Photo of the Month – May

Hi Folks:

One of the (many) wonderful things about living here on the ‘wet’ coast is that we have flowers every month of the year. Victoria is know as the ‘city of flowers’ after all. To that end, both of us selected flower images from the ones we made in May. Both images were made with our cell phones, and both were pushed around a bit in Lr. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – April

Hi Folks:

Continuing a recent trend, since both of us are photographers our ‘Photo of the Month‘ post contains two images, one from each of us.

First up is Marcia’s image, and before we go any further it should be mentioned that both of us are affected by apophenia – specifically pareidolia. Don’t worry, it’s not inherently contagious. Besides, we prefer to think that it’s not so much seeing order in chaos as being able to see what’s really there… 🙂 This image was made in Mill Hill Regional Park:

Your Adoring Gaze

Your Adoring Gaze

Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – March

Hi Folks:

We both love dragons (admit it, who doesn’t?), but this is one of our favourites, captured with Marcia’s camera and pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons

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My Favourite Image of the Year

Hi Folks:

Every year that we can we head to Government House on New Year’s Day for the Lieutenant Governor’s levĂ©e. It’s an opportunity for us to meet the present Lieutenant Governor and his/her spouse, listen to the opening speech, the bagpipe music, toast the piper, and partake in some coffee and good food. We also stroll the grounds and make photographs of the flowers already in bloom – that we dutifully send east to family – just as a reminder of what’s yet to come for the rest of the country. 🙂 Before heading out to wander the grounds, however, at some point we head to the balcony at the back of the house, look out over the grounds and the Juan de Fuca Strait beyond. It’s also my opportunity to make some images of Marcia, and without hesitation it’s my favourite image of the year.

Marcia on New Year's Day, 2016

Marcia on New Year’s Day, 2016

I know she looks beautiful here, but the image doesn’t really do her justice. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

From Marcia and me, we wish you a new year filled with as much happiness, health, prosperity, excitement, love, peace and adventure as you can handle!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. Santa Claus brought us both new cell phone (cameras) this year.  Who knows where that may lead!

2016 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the sixth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. This year we’ve also added one more option, which we’ll get to below. I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. 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 →

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(s) of the Month

Hi Folks:

It’s already the beginning of November and we’ve yet to do a ‘Photo of the Month‘ post for July, August, September or October! Yikes!! The challenge of many bloggers… life gets in the way. To that end we thought we’d combine them all into one post with one image for each month. Two of these images were made by Marcia and two by Mike, all of them were made with our Galaxy S4 cell phones, and all of them have been pushed around to varying degrees in Lightroom.

Off we go!! Continue Reading →

Colour Manipulation in Lightroom

Hi Folks:

We haven’t put out a Lightroom post for a while; this one is an attempt to answer a question that we were asked recently on one of the social media sites. Before we get started, if you have Photoshop, PSE, Corel Photopaint, Gimp or some other pixel-editing software, you’ll more likely find doing colour manipulation easier there. However, if Lightroom is what you have, all is not lost! Continue Reading →

Negative Space as Subject

Hi Folks:

This is one of those posts that’s been percolating in the back of my head for a while… It’s not so much about making great art as it is about expanding your vision, learning to see in a new way.

Before we get started, we need to first define the term ‘negative space’. In visual arts like photography, drawing and painting, negative space is the space around the subject. In music negative space is the time between the beats. The question then is not whether or not one can make an image without a subject. Ansel Adams famously said,

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”

so that’s not what we’re talking about here. On we go and I’ll try to explain. Continue Reading →