Can you help me choose the pictures for next year’s calendar?

by Todd Smith on April 8, 2009

The time has come to create a wall calendar for next year. Can you help me choose the pictures?

Last year I was too ambitious when I created four calendars that never went to press. This year let’s just make one, with the best pictures we can find.

I’d love your input on the picture choices… I’ve chosen a few pictures for each month below (some are landscapes, some are flowers… it’s a bit of a mix this year).

Maybe we’ll call it a “Landscapes and Flowers” calendar. There is fruit in there too. Maybe we’ll call it an “Outdoors” calendar, or a “Nature” calendar. If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks to your input on my survey over the last few months. The winner for calendar size is 12 x 12. This makes sense, as it is the most common calendar size out there. The pictures for the calendar below are cropped to a square aspect ratio so they will fit on a 12×12 calendar.

If you had to choose one picture for each month from the list below, what would it be?

Please tell me your favorites in the comment section below. If you want your favorites to make the cut for next year’s calendar be sure to leave a comment to let me know.

Oh, by the way, this year’s calendar will be printed on recycled paper! 🙂


























































































Whew! That’s a lot of pictures. If there are any in particular that you would really like to see in next year’s calendar let me know in the comments below…

Speak up now so your favorites don’t get cut!

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Preliminary image selection for next year’s calendar | Transparency
May 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Talcott April 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

January – the row of trees in the snow. Leads you into the year and the calendar.

February – couldn’t find a really cold -will – winter- never – end picture.

March should be 2 pictures. The January flower in ice and flower with rain drops (the 1st one in the February selection) to keep the idea of coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb. March is never what it is supposed to be.

April – the cherry blossoms

May – the half a tulip picture. Flower time is over.

June #4 – the road with the trees. School is out; go explore
ps liked the sunset reflection on the water in June – bugs in the light of the gem – that is how the light looks to me most times.

July – next to last – peaches(?) on branches.

August – 3rd from the end of June with sunset and black hill. Summer is over and cold is coming.

September – couldn’t find one that said harvest to me.

October – second one in October section with colored leaves (coloured leaves if you took the picture in Canada, I suppose) with a circle through to the green. My favorite of the entire lot.

November – the grapes with snow that are currently in Feb. Winter has arrived, but not everything quite got done.

December – ?

LisaNewton April 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

OMG, you have so many great pictures it’s hard to choose. I love several of these individually, like the statue of the runners, but I don’t think it works with a theme that most of the other photos provide.

I would suggest choosing pictures that represent something about each month. For example, you have several apple pictures in September. I remember taking my kids apple picking toward the end of September, so this really works. January is known for it’s long cold day, so I love the icicle picture here. Although December is known for its holiday lights, not everyone celebrates Christmas, so it might be great to have the pine cone picture. Winter fires, started with pine cones, is a favorite. But, hey, I love the holiday lights, too. It’s just a matter of choice.

Whatever you choose, I look forward to the final results. And your forward thinking. It’s only April and you’re already thinking about next year’s calendar. That’s being prepared……………………..:)

LisaNewton´s last blog post..Bikes and Mass Transit are changing Los Angeles

Kristin April 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Todd – these are fabulous and I would love to help you pick – is there any way you can make it easier by putting radio buttons next to each picture for us to just click on the ones we like the most? I only got as far as January so far and my favorite was the first one. Kristin

Janice Cartier April 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

You put out a banquet! Okay I have some favorites, but I want to take some time to savor. I especially love the blooms in icicles in January( my birth day month) and that incredible crooked tree with reddish foliage looks like in an oriental garden.. and the shore bubbles in sunlight, and the haystacks in snow and…and….so I am calling no fair, going to go back and look again.. then beg for certain ones to be included…;-) You have enough for several calendars really.

Janice Cartier´s last blog post..Today Is my Birthday

June Parrish Cookson April 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Hi Todd,
WOW! Great photos and so many decisions.
Oh well, here’s my pick for one favorite for each month. (Sorry, couldn’t help but add a few more into the equation).
January – photo one
February – photo seven
March – photo one (number 2 second choice)
April – photo three
May – photo four
June – photo two
July – photo eight
August – photo one (also like photo three)
September – photo six
October – photo one (this month was really difficult… also like ten and thirteen)
November – photo two
December – photo three (also photo seven & eight)

Sorry about the ones with additional choices. Everyone of your photos are marvelous! Which ever you choose, the calendar will be great!

