Dulles Airport

My home airport and considering its all of 5 minutes from my house easy to get to.  This is the main terminal and you can see one of the towers in the background.  I have seen a shot like this in my head every time I have driven to the airport on official airport business (meaning the main road is backed up so I take the airport road), or when I fly in or out of it.  What I didn’t know was how to get the shot so breaking several state, local, and federal laws and feigning ignorance of said laws in case a law enforcement official was to appear I went for it.  Dulles has a smaller terminal for private jets so I managed to get myself there and park the car and jump out and grab the camera and the tripod and have it setup in record time.  One of the joys of my location was I was on the main exit road for all terminal traffic so I had to time shots around vehicles and with long exposures that can be a challenge.  I managed to fire about 6 shots.  Even had several law enforcement vehicles roll past me without so much as a glance.

I went with a 16×9 crop to get rid of the parking lot and some of the lights which tend to sparkle a bit too much on long exposures like the one that made the picture.  The other cool thing about the 16×9 crop is that it really gives you a perspective of the size of the building.  One of the problems I faced was the main terminal was brightly lit but the tower wasn’t so the shots had to be relatively short for a long exposure because it would blow out the building.  I went for black and white as well because there wasn’t a lot of color to the image to begin with.  Filtering some colors out to get the light down even more to keep the building from being too lit up then played with the curve tool to bring it down some more.  Finally added a slight coffee finish and adjusted it to give the tone I wanted.  Was a bit noisy but used ye olde Photoshop and removed it then sharpened it during the resizing to give the image..

I should point out that this was all done on my newly acquired 70-210 f/4 Canon that I picked up for around $40 from a thrift store.  For the type of shooting I do it’s perfect and I don’t regret selling the 70-200 2.8 I had since I rarely used it and I don’t need 2.8 speed for long exposures.  Can even be used as a portrait lens if I need something longer than my 85mm.

Dulles Airport
Canon 5DMK2, 125mm, ISO 200, f/11, 4 sec.