The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for January 27th, 2022

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Boy oh boy, did a humble narrator suffer in pursuance of getting the shots in today’s post. Standing on the edge of Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington after the atmospheric temperature tumbled thirty degrees in two hours and despite a sustained thirty mile an hour wind began painting my back, one nevertheless stuck it out through sunset.

For an idea of how high up over the Golden Triangle of Downtown Pittsburgh and the three rivers I was, that line between the orange sunset light and the foreground is the sun shadow of Mt. Washington.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had been planning for this spate of shooting all weekend. That plan got thrown out the window due to the high wind speed, which forced me set up the tripod quite low to the ground due to the force of air shaking the rig. My original intent was to use a filter to “slow down” the sunset shot and render the waters as a mirror.

One managed to pull that off in one or two of these, but it soon became apparent that this was an entirely futile pursuit and I changed gears.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, I wasn’t prepared – garment wise – for this sort of cold and wind. My fingers and toes were numb, and I was having trouble operating the discreet control buttons on the camera.

I was also fairly terrified that a blast of wind would carry the camera and tripod away and over the side of Mt. Washington.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as the light show offered by the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself ended, one decided to just head back to the shelter of the rented AirBnb room and settle in for an early night. I was hoping to stick it out in the location of these shots until the City lights came on, but the wind and cold really was becoming horrific at this point.

I broke down the rig, changed lenses, and set the camera back up for handheld shooting mode.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was about a mile and a half back to the room, but I decided to be lazy and call for a cab on one of my rideshare accounts. While waiting to get picked up, I kept an eye on the scene. I felt thwarted.

Naturally, just as the car arrived…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s when the city lights snapped on. I just cannot win, I tell you.

More tomorrow.

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In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

January 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

Posted in AMTRAK, railroad

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