Friday, October 26, 2012

How Not to Take Bad Photographs

As someone who knows what a Brownie is, trust me.  I also know bad photography. Grainy, often slightly out of focus images, with distant people smack dab in the centre of too much landscape, are generally the visual memories of the boomer generation.

Even if the average person then,  knew about composition,  gave a thought to lighting or understood that even a bit of a twitch would result in a blurry photo, there was the reality of working with film.  You never really knew what you had until the pictures came back.

Fast forwarding a decade or so, we saw the Polaroid craze.  Sure, we did get the finished product within seconds,  but the results filled albums of photos with faded faces and washed out colours.

Enter the digital camera and suddenly everyone became a photographer.  There's no wasted film, no question about whether or not you got that perfect picture of great-grandpa or one where it looks like he's choking on his teeth.  And even if you somehow still messed up,  technology, too, has given us not just the option of getting rid of the bad pictures, but of working with them after to improve upon them.

All of this said, doo-doo does still happen, and even the best photographers have a bad day.  These helpful sites suggest ways to prevent it:

Better Digital Photo Mistakes

photodesk Tips to Prevent Bad Photos

photojojo.com Prevent Photo Horror Stories

Some might say there are reasons for everything, even taking bad photos. Just for fun, here's the top 10:

nikondigital.org 10 Reasons to Take a Bad Photograph

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beautiful Landscape Photos of Every Season

There's nothing like a little sunshine to make our already beautiful world even better.

Folks in this part of the country are getting themselves prepped to weather another Snowbelt winter, as the signs of its impending arrival appear at every turn.  The chill and dampness shroud  day and night. There is a barrenness to the landscape that didn't exist even a week ago. Trees bereft of their colourful foliage are stark skeletons cast against an often grey sky.  The oranges, crimsons and yellows of autumn leaves have been raked into moldering mounds,  providing protection for gardens and beds where once glorious blooms have withered away. 

But today was one of those mid- autumn blessings,  balmy temperatures to cheer us and sunshine bringing the landscape back to life.  Its brightness sparkled on the morning dew lying fresh and clean on grass and sodden leaves.

So, as we think ahead to what's to come, this was a wonderful reminder that each season has it splendour.  We offer these collections of landscape photos as proof:

iCLIPART.com Landscape Photos

Acclaim Images Landscapes

National Geographic Landscape Photos

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Capture Perfect Halloween Memories

The little ghouls, goblins, witches and wizards are getting very excited. Halloween is only a week away.  Costumes ranging from the outlandish to the downright terrifying,  jack-o-lanterns and spooky decorations,  make for some amazing photo opportunities.  But conditions, such as lighting,  can be tricky. 

To create memories you will treasure, you want to be sure to get the best out of the environment you have to work with.  The following sites will offer some tips to help you capture your trick-or-treaters, big and small,  as well as the decorations and fun for posterity on this eeriest of evenings:

Digital Picture Zone Lighting Tips for Wonderful Halloween Photos

ezinearticles.com Spooktacular Halloween Photos

New York Institute of Photography Great Halloween Pictures

PhotoArgus Simple Tips for Better Halloween Photography

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cartoon Images Bring a Smile

The late comedienne Phyllis Diller once said, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

Looking out at yet another blah October morning,  wet, dreary and not showing any particular promise for change in the near future, it seemed today that a smile was in order.  Instantly coming to mind were the wonderful cartoons of artist Ron Leishman,  whose popular collection of images offers something for virtually every situation and event, from the off-beat (ToonClipart Offbeat) to traditional (ToonClipart Traditional).

While Leishman's style is familiar,  he is just one of several talented people whose entertaining illustrations bring smiles to any occasion.  Whether funny, cute or silly,  the art they create puts a unique spin on your projects. Guaranteed to disarm and charm,  there is something to suit every personality and taste.

Obviously there are times when serious is the only way to go, but when you don't have to play it that way, cartoon illustrations are a wonderful option. And if they bring a smile to someone's day,  it's even better.

Check out some grin-worthy collections by just some of today's talented cartoonists here:

ToonClipart

iCLIPART.com Artist Collection

iCLIPART.com Artist Collection

iCLIPART.com Artist Collection 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time for Family Pictures

It was family picture time again and with no small amount of organization the clan managed to gather on a dreary fall Sunday recently.  As time has a way of altering the demographic, both in number and appearance, we've tried to make this a tradition every three years.

Our 2009 offering was actually done during a family wedding. This had been a three-day affair and the photographer hired for the event was known for his candid shots.  He did indeed do a fantastic job of these and created an album of memories that were photographic perfection as well as entertaining.  The unguarded moments conveyed a gamut of emotions and expressions. 

Anyone who's ever tried to get these kinds of pictures and do them well,  knows it's not easy being at the right place at the right time with a camera at the right setting.  The spontaneous shots this  fellow took were so amazing I was surprised to discover his group shots were, while usable, considerably less impressive.  I admired his genius for being able to capture those one-of-a kind images, but saw too that a talent for action and intuitiveness didn't necessarily guarantee an equal ability to create beautifully-staged photographs with large numbers of people.  Undoubtedly, this too isn't as easy as some make it appear.  Here are some tips to help you get it right:

DPS Family Portrait Dos and Don'ts

Taking Fabulous Holiday Family Photos

Metro Family Magazine Tips From an Expert

Exposure Guide Family Photography Tips