Downtown Pittsburgh Street Photography Photo Walk

From time to time I like to share some of my images from photo walks through the city.  These aren’t ones that would make it into a portfolio by any means but they were fun to take and I wanted to share my thoughts about why I took them and what I’d do to make them more intriguing.  Part of my process for improving my own photography is to evaluate even my average photographs and contemplate what would have taken them from average to great…  This enables me to apply the changes on the fly next time I’m out and about with my camera.


The image above was the very first image I took, I crossed traffic like a boss for the sole purpose of capturing this image.  I liked the uniformity of all of the workers sitting on their crates while taking a break.  The two woman walking under the tunnel (the silhouettes to the right of the workers) add an interesting layer of composition for me.  There is no masking it though, the image is missing the decisive moment and I would have liked to have been closer before taking the shot.  Next time!

JMB_8819This was the second shot I took, maybe less interesting than the first…  I had just finished telling my wife how Pittsburgh really doesn’t have a huge selection of geometrical architecture that can be easily incorporated into street photography.  I like the way the light was hitting them through the cracks in the rail road track above but the subjects weren’t that interesting.  Getting closer would be key for that shot to ever work.

JMB_8822This image was the next image I took, the man just jumped out at me…  Not literally, pretty sure his jumping out days were numbered.  He looked like he had a lot of character and I felt he needed to be photographed.  I like the worker sitting in the background in the alley, in fact…

JMB_8823My next shot was a close up of the worker in the alley.  I processed this in color because I really like the faded colors on the walls and the way they contrasted with his blue shirt and the red crate he was sitting on.  Not an incredibly interesting photograph but it documents the life of these kitchen workers nicely.

JMB_8824At the end of the same alley, where I photographed the old man and the worker above, I saw this guy sitting on the corner curb looking all melancholic like.  I wonder if that says anything about me as a street photographer?  Lots of my photos tend to be referenced as gritty.  If I had a therapist I could bring that up at our next session I suppose…

JMB_8832My goal was to work my way over to Market Square and see if anyone was playing in the fountains that shoot up out of the ground, I took this shot on the way.  When I practice Street Photography I don’t limit myself photographing people.  I wouldn’t exactly call this a street photography shot but I think I’m less liberal with the term than others.

JMB_8847Market Square was a bit of a bust this night.  I did take this shot in an alley nearby that I like to shoot in.  I have walked through just about every alley in Pittsburgh, it’s one of my favorite places to photograph.  The alleys are so raw and untouched, I find some of the most interesting colors and art there.

JMB_8858Yep…  It’s a bird.  This is the second time I’ve seen this guy and his bird at The Point.  I’m not thrilled with this shot but it’s the first time I’ve got him on camera so it will have to do for now.  I’d love to get a panning shot of him and his bird riding that bike.

JMB_8895This may be one of the most promising scenes I’ve found in Pittsburgh lately.  You can bet I’ll be revisiting this place to get some photos with interesting subjects walking through.  Below are two images out of about 10 that I took that evening.  Next time!


Finally, this bike rider caught my eye on the way back to my car.  I liked the way the lights from the car behind him were hitting his bike…  Almost like a light painting.  I love the idea of the image but the execution is flawed in some way that I can’t quite put my finger on right now.  What do you think?


Thanks for joining me on this photo walk of Pittsburgh.  If you’d like to see more images from in and around Pittsburgh be sure to bookmark this site and also check out  Be sure to join the DecisiveShot Flickr page to share your images with the rest of us.  You can leave your thoughts in the comments below.