New QSL design

Last Updated on Monday, December 13, 2010 11:10 PM Written by N1WQ Sunday, December 12, 2010 12:45 AM

I’ve decided to order new batch of QSL cards. It’s not like I need them right now, but it would be good to have more cards for the next year. Here I got a dilemma: should I simply reprint my latest (at that moment) design, or create a new one? After considering all pros and contras, I’ve decided in favor of new design.

I like to see Minneapolis skyline on the front of my QSL cards, particularly night skyline. So usually I go to Flickr, find a few pictures I like, and ask authors for permission to use them. In my letter to them I explain what amateur radio is, what exactly I need their picture for, and promise to place whatever they want to see for their credentials on the card. You know what, it started working pretty bad lately. People simply do not respond, although I am asking different artist every time, so they do not become bored of me. I have only one explanation for this: they want money now, and if no money mentioned in the message, they simply ignore it, not even bothering to reply.

Well, it is still possible to find someone, who is ready to provide the picture for free, and I want to say “thank you” one more time to Tor-Erik Bakke, “y entonces” and Justin Koenig for their kindness, but now it takes a lot of time and effort to find such a generous artist.

It’s not like I would not pay money for a really good picture, but looking at so called “stock pictures”, which are a kind of cheap (although the companies distributing them make you buying credit packages, even if you really need only one picture), but not as good as best Flickr works, I realized the money I’ll have to pay will probably be comparable to the cost of QSL printing itself. And all this for amateur radio?

OK, what to do then, I was thinking. Probably I could take decent picture myself. All I need is a simple camera with manual settings, a tripod, right place, right time, and some skills. I have two cameras, Sony DSC-F717, and Canon SD790-IS, both not even close to professional ones, but should be OK for my purpose. I have a tripod. I can find the place and the time looking at the pictures on Flickr. And I believe I have some skills required. Actually I have been taking pictures all my life. On the picture below you can see 9-year old me shooting myself in the mirror. Yeah, it is not in the focus, I know, but believe me, I made some progress since that time.

Me in the mirror :: 1975
Me in the mirror, 1975

But what I do not have, is the time. It’ll probably take a few days to take a decent shot. I do not have a few days for this. Besides, it’s wintertime in Minnesota now. We’ve just got more than 16 inches (40 cm) of snow, and it’s 5 F (-15 C) with 20 mph (9 m/s) wind outside. Yes, this is why all those artist want the money, — for their time, and for what they have to survive!

So I’ve decided: let’s forget about the skyline. I can always order another batch of any of existing skyline designs. And for this new card, I can just find something simpler, may be less impressive, but still nice. So I looked through my archive, and found nice picture of my frontyard in the fall, and even with my daughter on it. And for the back side, I’ve decided to use the picture of my new beam, it looks beautiful at the sunset.

So here we go, this is my latest design, which is now on order with UA1OMS. I expect it to be here in April 2011, not because it takes so long to print it, but because I am going to pick it up in Russia myself at that time.

New QSL design :: Front
New QSL design :: Back

You can find all my current QSL designs here.

Leave a Reply