Rainy Day Street Photography In Pittsburgh

There is nothing like a rain or snow storm to get the creative juices flowing.  It’s funny, I can remember when I was starting out in photography and would be a bit dismayed when the weather was anything but perfectly clear and now I tend to skip days like that.  Especially if I’m shooting landscape or cityscape images…  If there aren’t any clouds in the sky I feel like the image lacks mood.  Regardless, here are some shots I took on a rare sixty degree January day in Pittsburgh.  Not so rare…  It was raining.

One of the first shots I happened upon was this beautiful scene of a couple huddling close together to stay dry as the rain refused to relent.  I side-stepped to the left to put some space between the out-of-focus person with an umbrella in the distance and the main subject, the couple.  Without this separation the person in the distance would have looked like a blob and I feel like the image would have lacked some needed depth.  The colorful umbrella truly makes this photograph.  Had the umbrella been black the moment would have still been cute but the photos impact would have been greatly diminished.

Towards the end of the night I opened my lens as wide as it would go and focused on a neat little chain I noticed hanging along the sidewalk.  I liked the way the light reflected off of the door on the right of the frame and merely needed to wait for someone to walk past me on the left.  I spent about 20 minutes and 7 or 10 frames until this person with an umbrella walked past…  They were in the perfect position for the purple reflection from the sign to create a bit of a silhouette of the stranger.  I opened my lens in order to keep my ISO low as well as create the neat bokeh out of the light in the distance.

I spent the majority of my time working on the scene you see above.  Sometimes we see something that speaks to us but it doesn’t always come out the way we would like…  This is such a scene.  I love the subtle shadow on the wall to the left, where the blinds create breaks in the red light thrown from the neon sign.  The intense stare of the man walking by only adds to the mood of the scene.

This image is, believe it or not, my favorite image from the day.  For some reason I am drawn to images that look more painterly than photographic.  I love the bold yellow, the white color, and the contrast between the mans face and his umbrella.

Ugh, another umbrella…  Right?  This scene begged to be photographed.  The cute couple with the boy’s arm wrapped around his sweetheart.  I love these little moments that would slip through time were it not for someone with a camera.

That’s it.  Well, that is all of the 353 photographs that I took that I’m willing to share with the world.  Perhaps this will inspire you to throw on a pair of comfy shoes, grab an umbrella, your camera, and hit the pavement next time it rains.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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3 replies on “Rainy Day Street Photography In Pittsburgh”
  1. says: Becky

    I absolutely love the photo of the couple on the rainy nighttime street with the reflections. As the guy, you noticed his arm around her shoulders. As a woman, I noticed the uneven distribution of the umbrella coverage — sort of like “sharing” the covers at night. HAHAHA

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