Friday, May 3, 2013

Beautiful Photos of Beautiful Mothers

As a daughter, and a mother, I admit I get a bit sentimental about Mother's Day.   With four kids of my own, I certainly understand the change that happens to you after they place in your arms that beautiful child you waited nine months to meet.

From the minute that happens everything else in life is second.  Like most moms I would do anything to protect or help my kids.

Tenneva Jordan, a woman known for little except some great quotes, summed up motherhood perfectly, without flowery prose or ploddy erudition: "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."

It's not all about sacrifice and love, however. It's about establishing a new relationship, leading and guiding that little stranger throughout life.  It requires ingenuity, patience and trust.  Those elements aren't always that easy.

Things my mother said and did I may not have understood well as a youngster or a teen. She was entering her 50s as I was coming of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She was going "through the change" and I was testing everything in those changing times. Suffice it to say, our relationship was disconnected at best, volatile at worst.

Then I joined the ranks of motherhood and began to see my own mom a different way. I am the parent I am because of the way she raised me. Even her mistakes taught me  because I learned they were actions I didn't want to take as a parent.

In the decades since Mom and I  have forgiven much on both sides and enjoy an affectionate and patient relationship. That is something that I am grateful for every day. Especially now as Mom is in her 93rd year and in failing health. We both must now accept that the blissful life she has enjoyed isn't going to last forever.  It is not a time to be at odds or have regrets.

So it is, with sentimentality and love,  I celebrate and enjoy Mother's Day. I salute all moms who sacrifice, guide and yes, occasionally mess up.  It's a wonderful role we accept, a true labour of love.  And the joy of that experience is beautifully captured in these photo collections:

iCLIPART.com Mothers Photos

iPHOTOS.com Photos of Mothers

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Interested in Macro Photography?

In the classic film noire, Sunset Boulevard,  faded silent movie star Norma Desmond dramatically states, "Alright Mr. Demille. I'm ready for my closeup."

Though not seeking the attention the crazed actress was, there are many things that command close-up attention when being photographed.  The command isn't issued through words or action, but simply exists because profound beauty is worthy of the scrutiny.

Think of the kaleidescopic design of a resting butterfly on a dewy soft petal, the veins of an emerald-green leaf, the delicate beauty of a baby's foot.  In all of these cases, there's no debate that the closer the picture the better.

With limited knowledge of exactly how a camera works, I've enjoyed the macro feature on the new Canon that was a gift from our children a few years ago.  I took a picture of a freakishly large beetle on my deck without getting too close. I've moved in on fauna with flora, and on my beautiful children, all with varied levels of success. 

So, how difficult is it to achieve good macro photography? If you're interested in getting crisp, clear and near pictures,  these links offer some helpful hints to take great pictures that are up close and personal:

National Geographic How to Take Macro Pictures

Photo Technique 12 Macro Photography Tips

Underwater Photography Guide Macro Photography

Digital Photograph School Near-Macro Photography With a Telephoto Lens

Photo. tutsplus Fast Facts for Shooting Macro

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Who Else Thinks It's Great to Take a Hike?

May is Family Wellness Month —  31 days in which to stress the importance of healthy lifestyles and habits within your family.  Throughout the month I intend to select some photo collections to help promote all the wise decisions we can make to improve our health.

If I'm to be honest, I probably wouldn't be given top marks for some of my lifestyle choices. Blessed with some great genes, I have been able to pretty much eat what I like without any serious weight gain or negative health effects.  On the fitness level, while not exactly a total klutz,  I am, at best, an adequate athlete when it comes to sports. I don't ski,  am a mediocre swimmer,  have a wretched golf swing and think bowling's a drinking game.

What I do love to do is walk and dance — the former a lot, the latter less so as my partner isn't that into it.   So today we will take to the trails and streets,  parks and woods, beaches and mountaintops, with photo collections of hikers, walkers and strollers.

iCLIPART.com Hiking and Walking Photos

iPHOTOS.com Hiking and Walking Photos

National Geographic Hiking Photos

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three Great Sites for International Jazz Day Images

It's International Jazz Day, and as this blog is all about images, the intent this time is to combine music with visual arts.

It's a good fit really — both involve artistry, creativity and an obsession for the craft.  To paraphrase American psychologist Abraham Maslow,  musicians, artists and poets must create their particular art to be at peace.

I am acquainted with the creative mind. My youngest child is a musician who studied jazz in post-secondary education. Through him we have met a number of other talented people and have had the pleasure of hearing some wonderful music.  What we have noted  is that unlike the sheet metal worker, the mechanic, the hairstylist,  or essentially any other professional, musicians are happiest when working.

For that matter, they rarely stop. They will cheerfully step up to jam with friends when out relaxing.  Or, while out for drinks, will gladly take the stage if invited.  When our son isn't playing music, he's writing it or listening to it.

So to celebrate the world of jazz on this special day, and honour the artists who bring  us pleasure through their music and art here are three sites with  images inspired by the genre and created by some talented illustrators:

iCLIPART.com Jazz Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Jazz Illustrations

Acclaim Images Jazz Photos and Illustrations

Monday, April 29, 2013

Backgrounds for Your Mother's Day Projects

At the heart of being a mother is, well, the heart.

French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac said, 'The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."

In just a few short weeks we celebrate Mother's Day.  Heartfelt wishes are sent to the women who, with all of their heart,  have loved and nurtured us, whose heart's desire is for their child's happiness and success, and yes, who've forgiven us — time and time again.  Mother's Day is the perfect time to let them know you know all they've done for you.

Not surprisingly either, considering they give so much and expect so little in return, it is often the simplest of gifts that will make them the happiest.  Young Moms love receiving those cute little hand-made cards and crafts adorned with tissue paper flower and stick figures, created by little Lily or Lucas in primary school. 

So, why would it be any different as their children get older?  No gift is more personal than the one you make yourself. With the lovely backgrounds in these collections you can get started on a variety of projects, such as cards or scrapbooks, designed specifically with Mom's tastes in mind.

iCLIPART.com Mother's Day backgrounds

iPHOTOS.com Backgrounds for Mother's Day