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Submit Your Most Unique Photo

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2.3 - "Needs Work" 

Flying into Huntsville one evening I saw a magnificent harvest moon on the horizon. It was a sight anyone would want to photograph, but I wanted something uniquely Huntsville. Later passing by the Saturn V at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center the idea for this photograph was born!

This idea was just the beginning of a 9-month journey with many attempts to capture the image envisioned that night. A moment lasting only a few minutes, requiring perfect placement, and of course the agreement of mother nature. Finally, the long-held vision was captured in camera! The print offered here is the result of my journey to produce an image reminiscent of the journey to go Beyond by a generation enticed by the unknown, and a reminder there is still so much to explore.

This image is not a composite. Minimal edits for exposure and tone have been done to preserve the natural beauty of the moment.

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7 Comments

Chris Mai's picture

Makes me think of the famous Peter Lik moon image. He might have hidden the top of the rocket behind the moon :)

Steven de Vet's picture

I like the idea of it. And it sure takes a lot of planning and work to get to this point. So, well done! Waiting for the right weather, moon phase, etc. So an easy 3 stars for me.

Perhaps a personal preference. little more post processing maybe to make it pop a little. Perhaps it would also be stronger without the trees in the background (especially the darker ones in the bottom left)

It's impressive that it's done in-camera, and that's part of the strength of the photo. Still I can't help but feel a composite without the blurry edges of the moon would result in a stronger image (not a stronger photo, but stronger image if that makes sense..)

As for the unique-ness of the image. It is a unique moment. But, as it's part of a museum, it is displayed there in a spot for years. So, it's a little less so than if it was actually a nasa or space x rocket that was about to be blasted into space.

James Fluhler's picture

Thank you for your thoughts. I have seriously considered making an edited version to clean up the edges of the moon a little and some masking to make certain areas pop more. As I agree a cleaner moon would make a more striking image. I had not considered removing the trees although it would be fairly simple to replace them with sky. Something to play with for certain!

I would love to get a shot of SLS on its first “human payload” launch for example but that would be some crazy timing to work out!

Appreciate your time to share your thoughts with me!

Cliff Mueller's picture

What focal length did you need to get this great shot?

James Fluhler's picture

100-400mm @400 with a 2x adaptor. 3.37km from the rocket.

Eric Wilson's picture

One of my favs in this week's theme... I love the planning and intent that went into it and it's a fantastic result. Sure, I'd +1 to the slightly touched up edit suggestions - but with that, I think it'd easily be a shot an air/space museum would want to use as a poster or framed art or something. Great job!

James Fluhler's picture

Thanks for your kind words. I have been working on some cleanup thanks to comments here and I think its helped a lot. It will definitely make me look at my composition a bit closer next time I have an opportunity to try another shot.