click photo to enlarge
I'd hate to be a professional photographer. The idea of taking photographs to order would, I am sure, remove all pleasure for me from the act of photography. In fact I revel in the ability to point my camera at whatever I like, whenever I like, and compose pictures just as I like. My photography is entirely selfish.
However, now and then I do take photographs to order though not for money. I once shot a wedding for a couple who couldn't afford a pro. I've photographed events for people as a favour, and I've done some portraiture on the same basis. My wife likes us to send birthday cards that feature one of my photographs, but I generally select these from my stock of existing shots. And, she likes our Christmas card to have one of my photographs on it too. But, selecting something appropriate for this purpose is much harder. It's on the run up to Christmas that I experience a hint of the external pressure to perform that I would resent were I a full-time photographer. The fact is, a few snow scenes and appropriate stained glass windows excepted, my photographic output doesn't usually include many shots that sit easily on the front of a Christmas card. This year's card was, once again, a stained glass window; rather a nice one as it happens, featuring "The Flight into Egypt". It was only when we had produced and distributed the card that I came across the photograph above, a shot that I took in early December as I sat waiting for a meal. The centrepiece on our table was a basket with lots of metallic bells, baubles and small glitter balls in a variety of colours. When I filled the frame with the subject I quite liked what I saw, and I'm rather glad that I unearthed it from my pile of rejects. Maybe it will do for next year's card and save me the anguish of the frantic search for a suitably festive subject as 2014 comes to its end. Merry Christmas!
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On