Friday, 30 October 2015

see the moon?

On the far side of the moon there is a crater called Niepce, named after Joseph Niécephore Niépce, inventor of heliography and the oldest surviving photograph. It is a worn crater formation, ‘with rim features that have been softened and rounded by subsequent deposits of ejecta’.[7] It is a careful, patient activity, to observe the features of the moon: one must follow the border of the sun’s illumination, the thin region between darkness and light where the shadows are longest — the shadow terminator, this place is called. In Niepce, it has been observed, there is a small crater shaped like a teardrop, likely created by a low-angle impact.

Tell me again, I ask the stations — tell me again how nothing is as it seems. Show me how fine a thing it is to spend one’s time securing moments of illumination for safe-keeping. Convince me — I want to believe — that every twinkling trace, every glance of light is an inscription, a burnishing, a tiny percussion in the surface of time: a still life, memento mori, to its passage. Take me there.

 Section of the essay See the moon? The Celestial and the Circular in Photography by  Emily LaBarge. Read the essay in full over at The Photographers Gallery blog 

( J.W. Draper, The Moon, 1840. Image: London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

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