Moon Over Dulles - George Shadoan

Returning from an Atlanta business trip, from the newly opened daily garage at Dulles, I had a great view of the terminal. It was almost dusk. I knew that there was a magic 5 minutes when one could capture an incredibily luminous shot. With Christopher's dusk shot of the Capitol in mind, I waited for the magic 5 minutes. But alas, no one ever told me how to tell when the magic moment had arrived. This is what I got - braced against a rail.

Camera:   Contax G1
Lens:   35mm
Film:   Fuji Sensia 400
Exposure:   unrecorded
Posted:   02-May-2002

Rating: 6.33 (3 ratings)


Thanks Linc,

for the thoughtful comment. No question that your crop suggestions would help. I have some ome better shots of the moon/sky but these lost some of the detail I wanted from inside the terminal.

George Shadoan     03-May-2002 at 06:23

The Kindest crop. . .

George.. hmmmn, magic 5, eh? :-) I have to disagree with Lincoln... if you croppeda away the foreground it would have had to be before the tree tops or worse in the middle of them. I think considering your elevation and lens choice--a kinder crop does not exist. Or?

Jerome Belthrop     03-May-2002 at 10:07


I will post some comment on this shot, because I know that is what you want and are happy to deal with constructive criticism. Mostly I am concerned with the composition of the shot, and on THAT not even a filters help. So, I don't agree with Linc indicating that that would solve the severe problems that I compositionwise find in this shot. This shot is a long way from the best shot I have seen from your hand and I try to give you the reasons why. First of all I lack a clear focal point here, and the line structure seem to take the image apart in different subpictures that DO NOT, IMO, unite. What I see here is 1) a road bending to the left taking me in and out of the picture pretty quick. That is a subpicture on its on. Then I see 2) some trees which is the second subarea. These are selfcontained and at most they bring me into the open sky above which is not where I want to be. Then again there is 3) the biulding and the planes at the right side constituting a horizontal world of it own. And finally there is 4) the large open sky that is blocked from the rest of the picture by the strong horizontal structure mentioned. In stead of opening of towards the sky the lower half of the pictures blocks for it. I had to look at this picture several times to find the moon. But I have found it :-) My objections are a) you have tried to cover to much at once in this shot. This "much" b) don't work together (which could bring simplicty into a complex shot). The subpictures are blocking for each other as well as fot the overall theme. The main theme "moon" over Dulles does not work basicly since the moon is invisible not able to compete and take charge of the scene. A part from that (which I am sure that you know) the picture is tilted; the main horizon placed to low in the picture and the exposure has not been adjusted to handle both the sky and the ground in one go. The only mitigation factor is that from your point of view at the airport, you probably could not have done it much better and thus position yourself differently related the many items that you here want to deal with. This is a pretty hard task to give onself George, combining all these element into one coherent image. I am sorry to say for me this one does not work. But it is most certainly worth commenting on, which I have done. I am sure others on the list totally disagree :-)

Knut Skjærven     03-May-2002 at 10:31


Your 'seeing' was working here. It is a little busy. The facade on this building is calling my name. I'd have used my 90mm and put the facade, tower and moon in the frame. The 90 would have helped with the size of the moon. At 35mm focal length it's only a fraction of a millemeter wide on the frame. Also the top third of the frame doesn't have much going on there. I keep looking at the buildings facade. If I were there I might actually hesitate at taking any shots. There are too many paranoid security people at places like this.

MARK MILLEN     03-May-2002 at 18:17

ok, I'll throw my 2 cents in... the same spirit as Knut: It does not "gel" for me. I like the building, the moon, the cars and yes, the dusk light. But too many elements not lending anything to each other to complete a coherent image, IMHO. The empty sky adds little and just takes up space taking away a needed sense of balance. Also the trees are a nice pattern but again do not come together well with any other element. But there IS some good stuff here...hmmmm....I think if the sky had more "character" and color and the building somehow more defined or prominent it might work pretty well, perhaps a closer lens like the 45. Perhaps also a slight move to the left of your composition. And maybe on a tripod with a longer exposure by stopping down more. Then you'd have the building more prominent and more balanced on the right, the trees less promininetly centered in the foreground, and maybe more, longer and brighter lights from the cars. Of course you could do nothing about changing the sky so you had to work with what was there. I mention this as I do see a good potential here but somehow what ended up failed to fall together as well as I'd like. Just my 2 cents...

Richard Sintchak     03-May-2002 at 19:15


chatting like a canary ?? I thought I was roaring like a Lion :-) Shows you how wrong one can be. ... and yesterday I had fish and new potatoes. .... hmmm wonder what animal that would make me :-)

Knut Skjærven     04-May-2002 at 02:05


again. I down say it should be broken down in those element as separate images. Far from it. I say that is the image is constituted by element that do not not merge that well - IF you are looking for a more classical composed and coherent image, that is.

Knut Skjærven     04-May-2002 at 02:14

should be

"don't say". To early in the morning at this G-Whiz weekend. Remember go shooting Linc. hmmm maybe I will do a Linc shot.

Knut Skjærven     04-May-2002 at 02:17

Four cents more

My friend -- not a photographer or artist but has a good eye for design -- was looking at this picture the other day and reading the comments. She didn't like the idea of cropping off the bottom at all. She liked the bottom but wanted to see a lot of the sky cropped off. Testing it out by scrolling the image to try top and bottom crops, I agree with her. Although I like the idea to have a lot of sky at the top because it's an airport, there isn't anything up there except the moon and the tower. Having it be a longer narrow image makes it more panoramic, and you'd expect to see a lot of stuff in a panarama so all the stuff going on seems more acceptable. Then, if it were my image, I would darken it slightly and boost the contrast a bit. This makes the moon show up better and also makes the tree area less distinct to relegate it as foreground. So there you go. Not that either my friend or I know what we're talking about, mind you. :-)

Robin Kleb     04-May-2002 at 12:46

Just think...

if everyone who commented here had been lined up at this same spot and same time, how different all the images would be! That's the really cool thing about this site, getting new ideas and different ways to see things. I see your point, Linc, about cropping off the distractions from the bottom. You could actually crop the bottom AND the top for my panorama idea. I saw your "Aircraft Test Center" image before and liked it a lot. The sky was great and I liked those dark horizontal stabilizers poking up looking like shark fins.

Robin Kleb     04-May-2002 at 21:44


these comments show the great asset of this site. Thank you all. George

George Shadoan     06-May-2002 at 19:25