Friday, July 21, 2017

Get Great Summer Photos With These Fantastic Tips

Clipart image of a woman standing in the water at a beach
"The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing." — Dan Simmons, Drood

Paints a lovely picture doesn't it? Summertime. Such a beautiful season. Sunshine burns in azure skies. Lightning streaks across dark broody nights and heavens open to douse us with refreshing rain.  Melodious birdsong is carried on gentle breezes that kiss our heated skin, and make garden flowers dance and sway.

Finding words to evoke the essence of summer, such as those written by Mr. Simmons, is a talent. Capturing it effectively in art and photography also requires creativity and technique. Summer is more than a season — it's a feeling, a lifestyle, an energy. It takes more than a camera or paintbrush and easel to show it.

When it comes to art, there's no hope for me. As a photographer, however, I am a little more positive about my capabilities. While I'm unlikely to reach the end of the path to perfection,  I do  possess a modicum of talent for the medium. My skills were first honed in my 20 years as editor of a community newspaper, where the jobs of reporter and photographer were as much a part of my role as the more logical duties.  My efforts were generally acceptable, occasionally worthy of compliment. My interest was piqued.

When digital cameras came on the scene, I was quick to rush out and get one for myself, ready to take on the latest technology. Equally swift was the move to update when I realized the initial purchase didn't quite meet my needs.

Since then, I've squeezed in some tutorials between work hours and am eager to continue improving my skills. Currently my favourite subjects are my precious grandchildren.  I never get tired of taking pictures of those darling faces.

However, of late, I've increasingly noticed a renewed interest too in the landscape around me.  This was inspired, I believe, by our first trip to the picturesque French River,  where trees soar and quiet and calm surrounds you.  With little to do but commune with nature, I found myself drawn to the verdant greenery, the lazy waters, rushing rapids and divine sunsets as photo subjects.

Having caught up with an old friend recently, who is avidly pursuing her interest in photography, I was cajoled into coming out to her camera club. Given my plans for the future it seemed a more than sensible suggestion.

Among the assignments is capturing the essence of summer. While the professionals and amateurs that attend the groups are there with ideas and suggestions to help, there are also many ideas for inspiration to be found on the internet. Here's a random sampling:

The Ultimate Summer Photo Ideas

10 Summer Photography Tips

Must Take Summer Photo Ideas

The Do's and Don't's of Summer Photography

6 Tips for Great Summer Photos

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Celebrate Summer, its Pleasure, Ease and Vacations with Vital Imagery Clipart

Clipart Image of a Woman Sitting on the Sand by the Sea
"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in."

While comedy writer Robert Orben has succinctly described the pleasure of a break from work I'd have to say that this quote as a general overview might be somewhat of an oversimplification. At least when little ones are involved.

My husband and I recently returned from a lovely week at lake country, accompanied for most of it by two of our grandchildren, ages five and three.  You can well imagine, therefore, that there was plenty to do. Though nothing was exactly scheduled, there was never a moment for just doing nothing.

Most mornings began in a flurry of activity, as the little ones were scuttled in to the washroom, then guided to the dinner table with discussions already underway on what was on the menu for breakfast that day.  Then, while they fueled up, Grandma and Papa got suited up for a day at the beach before digging out tiny swimsuits, towels, buckets, pails, sunscreen, snacks and drinks and packing them up in antipation of hours of sand and surf.
Clipart Image of Two Children Playing in the Sand at the Beach

When not at the beach, we filled time with bike and trike rides, walks, visits, meals and cleanup. So, really never any shortage of things to do.  However, what made this vacation, and most others, awesome, is that we did indeed have the whole day in which to do all the fun stuff.

Since our little guests were picked up by Mom and Dad before the weekend began,  though it granted Grandma and Papa a couple of days stretching before them, without goals to be reached or tasks to be accomplished. There were no plans, no schedules and no notion of what might be coming. We spent what was left of our vacation completely at ease, not in search of opportunities for entertainment, but taking them when they arose.  It was enough to appreciate the vacation experience as described by Mr. Orben.

Clipart Image of a Book at the Beach
Having worked for longer than I care to think about, I'm never eager to fill a vacation with activities. A good book on a quiet beach, a glass of wine while ensconced in a deck chair by the water, a cold drink on a sunny sidewalk cafĂ© — these are the idylls I choose to pursue when I leave my desk and computer behind.  Lazy mornings and quiet long breakfasts are the perfect start to a vacation day.  Nights under starry skies by the blazing heat of a campfire ease me to a gentle sleep.

There are always things to see and do, but these are taken at my leisure, when solitude and sitting have lost their appeal.  Easy hikes, informative tours, shopping provide mental, social and physical stimulation between the times of respite.

The word vacation isn't synonymous with any particular season — when the weather is cold people seek comfort in warmer climes. In this corner of the world, we check out colourful autumn landscapes or seek out snowy ski hills as spring revisits. But it's summer for most of us in the north that offers the best opportunities for doing nothing all day long. Kids are out of school and Mom and Dad are ready for a change of pace.

We celebrate the pleasures of summer, the easier life it offers and vacation time with two great clipart collections: Summer Vacation Images Summer Vacation Images