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What I've been up to: February 2021


The lockdown is terribly frustrating for outdoor photographers. (For everyone else, too!) We can’t travel and we can’t go anywhere that isn’t deemed local. This means we’re having to resort to staring at the same field outside our house daily, other types of photography or taking the time to focus on the more ‘boring side’ of photography. Think backing up memory cards or de-cluttering the hard drive kind of thing.


I’ve been taking this time to cross a few tasks off my to-do list, things I wasn’t able to do while living in South Korea. If you follow my social media accounts, you may have seen the odd post recently in relation to these. But I’m going to make a blog post about it anyway because…I can’t hop in a car and go hiking in Scotland so….yeah.


A NEW FACE:

Not literally a new face, although that would be nice. (Adult acne anyone?!) It’s been on my mind for quite a while that my photography 'brand' logo needed a re-design. I was fed up with clicking on my Youtube channel to only cringe at the awful banner at the top. It wasn’t elegant.

I had told myself that I would pay someone to create a professional looking logo to avoid another poorly photoshopped mess, however, my controlling and stubborn side kicked in and....I did it myself.

I am no graphic designer, but I have to say this design is an improvement on the previous one. (Next time I’ll have someone with more experience do it…third time lucky?)

This was the perfect excuse to purchase a new graphics tablet. I used to own one of the smaller and cheaper Wacom tablets in the early 2010’s and I’ve been itching to do a bit of graphic drawing recently. The Wacom Intuos Medium Bluetooth Tablet made designing a logo in Adobe Photoshop much easier and I was able to create a more natural looking design.


The logo itself was at first frustrating. Every idea I thought of, once googled, showed a million other photographers who’d had the exact same idea. I resigned myself to the fact my logo wouldn’t be completely original. I was determined to include a mountain as….I like mountains. Well, there’s more to it than that. Some of my best Korea memories involve sunrises on mountain peaks, Autumn foliage in valleys of trees and rivers….no I just like mountains. Mountains are great.

Anyway, after some fiddling around with designs I decided to put the mountain inside an aperture ring. Genius, right?!

Maybe not but I liked the final design. I made a few versions and then posted them all over my social media with ‘hey look! Productivity! Doesn’t happen often…’



BUSINESS IN THE FRONT...


...mountains in the back?

I’ve never had my own business cards before, so this was exciting. Well, until I ended up with 150 of the things and realised I currently have no way to give them to anyone. So, now I just have a draw of business cards.

The final business card.

I wanted to make them simple. They're tiny cards, I mean you can hardly fit anything on them anyway! I opted with an inverted blue logo on the back and my social media and contact information on the front. It was a struggle to get all the information to fit as 'Courtney Victoria Photography' isn't exactly a short name. The text on the first batch came out a little too small, which was successfully adjusted the second time around. Although, I have now realised that both sets are mixed together so...well if anyone finds themselves with one of the first lot, just squint.

Squint really hard.


What am I going to do with these? Pop them inside print orders! Prints coming soon!


PRINTS COMING SOON!


I’ve wanted to print and see some of my images on paper for a very long time. It’s something I’ve been researching into for a while. It is quite costly to purchase a decent printer that will produce good quality, large sized prints. The icing on the cake is then the price of the ink and paper. Having your own printer means it’s easier to adjust your images for print and you can churn them out faster than using a company. So, it was 'become broke for life' or 'do it the hard way' with less control and use a printing company.


So, I did it the hard way.


It was both exciting and frustrating waiting for print samples to arrive in the mail so I could examine each and every one, to decide what paper types, sizes and images would be right. A few test batches later and I’ve got a handful of images that will be on sale in the near future. Choosing the images was a tough process, I already knew which images would look fantastic on paper, while others I was hesitant of. Interestingly, not every image will look right on paper. Some photographs fulfil their full potential being enlarged in size, and some are more striking as smaller prints.


An example is this Mt Fuji picture taken on Lake Saiko. I love this image, the moody mountain peak in the top of the image where a winter storm was rolling in and the beetle car that sits in the foreground, adding scale to the picture. This image is lovely in a smaller sized print. That dark strip of trees in the middle of the image, that separates the two subject matters, is essentially empty space as there is nothing of tremendous interest there. The bigger the print, the more that space becomes wasted.


Once I started to have prints in my hand, I then had to think about how I would package them. I didn’t want to simply roll a print into a tube and send it off as it was. I want to make it a little more personal. Although the final touches are not complete, I will be including a certificate of authenticity, (a word I weirdly struggle to say….authentitcitity…) a little story about how I took the image, a small thank you note and a business card in with the photograph. All neatly put together in an envelope with a...

….STICKER!


Aren’t these just the coolest?!

A little sticker to keep the envelope sealed.

Okay look, when I saw you could put your logo on STICKERS while ordering business cards, I just couldn’t help myself.


OTHERWISE...


-I've been updating my website bit by bit. Mainly the homepage, gallery pages and adding a 'Gear' list in the About me section.


-I've been taking some walks along my local river and have begun a 'practising woodland photography' project. Although trees are bare and the weather isn't great at the moment, I'm hoping to learn a thing or two about composing woodland images just in time for Spring to come about. Forest photography isn't something I've done much of before and isn't the easiest of subjects to photograph. Hopefully when we are able to come out of lockdown, I can go and apply what woodland skills I've learned to create some beautiful forestry images.



So that's pretty much what I have been keeping myself busy with recently. Thank you for reading and take care.


Check Courtney Victoria Photography out on:

Youtube: Courtney Victoria

Instagram: @courtney_victoriaphotography

Twitter: @courtney_esson

Facebook: Courtney Victoria Photography

Email: courtneyvictoriaphotography@gmail.com


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