Facebook Timeline Cover Photos | Pittsburgh Edition
For a while now, I have been keeping a regularly updated album on my Facebook page containing optimized photos to fit in the Facebook Timeline Cover. Users are welcome to download, use and enjoy them. I recently returned from a trip to Pittsburgh, so I decided I’d highlight a few of the newer ones here today. Remember, the album on Facebook is updated regularly, so check there for the latest and greatest if you find this page somewhere in the near future! Also, a lot of different locations over in the main album.
The Steel City | Pittsburgh, PA from Mt. Washington
A few times each year, I take a trip home to the Pittsburgh, PA area to visit friends and family and usually end up spending a couple of days shooting the picturesque skyline of the city. For the first time in a few years, I shot from one of the most shot vantage points in the area, Mount Washington. There are several overlooks up there, high above the city, giving viewers a great view of the three rivers and downtown. Since it is shot by literally almost every visitor to the city, it’s tough to get a unique shot that hasn’t been replicated a gazillion times. Shooting with a fisheye lens, 50mm lens and a 10-stop ND filter, I was able to get some different shots from what I’ve done in the past. Here’s a quick collection from the top of Mt. Washington:
One of the first images I grabbed upon arrival. Moody clouds were thick over the city, but I could see that soon the sun would dip below them. (8mm f/3.5 Rokinon lens)
As the sun dipped closer to the horizon, the city lit up in brilliant orange and pink hues. It was pretty incredible. (18mm, 10-stop ND filter, 120 second exposure)
High res here- http://500px.com/photo/10313599
As the blue hour progressed and the lights came on, I got a little tighter for some long exposures. (Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens)
Finally, one of the last shots from the overlook. It’s a long exposure with my 8mm lens. I wanted to get much wider than the usual night time shots of the skyline that you see. A big goal of mine was to squeeze in the road below the overlook, on which you can see some cars streaming by. This is, in my humble opinion, the best skyline view of any city I’ve been to. I love Pittsburgh.
-Note- I’ll be posting a few of these individually in the next few days to enable full screen viewing.
Steel City | Pittsburgh, PA
What can I say, I love this city. Really looking forward to coming back home soon. I’m not looking at the world through black and gold glasses, but I really think that Pittsburgh might have the prettiest skyline out there.
This was shot during the morning blue hour, just before sunrise in December.
Homesick Feelings | Pittsburgh, PA
“There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.”
-Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
I was feeling a bit homesick, so I went back in the archives and decided to process one of the many, many photos I have yet to touch from my December trip home. I don’t know what brings on these homesick feelings every now and again, but it happens. It could be the excitement over Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, or the talk of Mike Wallace leaving the Steelers (heaven forbid!). It seems as if my Facebook and Twitter feeds are clogged every day with news of my beloved sports teams and that does nothing but remind me of home. Heap on top of that my little brother’s recent birthday and nice conversations I’ve had this week with my parents and grandparents on the phone and you have the perfect recipe for “homesick soup.” But then again, as you think about it, nothing makes you appreciate ‘home’ more than when you don’t live at ‘home’ anymore.
Anyway, this is a shot of ‘the burgh’ from the North Shore, on the dock below the sidewalk. To the right is the Roberto Clemente Bridge and reflecting off the Allegheny River is the beautiful skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. I captured this on a pre-dawn photo walk with Dave DiCello of HDR Exposed Photography.
The shot: Nikon D90, 18-105 Nikkor VR lens. Tripod mounted, remote fired. Single exposure- f/22, 25 seconds, ISO-100. The original photo had a blue cast over it due to the sunrise, as well as a mix of bright orange and yellow light from the city. I simply desaturated it slightly by adding a Nik Silver Efex layer, setting it at 50% opacity and then masking out a few elements to bring back even more color. I like the washed out look that this scene brings with that processing method.
Best Test Answer, Ever.
As most of you know, I’m a Pittsburgher transplanted to Eastern North Carolina. Growing up around the ‘burgh, you hear a lot about sports legends of the area, particularly of the 1960’s and 70’s. Family members speak fondly of the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Willie Stargell, Lynn Swann, Bill Mazeroski, the list goes on. But one name stands out above the others: Roberto Clemente. The right field wall in PNC Park stands 21 feet tall to honor him (he wore #21 and played RF) and the bridge crossing the Allegheny River beyond the outfield wall of stadium was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge. There is even a huge statue of him standing just outside of the PNC Park. Pittsburgh is full of rightful remembrances of a man who’s Hall of Fame career was cut short by a tragic plane crash while delivering supplies to earthquake stricken Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve of 1972. There’s so much to say about Clemente that it could fill up multiple blog posts on its own.
My wife, a fifth grade teacher, decided to teach a unit on Roberto Clemente. I think it’s awesome to be spreading a story about a Pittsburgh sports icon to kids here in Eastern NC who likely never heard of him. What’s cooler is what the students took away from the story. Check out this answer that a girl wrote on her worksheet-
Sometimes kids can make the most profound comments. The answer that the sheet was looking for was something along the lines of ‘He was going to Nicaragua to help deliver supplies to earthquake victims.’ But how can you mark something like this wrong?
My wife sent me this cell phone picture of the test in the afternoon and I shared it on Twitter. By that evening it had nearly 100 retweets, something that never happens to stuff I post. The next day, it found it’s way onto Pittsburgh Magazine’s website. Thanks to everyone who took interest in this, it goes to show that the right answer is not always the best answer.