Penn Avenue Gatehouse, Allegheny Cemetery

Father Pitt has always had mixed feelings about HDR (“high-dynamic-range”) images. They are made from multiple exposures—this one, for example, is put together from three photographs—in an attempt to capture the detail in both the highlights and the shadows. On the one hand, they always strike him as artificial-looking; on the other, HDR imaging was the only effective way to capture both the stonework and the lowering clouds in this picture. If you look closely, you will notice an artifact of the process: it was a windy day, so the stones are sharp but the trees are blurred.

This is the Penn Avenue gatehouse of Allegheny Cemetery, seen from inside the cemetery. Old Pa Pitt returned two days later to try another HDR image, and this time—with some tweaking of software settings—he managed a more natural-looking result:

If he were at all concerned with his reputation as an artist, he would have led with this picture. But he thought you might enjoy seeing a first attempt and the refinement that followed, in that order.

If you are looking for some atmospheric fun for Halloween, Father Pitt’s Pittsburgh Cemeteries is full of interesting pictures and information.

Strangely Altered Carson Street Victorian

This building has had some adventures. Originally a typical Pittsburgh Romanesque commercial building, it had a radical renovation of the ground floor at some point in the Art Deco era (early enough that the entrances are still recessed from the sidewalk). Possibly at the same time, but probably later, the second and third floors were very inexpertly done over in an aggressively modernist style: the ornaments removed, the original tall windows replaced with much smaller windows, and the remaining space bricked up. Only the top remains more or less unaltered, though its ironwork date could use a bit of restoration, and the ironwork initials have left only their shadows.

Carnegie United Methodist Church

Carnegie is full of impressive churches in a wide variety of styles. This one is in a heavy Romanesque style, and the bell tower (now festooned with loudspeakers) is appropriately impressive and weighty.

Attawheed Islamic Center, Carnegie

This old Romanesque church is beautifully kept up as the Attawheed Islamic Center, occupying one of the most prominent corners in the borough of Carnegie. Though the architecture is Romanesque, the tower and steeple seem uncharacteristically light for the style; old Pa Pitt always comes away with the impression that this is a Gothic building, and only seeing the rounded arches in the photograph corrects his faulty memory.

B. M. Kramer & Co. Building

Note that this picture is more than 13 megabytes if you enlarge it.

Old Pa Pitt can only say this is not bad for a first try. He has always admired this little masterpiece of industrial architecture (which surprisingly still houses a pipe, valve, and fittings company), and set himself the task of getting a picture of the Sidney Street face, which covers the entire block between 20th Street and 21st Street on the South Side. The evening sun was not kind to him, so he may try again on a cloudy day; but this is still the only picture of the whole Sidney Street face on the entire Internet, so Father Pitt gives himself credit for that much. Below, a more conventional (and much easier) view from the corner of 20th and Sidney Streets, with the usual utility cables.