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The Super Blue Bloodmoon – A tale of an incredible sunrise

Pittsburgh is a notorious location for disappointing weather during astronomical events. There have been so many lunar eclipses, super moons, and meteor showers unwatchable due to some last minute weather. This one was no different. What did happen is that Pittsburgh redeemed itself with an incredible sunrise as a consolation prize for getting out of bed so early. Here’s how it went down:

Got to bed later than I wanted to: Boo
Got out of bed at my first alarm: Yay!
Made it to the city in plenty of time to get a spot to shoot the Blue Blood Moon: Yay!
Bonus – with coffee: Double Yay!
20 minutes before the start of the eclipse, clouds roll in: Boo, Pittsburgh. Big Boo.
Stand out in the cold chatting with Dan Thompson: Always a pleasure
Concede that the eclipse is a bust: Boo
Decide to get Better-Maid Donuts: BIG YAY.
Come outside to see the gorgeous sky: NO TIME FOR YAY MUST GET TO OVERLOOK NOW!!!
Arrive in time to capture a gorgeous sunrise: Aw, yeah.
Bang my shin hopping back over the fence: D’oh! (Also, Boo)
Chat in the lot with Tim, a local photog, about film days and our shared love of the craft: Awesome.

Recap of the morning brought to you by caffeine.

Here’s the proof.

The Sun's Arrival
The Sun’s Arrival
The Burst Of Color At Golden Hour
A Burst Of Color At Golden Hour
Pittsburgh Welcomes The Sun
Pittsburgh Welcomes The Sun
Firey Silhouettes
Firey Silhouettes

Pittsburgh Today Live

IMG_67221
On the set of Pittsburgh Today Live with Heather Abraham

What a week it has been! Aside from the incredible weather that we’ve had in Pittsburgh and all of the unique capture opportunities that’s presented, I was asked mid-week if I would be interested in appearing on a well respected Pittsburgh morning show, Pittsburgh Today Live, on Friday morning. I was surprised, to say the least! Even with the short notice, I couldn’t pass up this wonderful opportunity. I accepted, passed along my info, and prepared to be “on the television”.

I was asked to provide some of my favorite images of Pittsburgh, a few wedding shots that used the city as a background, and if I had any, images of me photographing in “extreme situations”. Apparently, the info that I “go to extremes” to get some of my shots was passed along to the producer. (Thanks, Nate!) I pulled together some of my recent favorites, got a few shots from my fellow Photogs Derek Dibrell, Dan Thompson, and Kevin Crivelli that supported the above claim.

Friday morning came and as I drove into the KDKA studio I admit to being a bit nervous. I exited the Ft. Pitt Tunnel to see thick fog right on the river. My immediate thought was if I could grab a few shots before I had to go on. The struggle to fight that urge was absolutely real. I made the right decision and headed into the studio. I met the producer, Jill, and went over what the host, Heather Abraham, and I would chat about. I also got to meet two other guests appearing with me, Linda and Rich of North Hills Genealogists. Talking with them calmed my nerves tremendously. (Thanks to both of you for that!) When the tech came to walk me onto the set, I took a deep breath and reminded myself to “just talk about what you know.. what you love about photography”.

The set was amazing. It was several setups (couches, an an anchor desk, and two stools in front of a video wall), surrounded by cameras on remotely operated armatures that moved with instructions from the booth. I was directed to sit on one of the stools wile the previous segment wrapped up. I watched a camera disengage from shooting the couch area and move over to aim at me. Thought of the Terminator franchise popped into my head. Once the previous segment ended, Heather came over and introduced herself and we chatted for a minute or so while they were in commercial. We received the countdown to return from commercial and then I was on live television.

It was a wonderful experience and I’m immensely grateful for all of the support that friends and family have shown, humbled by the whole opportunity, and driven to continue on this path that I’ve chosen! Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and congratulations!

February 21, 2016

Follow The Path

What a beautiful late winter day this was. I had spent most of it editing in a darkened room and needed to get out. I went to a local park for the intention of climbing a tree to get my shot of the day, but this scene presented itself less than 2 minutes after I started walking the trail. The subtle curve of the well worn path and the starkness of all of the bare trees was an easy choice for my composition. I switched to my 70-200 and shot wide open for the first shot. It was too much, so I stopped down to the “sweet spot” of the lens, f/8 for this image.

Follow The Path
Follow The Path

February 6, 2016

Rachel And The Glowing Willow

While scouting a location for a future shot, I saw this scene across the Allegheny. I scrambled to find a good angle to frame it up before the light disappeared. I’m sure that the motorists on the 10th st. bypass were somewhat concerned to see a gentleman in a peacoat crouched down and photographing through a break in a fence. It is an amusing by-product of my process to sometimes entertain and concern others.

