Painting with the moon

Light is fascinating. In honor of the Perseid Meteor Shower‘s peak tonight, I wanted to share some of my playing and learning and loving of light. This summer I came across something I wrote back in the early 90’s:

So I’ve liked bright things for a long time. Quite possibly my favorite bright thing is the moon. (Some day I’ll probably name a daughter Luna). Recently I was lying on my crusty grass, shooting hopelessly inadequate photos of a full moon, and I made a discovery. A long shutter speed makes is possible to paint with the moon! Here’s a little collage of a sampling from my first round of paintings (I’m particularly proud of the letter “A” that I drew):

The only reason I can say that the moon ranks higher on my list than the sun is that they really are the same light source. One of my assignments at work is to help design an exhibit about photosynthesis. Richard Feynman has been a great source of inspiration for this project. I recommend you take 4 and a half minutes and listen to this Nobel Prize-winning physicist talk about light. He is a brilliant teacher. The sun, moon, plants, fire…it’s all pretty similar when we look through the lens of energy. And, some notable text would add that the same light of the sun, moon, and stars are fueled by a more transcendent light. “And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space— The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things” (D&C 88:11-13).

A week ago, camped along Bullfrog Basin at Lake Powell, I captured some images that rival my moon paintings. Four small children, siblings, were giggling as they ran in the dark parking lot. Each one had a small headlamp.

That same night I captured my first lightning bolt in film. I love light.