Twas the night before Christmas

Merry Christmas, landscape, long exposure, milky way, mountains, jasper, travel alberta, landscape, stars, winter, mountains, rockies, rockys, Dan Jurak

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…

So many fine memories as a child of Christmas Eve. I remember like it was yesterday visiting my grandparents as a toddler on Christmas Eve and bringing home a huge haul of toys and gifts. Christmas is always the most special for the very young.

Having parents of Ukrainian background we opened our gifts before Christmas Day. On Christmas morning we still all got up really early, not to open gifts but to play with our new toys gotten the night before. My late brother Dave and I would build forts and playhouses in our rumpus room letting our imaginations go wild.

It’s funny how our perspectives change. I had always heard that it is better to give than to receive and today that is true.  The real joy is in the giving.

Photography in many ways has always been like Christmas Eve. There is an anticipation and an eagerness in making my next trip to the country and like on Christmas Eve not knowing what awaits me but eagerly anticipating my surprise.

Taking pictures has played a major role in my life. Some of my earliest memories are of my father developing film and prints in the bathroom/darkroom on Saturday evenings.  I was probably three or four years old at the time.

A camera of one sort or another was always in our home. An aside, I took photography in industrial arts class in junior high and HATED it and now I know why. It was too structured and that is not how the creative arts should be.

Photography helped raise my family, pay off our mortgage and all that boring stuff but most importantly it allowed me to get in touch with that inner me, my soul, my creative spirit and for that I am eternally grateful for when I turn to dust and ashes a part of that will always exist and isn’t that what its all about?

I will never be famous nor do I want popularity and fame because that is not who I am. Those who seek it are on a different journey. Mine is a quiet path of self discovery and learning.  Give me the choice of one hundred followers on the internet or to quietly discover who I am in anonymity and I will always choose the latter.

Every day brings new possibilities. Where will it take me? What will I learn? What new doors will be presented to me?

Photography is my Christmas eve and I am lucky to have it happen all through the year.

The next sunrise or sunset is my present but with a giant bow and tag with my name on it. What’s will be inside when I open it? I never know except that it will bring a smile to my face and make my heart a little brighter.

The beauty of photography is that it is a reflection of your mind, your imagination and who you are deep down inside. It isn’t a conscious revelation about who you are but is instead something that naturally flows from within. It is you.

To all who have been reading and following this blog for so many years and stuck through the words and thoughts of a boring old man thank you for your many comments and visits. Those are also my special Christmas gifts and I cherish your words and thoughts.

All the best and happy shooting.

May each and every one of you experience a thousand wonderful Christmas eves,




~ by Dan Jurak on December 24, 2017.

15 Responses to “Twas the night before Christmas”

  1. Thank you Dan, for all the wisdom you’ve shared, all the ups, the downs and all the introspection. It’s been a pleasure and an honor. May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a healthy, Happy New Year!

  2. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!! Thank you for all your visits and comments over the years.

  3. First caught by the beauty of your work
    then lured back by your ability to boil
    things down to the bone – I thank you
    for both
    A Merry Christmas and all the wonder
    of a new year

  4. Merry Christmas Ray! You were one of the first people to follow this blog so many years ago. I am not sure how many it was since I deleted about seven years worth I think and started from scratch. Again, best wishes and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours…

  5. Merry Christmas to you and your family Dan! All the best in 2018!

  6. Merry Christmas Justin and a Happy New Year to you and your family,

  7. Merry Christmas. Your blog says your in Alberta. Are you familiar with any photo work by Ian McKenzie. He’s my oldest brother and was in Edmonton for many years.

  8. Merry Christmas Dan, all the best for you and your family in the New Year.

  9. Thank you Karen and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours,

  10. Beautiful post. To find one’s true calling in life and find joy and pleasure in what we do everyday is rarer than we think. Your photographs and images have inspired many and have kindled feelings of an awe and love for nature.

  11. Thank you Sukanya. Your words serve to inspire.

  12. Lovely shot, Dan and enjoy reading although am in studies now and don’t have the same time as I did previously. All the best in the new year. May it be peace-filled and bring many delights.

  13. Thank you Jane. All the best to you and good luck with the studies.

  14. Always enjoy your blogs, Dan – as I now shift into full retirement I hope to rekindle my interest in photography. Your photos and approach to life are definitely an inspiration. All the best to you and your family.

  15. Thank you Gary. All the best to you and yours,

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