The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Panhandle Bridge

Where, when, what, why, and how

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Welcome to the penultimate post to come out of a fantastic afternoon’s walking experience in Pittsburgh. This one began when a humble narrator debarked the T light rail at its terminal stop on the City’s North Side and marveled at a series of on-ramps. I had crossed the triangle, and was midway across the Liberty Bridge on my way back to another T station on the South Side of the Monongahela River at Station Square.

Thereby, that’s the ‘where.’

The light was absolutely fantastic. It was the 25th of April, a Tuesday. At just about 5 p.m., so that’s the ‘when.’

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The ‘what’ is a little more complicated, but suffice to say that a bit of a constitutional walk was required. As is my habit, the camera was clutched in my hand. This walk saw me bring a lens out of retirement, my Sigma 18-300mm. It’s a ‘crop sensor’ lens, meaning that on my ‘full frame’ camera, I’d be throwing away about 35% of the image and making minor sacrifices in terms of image quality here and there.

Saying that, I’ve really missed this ‘one lens to rule them all’ kind of setup. It’s really nice to be able to go wide to telephoto without having to fiddle about.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

‘Why’ I was using this piece of glass is simple, or rather its simplicity. When I moved my camera operations over from the trusty Canon 7D which I’d been carrying for about a decade to the R6 Mirrorless model I now use, most of my collection of lenses went into the cabinet along with the 7D body. The new camera uses the ‘RF’ Mount, which Canon has not licensed any Third Parties like Sigma to manufacture for. Canon is obviously trying to make as much as they can off we users, but…

Whereas most of the RF glass Canon has released is kind of miraculous, it’s also set at price points that would make even Apple blush. Even worse, most of the stuff they’ve been putting out is aimed squarely at a) wedding and portrait and b) sports photographers. I really don’t need a 6 pound, 13 inch long 100-300mm lens that costs $9,500 to do Newtown Pentacle and if I did need that sort of reach/capability for a gig or something – I’d rent it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

‘How’ is fairly easily accomplished on the R6, you just change the crop settings in one of the menus and the camera does the rest. I can also shoot squares, or HD TV formatted images using that menu. I have a few ‘native lenses’ that I use all the time which are RF mount – a 24-105mm, a 35mm, and an 85mm. I’ve got an extremely old 70-300mm consumer level lens which I attach to the camera via the usage of an adapter – the same thing I use for any of my EF mount lenses. The 70-300 is pretty unreliable though, and it’s autofocus was crap out of the box when I bought it years ago. After a piss poor performance by the thing recently, I decided that when I need the extra reach or it’s just a ‘photowalk day’ when I’m not trying to get all artsy fartsy the far more reliable Sigma is my ‘go-to.’

That’s the Panhandle Bridge which the T is riding on.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve been riding this T service a lot, especially on days when I want to keep all my options open. Maybe stop at a bar & inhale a pint, that sort of thing. Stuff I can’t do when I’m driving, basically. Also, I really don’t want to be a ‘car guy’ all the time. Gotta keep scuttling.

Also, as I’ve been quoted saying a million times: ‘you can’t see anything when you’re inside of a vehicle. Even a bike is moving too fast. You need to walk in Cities. Feel them, catch their vibe.’

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The icing on my photowalk cake was finally finding a POV for the Norfolk Southern tracks, which is from the Liberty Bridge. I’ll admit to stopping my forward movement for about 15 minutes, and nearly jumping for joy when I heard it coming from the other side of the tree line. These tracks are on a shelf carved into Mount Washington. I’ve gotten shots from the ground of this scene which I’ve shown y’all in the past.

I feel like I’m starting to catch the vibe here now. Back 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

May 24, 2023 at 11:00 am

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