Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome to the Summer Solstice

Here's something to celebrate. Today is the Summer Solstice.  Maybe now the damp, cool weather we've been 'enjoying' will ride out on spring's coattails. Happily for the moment it appears this might be the case.

In Canada, while we're not quite the polar point that our neighbours to the south tend to think, we do experience enough snow and cold in winter to make our hot, muggy summers highly anticipated.  Sure there are bugs. Certainly temperatures can reach unbearable heights.

But, there are also gorgeous starlit nights for campfires and miles and miles of glorious sandy beaches. Classic cars hit the roads for cruise nights, open windows tousling hair, oldies singing from the radio.  Hammocks swing in gentle breezes in gardens of riotous colour.  There are rainbows and butterflies, patios and pools.

Actually, the images of what there is to enjoy in summer are endless. So raise an ice-cream cone to welcome the solstice while refreshing your memory for what's to come with these cheerful collections of summertime illustrations.

 iCLIPART.com Favourite Summer Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Summer Illustrations

Acclaim Images Summer Illustrations

ClipartGuide Summer Illustration

ClickArt Online Summer Illustrations

TOONClipart Cartoons for Summer

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Care for a Cruise on the River?

Just returned from a perfect holiday at the beautiful French River in northern Ontario. If you love listening to and adoring nature this is one glorious place in which to do so.

We've made the trip for several years now. While my husband and I aren't exactly the rugged outdoors type; our idea of camping is a cozy cabin with all the comforts of home;  we do appreciate life in this unspoiled territory. No cellphone signal, no internet, no television, is certainly enough value on its own. But add in the forests, the wildlife, and the myriad of peaceful oases and raging rapids along the twists and turns of the river and life is perfect.

Boating along this impressive watercourse, we are surprised anew at how much we relax during our visits here. A few minutes on the water and we soon realize that the only thing we left behind us were the cares and worries of everyday life. There is nothing more freeing than gliding along on a pontoon or picking up the pace a bit in a power boat. While the whole vacation was grand, the hours spent exploring the waters of the French were idyllic. 

The love affair of people with water is no secret. Whether relaxing beside a babbling brook or listening to the crash of waves, we are awed and soothed by its presence.  These collections of beautiful photos capture both the majesty and tranquillity that move us.

iCLIPART.com Waterways Photos

iPHOTOS.com Waterways

Acclaim Images River Photos

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tips for Taking Photos in Bright Sunlight

The riotous colours of a garden, the contrast of blue sky and verdant grass, the exotic beauty of a butterfly, the bountiful variety of birds and animals make summer the perfect season for nature loving photographers.

However, one of the nicest things about the season  can also be one of the biggest challenges. After a long, cold winter, a sometimes dreary, grey spring, it's hard to resist bounding outdoors with camera in hand on a gloriously clear summer day.  But a nice bright sun can mean tricky conditions when trying to get that perfect shot.  Here are some interesting sites with tips for taking great summer pictures.

DPS How to Shoot in Direct Sunlight

photo.tutsplus Tips for Shooting Bravely in the Sun

About.com Tips for Taking Digital Pictures in Bright Sun

Steve's Digicams Tips for Shooting Portraits in Bright Sun

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Photos of Beautiful Canada

In just a few weeks time we're coming up to one of the biggest celebrations in my country — Canada Day.  July 1 is the anniversary of the enactment of what is now our Constitution. In 1867, three colonies were united into a single country within the British Empire, called Canada.


I've always been pretty proud of the country in which I live. Geographically we have it all from quaint fishing villages to majestic mountains, to pretty much everything in between. International visitors are impressed by its size and complimentary of us. Generally, folks think of us as pleasant. I've never been prouder than the day an American client, asking me at the end of a lengthy phone conversation where I was from and hearing the answer, responded, "That's why you're so nice.

I've always figured, why wouldn't we be?  We enjoy freedom, a land that's vast and bountiful in resources and beauty, a population demographic that inspires tolerance. Sure, the weather could be better most months of the year, but it comes without a lot of tragic meteorological occurrences.

We really are the true north, strong and free. These photo collections offer a glimpse of the beauty that is Canada.

iCLIPART.com Photos of Canada

iPHOTOS.com Canadian Photos

National Geographic Canada Photos

Monday, June 17, 2013

Have Fun This Summer

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." — Bob Marley.

Well, I had one hit me the other day and while music's effects on mind, body and soul are certainly no surprise,  I was rather bemused by my reaction.  It was a song by the 60s group, The Association,  that lifted my spirits to the point that I could barely sit still in my office chair. The urge to "kick off my shoes" and feel "the good earth under my feet" was almost overwhelming. 

"I took off my watch and found I had all the time in the world.
I opened my arms, so I could hold life like a beautiful girl.
I laid down, all of my hang-ups forever,
I looked around and saw what sweet things can be found
Simply by taking some time for livin'."

The simplicity yet profundity of the lyrics, coupled with the catchy tune are just pure, summertime fun. 

Friday marks the Summer Solstice.  While life should be enjoyed each and every day, there's something about this upcoming season that begs us to get out and taste life, to throw away the usual hurly-burly of existence and slow down at least for a bit. There are roses to smell, sand to feel beneath our toes, water to wade in and glorious sun to kiss our skin. (Be careful of that last one though; too much as we know and that relationship can get ugly.)

In the meantime, to paraphrase another 60s tune, I thought we could get that hot fun in the summertime started with these photo collections.

iCLIPART.com Summertime Fun Photos

iPHOTOS.com Summer Fun Photos

Acclaim Images Summer Fun Photos