Creative Photography Work

Hi Folks:

Originally wrote this as an e-mail to a friend but thought we should post this as well. Our friend has mentioned that she has been in a bit of a creative slump with her photography recently, so when I came across this article, I thought of her: Explore Photoshop Mix and Fix with Visual Artist Amr Elshamy.

I do pretty much all of my cell phone processing using Snapseed, but I also have Photoshop Express, Ps Fix, Ps Mix, Prisma and some other apps installed. They’re all free. Prisma does offer an annual subscription plan but if you’re not interested you can ignore that. Prisma is pretty much a one-trick pony, but the one thing you can do is to swipe left/right to vary the amount of effect from the filter you’ve chosen. For any given image most of the filters will look terrible, but there are usually one or two that look good.

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Happy Father’s Day!

To all fathers and those who have assumed the role: uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others, today we salute you for the monumental task you have undertaken. Remember to lead with love.

Hugs,
M&M

Father and Son
(look closely)

2018 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eighth 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. As we’ve done before we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, 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:

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Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

August was a pretty quiet month for us, photographically at least. However, we did have a couple of interesting images to make. Marcia’s first:

ST EVAL

ST EVAL

One day while we were down at the Inner Harbour, we spotted this yacht in port. She looks to be a converted fishing trawler, beautifully done up! We took three of Marcia’s images and combined them into one triptych.

Happy Faces

Happy Faces!!

About a week later when Mike went to the grocery store he encountered this group, all with the most beautiful, happy faces! It was too good to pass by without making an image!

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

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – July

Hi Folks:

In honour of the 30th Annual Moss St. Paint-In, we’re celebrating art in our photos of the month for July!

Marcia’s image is first. We came across this scene and, as writers ourselves, recognized it as everything the modern travel writer needs! It’s perfect!

Everything the Modern Travel Writer Needs

For Mike’s image we have his favourite artwork from the day. Frame courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; we’ll let you guess who the pretty woman with the parasol is. 😉

Moss St. Paint In

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

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – June

Hi Folks:

We had a fairly busy month photographically in June, including some time at the Oak Bay Tea Party and several walks along Dallas Road. It can be a challenge selecting one image from each batch for the month, but we’re happy with our choices. Marcia first:

St. John's Wort

Marcia’s image is a bit different from our regular work in that it was not only made with her phone, but processed using phone software as well. Prisma was used to create the slight graphic effect, and then that image was overlaid on the original image using Snapseed. Phones don’t have the memory or processing capacity of a computer, but used well they can still provide good results!

St. John’s Wort grows with wild abandon here in Victoria (although it’s not as invasive as some other species), and while we love its bright yellow flowers, it also reminds us of a short clip from the wonderful book ‘My Brother’s Farm‘ by Doug Jones. In the book he mentioned that his brother had tried to grow St. John’s Wort on the farm, but it wouldn’t take. His thought was, “I don’t know why…maybe it’s depressed.” 😉

Dallas Road clouds

We get some great clouds here in Victoria, both in the inner harbour and along the Dallas Road walkway, paralleling the Juan de Fuca Strait. This is a composite image made of four exposures, combined and pushed around some in Lightroom.

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

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – Big Skies

Hi Folks:

We thought we’d do a themed post for May’s images. Although Marcia is mostly renowned for her flower photography, she does in fact shoot a wide variety of other work as well! As we’re both big fans of clouds and cloud watching, we thought we’d use clouds as the basis for our photos of the month. Marcia’s first.

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Photo of the Month – April

Hi Folks:

Eek! Already mid-May and we haven’t done a Photo of the Month post for April yet! Just so much happening in this town… At the end of April we had the opportunity to go out to Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria and wander around for a couple of hours. We had a great time. There’s one place in the gardens where four saplings have grown together, and where the stems join they form a perfect bowl. Victoria’s spring rains filled the bowl with water, and falling camellia flowers completed the scene. Here’s Marcia’s image!

Treebowl

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

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – March

Hi Folks:

Under the ‘better late than never’ category, we wanted to present two alternate views of spring here in Victoria. We had a late spring this year; our own personal Flower Count at the beginning of March was about 3% of what it was last year. However, as the month wore on the weather improved and we’ve been able to enjoy our ‘normal’ plethora of sights and colours and sounds!

Marcia’s image is first. This is one of our flowering plum trees, growing downtown on a very lucky street corner!

Flowering PlumEntire neighbourhoods of the city are thus transformed every spring. It’s quite a sight to see!

Mike’s image for March was made in Mount Work Regional Park, just west of Victoria, and shows how the warmth and rains of spring transform the wild landscape as well.

Spring Glow

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

Hugs,
M&M

Softproofing in Lightroom: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

In my opinion, digital photo printing is equal parts art and science. It covers much greater depth than can be contained within one blog post, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other resources on the ‘net. If you want an introduction to photography and colour management, you might want to start here: Photography and Colour Management.

Okay, this is going to be a quick (for me) blog post. Assuming that you have some understanding of colour models, you know that while Lab is completely device independent, CMYK is completely device dependent (RGB is somewhere in the middle). As Vincent Versace has been known to say, printers are default devices: they only work with the information you send them. As such, the colour on a print relies on the printer and the inkset it contains, the paper chosen and the .icc profile for that paper. The printer profile is a set of instructions that translate the RGB colour space from your monitor into a CMYK colour space that your printer will recognize. Every printer/ paper combination has its own .icc profile, whether custom made for an individual machine or provided by the paper manufacturer for their stock. Now, while the only way to know 100% what your print will look like is to print it (known as hardproofing), one can get most of the way there by softproofing. This simulates (as much as possible) what the print will look like on your computer screen. Once you have an idea what the print will look like, you can modify the settings to make the print emulate what you want. Keep in mind that monitors are emissive devices (they project light) while paper reflects light.

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