“Dark Side” by Alessio Cavallaro

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

FRAMES Magazine
Every year we release four quarterly printed editions of FRAMES Magazine. Each issue contains 112 pages printed on the highest quality 140g uncoated paper. You receive the magazine delivered straight to your doorstep. We feature both established and emerging photographers of different genres. We pay very close attention to new, visually striking, thought-provoking imagery, while respecting the long-lasting tradition of photography in its purest incarnation.
Learn more >>>

Comments (16):

  1. Doug

    October 1, 2020 at 05:14

    Very cool image Alessio. Cudos to you for “seeing” that opportunity.

    • Alessio

      October 1, 2020 at 16:27

      Thanks for your generous response, Doug – greatly appreciated!

  2. Rita

    October 1, 2020 at 11:06

    Really interesting read, powerful image with powerful words, thank you for sharing.

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:08

      Thank you, Rita – appreciate your generous response.

  3. Annemarie Jonson

    October 1, 2020 at 13:28

    Brilliant Alessio! I remember puzzling over this photograph – wondering how you had captured a “textured” sky around the central image of the “lunar eclipse” – and discussing with you. I am so glad to see this wonderful image getting wide exposure.

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:11

      Thank you, Annemarie – deeply appreciate your ongoing interest … xA

  4. Belinda Webster

    October 2, 2020 at 00:19

    I love the way you think about your work. (I too don’t crop images. If something needs cropping I regard it as a failed shot….. We all make rods for our own backs!!) Great image.

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:12

      Thanx for your kind words, Belinda! x

  5. JiÀhn Charlotte

    October 2, 2020 at 09:12

    Intriguing image and fabulous read! Congratulations Alessio. Your description of the moon, so poetic. I love your creative flair!

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:17

      Very generous words, JiAhn – thank you!

  6. Debbie

    October 2, 2020 at 21:30

    Very interesting image – I love the simplicity of it. It grabbed my attention right away and I have been looking at it for a long time.

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:20

      Thank you Debbie – your engagement is my reward; your words my bonus!

  7. Chris Calohan

    October 3, 2020 at 15:15

    The normal becomes the not so normal, yet it appeals to the eye to look more than once.

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:22

      Thank you, Chris – many layers to uncover, all around us, every day!

  8. Charles

    October 5, 2020 at 12:19

    This is indeed a very nice picture !

    • Alessio Cavallaro

      October 14, 2020 at 13:23

      Indeed appreciate your response, Charles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *