in January, today we’re presenting some ‘frost flowers’ instead.

Frost Flowers

Frost Flowers

This second image is Mike’s and shows the reflection of a Garry oak tree in a tidal pool in Victoria’s inner harbour. In more ways than one, the branching patterns are ‘returning to the sea’.

Returning to the Sea

Returning to the Sea

Both images were made with our phones, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

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

Hugs,
M&M

Using Dehaze with Lightroom 6.x

Hi Folks:

One of the features available in Lightroom CC 2015.x that’s not available with Lightroom 6.x is the Dehaze tool. I’m not sure what magical coding is going on behind the curtain, but if it’s possible to duplicate this effect using the other sliders, it’s neither inherently obvious (at least to me) nor easy to do so. If you have a Lr CC subscription, updating to the latest version should give you access to the Dehaze tool. If you’re using a standalone version of Lr 6, all is not lost – thanks to Stu over at Prolost.com – as he’s made a series of presets available for download. You can buy the Dehaze presets as part of a larger preset package here, or you can download only the Dehaze presets for free (or by donation) here.

If you have Lr CC2015.1 or later the Dehaze slider will be under the Effects panel in the Develop module (below Grain). It’s also available as a slider with the mask tools (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, etc). If you’re using Lr 6.1 or later, using Dehaze will only be possible using the downloaded presets mentioned above. As such, one of the limitations is that the presets are in graduations of 10 – i.e. one can add 50 or 60, but not 53 the way one could set the slider in Lr CC.

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Twinkles Takes Victoria... Again!!

Hi Folks:

This is Twinkles. Look deep into his eyes and you’ll see…

Twinkles

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Happy Holidays!

Hi Folks:

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Festivus, Solstice or Saturnalia, the arrival of Sinterklaas or Grandfather Frost, Hanukkah, Mawlid Un Nabi, Kwanzaa or something entirely personal, we send you love. Create an amazing 2017!!
 
 

Bears on the Go in Sidney...

Hello.

Inspector C. Robin here: Teddy Bear Squad.

Teddy Bear Squad

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