Friday, December 7, 2012

Photos of People Relaxing at Home

Ah, Friday.

It doesn't seem all that long ago when the opening night of the weekend for me was a gala event kicking off  a two-day funfest of friends, family and socializing.  I could barely get in the door before launching myself out again to party, usually at a pub where there was live music, but occasionally just hanging out at someone's home.  I remember then, the idea of spending a Friday night at home was nothing short of ludicrous.

Not so anymore. Weekends are still socially busy it seems, and  Friday night is still the highlight of my week. However, that has become for very different reasons. Now my weary body wanders home, thoughts of curling up on the sofa while enjoying a glass of wine and quiet conversation with my guy the enticements that keep one foot moving in front of the other.  Rather than kicking the weekend off, Friday night has become valued downtime. Some, I suppose, may say I've gotten older; I prefer to think of it as wiser. 

So as a homage to those who have attained the wisdom, enjoy this collection of people who have also found the quality in staying in sometimes:

iCLIPART.com Relaxing at Home Photos

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beautiful Baby Photos

A few weeks ago I headed out to make a dent in the old Christmas list with two of my favourite girls — my daughter and her four-month-old daughter.

Hitting the malls with a baby, especially one as picture-perfect as my granddaughter (spoke the unbaised :) ) proved to be an interesting experience.  Perfect strangers stopped us to ooh and aah, exclaim and sigh,  and indulge in that peculiar language in which none of us are fluent until we see a sweet little tot.

Certainly we weren't accosted by everyone in sight; we did manage to stroke a few names off the list after all, so there was some shopping done.  But anyone who saw our sweet miss paid attention in some way, whether by forcing us to stop, at the most extreme, or at the very least by sending a gentle smile in her direction. There literally was some kind of spontaneous reaction from virtually all those who saw 'a baby'.  Just a glimpse of that cherubic countenance literally turned frowns upside down.  When I remarked on this phenomenon, my daughter blithely noted, "It happens all the time."

The American humorist Don Herold once said, "Babies are such a nice way to start people.". How true. In them we see purity and innocence as yet unaffected by life and its influences.  How can we look at such soft-skinned perfection and not be instantly enchanted?

So here to bring a smile to your day, along perhaps with a few oohs and aahs,  are photos of some of the nicest people:

iCLIPART.com Baby Photos

Acclaim Images Baby Photos

ClickartOnline Babies

hongkiat.com 40 Photos of Lovable Babies

Baby Center Anne Geddes Amazing Baby Photos

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Colouring Black and White Photos

We recently got some family photos taken.  Choosing the beautiful colours of autumn as the backdrop and coordinating our wardrobe appropriately should be a fairly logical and easy task, I assumed. 

Wrong again, Mom. While my closet might be a fall palette, such is not the case, I soon learned, with everyone. Those prone to fashion hues of  black, white and navy were hard pressed to come up with the crimsons, golds and browns that would blend with the hues in our backyard.

As a result, what I had hoped would be a beautiful melding of vibrant tones looked more like a box of melted crayons. Ultimately, many of the portraits are simply more aesthetically appealing in black and white.

Which, of course, is a fairly common practice in photography these days — perhaps in keeping with the adage "Everything old is new again.". 

But, the reverse is also true. Adding colour to  black and whites can produce some interesting results. I first saw this a few years ago, when a niece began playing with Photoshop and used the technique to spot colour grayscale images. The effect in this case, a muted red flower on a little girl's hat, was charming.

Here are some links with tips on how to add colour as well as some awesome examples:

tutsplus Colouring a Black and White From Scratch with Photoshop

speckyboy 50 B&W Photos with Partial Colour Effects

DPS Photoshop Tutorial Mono With a Dash of Colour

How-To Geek Colourize Vintage Photos in Photoshop

PetaPixel Famous Black and Whites With Colour

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Your Child's Picture With Santa Claus


He sees us when we're sleeping, he knows when we're awake. And this time of year he likes to hang out at malls, parties and parades,  for goodness sake.  Good thing the guy likes to be high profile right now, too, because there are millions of kids eager to spend just a few minutes sitting on his lap and whispering in his ear.

A child's annual visit with Santa Claus is an image that warms my heart time and time again.  That wary, wide-eyed stare of the tiny tot  just before he bursts into tears, the coy bowed head of the introvert, the excited glee of the extrovert are photo-worthy moments that just never get tired.  The barely contained enthusiasm of energetic youngsters waiting for the big guy's arrival at the end of the annual parade is a better photo op than anything else along the route.

In this jaded society, there is probably no greater vision of innocence and wonder than the eyes of a child at this time of year. Sure, some may say it's all about materialism and must-have. But, that's not what I see when I look at a little one's face as they visit with Santa. What I see is a belief in magic,  that good things still do happen, that dreams can come true.  And sometimes, let's be honest, that Santa can be just a little scary.

See if you don't see the same thing here:

iCLIPART.com Photos of Children With Santa

Parenting Best Scared of Santa Photos

Boston.com Your Photos With Santa

Keeping in mind that second link, here is also some advice on how to make sure you get the wonder shot, not the weepy one:

About.com Tips for Great Santa Photos

Parenting Child With Santa Photography Tips

HowToDoThings.com How to Take Photos With Santa

Monday, December 3, 2012

Photoshop Effects for Your Christmas Projects

I've spent a lot of time over the years, in columns and blogs, challenging people to try and personalize Christmas by creating projects of their own.

It's a great idea, I believe it firmly.  But there's a bit of irony here. I'm neither particularly creative, nor crafty.  Kind of been a handy excuse to not practise what I preach.

Technology, of course,  is making this a bit more difficult. Ideas and tutorials abound on websites, so being able to find a project to suit your style, your time and your level of expertise is quite likely.  From gift tags to enhancing your holiday decor there are a variety of DIYs you can work on, with step by step assistance online, that will put the personal touch on your Christmas.

Being hands-on these days needn't mean you have to be handy with a glue gun either. Creating unique and fun projects with Photoshop is  another great option.  Here are just a few sites I found to guide you step by step on your way to putting your personal touch on Christmas:

Smashing Magazine 60 Christmas Photoshop Tutorials

eHow Tech Photoshop Christmas Text Effects

PSDFanExtra Frantastically Festive Photoshop Tutorials