Look into my eyes

On Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington which overlooks the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, one can find a parklet called “Point of View” which is a part of the Grand View Scenic Byway Park.

The park got its name from the bronze sculpture Point of View, by James A. West. Point of View depicts a face-to-face meeting between George Washington (yes, that George Washington) and the Seneca leader Guyasuta that took place in October, 1770.

View fullsize

Staring contestStaring contest

Staring contest

If you step on the other side of the sculpture, there’s a pretty decent view of the rivers and the city below.

View fullsize





Photo essay #15: lazy Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings in the summer are special. You can sit around the table on the patio, linger over a few cups of coffee and soak in sunshine before it starts getting too hot & harsh.

Of course, the morning light is always nice (when the sun is actually out!). My trusty X100F is never far away, and it was easy for me to get distracted from my reading by noticing how the light was hitting stuff the garden and around the house.

I was more interested in shapes and shadows today, so most everything was shot in Acros and is straight out of camera. Of course, there were a few images that just begged for colour, so they got some SOOC Velvia love.

#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1500219739693_15969 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -10px; }
#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1500219739693_15969 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; }


Lawrenceville is one of the largest neighborhood areas in Pittsburgh. It is located northeast of downtown, and like many of the city’s riverfront neighborhoods, it has an industrial past. And like many industrial-era neighbourhoods, it’s gentrifying and becoming hipsterized.


That’s bad news if you’re looking for a cheap place to live, good news if you’re going to eat out or are looking for live entertainment.

When travelling on business about a month ago, I got a chance to visit Lawrenceville after a day’s customer meetings. Armed only with my X100F I went for a walk and sought out interesting stuff to shoot.

This is clearly a neighbourhood in transition; it will be interesting to see what it looks like in 5 years’ time (or even 2).

#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1499727268510_17198 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -15px; }
#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1499727268510_17198 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }

View fullsize


The Flamingo

So there’s this famous public art installation smack in the middle of Chicago’s Loop called The Flamingo. You may have seen it featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Or maybe you just came across it wandering around the Loop. It’s hard to miss.

View fullsize

Cameron, Sloane and the Flamingo. The Red Wings colours clearly aren't Calder Red.Cameron, Sloane and the Flamingo. The Red Wings colours clearly aren't Calder Red.

Cameron, Sloane and the Flamingo. The Red Wings colours clearly aren’t Calder Red.

Created by noted American artist Alexander Calder, is a 16m tall “stabile” (as opposed to a “mobile” that would move with the wind) located in the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building. It was commissioned by the United States General Services Administration and was unveiled in 1974, although Calder’s signature on the sculpture indicates it was constructed in 1973. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

Notable for its wonderful red colour (“Calder Red”), it stands beautifully juxtaposed against the black steel and glass of the modern and minimalist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed Kluczynski Federal Building.

What’s remarkable about this statue, apart from it’s sheer size, shape and striking colour, is how it changes with the light. When I visited two weeks ago, there were fair-weather clouds blowing through the troposphere (I had to look that one up) above Chicago that were changing the light on a minute-by-minute basis.

Here are three images of the Flamingo shot in quick succession—no more than 50 seconds elapsed between the 1st and last image—and you can see how the quality of the light changes from soft to harsh. And that Flamingo still glows. (My personal favourite is the first one, mostly because of the composition, the slightly more muted tones and softer, less distracting background light.)

It is a challenging subject to capture; installed in a relatively confined space, surrounded by tall buildings, the light doesn’t always hit it quite the way you’d want it to. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to matter.

View fullsize

Without Lightroom's perspective correction, this would look very different indeed. Where'd the light go?Without Lightroom's perspective correction, this would look very different indeed. Where'd the light go?

Without Lightroom’s perspective correction, this would look very different indeed. Where’d the light go?

View fullsize



Photo Essay #14: Looking up in Chicago

You can’t visit Chicago without marvelling at the architecture. It’s tall, it’s diverse, it’s modern, postmodern, art deco and everything in between.

I really developed a kink in my neck two weekends ago when I visited. It was worth it!

#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1499474728468_12321 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid { margin-right: -15px; }
#block-yui_3_17_2_1_1499474728468_12321 .sqs-gallery-block-grid .sqs-gallery-design-grid-slide .margin-wrapper { margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; }

Photo Essay #13: Sunday morning in Chicago

A little over a week ago, I had the privilege to spend the weekend at the Out of Chicago conference (hazard a guess as to where it’s held). Chicago is one heck of a city, and its buildings and people are as photogenic as they get.

On Sunday morning, I wound up getting up very early. My body clock decided that 6AM was time to get up and go. So when the sun is shining, and is still low in they sky, what else could I do? I went for a little photowalk before the day’s proceedings got going.

Here we are on the State Street bridge over the Chicago River. On the left are the iconic Marina Centre towers. At the base of the eastern tower is Wollensky’s Grill, where I found Rick hosing down the patio before another busy day was about to begin. We chatted for a few minutes and he was gracious enough to pose for a quick street portrait. This is a man who takes pride in what he does and you can see it in his eyes.

View fullsize

View fullsize

View fullsize

There is constant boat traffic on the river: pleasure craft, water taxis, ferries, tourist ships, and this: the yoga cruise. Walking along Wacker Drive I could hear a voice over a tannoy and turned my head to take a look. I had to double take since I’d never seen an entire upper deck of a boat engaged in yoga before.

View fullsize


The tall shiny buildings downtown make for some spectacular light and reflections at all times of the day. Half the time I wasn’t sure whether my subject was the person/place/thing I pointed my camera at or the shadows!

View fullsize