The sky went dark, leaving just a sliver of sunshine where a boat was anchored out in the bay. I'm missing that feeling of perfect happiness that comes from being on a sailing boat, anchored out in the protection of a peaceful and beautiful estuary, having a cup of tea after a tough sea crossing.
I have made a small selection of some of the pictures that Sylwia and I took of the preparations for Beltane. An enormous amount of effort, dedication and organisation went into the weeks in the run up. It is fascinating to see these Celtic pagan traditions being kept alive, and reinterpreted, in a modern context - Beltane is not a historical reenactment, but a living, constantly evolving collective experience: All images © Sylwia Kowalczyk and Simon Crofts
Last week Sylwia and I photographed Beltane, the ancient Celtic festival welcoming the onset of summer (or spring, depending on your point of view - anyway, the relatively warm part of the year) as part of a project that we are working on at the moment. We photographed some of the preparations as well as the night itself - I'll do a separate post with a selection of preparation images, but here are some from Beltane night itself. The whole thing was an impressive and extraordinary spectacle, and an awful lot of fun to take part in, hard work and exhilarating at the same time, and an interesting technical challenge - because for most of the night there is very little light except that from torches and bonfire. All images © Sylwia Kowalczyk and Simon Crofts
A handfasting ceremony under way:-
Jeremy the Animator:
Heather the Historian:
Dea the Violinist
To make it feel even better, an echo of Edinburgh's winter
We paid another visit to Portobello beach to take some portraits with Joe Colligan - Joe took some photos of Sylwia and me, and we took some portraits of him. Because of a mix-up with meeting times/places we met up there a bit late, but still had time for a stroll and to take some pictures. There's something wonderfully therapeutic about wandering around the seashore taking pictures.