Season Unending

“Season Unending” © Julz Kirschenbaum
Model: Danielle Korb

“Season Unending” was a test of patience for me, and a bit of a turning point in Phantasmagoria as a whole.  The inspiration struck me back at the end of spring.  I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted, and knew I would have to wait for the leaves to start changing color to truly capture my vision.  So I kept myself busy over the summer, though I will admit that I am a bit disappointed that I did not finish all of the “summer” concepts I had originally planned.  When August finally came around, a lot started to happen all a once.  I co-hosted a workshop with my good friend and fellow photographer Abe (the owner of Blind 7 Photography).  The workshop was also my first video project, and I really hope to do more of those in the future.  You can take a peek at the video here.Before I knew it, the leaves were changing color, the weather was beautiful… and I got sick, and stayed sick for almost 2 months. This shoot however was going to happen, noting was going to stop me.

At its heart “Season Unending” (and “My Soul to Take” which will get its own post) are inspired by the mythology of the goddess Persephone.  My goal was to capture the emotion behind the mythology, the last golden glow of Autumn before Winter takes its hold. Persephone illuminated by a soft ray of light, surrounded by a riot of color, a beautiful moment before she makes her decent to the underworld.  The words of Dylan Thomas came to mind when I was developing the concept for this image:

“Do not go gentle into that good night.  Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

The location for the shoot was simply breathtaking.  I was out hiking in the woods behind Squire’s Castle in the Cleveland Metro Parks, and there they were, these powerful tree roots cutting through the hill like they wanted to pull the forest itself down into the ground below. When I think back I can still remember the chill that went through me at the sight, and the feeling of knowing I had found the perfect spot.  In contrast to this powerful landscape, I decided to keep Danielle’s dress and make-up simple.  The dress is actually 6 yards of off white fabric that I wrapped around her and pinned together on location.  For make-up I used a white creme face paint around the eyes and down the sides of her face in a tribal “war-paint” inspired style.  We started the shoot very close to sundown to capture the rich golden light, but that left us with a very short window to get the two shots I wanted. Usually I don’t have an assistant on shoots, but I am so thankful that Amber was there that day (and she did a lovely job curling Danielle’s hair.   I’ll admit, as we were walking through the woods to the location I was a bit nervous that it wouldn’t happen. But once Danielle got into position surrounded by the towering Autumn forest, the roots rushing up out of the ground to meet her, all my worry melted away.  She had become Persephone.

© Julz Kirschenbaum

© Julz Kirschenbaum

I mentioned at the beginning of the post that this shoot was a turning point in Phantasmagoria.  Soon my dark side will be coming out to play…

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – See more at:
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – See more at:

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