Friday, November 1, 2013

Tips for Taking Great Candid Photos

Well, it's going to be another busy weekend for my camera.

Many years ago, my parents, siblings and I, decided that if we wanted to all get together for Christmas there were going to have to be some concessions — most notably when this get-together would happen. None of us lived near each other.  The majority of our kids were older and beginning to scatter as well. Throw in the fact that many of them had to be shared with the families of significant others and finding a good time in the holiday season when everyone could be there was becoming nothing short of impossible.

The solution? Let the celebration begin early. The first weekend in November has become my family 'Christmas'. Generally there's no snow, making travel easier,  and the other festive parties and gatherings have yet to busy up everyone's schedules. As  a result, attendance is darn near perfect, which makes it a great opportunity for photos.

Getting a large group of relatives together for a social time is the ultimate opportunity for candid shots. While posing pictures of generations, kids and grandkids gets wonderful results, those moments captured when no one's looking are typically the most enjoyed and appreciated over the years.

Yet, it's not as easy as it seems. To try and make the most of the voluble group of charmers I am proud to call family, I decided to see if I can find any useful tips that might help.  Here are just a few of the results:

Digitial Photography School Tips for Great Candid Photography

wikiHow Take Better Candid Photos

Daily Digi Tips for Great Candid Photos

Pop Photos Take Great Candid Photos of Kids

Digital Photo Secrets Candid Photography

Expert Photography Take Better Candid Photos

About.com Candid Photography Tips

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jack-o-Lantern Illustrations for Halloween

Oops.

A Halloween ritual, which despite a bit of a disinterest in the holiday my husband has always managed to get done, kind of got lost in all of the other busyness of life this year. While there are two lovely pumpkins that are part of an autumn collage on my front porch, not one of them is sporting a ghoulish sneer.

We are without a jack-o-lantern for the first time in forever.

Too bad. Hubby always did a fairly decent job of it. Or at least that's what I thought until catching a glimpse of some other folks' works of art. Rather than the familiar sneering visage, people are carving everything from skeletons to arching cats into their pumpkins. Pretty cool, really.

Though I have to say I would have been happy with the old familiar face. So, as I don't have my own to express my Happy Halloween wishes, here instead are some wonderful jack-o-lantern illustrations.

iCLIPART.com Jack-o-Lantern Illustrations

Acclaim Images Jack-o-Lanterns

iPHOTOS.com Jack-o-Lantern Illustrations

ClickArt Online Jack-o-Lanterns

TOONClipart Jack-o-Lantern Cartoons

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Collections of Devilish Images for Devil's Night

Tomorrow night the wee ones will pour forth onto the streets visiting door-to-door for treats.  Tonight the older children often have a difference approach as mischief prevails for Devil's Night.

Devil's Night dates to the 1940s when kids in urban areas burned off some energy in acts of vandalism. Generally they were fairly harmless with little or no damage to property.  Typical 'projects' included waxing windows, toilet papering the landscape and smashing the odd pumpkin.

Unfortunately as things catch on there always seems to be a few rotten eggs who carry it too far. By the early 1970s mischief had taken on a more serious tone with destructive acts such as arson.

While giving name to even the darkest of deeds or doers tends to romanticize them, with nothing but evil behind the intent of Devil's Night it is fitting that it honours the personification of all things fiendish.

Today, however, in the spirit of fun rather than destruction we will give the devil his due for this occasion with these devilish collections of clipart:

iCLIPART.com Devilish Clipart

Acclaim Images Devil Clipart

iPHOTOS.com Devil Illustrations

TOONClipart Devil Cartoons

ClipartGuide Devil Images

ClickArt Online Devil Images

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Magic of Fairytales and Princesses

The tap, tap, tap on the door.  You open slowly to discover a ghoulish group of goblins, ghosts and assorted friends standing on your porch.  Then your eyes light on a flash of colour, a sparkle and twinkle. There, dressed in a profusion of pink, blonde ringlets and a glittering tiara is the princess.

While the bevy of  creepy friends accompanying her on this Halloween trick-or-treat mission are cute,  the royal visitor is enchanting, bringing with her the magic of fairytales and childhood stories.

I know there are exceptions, but I personally don't know of many little girls who haven't dreamed of being a  princess.  Some might argue that it perpetuates a stereotype, the weak and beautiful damsel whose only hope of rescue is from the handsome prince. But I think we can take it another way.

Yes, the prince did save Cinderella from a life of drudgery, but it was her tenacity and daring that ultimately led her to him. Certainly Snow White needed the prince to awaken her, but in fleeing the evil Queen and creating a new life, she proved herself to be brave and fearless, a hard-worker and resourceful.

Some might also say that it enforces the happily-ever-after myth and the expectations that come with it.  But if we're honest is it wrong to want to feel like a princess, to be romanced and live a fairytale life? The trick is in finding the prince that will make it happen. In other words it's absolutely not about being a weak woman. It's quite the opposite. It's about not settling for less than you deserve.

So in celebration of all the little girls who thankfully believe in happy endings, here are some illustrations of pretty princesses:

iCLIPART.com Princess Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Fairytale Princesses

ClickArt Online Princesses

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Grim Reaper is Calling

The fun thing about Halloween is of course dressing up. There's something liberating about hiding behind a costume, taking on a new persona, whether macabre, silly or famous.

I attended a party this past weekend and besides the fun of being in costume, it was also entertaining to see all the terrific ones that others had come up with.  If you can suspend reality for a bit, there's something surreal about watching Marilyn Monroe cavorting simultaneously with zombies and Wonder Woman. On the dance floor creepy ghouls, evil witches and unearthly vampires present a contrast in moods as they blithely trip the light fantastic — a happy crush of the otherworldly and out of this world.

From this cast of creepy characters, however, there is one with the potential to raise a blip of unease. He's not particularly ghastly or grisly; reaction comes more from the reality of what he represents. Unlike mummies, zombies, ghosts, etc., from which in the real world we have nothing to fear, the Grim Reaper personifies what we know is waiting for us all. Caped and mysterious, he is death — a dark and sinister presence amid the fun.  Perfect really for today's Halloween collection of illustrations.

iCLIPART.com Grim Reaper Illustrations

ClipartGuide Grim Reaper Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Grim Reaper Illustrations

ClickArt Online Grim Reaper Illustrations