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imperfect moon

Updated: May 12, 2023

“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


sometimes perfect is overrated. sometimes the beauty in life is the imperfectness of life. i may not like my imperfect life sometimes. but moving in it and through it can produce a character that is a thing of beauty. "can produce" is the operative word there. it's all about choice and perspective. do i always make the right choice; do i always choose the right perspective? do you? for me, at least, it's a pretty solid no. lol!


i love movies like "it's a wonderful life". jimmy stewart takes on the character of george bailey who always has a heart for putting others first. however, he reaches a mid-life crisis where he feels he has missed it all, so to speak. in helping others, he has never been able to "shoot for the moon", to achieve his own life ambitions. he feels like his life is always "second best". but in the long journey of, in his eyes, his imperfect life, he has actually succeeded beyond his wildest imagination! his life is...dare i say it...a success! he has a wife who thinks the world of him, his children who look up to him, family and friends who owe their success to him, whether it was through a loan or encouragement. even clarence the angel gains his wings because of george's imperfectness. i can relate. I sometimes dwell on the "what have i missed" instead of focusing on the beauty of the successes i've had in life despite it being less than perfect.


another movie that resonates with me is "the family man" with nicolas cage. he plays jack, a bachelor, who has what would be considered the perfect life. but when he wakes up one christmas morning and finds himself in another life as a husband and father, he gets a look at what an imperfect life looks like. halfway or so through that alternate life, he encounters a crucial moment. his wife, kate, in a moment of tension in their marriage, says that she "chooses us". it is a statement that changes jack's outlook on his life as being one of success and not failure. if you have not seen this movie, i highly recommend it!


I was out in the northeast minneapolis area on one particular night hoping for a great image of the waning pink moon (name of the moon in april) rising over the eleven on the river condo building. i wanted to catch the moon toward the beginning of its ascent before it became a bright sphere with no discerning features. however, the evening started turning cloudy and the moon was moving in and out of the cloudy haze. undeterred, i continued to watch and wait on a quiet residential street toward the top of an overpass. from that vantage point, i was able to see some landmarks gleaming in the distance. the gold medal flour neon sign, the north star blankets neon sign, the city hall clock...these and some others captured my eyes as i gazed out into the night. beneath the overpass ran railroad tracks for trains chugging through. i have been there on other nights and discovered moving cars were few. that night, not one car drove through the entire time i was there.


i watched as the moon slowly make its way upward and onward. i was a little disappointed as the moon was not as close to the eleven condo as i had hoped. i was also disappointed that it was not a clear moon. in spite of the imperfectness of this scene, i chose to make the best of it. sometimes that is all we can do. life is often like that too, isn't it? we do the best we can do. that night, it was not going to be the perfect scene but i made the choice to stay and make something of it.


i've made quite a few images where the original intent did not materialize. but some of them turned out to be even better images because of the character of the scene. this turned out to be, in my opinion, one of those images. contrasted against the clear brilliance of the eleven condo, the moon lent a soft, dreamy counterpart. i ended up zooming in so that only the lit top of the building is visible. i think the it adds a much stronger impact!


a soft dreamy moon over a brilliantly lit building
pink moon over eleven on the river condo

even though my original intent was to capture the moon close to this building, i personally love the wide swath of darkness between the building and the moon. called negative space, it's sometimes as much about what isn't in an image as what is in an image. part of the reason why i like the negative space in this image is that it adds a sense of mystery. if you have been a regular follower of my blogs and images, you might know i am drawn to mystery.


with the stars hidden from view, the sky seems to take on this cover of deep blackness punctuated only by two light sources. the building itself, with its projection of brilliant light, seems a bit of a mystery; if you don't know much about this art deco piece of architecture, you might be wondering what it is. you might never know that what you are seeing is 550 feet in the air. for all you know, the moon has just crested the horizon. you might think it's weird; you might think it is floating. you might think...is this a ufo of sorts? 😉


on the flip side, the soft and gentle moonscape also lends a sense of mystery. it seems dreamy and a bit whimsical. if you can open your mind to the fantastical a bit, the glow around the moon looks like moon petals extending outward. and the moon itself is the center of this gorgeous celestial flower in the sky.


somewhere in the middle of these two light sources, the transition from brilliant light to soft light evolves. while i know the appearance of translucent clouds in that black void is the causation, i would prefer to let my mind create a storyline. maybe this line..."somewhere in the black void, the sky fairies' campfire smoke started to spread over the moon to create a soft drapery look"...or something like that...🤓


along with that, i would have loved to have andy williams suddenly appear and start singing "moon river". the moon certainly was a "dream maker" and a drifter along with me..."two drifters, off to see the world". with my propensity to making night images, i've become somewhat well-acquainted with the moon as a "friendly light" by night. we've had many adventures together and i'm looking forward to many more with that old friend of mine, the "man in the moon"!


well, i hope you enjoyed this blog! it feels good to be back writing and sharing as it's been a bit over a month since my last one. getting ready for the art crawl requires prepping when i'm not working my day job. so writing had to be put to the side for a time. but i'm back and at it. i'll be back to posting one every couple of weeks, sometimes sooner.


i'd love to hear your thoughts on this image. does negative space add impact for you as it does for me? perhaps seeing this image brought some fanciful thoughts/stories to your mind. share them with me here! i'd love to read them!


this image will soon be in my online store. you can also use the contact form on my website to ask about it if you are interested in purchasing a print. in the meantime, here is a scale representation of what it might look like hanging on a wall. one location i think it would look really good in would be a room like a man cave, a game room or a movie room...something like that. so i'm using a sample image that would be along that line.


24x36 image in game room for scale perspective
24x36 game room sample image

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thanks for your continued support of my blogs and photographic images. i'm quite excited to be sharing some great images that i've made recently. so keep an eye out for them via my blogs and postings on social media!


i'll see you next time with more "images from my quiet world"!




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3 Comments


As always I’m awed by your writing as much as your photography. And I love hearing your thoughts on how you do what you do and the whimsical thoughts that go along with it. Oh this man o mine! 💝

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stephen hadeen
stephen hadeen
May 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Penelope!

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Guest
May 09, 2023

Your description of the "negative space" reminded me of a similar thing in music, where there is a pause, sometimes called a "grand pause", longer than the normal tempo would dictate. One internet site described it as "... the pause before a cadence, which is used to delay the moment of resolution and create suspense.". There's your mystery - suspense. Another description: "In fast tempos, a fermata usually indicates a brief pause; at slower speeds, the fermata can be long and more drawn out. In a band or orchestra, the conductor will determine the exact duration. Longer pauses, called caesuras, indicate a suspension of time, a total (albeit momentary) halting of tempo and pulse." Here your "negative space" become…

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