Showing posts from November 3, 2013

A Winter Wonderland of Illustrations

You don't have to like it, but you sure better learn to live with it. Where I come from, any time after the onset of of autumn, fluffy white stuff could arrive to blanket the landscape. It can make for a long, a very long, winter. I have said it before and will say it probably once a week until April, I hate winter. However, this early in the year there is a spirit of optimism I harbour that doesn't ship out until late January. Yes, so far, when I look out the window to a world made pristine and pure by its snowy cover, I can turn my thoughts to an occasion that begs for a winter wonderland.  This morning,  gazing out at the dazzling brightness of a space turned white overnight, thoughts of Santa and snowmen,  of  peace and goodwill sprang to my mind.  Until the first of January at least, I will accept the reality of snow as part of a necessary part of the Christmas spirit that  I love.  And, in keeping with that frame of mind I will let it snow with these collections of

Jumpstart Creativity With These Photography Tips

One of the things I promised myself when the kids bought me a nice, new digital camera a few years back was that I was going to spend some time learning my way around it.  While shooting on auto is terrific,  leaving the camera setting there and not seeing what results I could get with the other features seemed a bit like buying a fully-equipped vehicle and just, well, driving it. Oh, I was very serious when I made this promise. I was going to pick a setting each week, do a little research and go take some pictures. I was going to get spectacular sports shots, fantastic nighttime photos and lovely daylight landscapes. I was going to use a tripod and experiment with lenses. In short, I was going to do a lot of things. As yet, with the exception of moving back and forth between the portrait, landscape, sports and macro settings, however, I've done little. Since the interest and desire are there, what seems to be the problem is a lack of organization and hours in my life. I simp

Computer Frustration

Computers are a wonderful thing — until they aren't. When everything is working fine, the world they have opened up for us is beyond belief, the possibilities equally so.  Having a face-to-face chat with grandchildren on the other side of the globe, shopping for virtually anything without leaving home,  researching family history from the comfort of our chair, conducting international business... the list is endless. Unlike my patience, when for one reason or another the technology at my fingertips turns rebel and refuses to follow my commands. This week I've been experiencing a number of glitches with my computer — not serious, but glitches nonetheless — from email access to strange messages.  When one thing appears to be resolved another pops up on its heels. Now, I am a fairly structured person. When I have a routine I appreciate being able to follow through. When a task is planned I like to be able to get on it and complete it. It's not that I can't go wit

Photos of Smiling Children to Brighten Your November

The Weather Network is threatening rain for the next few days. Trees are bare, flowerbeds bedraggled and the world around us, in general, is just a tad dreary.  Must be November. If we're to be honest it's a month that doesn't have a lot going for it. All the autumn beauty is behind us and Christmas with its lights, bells and bows is still a bit away.  Instead we have lawns to rake, early darkness and chill winds.  Amidst it all, however, there are always things to perk us up. Some are surprises, such as a bright cheery day sandwiched in the middle of a rainy, grey week.  Others we  see regularly, such as the one I saw this morning.  Walking along to work, feeling all of the effects of November on my spirits,  I came upon two small children waiting for the school bus. They too seemed little enthused for the day ahead, until I greeted them. With their response came smiles that brightened my day and the world around me. I could feel my shoulders lift and my steps quic

See the Music in These Great Illustrations

When you're writing around the theme of everything to do with images, you wouldn't think music could possibly be a lead-in topic.  I intend to give it a go, though. For fun on weekends, our musician son exercises his chops, and slashes, as lead guitarist in a bar band doing covers of songs from the 1980s through to today. The range is hugely diverse and they have created quite a large following. This weekend was one of their shows and the place was absolutely packed. As my older son and I listened we also found the activity around us of particular interest. What we were seeing was almost  as entertaining as what we were hearing. Our musings and discussions took an analytical turn while we took in  the images of people, carefree and caught up in the music they love. We noticed reactions to certain songs and pondered the why behind them. Why, for example, did a particular song bring people to the dance floor; another which it seemed should also have had them dancing, inst