Looking forward to seeing the end results.
P.S. I think Kristin’s suggestions about buttons would be a great idea.

June Parrish Cookson´s last blog post..Yearning Warmth and Colors

Radha Crawley, CMT, AE April 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Wow, Todd, you have a real eye for beauty.
I think a name for your calendar could be something like: Connect with nature throughout the year or connecting with nature or commune with nature or nature speaks…
here are my votes:
Jan: the frozen flowers are divine!
Feb: 2 rows of trees w/snow or the rose w droplets
mar: lupines and poppies or just poppies
april: blooming trees w dandelions: beauty filled!!
may: honeybee w white flower… save the honey bees!!
june: peacock, wow!! ( i must have a print of that!) or the waterfall, signifies abundance!
july: so many good ones; cherries, oh how I love cherries in July!, or the single apricot in the tree or the loaded apricot tree
aug: let’s surf that wave crash
sept: 1st one of concord grapes purple w/ green leaves.
oct: red tree w red bridge, so striking!
nov: ice chunks on water, pristine or apples on the ground
dec: pine cones in pine tree, so festive

that was fun!! you sure are a talented artist!
Hope to see you SOON!

Ann Miller April 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm

How to choose? They are all so beautiful. Such a glorious mix of nature’s artistry.
Rick’s suggestion to open with the double line of trees leading into the new year is very nice. But, oh, the icicles and frozen bronze flower!
Maybe a collage?, but I suppose that would lessen the impact of any particular photo.
How about using a rainbow photo for April (“April showers bring May flowers”) and then the stunning rose with water droplets for May.
Looking forward to the final pick. Your amazing eye will tell you what to choose.

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Rick – Thanks for going through so carefully. Your observations are very helpful. I like those colored leaves in October with the green hole in the middle too. You know I took that road picture for June just the other week when I was in CA. I love the light in it. For April, do you mean the rows of pink trees (actually peach blossoms) or are you talking about the one with pink blossoms and dandelions?

Lisa – I agree that some pictures don’t fit the general nature theme. I just threw anything that caught my eye in the mix. I like your idea about each month being represented by appropriate pictures for the season. If you only knew the story on last year’s calendars, you might say I was a year behind! 🙂

Kristin – Thanks for your willingness to help. I apologize that there is not an easy radio-button way for you to choose your favorites. My blog is just not that sophisticated yet. Can you give a short description or use a number like Rick did, e.g. April #4? By the way, the first one for January is my favorite too.

Janice – Thanks for your encouragement! You are right about the oriental garden. It was featured last year in two newsletters: and For shore bubbles in sunlight do you mean March #5? I’d love any thoughts you have, Janice. Thank you!

Erin Dubay April 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm

What a great selection!!! I really like my calendars to be bold and colorful since it’s one of the few ways I can spice up the tiny cubicle walls that I look at each day. So here it goes…

January — 1st picture of flower blooms frozen in time, awaiting their debut beneath thick ice
February — 6th picture of trees in rows, blanketed by snow
March — 1st picture of grass w/tire marks or 3rd picture of colorful wild flowers
April — 2nd picture of pink flowers in bloom
May — 1st picture of roses w/beads of water
June — 3rd picture of shells in sand
July — 3rd picture of cherries
August — 1st picture of horse
September — 1st picture of grapes or 4th picture of apples
October — 10th picture of leaves in water
November — 3rd picture, but I like some of the other months selections more
December — 9th picture of snow-covered fence

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm

June – Thanks for some great suggestions! I just went through all the ones you picked and I can’t argue for minute with your choices. I love your sensitivity. I agree, you and Kristin have got me looking now for some kind of a better solution in the future. I don’t know where or what… Thanks.

Edwards Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm

January-evergreen trees in snow #2
February -fruit tree rows in deep snow
March-tough call they are all so good but I go with the Calif. poppy close up
April-fruit trees in flower with yellow flowers on ground but lady bug is a close second. The choices are hard.
May-daisy #2 and wet rose #1 a close second
July- #6 close up of apricots and peaches
August- #3 man fishing on dock
September #1 grape clusters
October-#2 Japanese maples
November-#2 apples under the trees
December-#6 grape orchard, lake and hill in snow
There are so many great shots that choosing does not seem fair to the other shots

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Edwards (Dad) – I knew you’d choose the bamboo! (anyone who knows my dad knows he loves bamboo). #2 for October is coming up a few times now, so are the apples under the trees. Thanks for putting your votes in. This is fun!

