Conference


2017 PSA Pre-Conference Photo Tours


There are multiple sites to visit, with excellent photo opportunities for all.  This page will be updated as tours times/days become more firm.

Tour Descriptions Select a tour to see (or hide) its information or choose "Show All" to reveal all tours and their descriptions. Tours are offered Sunday, October 8 through Friday, October 13. Please see details of specific tour to find out when it is offered.


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  • #01 - COVERED BRIDGES OF WASHINGTON COUNTY - Sunday, October 8
    Depart hotel:  8:00am via Coach Tour Bus
    Return:  5:00pm
    Limited to: 56
    Cost:

    There are 23 covered bridges nestled in the forests and meadows of adjacent Washington county and you will have an opportunity to photograph several of them. Many have a distinctive style, size and color that will appeal to the nostalgic and artistic photographer. The fall foliage will be an added bonus. Bring all the equipment you need in search of that photo that separates you from the ordinary.


  • #02 - JUST DUCKY TOURS - Sunday, October 8
    Depart hotel:  9:00am
    Return:  10:00am
    Limited to:
    Cost:

    JUST DUCKY TOURS, a recipient of a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence of 2016, and “Pittsburgh’s only land and water tour,” provides a unique experience in a WW2 amphibious “DUKW” truck. Take photos and listen to the city's history as the DUKW navigates the city’s downtown streets and the 3 rivers during the one hour tour. The DUKW will depart and return you to the Marriott.  

    Get your camera ready for a fun trip! 
  • #03 - JUST DUCKY TOURS - Sunday, October 8
    Depart hotel:  5:45pm
    Return:  6:45pm
    Limited to:
    Cost:

    JUST DUCKY TOURS, a recipient of a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence of 2016, and “Pittsburgh’s only land and water tour,” provides a unique experience in a WW2 amphibious “DUKW” truck. Take photos and listen to the city's history as the DUKW navigates the city’s downtown streets and the 3 rivers during the one hour tour. The DUKW will depart and return you to the Marriott.  

    Get your camera ready for a fun trip! 
  • #04 - MT WASHINGTON OVERLOOK OF PITTSBURGH AND THREE RIVERS, SUNSET - Sunday, October 8
    Bus boards at hotel: 5:45pm
    Depart hotel:
    6:00pm promptly
    Return: 9:00pm
    Limited to: 33 persons (15 persons minimum required)
    Cost: $29 per person

    USA Weekend's 2003 Annual Travel Report ranked Mt. Washington as the second most beautiful urban vista in America:  “In a nation with a wealth of stunning cities full of compelling stories, ranking Pittsburgh as the No. 2 beauty spot is perhaps our most surprising choice. But the Steel City's aesthetic appeal is undeniable, as is its very American capacity for renewal.”

     Mount Washington’s vantage is more than 360 feet above the three rivers and downtown Pittsburgh. The view of the city skyscrapers, 15 bridges, and sweeping panoramic landscape is unbelievably breathtaking during the day or night, sunrise or sunset. Virtually all of the city skyline photos are from Mount Washington and for this reason it is the iconic location visitors seek. If you’ve never been to Pittsburgh, this is a must.  An October Red sunset or sunrise would be an added bonus. Bring a telephoto lens, a wide angle lens and a tripod (and a weight bag if it is windy).

    The bus will travel to the top of Mount Washington on Grandview Avenue (the street name says it all!) to the Duquesne Incline (the oldest continuous use incline in the world).  You will be able to shoot from the deck of the upper station of the incline, tour the incline station, ride the incline down to the bottom and return to the top (while shooting).  The bronze statue “Point of View” displaying George Washington face to face with Seneca Indian leader Guyasuta is a short walk away and offers an even better view of the skyline and three rivers.   The bus back to the hotel will load at the top of the Duquesne Incline at 8:30pm.


  • #05 - CARRIE FURNACE OF THE RIVERS OF STEEL HERITAGE AREA - Monday, October 9, half day, morning
    Bus boards at hotel: 7:15am
    Depart hotel
    : leaves 7:30am promptly
    Return: 11:30am
    Limited to: 30 persons (15 persons required minimum participation)
    Cost: $49 per person

    Special
    (A signed Waiver of Liability form is required for this tour. To hold your seat on this tour, this form must be accurately filled out, signed and returned to the Registrar within two weeks from date of your registration . Download the form, fill it out, and either email it as an attachment to registrarpsa@aol.com, or mail it to PSA Conference Registrar, Jan Todd, 823 NW Sacajawea St., Camas, WA. 98607.)

