The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

West End Overlook, again

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

After spending a bit of time on Mount Washington’s Grandview Avenue shooting elevation based master shots for future usage, as described in yesterday’s post, one headed over to another elevated location known for its views. West End Overlook Park, which I’ve visited a couple of times since relocating to Pittsburgh, was my destination.

The light was kind of ‘meh’ on this visit, so instead of trying to make things look better than they did, I decided to do a few things which I don’t normally commit my time into.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Panoramas, for instance, are seldom worth the effort. Oddly sized, I’ll shoot them and then never show them to anyone. Today’s the exception. This one was accomplished simply by loosening one of the clamp screws on my tripod and rotating the camera by about ten degrees for around eight shots which would later be merged into a single image in photoshop.

If you click the image, it’ll take you to Flickr, where you can zoom in on the thing. Like I said – an odd size which is hard to fit onto a screen. It’s even worse if you print the thing. Where are you going to find a frame that’s going to fit a print which is 39 inches wide by 10 inches tall?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I switched out the lenses, and used the 70-300mm zoom to look up the Allegheny River. Both lenses I was using had ND filters attached, allowing me an amazing amount of control over the exposure. The light wasn’t great, but this particular set of photos was more about exercising my skills behind the camera than anything else.

One has finally replaced the desktop computer which blew up on me during the very first week of COVID, and the new unit is being put through its paces with everything that I can throw at it which the laptop I’ve been working off of for the last three years would choke up on. The laptop has been fine for photo developing and the occasional presentation, but I needed something that could do some heavy lifting to accomplish what comes ‘next.’

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I arrived at the West End Overlook park about an hour prior to sunset, and got generally busy. I popped out a bunch of these filter shots – long exposures of 15-30 seconds depending on conditions. A line of clouds was moving through the sky, creating shafts of strong sunlight and deep cloud shadows. Two or three stops of light was filtering down, and toggling on and off.


– photo by Mitch Waxman

I was kind of getting tired by this point, having spent my afternoon running around on Mount Washington and lugging the camera around. Already thinking about dinner back at home a few miles away in Dormont.

I was also kind of distracted by another technical challenge which I had set out for myself.

– timelapse by Mitch Waxman

The YouTube embed above has no sound, and it’s part of a “work in progress” project which the new computer is a part of. Timelapse video like the one above is a series of photos taken in intervals. In the case of the one above, I think it was a 15 second exposure followed by a four second interval followed by… rinse and repeat for about 30 minutes or so. It’s actually pretty nerve wracking and boring at the same time capturing this sort of thing. You’ve got to pay attention to the camera, but you also have to ignore it and just let it do the work.

Saying that, it’s flawed. Working on getting this technique into my toolkit, and being able to reliably produce it, that’s one of the things a humble narrator is up to while using the new computer.

Back tomorrow with something different, at your Newtown Pentacle.

“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

February 28, 2023 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Dramatic!


    March 4, 2023 at 6:46 pm

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