Pittsburgh Magazine City Guide 2010-11
I would probably venture to say that every photographer’s dream is to eventually be published. For, me at least, it’s the highest recognition a photographer can achieve. And last June, that dream came true.
I got an email from the art director of Pittsburgh Magazine early on in the summer, asking to feature one of my images of the PPG building in the upcoming issue of Pittsburgh Magazine’s City Guide. I was ecstatic when I got the email and replied with the photo attached right away. Paid publication or not, the amount of exposure I would receive from this would be exciting enough.
I promptly responded to his email with the high resolution photo attached. Moments later, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in free lance work. Eager to find out what it entailed, I responded right back. He was interested in the art of High Dynamic Photography and wanted to meet with me to learn more. I found out that he was interested in using my style of photography for the upcoming 2011 City Guide. They were writing a story about the different activities that take place along Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers. He proceeded to tell me what kinds of photographs he was looking for and how we needed this all done in a mere ten days! I was excited and stressed at the same time and could not wait to get started. That night was the start of my ten day journey throughout Pittsburgh, looking for new angles, and perfect lighting of the city. In tow was my very patient girlfriend who trekked all throughout the city in order to get the shots needed for the magazine. After ten days and countless hours of editing, I had about 30 photographs to turn in to the director. Also running through my mind was the thought of him not being impressed with the work presented to him. Boy was I wrong! He could not have been happier with the work and thanked me for my hard work and dedication.
To accompany the photographs in the article, Chuck had me write a little blurb to inform the readers of HDR photography. It read:
“Throughout this feature, photographer Brad Truxell used High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, the process of combining multiple exposures of the same scene to achieve a greater range of light within an image. HDR photography typically uses varying exposures of highlights, midtones and shadows that are taken at different shutter speeds to allow more or less light into the image. These exposures are then combined using HDR software to create a visually dynamic range of light and shadow.”
About a month went by and I hadn’t heard anything. I anxiously awaited the date where I would see my photos inside a magazine. Finally, after weeks of anticipation, I received a call from the art director explaining via voice mail that the magazine has printed and it looks gorgeous. He once again thanked me for my hard work and said he did not expect such beautiful photographs. The last thing that he told me was, “oh by the way, one of your shots made the cover.” Hearing that was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and I could not wait to drive down there and pick my copies up.
When I saw the magazine for the first time, I was speechless at how good it looked. The cover looked fantastic and I could not have been happier with the turnout. A total of thirteen photographs that I shot made the magazine, including the cover… More than I ever expected to have published.
Almost a year later, I received an email from the art director if I would like to accompany him to the 47th Annual Golden Quill Awards. He informed me that the article in which I shot the photographs for had been nominated for an award. I thought to myself, “neat, I was a part in this article, I’ll go.” The fact that I was the one up for the award in Feature Photography was not communicated to me. I arrived at the award ceremony in a ballroom of a Pittsburgh Hotel, I sat down at the assigned table and began flipping through the program guide. To my surprise, I saw my name as a finalist in the category of Feature Photography. I was astounded and could not believe that I have been shooting for a mere two years and became a finalist for photography. When it was time for the category to be announced, I was nervously waiting the announcement with my head down. Then I looked up and saw one of my photographs. The presenter said over the microphone, “This photograph displays extraordinary composition and perfect lighting…Brad Truxell and Chuck Beard, Pittsburgh Magazine’s A Tale of Three Rivers.” I beat two other professional photographers that shoot regularly for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That night was a phenomenal experience and I will never forget the opportunity that Chuck Beard and Pittsburgh Magazine has given to me.