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Winter Editorial 2008

Art work by Sheena Wilkie

Kick it up a Notch

By Sheena Wilkie

www.phototalk.ca

 By the time this magazine is in your hands you may well be wearing mittens. Winter in many parts of Canada is a challenge for photographers. Cold or wet weather can put a damper on the most enthusiastic among us.

 I hope this issue will show you that it’s worth braving the elements and seeking photographic opportunity regardless of the mercury.  The Langley Photography Club did just that and demonstrated that you can have fun and take great photographs even in sub-zero temperatures.  Winter sports also offer great opportunities to capture some unique decisive moments as Keith Vaughan so aptly shows us in this month’s issue with his dynamic photographs.

And even though it may not last as long each day as it does in other months December’s light is captured magically by Andre Gallant and shared with us in his poignant diary entries.

This time of year is also a time when many of us celebrate holidays with our families and friends. We gather in these short days of fleeting light for warmth, comfort and companionship. Familiar traditions are often the subjects of our photography; lighting the Menorah, decorating the Christmas tree, or house-hopping on Eid day. Hanukah, Christmas, and Eid celebrations provide us with colourful and memorable winter photographic opportunities.

 This holiday season kick it up a notch, go beyond the typical gathered round the tree shots. Many of the activities this time of year suit a photo essay style of photography. Try documenting your family decorating the tree, grandmother making her delicious latkes, or your family’s shopping trip.

 At no other time of the year will your fridge and pantry be so full of delicious photogenic morsels. Photograph your favourite holiday goodies. Include a few recipes, make it into a photo book and you’ve got a head start on next years holiday gifts.

 Photo essays lend themselves very well to DVD slide shows and photo books; a wonderful way to share the holidays with friends and family far away.

 Got babies or small children around? Pose them with a large stuffed toy, or an easy chair, or the Christmas tree. Photograph them with the same prop, in the same pose every holiday and you’ll end up with a wonderful annual record of the child’s growth to put in a book or slideshow.

 If you need something even more challenging give yourself a photo assignment this season. Try to photograph all the fragrances of the holidays. Can you photograph what nutmeg smells like?

 Enjoy creating graphics? Try adding some illustrative elements in Photoshop, such as my snow globe I made using an old baby photo of myself.

 Look for non-traditional expressions of the holiday season, beyond the tinsel and glitter to the more human element of the holiday; the curve of a baby’s cheek, the bow in your daughter’s hair, grandfather’s hands carving the holiday meal, slippered feet by the fire.

 May your holiday celebrations surround you with love, laughter and light. Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

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