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How A Photographer Captured Dallas Wrapped In Fog

Justin Terveen
Urban Fabric Photography
Justin Terveen's photo of downtown Dallas peeking out of the fog has been shared widely on social media.

Professional photographers use more than just high-end cameras to do their work. The job requires lots of planning, dealing with harsh, unpredictable weather, and a lot of lost sleep waiting to capture the right moment. 

Justin Terveen of Urban Fabric Photography is known for his photographs of North Texas, particularly buildings. One of his latest photos -- of downtown Dallas surrounded by fog -- was shared widely on social media.

Terveen talked with KERA about how he gets the perfect shot.

Interview Highlights: Justin Terveen ...

... On the planning involved in his latest photo featuring a foggy downtown Dallas:

"It was really luck. I had a few friends who gave me a heads-up early in the morning, and another who was able to give me access. It all just kind of came together. One is a weather observer at Dallas Love Field, and the other is a storm chaser, so they're both kind of in the know."

... On how he got into the business:

"Boredom. Absolute boredom. I didn't have much direction and one day I luckily picked up a camera, and that's it."

... On why he prefers architectural photography:

"I don't know. I've never been a big portrait photographer. Buildings don't move. I've just always been attracted to architecture." 

Credit Justin Terveen
A very bright downtown Dallas.

... On the reason for wading out into a river after bad weather: 

"That was out in the Trinity [River] in the main channel on the floodplain, which is foolish and none of you should try it. It was basically just to try to get out and get a better angle. ... It was after a good two to three days of rain and as we all know the Trinity will rise and spill over and it makes quite the beautiful scene."

... The most extreme conditions he's endured for getting a good photo:

"Tornadic. Whenever we storm chase, it's probably the most dangerous or has the most potential for danger. There have been a couple of close calls, but I won't go on record talking about those."

... On his favorite spots for taking shots of North Texas:

"Anywhere up high -- rooftops have always kind of been my thing. I love elevated shots, which obviously kind of ties in to the fog shot a little bit."

Credit Justin Terveen
Moonlit sand dunes at White Sands

... On the most exotic location he's visited for a photo:

"It would have to be a tie or a toss-up between the Great Sand Dunes National Monument or White Sands; those are both just absolutely surreal and beautiful places."

... On tips for newcomers to the field:

"Practice, practice, practice. This is going to sound really bad, but give up just about everything that's important to you and focus on your work. That's really what it takes. That's just what worked for me when I found a camera. Nothing else mattered ... family, relationships, everything. My heart and soul was poured into the camera, which I think is a part of why I've had this success."

For more photos ...

Learn more at Urban Fabric Photography.

Visit Terveen's Flickr page.

Explore Urban Fabric Photography's Facebook page.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.