CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Chris Ford

Be it commercial work, street photography or coastal landscapes – Chris Ford, who grew up in Canada and now lives in in the heart of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, has bags of experience that he imparted to his students during 30 years of teaching photography in Oxford. Here, he tells us how he approaches street photography, shares his love for Dorset’s famous landmark Pulpit Rock and why it’s worth persevering when creating your first Calvendo calendar, even if you’re not a techie …

Pic Chris Ford

Chris, can you talk a bit about your background as a photographer and how and when you took up photography?

I was introduced to photography by my grade six school teacher in the academic year of 1967/68. She had visually described the lyrics to a current song on the radio at the time, and then assigned similar as homework. I tried my best, using my plastic Kodak Instamatic camera in the middle of a very white Canadian winter. Needless to say, my results were useless, but the seed had been planted. I later studied it in high school and had decided I wanted to make it a career during my college (Quebec CEGEP) years (1974). Educationally, my training was as a commercial advertising photographer, specializing in studio photography.

How would you describe your style and approach as a photographer? Continue reading

Calvendo launching “Made in the UK” calendar edition

Calling all photographers, graphic designers, painters and creative people: We’ve just launched a new Made in the UK edition and would love to see your calendar ideas for that! 2016 calendars submitted between now and 15th November 2015 will be considered for Calvendo’s special Made in the UK logo to be featured on every calendar selected.


With the Made in the UK edition, Calvendo wants to encourage users to think creatively how to render the theme of Britishness for the medium of a wall calendar: “Typical sports, customs, traditions, sights, quirks – any ideas are welcome and will be considered by our team of calendar specialists,” explains Calvendo CEO Jochen Jauch. “We’re deliberately not restricting the topic further apart from the ‘Made in the UK’ headline because we want to give our users scope to use their creativity as freely as possible. We’re very excited to see what kind of topics they’ll come up with and in which form they’ll submit them for our new calendar edition dedicated to all things British.”

Important to know for anyone considering to give it a go: Every calendar that is created on and submitted has the chance of being published, even if it won’t be included in the Made in the UK edition. As an open platform, users can register free of charge on Calvendo, create their calendars as self-publishers with an editing software integrated on the site and submit them to a jury who will perform a quality check. All calendars that pass the jury process and are released for publication will receive an ISBN and be listed on retail platforms such as Amazon. Production is upon custom order via digital print-on-demand and self-publishers receive royalties for each calendar copy sold.

Users who want their submission to be considered for the Made in the UK edition should add a short note before submitting their work. For more information, please see our dedicated “How to submit a calendar for the Made in the UK edition” page. Users whose calendar has been selected will be informed and provided with the logo to add it to their calendar. They are also free not to accept the label and publish their calendar without. Altogether, Calvendo will include 20 calendars in its first ever Made in the UK edition.

CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Dave Knowles

He loves wildlife, in particular owls and birds of prey, and has a lifelong infatuation with photography: Dave Knowles tell us how his photographic life has evolved over the years and why trust and patience are key when taking pictures of animals.

Dave and his Great Grey Owl 'Midnight'

Dave and his Great Grey Owl ‘Midnight’

Dave, can you talk a bit about your background as a photographer and how and when you took up photography?

I’m a lifelong photography fan, starting with a foldout 120 camera given to me at the age of seven, through to a 21/4 square Rolliflex, followed by 35 mm cameras starting with a Zenith B, then Practica, then onto Canon – all in film then slide and then digital as they evolved. I’ve also had my fun with Polaroid and the initial embryonic digital cameras. I’ve had my own darkrooms in various makeshift locations such as the bathroom, developing and printing my own prints. I was also a member of the school camera club and joined the local camera club.

I’ve been using Canon since my first ‘L’ series lens (100-400) initially with an EOS 100 film camera. After coming back from a safari in Africa in 2000 with 40 rolls of film, I decided to buy a Canon EOS 300 digital SLR and now via a range of EOS bodies (20D, 5D, 5Dmk11) evolved to an EOS 1DX. I also have a wide range of ‘L’ series lenses and other equipment to match. Prior to my retirement from the NHS where I was an Intensive Care Charge Nurse, I started a small business which continues in a small way, and I sell images from various websites. I’ve given talks for various groups on wildlife photography, which is my main photographic love, and I’ve also led introduction to photography classes. I edit all of my images on a Mac and primarily use Lightroom since it has been introduced and occasionally also Photoshop for all processing.

I’m continuously improving and honing my techniques in wildlife and other aspects of photography. I attend many study days and subscribe to various websites and photographic forums. I also frequently meet up with like-minded photographer friends, and we use day trips to practice new ideas or processing techniques to build experience and portfolios.

'Just Flamingos' calendar

Just Flamingos‘ calendar

How would you describe your style and approach as a photographer? Continue reading