As often happens with our posts, this one begins with a seemingly unrelated mish-mash of ideas that will hopefully find some confluence by the time I’m finished writing (and Marcia’s had a a chance to proofread it). We’ll see!
To start with, today is Marcia’s Dad’s birthday. He’s 90 years young today, and although he may not be quite as spry as he was in 1933 for example, he’s still quite vivacious and certainly not done with life!
The next thread in this post is our friend Bob. Bob is an photographer. An analog photographer. Yes, that means he uses film. He’s not adverse to digital and he does scan his work when required, but he’s in love with printing, with the feel of a photographic print. While 99% or more of images today are seen on some form of electronic device, Bob maintains that there’s there’s something lacking in not being able to hold a print in your hands, feel the texture of the paper, to hold something ‘real’. I don’t print much of my work, but I agree with him. I read a post recently about another photographer, David Duchemin, who makes prints of some of his recent work and then leaves them for others to find. He leaves them in coffee shops, on benches, wherever, and he has no knowledge or control of what happens to them after he walks away. That, however, is the whole point, and I like the idea so much I’ve been giving serious thought to adopting it.
One needs at least three threads to weave, and so the third thread in this is my beautiful and talented wife, Marcia. For some strange and inexplicable reason Marcia doesn’t share my fascination with f/stops and shutter speeds and ISO settings, but that doesn’t matter. Marcia is a photographer in her own right, and she uses her cell phone camera to make landscape and macro images. You can see some of her work here: Photos by Marcia. Since the images out of the phone tend to be flat I take her selects and push them around a bit in Lightroom for her, but the original vision is hers. People often ask, “Is it the camera or the photographer?” and my answer is that it’s both. It’s not about what equipment you have (or don’t have), but what you do with what you’re holding. It’s about creativity, and vision. I wouldn’t expect to make the same photographs with an 8×10 camera, a Holga and a DSLR, but they can all be used to make interesting photographs.
Okay, time to start weaving.
As you might expect, Marcia is currently out of town visiting with family and celebrating her Dad’s birthday. Since she’s doing a fair bit of traveling and meeting old friends as well as family, before she left I took the liberty of printing out a number of her recent photographs (5×7) and made greeting cards for her to hand out as she goes. Using one her photographs as a base I opened it up in CorelDraw and made a logo for the back of each card:
It’s the first time she’s ever seen her name and ‘photographer’ printed together and she loved it!
So, the point of this post (if there must be one) is to encourage you to consider making some cards of your own. Photo paper in 5×7″ is readily available at photography, art supply and office supply stores, and one can get heavy card stock (66 lb, or even better, 110 lb) paper and half-fold envelopes at office supply stores as well. I used a spray adhesive to attach the images to the cards, but a glue stick will work. If you want to add your name to the back of the card you can even use Microsoft Word or some other word-processing software. Just remember that if you have a portrait image you need landscape-oriented paper, and vice-versa. You can use Photoshop or Lightroom or equivalent to print your images, but you can also use the software that came with your camera or even something like Microsoft Photo Editor to print them. There is definitely an ‘art’ to fine-art digital printing, but who cares! The point is to share your images with those you care about, beyond just posting them online. Give those you love something tangible, a part of you, that they can hold in their hands. Add a note and let someone know you’re thinking of them, or leave a card behind on a coffee shop table for someone else to send on and share.
Now go out and make some photographs!
P.S. This is the image that Dad chose for his card. Happy Birthday to you!!