This is the cover of my “2007 Bursting with Color” calendar. The calendar contains a selection of flower, leaf and fungi photographs, all taken in Penang. These photos were shot in the outdoors, and in the studio. Some subjects were photographed with film and others with digital. Some of the scenes were photographed in the daytime and others in the nighttime.
I wanted to do something unusual regarding the names I placed on each month’s subject. I looked at each subject to determine what characteristic stood out about the image. In addition, I determined what thoughts came to my mind at first glance of the subject. With that information, I then had to determine what language to use.
I did not want to use English, nor Malay. Then, for some reason, it hit me: Why not Elvish!
J.R.R. Tolkien had devised several languages that were virtually complete: One of these lingoes was Quenya. “Language and grammar for Tolkien was a matter of aesthetics and euphony, and Quenya in particular was designed from “phonaesthetic” considerations; it was intended as an “Elvenlatin”, and was phonologically based on Latin, with ingredients from Finnish and Greek.” (Original Source: Carpenter, Humphrey and Tolkien, Christopher (eds.) (1981). The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, no. 144, 25 April 1954, to Naomi Mitchison. ISBN 0-395-31555-7.)
Not being terribly familiar with the intricate details of Tolkien’s Elvish dialects, I searched the WEB and discovered Nevrast, a nice compilation of Quenya words in dictionary format.
I took my list of image characteristics and matched them to Quenya words, and that is how I named each month’s image in the “2007 Bursting with Color,” calendar.
I have a separate blog for this calendar and you can see it here. This blog highlights the images from the calendar and shares a little information about the name of each image. I also included a very, very brief history of Tolkien’s Elvish language.
ps: I’m mentioning my Calendar here in March because maybe someone still wants to buy a 2007 Calendar.
pss: Here’s a tip from someone who purchased my calendar. They said that they liked the photos so much, and the print quality was so good, that they were going to detach photos, and then have them matted and framed. Although I would prefer people to buy my prints individually, this person came up with an innovative idea. Discussing the value of buying a calendar in March may be a moot point. However, I’m sure that many people purchase calendars any time of the year because they plan to matte and frame the photographs from the calendar.