top of page


I'm trying out a print-on-demand merchandise service. There are many of them out there, most of them poorly reviewed. Of course, there is a general tendency online to dunk rather than prop, and it seems like dunking voices are always louder than propping voices. Regardless, Zazzle (Canadian version) is decently reviewed, despite having a name that makes me grit my teeth a little.

As is typical of me, I simply dove in and started trying out stuff without clearly understanding how it all works. As a result, there are many aspects of the process that I don't understand. I will have to spend some time with their tutorials. Also, I have yet to come up with graphic content for Why the Algarve - I just used some old designs which I like very much but have nothing to do with Portugal. Also, I haven't ordered any of this stuff yet to check for quality and/or service. Soon.

***Edit: I made a specific Portugal-oriented "" design. Full disclosure - the photo was actually taken in Lisbon. Whoops!***

So, here are some of my early experiments:

Granada Night Alley

a.k.a., A Little Pocket of Spanish Night.

This is one of my all-time favourite images that I have created over many years of photography and digital manipulation. As the name suggests, the original photo was taken late one night in Granada, quite close to the hostel where I was staying at the time. Great hostel, too. I wonder if it is still in operation. Now I have to look that up. The image is a simple four colour print, so it could easily be screen-printed with only five screens.

The image evokes that night perfectly for me. Narrow, kind-of-jumbled streets and alleys, with many restorations and construction works of varying degrees of professionalism. The lighting was mostly incandescent and quite episodic, resulting in strings of warmly lit pockets.

Here is the link for this t-shirt in my store. I think you, as a customer, can take this design and put it on other products. This is something I have to figure out.


Street Joy

This photo was taken in Antwerp's Jewish Quarter. These kids were very taken with my camera, with the boys being the biggest goofballs I have ever seen. What I really love about this shot is the story it tells. These kids have clearly been told not to talk to strangers, but when the boys saw the camera they started showing off. The girls, being older, were in charge, and the young woman in pink decided I wasn't dangerous. But the girl in blue was not happy about the situation - she remembered the admonition - and was only just starting to come around when this pic was taken. The whole thing made me very happy. :-)


Rainy Floating Flower Market

Taken during a ferocious and sudden downpour in Amsterdam, from a barely sheltered table outside a cafe I liked, across from the Floating Flower Market. The photo says it all, really, and makes a good answer to the question, "Why the Algarve?" I added this shot to the Creative Commons, so anyone is free to use it as long as I am credited as the photographer. A very nice woman named Patricia, from Australia, used it to paint an original watercolour. She sent me a couple of prints of it on canvas; I kept one and gave the other to my mom. So that's cool.


Granada Hotel Los Angeles

Another photo from my time in Granada, Spain. It was smoking hot that day, in the low 40s, and I think this shot captures that. Can't you feel the heat? I can. For some reason I find it amusing that this hotel is named "Hotel Los Angeles," although, of course, "Los Angeles" is a perfectly suitable Spanish name all on its own. At some point I will remove the sky from this design, so that it will be replaced by t-shirt colour. I'm not crazy about the way it finishes at the top.


despondent paris

Certainly not the most uplifting thing I have ever done, but in a way it captures the mood I was in at the time. As the title tells us, this is Paris. That's the Seine, and I'm sure I could figure out what bridge that is with a little effort. The photo this image was based on was taken on a rather melancholy walk along the Seine one day. I was missing Lisa like mad, counting down the days until I could see her in Lisbon. My personal funk was not helped by the many strolling, arm-in-arm couples, it being early summer and all. I stopped for a beer and a smoke at some point, saw this guy, and took the pic. I often wonder about him, his back story, did he make it to today. This would make a great gift for the goth teenager in your life.

26 views0 comments


bottom of page