Rachel And The Glowing Willow
Rachel And The Glowing Willow

Picture A Day 2016

Well, it is a leap year again. The last one found me doing a picture a day project. It was successful in a variety of ways for me. It got me to try something a little different every day, go to a lot of places, and stay disciplined to shoot, edit, and post an image every singe day of 2012. The rules were simple. I had to shoot a single frame image (no multiple frame images, panoramas, etc) between 12:01am and 11:59pm, edit it (without modifying the image beyond simple color correction and my usual set of filters), and post it that day. It started off easy, but became challenging at times to come up with something fresh and fun every day.

Well, it is a leap year again, so why not give it another go? I’m fresh out of a dry spell and revving my (photographic) engine to make this happen to the best of my abilities. I’m going to try to keep up with posting to four locations:

I’m already 21 days in without missing one. I have to catch the blog up to speed, but from here on out, I’ll do my best to keep all of the above listed locations up to date.

I’m hoping that it will be an exciting journey, and I’ve yet to have a boring one!

Thanks for joining me!

My favorites of 2015

I’m a little late to this party, but I’d still like to share my 25 favorites from 2015. It was a slow year for creativity. The store I shared in Downtown Pittsburgh sapped a lot of my free time for the last third of the year, but I’m still happy with a lot of the work I made. Have a look and see if any of your favorites are in there as well!

Framing The Squall
Framing The Squall
Steam On A 0 Degree Day
Steam On A 0 Degree Day
Coldest Office In The City
Coldest Office In The City
Winter At McConnells Mill
Winter At McConnells Mill
Duality
Duality
Stage Right
Stage Right
A Tale Of Driving In Pittsburgh
A Tale Of Driving In Pittsburgh
A Chilly Dawn At The Overlook
A Chilly Dawn At The Overlook
An Icy Path To The City
An Icy Path To The City
Behind The Frozen Waterfall
Behind The Frozen Waterfall
A Quiet Place To Rest Your Bones
A Quiet Place To Rest Your Bones
Layers Of Color Over A City Of Steel
Layers Of Color Over A City Of Steel
An Explosion Of Spring Colors
An Explosion Of Spring Colors
Mama Limpkin And Child
Mama Limpkin And Child
Moonlit Beach Portrait
Moonlit Beach Portrait
A Golden Backdrop
A Golden Backdrop
Breaking Symmetry
Breaking Symmetry
Inner Growth
Inner Growth
A Passage To The Steel City
A Passage To The Steel City
The Milky Way Core
The Milky Way Core
Reflected In The Fountain
Reflected In The Fountain
Autumn Sunrise In The City
Autumn Sunrise In The City
Hugged By Low Clouds
Hugged By Low Clouds
Steeltown Tannenbaum
Steeltown Tannenbaum
The Top Of The Glass Tower
The Top Of The Glass Tower

A busy week ahead…

Well, I wasn’t sure that things could get any more exciting.. This week promises to be a good one. Monday – Thursday I’ll be minding the storefront in Fifth Ave. Place. (hint, hint.. stop on down and check out our wares!) Thursday night I’m planning on capturing a truly exciting image of the city of Pittsburgh (more details to come), Friday I second shoot a wedding for Chase Images, Saturday I have an engagement session and I’m going to be a part of Pittsburgh’s own I Made It Market. I’ll be offering a lot of photos for sale at the Greenfield Bridgefest. (hint, hint.. stop by between 4pm-9pm and have a look !)

In between all of these planned things, I’m going to try to get caught up on the past few weeks worth of editing.. wedding, portrait, and fine art stuff alike. The store has been more of a time vampire than I had anticipated, but now that it is (for the most part) running smoothly, I can get back to polishing my shots to present to the world (wide web). But wait, there’s more, as the late Mr. Mays would say. Who needs sleep when you have a city to photograph? I’m always after a great looking sunrise in the Steel City, so there will be some extra early mornings thrown in for good measure.

Wish me luck!

An abandoned bridge at twilight

On a recent trip with a fellow photographer, I had the opportunity to experience an incredible piece of history, to capture it with my camera, and preserve it through documentation. The bridge has been closed to traffic for over 20 years and is most definitely showing its age.

Clouds Over The Old Crossing
Clouds Over The Old Crossing

Although this isn’t my first abandoned bridge, it is by far the largest and most interesting. The details of the construction are very impressive and even though it has been abandoned (and slated for demolition for years) it seems to be holding up quite well.

An Abandoned Beauty
An Abandoned Beauty

I’m choosing not to share the name or the location, so if you know it, please keep it to yourself!

Always Obey The Speed Limit
Always Obey The Speed Limit
A Forgotten Crossing
A Forgotten Crossing

I couldn’t have asked for more interesting clouds and a nicer soft gradient of color in the sky. It distracted me enough to not realize that I was walking on open grating for a few steps. It is always fun to look down to see a river some 80’+ below you.

The Old Open Grate
The Old Open Grate

As the sun retreated, the colors became more intense and blue. It allowed me to silhouette the structure slightly against the rapidly darkening sky.

An Evening On The Bridge
An Evening On The Bridge

Even the moon made an appearance for my final composition.

The Bridge At Twilight
The Bridge At Twilight