Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Calendar Project

"When are you going to do another Calendar?"
"You should do a calendar just of your balloons / fireworks / waterfalls / art cars / Ethics Follies Photos (pick any one topic)

" I liked the last Calendar you did so much that I just kept it up on the wall - but I have been off by a day all year!"

These were the nudges, subtle hints and pleas that ultimately sent me back in to my files to see if I had enough "good" stuff to create another calendar for our family, friends and selected supporters of Lemmings Walk. (I have to admit that  the prospect of sending Miss Andrea forward into the darkness of 2010 with a displacement of  2 days on her calendar was almost a sport worth watching...but I digress.)

I am a pretty harsh critic of my own work. I am beginning to think that maybe I am too harsh,but that is a tale for another time. The first calendar I created was a huge success, and it contained a wonderful array of photos from my collection. However, the first execution of the creative development of the calendar left a lot to be desired, and that was an area that I was really seeking to shore up this time around. I wanted this year's calendar to be visually pleasing both from the quality of the calendar layout and from the choice of photos used.

As I started to go through the Lemmings Walk portfolio to select the photos to be used, it became clear that :

  1. There were far more photos that deserved to be included than the 13 I would need for a single calendar.
  2. There was a selection of landscape and portrait format photos that needed to be shared, but the creative design of the calendar layout I had chosen was not going to support both formats in a single calendar!
So, the Calendar project started to take on a life of it's own. I decided to do two calendar prototypes - one that would showcase my portrait photography,and one that would give my landscape photography a just forum. The calendar format I had chosen for the landscape photography also would give me a shot at doing a little writing of captions for the photos. This is something that I really enjoy.

I had done some research a couple of years ago to find the easiest and best ways for me to lay out a calndar and have them professionally printed on high quality stock. I decided to use the online printer (the consumer arm of the professional printing house Miller's Printing). They are a little pricey, but the quality you get is second to none, and they provide you with the layout software. The software is intuitive, and extremely flexible.

I decided to produce a large format (12x18) calendar for the portrait photos. This calendar has a spiral spline at the top, and each month is a single 12x18 sheet. Since the default size of the photos I shoot follows this same 2x3 format, and snce the native resolution yields a 9x14 photo (approx) there is no loss in resolution when the phot is sized for a full-edge bleed 12x18. When I saw the PDF proof file, I knew I was headed for something special. When I saw the prototype in final print form...well, it just didn't suck!!!

The landscape calendar was produced as a split format calendar consisting of (2) 8.5x11 inch sheets of 100# stock separated by a spiral spline. The top sheet has the photo in full-edge bleed format, and the sheet below the spline has the calendar and caption printing. Surprisingly,most that have received this calendar have been more effusive of this calendar than the portrait format. That isn't my personal choice, but what do I know...I just take the pictures!!!

So, here are the cover photos for all to see. The landscape photo calendar is titled "Hauntings of the Mind's Eye" and the following two photos are on the front and back covers:

The portrait calendar is titled "Spirits of the Soul". The cover photo for this calendar can be seen below.


This projct was a labor of love. For my family...for my friends ... for those who cared enough to ask for a new calendar. Your interest is what makes my soul come alive. For those of you who I was able to touch with my photography this year, and for those of you whose path I will cross in the years to come , I wish you peace and prosperity in the New Year.

Thank you.


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