Posted by
Jeffrey (Scottsdale, United States) on 31 August 2015 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Because I am a nighttime photographer who is almost always looking for more available light, it's natural to assume I love full moons. And I do ... sort of. But I'll bet not nearly as much as you might think, because for my purposes, moonlight is often the wrong kind of light. For better and worse, it's an equal opportunity light source, painting everything in its path with a soft, diffuse light that fills shadows and reduces contrasts.

The problem is that I like shadows and high contrast in my photos, and while it's true I often do wish I had more light available, soft, diffuse light usually isn't the kind of light I want. But I like to keep an open mind about such things and there are exceptions, such as this photo, which I probably wouldn't -- maybe even couldn't -- have taken on any night other than one with a full moon. That's because in order to keep the brightly lit vestibule from blowing out, I had to use a fairly short exposure (for me, anyway) and this would ordinarily cause the shadow areas (which cover most of the composition) to go inky black. Thanks to the full moon, however, there was sufficient light available to balance the exposure between highlights and shadows and reveal details in the roof tiles and window frames and the tops of the shrubbery and bushes, without which (IMO) this photo wouldn't have worked nearly as well.