Photographs, like words, are associative agents of memory, time and place.
A few nights before the massive explosion in Beirut and the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I stared for a few moments at the large luminous winter moon. Thoughts turned to nuclear war, Covid-19, and other existential tragedies.
Back inside the house, I wrote: ‘The moon has returned, fully focused and unblinking with ambivalence on all the maladies of this world. Soon, it will slowly turn away again, glancing over its shoulder with a wink of compassion, or maybe despair, from a safe dark distance.’
The rumination brought to mind this photo that I had recently taken of an opaque disc lighting fixture on a textured pale blue wall, noticed in passing and instantly reimagined as a solar corona or eclipse, a galactic black hole, a hovering space craft.
Although the text alludes to both a full and waning crescent moon, the image also suggests a part of the Earth’s surface (or dense cloud cover) viewed from behind the moon. However, beyond such visual metaphors, I was more interested in the simple haloed circle.
The image is actually in colour, unaltered in any way. The black and white effect is a result of the camera’s close proximity and auto response to the intensity of the light source, and exemplifies my lo-tech approach to photography and experimentation.
I have only one camera, a pocket ‘Cyber-shot’ that has permanently remained in factory setting mode since unpacked ten years ago. I shoot in JPEG format and never alter, ‘correct’ or crop images. Therefore, framing (always hand-held, without grid display) is particularly important to me.
In a sense, my photography is a sustained exploration of how the same setting of this camera responds to a diverse range of subjects and lighting conditions. Essentially, this strictly applied technical constraint defines and expands aesthetic challenges as well as creative potentials, yet also determines (‘limits’) my choice of subjects and details.
And, while I admire many marvelous visions, styles and techniques of other photographers, I am mostly influenced by cinematography, painting, and graphic design.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
Stark minimalism; immersive intensity.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
I would zoom out slightly so that the disc appears smaller within a wider negative space.
Alessio Cavallaro shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Alessio Cavallaro, Sydney, Australia
Equipment and Settings
SONY Cyber-shot DSC WX5 (2010) digital pocket camera
12.2 megapixels; JPEG file
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