Blog

The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Total Lunar Eclipse Supermoon - January 20th, 2019

Did you see tonight’s supermoon total lunar eclipse?  I braved the 4ºF wind chill and got you a few photos, and was reminded of the last eclipse I watched: the total solar eclipse, from Niota, Tennessee two years ago. Unfortunately I had some clouds start moving overhead during totality, and I couldn’t feel my fingers anyway, so I was happy to call it a night and warm back up.

If you’re interested in prints or wall art of my astrophotography, you can order by clicking here.

For You: Winter of 2018
For You: Winter of 2018

Shenandoah National Park & Blue Ridge Parkway

As many of you know, I take an annual trip along Skyline Drive on peak weekend of Fall colors.  Most trips involve taking pictures of our cars, although all of us got some great car photos last year, since it was the first year I'd had my new car for the trip.

As of late I've been quite cooped up concentrating on a major project I just finished up this past week, so the sole purpose of this weekend was to get out and go for an enjoyable scenic drive; photography given a secondary priority.  As it is, I have photos from this Summer when I took Alyssa on Skyline Drive and up Stony Man Mountain.

This trip was a little different because I drove further along Skyline Drive than I've ever gone before; I drove the entire length all the way to the Rockfish Gap South Entrance, and right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.  An item on my Bucket List is to drive and even camp out the entire distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway; we only did a small segment of it today before turning around and heading to downtown Charlottesville for dinner and antiquing.  All in all, I drove almost 300 miles.

Eero Saarinen's Dulles Airport Main Terminal

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This January I was commissioned by Washington Dulles International Airport's Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to photograph Eero Saarinen's historic Main Terminal building.  When MWAA employees retire, they are presented with a commemorative photograph of the Airport's Main Terminal, normally signed by other employees who worked closely with them, giving support and leaving their good wishes.  Even I received one when my 7 years with the Airports Authority came to a close.

This photo is, however, dark, out of date, and no longer known where the negative is for reproduction.  The Airport wanted an updated version; a portrait of the historic Airport at its 50 year anniversary.  One that is bright and shows how the Airport has flourished.  It's a pretty picture; I like it a lot!... but it's reached its time, and I was tasked with creating a suitable replacement.  Quite an honor!!!

The photograph was taken from an unusual angle not often seen; most photos of the Terminal are shot from the West, given the ease of access to Daily Garage 2.  The retirement photograph is shot from the East, which requires access to the Signature Flight Support hangar's upper rooftop - the decision to shoot from this same angle was easy, as it is so unique.  Weather was a constant factor, and it took 3 attempted shooting days to get the final image.  Below are some of the shots I took while on the rooftop, waiting for the perfect lighting, chronologically from my first attempts to the final image.

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It was very strange seeing an aircraft depart for Germany that I know I've been aboard, and was present for its very first landing at Dulles.

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Finally I had the shot I was looking for; dramatic sky, and a brightly lit Terminal.  The lighting on the Terminal wasn't quite warmed up yet, so the final image actually is a composite of two exposures to bring the dynamic range back to what was visible at shooting.  I had been focusing on wider shots since that was what the previous photo had been, but I quickly noticed that a zoomed view offered greater perspective and overal character to the image.  My gut was right, and the Airport unanimously chose my final shot of the Terminal; zoomed in to 140mm, with vibrant streaking across the sky.

The final photo is available for print purchase on my client site here.

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The Airport LOVED it.  Absolutely LOVED it.  I was shocked how much; I actually got hugged when they saw it, and it quickly got around to other offices - the Finance Department will actually be using the image as the cover for Dulles' latest Annual Report, along with several other of my images inside.  The photo was an exercise in Photoshop as well, as there were two large utility trucks parked in front of the Terminal that proved challenging to remove; the end result is quite stunning!

Finally, as I turned to leave, my gear already packed in my bag, I saw the new full Moon, orange on the horizon as it had just risen as the sun set; I quickly set my gear back up and got a moon shot before retiring from the Signature Flight Support rooftop, a new portrait of Dulles saved to my camera's CF card.

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