How about Christmas cards?

 

I like all the festive celebration and excitement of Christmas, and truly enjoy all the colourful decorations, the lights and listening to Christmas music for a whole month.  Yes, I do like Christmas music.  I have also written about Xmas cards before.

All year long the photography social media sites on the Internet that I belong to have been filled with photos made by members, but images posted on the Internet quickly become faded memories and are easily forgotten when an hour later someone else posts theirs.

I like photographic prints. Prints have a life, whether framed and hung on a wall in our home, taped on the refrigerator, or thumbtacked in an open space in the workroom. To me a print of any size has more importance and life than a digital image on my computer or iPhone screen.

Christmas is a great time for photographers, and besides than just having fun taking pictures of anything and everything they now an opportunity to give friends and family their photographs.

I suppose that could mean a big framed photograph, but what I am writing about today is Christmas cards. Cards are easier and less expensive than framed prints, and any card of a photographer’s work is more personal as a gift than an email or little picture tagged to a text message.

I don’t want to believe that any photographer would ever be satisfied with mass produced generic Christmas cards. Personally, I want people enjoy my photography, even if it’s only as a 5×7 card.   A card to someone I care about is so much better than having my pictures left languishing as image files deep in some computer hard-drive that hasn’t been backed up.

Right now I am going through my many files from this year’s photographs selecting those I want for Christmas cards. I’ll print up different subjects and place all sorts of greetings on them. It is rare that I give the same picture to more than one person. And not all the cards say Merry Christmas. Although I like “Merry Christmas” what wording goes on a card doesn’t really matter to me. Happy Holidays, Seasons greetings, Have fun, A good New Year, and anything else I think fits a particular picture. It’s about the card, never the words.

I have written before that I always produce a new monthly calendar. My wife and I used to alternate our months.   Doing a calendar is a neat way to personally enjoy my photography, but cards are a lot more fun because they are for others to enjoy. I also make cards for all occasions, like birthday’s, Valentine’s, Mother’s day, etc., My family has come to expect me to share my photography. Sometimes it’s only a picture of something we’ve done, but if it’s a special occasion they always will get a card. Even when would I go to my granddaughter’s school Christmas concert, I always took their pictures, made a card and send it to them through the mail.

For those photographers that don’t have their own printer, it’s as easy as having a 4×5 print made at a local lab. Then get some construction paper, glue a picture on it, fold the paper, write something like Merry Christmas inside and give it away. And don’t make all the cards the same.

What would be the fun in that?

Another Year Is Just About Over

 

This year's adventure is about over.

This year’s adventure is about over.

 

Another year has gone by and I guess its time to put the old baggage away and get out the new. Christmas is here and I’m sure the year to come is going to be filled with fun photography.

I hope that the thoughts and experiences I have written about this past year have been interesting and worth reading. My goal is to write articles that are, at the least, a bit different from the exotic location photos in magazines, and that complicated on-line how-to.

I will admit that just posting a couple of pictures with a how I-did-it recipe would be easier, but this damn medium of photography is so damn exciting that I can’t help but talk about why I like it.

As I wrote last year, there are so many people writing about photography that I do wonder if I can add anything worth viewing and reading.

I try to stick with a technique that worked during the many years I taught photography and that is to tell a story that includes photo information I want to discuss.

Something else that I learned during my years teaching was to keep the subject fresh. That meant introducing something new each class and that is how I choose my topics, something different each week.

Changing the subject each week does get hard, and (I wish I could say it wasn’t so) there are other things in life than photography and it isn’t unusual for me to say Linda, “Gosh, I have no idea what am I going to write about this week.”

Fortunately, with Linda’s help it usually works out and I come up with something to say each week.

Linda reminded me that last year I mentioned those subjects that I enjoyed writing about the most. Well, looking back here are my personal favorites.

My article in August, “Two Photographers Are More Fun” was very personal because my wife Linda is the best photo-partner I could ask for. Throughout the year I wrote several times about the Lighting workshops I lead. I enjoy watching others learn about photography and in my articles I try to explain a little about that process and adventure. I also wanted to let people know how much fun I had in September photographing a little location at Vancouver’s Denman Street and Stanley Park. Those are a few. I generally liked all the subjects I photographed and wrote about.

I’ll keep this short and wish all photographers out there a very Merry Christmas.

Twelve Gifts for a Photographer’s 12 days of Christmas     

xmas-tree

night-porch

We finished setting up our Christmas tree, and sat down to celebrate with a glass of eggnog, while listening Christmas music coming from the TV music station. As we rested Linda just asked me that question that I had been side tracking, “You haven’t told me yet what you want for Christmas. Do you want something for photography?”

I hadn’t thought about what I wanted. And regarding anything to do with photography, if I thought I could afford it, I would usually just get it for myself.

