I prefer taking photographs of people. That in no way minimizes my impression of photographs OF things. I like all photographs…or, well most of them. Even the ones I don’t like, I respect. But I’m just never comfortable making photographs of things. Last night was one of those nights where you just HAVE TO.
On the other hand, I’ve always had a weakness for night photography. I love how light makes things look different at night. For me, it’s the same as night diving. A dive site you’ve been on a thousand times looks totally different at night. I’ve always been a bit of a space junkie, too, so a chance to combine night photography with moon photography overcame my general disinterest in “thing” photography.
Last night’s Super Moon almost wasn’t. It rained all day and was still cloudy as the moon was beginning to rise. In spite of that, I took off last night to see what I could see. At first I couldn’t see a thing. I drove down Kanawha Boulevard, heading west, so I could turn around and drive back toward the moon. As I turned, I saw the moon poking out behind some clouds. I immediately pulled into a side street and ran across the boulevard. I made a number of images from that spot, but the moon continued to rise so
I moved on. I decided to drive up to the Capitol grounds to see what I could find.
I was walking along the Capitol grounds looking for a good angle to get the gold dome with the moon when I ran into a woman taking a photographs. She was nicely dressed and said she had just been at a play. Her daughter was in the car waiting for her.
She was using her cell phone to take a picture. She mentioned a couple times that her Canon was in the car, she just needed something for Facebook. She asked me if I was in a camera club or something. I said, no, I’m just a photographer. Her response was, “I just love photography. It’s an art.” She went back to her car at that point. No doubt she posted the picture before she left the parking lot.
I am not overly thrilled with any of these images. They’re okay, but not all that special. I’m sure a fair number of people got better images than I did last night. In contrast, I’m sure the woman loved the picture she took with her cell phone. And I guess that is ultimately the point. She was right. Photography is art. There is technique to it, but there is also passion and excitement. When you are excited about what you’re doing, that passion comes through in the finished product.
We all have to do whatever fires our imaginations and gets us excited. Whatever that is. It can be art, music, sports or whatever. Doesn’t matter. When we do that thing that makes us happy, it’s magic. I’m sure I’ll continue taking photographs of “things” from time to time. Maybe someday, I’ll find that passion and excitement for it. If not, there are enough people I can photograph to keep me busy..