Friday, June 27, 2014

Celebrate Canada Day With These Great Illustrations

I live in the best country in the world. Well, at least that's my view. I'm fairly certain that people living others places tend to think the same thing of their own country.

That said when it comes to our international reputation and ranking we typically fare pretty well here. The Richest website ranks us third on the 2014 list of Best Countries to Live, while Lifestyles has us sixth. That source also has us ranked as the eighth most peaceful in the world.  And when it comes to the top countries for doing business, Forbes has us in eighth place.

So, while you might think your country's better than mine, you'd at least have to agree that we're not doing badly here in Canada. The true north strong and free has much to be proud of, from our gorgeous natural landscape, to our impressive cities, from our cultural diversity to our social programs. If the next federal election brings the end of our Prime Minister's time in office, life for us Canucks will most assuredly be good.

July 1, we are given the opportunity to celebrate this great nation, from east to west, north to south. Canada Day celebrates the enactment of the Constitution of 1867 uniting three colonies into one vast nation.  In recognition of this historic event,  the featured illustrations for today will pay tribute to that and our national pride. Canada Day Illustrations Canada Day Illustrations

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Perfect Pictures of Water Drops on Nature

Summertime in childhood is all about exploration and adventure. When the school bell rang on that late June day, bidding goodbye to books, structures and teachers, we jumped headlong into the carefree freedom that was growing up in the 1960s.

We wallowed in long days of fun and play with neighbourhood friends, converging together without ever discussing the when and the where. It was as if some spell had been cast and the magic drew us.

While we could have started the days much later, indulging in a little sleep-in now that the classroom no longer called, it never happened. We were eager to get outdoors, running barefoot through dewy grass and flowers. One of my favourite places to be at these times was in my grandmother's garden where the droplets on peonies sparkled in the rising sun, splashing our skin and clothes as we scurried by.

Throughout the day we would wander familiar parks and playgrounds in search of new activities and mysterious discoveries. Tiring of them we moved on to find new haunts, sometimes overstepping boundaries, but also secure in the safety of a community.

Yet at evening, as the last bit of daylight closed around us, pulled by the same magic that began our day, we made our way closer to home and back to the gardens and yards with those dampening grasses and petals once again surrounding us.

It was a special time in my life and my mind is drawn back to those days by the simple sight of  dewdrops settled on a blade of grass or flower petal.  These lovely photographs are reflections of the images that inspire those wonderful memories.

Macro Photos of Water Drops and Nature

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Enhance Macro Photography With Water Drops

The verdant lushness of a micro photo of a palm leaf is lovely. Add a few raindrops, glistening in sunlight, and you've taken that picture to another level entirely.

This is the job of the photographer — to find new ways to look at the ordinary and make it special. The addition of a few drops of water, therefore, is to take the simple to the adorned. Glistening moisture on a tomato or soft petal prove that one small thing can make a difference.  One small element and the viewer's eye is now drawn into the photograph.

Achieving the effect, however, may require a degree of artifice.  The eye may favour a strategically placed dewdrop, but actually finding that on a leaf or fruit is unlikely. A walk at dawn could work,  but many macro photographers don't leave it to chance. Instead they utilize some of their talents — ingenuity and creativity to be exact.

Here then are tips from the experts on how to take macro shots with the addition of water drops:

Adding Dew Drops to Enhance Macro Photography

Water Drop Photography

Enhancing Macro Photography With Dew Drops

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tips for Taking Photos in the Rain

Jimmy Durante once said, "If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain."

Today in our corner of the world it's a day for thinking ahead to the rainbow. Dreary, grey skies  provide the canopy above us — one with plenty of leaks it would seem. It's one of those days when a peek out the window reveals nothing but drizzle. It's a dismal view, which, since seen the the movie Testament, has always had an end-of-things aura for me.

The positive, however, is that while the potential for any sunshine is apprently non-existent for today, and likewise then any hope of a rainbow,  nature has just enjoyed a bath. Tomorrow we wake to a fresher, greener environment, where droplets glisten off roses, drooping leaves revive and robins cavort on dewy damp lawns.

In photography too, weather  such as today's can provide wonderful opportunities for beautiful images.  How to achieve them is explained by check out these great links:

National Geographic Taking Photos in the Rain

A Photographer's Guide to Shooting in the Rain

DPS How to Take Rain Pictures

DPS Rain Photography Tips

Digital Camera World How to Take Pictures of Raindrops

Monday, June 23, 2014

Perfect Summer Images

Saturday was the Summer Solstice and a more perfect day to usher in the best season of the year, to my way of thinking, could not have been asked for. The whole weekend for that matter was one of blazing sun and hot temperatures with enough of a cooling breeze to make it agreeable.

My two days away from the work world were spent out in the country with my daughter and her two little children. While summer officially arrived on a day that had been set aside for lots of busyness and projects,  by Sunday we were able to indulge ourselves and appreciate the pleasantness.

After an early breakfast out, we took some time to wander around a petting zoo and playground before taking a sleepy baby back home. 

As he napped, we basked in the warmth and the life around us.  From the trill of the birds to the deep bass of the noisy bullfrog singing in the pond, the air was full of nature's music. We, on the other hand, expended energy from lounge chairs, sipping cool drinks under an azure blue sky, watching our Little Missy dip and flip in her wading pool.

These images will be added to the others I carry with me when I think of the perfect summer day.  When you're looking for ones to illustrate that ideal you can find them in clipart collections such as these: Summer Illustrations Summer Illustrations

Acclaim Images Summer Illustrations

ClipartGuide Summer Images

ClickArt Online Summer Illustrations

TOON Clipart Summer Cartoons