Test Shots for Dallashenge

According to my calculations, this Wednesday, February 15, at 6:13 PM will be this spring’s Dallashenge moment. That is when the setting sun will be aligned with the canyons of Dallas’ downtown streets, which do not run exactly east-west (if they did, Dallashenge would occur on the equinox). Of course, it’s called “henge” in reference to Stonehenge, another man made arrangement of objects aligned with the heavens. Manhattanhenge seems to be a pretty big deal in the Big Apple, but I have not found anyone other than me working out the date for Dallas.

Unless the weather makes this impossible, I plan on heading downtown to take pictures on Wednesday (If you are interested in meeting down there, contact me). I had a couple of questions, though – how hard would it be to grab a photograph while crossing at the light and which street would be the best canyon to photograph.

Test shots were in order.

I was downtown last weekend so I walked across the street grid, taking photographs at each intersection. My first question was easily answered – there is plenty of time during the time the little walking guy appears on the crossing light to dash out into the center of the lane, snap a couple pics, and then dash back before the cars are unleashed.

There are four major east-west canyon streets in downtown Dallas. From south to north: Commerce, Main, Elm, and Pacific.

Looking west from Commerce and St. Paul Streets in downtown Dallas.

Main Street and St. Paul

Elm and Harwood Streets. I like this view. I'm not sure if the pedestrian bridge will ruin the shot. Also, the Lew Sterrett jail is at the end of the street and may block the sun's orb..

Pacific and St. Paul, at the end of LIve Oak. This location has the advantage that it isn't in the street and I can set up a tripod and take photos on my schedule instead of rushing out when the light changes.

Of the four, I like Elm a lot. I tried to get up into that pedestrian bridge, but it is closed to the public. A shot from street level would be cool, especially with the Majestic Theater there to the right.

My favorite is the Pacific shot, though. There is a big advantage there, too. At the end of Live Oak street (Pacific/St. Paul/Live Oak) there is a bit of sidewalk that juts out into the middle of the street. I can set up a tripod there and take photos at my leisure.It has a nice canyon in the middle and they the sky opens with some glass mirrored ‘scrapers sticking up – if there is a nice sunset, it will look cool.

I’ve never done this kind of shooting before… any advice would be appreciated.

So, weather permitting, I plan on taking the DART train downtown and setting up on the sidewalk there at Pacific and St. Paul (I might dash on over to Elm too, I’m not sure how the timing will go) to get some pictures of the sun setting down that man-made canyon.

I’m not an expert on this and I may be reading the ephemeris tables wrong. Friday might actually be a better evening – the sun’s orb will be a little higher up and might make for a better photo. I could go back again, Friday would be easy. Again, if the weather is bad – too much cloud cover – I won’t even bother to go down there.

So we’ll see. I’ll keep you appraised.

6 responses to “Test Shots for Dallashenge

    • For some cities, Chicago is the best example, the street grid is East-West and the henge will be on or near the equinox – March and September 18-25.

      Unfortunately, New Orleans, at least in the Quarter and Downtown – the streets run at such an odd angle, almost 45 degrees, I don’t think there is a henge day at all.

      Suncalc.net is a handy website to calculate such things.

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