Night Magic at Castlerigg (2015)
Colour photograph (Giclée) by Jason Smalley


  • Colour photograph (Giclée), Paper
  • From a limited edition of 10
  • Size: 23.4 × 16.5 in (unframed) / 22.5 × 15 in (actual image size)
  • This artwork is sold unframed
  • Signed and numbered on the front

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Jason Smalley

United Kingdom

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Artist's description:

Rain forced me inland, away from my coastal project and as darkness fell I arrived at Castlerigg. It hadn’t been the best of days and I really needed to give myself a creative boost so I decided to hang around and see what I could find here when the day had vanished.

I took several shots as the circle disappeared into the landscape, working my way around the stones, willing them to cooperate with me and they did. At least I got interesting shots.

And then it was pitch black. The velvet dark crept up on me as I waited for each long exposure to end until I couldn’t see my camera. For this, my final exposure, I composed by balancing a torch on the far left stone and then composing the shot so that I could see the glow in the left of my camera viewfinder. Next I moved the torch to the far right stone and repeated the task thereby ensuring that, if nothing else, I’d got the fullness of the circle in the frame.

I reclaimed my torch and took a deep breath, knowing that if I pressed the shutter button I’d be committed to stand there for over an hour as the indiscernible light did its work. I would have to stay alert and physically block any car headlights from coming into frame. So, I pressed the shutter button and stayed rooted to the spot.

Strange things happen when you are very alone, very still and very quiet in the deep darkness of night. Even stranger things happen when that place is a sacred, ancient site. That’s a tale for another day maybe. Perhaps you can see the magic in the shot? Can you see the oldness of the place?

Materials used:

Museum quality paper and pigment inks

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