Panoramas: Making Waves

Hi Folks:

I’ve been making digital panoramas since I owned my first digital camera, and some time before that with prints (although we called them photomosaics back then). Just to be clear, there’s a difference (at least to me) between a panoramic image – one that’s been cropped to a wide-aspect format – and a digital panorama. A digital panorama is one where 2+ images of the same scene are combined in post-processing software to create one image that captures more of the scene than could be contained in a single frame. There are several advantages to creating panoramas; three of the most prominent are:

  • the aforementioned ability to capture more of a scene
  • the ability to use a longer focal length lens to avoid wide-angle lens distortions and vignetting
  • the ability to create higher resolution images than can be captured in a single image

We’re not going to get into the technical details of making panoramas in this post, but those who are interested are welcome to review our other posts on panoramas, here. This is an example of a digital panorama:

Tofino, BC – 60 images (click on any image to see it larger)

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Don’t Call People Out – Call Them In

Hi Folks:

We came across this video the other day (presented at TEDMonterey 2021) and had to pass it along. This is the best forum for us to do just that! If you’ve read other of our posts this goes without saying, but we love this woman!

Loretta J. Ross - TED Monterey 2021

Don’t Call People Out – Call Them In (click on the image to see the video)

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Working With Capture One’s Exposure Warnings Feature

Hi Folks:

Before I get started I wanted to add a shout out to two people: David Grover (Capture One) and Paul Reiffer, both of whom know much more about Capture One than I do, and from whom I’ve learned most of what I do know. Thanks!

Okay. This post is going to assume two things. The first is that you know what a photographic histogram is, and the second is that you’re familiar with Capture One’s editing software. If you need help with the first, we have a (very old) post here on the Essentials of Digital Photography. If you need help learning Capture One, check out the links above or leave a comment here.

I’m using Capture One 21 (14.2) but if I remember correctly this should work back to at least version 12 if not before. Continue Reading →

Four health benefits of hugs – and why they feel so good

Hi Folks:

We came across this article recently and had to share it with you. We’ve known the truth of this for some time (of course) but now you do too!

Four health benefits of hugs – and why they feel so good

Hugs,
M&M

Remember, if you can’t hug the ones you love, hug the ones you’re with!

Happy International Free Hugs Day!!

Hi Folks:

As you all know, the first Saturday in July (today!) is International Free Hugs Day!! Normally (what does that even mean anymore?) that would mean we’d be downtown, by our Hugging Tree, sharing hugs, smiles, waves, handshakes, fist bumps and conversations with locals and tourists alike. Not last year, however, and not today… but soon! The world is starting to re-open, slowly. In the meantime, to paraphrase the song:

If you can’t share hugs with the ones you love, hug the ones you’re with!!

Hugging a Chinese lion, 2019

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. We have a late entry in this year’s Creampuff Derby: our granddaughter, who was born this morning. A most auspicious day!!

Ladybugs and FREE HUGS!

Hi Folks:

A very special day for us, for several reasons. It’s World Ocean Day, and since we’re lucky enough to live within 300m of the ocean, we’re privileged to see her in all of her moods. Nineteen years ago today Marcia asked Mike a very important question; we say YES!! to each other every day. And today is also the anniversary of our very first Free Hugs campaign: June 8, 2010. Below is a re-post of our adventures that day.

image © Aaron Licht, 2010It’s been more than a year since we’ve had to (temporarily) suspend our Free Hugs campaigns; we miss it every day. In 11 years we’ve shared hugs, smiles, waves, handshakes, high fives, conversations and more with tens of thousands of people from at least 88 countries. When it’s safe for you and for us we’ll welcome you to join us once again. In the meantime, wherever you are today, we offer you (two – at least!) virtual hugs. We wish you peace.

Hugs,
M&M
_____

Hello Dear Ones!

It’s been my hands meandering today – over poster board with glue and markers, 3″ diameter paper ladybugs and brightly coloured flowers.

Tomorrow, June 8th, 2010, Mike and I celebrate the eighth anniversary of the day I proposed to him. Yes, I did! Down on one knee, rocks and all, by our favourite river. June 8th, 2002.

In honour of the day, Mike and I shall be down at what is referred to as the Inner Harbour here in Victoria, British Columbia at 4pm …. the same approximate time that I popped the question and Mike responded with a resounding YES!

Mike and I are both dolling up these placards to say, simply, FREE HUGS. Yet they are decorated by each of us individually – so each is unique – as are we! Mike’s has a butterfly, hearts and bright colours. Mine has ladybugs and huge flowers.