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Erin – Thanks for your suggestions. I like what you said about bright colors for your cubicle! Will definitely keep that in mind.

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Radha and Ann – Your comments got stuck in approval no man’s land for a bit there. Thanks for the great suggestions. Moving the rainbow to April is a good idea. I can’t tell you how much it helps to have your feedback! Thank you.

Stephanie April 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

January: Torn between the ice crystals with gorgeous bokeh, or the one following it with the soft crisscross pattern.

February: Rose with water droplets.

March: Final lavender and poppy shot.

April: second shot. I actually like the purple flowers at the end of May’s offerings for April as well.

May: Six – definitely. The pastel background is lovely.

June: Cattails then the lavender.

July: First selection.

August: Fishing.

September: First grapes – lovely.

October: Second to last, or the third to last. I really like the Aspens too, though.

November: Not a big fan of either of them, to be honest. It doesn’t fit “November” to me. But I’d go with the blocks of ice.

December: Pine cones, definitely.

Stephanie´s last blog post..Nostalgia Times Two

Sarah Pearce April 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

January – I couldn’t decide between photo 1 or 3
February – photo 7
March – photo 4 and 8
April – photo 2 and 8
May – photo 6
June – photos 2 and 5
July – photo 3
August – photo 6
September – photo 4
October – photos 1, 11, 12
November – photo 4
December – photo 4
I love each and every one of them and it was really hard to try and choose 1 for each month! Beautiful photos Todd!

Gail Herson April 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Todd, they are ALL so glorious!!
How can I resist the icelocked cherry blossoms, having just returned from DC?
3-3 (duh, since I was there when you took it!!)
12-2 or 3

Heather Farha April 9, 2009 at 7:01 pm

January – first picture (blossoms under ice)
February – last (grapes)
March – 4th (grasses)
April – 2nd (lilacs)
May – 2nd (daisies)
June – 6th (sunlit grasses)
July – 4th (nectarine closeup)
August – 4th (apples)
September – 2nd (leaves)
October – I simply can’t choose – they are all too gorgeous!!
November – 4th (ice)
December – 2nd (pinecones)

This was really hard, Todd – they are all so beautiful! I discovered something about myself looking at them. As much as I love landscape (especially anything with rows of trees or vineyards) I am really drawn to the close-up shots! Thanks for sharing, and can’t wait to see and purchase the final calendar!

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Stephanie – Thanks for your choices. I like #6 for May too. It’s one of my favorite photos from last year. Maybe we could move one of the January or February shots to November.

Sarah – I know what you mean. I like both of those icicle shots too. Did you know that hay bale was at the Oliver airport? You’re not the only one to pick the grass #5 of June. It’s amazing how such simple things can be so charming.

Gail – I wish I was there with you for the Cherry blossoms festival in DC. Great choices for the calendar. I’m glad you mentioned 7-8. My artist friend, June Parrish Cookson, mentioned that one too (above). I almost didn’t put it in, but I’m glad I did.

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Heather – I missed you there. I see you like grasses… me too! And I love that one of the apples (August #4). You’re the first one to choose it. I’m glad you had a good experience with close ups.

Janice Cartier April 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Shore bubbles is the second on in Feb I love that one.
Let me look them over I do have some thoughts. 😉 ( Cause they are so gorgeous…)

Janice Cartier´s last blog post..Today Is my Birthday

Janice Cartier April 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm

( oops forgot to change my domain there)

Love all the textured wintry ones too BTW. Will get back to you. 😉

Janice Cartier´s last blog post..Letting Go

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Janice – Oh, I love that one too. I call it “Ice Breakup on Lake Skaha.” The gold and the blue is wonderful. I look forward to your thoughts.

Janice Cartier April 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm

It’s one of my favorites. And that lone tree in the snow. Moments…there’s something extra in them.

Janice Cartier´s last blog post..Letting Go

Todd Smith April 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm

I like that tree in the snow too. I was elated for a day after I found that one unexpectedly a few months ago.

