BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

This is as iconic a view of Boston as there is. Taken from the top of the tallest building on State Street, overlooking the harbor, Custom House, Logan airport, and East Boston across the harbor.

Taken using my not-very-good cell phone because I didn’t have a camera. Through a window. Nonetheless, a view worth preserving.

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The buildings change as time goes on, yet I’m sure Sam Adams and the other revolutionaries would easily recognize this view. It is Boston. Totally, absolutely Boston.

Black & White Sunday: Always there

ODDBALL PHOTOS – JUNE ALREADY!

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2016 WEEK 23


It’s oddball photograph time again. Thank you Cee!

This is a pile of empty boxes from lenses, cameras, and other photographic equipment. I can’t seem to bring myself to throw them out. Half of them are in a trash bag … but I still have the bag. And the boxes. Just in case.

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In the following photograph, a Japanese tourist was acquainting himself with America’s foremost fomenter of revolution, Sam Adams.

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Which would be …

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This would have been a perfect time to take some garden pictures … except that the rain is coming down in sheets. There’s a hurricane racing in from the Gulf of Mexico and a huge, unrelated storm charging up the east coast. It’s going to be a gray, soggy week. Funny about that. This is usually the best weather of the year.

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It looks as if the kayakers abandoned their belongings on the pier. Given the weather, who could blame them?

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SHOULD YOU FORGET THE CAMERA, TRY THE PHONE

A Photo a Week Challenge: Phone-tography


From Nancy Merrill:

“Cell phone photography is so prevalent these days, I figured it was about time I had a challenge where you pull out your phones and take a picture. There’s no theme other than a photo taken with your phone.”


I  am not a fan of cell phones. The sound quality is pathetic and I can barely read the text, with or without glasses.

They aren’t good telephones and aren’t cameras at all, even though you can use it to take pictures. Photography is more than just capturing an image.

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Last weekend, we went to a wedding in Boston and I did not bring a camera. In my defense, I was carrying an evening bag into which a camera would not fit. When we got to the event and I saw the view from the 33rd floor of 60 State Street. I wished I’d brought a camera even if it didn’t go with my dress. I had tucked the phone into my bag, so for the first (only) time, I took some pictures using the phone.

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The quality isn’t fabulous, but it was the what I had available. I’m glad I got pictures because “not great pictures” beats “no pictures.”

BOSTON HARBOR – GARRY ARMSTRONG

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Memorial Day weekend, 2016. In Boston for a wedding, we decided to make a holiday of it. Stayed in the Aloft Hotel in South Boston, on the harbor. We made time to shoot some pictures. Remarkably, we did not get lost. We had no trouble getting to the harbor and found a convenient parking garage … at a reasonable price. In Boston. On a holiday weekend. Gee.

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Such a miracle deserves celebration.

We both took a lot of pictures. The differences are interesting. Marilyn commented that my “roots” in journalism are obvious. I shoot pictures of people and activities. She takes landscapes and architectural shots, though we always seem to take at least a dozen pretty much identical shots, no matter what else we do.

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I was impressed at the intrepid kayakers braving Boston Harbor. There’s a lot of boat traffic and I would not want to be in such a tiny craft in so crowded a waterway.

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It’s true. I look for people. I’m an old news guy and that’s what I see. Sometimes, we take the same pictures or almost the same … and sometimes, we see very different things while being in the same place.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: CITIES

cee's fun foto chall

BOSTON – TEA PARTY WHARF

As part of our mini-vacation, we decided to shoot some pictures before heading home to little old Uxbridge.

One of the rare times when I didn't have a camera with me. Two strikes agains me -- just a cell phone and shooting through glass at twilight. But the view from the 33rd floor at 60 State Street is breathtaking. Even using a cell phone.

One of the rare times when I didn’t have a camera with me. Using a cell phone shooting through glass at twilight. The view from the 33rd floor at 60 State Street is breathtaking. Even using a phone instead of a camera.

Boston has changed a lot since we lived there. We’ve been gone 16 years during which time nothing much happened in Uxbridge. A couple of restaurants closed. All but one reopened under new management. The Unitarian Church went out of business. CVS built a big store where the ice cream place used to be. The ice cream place moved to Whitinsville. Both local dry cleaners closed and Walmart built a super store in Whitinsville.

