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a moon to remember

Updated: Sep 5

“what is it you want, mary? what do you want? you want the moon? just say the word and i'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. hey. that's a pretty good idea. i'll give you the moon, mary. ”

― george bailey


this blog is a little different. i recently shared two facebook postings showcasing the recent blue moon super moon and the short stories behind them. the story behind each is not long; hence my sharing them as facebook postings. however, i'm combining them here in my blog section for those of you who follow me via my blogs on my website and not on my facebook page. i think you'll really enjoy the stories and the images!


blue moon super moon 1


i was thinking of where to go to create an image of the blue moon super moon and thought of a previous client who works at upper river services on the mississippi river in st. paul. he had suggested a while back about the possibility of creating an image across the river from where he works as he thought it might make for a great image.


cue to august 29 (the night before the moon was to be considered full but, to the naked eye, might as well have been a full moon. it still was the blue moon super moon) and i was on the river across from where he worked as his suggestion came to mind earlier in the week. i shared an iphone image in another post before the moon came on the scene.


as i waited on the bench, i enjoyed people watching while keeping an eye on the composition i had set up. just down a couple of benches from me was a gal brushing down her german shepherd...at least i think it was. clumps of hair were systematically removed from the brush before she went at it again. another german shepherd (i think) with her would occasionally bark at other passing dogs going by. both seemed unperturbed by me looking at them when they would glance my way. i guess i was not a threat to either.


dog-walkers, couples with and without children, joggers, singles, bikers and more passed in front of me. i noticed a short distance away from me sitting at a trash bin was a sleeping bag and a backpack. the owner was nowhere to be seen as far as i could tell. another guy with a backpack that I suspect was homeless crossed busy shepard road behind me and continued along the bluff back there. as I watched him, i realized leaning against my bench behind me was a flat screen tv. what in the world....? not in a million years would i have thought to see a tv along the river leaning against my bench. there has got to be a story there...


a pusher boat pushing a barge started to take off across the river. i looked on with interest as it somehow did a backward u-turn with the barge and then, moving forward, began to pick up speed heading east and south down the mississippi river.

i looked back at the gal brushing her dog and she was taking a break smoking a joint compliments of minnesota legalizing it. as much as she looked like she was enjoying it, at this point i can say it hasn't yet enticed me to try one 😉 . finally, the moon came into view. weak in appearance at first, it was trying to move beyond the haze. it finally broke free of the grasp of haze and continued its ascent. it was fiery in color; it's color was a deep hue of orange reminiscent of a basketball but richer in hue. i created various images of the moon in ascent toward and over the upper river services building. eventually it started disappearing again into the haze.

what you see here is my favorite one of the night.


it was a good night. the worst night creating photographs is always better than the best day working to slightly rephrase an old adage. just saying.....


blue moon super moon rising over upper river services and the mississippi river in st. paul, mn


blue moon super moon 2


i was at cass gilbert memorial park the night of august 30 to create another image of the blue moon super moon, this time at its peak in terms of it being full. as i checked my photopills app at the site, i realized the moon was going to rise too far to the left of my intended composition.

never one to be dissuaded, i took off walking down the hill past the state capitol. it is an imposing building when one is next to it. you feel small and it seems large, full of majesty and architectural prowess. it's the same feeling i get when i'm near the cathedral of st. paul. it, too, is imposing and majestic. and i've never been inside the cathedral. if I ever make my way inside of it, expect it, too, will be a humbling experience based on images i've seen.


i stood on the steps of the state capitol and checked the viewing prospects of the moon looking down cedar street using my photopills app again. nope...not going to happen there either.


i continued my journey to a park sort of split into three different memorials. two memorialized soldiers from two different wars and one memorialized workers in the state of minnesota. rather than try to do the disservice of a brief explanation of the three, here is a link if you are interested that covers more than just the park itself...


https://mn.gov/caapb/capitol-area/memorials-monuments/


i made my way into the mn vietnam memorial park and checked out some potential views, again using my photopills app. i finally found what i thought would be the best vantage point that would also have interest as just the moon itself was not enough for me.


shortly after, the moon made its presence known after rising out from behind a building blocking its ascent. i zoomed in on a flag pole that had both the american flag and another flag that I could not make out as it was too dark. i'm thinking it might have been a pow-mia flag but i'm not certain.

then it was a waiting game until the moon came into position close to where i wanted it to be. at that point, i started creating images until the moon was past the position. with the wind blowing the flag off and on, i wanted to maximize my attempts at getting just the right look of the american flag as the moon passed by.

this was one of the most challenging post processing edits i've had in recent years. even though the american flag was lit up, the light was not strong enough to match the intensity of the moon directly behind it. yo the naked eye, it showed up fine with the moon behind it. but in-camera, the moon and flag were far apart in light intensity. i ended up exposing as bright as I could for the moon without losing the details in the moon. but that meant the flag itself was very dark; so dark it was hard to even see the flag in the images.


i spent a significant amount of time bringing the flag back out of the gloomy darkness where it looked like what you saw with the naked eye. bringing down the brightness of the moon to what the naked eye saw was a piece of cake compared to working on the flag. i could have done a correct exposure image of the moon and a correct exposure image of the flag and then blended the two together. but I simply am not, yet, at the skill level of being able to blend them seamlessly with such a divergent range of lightness and darkness. i suspect even for experts it would have been quite the task.


i'm quite proud of this image and i don't mind saying it. it took a lot of patience and finesse to bring this image back to my original vision. i'm also proud of the strength this image of the american flag projects. i'm not going to share my thoughts on the trajectory of the usa, but i'm still proud of what the flag represents at its core. i hope you enjoy it as well!


blue moon super moon rising over the american flag in mn vietnam memorial park in st. paul


i hope you enjoy the short stories and the images in this blog! this blue moon super moon event will not happen again until 2037 so i was glad to be able to capture it! i'd love to hear if you were able to see the event in your part of the world. where did you see it? feel free to share your images here as i'd love to see them!


these two images are available for print and will soon be added to my online store. here are a couple of sample images in how they might look in your home and/or office...


16"x24" metal print in study/office


35"x52" framed and matted print hanging in bar and game room


i'd love to see this post shared with others that you know or think would enjoy reading it. just copy and paste the url above and share in an email or social media of your choice. alternatively, you can also click on one of the social media icons below and share that way as well. if this is your first time reading one of my blogs and you enjoyed it, be sure to subscribe to get new blogs sent to your inbox going forward. you can find that toward the bottom of the web page or when the light box pops up automatically.


i really appreciate your support whether this is your first time reading one of my blogs or you are a regular reader of my blogs. it brings me great pleasure that you took the time to read this blog. it means the world to me!


thanks again and i'll be seeing you soon with more "images from my quiet world"!


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