Photo of the Month – October

Hi Folks:

It’s raining heavily as this post is being written; many locals complain about our wet time of the year but we look forward to knowing that the aquifer (and us and everything else) will appreciate the water next summer during our dry period. Apparently we had 26 days of rain in October this year… too much of a good thing, perhaps? 🙂

Collectively we made a good number of images over the past month; as usual selecting just two was a challenge but here’s what we have to offer.

Marcia’s image first.

Stepping into Fogtober

Stepping into Fogtober

This image was made in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, showcasing a copper beech tree and morning fog. In addition to the rain we get, October is also a month where we get a lot of fog…to the point that our 10th month is often referred to as ‘Fogtober’.

Fall Colours

Fall Colours

While Vancouver Island doesn’t have as many large deciduous forests as there are in eastern North America, there are some places around Victoria to view autumn colours. Beacon Hill Park is one, Ross Bay Cemetery is another. But there’s another kind of colour here, and that comes from chalk art playfully rendered into form. In our opinion this piece is worth submitting to the National Gallery in Ottawa, but we’re quite happy to leave it where it is. Our appreciations to the artist!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!! (and don’t forget the brollie…)

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – September

Hi Folks:

September was a busy month for Victoria, hosting (among other things) the Classic Boat Festival, the Chalk Art Festival and a visit from the British Royal family. However, in sorting through the 1100+ images we made last month, we were drawn once again to images we made in Beacon Hill Park. It really is a magical place for us. Continue Reading →

Creative Use of the Lightroom Radial Filter

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since we did a Lightroom tutorial, so it must be time for another one. The Radial Filter is our focus this time; it’s the third and most recent of the three tools in Lightroom (the Adjustment Brush and the Graduated Filter being the other two) that allow you to target specific parts of the image by masking out certain areas and making adjustments to the rest. As such the Radial Filter uses the same layout and the same presets as the other two tools. Let’s get started. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

One of the benefits of living where we do is that we’re frequent visitors to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park. In addition to the many trees from all over the world, shrubs, perennials, ferns, etc. the park staff plant several thousand flowers every year. And we haven’t mentioned the wildlife, from dragonflies to black-tailed deer. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and the changes through the seasons are something to behold.

As usual we have two images for our photo of the month post, one from Marcia and one from Mike. Both were made with our cell phone cameras, and both were pushed around a bit in Lightroom. Continue Reading →

Happy Earth Day!

Earth

(click on image to see 4K footage from the ISS)

Happy Earth Day, everyone! As the saying goes:

“Love your Mother. Good planets are hard to find.”

Hugs,
M&M

Dawn Redwood, Dressed Up for Spring

Photo of the Month – November

Hi Folks:

One of the (many) benefits of living in Victoria is that we generally have flowers in bloom all 12 months of the year. A favourite thing for us to do on New Year’s Day is to go to the Lieutenant Governor’s levĂ©e (reception) and then wander the grounds, making images of the flowers (images we dutifully send back east, to remind friends and family of what is coming for them). 🙂

We’re not entirely without winter’s chill, however. Marcia made the following image of hoar frost on English ivy leaves one November morning on her commute through Beacon Hill Park.

Hoar Frost

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

Hugs,
M&M

Shooting Fall Colours… sort of

Hi Folks:

If you live in the northern hemisphere then autumn is upon you, and if you’re fortunate enough to be in an area that has deciduous trees, then they’re likely in the process of turning the glorious colours of fall – reds, yellows, oranges, browns… (NB: if you want to know why the leaves change colour in the fall, click here). This is a great time of year to be a landscape photographer, and it’s easy to become seduced by all of those colours. However, it’s also a good time to look at the underlying skeleton of your photographs, and one way to do that is to remove the colour and move to a monochrome palette. (Yes, this is an attempt to put off the ‘learning to see in black and white’ post I keep thinking I should write, but for now this will serve well as placeholder. 🙂 ) By shifting away from the colours of the leaves we can look at shapes, at form, at movement, at textures, at light and shadow… All of these essential components exist in colour images as well, but they can get moved to the background of your compositions if you’re not careful.

The images below were all shot in nearby Beacon Hill Park on the same day. All were shot with my cell phone as I was walking through the park, and they all share similar processing in Lightroom. They all reveal what lies behind the colours that are so wondrously revealing themselves right now.

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

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. It’s important to remember that unless you have a camera with an achromatic sensor (since there are only a few companies in the world that make them, if you had one, you’d know) with digital you’re always capturing colour information even when you’re shooting in B&W. As such you can adjust the luminance values of the various colours (shown as grayscale) to change the contrast and overall look of a B&W image either in camera (when shooting jpg, by choosing a different recipe) or in your raw file conversion software.

Photo of the Month – November

Hi Folks:

We’ve been working on our 2015 photo calendar templates here at Chez M&M and they’re almost ready, but we wanted to take a short break to include our favourite image(s) for November. It came down to two and we couldn’t decide, so we uploaded them both. As with October’s Photo of the Month post, we’re using the NextGen gallery plugin to display them. Both images were captured with our (Samsung Galaxy S4) cell phones. The one is an image Marcia captured in Beacon Hill Park on her morning ‘commute’. It was a perfect morning, and very little Lightroom work has been done with this image. The second image is of ‘someone’ we pass often. It’s an example of pareidolia (with thanks to Wikipedia – do remember to support them!) but the wisdom in that ancient eye is unmistakable.

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

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – April

Hi Folks:

One of the (many) benefits of living in Victoria is that we have the beauty of Beacon Hill Park to enjoy year round. In addition to the many wildflowers, the wildlife, natural landscapes and gardens populated by flowers, shrubs and trees from around the world, the park is also home to about three dozen peafowl. The vivid displays of the peacocks are very popular with tourists and locals alike (not to mention, hopefully, the peahens), but many people are surprised to discover that peafowl can fly.

The image of the month for April is one Marcia captured with her new pocket camera. We trust you’ll enjoy it!

Peacock

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

Hugs,
Marcia and Mike.