Friday, October 11, 2013

Enjoy Some TGIF Nightlife

Five days of work shall soon be behind us yet again. Tonight is the time to shrug off the stress of our professional life and think ahead to personal pleasure.
 
I remember when Friday night kicked off two days of parties and socializing for me.  After work, friends would rendezvous at a bar, pub or home, a meeting that had been arranged days before. The work week was behind us and two days, full of the likelihood of more fun and games, loomed ahead.

With rare exception those days are behind me, now.  I can still kick up heels when I need to. I love loud music and being out on the town with friends from time to time.  But, generally, TGIF  means a night curled up on the sofa with a lovely glass of wine enjoying quiet conversation with my hubby.  Time has made me wiser and I appreciate the calm ease into the weekend. The slow start means there's a little energy left for the other two days.

But I often think back to those fun Fridays. At my age though I know it's best to visit them vicariously through these collections of photos:

iPHOTOS.com Nightlife Photos

iCLIPART.com Photograph of Nightlife

Acclaim Images Nightlife Photography

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Photoshop Tutorials to Create a Fantasy World

Mom used to tell me I lived in a fantasy world. Well, I don't know about that, but equipped with a vivid imagination, I certainly did let my thoughts take me on unexplored journeys where other more pragmatic minds didn't wander. 

And let me tell you as a child, especially at night, that was a scary thing. Without going into too much detail let's just say there was nothing as simple as a monster under my bed or in the closet.  Trust me. I was far more creative than that.

Since growing up common sense thankfully keeps the more fantastical imaginings at bay — for the most part, anyway. While my creative side has been served well professionally by my imagination, my mom side has been tortured by late-night images of where the kids are and what might be happening.

Despite the dark side,  I do remain a fan of fantasy, of fairytales and happily ever after. I like to think of a world where elves and fairies exist, where good triumphs over evil and every prince wins his princess. Let it be known, however, in my world it's the latter riding in to rescue the former.

These days we don't need just our minds to create a fantasy world. With image editing software there are no limits to where imagination can take you. Open the door to your fanciful places with these great tutorials:

Digital Arts Fantasy Light Effects in Photoshop

Specky Boy Fantasy Art Tutorials for Photoshop

MCPActions Create Fantasy Composite Image

Photoshop Tutorials for Creating Fantasy Scenes

noupe Dreamy Fantasy Art Photoshop Tutorials

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photos to Take You on an Autumn Walk

It lay toppled on the grass at the side of the road, abandoned and neglected. But I knew, spying that net on the neighbour's lawn the other morning,  that it wouldn't be long before it was back in action. Once the kids were home from school, the street would be filled with youngsters, sticks in hand, gathering for a game of road hockey.

In Canada in the autumn, when youngsters aren't in the arenas, putting on helmets, pads and skates before hitting the ice, they're taking the game on the streets. Hockey is the number one pastime in this country. If they can't play it, they watch it, live and breathe it.

Though I'm not an addict, a good hockey match in the middle of winter can be a fun way to spend some time. But being stuck in a cold arena on a glorious autumn day has never been my cup of tea.  No, the preferred activity then is a walk in the country, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the glorious palette above, the crisp air around me.  The exercise and outdoors invigorate, the beauty and colour inspire.

My selected image collections for today, therefore, feature photos of like-minded people taking their autumn activity outdoors:

iCLIPART.com Autumn Walk Photos

iPHOTOS.com Autumn Walk

Acclaim Images Autumn Walk Photos

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pretty Illustrations of Autumn Vignettes

As a person who loves the heat and cheerful brightness of summer,  autumn's beauty is somewhat lost on me. Certainly, it's difficult to not appreciate the colours and new crispness to the air, but it's not difficult to remember it's all a prelude to winter, when there will be nothing but cold and snow.

For this reason when it comes to decorating for the fall season, I quite simply don't bother. As summer blooms freeze and fade, so typically does any desire to create collages of colour on my porch and patio.

However, this year has been strangely different. Usually, I don't notice or care particularly about the artful displays that enhance the landscaping of homes and properties, Now, though, driving the countryside and walking the neighbourhood I have been taking notice of folks' decorating efforts and liking them. So much so that I have sensed the wheels spinning as my creative side struggles to kick through my seasonal doldrums. Then this past weekend, as we left my sister's home, I looked at the vignette she had created on her front porch and stated that I needed to do something too.

With thoughts now of bales, cornstalks, pumpkins and mums in my brain I have been scrambling to gather items in time to put something decorative and welcoming together before this weekend's Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

It also has made me wonder if I might find appropriate images on clipart sites that would inspire, not just a decorative design but other seasonal projects, both printed and online.  Here is one collection I put together from illustrations on iCLIPART.com:

Autumn Vignettes

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tips for Taking Your Own Family Photos

"What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that's gone forever, impossible to reproduce." — Karl Lagerfeld

No argument, here.  This past weekend I went shutter happy at my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary party — an informal gathering of close family and good friends all together for a house party. The close quarters ensured there was no possibility for formal poses of any kind, so it was with much fun that I did what it seems Mr. Lagerfeld described — captured those candid moments that would never be repeated.

However, pondering it further,  I realized that even the contrived and posed shots we take on a regular basis, such as family holidays, are still capturing a moment in time. Let's face it, each year we are different — in age, shape, fashion, even number. While the staging might be similar as times past, there is no way to truly replicate it. After all, how often have we laughed at last year's hairstyle or been happy to see the newest addition included in the photo?

Coming up this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving so it's yet again time to bring out that good old camera of mine and make sure the memories of that occasion are preserved forever.  As I think of my blessings on this holiday, first and foremost is family so while candid shots are the norm, grouping my group together is equally important. How to do it and achieve a picture-perfect result is worthwhile knowledge to have, therefore and I was able to find a bevy of informative sites that offer tips on that very thing. You can check them out here:

Kristen Duke Photography How to Take Family Pictures

Daily Mom.com How to Take a Family Photo Like a Pro

Key to Pictures How to Take Your Own Family Pictures

Writing Chapter Three Take Your Own Family Photos

Digital Camera World What the Pros Won't Tell You About Taking Family Photos

Clickin' Moms Tips for Family Self-Portraits

Click It Up a Notch Tipe to Take Your Family Portraits

Haute31 Fun and Easy Tips to Take Your Own Family Pictures

Digital Photography School Photographing Families in Natural, Fun Ways