It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…


Which sounds way better than Worm Moon. Poor Worm Moon, superseded by our current love of all things supersized.

In case you live under a rock, this particular full moon was to appear 14% bigger than the “regular” sized moon, because of the moon’s proximity to earth. That’s a decent amount of moon supersizing. From the left to the right is a 14% increase.

Several people commented they tried to photograph the Supermoon. It doesn’t come out right, does it? It’s because the cameras still aren’t as good as our eyes. This goes back to the “we photograph light” thing. The great big full moon is so bright against the dark sky, that it ends up being just this blob of a spotlight to the camera. No picking up the subtle shadows of the Sea of Tranquility. No gentle smile of the rising moon.

You’ll notice the best photographs are the ones where the sky is still pretty light, so there’s less extreme contrast. Or, like this one, where a few clouds mute the brightness, allowing for something less than glare.

At any rate, hopefully you got to see it. Lots of people had clouds. Even if you didn’t, it was really the same gorgeous moon we see come and go every night and day. The Worm Moon is for the advent of robins and the worms they eat. The soil is warming and thawing. The birds are singing. Yesterday was also the Spring Equinox.

I forgot to mention last month that the Chinese Year of the Rabbit that we just kicked into is also the year of the moon. Here’s a neat bit I found:

According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. Not many people know that the Rabbit is the symbol of the Moon, while the Peacock is the symbol of the Sun, and that together, these two animal signs signify the start of day and night, represent the Yin and Yang of life. It is said that anyone making supplications for wishes to be fulfilled are certain to get what they want… and in the Year of the Rabbit, the wish-granting aspect of the Sun and the Moon combined is multiplied. The Moon is YIN and this is the Yin of Heaven, signifying magic. Thus on each of the Full Moon nights of this year, go out into your garden to gaze into the Full Moon and visualize plenty of Moon dust and Moon glow flowing into you, filling your whole body with bright white light and granting you fearlessness, love and courage. This will not only strengthen your inner “Chi” energy, it will also bring wisdom into your life.

So, go make your wishes on the moon. Catch your breath. Calm your nerves.

Fill yourself with moon dust and moon glow.

Go be fearless and wise.


We Photograph Light

If I was organized, I’d keep a list of which photos I’ve used on the blog before.

In fact, feeling a surge of organizational enthusiasm, I just started a spreadsheet to track them. I know you’re relieved. Though we walk through the Valley of Chaos, we fear no disorganization, for Excel is by my side.

Okay, yeah, I had fun at the photography class last night.

After I reluctantly dragged myself to it. Working from home, I’ve developed a disconcerting tendency to not want to leave the house. Not to mention in the evening, after a full day of writing and day job. Somehow it feels like so much effort.

Which I know is lame and pathetic.

Fabulous class, really. One thing I should remember about myself is that I’m an auditory learner. My reading comprehension is decent, but there’s nothing like having someone EXPLAIN something to me. Also this guy, Steven Walenta, clearly teaches this Digital Photography class for the Continuing Education end of Santa Fe Community College quite a lot. He had clear, informative slides, took his time and showed patience for all questions.

One of my favorite things he said: We photograph light.

Of course, we kind of know this already, right? We only “see” objects because of the photons bouncing off of them and back to our eyes. So we don’t photograph the rain chain, for example, but rather the light bouncing off the rain chain. This changes how you make decisions about your camera settings.

Suddenly it all makes sense to me.

Oddly, I was the youngest person in the class, with the possible exception of a woman with some kind of Scandinavian accent. She also had gorgeous Scandinavian skin, so I’m not positive of her age bracket. The rest of the ladies – yes, all women taking this class – were more in their 50s and 60s. Do the younger people all understand their cameras already? One of my twitter friends, Chudney, suggested that many people don’t pursue their interests until later in life and I’m ahead of the game. Which is a lovely spin.

But why no men in the class?

In my previous snarky literary circles, and yes, they were famous for being snarky – that’s how you could tell they were literary – authors would bitch about “all the middle-aged ladies” taking writing workshops. Oh, I’ve seen and heard the most disdainful remarks about how these women have money and nothing to do with themselves. Some of these “vacation-type” writers workshops you see now and again that look obscenely expensive? Yes, targeting this type of student.

The implication, of course, is that these are lesser humans, who will never achieve what the teacher has. But we’ll take their money, anyway.

Instead, I find them admirable. They’re dragging themselves out to an evening class to learn something new and intimidating. I think I’m overwhelmed by my new camera? How about the lady in her late 60s/early 70s who’s never downloaded a photograph to a computer?

I watched Steven move around the room, helping people find the settings on their cameras. Never impatient, never disdainful, even though he must have explained pixels ten-thousand times before, he showed a gift for teaching what he knew. And a pleasure in his subject.

The literary snarks could learn something from this.