It’s Our Birthday!!

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Hi Folks:

Well, it’s now been 11 (!!) years since our blog took its first breath, and we currently have 635 blog posts and 150 pages on our site. The posts cover poetry, photography, our hugging adventures (88 countries and counting!) and various other musings; our pages include some of our stories and free Adventures of Rainbow Mouse colouring pages to download and enjoy. We’ve shared some wonderful adventures with you through these and are looking forward to sharing more in the future! This blog is our gift to you, our readers, and we very much appreciate having you here with us. Feel free to drop by any time, check out Marcia’s books, download our colouring pages, read our stories, leave a comment or reach out, relax and enjoy yourself. We don’t have any birthday cake that we can share, but we send you love.

Remember to hug someone you love today, even if it’s just screen to screen. You’ll both feel better for it! 🙅‍♀️🙅‍♂️

M&M

P.S. Extra special thanks to our son Nick, who does all of the techie stuff that keeps us afloat!! 🙂

2021 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eleventh year now that we’ve made our photo calendar templates available, both for MS Word users (for those who don’t use graphics programs) and as .png files for those who do. We’re doing things a bit differently this year. In the past we’ve also included a .pdf of our own calendar to download. We’ll be adding that later, but for our own calendars we use an image made in that month for each month (i.e. the December 2021 calendar image will be made in December 2020, and we haven’t gotten there yet). We’ll add in our calendar once we’re done, but this way you can start working on your own.

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom, Affinity Photo or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the graphics stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2016 to make the template and saved it as a .docx file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

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If trees could speak

Well worth 3:50 of your time. 🌳🌱🌲

_____

Ancient One

Ancient One

As I walk through the forest
the trees start to sway
to the music they hear
coming quietly
through my earphones

The apple trees
shed their blooms
upon me
while laughing quietly
at my surprise…

In a corporate boardroom
a $50B deal is made.
Far away, a baby laughs.
A grasshopper leaps.
Which one is most important?

Hugs,
M&M

Admiring the View

Admiring the ViewHi Folks:

We’re actually in Tofino, on Canada’s wet coast right now. Last Thursday marked four years since Mike’s dad passed away, so when we saw this man on the rocks admiring the view we thought of Pop. Wherever he is now, we’re sure he has a great view!

Hugs,
M&M

And They Called It Puppy Love…

Hi Folks:

It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to go out and share Free Hugs with people, so we really appreciated seeing this today! Many thanks to Robert Martinez for the share and the smile. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Learning to See in Black and White

Hi Folks:

This is the sixth of the YouTube videos we’ve done for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. The last talk was on the basics of colour so this one is on making black and white (grayscale) images. For most people, the best way to make grayscale images is to shoot in colour and then convert the images into grayscale on the computer. We explore the reasons for that and a few ways to maximize that colour information…even when all you can see on your screen are shades of gray.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below or fill out our contact form.

Two versions of an image of the Koksilah River: the top in colour and the bottom in black and white. This image is the link to the tutorial video.

Learning to See in Black and White

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.
P.S. II, the sequel. Harvey Stearn has an excellent post: Black & White Image-Making In the Digital Age. Well worth reading.

Mirror Images

Hi Folks:

I haven’t made any of these in a while, but they can be fun. Take an image and crop it in half. Invert it, then paste the cropped image back in place. Push it around a bit in whatever software you’re using. You never know what the final result will yield. 🙂

Holland Point

Holland Point

Forest Creatures

Forest Creatures

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

Hugs,
M&M

Playing With Colour

Hi folks:

This is the fifth of the YouTube videos we’ve done for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. As I mention in the introduction, colour is a topic on which one could easily earn several PhDs. I’m not much above the Kindergarten level of understanding myself, but understanding the basics of light and colour is essential to photography – even if one only shoots black and white (grayscale) images.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below or fill out our comment form.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.

P.S. II, the sequel. A couple of links:
This Woman Sees 100 Times More Colors Than The Average Person
Online Simulator Shows You What Photos Look Like to People With Color Blindness

Merging Images: Four Ways

Hi folks:

This is the fourth of the YouTube videos we’ve done for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. Most photographers make one image and use that – they may process it further, they may post it online and/or print it, but that image is it. There are some, however, who elect to use two to thousands of images to composite into one final image. There are at least a half-dozen reasons to do that; this video discusses four of them. Most of the work is done using Affinity Photo, but there are mentions of other software as well. BTW, the background software if you will, used to display and categorize the images is Capture One Pro 20.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.

Image Processing with Snapseed

Hi folks:

This is the third of the YouTube videos we did for the Victoria Photography Meetup Group. Since the videos are out in the wild anyway, we thought maybe we should put them up here as well. There are about a googol (and a half) of apps out there related to different aspects of cell phone photography (and Mike has far too many on his phone). For serious editing we use a computer and desktop software, but for quick social media posts from the phone we use Snapseed for (almost) all image processing. It’s very powerful given it’s constraints, and one should never release images naked!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find the rest of our tutorial posts here. We’re closing in on a hundred now, I think.