Blossoming Moon_B&W©KathrynVanAernum

Blossoming Moon B&W © Kathryn Van Aernum

A few weeks ago the world was buzzing about the supermoon–blue moon–red moon–-and some other amazing quality moon. Some of you know that I am a big fan of photographing the moon, starting out years ago with just a modest point-and-shoot digital camera I had my first solo exhibit dedicated to the moon.

With the explosion of photo imaging in the last decade worldwide, what was cutting edge 15 years ago (5-megapixel point and shoot) is landfill now. We have literally hundreds of options for shooting images. To add on top of that, picture sharing has become a phenomenon that can both inspire and intimidate. What comes to mind are the phenomenal photos that have been taken of the moon rising behind the Great Pyramids or the Parthenon in Greece with super high-powered telephoto lenses that make the moon and the landmark in front of it look as though they are touching.

When it comes to my own camera lenses in this capacity, I think of the famous line from Crocodile Dundee, “You call that a knife?” However, I am compelled to try to find and capture my own images, despite limitations (both equipment and locale) and expectations (pre-conceived ideas). The portal through any creative challenge is to know how to work within it. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. The key is to find the freedom within it – to develop a relationship with it and not to let it stop you.

Next, having photographed the moon many times, I know there is a short window of time to get the kind of image I seek. This too is a relationship, one that has been cultivated through repetition, observation, desire, and inspiration. And yet, I never presume I know exactly what I’ll see. Be open to surprises that can happen. Having stalked the moonrise here in Columbia, SC I’ve mapped out places to be for best view. What I don’t know is exactly within that window I’ll catch the first glimpses. Sometimes surprises come because there are clouds on the horizon or some other alteration to viewing. Sometimes they come in a human form like this year when I encountered a student on the bridge walking home from class. As she was passing, I told her I was waiting for the moon rise and said it was going to happen within the next 5 minutes or so. She decided to stay and watch. Her audible surprise at seeing the moon rise was worth the whole effort and now my memory will be entwined through the lens of that chance encounter. I hope that delight might have planted the seed of a life-long relationship with the moon. Who knows?

I’ve inserted both the color and the black and white versions. I’d love to know what speaks to you. For those technically inclined, this was photographed with a Nikon FX 610 in DX mode with an old 28-105 zoom. I used DX mode to amp the zoom to the equivalent of 157.5mm.

Blossoming Moon©Kathryn Van Aernum

Blossoming Moon © Kathryn Van Aernum

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Kathryn Van Aernum is a photographer, mixed-media artist and helps people who have buried their creative soul in the daily grind. To find out more about coaching, visit her other location on the web: