Pittsburgh, PA – Cathedral of Learning (HDR)


One of my favorite cities to photograph due to my love of its sports teams…Pittsburgh. This day I went out with my good friend and fellow photographer, Dave DiCello. You can find his blog here.. HDR Exposed . He has tons of great shots of the Burgh!

I told my wife one day we have to live here for year so I can go to all the games..Steelers, Pirates and Penguins! ..probably when I am retired. The Photogs in the Burgh have tons of places to shoot…the city, sports parks, bridges all over the place, steel mills, old and abandoned buildings all over! HDR heaven!

One super cool place you must stop by to HDR first if you ever visit is the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. It is the perfect spot to HDR! Dave and I went early this day before classes started and it was nice and quiet! The kids probably had too many Iron City Beer’s the night before! Enjoy the photo!

If you are a photog and shoot HDR’s my HDR techniques have been evolving recently and I have a few new tricks. The shot above and a few recently have utilized these new methods. I still use Nik’s HDR Efex Pro…but its what I do in Photoshop that helps! I’ll do a post on this soon! Have fun!

Talke Photography Settings:

Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 12.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/16
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

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All Aboard to Hogwarts! (HDR)


I did enjoy the Harry Potter movies/books…although some were very slow. The last movie was fantastic! I give J.K. Rowling credit…Hogwarts is a great idea. Can you imagine catching a train there? Would be an adventure! I have taken a few old train shots and wanted to make this one seem like it came from a Harry Potter movie. It was fun creating…about 6 textures (including one with smoke) + oneOne’s Photo Tools + Nik…basically used all I have! I whipped up a bit of Photoshop Wizardry. You can find this train in downtown Orlando. Enjoy!

Pittsburgh, PA – Cathedral of Learning (HDR)

One more shot from the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh.  This place is meant for HDR!!  People posted on the previous shots that it looks like something from Lord of the Rings or even Hogwarts from Harry Potter.   I’ll go with Hogwarts as my choice!   I can see Dumbledore teaching in Pittsburgh!   I enjoy the Harry Potter movies..so while checking out if Hogwarts was design upon any particular building (no luck)…I stumbled across the grading system at Hogwarts…too funny!!

Most O.W.L.s  (Ordinary Wizzarding Level)consist of two parts, a written theoretical test and a practical demonstration of skills before the examiners. Subjects are graded on the following scale:

Passing Grades

  • O = Outstanding
  • E = Exceeds Expectations
  • A = Acceptable

Failing Grades

  • P = Poor
  • D = Dreadful
  • T = Troll

Great stuff…ah writers!!  Imagine getting a “T”  = Troll grade…funny!!   Ok, have a magical day!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 14.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro