Who: Steve Pauken, 58, city manager of Bisbee.
When: June 15, 2013.
What: In his four-month attempt to photograph the sequence of the moon as it goes from new to full and back to new, Pauken wanted clouds out of the picture. Monsoon season, then, posed quite the problem. When Pauken snapped his shot of the moon peeking out from behind cloud cover, he did so thinking the photo would break his series of moon photographs. Later, the clouds disappeared, and he got the clear skies he wanted. “The pictures of the moon I was taking to get my series aren’t that interesting all by themselves,” Pauken said. “A good picture has character and shows something. The clouds, even though they were in my way, had a very interesting look to them. We’re used to having clear skies, so when it starts to cloud up for monsoons, it’s like seeing them all over again.”
How: Pauken grew up around cameras and a photographer dad, but traded out his old SLR camera for a more convenient point-and-shoot during his own years of fatherhood. Now, he has rekindled his interest in photography, training his new DSLR Canon EOS Rebel T3i on the skies, landscapes and wildlife. For the moon shot, he used a 300 millimeter lens from his old SLR Canon. “Here you can’t run out of subjects,” Pauken said. “It took me a year and a half to shoot 10,000 photos, and that doesn’t count the pictures I took with the point-and-shoot and phone cameras.”
Arizona Daily Star photo editor Rick Wiley’s comments: “There are many dramatic sunsets among the contest entries. I ended up leaning toward the subtle images. Steve Pauken’s moon behind a pastel curtain of clouds was a moment of nuance in the atmosphere. The cloud pattern shrouding the moon has a painted texture. Every photo is a moment in time, but this one is a little harder to spot.”