Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Sequel

Good grief, I've now blogged enough that I am starting to forget about some of my previous topics. I fear that I am soon to become the typical old geezer who endlessly retells the same old stories.

You see, it had occurred to me after posting yesterday's blog, that some might wonder how I could spend so much time on the family photo album. Therefore, I uploaded the above sample to illustrate. However, when I logged into Blogger and began to enter a title beginning with 'The' a list popped down, and I saw that I had already written about The Sacred Family Photo Album back in August.

Now, my feeble brain isn't so far gone that I don't recall mentioning the album, but I must confess that it had completely slipped my mind that I had actually posted examples. Hence, this post is now a little redundant, but since I've already gone to the trouble to upload the photo, please permit me to plunge ahead regardless. Besides, since I hold that it is quite possible that I may possess the best family photo album in the history of the universe, it's surely worth mentioning twice.

What I do, primarily, are composites. In the example above, I have seven different photos of yours truly melded into one collage. I have found that, generally speaking, an odd number works better than an even number; for some reason far beyond my comprehension, asymmetry beats symmetry for aesthetic appeal, and odd numbers tend to accomplish that better. One might still attain asymmetry with an even number of photos by varying image sizes, but you might also have to think and plan a little more thoroughly than I normally do. I create enough of these sheets that I can't really summon the wherewithal to invest a whole heckuvalota time into thinking and planning. Rather, I just start plopping photos willy nilly and arranging them on the fly — it's a strong and patient fly, in case you are wondering. Sometimes, the results are far from spectacular, but, after all is said and done, I am just doing this for the family album and not to display in some prestigious gallery.

I have eighty-three such pages in this year's album. That's a lot of ink, my friend! Not all pages are composites (probably ten to fifteen pages are single-photo 8x10s), but the seventy or so that are collages have required a fair amount of time to produce. Even if it's possible for me do one page per half-hour, which is truly optimistic, that's still a thick dollop of time to invest.

In addition to our regular album, I also composed my daughter's wedding album this year. That involved sorting through about a thousand photos [sic] and compositing about thirty pages. I don't think that my own album ever quite recovered from the time the wedding album took to put together, for I did try to put a modicum of thought into how I might best memorialize such a milestone event.

Aside from my daughter, who insisted on getting married, my wife will doubtless confess to being the main cause of this logjam (sorry about that, but somehow photojam just doesn't seem to work). She has a little digital camera that she carries almost everywhere. And does she ever use it! She snaps with reckless abandon. Why stop with two clicks of a subject when ten might produce that one perfect picture? She can easily take thirty or forty photos on a short, country walk if she puts her mind to it. Consequently, I am awash in digital image files! I have been trying to catch up lately, but I'm still adrift in October's prodigious seas, having skipped over September's choppy waves for the nonce. I dearly aspire to reach the shore before the Christmas deluge engulfs me in a new flood.

Although I would understand if you thought otherwise at this juncture, I'm not really complaining ... although a wee bit of sympathy might be in order. Turning the page and surveying an arrangement of five, seven, or more photos is vastly more interesting that turning a page and viewing four 4x6s slotted in their appointed receptacles. Mind you, I'm not disparaging anyone else's album, because I do realize that most poor, working sods can't spare the time to do what I do. The highly important thing is to maintain an album of some sort, and anyone who takes the time to both read and record blogs must surely feel the same way about his or her family's photo archives.




Iona said...

The Sacred Family Photo Album. Wow, that's such a nice thought! And those composites are really nice. They sure make the album one of a kind! Do you use Photoshop for that?

I have to say that I also enjoy photography and I use Photoshop a lot to create similar collages, greetings cards, book covers and other creative outbursts. (I'm still working on my wedding album, it's kind of an ongoing/neverending process)

You take great pictures. What camera do you use? (judging from your collage it seems like a Canon)
I recently upgraded my camera from a Canon PowerShot to a Digital Rebel and I take it where ever I go. Unfortunately I have a fulltime job, which doesn't allow much free time to go out and take snapshots. Whatever pictures I do take I post on my Blog, so feel free to take a peek.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think your collages are very nice. I'm a regular reader of your daughter's Blog. It was fun to discover that both her father and mother are Bloggers as well. And to find such cute pictures of her on her father's Blog, that was a bonus!

Iona said...

>Yes, I use a Canon, but I have no idea how you could figure that out?

On your collage there are some pictures of you with your camera. I just immediately spotted the resemblance to my own Rebel/EOS 300D.
Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog (and for the compliments). I'll be checking yours from time to time. Keep those collages coming! I enjoy pictorial Blogs.