The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

politely holding

with 4 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the 1st of September, a Thursday, I got to spend a few hours solo “just doing my thing.” My pal Max had driven off somewhere, and a humble narrator set off to accomplish a certain task. I’ve become fascinated by the Lenticular Truss span which the Pittsburgh people describe as being the “Smithfield Street Bridge.” In prior posts about travel in the Pittsburgh area, I expressed a desire to examine it thoroughly from a photographic point of view, which is now accomplished from an “up, down, all around” POV. In fact, I took so many shots of the thing that I decided to just embed them into a video slideshow, which is above. No sound on this, just images.

As a note, there’s a few shots in there from the water at night, which were gathered on the evening of the 2nd of September. I’ll show you a few more shots from that excursion tomorrow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One stuck to the southern shoreline of Pittsburgh, and in particular the Mount Washington side of the Monongahela River. Prior exploration had revealed that this is the side of the City where you’re likely to encounter and photograph freight rail rolling along, which I was desirous to do.

That choice paid off.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This kind of shot is difficult to capture. You focus in on the fast moving subject, and then pivot the lens along with its travel path, turning your body at the waist. High failure rate with this sort of shot. Things went right for me in the one above, with the horizontal motion blur and the sharp focal on the CSX locomotive engine and all that.

“I meant for that to happen” is a sentence sometimes offered by happy photographers when their gambles pay off.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Duquesne Incline was ridden next. It carried me to the top of Mt. Washington, where the always excellent set of views from the prominence awaited.

This time around, I would mention, I had prepared my phone with the local transit apps. My life was made immeasurably easier by this preparation, since I could just seamlessly buy a ticket and ride the thing without having to wait on a line to purchase a ticket.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Up on Mt. Washington, I installed a “long” telephoto zoom lens onto the camera and started picking out detailed areas to point the thing at.

Another CSX train set was transiting through.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Truth be told, and as mentioned yesterday, something that continually caught my eye was the web of high speed roads, on and off ramps, and their interactions with the surrounding City. That’s the Fort Duquesne Bridge, if you’re curious, which crosses the Allegheny River.

More tomorrow, from the Paris of Appalachia.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

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

October 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

Posted in newtown creek

4 Responses

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  1. My buddy Mitch continues his perambulations around your fair city. He’s a big fan of bridge and rail infrastructure and Pittsburgh has some great bridges. That Dusquense incline looks cool. You said there are two?

    Sent from my iPhone

    Joseph McCluskey

    October 7, 2022 at 1:44 am

  2. […] saw the Pittsburgh posts continue, as with “politely holding,” but we were soon back at Newtown Creek with “subdued sort.” I attended a performance at the […]

  3. […] the new climes, we decided to head out for a fancy pants celebratory dinner. Pictured above is the Smithfield Street Bridge along the Monongahela River, which I spotted while heading out for the […]

  4. […] via the light rail service would shape up. A brief scuttle soon found me perambulating across the Smithfield Street Bridge and crossing the Monongahela River towards the south side, as the locals would refer to it. […]

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