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Houston, We Have A Problem With This Weird Horizon by David McMahon

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Houston, We Have A Problem With This Weird Horizon by 

One of the reasons I like this image is that I think it forces you to look twice, to try and work out whether this was shot from outer space, through the window of a space shuttle.

The simple answer is no, I haven’t been on a NASA mission, although I’m waiting for them to call me!

I was shooting a Melbourne sunset a couple of years ago when I followed one of my own cardinal rules and looked AWAY from the main subject to see if there was anything else I could shoot.

Yes, there certainly was – this was what I saw reflected in the bottom segment of the windscreen of my own car.

Lucky shot – I had parked the car on the spur of the hill in just the right place. No science. No measuring of angles. No celestial geometry. Just a case of lucky positioning.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my work in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/60sec, ISO 400, focal length 125mm.


Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtover 5 years ago

    Awesome title. I know that movie well!!! Mistakes can be real fun at times. I love that you don’t enhance your photos. I do a little bit, but not much. I’m not a huge fan of tweaking a lot on photoshop and still call it photography. Art, definitely, but not photography!!! OK you got more than you bargained for here. Cool shot!!!

  • Thanks for a great comment, Cee. The strange thing is that I shot this as the sun was actually sitting on the horizon. Delighted that you like the shot and the title.

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 5 years ago

    Really great shot – like you I don’t use photoshop or any of those photograohic enhancers – wouldn’t know how to anyway!

  • Thank you, Shulie. I have nothing against imaging programmes – but it’s just a simple personal choice that I don’t use them, just like you.

    – David McMahon

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 5 years ago

    Awesome image!!!!

  • Thanks very much, Cheryl. Isn’t it interesting that the textures of the colours on the windscreen actually look like a painting?

    – David McMahon

  • Helen Corr
    Helen Corrover 5 years ago

    you’re right – it’s confusing – i sat with my head on an odd angle for while and finally ‘saw’ it – cool accident – and just for the record – i love editing – lol! this reminds me of one of Kitsummas panning shots …

  • Thanks for a great comment, Helen. That’s SOME compliment. I figured the angle was just so unusual that it might get some interesting viewpoints!

    – David McMahon

  • Helene Henderson
    Helene Hendersonover 5 years ago

    Very nice, David!

  • Thank you very much, Helene. I’m so glad you like the result!

    – David McMahon

  • Helene Henderson
    Helene Hendersonover 5 years ago

    I do. It is quite painterly as well :-)

  • Strange that you should say that, because the first time I looked at it on my computer screen, I was struck by the texture of the reflection.

    – David McMahon

  • micheleirene
    micheleireneover 5 years ago

    Love the contrast and composition David :)

  • Thanks very much, Shelly. Just lucky with the way I parked my car!

    – David McMahon

  • greenstone
    greenstoneabout 5 years ago

    absolutely stunning!! love the fact you dont edit your shots!!! wouldnt of believed this was a screen refelection!

  • Thanks very much, Greenstone. Just a personal choice that I never edit my images. Glad you liked this one!

    – David McMahon

  • EdsMum
    EdsMumalmost 2 years ago

    Congratulations, 29th Jan. 2013 – Shirley

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