Friday, October 23, 2015

Creepy Halloween Photos

One of the rituals to get me in the zone for work, particularly for my fuzzy-headed, easily distracted morning brain, is to plug in the ear buds and crank the tunes. And by tunes, I mean the noisier and louder the better. 

When it comes to music I enjoy a lot of genres. Yet, while maintaining concentration amidst  office chatter is impossible for me,  there's something about good metal or guitar-heavy classic rock invading the senses that blocks out extraneous thoughts. It allows me to focus on the words and the task at hand.

A fairly quiet boomer nearing the age of retirement,  I'm apparently a bit of a surprise among my colleagues for this choice of music.  Yet  with hands poised over the keyboard,   it took Pantera's Cowboys from Hell to get my day underway.  Full of growling vocals and the complex metal groove of the late Dimebag Darrell's guitar,  it not only got me into the groove too it inspired a topic.

Heavy metal plays to the imagination. It conjures images of a darker realm. Maybe not the underworld, but there's a sinister vibe to it for sure.

Also, where jazz, blues or oldies will slide into the psyche, metal is in your face. These aren't ditties to be played at dinner after all.  They are instead the soundtrack for Halloween.

So as I listened to the words of Cowboys from Hell, Megadeth's Symphony of Destruction, etc.,  as I remembered that the night when devils roam is just a few days away, it seemed that the time to share this creepy photo collection was now:

iPHOTOS Halloween Pictures


Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to Take Double Exposure Photos In-Camera

A strange thing happened when I was taking pictures this past Thanksgiving. Eerie really.

It began with my 94-year-old mother's turn to tell us what she was grateful for. Having lost my father last year, shortly after their 70th anniversary,  her response was not unexpected. "I am so thankful to have had the most wonderful husband. I miss him and wish he was here."

After the rest of us had finished listing our blessings, I decided the time had come to take a picture. Amidst the grumblings of hungry diners I took a quick shot, then checked to see if it was good enough to let people get back to the business of eating. What I saw, however, set us back a little. At the end of the table, closest to my mother, was a tall shadow.

While the logical side of the brain searched for a technical answer as to what had caused the anomaly, the imagination was happy that there didn't appear to be one. Instead, it could join with my heart in what I wanted to think I was seeing.

Though it wasn't the case this time, (and my mind still searches for what did happen) a similar result was something that can be achieved with double exposure photography. And it has done in my fake ghost photos. The spooky apparition, the shadowy figure seen behind another person can turn an ordinary picture into something mysterious.

As we approach Halloween,  you might want to have a little fun with double exposure photography. If you haven't tried here are a few tutorials:

Shoot an In-Camera Double Exposure Photo

Shoot Ghostly Halloween Photos In-Camera

Double Exposure Photography Examples and Tutorials

How to Shoot Dreamy Double Exposure Portraits

How to Create Spooky in Camera Double Expostures

How to Take Double Exposure Pictures

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

244 Halloween Animations

"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music."  — William Stafford

What a wonderful quote. If there's one thing I regret about getting older it's that I no longer have that innocence and zeal.  To hear the music where none exists doesn't happen as often as I'd like any more.  To approach every experience in life with energy, with open-hearted and open-minded exuberance is an instinct that set sail a long time ago.


So, yes, kids and their outlook on life, or lack thereof,  is awesome.  And with Halloween around the corner, we get to see it first hand over and over again.

There is the tiny knock on the door, followed by my grumbling because I have to leave the supper clean-up, or finally my couch,  yet one more time. Then I open the door  and say "Awwww...." as I greet the most perfect  princess, or darling Dracula. Despite the fact that this isn't their first stop, the proffered candy still elicits wide-eyed wonder and shy smiles.

Then, selection made, they turn and dance down the porch steps, the only accompaniment the voices of other happy children skipping their way along the street.

So as I think of the adorable that is a child at Halloween, it seemed fitting when sourcing out clipart for the celebration that I pick animations. Here's a great collection from AnimationFactory


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Create a Halloween Invitation

Halloween will be here in just over a week. As it falls on a Saturday this year,  it makes it much easier to take full advantage of the celebration.

Typically, Mom and Dad rush home from work and shovel in supper. The kids are transformed into superheros,  fairytale characters and spooky creatures.  After they spend a few hours begging goodies from the neighbours, the candy is sorted, the sugar influx monitored and it's off to bed. 

On a Saturday, however, there can be parties too. For young and old.

I  remember being invited to my first adult Halloween party. I was in my 30s and thought that donning a costume, something I hadn't done for probably 15 years, seemed like a lot of fun. Trying to get my husband to agree, however, proved to be a bigger challenge than determining what I was going to wear. 

I did manage to convince him and our last-minute scrambling had us attending as a bobbysoxer and greaser — me in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes, him in denim, leather and Brylcream.   Turned out that adopting a new persona was as much fun then as it was as a child.

There is a freedom to being 'in character' that eclipsed my natural shyness.  So much so, that I have taken advantage of the opportunity to dress up many times in the years since.  I suppose it could be argued that at this age I should be past such nonsense, but my reticence remains and I still rather welcome the chance to become someone else.

Saturday, Oct. 31 will be a good time then for people to channel an inner Superman, to remember the glory days of the 60s or to show they've still got it in a sultry witch's costume.  And whether you are young or young at heart, parties are a perfect way to extend the fun.

Set the perfect tone by creating  your own Halloween invitations using these helpful tutorials:

How to Design a Halloween Party Invitation in Adobe

Create a Halloween Party Invitation

Make Your Own Spooky Halloween Invitations

Design a Halloween Invitation With InDesign

Monday, October 19, 2015

1,000 Halloween Colouring Pages

It was one of those completely exhausting weekends that I enjoy more than those relaxing, rejuvenating ones. Our daughter's two little ones came to stay and for two days from the dawning hours until twilight Papa and I were on the go.

In a house long past its baby days, finding ways to entertain a pre-schooler and toddler for lengthy hours can be a bit of a challenge.  Certainly, once the grandchildren started to arrive in our lives,  I toured mom sales and yard sales to restock on toys and games.  But given that these two live in a home established as a daycare, the inventory at Grandma's falls a little short.

So in addition to the physical running around after two energetic youngsters, my brain is also kept busy thinking of innovative and favourite ways to entertain them. We have finger painted with pudding,  opened a restaurant in the playhouse, baked a pie and read lots and lots of stories.

Another favourite quiet pastime is colouring. This weekend, though,  there was a moment of panic when I realized that every page in the book had been scribbled on.  Gratefully, a subscription to an online clipart service allowed me the advantage of printing off some terrific colouring pages.

There are endless options appropriate for most ages. With Halloween around the corner that theme seemed to be just the right lead-in to show you some of what's available:

iCLIPART.com

Clipart.com