Goodbye Greeting Cards

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who are regular readers I just thought I would mention that I have decided to close down the greeting card operations. I have enjoyed turning my digital images into physical prints and producing cards of saleable quality. It was great to know that I could produce a product that could be sold in quality giftshops.

P1050439Having said that, it was proving to be a time-consuming and costly exercise. It was becoming evident that in order for the project to be a financial success I would need to pour an enormous amount of time and effort into online and face-to-face marketing. Although I enjoy photography and card-making, selling a physical product not really the direction that I want to take, so I am going to scale back operations to hobby status.

I think I will be happier using ImageChest Photography blog as a vehicle for visual storytelling, without the need to link posts back to a product promotion. Not everything in life is pretty, and I want to portray the variety of life as I see it.

Sometimes you have to wander down the wrong path to get clearer about the right one. For more reflections on the reasons for this change in direction you can check out The Sweet Taste of Disappointment on my May and September blog.

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Experience the English Seaside at Paignton in Devon

I must admit that until I included Paignton on a self-guided mini-tour of Devon, I had never heard of it, and had no idea what to expect when I arrived. I stepped off the bus into a delightful seaside resort enjoying the last days of the warm weather before autumn made its presence felt in earnest.

IF01 Paignton

A fun pier stretched across the red sandy beach, but only the seagulls seemed to think it worth the effort to get their feet wet. Unless you are an out of place tourist like me, if the season is over, its over.

IF06 Paignton Pier_2

I could only imagine this Cod and Chips stand surrounded by wet, hungry children with money in their hands and feet burning on the pavement. Fortunately I did not have to imagine the Cod and Chips, very nice indeed.

IF11 Cod and Chips Paignton_2

As mentioned in the previous post, it was from here that I decided to walk around the red sand to Torquay, which I could see in the distance, across Tor Bay.

IF12 Paignton Beach

On the way, I encountered the pretty beach huts of Preston, which apart from a few retirees, seemed like a seaside ghost town.

IF19 Preston Beach Beach Huts_2

I couldn’t resist a close up of these iconic dressing sheds, a popular image for seaside photographers.

IF20 Preston Beach Huts

Between Preston and Torquay are the stunning red cliffs that have provided the colouring for the distinctive sand of the beach.The red earth is a startling contrast to the green vegetation. Man and nature seemed to be having a competition as to who had the superior colour palette.

IF23 Cliffs at Torbay_2

It was great to get a glimpse of English Seaside life, albeit after the crowds had gone home. It wasn’t the only time on my travels that I felt puzzled that people we not drawn to such a beautiful place in such nice weather. Ah, how quickly we travellers forget that the demands of work and school still apply on pretty days.

I am trialling some greeting cards from this Tor Bay area in the Esty store, including the Colourful Beach Huts and Cod and Chips. I hope to build them into an English Seaside theme, at which time I will include them on the Greeting Cards area of this website as well.

Fishing Industry Old and New in Newlyn

Although steeped in history, there is something very modern about the fishing village of Newlyn. As the largest fishing port in England, Newlyn is home base to a large and modern fishing fleet.

FC45 Newlyn Harbour

I loved the colour and visual chaos of the modern fleet, and couldn’t help cropping in close to accentuate the shapes and lines produced by so many boats in close proximity.

FC58 Boats Newlyn_2

I chose a more modest working boat to include in the Fishing Boats of Devon and Cornwall  greeting card series. I like the interaction of circles and straight lines in this image, and the predominance of red and blue tones.

FC59 Fishing boat Newlyn

I was in Newlyn at low tide and tucked in behind the old harbour wall the remants of the past were telling a softer, more subtle story than the modern fishing fleet.

FC47 Old Boats Newlyn

There is something very evocative about a boat in decay which is why chose these two old hulls for the Fishing Boats of Devon and Cornwall greeting card series. It felt like a risky choice, given the state they are in. However there seems to be something that people can relate to in a boat that has seen better days.

FC48 Broken Boats Newlyn

Announcing ImageChest Photography Etsy Store

Given the positive reception to the ImageChest Greeting Card ranges from local outlets I have decided to offer greeting cards via an ImageChest Photography Etsy Store. Etsy allows people wanting to sell handcrafted and vintage items to open their on online “shop” without the expense and hassle of building your own customised website. It also enables potential shoppers with an interest in handmade and vintage products to search for the type of products they are interested in.

P1030083 - Version 3 Image Chest BW

The ImageChest store opened on 7 March 2013 with a limited range from the Paris Colour collection available to Australian buyers. I have also set up two bulk order options, a 6 pack and and 8 pack. I hope to be able to extend the range of images, the size of the bulk orders, and the international availability over time.

P1050121

Its been an interesting exercise taking photographs of photographs for the store, and I will be looking for more ways to convey the tactile quality of the glossy cards in their cellophane wrappers, which is such a strong aspect of their appeal. Its an exciting development which I hope will introduce ImageChest cards to shoppers from far afield.

Exploring Traditional Cornwall at Mousehole

In 2010 I went to England to explore my family history in Cornwall and Devon. Some of my ancestors migrated to Australia from this area in the mid-19th century. Although it was only a few years ago, it seems like the dark ages now. For me personally, it was pre-iPod, pre-iPad and pre-WiFi. I had to go to local libraries during opening hours to do my travel research and contact the outside world. How things have changed!

Although my personal connection with Cornwall related to mining, I was also drawn to the beautiful coastal fishing villages. One place that captured my imagination was Mousehole. This is a village built for walking to work. Nestled on the side of a steep hill, you can imagine the fishermen tumbling out of bed and down the hill before sunrise, to go out in the boats. They probably still do.

FC14 Mousehold Harbour from Breakwater

I felt inspired to climb up the hill and get a view from above, which involved some steep climbing. However it was well worth the view. Seeing the small boats nestled in the Harbour on a still and overcast day I could only imagine what the sea must be like in bad weather to warrant such as sturdy harbour wall, with such a small opening. Not to mention the tonnes of protective rock piled outside the wall.

FC33 Mousehole Harbour from above

I have drawn on images taken down in this little harbour for my next range of greeting cards which I am calling Fishing Boats of Devon and Cornwall. For the purpose of card making I have chosen images that are up close and tell their own story.The picture below is a wider view of a scene that I cropped to produce Dinghys at Mousehole Harbour.

FC01 Mousehole Harbour

There were a lot of seagulls on the beach, and I was honoured to make the acquaintance of Captain Seagull, who is now immortalised on a greeting card.

FC03 Captain Seagull

A seagull also features in Sandpiper and Seagull which is a closer view of this image, also taken at Mousehole.

FC04 Boats at Mousehole Harbour

The images for Fishing Boats of Devon on Cornwall greeting cards were taken at a variety of locations in varying lighting conditions. To create sense of cohesion between the images I have cropped them to create focus and intimacy, and also given the colour a slightly faded treatment to produce a more consistent mood across the set. I hope you enjoy seeing a little of the story behind of where they came from.

PS. Now that I have let you say Mouse-hole (hole for mice) quietly in your head I will let you in on the correct pronunciation which I believe is Mau-zle (where Mau rhymes with cow as in Maui).