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 TOUR, STREET & RIVER TOUR IN AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE – Sunday morning, October 8
    Vehicle Boards at Hotel: 8:45 am
    Depart hotel:
     9:00am promptly
    Return:  10:00am
    Limited to: 30 persons, required minimum participation is 15 persons
    Cost: $35 per person

    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 from and return to the Marriott.  Be prepared for some interesting photographic perspectives as viewed from this unique amphibious vessel. The truck is not handicap accessible.
  • #03 - JUST DUCKY TOUR, STREET & RIVER TOUR IN AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLE – Sunday evening, October 8
    Vehicle Boards at Hotel: 5:30pm
    Depart hotel:
      
    5:45pm promptly
    Return:  
    6:45pm
    Limited to: 
    30 persons, required minimum participation is 15 persons
    Cost: 
    $35 per person

    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 from and return to the Marriott.  Be prepared for some interesting photographic perspectives as viewed from this unique amphibious vessel. The truck is not handicap accessible.

  • #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!

    Please note: If you use a walker or a cane for stability while walking, you should not go on this tour.  A good sense of balance and good physical ability is needed to navigate the site.

    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
    Bus boards at hotel: 8:15am
    Depart hotel
    : 8:30am promptly
    Return: 4:00pm
    Limited to: 54 persons (40 persons required minimum participation)
    Cost: $79 per person

    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! 

    Resources:
    Check out these pdfs and websites for more information on the above areas:
    Beauty and Inspiration
    Green Healthy Spaces
    Thrive Spring

    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!

    Please note: If you use a walker or a cane for stability while walking, you should not go on this tour.  A good sense of balance and good physical ability is needed to navigate the site.

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



  • #8 - SUNSET DINNER CRUISE - Monday, October 9
    Bus Boards at hotel: 5:30pm
    Depart hotel
    : 5:45pm promptly
    Return: 9:30pm
    Limited to: 99 persons (three buses) with a required minimum paritipation of 50 persons
    Cost: $89 per person (includes dinner buffet and two drink tickets)

    Join us on our chartered river boat “M/V Princess” provided by Gateway Clipper Fleet for a sunset dinner cruise, offering a myriad of photographic opportunities during sunset and the ensuing dusk period.  Their modern-day paddlewheel vessel provides a relatively stable platform for your tripod.  A dinner buffet will be served during the first hour and a half.  Two drink tickets will be issued and you can buy additional drinks if you wish.  Transportation to and from the boat dock will be by chartered mini-bus.  The fee includes the cruise, the meal, two drinks and ground transportation.

    Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers forming the Ohio River.  We will sail all three rivers during this two-and-a-half-hour voyage at sunset and dusk.  The captain will work with us, maneuvering the boat, to provide numerous strategic photographic angles of the city and shoreline.

    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 at the best locations.  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.

    Bring your telephoto and wide angle lenses. Don't miss this sunset/dusk opportunity to photograph Pittsburgh and surrounding shorelines in their full autumn colors! 


    .



  • #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

    Bus Boards at Hotel: 7:45am
    Bus Departs from Hotel: 8:00am promptly
    Bus Returns to Hotel: 6:00pm
    Required Minimum Participation:  30 persons
    Tour Limited to: 54 persons (One bus only)
    Price of Tour:  $79 per person

    Located on the southern reaches of the Laurel Ridge, Ohiopyle State Park encompasses approximately 20,500 acres of rugged natural beauty and serves as the gateway to the Laurel Highlands.  Passing through the heart of the park, the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny [yawki-gay-nee] River Gorge are the centerpiece for Ohiopyle. The “Yough” [yawk] provides some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States, as well as spectacular scenery.

    We will arrive about 9:00am and will make 3 stops in the park before departing at noon for Fallingwaters. 

    The first stop will be he Youghiogheny Falls at Ohiopyle.  Located in the heart of the Ohiopyle, this 20-foot waterfall is a great centrally located attraction and has a large visitor center with facilities. The viewing platforms provide ideal venues for photography. 

    The second stop is Baughman Rock Overlook.  The overlook is situated just outside of Ohiopyle on Sugarloaf Road. This scenic overlook provides a stunning view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge above Ohiopyle.  The view from Baughman Rock is especially vibrant during the fall with the changing of the leaves. A must see!

    The third stop is Meadow Run.  Meadow Run is a great little creek that flows into the Youghiogheny River.  What makes Meadow Run so special is the great geological formations in the rocks. This powerful little creek has carved natural water slides out of the stream’s sandstone rock bed.  Please be careful!  The rocks can get slippery.  A quick walk up the road (for the young and strong) will take you to Cucumber Falls (time permitting).  It is a stunning 30-foot waterfall on the Cucumber Run.  To approach the falls, hike in on the Great Gorge Trail. The trail follows an old tramway that was used to transport coal to the railroad that is now the Great Allegheny Passage.

    Remember the bus leaves at noon to proceed to Fallingwater. 

    The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provides a downloadable map which shows the relative location of our stops.  It can be found at:

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_003524.pdf



    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 located in a very rural setting in the Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands, 90 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.  Both locations are heavily forested.  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. (Cameras, tripods and photography are not permitted inside the house.)

    The tour includes a voucher for a meal at the Fallingwater café.  We will go through the house in groups of 14, a new group starting every six minutes.  You will be provided a “PSA Ticket” showing your group number and estimated time of your tour.  There will be plenty of time to browse the souvenir shop and photograph the surroundings. 

    The bus begins boarding for the return trip at 4:30pm.  This is a unique opportunity to capture world class images of brilliant fall colors in a vibrant natural environment.

     


  • #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!  

    Please note: If you use a walker or a cane for stability while walking, you should not go on this tour.  A good sense of balance and good physical ability is needed to navigate the site.

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