The State of Photojournalism in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has a great history with Photojournalism and Documentary photography. In addition to Charles “Teenie” Harris, Elliot Erwitt, W. Eugene Smith and Duane Michals all worked extensively in Pittsburgh. Of course, Andy Warhol also experimented with photography but was not a photojournalist. Pittsburgh still pays homage to these old famous photographers. Recently Carnegie Museum opened a dedicated gallery to Teenie Harris and has made his extensive archive available on line. 

I wonder about contemporary photojournalists and street photographers. In the 1970’s as a young photographer I was invited to become a member of The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. I had the honor of exhibiting work at the Carnegie Museum (see below). However, photojournalists are no longer in fashion with art associations in the area. There were great hopes when The Silver Eye Gallery opened. Alas, they only seem to be interested in fine art photography. I am not judging this, fine art photography is fine and deserves to be exhibited, but so does photojournalism. 

If you are a young photographer in Pittsburgh like Justin Merriman  and fortunate to have a newspaper job, you have a way to display your work. But what of the hundreds of great photographs that he takes that do not get published. Sure there are many online groups like B&W Humanist & Street Photography Corner on facebook but they do not offer the same experience as being able to stand in front of an image in a gallery and have the possibility of buying a print. 

This blog is the only avenue I have to make my plea to gallery owners and art associations in the area. People around the world love street photography. Take a moment and browse the internet. There are literally thousand of groups interested in this form of artistic expression. Open your eyes, take a chance and give young photographers the same opportunity to display their work to an audience that I had.

Allegro Hearth Bakery

One of the great advantages of being vaccinated is being able to visit our favorite stores instead of relying on delivery. One of the things I missed the most were our favorite bakeries. My favorite for bread is the Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill. Not only are the products wonderful but the people generally seem happy to see you and eager to help.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Remembering Becky

Being an instructor allows you to get to know a lot of people for a brief period of time. Becky was one of my photography students at The Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh back in the 1970’s. She was a beautiful soul, almost painfully shy with a dry sense of humor. I have always liked this picture I took of her. Her smile is Mona Lisa like. I reconnected with her briefly a number of years ago on Facebook. Unfortunately she was close to death battling cancer. She died way too young

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Lunch in Porto Azzurro

In 2019 we took a cruise from Barcelona to Rome. One of the biggest surprises of the cruise was the wonderful island of Elba. One of the biggest surprises of Elba was the little village of Porto Azzurro. Every place we had been to had been fairly crowded. Even the port town in Elba of Portoferrio was jumping. However the little village of Porto Azzurro was very relaxed. A lovely place for lunch and a leisurely stroll.

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Selective Color Project–Pari-Roller

Every Friday night in Paris thousands of skaters assemble at 9 p.m. and skate through the city streets into he wee hours of morning. The event is Pari-Roller and is the largest public skating event in the world.Using selective color seems to give almost a 3-D feel to action images of people.

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Pari-Roller

Selective Color Project–Milano Man

As I continue with this project I am searching for images that can be improved with selective color. This one also looks good in full color but by using the selective approach there is no chance of your looking beyond the subject. The contrast makes him almost three dimensional.

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Milano Man

The Missing Peel

It was like a clue from an Agatha Christie novel. I wondered about how it got there and why. Did the one guy steal it from the other’s lunch and hide the evidence? Did a person throw it there? Did a bird drop it from the sky? Was there a monkey in the area? I’ll never know.

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The Missing Peel

American Legion Quemahoning Township

When we stopped to photograph The Trostletown Bridge last week it was hard not to notice the adjacent American Legion Post. All I could think of is how small these war machines were and how cramped the crew space was.

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Flight 93 Memorial Shanksville PA

It was a beautiful day yesterday with a crystal clear blue sky just like on 9/11/2001. It was perfect day to visit the national memorial at Shanksville PA. I learned a lot from the visit. For example, I did not know all the terrorists had first class seats. The exhibit details the events and the 40 brave heroes who saved the US Capitol from destruction. It is sobering to realize how close we were to losing our elected government that day. Congress was in session as the terrorists seized control of the plane and turned it back towards Washington DC. We owe gratitude to the quick action and sacrifice of those who thwarted the attempt.

The tower is 93 feet tall and has forty wind powered bells for each passenger that sacrificed their lives that day. It is a humbling and enjoyable visit and a beautiful monument.

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Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

Looking Forward to The National Aviary

Now that I am fully vaccinated I am looking forward to visiting my favorite places. Near the top of that list is The National Aviary. We are very fortunate in Pittsburgh to house the largest Aviary in The United States. We are members and usually visit 4 to 5 times a year. We have not been there in over a year due to COVID19

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

An Aviary Moment

Feathered Friends

The National Aviary

The National Aviary

The National Aviary

The National Aviary