Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine's Photo Collections for the Romantic in You

It's difficult to believe that in just over a week, Christmas 2012 will be a month in the past. What follows has always been a challenge for me. After celebrating one of the most exciting, blessed, happiest holiday seasons, comes nothing but... well, nothing.

You guessed it. Winter's not my favourite season. Bitter cold, mounds of snow, challenging travel and short days  may be alright for some, but I'm not a fan.  However, living in what is referred to as the Snowbelt, I've learned to make the best of it, finding my pleasures where I can.

So it is that at this time of year I'm all about Valentine's Day.  I mean really, unless you like to ski or snowmobile, what else is there? And if you think about it there is something about cold winter nights that goes hand in hand with the theme of romance. Cocooning at home by the comfort of a crackling fire, drinks in hand, your honey beside you, as winter rages outside, is about as good as it gets.  A bouquet of colourful flowers brightens a dreary day, while dinner à deux with flickering candlelight and soft music are guaranteed to make you forget how cold it is outside.

So, in an attempt to warm up winter just a bit, here are two photo collections all about love and romance:

iCLIPART.com Love and Romance Photo Collection

Acclaim Images Love and Romance

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taking Perfect Baby Pictures

Everybody's getting a lot of email these days, from messages from friends and family, to promotions you foolishly signed up for, to unwanted spam.  But, no matter how much checking my inbox may seem like a full-time job, there's always one that lightens the spirit as assuredly as a burst of sunshine on a rainy day.

My newest little granddaughter lives far enough way that seeing that precious face often, happens only because of the photos my daughter emails me.  Seeing her address ensures this will be a welcome message, but then clicking on it to discover a picture of our girl's latest adventure or expression is better than any tonic for lifting the spirits. From the first messy bowl of pablum to a tour of the yard in her new sled,  the photographic documentation of her life somewhat lessens the craving for cuddles until we can see her personally.

Babies rarely take a bad picture. Those  innocent faces are always winners and every move they make tends to be pretty darn precious. However, trying to get a good photograph of them isn't without its challenges. For example when it comes to smiles our Little Miss, far more interested than amused when she sees the camera, really makes you work for them.  Also, if you're looking for that perfect pose, babies aren't usually the most co-operative of models.

So, what can you do to get a perfect picture of the picture perfect?  Here are some tips and tricks from experts:

What To Expect Foolproof Tips for Photographing Your Baby

Digital Photography Tips for Capturing Perfect Baby Photos

NY Times Gadgetwise How to Take Better Baby Photos

Photography.com Capture the Best Baby Pictures

NY Institute of Photography How to Take Great Baby Pictures

DPS Tips for Photographing Babies

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guides to Using Photoshop Filters

As mentioned in an earlier post, my experience with Photoshop has been limited to what I needed to know. The basic skills were all that was necessary for the work I was doing. As a result there are tools I can find quite easily — crop, clone stamp, lasso, and eraser, while the remainder and most effects remain mysterious.

Having attained a certain age — somewhere between youthful zeal and elderly apathy, I seem to have in equal measure, a desire to keep learning and a cautious approach to new things.  Fortunately,  I attach more importance to the former.  So, I have committed a portion of each week to my own "Playtime With Photoshop" class.

The most recent session was experimenting with filters, which a colleague had mentioned to me. While I may have prior to this been aware of their existence, they fell into the 'don't touch lest you mess something up' category. 

So, throwing caution to the wind recently, I clicked on filters and had some fun. It was a fascinating exercise and I will be spending a little more time discovering the endless possibilities. 

I share with you some of the sites that put me through the steps:

addictivetips Basic Guide to Photoshop Filters

echo enduring Photoshop Filter You Should Know

tutorial9 Photoshop's Filters

Adobe Photoshop Filter Basics