contra luna

There is a phrase that delighted me when I learned it: contra-jour. If you have some French or other romance language, you recognize that as, basically, "against the day" and it means, in art at any rate, to sit looking towards the sun, and draw or paint (or photograph) what you see. If you think for a minute, you'll realize landscape painters and photographers generally do not do it that way. They position themselves at right angles to the illumination so the objects they are working on depicting have shadows that imply mass and form. Sometimes they look down-sun, and see everything illuminated in an interesting, flat way. Contra-jour means the sunlight is making you squint, and all the shadows are pointing directly at you, and things are oddly dark with very bright halos. There are moments when that is what you want, which is why there's a word for it.

This is sort of contra-jour, except my light is the setting moon, shining across the stretch of river north of Hadley. So I called it Contra Luna.

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