Friday, March 2, 2018

Wonderful Photography Tips to Help You Capture Spring's Ever-Changing Palette

Photo of spring photographs hanging on a clothesline above a camera sitting in the grass
One of the hobbies I have come to enjoy, but have had very little time to pursue over the past few decades is photography.

My interest began with some rather technically wretched results from chasing around my children with a camera. It was the era of Instamatics and Polaroids so I can take some of the blame off myself. However, my focus was completely on capturing those beautiful faces in cherished moments, with little thought for such things as contrast, composition or exposure.

An understanding of what a camera can actually do developed later through my work as editor of our local community newspaper. Covering everything from sports to crowded group gatherings in dingy auditoriums with a 35 mm then its digital version, I picked up what I needed to get good shots. Those few tips, plus the better equipment,  have ensured that the photos of my grandkids are far superior to those I took of their parents.

Family has always been a favourite photographic subject, but during our trips up north for several summers, I discovered a fondness for landscape photography as well. And if we think of heading outdoors with a camera, is there really any better time than spring? The countryside is an ever-changing palette, a constantly-altered playground.

Photo of a close-up of cherry blossom
In a few short weeks, when we head outside each day will bring a new sprout of green to our flowerbeds. The tiny buds on trees will become increasingly more visible, the grass more green.

Birds will flit, squirrels will sprint, cats will prowl,  all happy to be in gardens bursting to life. Soon there will be colour and foliage to run through and hide amongst.

The season's capricious weather also adds interest, with sprinkles and puddles one day, brilliant sun glinting of dewy, damp leaves the next.

For photographers whose favourite subject is nature, the possibilities are endless. Given that, where to look and what to seek, then making the most of that, are the only challenges in taking great spring pictures.

Photo of ladybug on a blade of grass in the sunlight
Once temperatures warm,  it will be time to wander into the garden on a quiet morning and sit quietly to soak in the enlivening atmosphere. A bug crawling up a tiny bud of green, will inspire a picture.  The sun sparkling off the dew will also be a lovely photograph. And should a robin stop by to perch on the railing of the deck, how foolish it would be to not have a camera at the ready.

Getting outdoors to enjoy the new blossoming world is a great way to spend a day. Taking a camera outside with you makes it even better.

Here are some great tips to help you find your subjects and improve your spring photography skills:

7 Great Spring Photography Tips

Spring Photography Tips

Useful Tips for Spring Photography

Photograph Your Kids in Spring Flowers

How to Photograph Outside in the Spring

Spring Flower Photography Tips

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Celebrating an Enchanting Occasion With St. Patrick's Day Colouring Pages from

Clipart image of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for St. Patrick's Day
 "St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter's dream into summer's magic." Adrienne Cook

As we move ever closer to the start of March, excited for the warming sun and the promise of spring that comes with that month, we also can look forward to a spirited holiday. And with just a couple of weeks to go before St. Patrick's Day arrives,  this seems like an opportune time to focus some attention on that particular holiday.

Since we all know how swiftly time moves these days, we also know that it really won't be long before March 17 is here and with it the fun and spirit of the Emerald Isle. Though this celebration of Ireland's patron saint arrives a few days before spring, it certainly feels more like a party for that season with its charming images of leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold.

Verdant shamrocks decorating everything from windows to websites, people sporting every hue of green —  these are the images that contribute to a vibrant landscape far more synonymous with the blooming season yet to come, than the often dreary, often miserable one soon to be fading away for another year. After winter's monochromatic palette and our penchant to cocoon through it, is there any wonder that we can be enlivened by the notion of a lively celebration on the horizon?

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious event. In other places though, grownups in green gather in pubs to sip beer of the same lush hue and sample traditional Irish fare, while listening to the flutes and fiddles of Celtic entertainers.  In certain cities around the world the day is marked by festivities and parades enjoyed by many, regardless of  ethnicity or culture.

My childhood memories of the holiday are simple, yet again carry with them the hint of this being the right occasion to usher out winter.  There is such a lively vibe surrounding St. Patrick's Day that even a child must notice the sense of spring awakening that accompanies it.

Harking back to my good old school days,  I recall that prior to March 17, classmates and I (with much excitement about a holiday to which few of us could lay any legitimate ancestral claim) worked on little projects to decorate the schoolroom and Mom's bulletin board. Clipping shamrocks to hang from strings put spring in the air, in contrast to the dirty mounds of snow that lingered outside the windows.

More shamrocks were found in charming images that also included  impish leprechauns and pretty rainbows. Crayons in hand we delighted in bringing all the colours of the spectrum, as well as multitudinous shades of green, to fill in the space between the outlines. Many pleasant school hours were spent colouring St. Patrick's Day images with enthusiasm.

As this particular childhood memory fills my mind in the weeks coming up to our favourite Irish celebration, here are some terrific colouring pages for the occasion:
Clipart image of a happy leprechaun colouring page for St. Patrick's Day