Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tips for Taking Great Easter Egg Hunt Photos

Ah, the Easter egg hunt —  and the images it summons. Angelic faces alive under a soft spring sun. Yellow and white wicker baskets laden with eggs decorated in vibrant hues and gentle pastels. The racing, the giggles, the excitement are moments meant to endure.

Our photo albums are packed with pictures like this, years of Easters celebrated with little ones. When my children were small, the hunt took place in the afternoon after church.  Some of the pictures capture the feeling and fun of the occasion perfectly. So indelible are they that when I think about those times years ago, I immediately visualize these shots.

There is our mischievous youngest, arms raised, tongue out, running towards the camera after snatching the last egg out of hiding just before his sister. There are the ones of older siblings, hand-in-hand with younger as they sought the hidden treasures behind trees, in the leaves of plants or under empty garden pots.  There is our oldest grandson, assisted by an entourage of adoring adults as he toddled around, not understanding exactly why he was looking but recognizing that the search was fun.

These are the images of childhood, of happiness and innocence.

Living where we do, with our unpredictable spring climate, outdoor hunts aren't a guarantee unfortunately. Getting a great picture indoors when our kids were small added another element to the challenge.  My talents didn't extend to the requirements of action with flash, so results at times were often a bit blurry.

The forecast for Sunday indicates we're probably moving the hunt inside this year. For the first time, all of my grandbabies are old enough to join in the fun. Add in the number of adults present now and I will not only be testing my photography skills, but coping with a large number of people in an enclosed space.

I could I suppose just count on the photography experience I've gained since those long ago Easters to ensure that the pictures I take this year will be as enduring. However, since perfecting one's skills is really just a few mouse clicks away these days, I decided to check out a few tutorials to see if there's more I can do. Here are some I found most helpful:

Tips for Photographing Your First Easter Egg Hunt

How to Get the Shot: Easter Egg Hunt Action Photos

Easter Photography Tips

Photographing Easter

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

750 Religious Easter Illustrations

This weekend Christians will be observing Good Friday and  Easter Sunday,  perhaps the two most meaningful holidays of their religious calendar. The former reflects upon the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; the latter is the celebration of his resurrection.

I grew up in a small town, in the middle of an agricultural landscape. The time was conservative, the culture mainstream for the time. The population was comprised of hard-working folk of deep Christian faith.  Mine no less so than others.

Regular attendance at church was de rigueur. As a tot I sat quietly in the pew under Mom's strict supervision which was abetted by the watchful eyes of my dad, sister and brother from the choir loft. Any restlessness or mischief from me was duly noted and dealt with following the service.

Looking back, it was no surprise that there were some Sunday mornings when a child's energy and short attention span would get the better of me. The first hour before the service,  I spent in Sunday School where my father served as superintendent and my siblings taught. Meaning for 2 1/2 hours every Sunday morning I was expected to sit still and listen.

The idea of missing any of this was not an option. And my time in church increased significantly during the Lenten calendar as there were extra mandatory services at church on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, until finally Easter morning. On this day, I sported a brand new spring ensemble, complete with a perky bonnet,  sparkling white ankle socks and shiny patent leather shoes.

Needless to say, as much as I could count on a few hidden eggs and a chocolate bunny to enliven the occasion later on the Sunday, Easter in our household was steeped in faith.  The bunny, and his Saturday night efforts, were given short shrift.

I have great respect for the beliefs of people of strong faith. Particularly at this time of year. The importance of any religious observance is significant. But for Christians,  Easter  is extremely meaningful. The collections of clipart shared below honour that. There are no bunnies, nor chocolate, nor eggs.

iCLIPART.com Religious Easter Illustrations

Clipart.com Religious Easter Illustrations

ClickArt Online Religious Easter Illustrations

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

15 Photoshop and Illustrator Easter Tutorials

It's Easter this weekend and, as expected, I intend to spend a good part of Sunday doting on my grandchildren.

