For the last few years, mum has asked/nagged/demanded me to create a family Christmas card on Photoshop and I’ve obliged. Partly because I want to make mum happy, partly because I like editing photos, partly because it’s an… interesting challenge.
It seems like most people in my age have parents that believe that computers are magical, incomprehensible machine, but that somehow the secret wisdom of computers was imparted on their children the second we left the womb. Every 20-something hold the power to do almost anything with it with just a click of the mouse, and if we can’t get it to work, it’s simply because we don’t want to do it. My boyfriend constantly gets cryptic texts from his mum with questions like “Why is the green thing gone”, “what’s my password?”, and “I think I made the hard drive disappear. How do I get it back?”. It’s always completely innocent questions that leaves you wondering “What the freaking hell did she do? What is she talking about and how could Tom possibly know how to fix it?”. My mum doesn’t ask as much computer questions, but that might just be because she has given up trying to understand computers and simply doesn’t use them anymore.
My point is that mum’s understanding of Photoshop is not the greatest and that I wouldn’t be surprised if she sent me a comment like this:
Click on the image to see a collection of puzzling editing requests. Anyhow, about this year’s family Christmas card. One rare year I got professionally taken photos to work with, but most of the time it’s a mix of regular cellphone photos taken with varying lighting conditions and backgrounds that needs to be cropped and copied into a card. I know mum wouldn’t mind that much if it looked like a tacky mess (as long as I put Christmas hats on the cats and the dog, lighten her teeth and add a decorative background), but it’s a matter of pride for me to try to make it look at least a little good. If I can’t do that, I’ll go in for making it purposefully tacky. One year, I just gave up and sketched a Christmas card instead.
This was from the year when we had our photo taken by a professional photographer (my mum thinks he’s great, but a bunch of his photos are blurry. At least he has good equipment):
Anyhow, these were the photos I had to play with this year. They’re not too bad individually, but they’re hardly any similarities between them. They’re all taken under different lightning conditions, different poses and using different equipments. They’re also taken in late August, which doesn’t really give you any Christmas feelings.
This is what I managed to put together. I’m kind of disappointed that I couldn’t include any pets this year! I tried fitting in Bagheera the Dog in the card but it looked ridiculous. His head was floating in the corner of the card like he was a ghost dog looking down upon us from dog heaven.
I can’t find any of the other Christmas Cards I’ve made, but maybe that’s for the best. Merry Christmas times, everyone, and be nice to each other. I don’t believe in God or Jesus, but I believe that a lot of people want to have a special occasion to show their appreciation for their loved ones, and Christmas is an excellent opportunity for that.