The Lesser Light|One Favorite Subject

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“And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who will tuck me in at night. If you think I am having more fun than anyone on this planet, you are absolutely correct.” ~ Hafez

The theme of the Weekly Photo Challenge is “One”, in which we are to focus on one subject. I chose one of my favorites, the ever elusive moon. In photography light is everything and for outdoor photography the light source is usually the sun. We look for certain times of day, angles, cloud cover, or clear. And the sun takes it from there. In fact, when you combine the best of these factors the sun really does all the work for you. Think sunsets and sunrise, the Golden Hour. An endless array of colors provide astounding results. No skills needed.

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“The moon is friend for the lonesome to talk to.” ~ Carl Sandburg

But the moon is a different challenge altogether. For a great moon shot you have to really work at it. Photographers go through great lengths to capture the immediate presence and stunning glow the moon provides. Even then it is hard to capture the emotion of moment. You just have to “be there” and experience it for yourself.

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“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” ~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

In the Bible the moon is called the “lesser light” (Genesis 1:16). It is too dim for cameras to mimic exactness, but for the human eye it holds not just brilliant beauty but deep, deep emotion. For some unexplainable reason the moon feels like a faithful friend. It provokes us to stop, quiet our busy minds, take a few deeps breaths and just relax. I don’t know of anyone that can gaze at a brilliant moonlit night and not feel a simultaneous sense of glory and comfort.

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Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy. ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

Perhaps it is the lesser light because of this very thing. We need a constant, unchanging reminder that we are not alone, that there is greatness and majesty tucked in our universe. A reminder of the presence of God through every dark night. And that is this lesser light.

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The lesser light may take second place to the other grand luminary. But perhaps it is this very notion that makes it so human. And in this sense we see that our great God, by giving less, actually gave more.

Peace, Alexandria

N “But even when the moon looks like it’s waning…it’s actually never changing shape. Don’t ever forget that.” ~ Ai Yazawa

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Related Articles:
Wenjie Zhang of LightSlant on how to photograph the moon
Weekly Photo Challenge: The Power of One, Travels and Trifles by Tina Schell
Clicky Chick Creates, Christmas Favorites

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22 Comments

  1. Wonderful post Alexandra – I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and your quotes are perfect throughout. My Fav is the final photo along with its quote. well done!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Tina. The last was taken years ago with a simple digital point and shoot. It gave me a surprise result! I’m glad you liked it.

      Reply
  2. thank you for a beautiful post – great shots, quotes and the parable of the lesser light

    Reply
  3. I have deleted so many disappointing full moon shots…
    These are lovely — and such a good parable. Thank you!

    Reply
    • You are not alone in attempts to capture the moon. With exception of the third one, the others were sheer luck. And the third one took a lot of work! Not much gazing took place on that night!
      Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the parable side, too.

      Reply
    • One more thing-stop back by again. I’m going to put a link to a photographer who did a post on moon photography. I followed his instructions for the third photo. But the landscapes surrounding the moon are what makes them special. The other moon photos were taken with iPhone 4 or 5. I was amazed at their ability to capture the crescent shape, even some details. The technology is improving rapidly.

      Reply
      • It is! Generally I love my little IPhone 5 camera. I have one good shot that I like — and interestingly, it was a crescent. My favorite shot of yours was the one that was mostly midnight blue with the silhouette of the house — especially with the quote about the full moon shining in our windows. Very wonderful! I do think that even though the third shot was technically great, the others spoke to me more.

        Reply
        • I completely agree with you. The others evoke the emotion associated with the moon because they show the whole moonscape. Had to include the technical one because of the work it took. And I was pretty proud of it. 🙂 (I put up the link to instruct how to get the full moon photo, though.) Couldn’t believe it when the iPhone 5 captured the crescent! What a delight!
          Thank you for your comments.

          Reply
  4. I’d be very interested on where you got the instructions for the 3rd photo! I have had many failed moon shot attempts! Yours are great!

    Reply
  5. These photos are so good. I love the moon because you can stare at it, ponder it. You can’t do that with the sun. I love moonlight. I love to go to the beach when the moon is full because it’ light it beautifully. And moonlight on a snowy night is stunning.

    Reply
    • I have some great full moon shots from a beach trip I recently went on. Will share them some other time. So beautiful and yes, a snowy night is simply stunning!

      Reply
  6. Lovely words and images as always!

    Reply
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