I have always had trouble taking creative photographs without an extraordinary event or location to act as a muse. That is one of the biggest differences between me and Cara. She can take the most amazing photos of things around the house or the neighborhood, while I need something to kick start my creativity. My favorite photos have always been taken during unique experiences; the fire hydrants from the summer, vacations, long walks at night in new neighborhoods. It's something I have known about myself since my college days when I would walk the streets looking for anything new to catch my eye. Considering this handicap of mine I am delighted when something unique happens in ordinary life because I know that it will lead to great images. While visiting my father-in-law in Redmond, UT this holiday weekend I wasn't planning any great photography expeditions since I thought I had long since tapped out any originality for photographs in that particular location. I was letting our dog Grace outside one morning when I noticed this thick fog surrounding me changing the normally familiar landscape into something new. I ran inside and grabbed my camera and took some amazing shots.
This year I decided that the holiday season isn't busy or stressful enough, so I thought I'd make new stockings for my family. I got the first one completely done and the second one about halfway done when Ian realized they were too narrow and his hand wouldn't fit inside, so I had to re-make the ones I had already done plus the two I hadn't. Luckily I got them finished just in time:
A friend of mine who lives in Austria recently did a blog post about Krampus. Wikipedia explains Krampus breifly as "a mythical creature who accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children." As soon as I read her blog post a lesson plan began formulating in my head. I thought that telling the legend of Krampus to my students and having them draw a picture of what they thought he looked like would be a fun way to keep their attention the last day before Christmas break. I told the students the myth, had them draw a picture and then ended by showing them the following picture along with a video clip of a Krampus celebration.
Krampus and St. Nicholas.
I got some pretty interesting results. Remember that my students didn't have any idea what he looked like when they drew these. They just knew he accompanied St. Nick and punished bad children. Here are a few of my favorites:
In this depiction Krampus is delivering a bad kid to Santa. Apparently Santa seems good but is secretly the mastermind behind a Christmastime kidnapping ring.
Santa's younger brother, Shifty Claus, who looks slightly bitter that his older brother hogs all the fame.
I swear I didn't say anything about Krampus ripping anyone's head and limbs off and using them to decorate a Christmas tree.
Imagine if this guy showed up in your living room on Christmas Eve. You'd never do anything bad again because you'd be catatonic with fear for the rest of your life.
Gotta loved the triple ear piercing and Christmas tree necklace.
Maybe I should turn some of these over to our school psychologist.
The cutest Krampus that was turned in.
And last, but not least, this is probably the best mix of Austrian and American traditions that was turned in.
After the kids turned in their drawings I showed the video below. Thanks for the great idea Missy- the kids had a lot of fun!
While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see. ~Dorothea Lange