O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
-Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
The full moon rose at 5:44 in Chattanooga tonight. I was still working. I failed to realize tonight was the full moon until well after 7PM. I took Tisen for a walk and looked up. Not only was the moon putting on quite a display, but Jupiter was there as if it were orbiting the moon.
As I shot the full moon in a completely clear sky, I thought about words of wisdom shared with me by another photographer about a year ago, although it seems more like a decade now. He told me not to bother to shoot the full moon. It turns into a flat rock in photos when it’s full.
Fascinated by the full moon as a subject, I undertook shooting the moonrise as often as possible so I could shoot the full moon as it clears the horizon. I’ve found this adds an interesting dynamic to the moon. Plus, the moon pretty much gets overexposed in order to preserve the other objects of the photo, so you get a ball of fire instead of a flat rock.
Tonight, I am too late. But it’s the last full moon of the 2012 and Jupiter is there beside it. So, I shoot it anyway. Unfortunately, Jupiter looks far more impressive in person than on “film.” The moon-rock effect is in full force, although I tried some additional adjustments in Aperture to try to make it more interesting.
I’ve supplemented the gallery with past shots of the moon. You can see how the crescent moon looks far more 3-dimensional. But I am still drawn to the full moon.
In the meantime, one of my friends posted a comment, “Oh! There’s a full moon! That explains everything!” I have often thought I had more energy and anxiety during the full moon. But, a quick search through some of the research available online doesn’t offer any proof that the full moon has any effect on our behavior at all.
I try to remember the explanation I once heard about why the full moon affects people’s behavior. I recall being told that the full moon had an effect on the gravitational pull, but my brief search tells me that the increased gravitational pull of the moon aligning with the sun happens at new moon, not full moon.
If only I could find an explanation for why I feel like howling.
Maybe Juliet was onto something. Maybe it’s the frustration of the inconstant moon changing shape, rising late, and appearing in unexpected places that makes me want to howl. Especially when I realize I’ve missed moonrise.
Oddly, Tisen doesn’t seem to feel compelled to howl at all. Maybe he doesn’t notice the inconstant moon?
- Full Moon: A special night for watching the sky (wjla.com)
- Conjunction Between Full Moon And Jupiter (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Star Gazers Delight Tonight! (valleywx.com)
- see moon (allofthebells.wordpress.com)