After months of waiting for clear nights and the right phases, I can finally reveal to you the project that I mentioned a while ago. The Moon Phases. None of these are color corrected at all; that moon really was that red, and the atmosphere was still so thick the following morning that I could stare at the sun with no problem and see individual sunspots on its surface. I also discovered that it's quite hard to get a clear shot of a thin crescent moon. For one thing they're uncommon, and for another they hover so close to the horizon that there's always more distortion through the atmosphere than if it was straight overhead. Lastly, none of these shots are duplicated or rotated, so from the vantage point of Tennessee, what you see here is the section of the lunar cycle that we typically see, at least during the summer.
Now for some bigger news. For those of you observant enough to read subject lines, you'll notice that this is the 100th Weekly Photo. Yes indeed. One photo every week for the past 100 weeks. That's basically two years, and it's come a long way since the first one taken of myself on a nighttime street in Etowah, Tennessee. What started as a simple challenge has exceeded expectations and become one of the biggest positive influences ever on my photography, in both quality and consistency. It's been fun, stretching, and sometimes panicked, but totally worthwhile, and would be the first thing I recommend to anyone wanting to improve their photography.
Where to go from here? That's a good question, one for which I've been trying to come up with a good answer for. Keep going? I really want to, but there's a new element thrown into the mix now: college. Yes, I'm now in college full time, with all of the annihilation of free time that comes with it. The Weekly Photo could continue, but what about the drop in quality that would in all likelihood follow since there wouldn't be a healthy mount of time to devote to it?
On the flip side, it's painful to think of it ending. Two years is a long time. It's become part of my weekly routine. Without it, the camera will inevitably stay in the bag longer and long for usage, which is a sad thought indeed. Then, of course, there are you all, faithful readers/viewers. You've helped immensely in keeping this whole thing on track, and all of the feedback has been greatly appreciated. For this, I thank you. I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing these every week, and maybe it even brightened your day or taught you something new.
Now that everything's on the table and out in the open, it's with mixed emotions that I officially declare the Weekly Photo decommissioned until further notice. This e-mail list will continue to exist for periodic updates and occasional non-Weekly Photos, but don't expect to have your inbox brightened on a regular weekly basis by SkySail. Feel free to join me in a moment of silence for this momentous and somber day. In a way these moons make for a fitting final image. It shows the passage of time, of consistent effort, and that things have a beginning and an end. Sounds like a good metaphor to me.
Finally, I'll leave you with this. More than anything, I hope these photos and written experiences have at least taught you this one thing: Get out there. It doesn't matter where "there" is, just go there. Don't feel motivated to go? Get out there. Don't think you'll find anything good? Get out there. It doesn't matter what's there, because if you keep your eyes wide open to the wonder that is the world all around you, and hopefully have a camera along for the ride, there's absolutely nothing that can't be fascinating simply by the very act of existing in this enigma we call reality, because reality is simply the foundation of imagination. Get out there and see and imagine what it would be like to fly with cranes by the moon, stare a damselfly in the eye and wonder what secrets it could tell, hear the story of a young street violinist in Times Square, and feel the thunderous power of fireworks resonating in your chest. We'll never truly encounter life from behind screens, books, or closed doors. That only happens when we get out there, the wide world with all of its imperfections, dangers, uncertainties, and limitless possibilities. However you do it, with camera, pen, or nothing but an open mind, there's all of creation ready for our exploration of imagination. Now...Get out there...