5 Best Places to Photograph Pittsburgh (Besides Mt. Washington)
“I’m a lifelong Pittsburgher, and I have been capturing the city in storms, fog, from a helicopter and standing in the rivers for nearly a decade. With nearly 250,000 followers across social media, my goal is to share the ever-evolving, yet always beautiful, Pittsburgh region with as many people as possible. Here are places you can get a stunning photo.”
PHOTOs BY DAVE DICELLO
University of Pittsburgh
Oakland, home to the University of Pittsburgh, provides a wealth of photographic opportunities within a couple blocks. From the iconic Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Memorial Chapel to the Mellon Institute right across the street, the architecture is truly incredible. In the springtime, flowers erupt over nearly every part of campus, creating vibrant scenes that can brighten up any day. The light in the springtime is my favorite, as it creates dynamic scenes all around campus.
West End Overlook
When it comes to views of Pittsburgh, the West End has it all. You can see both Heinz Field and PNC Park, the fountain at the Point, down both rivers, and of course the buildings of the city. During a colorful sunrise or sunset, it certainly encapsulates the term “Golden Triangle.” One of my favorite parts of the Overlook though, is the large tree that provides a perfect natural frame for the year, bringing nature and the city together beautifully.
Allegheny Commons Park West/Lake Elizabeth
This area has one of the most underrated views of the city. With cherry blossoms in the spring and bright yellow ginkgo trees in the fall, there’s always vibrant color to be found. It has a certain Central Park feel to it, with the bridge crossing Lake Elizabeth as trees frame the pathways, and only the tops of the buildings peeking out over the trees. Plus, with the railroad tracks running through the park, you can always seem to find a way to capture a train as it travels into or out of Pittsburgh.
One of the great things about Pittsburgh is the access to the rivers from seemingly everywhere, especially the Allegheny. The North Shore is a great place to not only capture the reflections of the city, but also find different ways to combine the variety of trees, from dogwoods to cherry blossoms, with the city. In the spring, the sun rises up the Allegheny River, washing the bridges and north face of the city with light. In the fall, the sun rises behind Downtown, and the moment that it breaks through the buildings is spectacular.
The West End Bridge
The best part about capturing Pittsburgh from the West End Bridge is that it almost makes you feel like you are actually on a barge on the river. With most of the barges and towboats in town docking on the Ohio River near the bridge, it’s very common to see multiple vessels in the morning. Another benefit of this location is that for a couple weeks each year, in the late winter and early fall, the sun rises directly behind the city, making for jaw-dropping scenes. Lastly, when it comes to fireworks in the city, there’s probably not a better spot than here, especially on July 4th!