Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happiest Holidays, and, if non-aligned, a wonderful time with family and friends.

Many years ago we used to do a yearly holiday card to our photography clients. I'd send out printed cards to about 250 people on our mailing list. Of all the cards we ever sent this one (above) was the most popular. Ben was about a year old and his mom (VSL Chairperson = B) created the wings while I took the photos. We used a primitive copy of Photoshop (1.0?) to do a bit of retouching but in 1996 the capture was definitely on film. And we weren't savvy enough at the time to composite anything so most of the heavy lifting was done in the camera.

The card was very well received. In fact, my favorite story about it came over ten years later when I got a call from a person at Dell, Inc. who wanted to hire me for a project. I asked how I came to her attention and she told me I'd sent the card to someone else at Dell, she liked it and asked the person if she could have it at the end of the season. She said it was then pinned to a spot on her work cubicle wall for ten years until she found the "perfect" project to share with me. I was amazed. A ten year shelf life! 

Anyway, you, my VSL readers, seem like family and I wanted to share something for the holidays from 25+ years ago. I also want to thank you.

I appreciate that you show up here, mostly ignore my spelling and grammatical errors, forgive me (mostly) if you think I'm on the wrong side of the political spectrum, disagree with my diatribes, and think my ever changing equipment choices range from insane to diabolically misguided. And I'm amazed that after all that you still take the time to read, comment, agree and disagree. Your attention to my daily writing about photography is the ONLY thing that makes the blog work. That makes writing something every day worthwhile to me. 

I no longer consider you to be a "reader." I've come to think of you as friends I haven't met yet. 

I know it's been a tough year for some and a decent year for others. Photography is the glue that holds us together. And it's been another great year for photography. In that arena I've been having a blast. And it's twice as much fun because I can share the journey with you. 

The holidays are upon us. My goal is to ratchet down the stress for anyone I can. More naps. More walks. More quiet coffees. More time to read. Less arguing. And my tiny present to you is that I'm going to write my way through the next couple of weeks so we have nice continuity. I'll have a reason to sit and think and then write (although sometimes I get that backwards....) and I hope I'll provide you with a little diversion with a fun or interesting read accompanied by a few choice images. Something to enjoy over coffee in the mornings.

May you get everything you wish for. May you wish for stuff that's really cool. We all have enough. So be sure to share.

With my warmest regards to all of you!  - Kirk

A neat trick for driving ardent Leica enthusiasts crazy.....

 Yeah. Just stick a current 35mm Leica Summilux ASPH on the front of an ancient EPL-2 Olympus camera and watch the knit eyebrows of judgement quiver.

It's a fun game to play but it can get expensive pretty quickly: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/720355-USA/Leica_11663_35mm_f_1_4_Summilux_M_Aspherical.html

I mostly used the 35mm Summilux on M cameras like this one: 

Either way you go it's a nice lens...

Playing around in the studio with an old Panasonic GH3. Jenny; with studio flash...

 I'm not sure if the camera matters that much. Fun to see stuff from 10 years ago...