Thursday, June 16, 2011

I See the Moon (in Everything): My Obsession

Ember Grove
As Mr. Magpie and I were leaving the house last night for our evening walk around the neighborhood, I said, quite casually, "I think I'll bring my camera."  This, of course, is a little like a scuba diver saying, "I think I'll bring my oxygen tank," a fact I realized even as I was uttering the words, and which was confirmed by my husband's uncontrolled laughter.  Many of you know what I'm talking about.  Our husbands, friends, and families have come to accept that dinner won't be served until each dish has been photographed in just the right light with steam rising tantalizingly from the pasta/potatoes/risotto.  They know that any visit to a new restaurant will require shots of the decor, the specials board, the entrees, and the creme brulee.  They no longer bat an eye when we haul out our cameras at greenhouses, antiques shops, used bookstores, and, the big one . . . cafes--for who among us can resist snapping a foamy latte on a granite counter with a pretty heart fashioned from the milk froth?

Angela Adams
I'll come out and say it: I am an addict.  I'm hooked on the click, the frame, the snap, and shutter.  I'm hooked on light and color and control.  That's right, control.  I decide what to leave in, what to leave out.  I decide how bright or dim, how focused, how blurred, how washed out or saturated with color.  Most of all, I'm hooked on remembering moments--flashes of perception and thought and feeling.  A photo brings back smells and sounds and emotions.  It brings back physical sensations: the feel of cobblestones beneath my feet, the salt breeze coming in off the bay.

Squid and Whale Tattoo
Last night, as we made the long loop up the hill and around our neighborhood,  Mr. Magpie waited patiently while I snapped pictures as if our little world would disappear tomorrow.  The thing is, for me it would.  At least this version of it would, this twilit June night under a full moon when the air felt soft and still warm from the day.  The streets were quiet.  Nearly everyone was inside watching the Bruins beat the Canucks for the Stanley Cup.  As I framed a shot of the moon rising over our park on the bay, joyous shouts rose up and tumbled out the open windows of one of the old Victorians on the Prom.  The Bruins  scored their first goal of the night just as I took the shot below. 

By the time we made it home, I had taken 86 photographs.  Just like that.  Nearly half were of the moon.  But then, as I looked through the shots, I began to see the moon in all of them; circles emerged, full moons and half moons and silvery crescents.  I realized then another reason I'm obsessed with photography: patterns.  This fascination also lends itself to my love of writing and of art in general.  I love patterns--the ones I see in a field of daisies, in a well-wrought poem, or in a lovingly designed room.
Add caption
And so, it was there in the O's of a favorite restaurant's sign--the moon was in the spoon-- 

and soon, I found it in the patterns of windows . . .

Laura Fuller Glass
in the spectacles (or lunettes as in lune, as in moon) in a favorite studio

in the creamy white of a bloom . . .

Willa Wirth
Willa Wirth

in the display and sign of an amazing jeweler . . .

Otto Pizza
in the pies at a beloved hangout . . .

and strung on a line behind a neighbor's place.

The moon was everywhere at once, and it was up to me to find it.  And that's just it.  Camera in hand, I am both treasure-seeker and archivist.  And the treasure usually lies where I least expect it--in a mood or a color or shape . . . or something else I didn't see at all until I peered through the lens.  


  1. And yes, even hockey pucks are shaped like the moon! :D

  2. Oh thank you thank you thank you Gigi! I love every single one of your photos and found myself saying...I see it too! The moon, in every shot!
    ps...what a wonder to live in such an amazing place...sigh.

  3. Gigi this is the most gorgeous photography!! I was driving home the other night marveling at the full moon!

    Art by Karena

    Come and join my Giveaway from the Novica Artisans!

  4. ENCHANTMENT...pure enchantment... I feel refreshed seeing all this moon-glow-wonderment... Thank you, Gigi! :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

  5. oh my ... such a gift to go on this stroll with you ... these are so much more than photos, dear gigi ... so much more ... : )
    exquisite captures each and every one ...
    and as you were probably just slipping indoors, my son and i were walking from my studio to the house when i was absolutely stopped by the moon, just rising and glowing unbelievably through the trees ... i grabbed his arm ... 'look'! it was reflecting on water laying in the field ... brilliant and stunning! i was going to grab my camera (always take your camera everywhere with you ~ you are so wise : ) but he was a hungry boy, just getting home from work, so we went in.
    "i see the moon and the moon sees me
    and the moon sees someone that i want to see"
    i am so grateful for you ...

  6. glorious, gorgeous moon inspiration!

  7. Gigi, I really loved going on this stroll with you and Mr. Magpie and your camera. Awesome, beautiful, fun images! You are good, girl!
    What a wonderful place you call home.

  8. That's it. You've captured it exactly. The why of taking a camera everywhere you go. I haven't been lately. Honestly, I've been tired and tired of schlepping a heavy bag. Plus, I wanted to carry my summer purse. But, I've found that I have missed so many wonderful photos. Then, I come here. Come here and am reminded of why I love my camera and never mind the schlepping. And I know... it's back to the huge bag. Time to carry the camera.

    Thank you.

  9. Outstanding pictures. I love that you have your friends trained to wait....

  10. Not an addict..............a pro! I am just not paying attention and need to carry my camera with me more. Gorgoeus evening shots Gigi.......keep clicking away. XO

  11. So, so glad you brought your camera, your oxygen!

    All of the moons have such a beautiful quality to them, just magical.

    I grew up in Cape Elizabeth, and seeing these images, I could just smell the salty air you describe.

    Thank you for the bella luna!

  12. How wonderfully enchanting. I love the moon and i really liked how you found it in all your photos.

  13. Gorgeous patterns. That first moon picture particularly was just beautiful. I always regret when I don't take my camera, so I guess I am addicted too. But isn't it just delightful?

  14. Oh I had to laugh reading your 'why we take our camera with us'! It was me to a T. I've known for some time I have this addiction, can even pinpoint where it first started, the birth of my first child. But there's something so nurturing and loving taking a photo of my darlings little cherub face to taking a picture of orange fungi on a fallen log in a park on a winter's day. I have no excuse,I think I probably always would have been like this if photography wasn't in the domain of the rich when I was growing up, now all we need is a phone and we're away, up to the moon.
    Love, love your photos Gigi, the colour, the symmetry, the subjects...

  15. As I read this my first thought was that you should write a book about photography and I realized that I think I said this recently in another post! Your words and your photography are both so beautiful! I don't think we had that same moon here in RI last night:)

    Mr O is always considerate and encouraging of my need to carry my camera everywhere but I do have a friend that looks at me weirdly when I start to take pics in stores and restaurants...she makes me I appreciate my husband even more!

    You would be fun to go on a photo walk with!

  16. Your photos are lovely. I too am enchanted by my camera but I am careful when I use it. Looking for that perfect shot can also mean that I am not actually engaged with what is happening... When I want to really be with someone and enjoy their company, I leave the camera at home and capture the beauty of the moment in my mind's eye.

  17. Thank you for all of this sweet, lunar glory!

  18. Amazing what we can find if we really look and see. So many moons - fantastic series!

  19. Beautiful photos, Gigi! This is one addiction for which no intervention is warranted. ;)


Thank you so much for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing from you.