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.

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Pittsburgh Penquin

We have missed going to the National Aviary and looking forward to being able to go back soon. I was looking through old images and found this one that I have never shared. I like the droplet at the age of the penguin’s nose.

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Our New Neighbors

I had intended this Spring to be the time when I finally got some images of the Cardinals that live in our Golden Dawn Sequoia. Unfortunately they seem to have moved out. However I have been noticing a couple of Blue Jays hanging around so I just adjusted my focus. Get it?

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Blue Jay

Miss Iris is Ready for Her Close Up!

Spring is a rolling cascade of blooms in Pittsburgh. Crocus give way to daffodils and then tulips and now the queen of early spring. The Bearded Iris is truly a majestic bloom with a deep rich color.

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Bearded Iris

Bleeding Heart First Bloom

One of my favorite perennials in our garden is the bleeding heart. It has the most delicate blooms. Each year the plant gets bigger and it will bloom for weeks.Soon the plant will get bushy and covered in blooms and our garden will be full of delicate hearts.

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Remembering Tulips in Regent Square

One of my favorite spring flowers is the Rembrandt Tulip. Unfortunately this one is a couple years old. We have had to stop growing tulips because the deer from Frick Park consider them to be part of a special buffet. The farther away you get from the park the more chance you have of your tulips surviving. We are too close for tulips but that is a blessing I happily accept.

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Rembrandt Tulip

The Oval at Schenley Park

Since I was a child growing up in Pittsburgh I have always loved going to the Schenley Oval. Schenley Park has been a regular place for me to hang out. As a kid I would go hiking with friends. I taught my wife how to drive there and it was the first spot we took our first puppy. Now we go to walk on the track or just enjoy the view of the city.

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Schenley Park View

A Special Daffodil from Our Regent Square Garden

I had never noticed a daffodil that looked like this. It looks more like a dahlia to me. I had seen a couple walking my dog through Regent Square and then low and behold a couple showed up in our garden. My wonderful wife again surprising me with what she plants.

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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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