In 2006 I was still lugging around a few film cameras that could capture what my first little 2MP point-and-shoot digital could not. I’d been working with a number of local and larger land conservation groups for years and had a literal field day photographing and painting those beautiful areas as they recovered from industrial or other use, or were simply conserved as overgrown land that housed an ecosystem all their own.
At the same time I was canoeing Chartiers Creek, sometimes for work but usually for fun, and from early morning until night I saw incredibly lovely scenes that I couldn’t catch in a moving canoe. I vowed to return some time to capture as many as I could in different areas.
I was familiar with a large flood plain conservation area and also its access to the creek, and I remembered at one evening event watching the moon rise over the ridge to the east, so when I got the idea to photograph the moon rising in summer using black and white film I chose that destination. Next full moon available was the Thunder Moon in July.
Though it was a clear night, a mist rose with the moon and went drifting across the flood plain and among the trees like a spectre. These were shot with film, and while I had my notes from a test session on a night with a partial moon, and from photographing the moon at other times, I knew the mist was a variable I couldn’t control, and I might possibly end up with just a bunch of blur because the mist was moving across the open field, not hanging in the air like a fog.
When I got the photos back I was so disappointed at not being able to get the clarity I’d remembered in the moon and the surroundings that I put them away for a bit, then got them back out and decided I liked them for what they were. In fact, I find them quite magical. A few of them I like very much.
And because a few of canoeing buddies didn’t want me wandering around on a full moon night in an isolated area alone, or walking in the creek with my camera gear and no one else around, they joined me.
I need a scanner that can scan all my old negatives. The grit and noise you see in some of the photos is largely from the printing process. But as I found when I realized I treasured the photos even though they weren’t at all what I’d envisioned, I think all that unintended pattern adds to the feeling of wandering through a field on a misty moonlit night, trying to focus where our human eyes are not created to see with much clarity.
Prints of The Thunder Moon photos
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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, visit my galleries of Photography on Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Prints” for availability and terms. I'll be more than happy to make a print for you.