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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

A city of rivers and bridges

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

LOCATION: Along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail looking south at downtown Pittsburgh.

THE EQUIPMENT: Canon EOS 6D | EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM | Manfrotto tripod

THE STORY: My wife and I are bringing our kids to Pittsburgh for New Years, a city ripe with personal history for both of us.

My wife is a University of Pittsburgh grad, and I spent a significant amount of time from 2012 to 2017 in the Three Rivers City in my capacity as a spokesman for a large railroad company.

During my frequent visits to Pittsburgh, which is a vastly underrated city that deserves accolades for its continual reinvention, my camera was never far from reach.

I made this on an August morning in 2014, placing myself along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail between the twin bridges named after Andy Warhol (on the left) and Roberto Clemente (on the right).

Pushing the ISO down to 100, I must've had a neutral density filter on the lens because the metadata says this is a 25-second exposure.

Don't think for a second (or 25) that I wouldn't love the opportunity to make this again.

You might be skeptical about photo opportunities in Pittsburgh in mid-winter. Let's just be honest here. Winter in Pittsburgh is less-than-ideal, the entire region covered by a perpetual cloud and snow encrusted in ice and road salt.

If you wonder where the city gets its grittiness from, sure it spews from a heritage of coal and steel mills, but it's also from enduring tedious winter hellscapes year after year.

But bad weather means great photo ops, and with us visiting places like the Phipps Conservatory and the New Years Eve celebration with our kids, I can't help but feel the anticipation for light, shadow, and drama.

I'll report back.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at

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