‘Blue Moon’

Kicking ideas around for a night time photo for my local photographic club’s monthly challenge started me thinking about the moon above the mountains across the valley from my house. A bit staid as an idea so decided to try a studio shoot using a ceramic sculpture by Peter Hayes.

This isn’t something I have done before and without studio equipment I had to improvise. Shutters down to blackout the room. Backcloth made from cutting up a black dress (not mine!). Secured the backcloth to the wall behind the sculpture with sellotape and cut a hole in the dress (whoops!) so I could poke a blue light through to illuminate the glass disc at the top of the sculpture. Side lighting to capture the textures on the sculpture’s face was provided by my iPhone torch sellotaped to a desk lamp. The image was then cropped and processed to give this result – ‘Blue Moon’. Don’t start humming the song!

Blue Moon


  2 comments for “‘Blue Moon’

  1. May 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I really like this abstract. If you hadn’t told me I would have assumed it was a painting not a photo. I really like the idea, the composition and the cropping. Very creative and effective and it’s no wonder someone wants it. I was wondering it you had been influenced by some of Hodler’s work involving the moon and the halo effects etc? He also used strong blue colours at one point.

    • davidcollinsfoto
      May 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Jane. Thanks for the comment, very much appreciated and so useful to have your thoughts on possible links to the wider art world.

      Ferdinand Hodler is someone who’s landscape work I appreciate (not so much the portraits). The photograph wasn’t directly influenced by his work although his tendency to have strong graphic elements/patterns and repetitions of shapes is a style of landscape I am gravitating more and more towards. Sometimes they are more abstract like the Blue Moon image and sometimes they are clearly an extract of part of the landscape (as Ansell Adams would have called them) such as part of the bark on a tree or the patterns made by pebbles on a stream bed distorted by the ripples in the water and although they are photos of reality they have an abstract feel to them as the framing and subject confuses the context.

      I have a number of favourite Hodler images, I like his use of blue and how he layers the colour to give depth in some of his mountainscapes and have used a similar approach with a sunset photo I took a while ago but using a red/orange/yellow palette. I think my favourite painting of his is The Beech Wood where the colour scheme is almost monochromatic but it works so well with the receding vertical lines of tree. I did something similar in black and white for the ‘Elements of Design’ assignment in TAOP but when I later saw Hodler’s interpretation of a similar scene I realised how much better the subdued colour palette looked to the black and white. I will have to go back and take the shot again but I will probably have to lose the sky which might be difficult which is where the painter scores against the photographer because we have to find ways of working around the reality of the scenes we find.

      Once again thanks for comment.

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