Behind The Scenes In Pittsburgh

Over the Easter weekend the weather in Pittsburgh was incredible, topping out at around 77 degrees at one point.  We don’t get many days like that, though the winter was milder this year it was wet and grey 90% or more of the time.  I digress…  Long story short; it was warm so I spent some time behind the viewfinder.


The image above was taken in one of my favorite spots it Pittsburgh.  Someone pasted a bunch of posters in this alley a few years ago and they’ve been exposed to the elements just long enough to look great on film (or the digital equivalent).  If you follow me on Flickr or Instagram you’ve likely seen other shots I’ve taken here, I’m a huge fan of revisiting and improving on past efforts.

I wanted to put this article together just to give you a glimpse of my workflow…  Not always glamorous (that’s the corner of a dumpster you see on the left and there is a homeless community about 100ft. away…  And if my nose is correct, a makeshift urinal behind the dumpsters) but what is?  The camera is a Nikon D810 and I’m using the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S lens.  The little antenna you see sticking up on the left of the camera is the RFN-4s Wireless Remote , I use this to eliminate the shake that pressing the shutter release with my finger causes.  If you don’t own a remote you can use mirror lock-up and you’ll get basically the same result.

You can see there is a base under my tripod head, the black thing with blue knobs you can sort of make out…  This is for balancing my tripod without having to dicker around with the tripod legs.  I use this primarily for panoramic photography but it comes in handy for just about everything.  It’s much faster to simply give a twist or two to the knobs than it is to loosen the tripod and try to perfectly adjust (every tripod I use seems to move the camera slightly when you tighten down the primary knob).

Can you see why I keep revisiting this place?
Can you see why I keep revisiting this place?

The wrist strap you see is made by Lance Camera Straps.  Hands down, this is my favorite solution for carrying my camera.  Don’t interpret that as “this is the best solution for everyone in the world for all time”…  To each his or her own.

The couple you see blurred walking across the frame were created by using a 6 stop neutral density filter from B+W (found here).  The shot was taken in the early afternoon so I needed the ND filter to slow down the shutter speed and blur the people who walked by.  There weren’t many people out so it took me a good half hour before this couple walked by.  Luckily the rats under the dumpster kept me company…

If I forgot something and/or you’d like more information you can leave a comment below and I’ll answer the best I can.

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2 replies on “Behind The Scenes In Pittsburgh”
  1. says: Lewsh

    Glad to hear that someone has written about the grit that is sometimes involved with getting a photo. Photography is not all cream puffs on a table.

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