Pittsburgh

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  • 'Burgh Core

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    This is the very heart of Pittsburgh, as seen from across the Allegheny River. A small piece of the city's diverse cornucopia of architecture, from old to new, is encapsulated within this singular photograph. This truly is a city with history as vibrant as its color, one that has boldly reinvented itself from its days as a steel town, shedding its past as a rust belt city and embracing culture, technology, medicine, and the arts. Simply put, this city has gone through a very real and vibrant renaissance, as so aptly and proudly displayed by the Byham Theater building, which itself was originally constructed in 1903.

  • A Brisk Morning

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    One of my favorite places in the entire city is along the Roberto Clemente Bridge, seen here trapped in winter's icy grip; it was an unusually bitter, brisk and frosty morning in Pittsburgh; the temperatures had dropped low enough that barely anybody could be seen out walking, and hardly any cars were even traveling the bridge at the time. Steam rose from the city in the distance, and the frozen Allegheny River can be seen below, with almost arctic-looking skies overhead.

  • A Day at the Ballpark

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    Here it is. I've been dancing around it for years, all the while attempting to get just the *right* picture of this, the very best baseball stadium in the world, and to do it justice. This is one of the very best places to spend a day; there is simply nothing like parking in your seat, cradling a huge bucket of crabfries and cheese (I know these crab seasoning-dusted fries are a Philadelphian invention, but holy crap they are simply delightful), a soft drink, and just watching the Pirates do what they do best. This baseball stadium, PNC Park, has simply unparalleled views of the city, and there really isn't a bad seat in the entire place. Now, let's all think of hot summer days spent cheering the Pirates on, hot dogs and caramel popcorn, and wondering which of the pierogies will win the race! (If you're from the 'Burgh, you know exactly what I mean!)

  • A Measure of Darkness

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    "Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness" - Carl Jung This photo was taken one bright, sunny Saturday afternoon after visiting Pittsburgh's annual Regatta; I was walking through the city with my brother, headed back to the car, when I caught the sunlight hitting PNC Tower, Pittsburgh's newest skyscraper. The sunlight seemed to brilliantly reflect the blue sky and clouds...except for the section of the building that curved away into darkness. I mulled over it for quite some time, knowing that this felt representative of something important. This building would not be whole were it not for both its aspects; the happy and the sad. The same can be said for all of us, as Mr. Jung aptly described.

  • A Rainy Day in the 'Burgh

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    It was a rainy day along the North Shore, straddling the Allegheny River. The rain puddled and pooled up along the red brick walkways, and for a time I was afraid I'd never find a window of opportunity to capture our city's skyline with such weather. But then, just as I had hoped, the rain stalled. The skies opened up, blue and clean. Folks started walking outside, no need to fear getting soaking wet. As for me, I had always wanted to try capturing something in a reflection, be that upon a pane of glass or, as seen here, a puddle of fresh rainwater. In keeping with the "black and gold" theme I have going in many of my photographs, I opted for higher contrast here, with a splash of gold; the color scheme is quintessentially Pittsburgh. Just ask anyone from here, and they'll agree!

  • Abstract Architecture

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    I was in Downtown Pittsburgh (Or dahntahn as we say!), standing outside of Heinz Hall to go and see the Legend of Zelda orchestral concert, and I was waiting for some friends to arrive at the concert hall before the show. I'd also brought my camera with me, because I knew how beautiful that concert hall was on the inside, but I didn't count on it being so pretty outside! I looked up, and saw these two buildings down the street from where I stood. I pulled out my camera, took three quick bracketed shots, and hoped that they'd turn out later on, all compiled into a pretty HDR picture...Turns out, they did! I just love the deep, deep blues on that building on the left, as compared to the reddish-orange hues of the one to the right, and all set off by the top of that tree that peeks up from the bottom. It's quite colorful, quite lovely, and I'm quite happy I took this photo!