I had been enjoying the tree, and the Christmas music, but as far as a gift for me, especially, “something for photography” left me at a loss of what to say, so I replied, “I suppose I want everything and anything that will fit my camera.”

I watched the train go round the tree, and I listened to the music, but I am still thinking about what I should tell my wife.

In keeping with that subject, I decided to pose that question to some photographers I know. There are so many different genres of photography with different ideas on what would be the perfect photography gift for each. I edited them and selected twelve in keeping with the tradition of twelve days of Christmas.

I am sure readers have their own Christmas list, however, here are some items that I picked out for this year.

(1) I had more than one person say, “I would like to move up to a newer model.” And their discussion for preferring full or cropped frame is always fun. The first on this list is one of many that wanted a particular camera. I think a photographer would have to have been real good to deserve this.

(2) I wasn’t surprised with this one, “I asked Santa Claus for the new Tamron 150-600mm lens.”

(3) When I heard this from a very serious photographer I thought, “me too”, “There is a new program called Aurora I would really like to try out over the Xmas Holidays.”

(4) More than one photographer upon retiring has gone this way so I wasn’t surprised with when some said, “After all these years of packing around a big DSLR, I would really like Santa to give me a small, lightweight Mirrorless camera.”

(6) Hey, this idea is just smart, “I’ve asked for gift cards, better chance of getting some of those than the Nikon D500 I really want.”

(7) “A new graphite tripod would be great to find under the Christmas tree.”

(8) I have my fingers crossed for this person, “A new camera backpack to hold the 70-200mm lens I hope I am getting.”

(9) A budding portraitist said, “I am hoping for several things this Christmas. A flash, a wireless off-camera trigger and a light stand with a softbox.”

(10) This is a great choice, “I really would be happy if I could get a macro ring flash for Christmas.”

(11) And I thought, “well of course” with this, “I think I’ll request that Santa Claus puts a couple of good quality, 32GB memory cards in my stocking.”

(12) This last one is practical for both portraiture and garden photographers “I’d be happy with a 5-in-1 collapsible reflector.

Personally, I could suggest many of the previous, but there are two photographers in our household and there needs to be some money left for my wife. So I’ll to put more thought into this before I reply.

There is still time to get your list to Santa. Good luck and Merry Christmas.

Time To Print Christmas Cards 

xmas-geese

santas-workshop

winter-christmas-view

xmas-chicken-1

xmas-chickens

holiday-train-2016

November isn’t even over and stores and television commercials are filled with Christmas advertising. Oh well, it always sneaks up on me, and anyway, I like all the festive celebration and excitement of Christmas. The early start means I get to enjoy all the colourful decorations, and listen to the Christmas music for a longer time. Yes, I like Christmas music.

All year long those photographer social media sites I belong to have been filled with photos made by members, but images posted on the internet quickly fade into memories and are easily forgotten when an hour later someone else posts theirs.

I like photographic prints. Prints have a life, whether framed and hung on the wall, taped on the refrigerator, or thumbtacked in an open space in the workroom. To me a print of any size has more importance than a digital image on my computer or iPhone screen.

Christmas is a great time for photographers that now have and an excuse (and an opportunity) to give our friends and family our photographs.

I suppose that could mean a big framed photograph, but what I am writing about is Christmas cards. Cards easier and less expensive than framed prints. Nevertheless, any card of a photographer’s work is more of a statement as a gift than an email.

I don’t want to believe that any photographer would be satisfied with mass produced generic Christmas cards. Personally, I want people enjoy my photography. Even if it’s only as a 5×7 card, and that’s better than having my pictures left languishing in some hard-drive.

Right now my wife, Linda and I are going through our many image files from this year’s photographs selecting those we want for Christmas cards. I’ll print up lots of different images and place all sorts of greetings on them. It is rare that we give the same picture to more than one person. And not all the cards say Merry Christmas. Although I like “Merry Christmas” what goes on a card doesn’t really matter. Happy Holidays, Seasons greetings, Have fun, A good New Year, and anything else I think fits a particular picture.

I have written before that my wife and I always produce a new monthly calendar, doing alternating months. I always get December even if it’s Linda’s turn. Doing a calendar is a neat way to enjoy our photography, but cards are a lot more fun because they are for others to enjoy. I also make cards for all occasions, like birthday’s, Valentine’s, Mother’s day, etc.,

My family expects me to share my photography. Sometimes it’s only a picture of something we’ve done, but if it’s a special occasion they always get a card. For those photographers that don’t have their own printer, it’s as easy as having a 4×5 print made at a local lab. Then get some construction paper, glue a picture on it, fold the paper, write something like Merry Christmas inside and give it away. And don’t make all the cards the same.                                 What would be the fun in that?