Good photography happens when good light meets the prepared photographer. The photographer then takes matters into his own hands, he knows what to do, a careful composition is just as important as good light. The best compositions are simple, knowing what to leave out of the shot is just as important as what to put in.

Since this blog is not about photography, I hardly ever put my good photos up for display. Instead, I decorate my short ‘stories’ with snapshots and personal pictures. Keeping that in mind, I don’t feel bad showing you this photo:

The Basilica, the Cabot and a full moon rising - St. John's

The Basilica, the Cabot and a full moon rising - St. Johns

There are a couple of things wrong with this photo, but I took the shot anyway. As you can plainly see, this composition is not simple but rather busy. Both the Basilica and the Cabot vie for attention, but both can’t have it. The moon should be the star in this shot anyway, at least that’s the premise of shooting the photo this way.

So, why did I put the Basilica in front of this shot? Well, I didn’t, it was just standing there, in the way. If I could move the moon, I would. But I can’t, and since the path the moon takes is unwavering, there are only so many places you can stand to get the moon to rise exactly behind the Cabot Tower. Today, this spot was the only option available to me before sunset, short of knocking on the doors of total strangers to ask if I can have access to their bedroom windows or rooftops. Maybe I should get a job with Newfoundland Power, those guys can put up their aerial work platforms anywhere they want these days.

The other thing that’s ‘wrong’ with this shot is the light, the photo was taken on the very brink of sunset so the fill light on both the moon and the Cabot is rather weak. The best days for taking pictures of the moon are just before it is actually full, but as usual we had some weather spoiling both opportunities, yesterday and the day before. Taking the shot after sunset would have opened up many much better vantage points, but it would have been too dark too soon to balance the exposure of both the foreground and the full moon.

Consequently, I’ve marked the 21st of October in my calendar to try this again, but from a less crowded location.


For good measure, I got up early the next day and photographed the moonset as well, this time the Basilica was a more suitable foreground subject:

Moonset over the Basilica of St. John the Baptist - St. John's

Moonset over the Basilica of St. John the Baptist - St. Johns