I’ve used the moon as a prominent feature in my landscape photography for almost as long as I’ve been a photographer. One of my goals is to show that our world is alive — that it’s different from one moment to the next. The moon plays more of a role in that than most people realize.
The moon always shows us the same face — it doesn’t rotate — but that doesn’t mean its appearance is unchanging. The moon is only 100% full for just a minute or two each month. And it’s in a different position in the sky minute-to-minute. The path eventually repeats, but it may take generations before it retraces that exact line.
Astronomers were able to pinpoint the exact moment Ansel Adams captured an image just by studying the moon. They determined he created “Autumn Moon, the High Sierra from Glacier Point” at 7:03 p.m. on September 15, 1948. The moon repeated the same performance 57 years later, but storm clouds in Yosemite prevented photographers from re-creating Ansel’s image.
Even when we can’t see the moon, it affects our landscape. Our highest and lowest tides occur when the moon is new.
While no substitute for actually setting foot on the moon — the 50th anniversary of the first humans to do that is this weekend — there is a lot to appreciate about the moon from here. Here are a few of my favorite moon images.
(The brand new edition is available of Kevin Ebi's bald eagle book, Year of the Eagle, which tells the story of a year in the life of Pacific Northwest bald eagles. Follow his photography on Facebook or Instagram.)