Friday, July 10, 2015

Awesome Sailing Animations

If you've ever been cruising a calm lake  in a sailboat on a lazy summer day, you know how soothing the gentle rocking rhythm is.

Of all the perfect days in this blessed life of mine is one spent out on the waters of our favourite beach resort with friends who owned a sailboat.  It was as idyllic a time as one could hope for, with perfect conditions for sailing and excellent companionship.  Conversation and laughter was plentiful, but there were also those moments when silence and enjoyment of our surroundings prevailed.

A gentle breeze tempered the effect of blazing sun on tender skin while the soothing rock and roll of the boat lulled me into a state of total tranquillity.  The quiet was complete, with the exception of the soft lapping of water against fibreglass hull. It was a dream state with eyes wide open.

Today, settled in the office before my computer,  pulling out this particular memory has culminated in a sense of well being. Serenity surrounds me and I feel that no matter what the work day throws at me today things will stay on an even keel.

To keep the feeling with me, I've sought out some delightful sailing animations which can be found here:

AnimationFactory

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2,429 Beautiful Sailing Photos

I've mentioned before about our family's magical summers of years ago when we had a vacation spot at the beach.  They were halcyon  days with afternoons spent watching the kids play in the sand and surf while I enjoyed a relaxing post from my deck chair.

Though I sat with book in hand I was, of course, ever watchful that the children didn't stray too far from shore. Quick glimpses and head counts were done with intense regularity before returning to my summer read.  As there was a group of parents working together on this,  there was never a concern if a particular paragraph held your attention a bit longer than ususal.

There was always one sight that could pull me away from my book for extended daydreams though. If, during one of my swift glances, I spied a sailboat wafting through the water, I was mesmerized for a spell.  I could feel the sense of freedom as  I gazed at the image of billowing sails caught between the green blue of the lake and the azure blue of the sky.

Later each evening, we would find our way back down to the beach after supper for a final bit of fun and an ice-cream cone as we watched the glorious sunset. Always on calm nights there would be a sailboat or two cruising along, a perfect silhouette against the glowing night horizon.

Picture perfect. Just as they are in these collections of photographs:

iPHOTOS.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Thousands of Sailing Illustrations

It didn't take long after meeting my husband to discover  he's not a big fan of pools. Turns out he never learned to swim as a kid and hasn't really felt the compulsion to dive in since.

Turns out too, he's a bit unteachable.  Our two daughters, both qualified lifeguards/instructors during their teens, each tried and discovered the man sinks like a stone.

You would think then, that the immense span of great lakes and expansive northern rivers in our part of the country might be something for him to run from. Yet, from our first visit to the glorious French River, he found a love of cruising its waters. 

Particularly in a power boat.  The man's a bit of an adrenaline junkie and  I watch his shoulders settle, his face ease as he takes in the amazing landscape while enjoying the speed and freedom.  It is the deep breath of relaxation this hard-working man needs.

The pleasures to be found moving through the water is something I discovered a long time ago.  I remember breezing along for the first time in a sailboat and thinking that I would never care if I found my way to dry land again.   There was nothing stressful about that day.  It is a memory of a carefree afternoon.

And a feeling that one can sense in these collections of sailing illustrations:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Create Playing Cards in Photoshop

If there's any way to entertain my 94-year-old mother-in-law, it's with a game of cards.  From the moment I met her decades ago, I was dumbfounded by the enthusiasm and competitiveness with which she attacked any game. This was a woman out to win, who felt little compassion for any she trod over on the way to victory.

Last night we went to visit her at the retirement home where she lives. Now suffering from dementia, one of the best ways to get her attention is to mention a card game. Given the diminished mental capacity, she's a bit of a wonder to watch when she sits down to play. While many things have left her, she still has a firm grasp on the concept of the game. 

Suffice it to say,  a woman this fond of euchre, hearts et al, raised a gang of kids, all of like mind. Since meeting my husband, therefore,  I've  been drawn (pulled) to the card table far more than I would care to,  as the prerequisite of every family gathering is at least half dozen games. When it comes to cards there's never enough.

So, as I started  thinking about a blog for today's Tutorial Tuesday, with  last night's victory (oh, yes, I was a winner) still fresh in my mind,  I thought these Photoshop projects might be fun:

Design a Playing Card in Photoshop

Make Playing Cards in Photoshop

Making Playing Cards in Photoshop

How to Design Playing Cards in Photoshop

Create Cool Playing Cards in Photoshop

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tips for Taking Sailing Photos

Friends of ours are living the dream. Well, their dream anyway. After all, one person's cider vinegar is another's fine wine.

Having enjoyed many summers on the water in their beloved sailboat, with retirement came a decision to make even more of their hobby. Bidding farwell to the responsibilities of home ownership, they moved into an apartment where they spend the cool months. Warm seasons, however, will find them on the boat, sailing smooth waters or mooring at various ports.

It's not a lifestyle I'd want to embrace with the same enthusiasm I don't think. While not exactly a land lubber I do prefer lengthy spells on terra firma. An outing on the water for a few hours is usually enough for me. 

That said those times are magically curative. The wind in the air, the openness, the only sound the sluice of water as the boat cuts through the waves — it's an incredibly freeing experience, even for a brief sojourn in a life's journey.

While I've taken many photos from the deck of a boat and of a boat off in the distance, silhouetted against a gorgeous beach sunset, I've never tried to really capture the experience. As always, a search on the internet has turned up some useful tips to help me should I dare to give it a go. Here's a sampling for others who'd like to try with me:

Sailing Photography Tips

Take Sailing Photos Like a Pro

A Guide to Sailing Photography

Camera Settings for Sailing Photography

Tips, Tricks and Tools for the Best Sailing Photos

Improve Your Sailing Photography