The Frozen Charles

Although the weather warmed up a bit this past weekend, the Charles River remains virtually frozen solid.  This is something I hadn’t contemplated when planning this sunrise shoot, as I was hoping for some nice long exposures of the river.  Once I got past the strange reality of the river not moving, however, I realized that this is something that probably doesn’t happen very often, as we’ve experienced historically cold temperatures this winter.  I’m sure there’s a lemon/frozen lemonade moral to this story somewhere, but it’s late as I write this and I’m letting it go.

Anyway, these boats that were the main subject in my prior post, are now a compliment to the skyline and the colors of the pre-dawn hour.  In order to have both the boats and the taller buildings in the frame, I needed to “break” a major rule of photography by having the Prudential tower in the center as opposed to one of the left or right sides.   Nothing I could control, but I still like the way this turned out. This is definitely a spot I plan to revisit in the Spring.

Row Your Boat

When I looked at the weather forecast for Sunday morning, and saw that the temperature at sunrise was going to be in the 20s, I have to admit I was pretty excited.  The last few times I’ve been up to shoot sunrise, the temps have been single digits and at times below zero.  I can’t say it was balmy, but it sure felt a lot warmer than what we’ve been used to.

This image is of the sailboats at the MIT Sailing Pavilion in Cambridge along the Charles River.  I had come to shoot the sun rising behind the Boston skyline across the river, but couldn’t resist getting some shots of these awesome little boats all lined up waiting for warmer weather.  And yes, I know these are sailboats and the title of my post is “row your boat,” but you’ll have to grant me a little flexibility here.

I’ll have some shots of the city and the frozen river in upcoming posts.

Frozen Sunrise

Between the crazy winter we’ve had here in Massachusetts, and the craziness going on at work, I’ve unfortunately had little time to get out and shoot.   And less time to blog about my lack of shooting.  So I decided to remedy this, at least temporarily, by getting up early this past Sunday to photograph the sunrise.  I had my plan all set – get out to Eastern Point Light in Gloucester to photograph the lighthouse with the sun rising behind it.  All was good, until I neared the end of the road that leads to the lighthouse and discovered that the last half mile or so hadn’t been plowed in at least a few weeks.

So with no way to access the lighthouse, I turned to plan B, which was to drive around and pray that I could find something interesting to salvage the morning.  I could see that the colors were going to be nice, and candidly, I would’ve used a trash can as my photo subject just to get the sky behind it.  Luckily, I came across this small bridge which crosses a tidal river to the beach.  It was the perfect foreground subject, and allowed me to capture the sky and its colors reflected on the bridge and the snow.  And the bonus is that you can see the twin lights of Thacher Island in the distant background on the left of the image, so I still got my lighthouse shot.  Success.

Church Doors

I was up early Sunday morning, excited for a day of skiing before settling in for the Superbowl (Way to go Pats!).  When I learned that my friend was not feeling well and couldn’t ski, my first reaction was to jump back into bed and get more sleep.  (Yes, I could’ve gone by myself, but didn’t want to.)  But then I realized that I was dressed for the frigid cold, and was also in possession on a new camera that needs more breaking in.  So with not much time before sunrise, I decided to head into Boston to photograph the Christian Science Center, one of the more impressive pieces of architecture in the city.

The clouds once again conspired against me and stayed in bed, so once I grabbed a few wide angle shots of the building, I decided to focus my efforts on the many beautiful details you see everywhere you look here.  These doors in particular caught my eye, and I spent a fair amount of time trying various angles and compositions.  This image, with the morning light illuminating one of the doors, ended up as one of my favorites.

Sea Smoke at Sunrise

I love living in New England, and having access to some amazing places to photograph in all four seasons.  Now, while getting out to shoot at sunrise in the spring and summer take little motivation as the weather is warm, getting up in the dead of winter to capture the sun rising takes a bit more dedication.  Especially when the forecast is for single digit temps and wind chills well below zero.

But with the prospect of photographing sea smoke coming off the ocean in New Hampshire, I was more motivated than usual as this is something I’d always wanted to try to capture.  My friend Bob Lussier offered the opportunity to join him and Mike Tully to seek out this amazing phenomenon that only occurs when the temps really dip down to some low numbers.  After poking around Portsmouth before dawn, we made our way over to Great Island Common in Newcastle to watch the sun come up behind Whaleback Light.  There wasn’t a lot of sea smoke, but just enough to combine with the sun lighting up the clouds on the horizon to make a truly incredible scene.  A lone lobster boat heading out to sea was the icing on the cake.

It took a few hours to defrost my fingers and toes afterwards, but it was definitely worth it.

Boardwalk Sunrise

For me, 2014 will probably be remembered as the year of not so much shooting.  Between craziness at work, a busy schedule with my family, and a general lack of sufficient motivation, I just didn’t get out to shoot nearly as much as I would’ve liked.  I’m under no false illusion that 2015 will be prolific in terms of photography, but I’m resolving to at least make a concerted effort to get out there more often.

This effort began this past weekend when I set my alarm for a sunrise shoot.  I decided to head to a familiar go-to location on Plum Island, hoping for a nice sunrise at a location I know well. And thankfully I was rewarded with a pretty decent sky full of pastel color and clouds.  This image won’t win me any awards, but it was very gratifying to have made the effort and to come away with some good images.

Happy new year everyone.


Not much to say about this image.  Living in New England I’m fortunate to have easy access to the many salt marshes in the area, and I’m always on the lookout for small and winding rivers and streams among the marshes such as this one.  With a better sky I would’ve left this shot in color, but decided to minimize the sky instead and convert to black and white.

Boston Cold

It was a bitterly cold sunset when Bob, Mike and I visited Lo Presti Park in East Boston to shoot the Boston skyline.  Getting there a bit early only added to our enjoyment of early winter in Boston, but we stuck it out, and were rewarded with a pretty good sunset.  This spot has become one of my favorite places to photograph the skyline, with so many options for foreground interest in these old piers.

The Office

It’s been quite a while since I posted an mill image.  Maybe you’ve missed them, maybe you haven’t, but I’m putting one up on the blog today regardless.  🙂

This is a shot from the Pacific Mill in Lawrence, and is what appears to be an office on one of the upper floors of the mill.  It’s an image that I originally didn’t really care for, but now has become one of my favorites.  It’s actually one of the images I included in my photography exhibit with Bob Lussier at the Lawrence History Center.

Autumn Marsh

Although I didn’t get in very much shooting this fall, I did manage to squeeze in a few brief trips around the local area to see what I could find.  This particular marsh area is one I’ve driven by thousands of times, but never stopped to photograph it.  Mainly because it’s on a very busy road, and I’m always going somewhere with no time to stop.

So I finally decided to head over a few weeks ago.  I had to park at a restaurant and walk along the road to get to the spot I wanted, but it was certainly worth it.  The colors were amazing, and there were a few birch tree trunks to provide a little contrast.

I’m once again ending this fall season as I’ve done virtually every year, telling myself… next fall I need to shoot more.  🙂