The Saga of the Dallas Fort Worth Skyline Triptych
My most recent project is the result of a commission by Delta Airlines for a 24 foot wide by 6 foot high mural of Dallas and Fort Worth combined.
I had done a similar combination for KTXD TV in 2013, but theirs was 208″ wide by around 96″ high. It could not be repurposed to the new dimensions of 288″ x 73″ – so… Back to the drawing board, so to speak.
I could re-use only a couple of the original elements in the original skyline, which meant going out to re-shoot lots of buildings and add some images from recent shoots of both cities. The most complicated elements were the Calatrava bridge (cutting it out of the background took the better part of an entire day) and Reunion Tower. Reunion Tower is a composite of two images. First, I shot it from the south side on a parking garage at sunset so I could get the detail of the column itself and the reflective blue-green of the outer walls. Then I shot the entire structure at night from the levee with a 400mm lens to get a tight high detail shot + the lights in all their glory. Then. And here’s the fun part. I pasted every single light into place over the sunset exposure after cutting the tower out of the sky. That took a very long time, as you might imagine. It’s also pretty tedious work. I love the result, though. Another of my creations that you can never find in nature.
In this incarnation of the DFW Skyline, I added in the most recent Supermoon from 2016. It was the largest Supermoon in decades and the detail of it was superior to the original. I had wanted to include one in the version for KTXD, but London Broadcasting preferred it with the ghosted Texas flag and no moon.
The final image looks like this:
Now, since this composition is so wide and short, it becomes a serious problem to produce, handle, transport and install. As a result, the version I am marketing is a triptych, available in three sizes only. These are Limited Editions, signed and numbered.
A 6′ wide set of 3 panels limited edition of 15 (on aluminum) for $1500
A 12′ wide set of 3 panels limited edition of 15 (on aluminum) for $3250
A 4′ wide single sheet limited edition of 25 (on aluminum) with the legend below it for $995
If you are interested in either one, send me a message or pick up the phone and call me at
The triptych version is rearranged slightly to allow it to be divided:
The single panel 48″ version with legend:
In case you missed the event of the decade (almost the century) this last weekend, we had a Supermoon / Beaver Moon that hasn’t happened since 1948 and won’t happen again until 2034. A Supermoon occurs when the orbit of our moon brings it in unusually close proximity to the earth. In this case it appeared 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon. This, of course, brought out everyone and their dog (ours wanted to stay at home) with a camera.
I have been wanting to capture a full moon over the Dallas skyline for a couple of years now and this seemed like the perfect time to do it, so Sunday evening just before sunset I headed to the levee. Doing a little preliminary research I determined the moon would rise at 73 degrees, so I parked in my usual obscure location and trudged about a quarter mile along the levee with 3o lbs of camera gear and a tripod to get set up.
There were 5 or 6 other photographers in the general vicinity and we all had our locations staked out for what we thought would be the best shot. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a lot of frenzied activity as all the other photographers were jockeying for position and realized the moon was finally making its appearance, peeking up between the buildings. I also hustled about 20 yards south to get a better vantage point and started shooting.
The problem with shooting the moon at sunset over the skyline is exposure. To get the buildings reflecting sunset colors properly exposed, the moon will be vastly 0ver-exposed. Getting the moon properly exposed renders the skyline totally black. So… This requires multiple exposures for every shot. Also, to get a good close-up of the moon requires a very long lens and getting the skyline requires something more normal (around 50mm).
To shoot the moon in close-up I used a 100-400mm Canon zoomlens with a 1.4x telextender attached. This results in a 560mm lens, which is almost enough. 1000mm is optimal.
All of the images I used are composites. In other words, I shot numerous images with different composition and different lenses. Then I combined them for the effect I wanted. Using a really big lens compresses distance and makes the moon seem larger. But… Cutting this same moon out, enlarging it and tucking it behind the buildings produces and even more remarkable composition.
Another problem with the Dallas skyline is that all of the buildings do not light up at the same time. To get everything illuminated optimally, you have to wait until about 8:00 this time of year. Therefore, I had to combine file photos with new images to create some of these.
So here they are.