Jessica Lahr April 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm

What fun. Eye candy, so refreshing and transcendent. Felt my spirits lift like the wisps of fog in several of the shots.
Jan Tree lined road leading to wonderland and peace. (Frozen blossoms belong in March, don’t they?)
Feb #4 with tree shadow on fallen snow. quiet, at rest, preparing for the three gunas shortly to come alive
Mar (Icey blossoms in first list?) If not those, #3 of flowering hillside of orange and lavender
April #7 blossoming trees and grasses
May #9 Such a busy bee! Love that industriousness.
June #5 awesome waterfall, frightening yet alluring to watch
July #6 luscious peaches and apricots
Aug #3 transcendent fishers. (I think I love #8 but can’t see it well enough)
Sept #6 mysterious milk week pod, capturing our curiosity with its eruption
Oct #4 Aspens? In the Canadian mountainsides? Also partial to #10, that lovely, single leaf, complete in its message and a nice close study
Nov #4 Floating diamonds
Dec #4 Of course. Christmas tree time. Smell that pine.
Thanks for the pleasing opportunity to enjoy all your masterful photos, Todd. What fun you had traveling and selecting them.
Jessie Lahr

Jude April 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm

They are all so wonderful, but if pressed, I would have to vote for the following:
January -1
April- 7
June – 5
July – – 7
Aug – 3
Sept – 8
Oct – 1
Nov – 3
Dec – 1
Looking forward to seeing your choices.

Angie Michael April 9, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Hi Todd,
Great Pictures, hard to choose. Here are my favorites from top to bottom on each month:
Jan – 1 – 5 -7
Feb – 1 – 2
Mar – 1 -6- 9
Ap – 1 -3 -6
May – 2 – 4- 6
June -1 – 5
July 1 – 8
August – 3
Sept – 1- 2 – 9
Oct 4 – 13
Nov 1 – 4
Dec 2 – 9
The name can be Nature or Natural Wonders
You are amazing and I love you!


Todd Smith April 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Jessica – Yes you are right about frozen blossoms belonging in March or April. We could poetic license, but technically you are right. Thanks for going through them all so carefully. The white print Aug #8 is smoke in the valley. I love that shot, but it’s hard to see.

Jude – I’m glad you picked the central park shot. I love the perspective from the helicopter. I also love that one of the daisies at dawn.

Angie – That waterfall is getting a lot of votes… as is the pink clematis. I really like your title, Natural Wonders. Everyone is also voting for the fishermen, which I love too. I’m not sure if I can use that one. The people might be recognizable enough that I would need a model release and I didn’t get one. : (

elaine April 13, 2009 at 8:09 am

lots of beautiful pics! i don t know which one to choose!! January number 5 for sure! August three and March two 🙂

Ellen April 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Wow I agree with everyone..lots of great eye candy…but if forced to choose I found myself drawn to the close up intimate shots (and had a hard time deciding) For Jan I loved #4 the single dry flower for the shape (#1 was a close the bit of color in the ice), Feb the grapes (last shot), March #4 or #6, the grass or the poppies, April #3 (or #6 the ladybug) love that flower close up like you are right inside it, May #1 is my fave of these but I loved the two tulip shots too as well as the last roses shot, June #7 (bamboo) followed by the lavender, July #6 apricots or #4 (like that apricot nestled in the tree), August #7, Sept #9 (followed by green apples), Oct #12 or #8, Nov #2 (or #4), Dec, I really loved the colors of the Christmas lights but agreed with prev. coments about the pine cones…though I also really like the tug boats. Good luck with the process, I look forward to seeing the end results!

matt April 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

i do like the idea of collage….but here is one for each month
[this was not easy todd. they are all great!]

jan – 2nd pic
feb – 6th pic
march – 3rd pic
apr – 2nd pic
may – 2nd pic
june – 3rd pic
july – 2nd pic
aug – 3rd pic
sep – 1st pic
oct – 1st pic
nov – 4th pic
dec – 2nd pic


perhaps you could make 3 different calendars?

Bev April 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Okay Todd, this is not easy! I like calendars with pictures that represent the month so having said that I’ve mixed it up. I love the ice covered cherry blossoms but that is in May when they start to bloom so not suited for Feb.
I like Simple Wonders, combining the two ideas for a title. I absolutely love a big calendar and the large blocks, shaded or greyed out parts for the next month or previous month numbers. I like people and animal shots but I think you should stick to just nature for the calendar.
Anyway here goes…
Jan – evergreens covered in snow
Feb – grape posts
Mar – barns or 1st wildflower pic
Apr – rocks and running water 1st one.
May – lilacs from March selection! or cherry blossoms covered in ice from Feb.
June – waterfall or grasses
July – apricots in abundance
Aug – waves
Sept – my Dad’s grapes for his birthday! 1st grapes
Oct – leaves on the stones or bridge
Nov – sunflower from January
Dec – pinecones

I absolutely love the trees in fall for the cover and the placement of your name so you would probably want to use that pic in October in the calendar as well. so October’s would be that one instead of leaves on stones.
You have given us too many choices. Good luck!

