HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Down by the river

A few days ago I did a write up on all the sports arenas in Pittsburgh, both past and present.  Well, maybe not all of them, but all of the significant ones.  Yesterday there was some pretty big news in Pittsburgh around perhaps the most iconic one, Mellon Arena.  As we know, the Penguins moved out of the Igloo this season and across the street into the new CONSOL Energy Center.  The decision was made last October to have the old Civic Arena torn down, and a new development put in, with shops, apartments, etc.  It was going to be designed to help reconnect the city to the Hill District, as the home of Penguins had separated the two for nearly fifty years.  The demolition was scheduled for early 2011.

But here we are early March 2011 and the arena is still standing, as we saw in my upload from a few days back.  That’s because right after the decision to implode the arena was made, historical organizations began fighting for the preservation of the building, claiming that it was a cultural landmark and should be saved.  My two cents on the whole issue is this.  It is an old building.  Inside?  Pretty ugly.  Cool, but ugly.  It’s small, cramped, and not a whole lot to use it for.  Besides, even if they did want to use it for concerts, shows and the like, why would anyone want to perform in a fifty year old building when they can perform at a less than one year old building across the street?  I’m not even taking into consideration what it would take to keep the Civic Arena operational and safe for patrons, but I have to imagine it would be astronomical.

My opinions aside, the historical societies were dealt a blow yesterday, when the Pittsburgh Historic Review panel denied the Civic Arena’s status as a city historic structure.  Although the preservations will eventually take the battle to the city council, which will have the final say, it is not looking too good for the world’s first retractable domed stadium.

On to today’s shots.  Well, technically I only have one shot to post to flickr, but I was up on Mt. Washington shooting and killing time yesterday, and got a pretty cool tilt shift with Canon S95 that I wanted to share first.  I haven’t processed a tilt shift in Photoshop for a while, but I may see what I can dig up.  For now though, I am pretty happy with the effect provided by the S95.

Today’s official shot it another one from a few Saturdays ago.  After I made my way across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, the moon was still just above the horizon.  All the tones seemed to blend together so nicely, even the reds and the blues.  There was a perfect gradient in the sky that matched the color of the building, and the blue right along top of the sky even seemed to match the water.  I set up the tripod, took the bracket of seven shots, and made my way towards PNC Park.

Processed this one pretty similar to the other ones in the set.  The bracketed shots were put through HDR Efex using the HDR Method “Soft”.  I masked in the -3 exposure, to make sure that I got that rich color gradient fading from red to blue.  I added a blue curves layer to enhance the upper park of the sky and also masked in the light post you see on the right as it was just a little blown out.  Added a Tonal Contrast filter from Color Efex and High Pass Sharpening, as usual.  Finally, adjusted the overall curves of the scene to give it a bit more contrast, saved and uploaded.

Ahhh, can you smell that?  Friday is in the air.  Enjoy your day guys.

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