Photo of the Month – Winter Storm

Hi Folks:

Through the winter months we can get some very high tides (and consequently very low ones) known as ‘King Tides‘.  Winter here  also tends to involve a fair bit of rain and some really powerful winds.  The combined effect isn’t as strong here in Victoria as it is on the west coast of the island, but it can still be pretty amazing.  I went out a couple of years ago to try to photograph this remarkable occurrence and ended up with my camera (and me) getting swamped by a rogue wave!  Both of us survived the encounter, chronicled here: Photo of the Month – Winter Storm. Continue Reading →

International Free Hugs Day!!

Hi Folks:

Today, July 7 (the first Saturday in July every year) is International Free Hugs Day!!  So hug someone you love today.  Or a stranger.  Or, preferably, both!!  This is our third year of hugging Victoria, so if you’re in Victoria today, drop by the Homecoming Statue (near the Tourism Victoria building, downtown by Ship’s Point) and we’ll be happy to share a hug with you!! Continue Reading →

Happy Canada Day!

Hi Folks:

It’s now well into the evening and the last of the Canada Day fireworks will be drifting away down at Victoria’s Inner Harbour.  The weather here was absolutely perfect for a celebration – sunny and warm but not too hot.  As is our wont, Marcia and I brought our ‘Free Hugs‘ posters downtown with us and invested some four hours this afternoon giving out Free Hugs to anyone who was willing to share one!  It’s always a delightful experience for us.  We hugged someone who was two weeks old, and someone who was celebrating his birthday today – possibly into his nineties.  We shared hugs with a couple from Brazil on their first day in Canada, and we hugged a gentleman who knew about two words of English – ‘Thank-you’ and ‘Iran’.  There were people from Australia and Ireland and the US, from Alberta and New Brunswick, and yes, people from Victoria!  We even had two young women ask us for the loan of a marker and two sheets of paper torn from a notebook – they made their own ‘Free Hugs’ signs before heading on their way. Continue Reading →

Earth Hour 2012 in Victoria, BC

Hi Folks:

As you probably know, Saturday night from 8:30-9:30 local time was ‘Earth Hour‘.  Originally conceived by the World Wildlife Fund and the Sydney Morning Herald in Sydney, Australia in 2007, it has since become a world-wide event.  Marcia and I were wondering how much participation there would be in Victoria so we headed up to the top of Christmas Hill to find out.  Christmas Hill is part of the Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary here in Victoria, and being a large rock outcrop in about the middle of the city, it affords a spectacular view of the city and beyond.  We were pleased by what we saw.  Although street lights and outside lights for some businesses needed to stay on for safety reasons, much of the city was otherwise dark.  I made a quick video with my cell phone camera, a 360° panorama, which you can see below.  NB: I’m a photographer not a videographer, and there places where it was so dark that the camera had to hunt for focus.  That however, is the point!

Earth Hour 2012, Victoria, BC
Click on the image to view the video

Our thanks to everyone in Victoria and around the world who participated in Earth Hour.  It’s a way of saying that you care about this little blue marble we call ‘home’.

Marcia and Mike.

2012 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

 Update: If you’re looking for 2014 calendars, please click here.

Fixed the link – December 4, 2012 – my apologies!

While there are usually several templates made every year to make photo calendars in Lightroom, (with many thanks to their respective providers, you can find one here, one here, one here, one here, a Photoshop script here, and while not a template, Matt Kloskowski has a video on using downloaded calendar images in Lightroom here (corrected the link, December 20).  NB: He begins in Photoshop, but you can do most of what he does straight in Lightroom.  I’ll add more links as I come across them)  last year I created a template in MS Word that allowed people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars.  Thought I’d do the same again this year.  I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file.  Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this: Continue Reading →