Friday, July 17, 2015

129 Swimming Animations

In the water we can all be dancers.  You might be a klutz on land, but surrounded by water you are light and airy,  slicing fluidly from points A to B.

Well, not my husband. The man sinks like a stone. But for the most part, watching a swimmer is seeing aquatic ballet.  Like the duck, they make what's actually going on beneath the surface look effortless as heck from above.

When in a lake or pool with my two daughters,  I often found myself at a standstill, caught up in seeing the effortless elegance of their style.  (Not just a biased mom here; people have commented on their beautiful strokes)  While I could admittedly be a bit of a flounder as I tired, both of them are poetry in motion with strong, sure, yet  graceful strokes. No matter how long they swim their movements are never sloppy.

And it's not just nice to watch. It's plenty good for you too. Swimming is what you need it to be — as fast or slow as you like, a warm up or cool down before or after vigorous exercise, or a great cardio workout on its own.  With what other sport could you improve fitness just by hanging out at the side of a pool and kicking your legs?

It  also has a mental benefit. My older girl has talked about the meditative state she reaches when doing laps. The steady action, with body supported by the water, calms and slows her mind, she says.

So, with the beauty of the swimmer in mind, I thought it might be fun to call attention to these fun images from AnimationFactory .

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Get in the Swim With These Great Photos

Way back in my young mother days, when my house was filled with a bunch of kids,  I loved summer. I was ecstatic to have my children around to share my days.  I never felt they were underfoot. I liked the sound of slamming doors and running feet, of hoots and hollers.

There was one thing though that would have made that time better — a backyard pool. My husband's argument against one was that we had one down the street. However,  while the two youngsters we had at that point would have been content, I was never much for public swimming.

Instead, we bought a vacation spot and enjoyed many summer afternoons at the beach.  Halcyon times, indeed. The older two spent countless hours in the water; the younger two drew me out with the fishes to cool off after building their version of majestic castles in the sand. 

When you live in a climate where winter attaches itself to much of fall and prevails well into spring,  you embrace summer with enthusiasm.  Yet, the heat at times can be pretty intense. When sun bakes and humidity cooks, it's good to know there's always a pool or beach nearby. There's no way to resist the lure of shimmering water in blistering heat.

So go ahead and take the plunge. While you're at it, I'll beg indulgence and offer yet one more adage, to suggest you can get in the swim of things too with these great photo collections:

iPHOTOS.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

Incredible Photos of Olympic Swimmers

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tips for Taking Swimming Pictures

In my previous life as editor of a community newspaper I got around. A lot. 

Contrary to working on a daily, where journalists are separate from photographers and vice versa, where the guy working on the business section is never asked to review a theatre production, our editorial staff went to it all. From farm and council meetings, to tragedies and happy endings I covered a plethora of activities.

Some of the trickiest were sporting events, where the action is fast and the play not always as anticipated. Hockey, baseball and soccer could garner  terrific shots. Yet, there were other sports, which, though no less thrilling, didn't exactly look it in still life.

When a swim team formed in our community, we found ourselves with one more summer game on which to focus our photographic skills. It didn't take long to discover that success could be elusive and many an average photo of a swimmer slicing through the water found its way onto the sports pages.

How it could have been done better can be found by checking out these links:

Shooting Swimming

Photographing a Swim Meet

How to Shoot World-Class Swimming Events

4 Tips for Taking Swimming Photos

How to Photograph Swimming

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Swimming Tutorials

There's nothing more exhilarating in the summer than that first dip in the pool or lake. The initial chill, the total quiet of immersion, being at one with the water are enlivening.

There is the feeling of buoyancy and gracefulness, a sense that you are washing away the troubles and cares of the world.  You are light and carefree.

I used to love to watch my daughter swim. While she was a mediocre athlete on land, neither an embarrassment nor skilled, she moved through the water with elegant, yet strong strokes.  She could go the distance, tread forever and tolerate the most unfavourable conditions.  The image of her swimming across a lake on a chilly late spring morning, or gliding across the pool on a lazy hot summer day was truly poetry in motion.

As today is Tutorial Tuesday, and as I have those memories of her in mind at present, I thought I'd do a little searching to see what kind of image editing projects I could find surrounding the theme of swimming. Here are the results:

Lady Swimming in the Sea

Swimming Pool Effect

Create an Underwater Scene

Olympic Swimmer

Swimmer

Monday, July 13, 2015

4 Great Collections of Swimming Illustrations

There's an interesting fluke that occurred in our family.  My husband and I have two sons and two daughters.  When it comes to taking a dip in lake or pool, the men have little or not interest, while the women would never miss the opportunity to dive in.  

Our girls were both lifeguards during their teens and one, I think, might have been a mermaid in a previous mystical life.  She will swim anywhere, any time.  Sixty-three degrees in early spring waters won't deter her.  The chance of encountering a water snake in a murky northern river is no more a deal breaker than the chlorine in a pool.

Her strokes are a thing of beauty and she can keep pace with the best of them. Including her husband who fortunately shares her love of the water.

Needless to say, their two babies have been thrown in to the deep end early. Photos of their recent trip to the picture perfect French River showed a smiling family up to their ears in water. 

'Tis the season for swimming, whether it's happening during a vacation at the beach,  with lessons at the local pool,  or in competition with a team.  Here then, to go hand in hand with that theme are some great collections of swimming illustrations for use in promotional or personal projects:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online