Friday, May 15, 2015

11,000 Photos of Gorgeous Red Roses

Despite the cooler temperatures we've experienced this week,  gardens and flowerbeds are starting to take shape. Strolling up my sidewalk to and from work each day, I can almost hear the plants growing, so noticeable is the progress each morning and evening from the previous inspection.

I don't profess to have a green thumb; flowers in my garden tend to grow in spite of me.  I've accepted that.

However, I am disheartened by my lack of horticultural skills when it comes to roses.  To walk into a well-kept rose garden is to be enchanted. Stunning in appearance, captivating in fragrance,  silky to the touch, this gorgeous bloom is a treat for the senses. 

With a myriad of varieties, tones and hues,  the rose has breeding and history to add to its mystique.  They have been symbols of everything from love to war and their colours are representative of many emotions and themes.  For example, white represents innocence and purity, while pink is for appreciation.

Though my personal favourite is the yellow rose, few would argue that the most striking is the red rose, the symbol of romantic love. As today is Floral Friday, I decided to gather together some photo collections of these garden beauties, which you can see here:

100 Red Roses from

10,806 Red Roses from

413 Red Roses from Acclaim Images

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hundreds of Great Dog Photos

Running through the news feed on my Facebook page I came upon a video from Britain's Got Talent. The entertainers in this case were a 16-year-old girl and her dog, a fluffy little white thing. Together they performed a dance routine to the theme song from The Flintstones. While the human member of this dynamic duo might be more likely to get a call from a dog trainer than go on to win the show,  it was pretty darn cute.

Let's face it, these canine friends of ours can be awfully adorable. From those woebegone, "I'm so sorry" countenances they sport when caught doing something wrong, to little idiosyncrasies like that of our office mascot Thor's barking at the bad guys on TV,  dogs are doggone cute.

Our Ani used to love 'coffee break' waiting with an expectant look on her face until I got my morning beverage and settled into my favourite reading chair before running to get her bone and scooting back to lie on the floor beside me.  It was our time. 

When my husband took a job away from home, she became my self-appointed guardian positioning herself at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom door when I would go to shower. Like a sentry on duty she stay eyes fixed on the transom above the front door until I was finished.  I know this because one of our kids, home to visit, kept a surreptitious eye on her while I was showering.  She never moved an inch.

I do miss that dog.

For all those who feel the same about their beloved best bud, whether still with them or a pleasant memory, here are some wonderful photos of dogs:

Buzzfeed 100 Dog Photos

National Geographic

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hundreds of Fun Wedding Photo Ideas

While visiting my mother in the nursing home recently, we began a conversation about her wedding photo, taken 71 years ago by the local photographer in  our small rural town. We discussed how many portraits he, and after his death, his daughter, had taken of our family over the years.

We touched too on the fact that while he was the only professional shutterbug for miles around,  he was considered to be one of the best.

The best then isn't the same as now, however. Years ago portraits were formal, stiffly-posed pictures with standard arrangements and positions. Not a hair out of place, nor a pointy-toed shoe angled the wrong degree.

For families, Mom and Dad were seated with children fitted in rows behind and between them.  For weddings, bridal parties were put in formation, two rows of decked-out couples lined up behind and attractive bride and groom.

Now, people want something different, photos with personality. They prefer that at least some are more casual. Spontaneity and candid shots often give the best results.

When it comes to wedding pictures, successful photographers, while still able to fall back on the tried-and-true standards,  infuse their work with imagination.  If inspiration is needed there are many examples of fun ideas to be found online. Here are a few:

42 Impossibly Fun Wedding Photo Ideas

56 Creative Wedding Entourage Photo Ideas

75 Must-Have Photos With Your Groom

Bridesmaid Wedding Photo Ideas and Poses

22 Wedding Photos and Poses

51 Must-Have Wedding Poses

Fun Wedding Photos Ideas

Photo Ideas for Bridal Parties Who Like to Have Fun

25 Wedding Photo Ideas

Winter Wedding Photo Ideas

50 Creative Ideas for Wedding Photos

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Using Photoshop's Patch Tool to Remove Objects from Photos

Given that he's the man with whom I've chosen to spend my life, when a camera comes out it seems difficult to catch us in the same place at the same time. It's been almost a year since there was a decent photograph taken of the two of us.

So, when we were all cleaned up for our grandson's birthday party this past weekend I saw a  moment and seized it, tossing a camera to my daughter and plopping me down on my honey's lap.

The result wasn't too bad for an impromptu moment; as our daughter said we both actually looked like we were enjoying ourselves. However, as is often the case when there's no time to consider things like composition and location,  the picture would have been much nicer without the playground in the background.

Removing this much unwanted stuff in a way that would leave me with a picture which didn't look doctored, I assumed was well beyond my Photoshop skills.  That is, until  a friend told me about the Patch tool.  With her assurance that it would help me achieve the result I wanted painlessly I set out to find some information to help me get started. Here are the few of the results for any others who might be interested in getting rid of the unwanted:

Using Aware Patch Move

Removing Objects With Content-Aware Fill and Patch in Photoshop CC

Remove Blemishes, Objects, Spots

Patch Tool

Quick and Easy Patch Tool Tutorial

Using Patch Tool

Remove Distractions Instantly with Patch Tool

Monday, May 11, 2015

800 Photos of Extreme Weather

A glorious weekend was enjoyed in our part of the country with unseasonably warm weather. The real bonus was the lack of rainfall, which was a darn good thing given we were attending a large outdoor event for our grandson's first birthday.

May can be a rather hit-and-miss month for nice weather so when planning first began our son-in-law was a little leery that it might be too cold. The reverse proved to be true, however,  with temperatures in the high 20s and the humidex making it feel like 33°C.  Of course, this brought another concern into the mix with the prediction of thunderstorms throughout the area.

As the pig hit the spit, the tent was decorated and tables set up early Saturday morning, we nervously checked the radar and the progress of a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch. Fortunately, as is often the case with meteorology, the science was a bit off and there was nothing to fear with only a light rain falling just before midnight.

This is not to stay that there weren't a few worrisome moments throughout the day as threatening skies did roll by a few times. Watching from a backyard crowded with people,  that can be an ominous harbinger.  Under different circumstances, however,  storm clouds are an impressive sign of omnipotence. Such power, while a bit scary, can't fail to inspire awe.

While I tend to run for cover when things take on a stormy look,  there are people who see the opportunity in hanging around for a little photography.  Here are just a few examples:

42 Awe Inspiring Photos of Extreme Weather

21 Beautiful Photos of Incoming Storm Clouds