Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

View Towards Mount Wahington

This is another in my continuing series of Pittsburgh, PA bridge photos.  This one is taken standing on the Smithfield Street Bridge but does not include it in the photo.  In this case, my interest was drawn to another set of bridges that could be seen in the distance, looking towards Mount Washington.  I was particularly intrigued by the layers of trees, bridges, and tones capped by the houses near the top.

Copyright Howard Grill

Smithfield Street Bridge Sculpture

When making photos of the Smithfield Street Bridge, I was surprised to find the metallic sculpture below incorporated into one of the steel beams.  I have been across the bridge in my car many times and had never noticed it.  I guess that is what photography is supposed to do.....make one see clearer and deeper! I have been trying to learn more information about this sculpture and what it represents, but no luck thus far.....

Sculpture On Smithfield Street Bridge

Copyright Howard Grill

The Smithfield Street Bridge

by Howard Grill I recently went to make photographs of  Pittsburgh's Smithfield Street Bridge and, from a compositional standpoint, found it a bit tougher to photograph than the Clemente Bridge. Of course, sometimes it is merely one's mental state and their receptiveness to seeing that is the issue.  I will be making more trips to the Smithfield to see what I come up with.

This image is one that I made at the Smithfield Bridge some time ago but never processed. Given my new-found interest,  I am going to be revisiting my older bridge images that I never 'did anything with'.  Such are the benefits of Lightroom keywording!

The bridge itself was designed by Gustav Lindenthal, built between 1881-1883, and was widened in 1889 and then again in 1911.  It was rehabilitated in 1994-5. The Smithfield Street Bridge is actually the third bridge to sit at this site, with the first one being made of wood and having burned down and the second being a wire rope suspension bridge that ultimately proved inadequate for the traffic.  The current bridge is of the lenticular truss type and is said to be the second oldest steel bridge in the US.

Smithfield Street Bridge

Copyright Howard Grill


by Howard Grill If there is one thing that Pittsburgh has, it is bridges.  I have just started exploring the idea of how they might be portrayed photographically.  This, of course, is not an original idea, but one that has been played out many times by many people.  But I love the architecture, the 'rawness', and the abstract nature of the lines that these bridges make, so I am toying around with how one might get some 'different' perspectives on them as well as what type of processing might work. Here, I went for the 'vintage' look.  We will see what comes of these efforts.

Copyright Howard Grill

The View From Mount Washington

As many readers likely know, Pittsburgh is a city of bridges.  These bridges are integral to crossing our three rivers (for you geography buffs, those would be the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers). Pittsburgh is also a city of hills.  One of the most noted heights in the city is Mount Washington, where lucky condo owners on one side of Grandview Avenue overlook the city below.  But if you live on the other side of the street or, in my case, another part of the city, there is no need to fret.  There are plenty of public viewing platforms along the avenue. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to awaken at 4:30 AM to meet my "Sunday Morning Shooting Buddies" at 5:15 to watch and photograph the sun rising over the city.  This image is from before the sun came up over the horizon:

Pittsburgh Sunrise Seen From Mount Washington