All Pittsburgh photos are Copyright TakeBackRoads and Scott Berney, 2013 – current
I’ve been living in and photographing the Pittsburgh area for over ten years now. As you can imagine, I’ve collected a large number of pictures of downtown from various angles and at various times of year – and the collection continues to grow! The longer that I’ve lived in this area, the larger my collection of Pittsburgh skyline shots continues to grow. I update this post frequently with new photos, so please make sure to check back often!
Pittsburgh is a photographer’s dream.
Though the weather here can be challenging at times, it also provides us with vibrant sunrises and breathtaking sunsets. Downtown is naturally photogenic, and the hilly terrain and lengthy waterfront areas provide a countless number of different viewpoints from which to take photos.
I’ve travelled all over America and Europe, and in my opinion, there are only two cities that have a skyline that competes with the beauty of Pittsburgh’s: San Francisco and Prague. The city’s three rivers provide natural separations and vista points, and the hilly terrain provides excellent opportunities to view the city from skyscraper heights.
If there are any shots in this group that you would like to order prints of, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Names are listed below each shot, for easier reference when contacting me.
Some of my all-time favorite Pittsburgh Photos
Northside Ramps at Night is perhaps one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken of Pittsburgh. The picture is taken from the Vet’s Bridge, which was no easy trick, let me assure you of that. I can process it in black and white if you like, or leave it in color. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! This photo was shot using my Nikon D5300 on a tripod, with the 18-55mm kit lens that came with the camera!
Unique Perspectives of the Pittsburgh Skyline
Pittsburgh Railyard at Golden Hour is another favorite of mine – in large part because I don’t think I’ve ever seen another picture of the city from this perspective, not even from the professional photographers in the area. This is also a photo that was very challenging to capture, and the acrobatics I performed to get it are not for the faint of heart! This was shot using my Nikon D5300 and a retro Nikkor 43-86mm manual lens.
I love this shot too… I can’t help it. Blue hour provides such vibrant, rich depth of color to the sky, and creates a naturally striking contrast with the skyline. This was shot using my Nikon D5300, and a borrowed Nikon 70-200mm f2 lens from my good friend Christine at Fleeting Glimpse Photography. Amazingly, I had to shoot this handheld, with my arms propped on my knees while sitting on a low wall – my tripod broke! I can only imagine if I had been able to use my tripod for this picture…
OK, now I’m just loading up all of my favorite shots of Pittsburgh at the top. It’s almost unfair to the shots down below, especially since several of the Moonrise shots are ALSO some of my favorites. It’s getting to the point where I need to do a top-20 countdown!
Anyway, just recently I finally figured out a way to get excellent long-distance telephoto shots of the downtown Pittsburgh skyline from my neighborhood. Using my Nikon D5300 camera and Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 zoom lens, I was capturing images about an hour or two after sunrise one morning when a lone finch flew into the frame, landing on the shrub as you see here. It only sat there for a second or two before flying away…. long enough for me to grab this shot. It’s rapidly ascending my list of favorites, especially because it’s such a unique perspective of the city!
Piazza Lavoro took me a very, very long time to get lined up in a way that I was happy with …. and I’m still not thrilled about how the shot looks. I’m going to need to get back down there some time and try it again, perhaps with light painting or some other trick…
Take Me to Church is the first of what I hope with be a series of night time shots from the unique perspective of downtown Pittsburgh that I recently discovered. I love how the ambient light makes the cathedral in the foreground really pop out of the image, belying the actual distance from downtown of nearly three miles as the crow flies! Shot with my Nikon D5300 camera and Nikon 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens, this is one of the first shots I captured using the new Ravelli tripod I received for Christmas!
This is one picture that sadly will now never be able to be recreated. The Energy Flow rainbow light display on the Rachel Carson Bridge was removed in April of 2018. If you missed out – it’s too late! But I do have several photos like this one available!
Hot Metal Sunrise is one of a series of shots that I took on the Hot Metal Bridge after having learned how to create the starburst from sunlight that you see peeking through the trusses of the bridge. If this photo is not exactly what you’re looking for, please email me and I can provide you with other options and examples!
Smithfield Frames Downtown is another photo that took me a while to get lined up satisfactorily. I hope you enjoy it!
That one took some guts to capture!
Pittsburgh Light Painting is my very first picture to ever go viral – you can understand why. To capture this image required approximately 50 “outtakes” and a very patient teenage assistant – my daughter! We used my Nikon D5300 camera, Tokina 11-20mm f2.8 wide angle lens, and a basic Amazon tripod to capture this long exposure.
Meteor & Milky Way is another example of a photo that required many, many “outtakes” before getting the capture I was hoping for: One of the Perseid Meteors streaking across or near the galactic core of the Milky Way. Moon is also visible in this shot, as the large bright spot to the left of the leftmost boat mast. I spent at least two hours at Moraine State Park capturing photos of the Milky Way, the Pleiades, and the night sky… but it was a beautiful warm summer evening, so I didn’t mind!
A Nearly Full Moon Rises over Pittsburgh
This series of photos of the moon rising over downtown Pittsburgh’s skyline is the culmination of a long-held dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to capture the moon low in the sky, immediately adjacent to the buildings downtown. My dream finally came true when I had the perfect opportunity arise in March of 2018. These are available in a wide variety of edits – including black and white edits that make it appear like these were captured at night! Please email me if you would like prints!
Either one of these shots is available for purchase! Please click on the images to enlarge them to get a better perspective on the photo. Thanks!
A sunny blue afternoon … in winter?! Yes, it definitely happens on occasion here in Pittsburgh!
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I enjoy capturing them!
Copyright TakeBackRoads and Scott Berney, 2013 – current