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During this same period, Boston finished the Big Dig. They built new roads, tunnels and bridges. Completely redesigned the waterfront, turning what had a been a dark, dirty dumpy area into an attractive, accessible tourist magnet. Lots of young people were there. Singing, dancing, drinking and hanging out which seems to be what young people do when they get together.

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The Beaver

There are easily a dozen new hotels, one of which we stayed in. Very modern. Comfortable. Accommodating. Friendly. From the outside, it looks like it’s built with Lego (it has to be one of the most unattractive pieces of architecture I’ve seen), but inside, it’s delightful. High ceilings. Bright and airy. Well-designed, spacious bathrooms and plenty of closet space. Good cable package and fast, free WiFi. Lots of cool high-tech stuff.

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And they take dogs. We were among the few people who didn’t have a well-groomed, properly trained canine companion. Our dogs are neither well-groomed nor properly trained. I shudder to imagine taking any of them to a hotel.

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We cabbed over to the wedding from the hotel. It is on the waterfront — as was the hotel — but it’s several miles north of the area in which we were staying. As we passed the edge of Charlestown Harbor, I saw a tall ship. I assumed it was the Constitution and suggested we go back the next day. Take some pictures.

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The Eleanor

When we lived in Boston, we used to hike to Charlestown from Beacon Hill or Charles River Park. We were younger. I could hike up the hill to our apartment at full speed with 20 lbs of groceries in each hand. These days, I’d have to stop along the way and take a nap. On the sidewalk. Or call for an ambulance.

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It turned out the ship was not the Constitution. It was The Beaver, a restored schooner that recreates one of the three Boston Tea Party (NO relation to right-wing “Tea Party”) ships. There are two ships, the second being the Eleanor. A third ship is being built. Originally, four ships sailed from England bearing tea. One sank. Three made it to Boston. Then, there was a tea party, a bit of shooting, a declaration, a revolution … and the rest, as they say, is history.

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You can have tea on one of the ships. There’s a cute little “museum” which is really a gift shop and not any kind of museum.

Hi from Sam Adams. He helped start a revolution and is mostly famous for making beer. Perhaps justifiably so.

Hi from Sam Adams. He helped start a revolution and is mostly famous for making beer. Perhaps justifiably so.

We took pictures. We stopped and had crab cakes for lunch. We came home. The dogs were very glad to see us. We were very glad to see them. But mostly, we were unbelievably glad to see our extremely comfortable bed. At our age? There really is no place like home.


Other than the pictures I took with our rarely used cell phone, all the other photos were taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 200. It’s the camera I grab when I want to keep it simple.

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: ALL ABOUT CITIES (SKYLINES TO STREET PHOTOGRAPHY)

cee's fun foto chall

ODDBALL PHOTOS – END OF MAY EDITION

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2016 WEEK 22


Where has the time flown? We are entering June. Half of 2016 gone … in a blink.

It has been a good week for pictures, odd and otherwise. I always enjoy it when we actually make it into Boston and have enough time to shoot a few pictures.

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Flying woman sculpture down by the wharf

And then …

Rigging on "The Beaver" in Boston Harbor.

Rigging on “The Beaver” in Boston Harbor.

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Keys to our kingdom

 

ANGLES ON BEACON HILL

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: ARCHITECTURE


When all is said and done, there’s no better place to shoot architecture than Boston … and no place in Boston more interesting than Beacon Hill.

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Beacon Hill is the “original” Boston. From here, Paul Revere began his famed ride. Most of the rest of Boston was part of one or another gigantic land fill project, including all of Back Bay and Dorchester.

Only Beacon Hill was dry land in the early 18th century (1700s) when Boston was a young city full of firebrand revolutionaries.

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The buildings on the hill are in amazing condition and look new, but don’t be fooled. Ongoing preservation work has kept them in marvelous condition … and of course … a lot of money lives on this hill. All these building are between two and three hundred years old. Some, even older.

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cee's fun foto chall