Last week we took a few days off to visit my old hometown, Pittsburgh. I grew up there and it's always nice to get back. Pittsburgh is a very photogenic city with lots of bridges, buildings and industrial areas to catch the photographer's attention. While there I met up with a fellow photographer, Danny Levin (he has some great images so check them out!), who is in my Arcanum Cohort (overview and explanation coming soon) and lives in the area. We met around 8AM and spent the next few hours walking, talking, and photographing things that caught our eye. The morning weather was a mix of clouds, light rain and sun. As we walked along Liberty Avenue near Market Square we came upon a building that was giving off some interesting reflections. Both of us thought there was some intriguing photographic options available to us:
Inspiration and Information
While the building was interesting, the shooting conditions were not great. There was a fairly heavy drizzle coming down from the clouds above. This made photography in general a little challenging, but especially when you decide to point your camera straight up in order to get the shot! Luckily there was a building entrance close by that we could duck into to avoid most of the drizzle and discuss our "strategy". After a minute we both stepped out into the rain and wandered around a bit looking for whatever perspective suited us. I settled on a tight corner of the building that gave some very angular reflections. I decided I would point my lens straight up along the corner to get the image. I went back and forth between a portrait or landscape orientation and decided to go with landscape as it included some more of the adjoining panels. I ducked back into the entrance to get me camera/tripod setup as close as possible to what I would need when I stepped back into the rain. I took off the lens cap and covered the lens with a microfiber lens cloth.
I stepped back out into the somewhat lighter drizzle, set up my tripod as close to the building as possible and quickly removed the lens cloth to have a look through the viewfinder. I liked what I saw so I fired of a series of 3 bracketed shots (0, -2, +2) not knowing how I was going to process the image.
When I got back home a few days later I loaded up the images in Lightroom to see how they came out. I immediately decided that I would just process one image. I played around with the crop to help get the angles lined up and decided that processing it as B&W would ultimately look better than color and give more impact to the image. I opened up Silver Efex Pro and adjusted the sliders until I got a look that appealed to me (roughly approximating Acros 100, which is becoming my go-to B&W film). I cleaned up a few of the more offensive water/dirt splotches that were on the windows of the building but left the vast majority of them as is.