Todd Smith April 16, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Elaine – Thanks for sharing your favorites… 🙂

Ellen – I’m glad you mentioned the dried sunflower… I like that one too, though it is less dramatic than others. The grapes in snow seems to be mentioned frequently. That pink clematis close up is also getting a lot of attention. I love those pears (Aug #7).

Matt – I’m loving your flower choices for April, May, and July. Also the shell on the beach could be a cool break in the routine. Thanks for taking the time to look at all these.

Bev – I’m glad you like the big blocks of space. They are actually square (a lot of calendars make them rectangular and waste space on the edges). You’re not the only one to mention about the frozen flowers picture really belonging to March or April. I’m glad you like the cover with the trees in fall. It seemed to beg to have words placed there! I may try your idea of “Simple Wonders.”

Todd Smith´s last blog post..Topanga Canyon and LA on a Clear Spring Day

Ann April 16, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I do like the grayed out numbers. I find them helpful.
The titles are lovely and you wouldn’t go wrong, however, I prefer no title.
The fall leaves are outstanding as a cover.
I agree that a theme is good. All nature photos this time.
It will be awesome, Todd.

Edmunds Washington could be a nice stop on your way. Haven’t been there in years, but remember it as a lovely spot along the coast.

Happy move and don’t forget to write when you get work.

John Dean April 17, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hi Todd,
I have to agree with everyone, this is certainly not an easy task. At least it’s a fun one though. I really think you can’t go wrong with any of the choices and it was difficult to decide between a couple for each month, but here goes:

Jan. – #2 (the snow covered firs) or #7 (the apple orchard in the snow)

Feb. – I love #1 (the glistening rose) but it doesn’t really say “February” to an East-coaster. I really like #7 (the hay bales)

Mar. – #3 and #9 (the purple and yellow flowers) are simply beautiful. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? I think #4 (the wheat grass in sunlight) is my favorite, but #7 (what looks like a cleared field) is very rich in texture and emotion.

Apr. – The apple blossoms in #4 are very striking but my favorite is #6, the ladybug on the purple flower.

May – A tossup between #1 and #8 (do you think I like roses?) and I’d be happy with either. However, #1 (with the dew drops) rates a fraction above #8 (the sun kissed grouping).

Jun. – The peacock (#2) is tough to ignore, as is the clean look of the bamboo (#7), but I really like #3 (clamshells in the sand) and its sense of time and motion.

Jul. – This could be the toughest one so far. The peaches, the sunflower, the cherries! Amidst all this colorful fruit and flower I’m drawn to the very powerful #5 (dusk on a lake?). It is captivating and so alive.

Aug. – I love #7 (the pears) because it reminds me of Erika’s wedding and #6 (the duck) makes for a very bold image. But I really like #5 (crashing surf) as it reminds me so much of a trip Pam and I took to Mendocino in January ’08.

Sep. – I like #7 (the green apple), as it seems to jump off the page, but #6 (the milkweed pods) are very striking.

Oct. – The toughest month to choose so far. #2 (through the trees) is vibrant and #10 (leaves in water) and #11 (a falling leaf?) are just brilliant. Likewise #13 (leaves on stones), but I am absolutely taken by #4 (row of birch (?) trees).

Nov. – #4 (ice crystals) is a clear winner.

Dec. – Gosh, it’s tough for a native not to pick a picture of NYC but, beautiful as it is, it doesn’t quite look like ‘December’ to me. The vineyard in the snow (#6) and the snow-covered fence posts (#8) do a better job of that, but I love the simplicity of #4, the pine cones. #4 or #8, either would do great.

Wow Todd, that was quite an assignment! Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in. No matter what you pick, I’m sure it will be great and you can put me down for at least three of them when they’re ready.


Todd Smith April 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm

John – Thanks for such a thorough look at these pictures. It really helps to have your feedback. It’s going to be a fun challenge bringing it all together for the final decisions.

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