  • Autumn in Suburbia

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    I have yet to really take a great photograph of the place where I call home; suburbia. I love where I live, the Monroeville area that is just to the east of downtown Pittsburgh proper, far enough to be out of the city limits but close enough to still be considered a part of the 'burgh! This photo really makes me happy though, as it shows off, once and for all, just how wonderfully beautiful the sunsets can be here. Even with all the cars, even with all the hustle and bustle, and the enormity of the famous Monroeville Mall (Featured in the original Dawn of the Dead) behind me, there are still scenes of beauty like this one to be had! I'm starting to like autumn more and more, if only for the pretty sights like this! :)

  • Beneath The Bridge

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    On our sojourn through a frozen Pittsburgh, we passed by a spot beneath one of the three yellow bridges, where on warmer days one might find kayaks slipping into the waters of the Allegheny River. On that day however, the sloped concrete platform that would have let kayakers easily access the river was coated with snow, and bled seamlessly into the ice to the point where it was difficult to tell where one began, and the other ended. My brother made his way down this slippery slope, to the very edge of the river, and looked out upon the scene.

  • Black and Yellow

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    I love architecture. The way we're able to build things, each of those things presented with such a unique flourish and style that defines where they stand, as much as the surroundings define them. This bridge, the iconic Roberto Clemente Bridge right beside Pittsburgh's PNC Park, is one such piece of gorgeous architecture that screams "You're in the 'Burgh!". I love the bridge's deep yellow color, and wanted to bring that color into sharp contrast with the rest of the city. Interestingly, this is but one of three identical bridges in a row that hang over the Allegheny river, in addition to one very similar bridge that also spans the width of the Monongahela river, on the other side of the city. You might wonder how I managed to get this picture without being hit by a car? Thankfully, the bridge is closed off and used for foot traffic during Pirates games!

  • Christmas in the 'Burgh

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    I have always wanted to go downtown for photographs, especially this time of year. Just recently, I finally got my chance! What you see here is the beautiful, cheer-soaked neogothic glass walls of Pittsburgh's PPG Plaza decorated for the Christmas season. In the center sits an enormous Christmas tree, positioned in the center of an ice skating rink, lights strung all about in celebration of this, the most wondrous time of the year. The air was so cold, the sky that wintry gray it tends to be during a Pennsylvania winter, and yet there were dozens of people skating 'round the giant tree, having the time of their lives. The PPG Complex itself is one of Pittsburgh's defining features; you would be hard-pressed to find a structure like it anywhere else on Earth. The complex consists of six buildings within a 5.5 acre area, all centered around One PPG Place, a 40-story spike of steel and glass to serve as home to the Pittsburgh Plate Glass company. To give a sense of just how much glass was used here, the main building alone is adorned with 19,750 sheets of reflective plate glass! Every year, PPG sets up this Christmas scene, and gives Pittsburghers a place to commune while the snow falls. Now, if only I knew how to skate, I'd have joined in on the fun!

  • Christmas Time

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    Guess what time it is? Christmas Time, indeed! :) Just recently, I had the pleasure of taking a trip downtown to the beautiful PPG Plaza, where I have wanted to take photographs for years on end now; I finally got my chance! This photograph in particular was taken of a gorgeous clock, adorned with a simple red bow, the iconic Fifth Avenue Plaze (Highmark Building) looming in the background. The day was cold and bitter, the skies gray and wintry...but it didn't dampen the spirits of the area any. Christmas carols were sung nearby, and the area had been transformed into a Christmas Village, complete with small, wooden buildings housing everything from Celtic and German Christmas trinkets and ornaments, to streudel and Santa's Workshop. There was even a spot nearby for buying fresh Christmas pine trees; the scent of streudel and pine hung so heavenly in the bitter air....This is what Christmas is all about here in Pittsburgh, and so now I offer a little slice of it to you. :) Merry Christmas, everyone!

  • Early Haze

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    It was a frigid, hazy morning in Bloomfield, one of the satellite districts of Pittsburgh. I had been visiting my mother, who was recovering in the hospital from surgery just two days prior. (She's doing great, by the way!) I'm always on the lookout for curious or beautiful sights in this city of ours, and it occurred to me as I looked through the windows on the hospital's 9th floor, that I had never done justice to this part of town. The college town in the distance, home of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), was wreathed in haze and mist. The sun had just recently risen, the sleepy town wresting itself awake from a frigid winter's evening...and the view was just too irresistible to not photograph.

