Christmas Card 2012

Border top
Border left Candle on Nacton Shore at sunset Border right
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My photograph for 2012 was of a candle burning on a sandy shore at sunset with a pastel sunset behind acting as an extension of the candle flame.It was taken in the same place, Nacton Shore overlooking the River Orwell in Suffolk, as the fiery red sunset of my 2006 Christmas card.

There is much more of a story behind this photograph than my previous Christmas card photographs. The photograph was not originally intended to be made public let alone as a Christmas card & eventually on the WWW.

It was good friend of mine, Annie Toy, who arranged the riverside barbeque during which I took the sunset picture which became my 2006 Christmas card. From 2007 to 2011 she annually chose the photograph for my Christmas cards from my shortlist which is why the pictures became less safely convention subjects and their reputation boomed. It was also her who inspired me to make the popular Rainbow Labyrinth artworks that are elsewhere on this site. However, in 2012, she died.

At her unconventional funeral, guests were given a remembrance gift bundle of a candle, poem, lavender, patchoulli incense sticks & ribbon flower. That gave me an idea for an artwork for friends of hers: over the following half year I when I visited a place of significance to her & appropriate to one of those items, I placed the item there & photographed it. The lavender in a labyrinth, the incense at her favourite spiritual place in Glastonbury, the ribbon on a cloutie tree, the poem on the centrepiece at an ongoing dance event she co-founded and the candle on her favourite local country walk. The walk happened to include the site of the 2006 barbecue with her so I took the candle photograph at that very spot. That it was a very contrasting sunset & was suited as a background for the candle was coincidence. I eventually sent the full set photographs to her friends on the first anniversary of her death but I sent some friends previews as I made them.

To my total surprise, half those who got the preview of the candle photograph spontaneously suggested that it should be my next Christmas card! Hence my Christmas card it became. Those who suggested it had either not seen my 2006 card or not recognised it as being from the same spot so it is largely a coincidence that the 2006 & 2012 cards are different sunsets from the same place. It was also a coincidence that the person who had inspired or chosen my cards for 6 years had not let the inconvenience of being dead inspire the card for a 7th time!

Camera = Panasonic TZ5.

The border was a duplicate of last year's.


Card assembly instructions to duplicate the original:

  1. Get the full resolution photograph printed at 6"x4.5" on photographic paper.
  2. Print the border using a laser printer (or print once and duplicate by photocopier) on A4 160 g/m2 white cardboard.
  3. Fold the printed cardboard into an A5 greetings card with one straight crease.
  4. Glue (or double sided selotape or similar) the photograph to the card in the correct orientation. Take care not to make the photograph too soggy.

Printing the border & photograph together on a colour printer does not give as good results (neither home laser nor inkjet printers have yet reached photographic printing quality). It also costs more (because of the ridiculous current price of printer ink) and gives a more mass-produced look.

More Christmas Cards

For the rest of my Christmas cards, go up to my Christmas card gallery page.