One of the more difficult decisions I have to make during the year is selecting the photographs for the Fotocraft Images Yorkshire calendar.
We have published a Yorkshire calendar for the last five years. It has evolved in style through that time - it started as an A4 view, with the photographs and date grid each a little less than A5 size. We use the calendar ourselves, and our own thoughts, and feedback from friends and other users, was that the images and space for writing appointments were too small. The last three calendars have been A3 view, with both the images and date grid on an A4 size sheet. This gives a better image and grid size, but still fits within the Post Office's large letter size limit to minimise the postage cost for buyers who send the calendar to friends and family.
We have also learned from experience about the value of a good printer. The calendars are now printed by a local litho printer who has provided us with good quality service (for prompt proofing and colour matching - one of the most difficult aspects of the whole process) and a quality final product we can be proud of.
As we offer a Yorkshire calendar, the photographs must cover the huge variety of locations across the county. I prefer to include a mixture of familiar landscapes and slightly "off the beaten track" photos that may prompt people seeing the calendar to say "I like that, I think i may go out and visit that spot". The images must also refect the seasons appropriately.
The 2015 calendar includes "classic" views of York, Robin Hood's Bay and Bolton Priory. Less well known is, for example, the October image of the River Ure valley at Hackfall, near Masham. Afternoon sunlight emphasises the zig zag of the river thrugh the gorge at Hackfall, and the trees show a range of Autumn colour. Hackfall is a Woodland Trust property. it was developed as a pleasure ground by the Aislabie family (who also owned Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal) in the eighteenth century, and has recently been restored with funding from the National Lottery and others.
Several visitors to shows who have seen the calendar have commented that they have been to Hackfall, but many others have asked about where it is, so they can plan a visit. With superb woodland, follies, waterfalls and a fountain, it is certainly worth a trip.
All of the calendar photographs can be seen on the 2015 calendar page of our website, and the calendar can be bought for only £7.50 per copy including UK postage and packing.
We would be interested to see your comments on our selection of images for the 2015 calendar.