Friday, November 8, 2013

A Winter Wonderland of Illustrations

You don't have to like it, but you sure better learn to live with it. Where I come from, any time after the onset of of autumn, fluffy white stuff could arrive to blanket the landscape. It can make for a long, a very long, winter.

I have said it before and will say it probably once a week until April, I hate winter. However, this early in the year there is a spirit of optimism I harbour that doesn't ship out until late January. Yes, so far, when I look out the window to a world made pristine and pure by its snowy cover, I can turn my thoughts to an occasion that begs for a winter wonderland. 

This morning,  gazing out at the dazzling brightness of a space turned white overnight, thoughts of Santa and snowmen,  of  peace and goodwill sprang to my mind.  Until the first of January at least, I will accept the reality of snow as part of a necessary part of the Christmas spirit that  I love.  And, in keeping with that frame of mind I will let it snow with these collections of illustrations:

iCLIPART.com Snow Illustrations

Acclaim Images Snow

iPHOTOS.com Snow Illustrations

ClickArt Online Snow Illustrations

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jumpstart Creativity With These Photography Tips

One of the things I promised myself when the kids bought me a nice, new digital camera a few years back was that I was going to spend some time learning my way around it.  While shooting on auto is terrific,  leaving the camera setting there and not seeing what results I could get with the other features seemed a bit like buying a fully-equipped vehicle and just, well, driving it.

Oh, I was very serious when I made this promise. I was going to pick a setting each week, do a little research and go take some pictures. I was going to get spectacular sports shots, fantastic nighttime photos and lovely daylight landscapes. I was going to use a tripod and experiment with lenses.

In short, I was going to do a lot of things. As yet, with the exception of moving back and forth between the portrait, landscape, sports and macro settings, however, I've done little.

Since the interest and desire are there, what seems to be the problem is a lack of organization and hours in my life. I simply can't seem to co-ordinate practice time with free time. When I do grab the camera it's usually for a particular event or spontaneous moment.

I've decided what I need, therefore, is some sort of plan. As a list person, it seemed to me that with an organized agenda laid out it might make the probability of follow through more certain. To that end I took a little tour around the web to see what help I might find. Here are the results:

Digital Camera World Creative Photo Ideas for November

Digital Photography School Photography Projects to Jumpstart Creativity

Improve Photography Best Do-it-Today Photo Ideas

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Computer Frustration

Computers are a wonderful thing — until they aren't. When everything is working fine, the world they have opened up for us is beyond belief, the possibilities equally so. 

Having a face-to-face chat with grandchildren on the other side of the globe, shopping for virtually anything without leaving home,  researching family history from the comfort of our chair, conducting international business... the list is endless.

Unlike my patience, when for one reason or another the technology at my fingertips turns rebel and refuses to follow my commands. This week I've been experiencing a number of glitches with my computer — not serious, but glitches nonetheless — from email access to strange messages.  When one thing appears to be resolved another pops up on its heels.

Now, I am a fairly structured person. When I have a routine I appreciate being able to follow through. When a task is planned I like to be able to get on it and complete it.

It's not that I can't go with the flow. It's just that as a Libra I tend to prefer order and control.  And, as we all know,   computer technology allows for none of that. Admittedly then my patience does tend to wear thin in times such as these.

Yet, I know that I'm not alone. A search on image sites proves it's a fairly common condition as typified by these collections of illustrations and photos:

iCLIPART.com Computer Frustration Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Computer Frustration

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photos of Smiling Children to Brighten Your November

The Weather Network is threatening rain for the next few days. Trees are bare, flowerbeds bedraggled and the world around us, in general, is just a tad dreary.  Must be November.

If we're to be honest it's a month that doesn't have a lot going for it. All the autumn beauty is behind us and Christmas with its lights, bells and bows is still a bit away.  Instead we have lawns to rake, early darkness and chill winds. 

Amidst it all, however, there are always things to perk us up. Some are surprises, such as a bright cheery day sandwiched in the middle of a rainy, grey week.  Others we  see regularly, such as the one I saw this morning. 

Walking along to work, feeling all of the effects of November on my spirits,  I came upon two small children waiting for the school bus. They too seemed little enthused for the day ahead, until I greeted them. With their response came smiles that brightened my day and the world around me. I could feel my shoulders lift and my steps quicken.  I doubt they realized how much change they affected with that simple dimpled gesture.

A smile from anyone has the ability to turn things around, even for a little bit.  Your smile doesn't just make others feel happy,  it can improve your mood as well.  Smiling doesn't just feel good, it also has the ability to de-stresses us. And let's face it, everyone looks better with a smile on their face.

When a child smiles, however, there is magic behind. It is the smile of innocence and wonder. It is pure and unaffected, genuine and unforced.  It is also hopelessly contagious. Try not to smile back when a little one grins your way.

So to spread a little sunshine our direction on a somewhat dismal autumn day, enjoy these beautiful photo collections of smiling tots:

iCLIPART.com Photos of Smiling Children

iPHOTOS.com Smiling Children

Acclaim Images Photos of Smiling Children

Monday, November 4, 2013

See the Music in These Great Illustrations

When you're writing around the theme of everything to do with images, you wouldn't think music could possibly be a lead-in topic.  I intend to give it a go, though.

For fun on weekends, our musician son exercises his chops, and slashes, as lead guitarist in a bar band doing covers of songs from the 1980s through to today. The range is hugely diverse and they have created quite a large following.

This weekend was one of their shows and the place was absolutely packed. As my older son and I listened we also found the activity around us of particular interest. What we were seeing was almost  as entertaining as what we were hearing.

Our musings and discussions took an analytical turn while we took in  the images of people, carefree and caught up in the music they love. We noticed reactions to certain songs and pondered the why behind them. Why, for example, did a particular song bring people to the dance floor; another which it seemed should also have had them dancing, instead had them disperse?

Oh most certainly music does have plenty to do with images. It is there in the pictures created by the flowing melodies and lyrical verse. in the visual interest of stage performances and in people's responses to it. It is there in the joyful expression on a person's face or  in tear-filled eyes when they hear that song, the one that holds some special meaning or takes them back to some special place in time. It is there in the easy abandon or the soothing calm it brings upon a person.

And, you will see the music as well in these great collections of illustrations:

iCLIPART.com Images of Music

Acclaim Images Music Illustrations

ClickArt Online Music Images

ClipartGuide Music Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Music Illustrations

TOONClipart Music Cartoons