So, 2019 is gone. Never to be seen again. For some, the year would never end, for others, it went by in a blink. A blink just as tiny as the shutter speeds of the majority of my pictures. A little more than 6,400 pictures, totalling some 10 minutes of shutter time, which includes some long exposures of 30 seconds.

Remnants of Christmas 2019

That’s a year in numbers of a photographer. Perhaps I should add the time spent on processing, but that is difficult to assess. What counts is that I still have pictures to post here on my blog, and that there are still people reading the said posts.

For years, I have tried to photograph the spirit of Christmas. But photography only goes so far. The most I could get were the Christmas lights. Those lights are great for cards and prints. However, they always seemed to end up a bit “flat”. Christmas trees in Holland were a very intimate affair. Tucked away inside the house or perhaps just in front of the front window, the best decorations towards the inside.

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Here is our Christmas tree from 1980, doing my own developing and printing of the negatives in a simple darkroom. For now I also have to contend with the dust on the scan, let’s call is angel-dust in the spirit of Christmas.

The winter months have arrived. From now on, the nights will be longer than the days. Even more so when skies are overcast and laden with snow. This is the time I like to think of myself as a night owl. No need to stay up late or get out at unfriendly hours to enjoy some of the night sky, sunsets and sunrises.

Winnipeg Skyline

This is my time to shine for night photography. I can get up late and still shoot sunrises.

As many of you know, I have been involved with Lightroom for some time now. Probably longer than most people know that Lightroom exists. It is a very convenient way to categorise, catalogue a large number of pictures. My current catalogue is about 80,000 pictures, all taken over the past 20 years.

Sunset in the city

Lightroom started in 2007 and once I got my hands on a copy of it, I was sold to the technology. For a long time already I had had pictures and no way to know anything about them. Including the place where I had put them. Real shoeboxes, then real albums, then digital shoeboxes, you name it.

Photography comes with its unwritten rules. Break them and you’re in the doghouse forever. Or you become a famous artist. The decision will be made by the multitudes on Social Media. Unless you have a very effective marketing team at your service, then you can do whatever you want and everybody only admires your millions in sales.

Straight lines

One of those rules is about the “S'” curve in your picture. Apparently it cannot be a good picture if there is no curve in it. So the lead picture here can never be good.