  • Fire and Ice

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    We drove around the frozen city, trying to find an ideal place to sidle up to the ice-smothered Allegheny River, and get us some great-looking photographs...and that's when we found this little roundabout dead end, next to PNC Park, with an overlook of the city and a No Parking sign nearby. We decided to sneak out of the car, and try to take a picture, while leaning up against the metal railing; it was cold enough that even my dry hands were freezing onto the metal. But then, we saw a security guard approach us. We had expected him to try and shoo us away from the No Parking area, but were pleasantly surprised when even he pulled a cell phone out, and joined us in taking a photograph of this beautiful, ice-choked view of our frozen city, wreathed in fiery-looking steam and clouds.

  • From Atop Mt. Washington

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    We were driving in a convertible Mini Cooper that night, just headed to find a nice place to hang out, and enjoy the beautiful weather. I had my camera with me, and on our way to the summit of Mt. Washington, the sky had already acquired this incredible and surreal glow. My finger ITCHED so much; I wanted to let the camera go crazy, seeing a sky like the one that hung right above me. But there were so many bridges, so many obstructions, power lines, and other objects in the way that spoiled the splendor of such a sky. Then, as we got to the top of the mountain, overlooking the city of Pittsburgh, I saw my moment through the windshield. I held up my camera, the shutter clicked, and now you can see what I saw, too! :)

  • Gilded Skyline

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    The sun was setting over the city of Pittsburgh, as my family and I made our way to a nearby restaurant in Station Square, in celebration of my brother's 25th birthday. Having brought my camera with me, I caught this beautiful view of the city out from the side of the parking garage; the view entranced me. Later on, after the meal was eaten and the festivities were over, I looked at the photograph and the golden tint of the setting sun was what caught my eye most; I had to claim it, and push to the front for all to see; black and gold is in a Pittsburgher's blood, anyway! The only colors in this photo are shades of natural gold from the sunset, with the rest being purely black and white. I think the results speak for themselves!

  • Gilded Skyline 2

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    On the 4th of July, 2014, I spent a whole day in the city walking around, soaking up the sights and sounds of every fun Pittsburgh event from the Regatta to Anthrocon, enjoying Primanti's and sharing a cold beer with friends at Rivertowne on the North Shore. By the time the sun had begun to set, painting the skyline with a phenomenally beautiful golden sheen, we were making our way around PNC Park, just in time to watch the fireworks ignite from yet another Pirates victory. As we ventured toward the Highmark building to take the subway back to the car, we walked across the Roberto Clemente Bridge...and as one of my final photographs of the day, I leaned over the side of the bridge, and snapped this photograph you see here. I wanted to do something similar to "Gilded Skyline", the photograph with a similar style I had taken a year or two before, and to showcase the city as it was meant to be seen; in Black and Gold.

  • Heinz Hall Chandelier

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    Toward the end of July 2012, I went with some friends to Heinz Hall, in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. We were going to see the Pittsburgh Symphony perform live music from Nintendo's "Legend of Zelda" games, and in anticipation of the sights, I brought my camera. Heinz Hall is an ornately decorated theater hall originally built in 1927, much of the theater covered with gold leaf and ornate crystal chandeliers like the one seen here, right above the seat I had gotten for the night's show. Someone had to put that thing together, and the idea of assembling so much crystal in such a delicate fashion makes my head spin!

  • North Shore

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    A few years ago, my father and I went out to a Pirates game at PNC Park, along Pittsburgh's North Shore. As any Pittsburgher knows, you had best not park anywhere near the stadiums when it comes down to game time, since traffic is a nightmare! So, bearing this in mind, we parked way down from the stadium, near the city's only casino (itself situated along the river, as well). The great thing about parking so far from the stadium is the walk! After all, who can complain when you get views like this? I had my camera with me, and on our way down to the stadium, I managed to sneak down to the riverbank, and snapped the photo you see here. Hard to believe that just half a century ago, all of this was smoke and urban blight.

