More Firsts…

Hi Folks:

This is our 10th year of hugging Victoria residents and tourists alike, and even though October’s weather has become a little drizzly, this has been our busiest year ever! We’ve had so many amazing moments during our hugging sessions – many already recorded in various posts, but we still have new ones all the time. Thought we should gather a few together and share them with you:

  1. Whenever a tour bus or one of Victoria’s Hop-On, Hop-Off buses go by, we make a point of waving to the drivers and the passengers. Many times they’ll wave back, but this summer a bus stopped for a red light while right in front of us. The next thing we knew, the door opened and a woman was coming down the stairs, exclaiming, “I want a hug!!” What could we do but oblige? 🙂 Fortunately we had time to rush over and share hugs before she returned to her seat and the light turned green again!
  2. We shared hugs with our first Chinese lion (at the end of the Dragon Boat races)
  3. In the past we once had a conga line of four pedi-cabs all stop in unison so we could share hugs with the drivers and passengers. Earlier this year we had a group of eight people on rental scooters pull over, share hugs with us and zoom off again!
  4. We shared hugs with our first Victoria Police Officer!
  5. We also shared hugs with two Military Police from CFB Esquimalt!
  6. We’ve shared many honks, smiles, waves and air hugs with people in vehicles, but we had one young woman (also stopped for a red light) climb halfway out of the passenger window and shout, “You two are so cute! If I wasn’t in a car I would hug you!”
  7. We share our space at the Homecoming Memorial with a variety of people on different occasions, but there are four others who are there consistently. Three of them are the sculpture of the naval officer coming home to his daughter (and her dog), Homecoming Memorial but over in the northwest corner of the memorial there’s another sculpture of Captain John Mason, sitting on one of the benches. It’s interesting that there are 11 benches spaced around the memorial, but more often than not someone will be sitting with old John rather than anyone else. Earlier this year, however, we watched a young girl having a prolonged and very heartfelt chat with John, and after she was done she leaned over and gave him a kiss on his bronze cheek! His blush was not imagined.
  8. We’ve been sharing hugs for 10 years. However for only 5 of those years have we kept track of  our Hugging Ambassadors home countries. In those 5 years we’ve shared hugs with people from (at least) 88 countries. Nine of those countries are new this year: Egypt, Jordan, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Slovakia, St. Lucia, Trinidad. We’ve also consistently shared hugs with people from 16 countries every year for the past five years: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, England, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Thailand, Ukraine, US.
  9. At our last hugging session we had two boys on scooters zoom past us. The second one yelled out, “I want a hug but I don’t have time!” The woman standing beside us replied, “Eventually you’ll come to see that differently.”
  10. We have some repeat hugging folks, from locals who share hugs every time they see us, to those who hugged us on their visit last year, but we recently shared hugs with someone who hugged us 8 years ago!!

Okay, that’s it for now. Remember to hug someone you love today! Or a stranger. Or, preferably, both!


4:1 – Re-imagining the Frame

Hi Folks:

As photographers, one of the most important challenges for us it to continue to change how we see and to stretch our creativity. One of the ways to do that is to pick specific parameters and then to make a body of work that fits within those parameters. It might be to shoot only one subject, to shoot only in grayscale (B&W), to make an image every day… In the film days, most people’s relationships to photography revolved around a few aspect ratios: 2×3 (4×6), 4×5 (8×10), 5×7, etc. With some older cameras we also had 1:1 square prints, usually from 120, 127 or 620 film. With digital photography we’re not so limited, although some of the same rules apply when we get to printing. Movies (and now video) have always embraced wider frames, although there was no one standard aspect ratio. We have movies made in 1.78:1 (16×9) out to 2.4:1 (22×9) and beyond. Outside the movie theatre, for the average person 16:10/ 16:9 showed up in their lives with the first widescreen computer monitors and digital TVs.

When we updated the theme for our blog recently, our header images needed to be created at 4:1. As we covered in our recent post Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas, in photography a panoramic image is one with a wide aspect ratio and a panorama refers to an image made from multiple, overlapping exposures. Not all panoramas are panoramic in aspect ratio. However, going through our catalogue of images looking for those that might be appropriate for header images brought me to question what might fit into that 4:1 frame. Panoramic images usually depict broad skylines, often shot with wide-angle lenses, like this:

Victoria's Inner Harbour

But looking through the images got me wondering what else might work. Maybe something closer, but still panoramic in nature, like this:

Dallas Road Shoreline

Closer still, perhaps?

Cathedral Grove Nurse Log

How close could I get and still make an image that fit the frame?

Dallas Road Shoreline

Dallas Road Storm

How about a single flower?”

Sunflower at the Gardens at HCP

Or a small patch of winter leaves?

Frost on Leaves - Butchart Gardens in February

Not every image works of course, but I’ve added another tool I can use to expand my vision. I still make panoramic images like this:

Frigon Islets, Port Alice, BC

But now I’m also likely to look at something like a hood ornament at a car show in a different light.

1929 Willys 3-Window Whippet

One never knows where it might lead! With what creative projects are you currently involved? Leave us a comment and let us know… 🙂

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


P.S. We now have 40+ images comprising our Headers collection. They’re set to load randomly, so you’ll have to keep checking different posts/pages to see them all! 🙂