The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for May 11th, 2023

Rivers of Steel Boat Tour, part 1

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A former steel operation site in Pittsburgh, called the Carrie Furnace, is being preserved as a historic landmark. A non profit operates at the location, one which offers several interesting events for the public to take part in, and Our Lady of the Pentacle and myself were lucky enough to score boat tickets for their ‘Rivers of Steel: Hardest Working River’ tour navigating the Monongahela River from its terminus at the Ohio River all the way back to Rankin, where the Carrie Furnace still stands across the water from the Homestead Pump House site.

It was not exactly the best sort of weather for a boat tour, incidentally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A historical narration was offered, discussing Pittsburgh’s somewhat epic history. I made myself busy shooting the entire time we were out, which had to be close to three hours. Shooting from a boat during inclement weather is definitively a skill I have, thanks to long experience with Working Harbor Committee and others back in NYC. It was cold, and raining intermittently. The Rivers of Steel peeps have their own boat, which docks alongside the Carnegie Science Center and as they informed us, normally takes out school kids to do science class stuff.

We proceeded in a generally eastern direction along the Monongahela, which flows in a quite serpentine manner that forms somewhat rounded peninsular landforms along its banks.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s what that South Side section which I’ve been visiting recently looks like from the water. We were there on last week’s Friday post.

Shooting pics from a boat is a very complicated situation. You’re shooting static objects from a moving object, and it’s even more complicated when you’re pointing the lens at another boat. A moving object from a moving object, with all sorts of weird reflective stuff happing in the water. It’s more complicated than you’d think.

Back tomorrow with more from the Monongahela River.

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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

May 11, 2023 at 11:00 am

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