    Download form: Liability waiver for CF Tours

    This relic of pre-WW2 steel making technology is a decaying furnace left behind when the steel industry abandoned Pittsburgh. The dilapidated structures and furnace is the only property in the USA in which a photographer can wander inside and out to photograph vintage steel furnace equipment. The location is safe if you stay within the marked areas. However, the terrain is uneven and the interior is not handicap accessible.

    This facility is massive, spread out over acres of land and loaded with lines, shapes, colors and even abstracts. You will be absorbed and will lose yourself in the moment. It is dark inside even in midday. So shoot the inside at mid-day and reserve the outside for the early or later day shots. Include a tripod, flash, and a variety of lenses, if you wish. Wear work clothes and good traction footwear (hiking shoes/boots are beneficial as the ground is slippery inside and muddy outside). If you use knee pads when you shoot, bring them.

    Whether color or black & white, macro or wide-angle, creative or stereo, the photographic opportunities are only limited to your imagination. And you’ll want to come back!

    Download the personal video and photography policy for the Carrie Furnaces.


  • #06 - PHIPPS BOTANICAL GARDENS AND OBSERVATORY, CATHEDRAL OF LEARNING, AND HEINZ CHAPEL - Monday, October 9, full day
    Depart hotel: 8:30am via Coach Tour Bus
    Return: 4:00pm
    Limited to: 56
    Cost: includes boxed lunch

    Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

    If you like flowers and gardens, what better place to take world-class photos than in this world-class conservatory. Open since 1893, it has provided an internationally renowned garden experience to tens of thousands of visitors. Phipps is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of Victoria greenhouse architecture, similar to the structures of Kew Gardens in England.

    The conservatory houses a variety of elaborate gardens within its fourteen room glass and metal structure and on the adjoining grounds. The spectacular Orchid garden, a room with desert plants from all over the world, a large Tropical Forest conservatory and the Pittsburgh-themed garden railroad are just a few examples. 

    For the nature photographer, all this and more will surely be your next award winning photo or a gift for your loved ones. 

    Most of rooms are lit by natural sunlight. Tripods on not permitted but monopods are. (I suggest bringing the tripod with you for the other 2 sites on this tour and leave in the bus.) And bring a wind deflector (fans are on), consider a variable filter or light diffuser (it is mid-day bright in most of the rooms, plants need sun you know!) and a large memory card! 

    Please refer to these websites:

    https://phipps.conservatory.org

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phipps_Conservatory_and_Botanical_Gardens



    Cathedral of Learning

    The Cathedral of Learning, a Pittsburgh landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus 

    Commissioned in 1921, the 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere and the second tallest university building (fourth tallest educationally-purposed building) in the world, per Wikipedia.

    On the first floor there is a four-story-high, vaulted, gothic study and event hall. And on the first and third floors are 30 unique “Nationality” rooms, each dedicated to the traditions of the ethnic communities and world cultures that represent the immigrants who worked in and built Pittsburgh. Step inside China, Syria, Greece, Germany 26 other global traditions. 

    Bring a tripod for the hall, a monopod or steady hands for the Nationality rooms, and a flash may be useful for all

    http://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu/about/cathedral-learning

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Learning


    Heinz Chapel

    On the same grounds as the Cathedral of Learning is the Heinz Chapel. Built in the 1930s, the Chapel was a gift from H J Heinz (AKA ketchup) to the University of Pittsburgh to honor his mother.  The chapel is in the neo-Gothic style with stone vaults, high ceilings, repeated arches and adorned with beautiful stain glass windows. Photography and tripods are allowed.

    The coach will leave you at the Phipps. After your allotted time there, you will pick up your boxed lunch at the Phipps and your tripod in the bus, and together we will head to the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel.

  • #07 - CARRIE FURNACE OF THE RIVERS OF STEEL HERITAGE AREA - Monday, October 9 half day - afternoon
    Bus boards at hotel: 1:15pm
    Depart hotel
    :
    1:30pm promptly
    Return:
    5:30pm
    Limited to:
    30 persons (15 persons required minimum participation)
    Cost: $49 per person


    Special
    (A signed Waiver of Liability form is required for this tour. To hold your seat on this tour, this form must be accurately filled out, signed and returned to the Registrar within two weeks from date of your registration . Download the form, fill it out, and either email it as an attachment to registrarpsa@aol.com, or mail it to PSA Conference Registrar, Jan Todd, 823 NW Sacajawea St., Camas, WA. 98607.)

