Last Updated on June 24, 2020 by Jeremy
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One of the first things we did after starting this website was to follow photographers in Pittsburgh. As photography addicts ourselves (having taken well over 100,000 shots of the metro region over the years), we absolutely love seeing how others view the city through their lens.
In this one, we wanted to profile some of our favorite Pittsburgh photographers that you should check out. We reached out to each of the photographers below and got their insight on how they got into photography, their favorite photography styles, the equipment they use, and more!
At the end of each profile, we feature links to each photographer's online portfolio and social media channels. Please give them a follow to support these awesome local creatives!
JP Diroll – JP Diroll Photography
We first came across JP when scrolling through social media and were instantly drawn to his city shots. His images are instantly recognizable and really make the city shine. We've been fortunate enough to say hello to JP a few times at local art shows and markets, and always love seeing his latest shots.
What type of photography do you like to shoot? I focus, pun intended, on the Pittsburgh skyline. The range of vistas and views provide almost endless opportunities for creativity. Because I enjoy nature so much, I try to embody that in my Pittsburgh work, sticking with mostly landscape style photos of the whole city. I like to refer to myself as a landscape photographer masquerading as a cityscape photographer. Whenever possible, I include natural elements in my work, specifically trees. And water. Water means reflections and Pittsburgh is a great place for water, of course!
How long have you been a photographer? I bought my first camera, a 6.1MP Nikon D50, back in 2007 so you could stay I started then. Photography began as just a creative outlet, a hobby to occupy some time clear my head. I spent a TON of time photographing animals at the zoo. The problem with buying a camera, though, is you're wanting to upgrade before you even get the hang of the one you've got. That bug bit me hard. So I bought a better camera and started to get serious about photography in 2011. In 2013, I got laid off from my engineering gig but my photography ‘career' was just ramping up. I've been a full time photographer ever since.
What camera and lens setup is your go-to? Despite the “gear bug” I mentioned, I keep my setup pretty simple. I have two Nikon D850 bodies and the holy trinity of lenses; the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 VR, and Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII. I'd say I use those three lenses equally, but I love the 70-200 most! I also have the Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 which comes in handy when shooting the moon. My tripod is a Really Right Stuff TVC-34L carbon fiber tripod.
What is one shot you have always wanted to capture but haven't yet? I've always wanted to photograph the skyline from the air. I have a drone, but I use it pretty infrequently. Plus I can't ride on my drone! What I want is to take to the air in a helicopter. It's easy enough to book a tour, I just haven't done it yet. But I have a lot of ideas for when I do! I also HAVE to photograph a lion in the wild. An African safari is number one on my photography bucket list.
Chris Litherland – Chris Litherland Photography
We were first drawn to Chris Litherland's photography through shots like the above which provide an interesting perspective into cross-sections of the city from a distance. After diving into his portfolio, we stuck around for his church photos which showcase some really stunning art and architecture.
What is your preferred style of photography? I like to shoot mainly architecture photography and focus on historic churches of the midwest and East Coast. I shoot all kinds of subjects though, from cityscapes to birds to lighthouses to waterfalls. I am currently making a book and have been for years on the subject of churches of the rust-belt; all the way from St. Louis to Baltimore.
How long have you been a photographer? I've been into photography since I was 11 and became interested through birding.
What camera and lens setup is your go-to? I use Nikon gear. I currently shoot with a D750 and have too many lenses to name. But I mainly shoot with the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 for church interiors and then the Nikon 24-70 2.8. And for cityscapes, like the photo I attached here of the church in McKees Rocks I use the Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3.
Carla Cardello – City Life Adventures
We first connected with Carla as a fellow blogger in Pittsburgh, and have quickly become friends both through our shared careers and love of photography. If you see a puddle shot with a reflection of Pittsburgh while scrolling through social media, odds are good she is behind it!
What is your preferred style of photography? I'm a cityscape photographer who captures the streets and bridges of Pittsburgh. I'm known for my reflection shots which showcase the city in a way that's different from traditional skyline shots. I also shoot food photography for my recipe blog Homemade In The Kitchen.
How long have you been a photographer? I’ve been shooting for as long as I can remember, ranging from a disposable camera on childhood field trips to my first point and shoot camera for vacation to buying my first DSLR for food photography. I’m so dedicated to my craft, I even have a camera tattooed on my arm.
What is one shot you have always wanted to capture but haven't yet? I want to do a time-lapse of the skyline then make a collage of various instances in time.
Chancelor Humphery – Keep Pittsburgh Dope
Chancelor's perspective on photography in Pittsburgh is of the lifestyle angle, and we were instantly drawn to how he highlights life and style throughout the city- notably through our residents and visitors!
What type of photography do you like to shoot? Lifestyle and Street Photography
How long have you been a photographer? 7 Years
What is one shot you have always wanted to capture but haven't yet? Wiz Khalifa on top of the Steel Building.
Dave DiCello – Dave DiCello Photography
As far as Pittsburgh skyline photography is concerned, Dave DiCello has quite the reputation. Whether he is up at 3 am for a thunderstorm, catching the color change at sunrise, or capturing the skyline from a helicopter, Dave's city shots are simply awe-inspiring.
What type of photography do you like to shoot? It’s pretty obvious what my favorite subject is: our beautiful Pittsburgh skyline. But just because that’s what I post the majority of online, doesn’t mean that that’s all I like to shoot. I’ve said to anyone who will listen, that if I could, I’d pick up and move to Colorado in a heartbeat. I love it out there and have visited several times. The mountains, the Milky Way, the deserts… all incredible. My favorite time of day is about half an hour before sunrise when the world is slowly waking up, but the light hasn’t quite filled the sky yet. Just so peaceful.
How long have you been a photographer? Honestly… all my life. Ever since I was in kindergarten I was taking my camera with flashcubes to show and tell and begging my dad to let me use his Pentax at football games. I was always taking pictures through college, and had a handful of point and shoots that I would take on vacation. Finally, a year after college, I got my first DSLR, a Nikon D40X. Been hooked ever since!
What camera and lens setup is your go-to? My main cameras right now are two Nikon D850s, along with a Fuji X100V. The Fuji is a smaller camera that I use to chase my kids around, but it’s a great little walk around as well. My favorite lenses are the 14-24 (great for landscapes) and a 200-500 superzoom. The zoom is great for capturing scenes of the city that you see every day, but makes them look a little different. I also love my 24mm f1.4, which has a very shallow depth of field. This just means that I’m able to keep a very small portion of the image in focus while leaving the rest blurry.
What is the one shot you have always wanted to capture but haven’t yet? No brainer here. The Northern Lights. I’ve been fortunate enough to capture the Milky Way on several occasions, aerial views of the city at night, Pittsburgh from nearly every rooftop downtown, and professional sports from the field level. But to capture the Northern Lights is an all-time bucket list for me, and I imagine it being as incredible as seeing the Milky Way for the first time was.
Check back soon as we will add more profiles of Pittsburgh photographers we love over time! Have a suggestion of a photographer we should feature? Comment below to share!