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Showing posts from March 23, 2014

When Still Life Comes Alive

One of the best things about the end of day at our old summer haunt, was climbing out onto the rocks to watch the fading sun. As it dropped below the horizon the brilliant colours were reflected in the gentle ripple of the water, while silhouetted seagulls floated across the sky.

This week, I focussed each and every blog on sunsets and sunrise, from photography and illustration to how tos with cameras and Photoshop.  But while the beauty can be captured through a lens, with a paintbrush, or using an image editor, the ebb and flow of Mother Nature and the life around her are stilled.

So, to take my theme across the entire five days and complete what became a rather fun series, I have now looked to the wonderful AnimationFactory,  the best online source for animated clipart, PowerPoint templates, backgrounds and videos, to see what happens when the wonder of an illustrated sunset is no longer still.  Here's what I found:

Animated Sunsets/Sunrises

Top Sites for Sunset Illustrations

Well, in keeping with what has developed into a theme this week, there is probably one more offering I can make regarding the topic of sunrises and sunsets.

As already discussed, it is one type of art to capture the perfect twilight or dawn through the lens of a camera; it is another to enhance that photograph with editing software to create an image that is just a little more... well, more.

But there is yet another way of preserving this natural beauty — through art. One of the most strikingly lovely paintings to me is Monet's Impression Sunrise. I am by no means a connoisseur of fine art, nor would I say I have a strong appreciation for it. I don't know why a particular piece would speak to me. I just know that if it does, I listen.  Monet's Sunrise makes me feel things — a loneliness without desolation, a calm intensity.

Those feelings reaffirm to me the power of this particular subject, regardless of the medium it's depicted in. During business hours I reside in a…

Transform a Sunset With These Tutorials

So I've talked about beautiful sunset/sunrise photos and about how to take them. But what if your best efforts still aren't enough? What if what you see in the picture doesn't even come close to the splendour you saw in daytime's waning light?

On a recent trip to the French River, my husband and I were watching a spectacular sunset taking shape over the water. My camera was ready and thanks to digital photography and no concerns any more about wasting film, I went snap happy.

When the time came to load the pictures on my computer after our return home days later, however, I was less than impressed with the results. The colours that night had been strikingly vivid and distinct; the ones in the photo on the other hand were flatter, rather muted by comparison.

Once upon a time you pretty much had to take what you got. These days, however, image editors can help us enhance any photograph, including the glorious colours that come with the rising and setting sun. In a very …

Tips for Photographing Stunning Sunsets and Sunrises

In the missive posted yesterday I talked about the beauty of sunrises and sunsets and what, if any, the difference might be.  I know I'm not sure I'd recognize one from the other in a photograph. I just know that when it comes to something wonderful to see through my camera lens, either or works for me.

I first began photographing this natural phenomenon about 30 years ago where we summered on the shores of picturesque Lake Huron, an area renowned for some of the world's most glorious sunsets.  Yet, no matter what,  the end result never quite did justice to the amazing depth and colour of the vision that had been displayed before me. Night after night we sat out on the rocks at the end of the pier and waited for, not just the heavenly performance, but for something extra that might set a photo apart from others.

In the years since, there have been many sunsets caught by my lens. Ironically, one of my favourites really had been entirely focused on another subject. The end…

Sunrise, Sunset. Can You Tell the Difference?

Generally speaking, as far as I can see,  the only difference between a sunrise and a sunset is the distance you're facing. They are both things of beauty, full of colour and inspiration.

While there is no natural cause for an optical difference between the two, there is, however, according to the authors of Color and Light in Nature (Cambridge Press 2001) human factors that affect our perception.  At dusk, after a day spent in daylight our eyes don't adjust quite as swiftly to the darkening sky so some of the hues might be lost. At dawn, though, our acute night vision sees every hue, every slight alteration in colour.

True perhaps, but it certainly doesn't take anything away from the grandeur of either. I admit I have caught more sunsets in my time than sunrises and rarely find them anything but awesome. Likewise, have been the  few early mornings when I've been up to watch to the brightening sky.

These natural phenomena are the perfect start and end to a day, a pho…