    Download form: Liability waiver for CF Tours

    This relic of pre-WW2 steel making technology is a decaying furnace left behind when the steel industry abandoned Pittsburgh. The dilapidated structures and furnace is the only property in the USA in which a photographer can wander inside and out to photograph vintage steel furnace equipment. The location is safe if you stay within the marked areas. However, the terrain is uneven and the interior is not handicap accessible.

    This facility is massive, spread out over acres of land and loaded with lines, shapes, colors and even abstracts. You will be absorbed and will lose yourself in the moment. It is dark inside even in midday. So shoot the inside at mid-day and reserve the outside for the early or later day shots. Include a tripod, flash, and a variety of lenses, if you wish. Wear work clothes and good traction footwear (hiking shoes/boots are beneficial as the ground is slippery inside and muddy outside). If you use knee pads when you shoot, bring them.

    Whether color or black & white, macro or wide-angle, creative or stereo, the photographic opportunities are only limited to your imagination. And you’ll want to come back!


    Download the personal video and photography policy for the Carrie Furnaces.



  • #8 - GATEWAY CLIPPER SUNSET RIVER CRUISE AND DINNER - Monday, October 9
    Depart hotel: 5:30pm
    Return: 9:30pm
    Limited to: 100 
    Cost: 

    The Gateway Clipper has been a mainstay of entertainment and sightseeing in Pittsburgh for several decades. We've arranged for a terrific sunset photography cruise on this modern paddleboat.

    Pittsburgh is located at the "fork" of 3 rivers and we sail all 3 rivers during this 2.5 hours voyage. You have access to the entire ship.

    Be sure you're on the top deck during the "golden hours" for unobstructed, eastern views of the Point State park, the fountain and downtown Pittsburgh as the Captain holds the ship stationary for several minutes on the Ohio river. And stay on the top as we navigate up the Allegheny river and pass under the "sister" bridges -- the Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachael Carson.

    The rivers are usually not rough so consider bringing your tripod. Bring your telephoto and wide angle lenses. Don't miss this sunset opportunity! A 1.5 hour dinner buffet and transportation to the ship are included in the fee.



  • #9 - MOUNT WASHINGTON OVERLOOK OF PITTSBURGH AND THREE RIVERS, SUNRISE
    Bus boards at hotel: 6:00am
    Depart hotel:
    6:15am promptly
    Return: 9:00am
    Limited to: 33 persons (15 persons required minimum participation)
    Cost: $29 per person

    USA Weekend's 2003 Annual Travel Report ranked Mt. Washington as the second most beautiful urban vista in America: “In a nation with a wealth of stunning cities full of compelling stories, ranking Pittsburgh as the No. 2 beauty spot is perhaps our most surprising choice. But the Steel City's aesthetic appeal is undeniable, as is its very American capacity for renewal.”

    Mount Washington’s vantage is more than 360 feet above the three rivers and downtown Pittsburgh. The view of the city skyscrapers, 15 bridges, and sweeping panoramic landscape is unbelievably breathtaking during the day or night, sunrise or sunset. Virtually all of the city skyline photos are from Mount Washington and for this reason it is the iconic location visitors seek. If you’ve never been to Pittsburgh, this is a must. An October Red sunset or sunrise would be an added bonus. Bring a telephoto lens, a wide angle lens and a tripod (and a weight bag if it is windy).

    The bus will travel to the top of Mount Washington on Grandview Avenue (the street name says it all!) to the Duquesne Incline (the oldest continuous use incline in the world). You will be able to shoot from the deck of the upper station of the incline, tour the incline station, ride the incline down to the bottom and return to the top (while shooting). The bronze statue “Point of View” displaying George Washington face to face with Seneca Indian leader Guyasuta is a short walk away and offers an even better view of the skyline and three rivers. The bus back to the hotel will load at the top of the Duquesne Incline at 8:30am.


  • #10 - OHIOPYLE STATE PARK AND FALLINGWATER - Tuesday, October 10
    Depart hotel:  8:00am
    Return to hotel: 6:00pm
    Limited to: 56
    Cost:  includes transportation and box lunch

    The Ohiopyle State Park is very popular among locals for whitewater sports, hiking, fishing, camping, and photography. Its centerpieces are the Youghiogheny River Gorge, Ferncliff Peninsula National Landmark and the Ohiopyle Falls. 

    This area was once inhabited by a clan of mound builders and later by Native Americans that were forced west by European settlements in the east. George Washington was on 2 expeditions that passed through Ohiopyle on their way to Fort Duquesne at the convergence of the rivers, at the current Point State Park in Pittsburgh. His troops encountered French soldiers and 2 battles were fought close by. These were the first shots of the French and Indian War that resulted in the world wide Seven Years’ War of the 18th century. (It was the taxes England required to pay the debt for this war that lead to the American Revolution.)


