Gift Box Time!

It was quite an assembly line we had going on before the holidays. As she often does, Catherine had a wonderful gift box idea for some of our clients. This one was based entirely on my hatred of winter. We called them “Winter Survival Kits” and they contained some tropically-inspired Christmas cookies, photo drink coasters, margarita mixers, and a few other fun warm weather things. IMG_4552IMG_4564IMG_4589 We really did have a wonderful year. It’s been exciting for both of us working together as a team now. We’ve tackled some fun jobs and we have more lined up. At the moment we’re in the middle of building a new website for Ross Creative Works which will show off more of Catherine’s graphic design projects. That will be quickly followed by new promotional pieces. But I don’t think they’ll look much like this one. After 10 hours of cookie production, I think she might go a different route.

Jeffrey Ross Photography, Naperville, creative promotional boxes

Jeffrey Ross Photography, Naperville, creative promotional boxes

Jurassic Coast

Along the ocean in the south of England is an area called the Jurassic Coast. It’s a World Heritage site and features about 100 miles of natural beauty. The weather wasn’t perfect during my visit, and I didn’t get to see as much of it as I would have liked. But what I did see was pretty wonderful. Sunset at Durdle Door, EnglandI’m already thinking about a return trip in the Spring, when the weather might be slightly more to my liking, and before the crowds show up. There are two wide lenses I like for this sort of thing; a rather beat-up Canon 17-40mm and a newer Canon 16-35. I used the 16-35 for most of the photography on this excursion. The views were so massive that I really needed the wide angle to take in as much as I could.Lulworth Cove, England I’m also grateful that the sun popped out for a few magical seconds right at sunset. The first shot above was of Durdle Door (which we started calling Dumbledore by the end of the trip.) The second shot is from atop Lulworth Cove, and these last two are from Man Of War, which is connected to Durdle Door. A little research on the Jurassic Coast shows about 20 more spots which look like they’ll be amazing to photograph. ManOfWar2_sm Man of War, Lulworth England

Tourist Traps

I really don’t like touristy things. I’m pretty sure it’s because I grew up in a small beach town in Florida. Our little spot of paradise was often over-run with sunburnt vacationers, cranky retirees, various Canadian snowbirds, drunk college spring-breakers, and sad families looking to save a few bucks by sitting on the “free” beach after blowing a small fortune at Orlando’s pricey attractions.

One of my first jobs was working in a souvenir shop where I had to deal with every variation and combination of the groups I just mentioned. I sold them sea shells with googly eyes glued to them. I sold them dried sea-horses with googly eyes glued to them. I sold them thin beach towels with awful graphics. I sold them t-shirts with holes in them (5 for $10!) Yes, I sold them every kind of cheap, horrible, tacky piece of crap. It was the kind of junk you only buy when you’re on vacation and you feel you’re supposed to bring home an alligator key chain for Aunt Eunice or she just won’t love you any more.

Perhaps thats why I now I prefer to stay off the beaten path, and away from the tour buses and throngs of vacationers. But every now and then I make an exception. On a recent trip to England I had a chance to go on the London Eye. Luckily, it was off-season and the lines were short. I did like the views on the 30 minute ride, but my favorite photograph was this one I took near the top.
Top of the London Eye Of course I realize that no matter how far away I stay from the crowds, I’m still a tourist while I’m hopping around the world. And just like everyone else I have loved ones at home that are expecting a few souvenirs.