Friday, December 30, 2011

Fave Lights from the Season

How I love the season of light at the darkest time of year!  I like to think of all the holiday lights as a symbol of the light within...contemplating, reflecting,  creating new ideas for the new year, and and a glowing sense of all is as it should be..

Here are my favorite photos of lights from our 2011 season.......

my family, overlooking the city lights under the holiday star up in the foothills

Our community has a very large holiday star, lit with very large bulbs, in the foothills of our closest mountain range.  It's lit from the beginning of December through the first part of January.  It can be seen from just about everywhere in our community.

We took a drive up to the star in early December- bouncing along carefully in 4WD in the dark, till we came upon the star....

There was a beautiful ring around the moon that night, ahead of a winter storm that gave us much-needed rain.

and now a light of a different kind...sunlight!

an "unofficial" copy of a 6-month photo of sun trails from a pinhole camera in my back yard
 I participated in a remarkable photography project this year, called Time in a Can, in which 40 photographers around the world placed pinhole cameras in their own locale, aimed skywards towards the sun's path.  The project's photographing period was from June 21st through December 22, 2011- from solstice to solstice.  

I have just harvested the pinhole cameras, and have shipped the negatives back to Spain, where the folks of Estudio Redondo (which is sponsoring Time In A Can) will scan them, invert them in to photographs, and have a gallery exhibit.

The photo above is an "unofficial" image made from one of my solargraphs from the project.  I didn't scan the negative, rather I took a picture of it with my digital camera, in the darkness of my bathroom-darkroom, with the red safelight on.  I'm sure the quality of the officially scanned image will be much better!  (but I'm pleased with this result- not bad for  mostly- white negative, photographed in red light and darkness besides!)

Anyway, the camera was positioned on the ground, looking up at the sky.  To the left is our back yard fence.  Overhead are the streaks of the sun going across the sky, one streak for every day of the six-month period.  The left-sided streaks were made in the summertime (the southern part of the sky)  Each day, the sun tracked a little more northwards, creating the streak-tracks more and more to the right side of the photo.  The rightmost streaks were made in December.

You can tell the kind of weather we had in different parts of the streaking pattern- clouds occlude the sun's light, and make darker streaks when they were present in the sky.  

Solargraphy is so amazing!!!

And now, a celebration of light of a different kind.....

Although my family is not Jewish, we do light the menorah during Hanukkah.  We do not adhere to any particular religious faith, but feel that learning about different faiths is important to the understanding others, as well as learning from their insights.  Participating (at some level) in the traditions of others gives us a window into their experiences, while enriching our own experiences of this season of light. 

We also participate in many Christmas festivities, as well as Bodhi Day earlier in December.

the last candle to go out on our menorah on the 8th day of Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a beautiful tradition to us- and if we don't have a personal connection with the miracle of the oil burning for 8 days, we think of other miraculous events in our lives, and appreciate what we have.

The only other light I am looking forward to photographing is our sparklers on New Year's Eve...but that will have to wait till tomorrow!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Keep the light of hope and contentment and creativity and inspiration burning within!!

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