One of my favourite days in December is the Winter Solstice. On December 21st (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) it’s the Winter Solstice, in the Southern Hemisphere it’s Summer Solstice. I like the solstice because I feel like it’s a marker in the year that is outside of calendars and our daily lives. It signifies that shortest day the day, the longest night. It means that from that point the days will get a little bit longer each day, that the balance of light and dark stars shifting again.
For some reason that last week before the solstice truly feels like a different energy to me. It feels a bit supernatural or maybe electric. It feels like there’s change in the air and that mother nature knows it. I like to think that we’re just a little speck in the greater picture of things and that solstice and our balance days and nights are part of this elaborate thing that goes on with or without us.
My favourite recent memory of Solstice was being invited to participate in a hot yoga class. The room was warm and smelled of lavender and the yoga was a restorative class to welcome the new season. It was 90 minutes of gentle stretching and greeting the night. I walked home that night feeling clear and admiring the black sky above me. I wanted to collect that memory, trap it in a jar and just carry it with me for the next time I might need to feel lighter or more relaxed or more patient with myself. Which is where my idea came from this week.
So, as the solstice arrives this week, I thought Night would be a good theme to create with. To embrace the stars and moon and all the magic that the night brings. My image was inspired by collecting these moments and evenings and using the energy for later when we might need it.
It started with a sketch, one of my goals for the new year is to spend more time in the beginning stages of my photographs. To draw them, create them from a real beginning and to build them up as much as I can from that point.
The shoot itself ended up being somewhat of an experiment. I bought some small glass jars and some tiny fabric stars with the idea of just adding some glow/light in photoshop. But then I decided to try and get everything in camera (as much as possible) and created a little setup in the hallway.
After many different attempts, angles and knocked over jars, I shot all the components and then began editing in photoshop. I created almost an entirely different image and was about to save it when I realized it wasn’t really close to my original idea. So I decided to try and quickly see if I could make a new one that did. 5 hours later and I was just wrapping up a second edit. But I’m happy with it. It speaks to my idea of these big nights, these big wishes we have to collect the peaceful moments, the inspiring moments, the beautiful moments and let that energy keep us going when the night is long.