Friday, June 19, 2015

Celebrating Siblings With These Great Images

One of the things I attempt to do in these daily posts is search out clipart and photo collections for various themes.  I blather on apparently nonsensically until bringing it around to the dénouement and my reason for chatting in the first place.

So, here I begin to tell you about my upcoming plans for the weekend. My husband and I will be heading to the big city to spend time with my sister, brother and their spouses.

It's an annual ritual we began several years ago to try to bring together what time and distance separate.  Both of my siblings live two hours from me and, as I do, have kids and grandkids to keep them busy.  It has a limiting effect on visiting times.

We connect, of course, at family gatherings such as Christmas and birthdays, but one-on-ones are few and far between. And these, now,  are sadly often confabs to discuss issues surrounding our elderly mother.

Yet, while I've learned to live without them as an ever-present presence in my life,  they remain important. Siblings, after all, are our first friends. My relationship with them is a little different than most as they are 10 and eight years older than I, but the past that connects us is strong. Big sis has been my champion, protector, friend and confidante. Growing up my brother was my hero and for many years as adults we were neighbours at our summer haunt. They were golden times of bonding in relaxing moments around campfires and at the beach.

Unquestionably, their love and friendship is invaluable to me.

American author Susan Scarf Merrell describes the relationship of brothers and sisters in a way I find beautifully poetic:   " Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk."

In celebration then of this special bond, this mix of family and friend, here are some terrific sibling clipart and photo collections:

Acclaim Images


ClickArt Online


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Give Your Photos a Vintage Look

As it has been in the past and always will be — everything old is new again.  While living in the present is the best, there's no denying our unmistakable attraction to the past.  Songs we sang, clothes we wore, cars we drove, places we frequented continue to hold a special place for us.

There is a growing trend for collecting old things too —  from first-edition books to  cars and snowmobiles. Also, vintage clothing stores attract people of all types looking to find a way to don a piece of the past and make it trendy.

Even in popular culture we have found ways to pay homage to nostalgia. Popular posts on Facebook show a photo of something from the past, such as the old drive-in theatre speakers,  and  'friends' are asked to 'like' if they remember it.  Throwback Thursdays we are tempted to share a bit of our own previous life posting pictures on social media each week.

Keeping in mind then the love of all things vintage,  here are some tutorials to help you give your photos of today a look of the past:

Vintage Aging Photo Effect

Apply Authentic-Looking Vintage Effects to Photos

Give Your Photos a Cool Retro Analog Effect

Give Your Photos a Vintage Look

Create a Vintage Look Using Lightroom

Give Yout iPhone Photos and Aged Effect

If you don't have image editing software, there are also many online tools for achieving this effect.  As an example I chose pixlr-o-matic to help me age this picture of  young girl dressed as  a guitar-loving hippy (image #517368 from  There are dozens of options to play with. First I cropped it then chose Kevin with a Morning effect and a Dirt border for a quick change.

Here are the before and after:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

3 Father's Day Photoshop Tutorials

This past weekend my husband and I had time to socialize with our grown children at a family wedding. They all live close enough that I'm not miserable, but far enough away that these times are not as frequent as I'd like and greatly appreciated as a result.

For me it's not necessary that I'm involved in all the interactions; I am content to sit and watch my kids enjoying each other's company. I particularly love seeing them have fun with their dad. My husband is a funny guy, and all four of our kids seem to share his quick, dry wit.  He makes them laugh, a lot, and they love to  return the favour.

Watching them it's interesting to note too, how the relationship with 'Dad' differs from the one with 'Mom.  While they share all manner of subjects with me, conversation with their father tends to focus on a need for his advice or a common interest they share with him, usually music.  They tease me, they joke with him.  They tell me what they think and ask if I agree. They ask him for his opinion, then explain what they'd been thinking.

Growing up it was always me they came to first. But, when strength was needed it was to him that we all turned. That really hasn't changed.

This Sunday, we will see them again when they come home to celebrate Father's Day with the man whose glare could stop irresponsible action in its tracks,  whose approval could make our kids all feel a bit taller.

For this Tutorial Tuesday then, I have tracked down some projects to help you create something personal to honour your family hero this Father's Day.

Create a Photo Collage for Father's Day

Create a Personalized Father's Day Card

Create a Father's Day Card

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tips for Outdoor Wedding Photography

It was a wedding weekend this past one — a niece on my husband's side said "I do" to a terrific young man. That it turned out to be a beautiful day for this special couple was a big surprise to all.

Throughout the week, the weather forecast had shown nothing but rain for Saturday and Sunday, with glorious sun leading up to it.  Instead every day prior to the big event was dreary, overcast or rainy, while Saturday was perfect.  The sun was bright, the sky clear, the temperatures warm but comfortable.

The couple had chosen the property of a friend, a tiny piece of heaven at the back of  vast farm acreage, by a pond and patch of evergreens and hardwoods.  It wasn't just a perfect setting for a wedding, but also a great place for photos.

Thinking to take advantage of the natural aesthetics for a few shots of my kids and their significant others, I was halted by my photographer daughter who suggested we wait for a a little less resplendent sunlight.  I knew that by not seizing the moment  we were going to be sidetracked  and likely rushing to take them as an afterthought.  I bowed to her expertise, however,  rather than my wisdom and sure enough, we ended up shooting them just before the sun sunk below the horizon.

Professional photographers at a wedding don't generally have the option of waiting for the perfect light. How to deal with it was to my mind a good question, therefore. The advice found by clicking these links should help answer it:

Wedding Photographer's Guide to Outdoor Lighting

Tips for Photographing Outdoor Ceremonies

Lighting Wedding Group Shots Outdoors

Outdoor Wedding Photography