Friday, September 25, 2015

900 Photos of People Enjoying Autumn

Way, way back, when my house was full of children and the younger version of me had a lot more energy, making the most of autumn seemed easier. From raking leaves for my favourite little rugrats to taking extended drives through the country on lazy Sunday afternoons, it was easy to find entertainment outside.

As the time to cocoon would be arriving soon enough,  we encouraged the kids, or they pestered us, to get away from the television and into the great outdoors. The leaves had completed their transformation and were putting on quite a show.

A favourite autumn pastime to fully partake of the spectacle then was a walk through a nearby sugar bush owned by the local conservation authority. The maple tree woodlot became a palette of stunning hues each fall.

Over the years we visited the area to burn off energy, commune with nature and provide a perfect backdrop for family portraits.  My husband and I would enjoy quiet conversation while the kids explored.  It was an opportunity for quality time with our brood, yet it gave us a chance to stay acquainted, which can be a tricky thing for a young couple with four active children.

Reflecting now on these special bygone autumn days, I'm wondering why they stopped just because our kids grew up and moved away.  This weekend, given the promise of unseasonably high temperatures and plenty of sunshine,  even though the leaves haven't yet reached their full fall potential, I'm thinking it might be time to reinstate a once popular activity with my guy.

These photo collections depict people of like mind:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2,800 Livestock Photos

Wide open spaces stretch to verdant woodlots. Everywhere I look I'm surrounded by the quiet countryside.

Living in a rural community, travel to anywhere means a meander past pastoral landscapes and charming farmhouses.  I often liken it to the calm before the storm as, when my husband and I head out, it's typically with the planned destination being a large urban centre.  When you're used to the peace and quiet of the country, hitting the busy streets of a city can be a bit of culture shock for a few minutes.

One of the places we travel most frequently is our daughter's home. At least once a month we pick up our grandbabies from there to bring them for a visit.  The oldest has always been a rather impatient traveller and we are always thankful to get off the busy expressways and out into the openness.

Raised on acreage just outside city limits, she has grown to love the freedom of country living, the animals and the space.  As she begins to fidget on the long ride back to our house everything rural, even fields of corn, offer an entertaining distraction.

Mostly, however, it's the animals. The sight of a horse pulling an Amish carriage along the road brings joy to her precious face. Cows grazing in the field are a pure delight and her reaction to the pasture full of sheep we saw on the last trip could only be described as gleeful.

So, for our little animal lover, and in the spirit of the upcoming theme of Thanksgiving and the celebration of our agricultural bounty,  I have scoped out some terrific photos of livestock:

Acclaim Images

ClickArt Online

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Get Great Autumn Photos

"Autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile."  In a few short words, american poet William Cullen Bryant paid perfect tribute to this colourful season, with its grandiose show before the diffident denouement.

Though fall takes us away from the heat of summer into the cold of winter,  the bold beauty of the changing leaves is among nature's best artwork.  The transformation from verdant to variety creates a canopy of glorious crimson, russet, orange and yellow, that inspires body, mind and soul.

The warmth of the palette balances the nip in the air as we don heavier garb to explore and enjoy the outdoors. A wander in the woods,  a promenade in the park or a cruise in the country are the perfect way to spend a lazy autumn afternoon. 

And a wonderful time to consider taking along the camera.

The lovely smile that is autumn not only produces wonderful landscape pictures, but it also provides the perfect backdrop for portrait photography. When it comes to family pictures at our house it's always the choice of season. 

These sites offer some tips on how to get the most out of your autumn photo shoot:

Digital Camera World's Autumn Photography Tips

Nikon's Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

PictureCorrect's Tips for Photographing Autumn Colours

The Canadian Nature Photographer's Tips for Taking Better Autumn Pictures

Travel Photography: Expert Tips for Autumn Landscapes

Popular Photography Tips for Better Fall Portraits

Improve Photography's Ideas for Making Fall Portraits Unique

Ideas for Fall Family Photos

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5 Autumn Themed Photoshop Tutorials

Trends have existed forever in everything from fashion to words we have coined. 

As a tween I sported my go-go boots, John Lennon cap and miniskirts like badges of honour while spouting out fab and mod at every opportunity.   In my teens, a centre part found its way into my long, straight hair, while my bell-bottoms were topped by a tie-dyed shirt.

I looked so groovy,  baby.

Those were the trends of my youth. Today, what was a noun has become a verb. Trending brings current views and topics to the forefront of social media. 

Though not required, alliteration also seems to be key as we have celebrated such illogical highlights as  #ManCrushMonday, #TransformationTuesday, #WoofWednesday,  #ThrowbackThursday and #FloralFriday.

One for which I have found some particular value is #TutorialTuesday.  As that would be now and as autumn has made its quiet entrance I have combined the two for some interesting projects in Photoshop:

Photoshop Autumn Colour Effects Tutorial

Colours of Autumn Photoshop Blending Tutorial

Turn Summer to Autumn in Photoshop

Create an Autumn Collage in Photoshop

Create an Autumn Themed 3D Text Effect

Monday, September 21, 2015

Beautiful Autumn Landscape Photos

For a long time it was good.  The change was, if not exactly welcome, most certainly accepted. I was appreciative of what it brought and enjoyed throwing myself into it.

Literally. There was nothing more fun on a nice crisp autumn day than jumping into a pile of raked leaves.

But I was a kid then and able to make the most out of just about any situation, even the end of summer. The transforming foliage fascinated me. The cooling temperatures chased away the thickness of humid summer,  filling me with boundless energy.

By the time my teens arrived, the novelty of leaf raking had worn off and the fun of jumping into a mound of colourful leaves was for babies.  However, in the mind of a young person, winter was  a long way off and there was still plenty to look forward to in this season.

On the heels of autumn's arrival came my birthday and there were numerous events to entertain my peers and me.  Back to school brought Saturday night dances back to the arena and communities all around us were hosting annual fall fairs.

All of this is far behind me now and for the most part autumn is simply the harbinger of winter.  So my focus turns to fall's glorious beauty for interest and inspiration.

Nobel prize-winning author, journalist and philosopher Albert Camus described autumn as "a second spring when every leaf is a flower."  Looking at the incredible palette overhead  the inspiration for the sentiment is clear.  You can see it here in these stunning autumn photos: