How will this profound and unsettling time we’re going through be documented? One way is through photographs that command our attention and in some way alter our perspective or deepen our understanding or just make us pause and reflect.

Like you, we wonder how we will look back on this pandemic (and so look forward to that day). We think these photos by Pittsburgh photographers grasp the moment in an unusual and creative way and in the future will bring it home, so to speak.

Elan Mizrahi

“Isolated Radiance is a culmination of a lifelong fascination realized during an unexpected pandemic,” says Elan Mizrahi of his photo series. “Anyone who knows me well is aware of my perpetual desire to observe the evening routines that transpire behind a glowing window. It’s part imagination and part curiosity. There seemed to be no better time to capture some of these moments than during a quarantine.”

While the Polish Hill resident was “almost completely out of work” when the pandemic hit, the work is coming back slowly, he says. And he never lost his desire to keep shooting. “I have felt pressure to get out and document as much as I could, to create historic photos.”

Take a look and see more of Elan’s photos here.

The Talmy family photographed in their Squirrel Hill home for the photo series Isolated Radiance. Photo by Elan Mizrahi.

The Dancisin family photographed in their Squirrel Hill home for the photo series Isolated Radiance. Photo by Elan Mizrahi.

Cheryl Stimson Fedder cuts her husband’s hair outside their Wilkins Township home for the photo series Isolated Radiance. Photo by Elan Mizrahi.

Vincent and Carter Thundr Lee-DeAndrea photographed in their Wilkins Township home for the photo series Isolated Radiance. Photo by Elan Mizrahi.

Ed Massery

“I was originally drawn to these compositions because of the relationship these locations had with the looming architecture in the backgrounds and the typical Pittsburgh hilly and rolling landscape,” says Ed Massery, who specializes in architecture photography.

“I made the Lawrenceville photo in early May after first seeing the backyard with the Romanesque church looming in the background about a year and a half ago. I waited for an ideal day to make this photo.”

It was during the quarantine, of course, and the owners’ kids were bored and asked to be in the photo. “So they played in the yard while I shot several frames,” says Ed.

The second photo came about when Ed was on a scouting shoot for the newly completed home in the woods as seen in the background. He took the photo weeks later, at dusk with the fire glowing, with their three sons to add scale.

“I also incorporated the curved sweeping motion of the pathway which leads the eye through the photograph,” he notes.

While the ongoing series initially had nothing to do with the pandemic, it took on a new light with the theme of the backyard and bored kids at home during a time we will never forget.
Ed continues to work on the series and has more compositions in the pipeline.

See more of Ed’s work here.

The Kline kids playing in their backyard pond in Lawrenceville during quarantine with the Romanesque St. Augustine Church looming behind them. The home is owned by Christine Brill, a Pittsburgh architect. It is also a live/workspace for Studio for Spatial Practice, which she runs with her husband Jonathan Kline and their business partner, Jen Gallagher. ©2020Ed Massery

Gwin brothers in quarantine in their yard having a fire together. The Indianola residence is owned by Mike and Renee Gwin. Mike is a principal at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative in the Strip District. ©2020Ed Massery

The home of Kate Tunney and Greg George on Mt Washington. Both are architects and together they built the elaborate backyard deck and raised play area. ©2020Ed Massery.

Carla Cardello, @CityLifeAdventures

Carla Cardello, also known as Puddle Queen for her interesting photos of reflections in water, entered this photo below at the North Hills Art Center months ago and was thrilled when it was chosen for a gallery reception.

“My first reception! A totally new concept for me as I’m trying to get my work known,” she wrote on Instagram at City Life Adventures.

Unfortunately, the reception was scheduled for the same weekend the quarantine started. “I’m still a bit crushed,” she says, although she’s quick to point out that her plight doesn’t compare to others going through much worse these days.

“The photo is of two geese hanging out by the 16th St. Bridge during rush hour,” she writes. “Remember when that was a thing?”

Carla, who focuses on shooting the streets and bridges of Pittsburgh, was driving by and the light was just right so she stopped to shoot. “I was ready to wrap it up when all of a sudden these geese dove into the water and hung out in front of me.”

The good news is she sold the photo and then got requests for more prints. And nothing has stopped her from her usual work of photographing the city and documenting it on Instagram, especially during the pandemic. See her work here on Instagram.

Photo of geese by 16th St. Bridge by Carla Cardello.

Carla Cardello

Photo by Carla Cardello of City Life Adventures.

In honor of all essential workers, the Pittsburgh skyline was lit up to show support. Photo by Carla Cardello.