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Boston In Black And White. January 5, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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After I dropped my daughter off at BU this Saturday, I took a spin through Boston, hoping to snag a few photos in the new fallen snow.

But as I approached the center of town, I was suddenly surrounded by wailing sirens and flashing lights.  In my rear-view mirror an armada of fire trucks were rapidly gaining on me – and then another pack rounded the corner ahead of me and came screaming at me, one-way street be damned!  Incredibly, there was a double parking space on my right (I hadn’t seen one in blocks,) so I swung in to let them all by.

But they didn’t go by.  Instead, they screeched to a stop all around me, boxing me in, and an army of Heroes leaped out, dragging hoses and cranking their giant ladders skyward.

I clearly was going nowhere fast, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and hopped out, praying that my car and everything in it would survive this incident, and headed across the street (actually, onto the fenced median) to what I hoped would be a safe spot.

I noticed almost immediately that the fine snow was changing over to sleet – unfortunate timing, as I had Elliot, my tilt/shift lens mounted, and its articulated body isn’t as weatherproof as my other L-series lenses.  I hunkered over it like a modern Quasimodo, sharing my hat with it as I set up a shot:

Turned out that both the tilt and the shift came in handy on that one.

I stopped a passing Sergeant and asked if my vehicle was going to survive, and was relieved to get a “yes” out of him; turned out it was likely a false alarm, but they still had to evacuate and thoroughly check out the building.  He estimated an hour for the process, so I returned to Plan A:  shoot some architecture.  I began to walk.

The Back Bay neighborhood of brick and brownstone buildings in which I had “parked” was beautiful in the fresh, clean snow, and right away I was setting up to capture it:

Pardon the scroll on that one; I liked the whole thing and couldn’t decide where to crop it!

I played with Elliot’s articulations, getting more adept at pre-judging the amount of swing necessary for keeping facades in focus, despite the relatively low light:

A few blocks away I came to the meat of the matter, the heart of the city, where old brick buildings are dwarfed by glass and steel behemoths, in this case the Prudential building:

All of these shots of Downtown are hand-held, braced on light poles and sign posts, as it was too crappy out to spend time setting up the tripod.  Thankfully, I had a pocked full of tissues to dry Elliot as I walked between shots looking like I was smuggling something in my jacket front.  I’m almost surprised that I wasn’t stopped by the police – but then, this is Boston, and they’ve probably seen it all…

Approaching Copley Square, I got this shot of the Old South Church on the left and the Boston City Library on the right, another juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern:

By then my lens was getting impossible to keep dry, so I headed back toward my car, by then set free… and illegally parked.

I hopped in and beat feet, satisfied with my urban catch.  I hope you enjoy them as well.  🙂

I’ll have some color photos from this excursion soon.

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Comments»

1. Around the Island - January 5, 2010

Yikes, what an adventure. You got some great shots out of it though, and plenty of blog fodder too.

2. maryt/theteach - January 5, 2010

Absolutely exquisite shots! And worth all the trouble! 🙂

3. dianne - January 5, 2010

I love B&W and I love Boston
and these shots are the best of both!!

4. sherry - January 5, 2010

wow! really great pics and i adore some of those buildings!

5. littlebangtheory - January 5, 2010

Thanks, everyone! The color batch will be up soon (though probably not tonight.)

6. kkryno - January 6, 2010

I love these! 🙂

7. Rip Curl - April 17, 2010

A little off the subject maybe, but a request for people to consider the ethics of buying wetsuits. Do try and consider, for example, the things your item is made with, the conditions of the employees where they’re manufactured and the green credentials of retailers. And try to recycle rather than throwing away. Thanks!!!!


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