Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Holiday Photo

This past two weeks' office photo club challenge had the overall general theme "holidays" and the organizer said upfront it was open to a lot of different interpretations

I thought about it for a while and couldn't come up with anything for a holiday theme.  Partly because these winter holidays are ones that have always made me feel uncomfortable.  Growing up in a small town where my family was the only non-Christian one and I the only kid in school who didn't celebrate Christmas this time of the year was one of my least favorite.  New Year's Eve might not be religious, but due to proximity it's always lumped in with Christmas, with much of the symbolism mixed and matched between them, adding it to the holidays I wish to black out.

To be clear, I don't mind that my friends and others celebrate Christmas, that's their holiday, and I respect that and hope they all have a fantastic holiday.  What I don't like are people who know I'm Jewish wishing me a merry Christmas or random strangers (e.g. in the office bathroom) wishing me that, too, on the assumption that I celebrate it.  To me, Christmas is merely a day off work, and if I'm in Portland, a fantastic day to go shopping at my favorite store, Powell's Books.

This year was particularly frustrating as I'm in touch with so many more people from school and college, and a much wider range of liberal and conservative, non-religious and very religious friends.  The frustration came from those conservative, highly religious friends who simply had no conception that some people might not celebrate Christmas.  The overall consensus amongst them, even those who never met each other, was that those of us who don't celebrate this holiday are the ones who are wrong and one specifically said those of us who prefer not to be wished "Merry Christmas" can just "go fuck off".

Another actually posted "A very politically incorrect MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY CHUNNAKKA, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!" on the evening of December 24th...  While maybe politically incorrect, I had to point out that it was overshadowed by ignorance.  People don't usually wish a happy holiday to others after the holiday is over, and by the time he posted this, Chanukah was almost a week finished.

Not that I I don't like any of those people, I have fond memories in school and college hanging around, some of them have been my friends since the 4th grade!  But I just hate it when these late-in-the-year holidays come around, they're just that one bone of contention, and I just want to shut my eyes and sleep till they're finished and things return to "normal".

So, this picture represents my feelings on the holidays.  I took it by making as fast an exposure as my camera would do, with the narrowest aperture the lens allowed, and most importantly, leaving the lens cap on.

Canon EOS 400D, 24-85mm zoom
24mm, 1/4000 second, f/24
Manual focus
Post processing: cropped some of the black around the edges and rescaled to a smaller size...

One funny aspect...  I took several shots, and the slower the shutter and wider the aperture, the larger the resulting JPEG was.

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