KICKSTART 8 – In A Fog
Last Monday seems like a blur. It was a whirlwind of activity and a morning of shooting unlike most mornings for me. Typically I don’t like to jump around from location to location (in the same morning or evening) trying to find that perfect spot for a photo. I like to set up shop, move around within that spot, and take advantage of the conditions before me. Sometimes, though, I need to change things up a bit and that’s what this Kickstart series is for me – breaking norms, exploring new ideas and concepts, and getting outside of my comfort zone a bit. Monday provided me with just that opportunity.
Upon waking up, I checked the conditions outside my office window at home. Fog. Awesome! I grabbed my gear and headed out the door. Within a mile from home the fog was gone and I thought the morning would be foiled before it even started. Luckily, by the time the city was in my sights, I couldn’t see it! A nice blanket of fog was covering the skyline. I had a feeling Mount Washington would not provide much in terms of photos as the fog was higher up and pretty dense. I began my morning there anyway and I was right. Upon my arrival, the twilight fog was impervious. Nothing was visible more than a hundred feet or so in front of me.
I mentioned I don’t like to jump around too, too much during sessions. Well after this sight, I knew that would have to change. If I stayed in this spot, I’d have a camera full of the same scene and who wants to see that? Not me and I bet you don’t either. So I jumped in my car and headed down to the Duquesne Incline. Nothing to see there as I suspected – in fact I never even took a photo from the overlook. Back to the car for the next location. I flew down PJ McCardle and down into Station Square. I stopped by my favorite spot along the train tracks, but again the fog was too dense and I couldn’t catch any skyline. The Smithfield Street Bridge was my backup plan to the tracks and luckily, it didn’t disappoint. The fog was thick but not impenetrable so I was able to hop up on the Median and snag a few frames. The buses flying by combined with a long exposure allowed me to catch some nifty light trails to complement/contrast with the moodiness somewhat invisible skyline.
Next on the plate was…wait for it…Mount Washington. Yes, I went back. I’ve had a shot in mind for years and I was hoping to get it. The conditions weren’t right and you still couldn’t see anything so I was thwarted again. Oh well. I’ll catch some day and share it all with you. Since the mountain was a bust, I headed low again to my favorite spot…the North Shore. This is where I hit my stride and found some success. I started between the Clemente and Warhol Bridges shooting above and along the dock at water level. Conditions were pretty nice and I was able to snag a few good photos.
Even along the North Shore, though, I jumped around more than usual. I hit a couple spots that I like to frequent up along the Sister Bridges that I enjoy. The rocky shore along the Allegheny provides an awesome foreground and makes it feel more like a landscape photo than a cityscape.
For my last spot, I jumped down across from Heinz Field to incorporate the fountain. The river was very calm as I snapped the first photo featuring the fountain. As luck would have it, after that the wind picked up and the still reflections were nothing but a memory caught in one photograph. I kept working the scene, though, and incorporated some of the flowers along the river walk. I got some strange looks since I was basically standing in the tall patch of weeds, but I didn’t care. All in all, it was a fantastic morning of shooting. I’d been waiting for 3 years for fog like this and it didn’t disappoint.