PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Four favorite Christmas photographs

Here are a handful of photographs I'm glad I made during the holidays this year.  For sure I also piled up family-mandated pictures of people unwrapping gifts, but those are almost uniformly boring and unfulfilling.

I started early on the first day we woke up in Montreal.  Some friends came over in the middle of a blizzard, at the same time I was practicing a flash trick with snow flakes.  When I saw them I snapped them getting in.

Dark mood in light colors, menacing giant flakes chase our subjects across the driveway, in front of the giant snowbank.

The next day I thought we'd have a portrait session. That was a disaster, barely one useful frame came out. One of the frames captured the failure particularly well; a failed posed shot becomes a successful reportage shot.

Baby is playing with lighting umbrella, wife is threatening to drop the little girl.  That, and the background ratio is wrong.

The next one I like a lot, but people around me don’t get it. I like the fact that Santa’s face can’t be seen, as if the universe couldn't permit it and nudged my aim at the last instant. Yet this Santa’s personality comes through clearly, without need for a face.

This version has a kitsch 1980s film look (yellow-poor) that I enjoy too.

The third one is my absolute favorite this Christmas, which I shot off-the-hip in Live-View with the 35mm Distagon ZF. I think it looks like a painting from an old master and I find more things to like every time I look at it.

I need more of these.

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  1. I love the first shot – with the couple walking in near blizzard conditions. It sort of echoes the cruel harsh realities of this world – which cannot be tamed by humans

  2. Thanks. Maybe over time I will accumulate a body of work centered around Canadian winter.

  3. The last one is excellent!!

    “a painting from an old master” – and very aptly put.

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