Monday, October 5, 2009

Five Hours in Boston - 2007

Boston. A great town, I'm sure. I hadn't really had much of a chance to see it. That changed one day in July of 2007 when my phone rang and I suddenly had a sales appointment there.

Well, in Cambridge to be accurate. An engineer at MIT who prototyped for the aerospace industry heard of my company's product and wanted a demo. Glad to oblige, I headed east. An easy flight into Manchester, a short drive down, and I was in his office doing my day-job thing. He was impressed. Two hours later, with no other prospects in the area, my sales day was done for the day.

Camera in hand, I set off silently to see what I could see of the city through my lens. Starting on the MIT camus, where I took this shot at 1:29 pm:

What a crazy building!

Over to the Cambridge bank of the Charles River to get my look at the Boston skyline and the ubiquitous boats lining the various docks. The light was good, so I focused on various compositions of sailboats and skylines, like these:

You'll recognize this last one as an untinted version of the picture that opens this post. Photoshop? Yes.

The clouds caught my eye. When I first spotted them, I thought "the city is on fire!" The clouds were very dramatic in person, let me assure you. When I looked at the picture later, I didn't get that same feeling. I liked the composition of the sailboats against the skyline and clouds, sure. Not quite the rule of thirds, but close enough to be interesting.

I showed this to a friend later - a professional shooter and a Photoshop whiz. He spent five minutes on it and Viola!, the sky was on fire. Wow. It's an eye catcher now.

Uncharacteristically, I broke my silent reverie and accosted a passerby who seemed local. Pointing over at Boston, I asked him "if you had an hour to take pictures there, where would you go?" Picking out a church spire for me, he said "Find that church and you'll be in Copley Square. You should enjoy yourself there."

Right he was. Not only did I love the church, historically and photgraphically:

But, I also loved the fountain in Copley Square and spent quite a bit of time covering it (bracketing, so to speak) from all angles. In the end, I liked this picture both because of the composition and the because I like the playfullness of people playing in the fountain.

On my way back to my car, I walked through the Back Bay area - enjoying the architecture of a lifestyle that I could never afford...

My final shot of my 3 hours of adventure photography in Bean Town was spontaneity at it's best. As I entered the tunnel for I-90 West out of town at 4:09 pm, I had the sunroof in my rental car open. Grabbing my camera off the seat next to me, I stuck it up through the sunroof and snapped my version of a tunnel pic - blindly. I kind of like this one.

Five hours in Boston. I haven't been back since. But, I captured memories - through my lens.


  1. These are beautiful photographs. I am an occasional photographer and I have an L16 which I exercise on my frequent tours in North India.

    I like your tunnel photograph. We have a 3km tunnel somewhere around but I never took a picture inside it.

    I enjoy bringing back and preserving these memories but it's an effort not to think "this would make a nice picture" when you ought to be thinking business.

  2. The first photo might be Photoshopped, but what beauty! I have some pictures of Seattle over on my blog (which is much more writing intensive), but I don't think I capture the city as exquisitely as you do Boston.