Solstice Reflections: Vivienne McMaster

Solstice Reflections 2012 is an online gathering of reflections by five lovely women on the spirit of winter. My hope is that this may offer you a momentary respite from a sometimes hectic season, allowing you to sit with your own reflections as you enter your personal winter. Click here for all posts to date.


I’m a light hunter.

Armed with a camera.

In search for evening rays of light.

For dappled light coming through trees.

For the way light flare adds magic to your photo.


Not just for the photo though.

I’m a light hunter for the way it makes me feel.

Present to the moment.

Here. Now.

It is kind of my meditation.


But what happens when the shadow season arrives?

Which is where we are here and now.

Do we let give up on light hunting and lament about the grey until the spring?


I will confess some days I do, wishing it would return soon.

But then I remember there is always light.

Even in the darkness.




The way our streets are lined with lights to safely get us home.

The way that grey rainy days can suddenly turn into rainbows covering the city.

And yes, it arrives late and leaves early but it is still here.


Each year I notice how the light affects my creative energy, what ebbs and what flows.

It is natural for those of us who love to see the world through a camera lens to pick up our cameras less.


When I stopped being hard on myself about not taking as many photos as the summer, I can look around and see that the creative muse has its own roadmap. One that involves time to replenish. Time to put down the camera, to pick up a book or a pen.


These days I find myself spilling onto pages rather than pixels, craving to write.


There are some days though, when the one medium that speaks to me most is the one I crave. So I pick up my camera and go see what I can find.


There is always some beauty out there waiting to be seen.


So I walk around my neigbourhood, umbrella in hand. There it is, there it always was while I was getting caught up by the grey. Brightly coloured leaves fallen on the ground make me feel like the sidewalks have been painted with splashes of red, orange, yellow, brown.


If we focus on the brightest days, the biggest boldest sunshine, we miss out on the strength of the more subtle light, on the beauty of the shadow season.


On the subtle beauty that is around us that will be gone when the sun returns.


There is simple, subtle beauty all around you right now.

Waiting to be seen.


How does the darkness affect your creative journey? Does it nurture it and give you more time to stay indoors and dig into painting? Is it a time of rest for you? Or like me, do you need to remember that there is an ebb and flow to your creative life often in tune with the seasons? I’d love to hear about your creative flow!




Vivienne McMaster is a photographer with a big heart and a spirit of playfulness. She is part whimsical, part urban, and definitely quirky. She teaches a wide variety of photography and video based e-courses and believes that self-portraiture and creative exploration can save our lives. She shares colourful visual stories over at her website.