Nine years in progress, and the Praia Piquinia series continues to evolve – a result of my compulsion and commitment to observing and photographing there at various times of the year, at different times of the day. Eventually, and logically, I started to look at night. Of course, it was only possible to make those photographs when the moon graced my efforts. And from the very first time I tried it, a new obsession pulled at me. In fact, it became instinctive and imperative that I turn my focus towards the light itself.
We know the moon well, through storybooks, the cinema (Melies’ “A Trip to the Moon” not the least of them), NASA photographs, textbooks, backyard telescopes, planetariums, perhaps even charcoal drawings, croissants, and rounds of cheese – but of course, we know it best looking up. It occupies its familiar place in space, in legends, in our daily lives. Sure, we know the moon, though it may affect us in ways we aren’t aware of, or rather think about, except when its full. In any case, like Praia Piquinia, like so many things taken for granted, I wanted to see it anew. I wanted to see it in detail. And I wanted to see it writ large.
The route was long and filled with hard won introductions, visits to observatories, experiments with various telescopes, lenses and cameras…at one point, I thought this new series should be made up of all my near-misses and flat-out failures. But the subject was far and, after all, I was trying to “shoot the moon”. Over a year later, I finally arrived at the vision I’d hoped for using an assemblage of over 4500 photographs which I faithfully composed and enlarged to arrive at a single image over two meters wide. Technically, I reached the limit of what one can presently shoot photographically from the Earth. The scale, the detail, the cropping…here, the moon is not so much floating in space, but rather, it is the space. Maybe, like me, you will be pulled towards another way of seeing and thinking about it.