by the light …

Full moon. earth eclipse takes place around 1 am tomorrow. Used tripod and remote control.

Toronto. … of the silvery moon. said the old song long long ago.  On the night of December 20, 2010 we were on the eve of an eclipse. Tripod in hand, I took this image with a Leitz Telyt 20cm lens attached to a Sony NEX-5 camera. The resulting image was adjusted (cropped, etc.) in Photoshop.

The lighting of the full moon is reminiscent of the northern light with its soft shadows. Of course the overall light intensity of a full moon is far too dim to substitute for a northern exposure in the early days of photography and the ultra slow emulsions of the 1800s. In studio, northern exposure daylight was best with side lighting to model the facial features to a more “plastic” and pleasing look rather than the flat effect of head-on lighting (or worse with flash, burned out highlights on the face and dark shadows behind).

Professional photographers made their most memorable shots by capturing the essence  of their subject with complementary lighting and framing.  If flash was used, it took a large soft-box or bounce from a light-coloured wall to properly illuminate the subject in a pleasing manner. Not the kind of approach used by many of the amateur snap-shooters of the day (with or without flash).

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