  • Oaklandia

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    This is the home of the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland. Something is very off about Oakland on this fine day, however. The city mirrors itself and contorts inward, all attention focused toward the beating heart of Oakland, its mind and soul; the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Learning is Oakland's nexus; the linchpin upon which the collegiate town revolves, and therefore in this vision of the city it is the center. It looms above all, and it gives the city and its people a sense of purpose. Yeah, I've been toying around with the surrealism some more! I hope you enjoy the latest fruits of my labor, and find it just as vexing to the senses as I'd hoped it would be :)

  • One Cerulean Day

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    Pittsburgh is simply a wonderful city to take a walk in. The city layout isn't that difficult to figure out, as it's more or less a triangle. The city isn't that big, so you can see a LOT in a short amount of time. Furthermore, the city is also breathtakingly scenic, with striking colors to be found all over the place, not to mention interesting architectural detail. And so it was, on the completely gorgeous 4th of July we had in 2014, I was with a group of friends, walking around the city and watching the annual Regatta while suspended over the Allegheny River on this, the Fort Duquesne Bridge. I pointed my camera skyward to capture the curvature and detail of the bright yellow bridge, and managed to also capture the deep, cool blues of a Pennsylvania summer sky.

  • Our Sentinel

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    Friday, September 27th, 2013; the day the duck arrived. Marking the beginning of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's "Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts", Pittsburgh had been chosen as the first place in the United States to play host to one of these massive, 40x30 foot rubber ducks, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. These ducks had previously been seen floating in such far off places as Sao Paulo in Brazil, in Hong Kong, China and even in Sydney, Australia, among many other places. People came out in droves to see this duck, and I was among them! The bridge you can see spanning the Allegheny river is the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the very same bridge featured in my other photo, Black and Yellow. However, instead of being vacated as it was in that photo, the bridge was utterly packed full of crowds eager to celebrate a gigantic rubber duck. Sure it's ridiculous, but it's fun! The point of this whole thing, according to the artist, is to evoke happiness and fond memories of childhood, for any and all who look at it, over the whole planet. Sadly however, when pulling my camera out to snap this photograph...my lens cap detached from my camera, and rolled off into the river. It will be missed.

  • Pittsburgh Street Scene

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    I've been to plenty of cities, from Toronto to Orlando, Portland to Chicago...and I can tell you from personal experience, every city has its own distinct 'flavor' that simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Pittsburgh's 'flavor' in particular feels tinged with age and history, every street corner hiding layers of the past, paved over by the progress of today. I can just imagine this same street corner seen here 85 years ago, with smoke thick in the sky and a bustling trolley system ferrying steel workers to and fro...and yet much of that is gone. What is left is pleasant, and distinctively Pittsburgh. You won't find another place like it, guaranteed!

  • Racer

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    One of the great things about living in or near the city of Pittsburgh is the famed, historic amusement park, Kennywood. The park first opened in 1898 as a 'trolley park', but has since expanded into an exciting garden of an amusement park with many rides that cannot be found anywhere else in the country, including this one here, dubbed the "Racer". This wooden roller coaster is one of the oldest of its kind still functioning in the world, having been constructed in 1927. It was designed as a coaster featuring two dueling roller coaster cars. It appeared as though the green and blue cars raced one another at around 40 mph to the finish line, when in reality these two cars both ran on a single moebius loop track. Because the two cars were timed slightly different, it appeared as though they were racing one another to the finish line. The ride has been iconic to Pittsburghers, since generation after generation recall when they were children, and they took their first trip on the Racer, themselves. However, one trip was enough for me. I've got to confess, I'm not a roller coaster guy; they make me queasy! Even I can appreciate the artistry that goes into these rides though, how well-crafted they are, how they're able to stand the test of time, and how nothing else quite beats the rickety, borderline out-of-control feeling you can ONLY get on one of these old wooden beauties. Bah, now I'm hungry for a corn dog and some Potato Patch fries. If you're a Pittsburgher, you'll know exactly what I mean!

  • Saffron Steel

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    Here's a shot looking up along the bright, bold yellow support structure of one of Pittsburgh's most famous and recognizable of bridges, the Roberto Clemente Bridge. This is the one right beside PNC Park, mind you. I'm always eager to try capturing a new angle on this bridge; considering how striking the bridge itself is, this lends itself very well to an almost endless list of things I'd love to eventually try.

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