Get Out and Take a Picture!

springfacebookThe nice weather has everyone outside (finally!). And you’ve probably noticed a lot of people taking pictures, either with their phones, or a real camera. If you’re serious about photography, you might be trying to improve your photos, and improvement begins with knowledge.

We have plenty of great books in the library on both digital photography, and traditional SLR photography (or both). There are many great online resources as well, and if you don’t use Instagram, you might want to start an account. It’s a wonderful resource for inspiring photos, especially when you start following photographers you admire.

But what if you’re just starting out and you don’t know anything about photo jargon? All those words can be confusing….aperture, bokeh, field of vision? I came across a great website recently that breaks down the basics for you in a really easy way. I can almost guarantee your photos will improve just knowing these things. Not Dressed As A Lamb is a fashion blogger, but she makes this idea simple for anyone. Spend a few minutes on the link, and bookmark it to come back later…’ll learn as you go, and might need a refresher.

Most of all, have fun out there taking photos! It’ll show in your work.

Weird Weekend

Here we are, a few days into the New Year……and it feels like a non-starter. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have the whole week off, you might feel like 2015 doesn’t even begin until Monday when you go back to work. And if you are working, this is the weekend of nothingness. Everyone is still in holiday-ish mode, and now we’re all busy cleaning up, putting away, getting back into schedules. It’s four days of “what do I do now?”.

If you’re like us, you’ll be spending a little bit of time browsing the web to catch those last minute Boxing Week sales, or dreading the line-ups in stores for returns. Why not take a few minutes to do something fun? How about visiting this fascinating Instagram page “We Never Met”, and reading through some of the stories? This is a genius idea….a person who photographs people without them looking at the camera, and makes up a story about their life or where they’re off to at that moment.


If you got engaged over the holidays, you might well be thinking about all of those wonderful photo ops. You might want to start your research here. Take a look at some of the most beautiful photos of bad weather weddings...….you won’t feel sorry for these couples one little bit!

And while many of you followed our Elf on the Library Shelf antics, this man goes to the extreme each Christmas…..with his DOG! If you only look at one photo, make sure you see the donkey. Oh my.

See you on the official start of all things 2015…..Monday!

What Was There?

For our Frivolous Friday post, we’re visiting a fun site called “What Was There?”  It allows readers to upload their own photos of specific buildings that used to be in places that might now be built up, or changed in some way.  It’s fun, even if you don’t know any of the places.  The old photos layered over a Google map image is fascinating!

thereIf you have a few minutes this weekend, spend time either uploading your own photos, or looking through some of the ones that are already posted. It will help you see your world with new eyes! (Hint: try some of the countries other than the US.!)


For our Frivolous Friday post, if you’ve ever wasted precious minutes looking at Grumpy Cat on the internet:


…you might like a few new outlets for your visual interests. But you could spend a lot of time following links on Facebook, running through Tumblr feeds and flipping through Instagram posts to find the best images on the web right now. So when I came across Oublio, I was hooked! It organizes the most popular images on the web right now into one easy format. Just click the type of social media you’re most interested in, and up pops the image receiving the most views at any particular moment.

Keep in mind, sometimes the images are not for everyone, but they change often. And usually, they’re really fascinating! So, if you have a minute to pop to the site, that’s all it takes.  You’ll definitely want to bookmark this page to come back to later. It’ll be your new instant web crush!

This Is Where I Read

In August, we’re doing something fun on Instagram.


We want all of our patrons to take photos of yourselves–or people you love–reading!  Is your favourite spot at the end of the dock?  Or do you like to read in a hammock? Wherever you spend your time flipping through the pages on a lazy summer afternoon, we’d love to know about it.  All you need is your camera and Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #cplibrary…..and the NEW hashtag…. #thisiswhereiread


Go! Start reading now!

30 Day Instagram Book Challenge!

We’re having fun with Instagram at the library this summer! Please feel free to take photos of books you’re reading, books you want to read or events at the library. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #cplibrary so that we’ll see them!

But if you’re looking for something a bit more fun, why not join us for the 30 Day Instagram Book Challenge! If you want to participate, just follow the list and take a book-related photo each day in July. (Use the same #cplibrary hashtag.) Here is the fun list, starting on July 1st! (Get out there on Canada Day and show your love of books!)

IMG_4461  (Just an example)……..This is the book I most want to make something from this summer.     #cplibrary #cuterecipebooks


  1. Your favourite book.
  2. Your least favourite book.
  3. A book that makes you LOL (laugh out loud).
  4. A book that makes you cry.
  5. A book you wished you lived in.
  6. Your favourite YA or Juvenile book (you can use one you loved as a kid).
  7. A favourite quote from a book.
  8. A book that scares you.
  9. A book that you wish was never written (maybe it’s sooooo good, nothing else even comes close and it has spoiled you for reading forever!).
  10. A book that changed your life.
  11. A book where the main character is most like you.
  12. A book with a main character you’d love to marry!
  13. Your favourite author (or a photo of one of his/her books).
  14. A book that is most like your life.
  15. The first chapter book you ever read.
  16. A book you always recommend.
  17. A book you tell people not to read.
  18. A book you’re embarrassed to like.
  19. A book you’d only recommend to your BFF (your best friends).
  20. A book you’ve read more than once.
  21. Your favourite picture book.
  22. The book you plan to read next.
  23. A book you tell people you’ve read (or finished)…but haven’t!
  24. A favourite scene from a book.
  25. A book you read at school and loved.
  26. Your favourite non-fiction book.
  27. Best book you’ve read this year so far.
  28. The last book you finished.
  29. The book you’re currently reading.
  30. Your favourite coffee table book!

Of course, some of these entries will be easier than others.  And if you can’t find the actual book to take a picture of, feel free to get creative. Draw the cover, or just jot down the title and grab that phone!  We’re looking for creativity, most of all! Have fun in July (you might want to start planning now) and don’t forget to hashtag #cplibrary.


I used to use a wonderful photo editor online to fix up, crop or make a collage for all the library pictures I take. But when the website closed down, I was in a desperate search for something just as good, just as easy to use.  I think I’ve found it in PicMonkey.

You can upload your photos and fix them using all the great tools, or even morph them into new and fantastic things using the fun options. But what I really love, is the ease with which you can merge two photos.  It’s fabulous!

Take for example, this photo of Ronald McDonald® visiting the library.

While it’s a fun picture on its own, I wanted to add someone special to it for the purposes of showing how this great tool works. Using the Eraser and Overlay tool, I was able to take this photo which has a white background:

…and erase all the white to incorporate him into the bigger picture.

Just a little bit of fun for anyone who might want to play around with photo editing sites. Do you have other great sites that you use to edit photos online?