    Fallingwater

    Designed as a weekend house for the Kaufmann family, owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store, Fallingwater is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous private residences. Finished in 1939, the house is located in a scenic, wooded setting, cantilevered over a stream and a 30 foot waterfall. Designed to place its occupants close to the natural surroundings, it is the only major Wright designed house open to the public with its furnishings, artwork and setting intact. http://fallingwater.org

    The house and park are 5 minutes apart and located in a very rural setting in the Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands, 90 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Both locations are heavily forested. We plan on being at 3 locations in the park to photograph waterfalls and the glorious colors of a Western Pennsylvania autumn. At Fallingwater, you may photograph the exterior house, surrounding woods, and falls under the house. Bring a tripod and add a wide angle lens to capture all the colors. (Photographs not permitted inside the house.) The tour fee includes transportation and box lunch.


  • #11 - PITTSBURGH ZOO & AQUARIUM, Tuesday, October 10, full day
    Coach boards at hotel: 9:15am
    Depart hotel:
    9:30am promptly
    Return: 3:30pm
    Limited to: 60 persons (required minimum participation is 30 persons)
    Cost: $39 per person, lunch is NOT included


    The Pittsburgh Zoo is one of many gems in the city. Like other zoos, it has gone through tremendous changes, shedding its bars and cages of the 19th century for the more open and natural habitats. It is dedicated to fostering “positive, lifelong connections between animals and people” as well as providing protection for many endangered species.

    The grounds includes the open Zoo, Monkey house, Aquazoo and a unique Underground zoo. Photograph birds, bears, large cats and other large animals of the savanna. And then walk to the Aquazoo for the penguins, eels and fish. You can download a map of the zoo below.

    Consider bringing your tripod for the indoor venues. The paths are paved and are quite hilly. Motorized scooters are available for $30.00 per day. Wheelchairs are available for $5.00 per day. Lunch is not included. There are several good places to eat in the zoo.


    To download map, click to enlarge and then right click to save the enlargement.


  • #12 - THE NATIONAL AVIARY: PHOTO SHOOT THEN DINE WITH BIRDS - Thursday, October 12
    Depart hotel:  8:00am
    Return:  12:30pm
    Limited tp: 66
    Cost:  Includes transportation and lunch

    “The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. 
    The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an experience unlike any other – an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world.”*
    There is a large 4 story free-flight exhibit building for the Tropical rainforest and several other buildings and exhibit rooms of various sizes. You can wander anywhere. Bring your everyday lenses, a flash, telephoto lenses, and a tripod just incase. After our morning photo shoot, we will have lunch at the Aviary. This tour includes transportation and lunch.













  • #13 - CARRIE FURNACE OF THE RIVERS OF STEEL HERITAGE AREA - Friday, October 13 half day morning
    Bus boards at hotel: 7:15am
    Depart hotel
    : 7:30am promptly
    Return: 11:30am
    Limited to: 30 persons (15 persons required minimum participation)
    Cost: $49 per person

    Special
    (A signed Waiver of Liability form is required for this tour. To hold your seat on this tour, this form must be accurately filled out, signed and returned to the Registrar within two weeks from date of your registration . Download the form, fill it out, and either email it as an attachment to registrarpsa@aol.com, or mail it to PSA Conference Registrar, Jan Todd, 823 NW Sacajawea St., Camas, WA. 98607.)

    Download form: Liability waiver for CF Tours


    This relic of pre-WW2 steel making technology is a decaying furnace left behind when the steel industry abandoned Pittsburgh. The dilapidated structures and furnace is the only property in the USA in which a photographer can wander inside and out to photograph vintage steel furnace equipment. The location is safe if you stay within the marked areas. However, the terrain is uneven and the interior is not handicap accessible.

    This facility is massive, spread out over acres of land and loaded with lines, shapes, colors and even abstracts. You will be absorbed and will lose yourself in the moment. It is dark inside even in midday. So shoot the inside at mid-day and reserve the outside for the early or later day shots. Include a tripod, flash, and a variety of lenses, if you wish. Wear work clothes and good traction footwear (hiking shoes/boots are beneficial as the ground is slippery inside and muddy outside). If you use knee pads when you shoot, bring them.

    Whether color or black & white, macro or wide-angle, creative or stereo, the photographic opportunities are only limited to your imagination. And you’ll want to come back!  

    Download the personal video and photography policy for the Carrie Furnaces.