Chasing The Light
in the Celtic Latitudes
2018 Calendar - Photoart by Paul Schatzkin
IIn the spring of 2017 I set out to “Chase the Light in the Celtic Latitudes.”
I have been to the United Kingdom four times over the past 5 years. On my second trip – in the spring of 2013 – I discovered that the light at those latitudes, and in that season, does something extraordinary.
Cinematographers call it “Golden Time” - that brief period in the late afternoon / early evening when the sun is closest to the horizon and casts a brilliant hue on everything it illuminates. In higher latitudes, the sun is already taking longer to trace its arc across the sky. As the summer solstice approaches the days get even longer still, and “Golden Time” can last for more than an hour, even two.
My subject is medieval ruins. I am drawn to these medieval ruins for reasons that are hard to explain. Something about their impermanence speaks to me: the stonework is stalwart and indomitable, yet the structure and all it represents stands in testament to a lost civilization. Time marches on. Everything is permanent only as long as it lasts.
And so I returned to the UK (England and Wales this time) in late May and early June of 2017 for the express purpose of catching the light of Golden Time on the ramparts of ruined castles and abbeys.
Of course, despite its extended duration, Golden Time still lasts for only a small portion of the day – and sometimes is obscured by clouds and rain. So not all of the images in this calendar are exteriors. I got to spend time in some pretty remarkable medieval interiors, too, and have included some of those images here as well.
The trip was pretty exhausting: in the pursuit of my art, I walked over a quarter million steps, covering more than 100 miles on foot over 16 days (and drove over 2,000 miles between locations). Tiring it was, but I am already staring to think about where I will go in the spring of 2018…