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Moonlighting, by Mark Harvey

1 January 2022

I have been a fell runner for over 30 years and this involves training during the winter and running in the Peak District National Park when it’s dark and in all weathers, sometimes with a group but often alone. On those rare occasions when it’s full moon and the sky is clear the landscape takes on a different look and feel, and even when visiting tourist hotspots you very rarely meet anyone else.

As opposed to sunlight the light from the moon is reflected so for the last few years I have been experimenting using this light in the landscape during the middle part of the moon’s gibbous phase.

I have found a number of challenges carrying out this work, firstly there are only four or five days a month when the light is strong enough to create strong shadows and of course the sky has to be clear. On many occasions I have set off cloud-free for it to become overcast by the time I’ve walked in to my intended location. The other challenge is ‘seeing the light’ - in daylight I look to see where the shadow detail lies but at night I have to look for the areas of light which are sometimes quite subtle. The final issue I find challenging is how light or dark to make the image, I find it tempting to overexpose the image to make it look like daylight whereas what I experience is a heavy feeling of being alone in the space I see through the viewfinder, similar to being under a cloth when using a 5 X 4 camera.

This work is very much a personal project, I have only entered the work to a couple of competitions and it was shortlisted for the RPS annual show this year.

Mark Harvey has worked as a freelance photographer for the past 30 years, mainly producing press and PR content for government departs, charities and trades unions.

He says; "leaving a Grammar school in North Devon as an academic failure I applied and successfully completed the training to become a Royal Marine and served for over six years. One of positives for me from this experience was the ability to not only ‘look’ but to ‘see’, a skill I use in my photography to this day. After buying myself out, something that didn’t sit well with colleague, I worked offshore in the oil industry for a number of years before gaining a place on the BA Fine Art Photography course at Derby. My freelance work has allowed me the opportunity to work on personal projects such as Moonlighting and volunteering at a couple of local charities working with refugees, people suffering from a mental illness and rough sleepers. Although not paid I find this work the most rewarding as I’ve used my experience as a photographer to help them gain media attention and raise awareness and funds for the important work these organisations do."

Awards and exhibitions 2021

November 2021- As a Winner at the 14th International Colour Awards, published in the 2021 Winners Book and Winner Videos.

September 2021- To the Gate, an exhibition raising awareness of homelessness during lock down, Sheffield Cathedral.

July 2021- Shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) International Exhibition 163

April 2021- Shortlisted- Pink Lady Food awards 2021

January 15th, 2021- Chosen for The Print Swap by Feature Shoot and exhibited at the Blank Matca Gallery, Hanoi

See more work by Mark Harvey

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