Friday, October 18, 2013

Photo Retouching Tips, Techniques and Tutorials

 Nobody's perfect. Very few of us, if any I'm discovering thanks to HD television, have flawless skin. There are shadows and circles that get in the way of perfection.  Facial texture can be as rough as old concrete, full of bumps and pores. 

Age and years present their challenges too. Teens have acne, grandparents have wrinkles.

However, when capturing family and friends in photographs, we should be happy with the results, shouldn't we? I mean, these are the people we love — warts and all. You wouldn't change a thing about them in real life, so why do it in pictures? 

Simple answer I suppose is because we can.  While I would never alter an eye colour or smooth out granny's lined but loved, visage, I have, I admit, removed a zit or two and brightened a few teeth.  If the means wasn't there I wouldn't consider it. But it is.

Though I adore that relative's slightly imperfect countenance, or see the vanity in altering an image of myself, I can't dismiss the fact that everybody likes to look as good as they can. It's not about a transformation to the unrecognizable, but about creating as flattering a picture as possible.  In photographs I can have that sparkling smile I've always wanted.

Not to mention, retouching gives a professional edge to your shots.  These websites offer techniques to show you how, and for the novice a handy tool to achieve it:

PSD Retouching Tutorial Healing (Part 1)

PSD Retouching Tutorial Dodge and Burn (Part 2)

Smashing Magazine 70 Beauty Retouching Photoshop Tutorials

Digital Camera World Retouch Photos in 10 Easy Steps

wikiHow Use Photoshop to Retouch Facial Photos in 8 Steps

Photoshop Tutorials Photo Retouching

Makeup.Pho.to Automatic Online Photo Retouching

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Birthdays?

The final quarter of the year is a celebratory time around our household. Besides thinking ahead to Christmas, which by the way is just 10 Saturdays away, we also have umpteen birthdays to recognize. 

I've said it before, (and I'll say it many times more) I love birthdays. If it wasn't for our 'birth' day we wouldn't be here, so if that's not a reason to celebrate in a big way, I can't think what is.

Of course, as we get older, we tend to make less of a deal about them. How many times I've heard people say, "It's just another day." And as our kids grow up and move away from home finding a way to honour our babies can be challenging.

For a mom who used to throw two parties for her kids — one for friends and one for family — that has been a tough reality. But, as I suspect it means more to me than to them now, I do what I can to make me happy. It begins with the early morning telephone serenade of "Happy Birthday" and concludes hopefully with a visit squeezed in that day or with the promise/threat of one  sometime in the near future.

Ultimately I believe, whether there are many behind you, or plenty ahead of you, birthdays should be celebrated. Each and every year that we are here is a gift and a blessing to enjoy and cherish. So, today blow out the candles  and make a wish for birthday celebrants of all ages with these great photo collections:

iPHOTOS.com Birthday Cake Photos

iCLIPART.com Birthday Cake Photos

Acclaim Images Birthday Cake Photos

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Photos of Water in Autumn

Associating water with summer is a no brainer. There's no more perfect place when temperatures soar and sun beats than on a sandy shoreline,  a cooling breeze drifting across the glistening surface to add to the pleasure.

One shouldn't, however, ignore there is wonder to be found by the water in autumn, too.  You may not feel an urge to dive in and chill out, but look around you. There is a desolate loneliness that is somehow compellingly beautiful. The vastness is awesome. You can bathe in the quiet, with only the sound of the surf to keep you company.

But water isn't just a natural asset when it comes with a coastline. Think too about a forest stream or woodland waterfall, pretty amid summer greenery but glorious when dressed in fall splendour.  There is no more awesome place to be nor sight to see. 

These collections of photos take you by the water in varied and lovely autumn settings:

iPHOTOS.com Autumn Water Photos

iCLIPART.com Autumn Water Photos

Acclaim Images Autumn Water Photos

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How Cute These Trick-or-Treaters Are

With the Canadian Thanksgiving behind us, thoughts now turn, at least for little ones, to Halloween.  I, on the other hand am all grown up and if I'm to be honest I'd have to say it's one celebration I can take or leave.

As an adult, it means spending money on treats that most parents would agree their children shouldn't have, but they're going to come begging for and I'm going to give them anyway.  Turnout in our neighbourhood tends to be fairly good, so handing out candy comes at a fairly significant cost.  Trying to figure out what to purchase that won't make you look like the cheapest people on the block is  a challenge.

Also, without the excitement of little ones under my roof talking about Ironman or Dora costumes to get the fun going, I anticipate only that I will come home from a long day of work Oct. 31, and as supper preparations begin so will the knocking.  Chopping and dicing, mixing and pouring become part of a pseudo cardio routine as I run back and forth between the kitchen and the front door.

But any crustiness I might be feeling dissipates once that door opens and I see a sparkling little princess and adorable fuzzy bear standing on the porch, sweet voices chiming "Trick-or-treat." This, then is what I can take about Halloween.  The little ones in their costumes can't help but bring a smile to a jaded countenance or lift the spirits of a tired soul.

Much the same as these adorable illustrations of trick-or-treaters will:

iCLIPART.com Trick-or-Treat Illustrations

Acclaim Images Trick-or-Treat Clipart

ClickArt Online Trick-or-Treat Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Trick-or-Treat Illustrations