As photographers, when we head out the door with our camera, we usually have a specific destination in mind. We rarely go out without some sort of plan. Well, tonight’s plan was pretty easy: it was a mission to capture the Pittsburgh supermoon. I know that there have been quite a few supermoons this year, and while the term may be getting overused, tonight it truly was going to be a lunar event to behold. The moon was to be closer to the Earth than it will be for the next 13 months, meaning that it was probably a pretty good night to head out with the gear. So, after spending all day yesterday shooting a wedding, I cleaned the equipment, packed it all back up and headed back out.
First stop was the West End Overlook. Well, I take that back. First stop was the North Side, to capture a few images of sunset (not seen here). Being satisfied with what we captured (oh yeah, I neglected to mention that I was out with my father, a photographer as well), we made out way to the popular West End Overlook. Initially we set up shop near the end of the Overlook, which has the best view of Pittsburgh, however, after checking the Photographer’s Ephemeris app, I determined that that would not be the ideal spot, as the moonrise would be blocked by the buildings. We made out way back down to the middle of the overlook, where the app said we should get a great view of the moon coming over the horizon. And we would have, if the sun had gone down a little quicker. We ended up not seeing the moon until it was over the skyline, with the sky still a bit too bright to really make it out. However, the sun quickly set, remedying our problem, and we were able to capture some beautiful images.
Next stop was the West End Bridge. We parked illegally (I mean it was Sunday night, come on), and sprinted onto the bridge, where the supermoon was high and bright over the Pittsburgh skyline. The West End Bridge can be a bit tricky to shoot from, as anytime a large truck crosses it, the whole thing shakes. Bad news for long exposures. We were still able to capture some spectacular images of the moon over the skyline, and moved on to the our next location.
There is a little overlook right above the North Shore and near Heinz Field that was next on our list. I captured my favorite image of the night here, a 24 image panorama. We didn’t waste much time here, as it was off to the middle of the North Shore next.
This area of the North Shore is one of my favorite in the city. It gives fantastic views of the Sister Bridges (Rachel Carson, Andy Warhol and Roberto Clemente), as well as a great view of the Pittsburgh skyline. We hustled around here, framing the supermoon in the Andy Warhol Bridge, which meant I was climbing in the river. My dad was even nice enough to capture an image of me out and about. We called it a night and headed home, happy with our bounty of images.
Not so fast. As we made out way through town, we noticed the moon aligned perfectly between the buildings of PPG Place. Again, parking in a ‘No Parking’ zone, we grabbed our second to last shot of the night. The last shot being once we got home and away from the light pollution of downtown, I captured my most detailed shot of the moon to date. My mouth literally dropped open when I saw the image on the back of the camera.
And that’s it for the Pittsburgh supermoon. I hope you enjoyed viewing these, as I sure as heck enjoyed taking them!