Making cards for Christmas: first find your photos

Queen Bertha

I’m drowning in photographs. I have so many on a variety of hard-drives now that I can’t remember where anything is.  A friend asked me last week if I could make her some Christmas cards using some of my photos, and I rather foolishly said that she should look through my Flickr stream and tell me what she wanted.  I only ever put low resolution images on Flickr, so I needed to find the high-res originals of the ones she chose.  Nightmare.  It took me all day. There’s one that I still haven’t found, and I gave in and used the version I’d uploaded to Flickr.  Fortunately it was a slightly higher resolution than normal for some reason, and it’s printed out very nicely at 6″ by 4″.

Here’s the problem: I have no obvious way of organising them. My memory stood me in good stead for ages but now there are about 35,000 photos floating around and I’m lost.  I’ve got Photoshop Elements, but I hate the Organiser that comes with it and don’t want to use it.  I’d like to get Lightroom, which I believe helps you organise very efficiently, but the operating system on my very old computer isn’t up-to-date enough to be compatible and I can’t afford to buy a new computer right now.  I can’t upgrade the operating system because the computer innards couldn’t cope.  Added to this, my computer won’t recognise one of my external hard-drives and if I want anything off it, I have to connect it to Geoff’s laptop and transfer what I want to a USB pen and thence (does anybody but me use the word ‘thence’ anymore?) to my machine.  My computer recognises my other external drive, but if I leave it plugged in when I boot up, it tries to boot up from the external drive and won’t start.  It’s times like these I wish I had money; it’s not always the solution to life’s problems, but it would be in this case.  Ah well, if I have to sell my car, which is looking more and more likely because I can’t afford to run it, I’ll at least put the proceeds towards sorting out my digital problems.

Anyway, one thing that was very interesting was to see which photos my friend chose. I’ve put them all on here.  A couple of them were obvious choices and would have been ones I’d have gone for myself, but a couple of the others were ones that I’m not really very happy with.  The reflection of the Cathedral in the leaded window (below)  is one that I’ve never felt good about; I like the idea but I didn’t feel I’d really pulled it off – I think it’s cropped a bit too closely, and the reflection hasn’t come out quite as well as I’d have liked.  I felt rather awkward while I was taking it, as people live in there, and it looked like I was trying to peer in through their window.  I think I rushed it a bit.

Cathedral reflection

The others, including the one at the top, are all places in Canterbury except for the blue angel at the end which is an obvious Christmas choice and one I’m rather fond of.  It’s been seriously Photoshopped and you’d barely recognise it from the original, which was taken in the cemetery next to Pugin’s house in Ramsgate.

Tudor houses under snow

Cathedral and rooftops

Canterbury snowmen