We’ll be giving out free hugs to any willing participants and we certainly hope there may be a few daring souls. Should you happen to be in the neighbourhood, come join us – even if it’s just to watch two mature adults make absolute fools of themselves – enjoying and savouring every single moment of it! There’ll be ample supply of laughter, hugs, smiles and yes, even free hug certificates as giveaways.

If you’ve not yet checked out our Hugs Certificates page, take a moment to do so here. Mike and I carry a stock of these business card-sized certificates which we delightedly give out to: cashiers; people we see sharing hugs with a friend; as bookmarks in magazines and books in the stores we frequent; on the seats of buses; anywhere we happen to go and someone either gives us a reason to smile or really needs one of their own – which we happily oblige by giving them one of ours. What a joyous adventure this has become – such fun!

An exceptionally BIG thank you to Mike for this marvellous idea, for providing the materials and for the inspiration to make this a play day! A lifetime supply of HUGS, just for him and him alone …

In Light and Laughter,

Marcia

BTW: we’re not the first to do this and hopefully not the last! Check out the Free Hugs Campaign that inspired us to do the same.

Update:

We had a great time, and we gave/ received over 200 hugs in 3 hours.  Our friend Aaron came by as well and made some photographs.  Here are a couple of the best of them (more are available here):

Anticipation Group Hug

P.S. Be sure to check out our International Free Hugs Day 2012 and International Free Hugs Day 2011 posts!

Creating a Ragged Edge Frame with Affinity Photo

Hi Folks:

Depending on the software you have, there are a myriad of ways to add a border effect to your images. On some of our images I like to add a white border with a ragged edge that allows a little bit of the image to bleed through into the frame. In Capture One (and, previously, Lightroom) I’ve used four graduated filters of the same width and parameters to create such borders, but I’ve just discovered a much easier way to do this using Affinity Photo.† (click on any image to see it larger)

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Happy Mother’s Day!!

Hi Folks:

Today we celebrate all those who are mothers, all who have been and are no longer with us, and all those who have served in that capacity – fathers, aunts, grandparents, foster parents, siblings… anyone and everyone with an abundance of love to share. Today we honour You. (but Marcia’s still my favourite – Mike 💗👨🏻‍🦳👩🏻‍🦳💗)

Happy Mother's DayIn 2010 Marcia wrote a tribute to her father: Remember Father for Mother’s Day. Since then, Marcia’s mother and father have left us. Mike’s mother, dad and sister (herself a mother) are also gone, and Mike’s father passed away yesterday. We remember them in our hearts. However, we are blessed with an abundance of other family and we’ll be welcoming a new granddaughter this summer!!

Sending love and hugs your way!
M&M

P.S. Let’s not forget the Mother of us All…

Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It’s Pi Day (3-14)!! Since there are few things more irrational than the alchemical blending of fat and flour, it means it’s time for another recipe. A pie recipe, of course. Today’s recipe comes from the book, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate by Christine McFadden and Christine France. The book was a gift to us from Mike’s mom, and we trust the publishers won’t mind us sharing a recipe if we encourage you to buy the book. It really is a perfect gift for the chocolatier in your life. Before we get started we also wanted to mention how important it is to buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate. From the site:

You may not know it based on first glance, but chocolate products go through a lengthy process to earn the Fair Trade Certified™ seal. Producers and businesses we work with adhere to strict labor, environmental, and ethics standards that prohibit slavery and child labor and ensure cocoa growers receive a steady income, regardless of volatile market prices. It’s not an easy process. You can thank them for their commitment, and incentivize even more sustainably-made chocolate, by enjoying fair trade chocolate in its many forms, from chocolate bars, powders, and baking chips to ingredients in energy bars and snacks.

If you live in Victoria, BC, be sure to check out The Chocolate Project at the Hudson Bldg, and also the new Chocolat and Co on Fort Street.

Today’s recipe is for “Chocolate Truffle Tart” because, well, chocolate. ’nuff said.

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The 5Ws of Computer Backups

Hi Folks:

If you have a digital image, it’s stored somewhere. Doesn’t matter if it was made with a digital camera or scanned or whatever, it’s just 1s and 0s…. along with everything else on your computer/phone/tablet. Last night I did a talk (#7) on YouTube for our local camera group on backing up your data. I mentioned at the beginning that I’m not the most qualified person in the group to give that talk, but me is what they got. Any and all errors are my own. Anyway, it’s about 90 minutes long but if you’re interested, you can find it here:

The 5Ws of Computer BackupsNB: There’s a pinned comment that lists three things I didn’t mention during the talk.

Stay safe, Be well.

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.