I well remember the days of being a busy young parent, one who was always rushed, often impatient and frequently stressed.  I used to watch my mother indulge my kids and wish I didn't always feel that every opportunity I had with them had a clock running beside me.  I noticed how she put everything on hold to walk at their pace when beckoned, to slow down the world for a while, and I would think, some day.

Well, as it is for most parents, some day didn't happen until I had grandchildren of my own. It has been said that grandmothers are mothers given a second chance and in my experience that's a fairly accurate assessment.

When my grandchildren come to visit, priorities shift from what they were when my kids were small.  Despite being a working woman with only weekends free to accomplish tasks around the house, it now seems easy to shove responsibilities to the back burner when these precious ones are visiting. I suddenly find endless hours to play, to work together on little projects or just to sit and chat.

As for that indulging aspect of which I spoke before, it's rather fun too. Those kids of mine, who had no problem letting their grandmother spoil them, don't seem to think it should happen with their wee ones. Sadly, they don't have a leg to stand on. As I tell them over and over,  it's not my job to discipline and deprive. It's mine to wrap their children in bundles of hugs, to keep a handy candy jar at my house, to jump when they want attention and everyone else is too busy, to pamper and adore them.

Obviously, they are disciplined when in my company if needed.  But having made mistakes the first time around I have come to recognize which battles are important in raising kids.  I can trust Mom and Dad to primarily be the firm hands, leaving their grandfather and I to show them that sometimes the world just gives good stuff.

Special occasions, then, are my opportunity to go a little crazy. Besides the requisite spring outfits, I've also spent time over the past few weeks buying toys and sweets. These will be put together in individualized bags for them to seek out during Sunday's egg hunt.  It's what I did with my own children; I've just moved it up a notch for the new generation.

In order to identify the bags, I will be creating a personalized tag for each child, a simple project that only requires the addition of an image to paper.

There are, however, many great tutorials for other Easter projects to be found online, so for Tutorial Tuesday, I thought this might be the place to list a few. Here are some favourites:

Design an Easter Poster in Photoshop

Draw an Easter Egg in Photoshop

Easter Wallpaper Tutorial

Create an Easter Card

Create an Easter Bunny Scene in Illustrator

Create a Happy Easter Postcard

Create an Easter Egg in Illustrator

Create an Easter Card in Photoshop

Make a Print-Ready Easter Greeting from Scratch

Create a Cute Photoshop Easter Egg Bee

Create a Cute Easter Bunny in Illustrator

Easter Photoshop Tutorial

Create Chocolate Easter Egg in Photoshop Elements

Chick and Egg Easter Tutorial

Decorating Digital Easter Eggs

Monday, March 21, 2016

5 Adorable Collections of Easter Bunny Clipart

Well, I'm guessing that the Easter bunny is hoping for better weather this weekend than we're experiencing at the moment. The day after the first day of spring, we have snow again.  It was certainly a bit of a depressing start to a Monday, but since it's obviously going to be short-lived I guess I can tolerate Old Man Winter having a last bit of fun.

There's no denying it. Spring is here, with robins dancing across gardens, the warmth of the sun intensifying and sprouts of green bursting through flowerbeds.  And on the heels of its arrival we will be celebrating Easter this weekend, the first holiday of the season of rebirth.

On the Christian calendar this celebration has tremendous significance, marking the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For the purposes of today's missive, however, I look to the cheery commercial part of the occasion —  fantasy, food and fun.

On Saturday night, snow or no snow, children will expect a visit from the Easter bunny as he hides colourful eggs for them to find the next morning.  Chocolate will be the order of the day, too, in the form of the aforementioned bunny and eggs, as well as adorable chicks.

No matter what the weather might be out my window, no matter the respect I have for the Christian beliefs that surround the event, the first images to come to mind when I hear the word Easter are of fluffy bunnies, soft pastels, downy chicks and colourful eggs. So, as we head into our first long weekend of the spring, here are some Easter bunny illustrations:

iCLIPART.com Easter Bunnies

Clipart.com Easter Bunnies

Acclaim Images Easter Bunnies

ClipartGuide Easter Bunnies

ClickArt Online Easter Bunnies