Mexican War Streets


Sometimes when I work downtown the scenery becomes a bit mundane, time for some visual diversity. For a colorful retreat with my students, I headed to West Park and the Mexican War Streets neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.


There the tops of the city skyscrapers are juxtaposed behind a delicate yet dense growth of evergreen trees and a manicured pond. Across the street are row after row of bright, colorful and intricately detailed Victorian homes. Each one is unique from the next, though the neighborhood is uniform and authentic to historic standards. A nice diversion from the usual scenery around campus.

Pittsburgh Zoo

Pittsburgh Zoo

With my children, I make it to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium several times a year. We have visited at least a dozen times since the polar bear exhibition opened in 2006. This was the first time the bears were enjoying themselves in the water while we were inside the viewing tunnel underneath the pool. My oldest son became a bit fearful of the bear hanging in an apparent suspension just above his head. For three minutes the bears interacted with each other while a crowd gathered.

Snowpacolypse 2010

This past week was spent snowed in. Nearly 24 inches of snow fell on Pittsburgh during a two-day snow event dubbed ‘Snowpacolypse’. Half the week was spent at home alone with the kids, while my wife was stuck in Nashville at a social media confrence. During the week I made it into the village only once to run a few errands and take a few pictures. The snow made my everyday scenery take on an alpine appearance. The isolation of the storm required me to make good pictures close to home and sometimes from within the home, like the Gigapan featured above. The challenge was to create differently than the routine to help quell the mounting cabin fever. You can see more images from ‘Snowpacolypse 2010’ here.

Max and Andy

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”~The Shining.

The World Is Flat


© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

A handmade replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship the ‘Nina’ pulls into the Port of Pittsburgh on the Allegheny River North Shore. The ship along with another handmade replica of the ‘Pinta’ will dock for twelve days while the six member crews answer questions about Columbus’s voyage to the new world. The ships originate from the British Virgin Islands.

Find out more about the Columbus Foundation here.

Read This Book

Frankfort Mineral Spings Tilt Shift

In addition to adding social media coordination to our repertoire, StartPoint Media is now publishing books.

Just in time for the holiday season, we are pleased to announce our first offering, Our State Parks: Western Pennsylvania which showcases the photography, text and design skills of me, Christopher Rolinson!

The 7 by 7 inch photographic coffee table book highlights western Pennsylvania’s state parks, forests and federal lands through vibrant photography and rich text.

Our State Parks Now Available

The book is a culmination of over four years of work spanning the western third of Pennsylvania from Lake Erie to Greene County to Blue Knob and beyond.

In it you will find stunning photography,information and stories about natural and wild areas within western Pennsylvania. This book should change your impressions of Pennsylvania and inspire you to get outside and take a few pictures.

The book is now available for purchase at

Parish Kohanim

Parish Kohanim

Thanks to ASMP Pittsburgh, Parish Kohanim and sponsor Canon USA for presenting great photography and inspiration at Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Screening Room Tuesday.

Parish presented over 400 images and many stories to go along with them. About 80 amateurs, professional and student photographers were on hand to network together and with Parish before the event.

What is in a name?

Wolf Creek Narrows
I am often asked why we chose StartPoint Media as a name for our photography company. The answer lies in the fact that StartPoint Media wasn’t created to be just a photography company.

In 2000 when the company was founded we had three prongs to our business: editorial photography, graphics design and P/R events. I provided the photography and Cara handled public relations. We took a a team approach towards graphics design. The editorial photography took off and was a rousing success. This kept us busy and quickly refined our focus. Since the business was becoming established we chose to keep the name. By doing this we weren’t limiting ourselves when opportunities arose to expand.

In 2000 the internet was nothing like it is now, no Twitter, no Facebook and no Flickr. The power to market was still primarily very traditional and very print. As the decade moved on Internet marketing took off. We embraced the power of social media networks to get our name out there. We can now be identified on many of the popular social networking sites. Educating ourselves about our own social media networks provided us with an additional skill set and another opportunity to provide services, social media coordination.

For more information please visit

The World at Our Door: Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson

The World at Our Door:  Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson

© 2009 StartPoint Media, Inc

Sylvia Ehler, Education Coordinator for the Silver Eye Center of Photography, speaks to Point Park University photography students about the Silver Eye Center for Photography’s current exhibition The World at Our Door featuring the work of locally based National Geographic photographers Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson. The exhibition features 50 images and runs through January 2, 2010.

The World at Our Door:  Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson

In addition I will be hosting this event:

Gallery Talk: Photo-Journalism and Today’s Culture
Saturday, October 17, 2:00 p.m.
Christopher Rolinson, Assistant Professor of Photojournalism at Point Park University discusses the role of photo-journalism in today’s digital world.
Admission free.

For more information visit the Silver Eye website

Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition March

Members of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition march through downtown Pittsburgh to Mellon Square, Monday, September 14, 2009. The march was made to further awareness of the situation in Darfur. The group believes that without American intervention and support a dreadful civil war will break out in the central African nation.

Point Park News Service

Point Park News Service

Andy Conte, director of the Point Park News Service, leads a group of student writers and photographers through an exercise identifying possible news and photo stories from the city around them.

The Point Park News Service is a collaboration between the Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review where students have the opportunity to report and photograph stories for publication on the Point Park News Service website, the Tribune-Review group of news papers and beyond. If a student story or photograph is used by the Tribune-Review the student receives a stringer fee for the work. Payment for the student work is a unique aspect to this news service.

The goal of the news service is to simulate a real world news room experience and provide an opportunity for young photojournalists and journalists and opportunity to publish in the broader community outside of campus.

Check out the Point Park News Service website for student stories and photographs.