I spent my teenage years growing up in Vermont and went to university in Western Massachusetts and Vermont. With my proximity to Boston, I’ve visited a lot but rarely as a tourist. I’ve flown into and out of the Logan Airport, volunteered as a crew member at the Boston 3-Day Walk for a Cure, gone shopping, and toured colleges back in high school. This past winter I was able to see Boston through new eyes when I went twice with my boyfriend who had never been, he’s from Buenos Aires. His fresh perspective on a place I’d been, breathed new life into my love for Boston. His photographer eye captured the beauty of the historic port city. Whether you’ve been there or not, these photos will bring you into the heart of this dynamic city.
We all look up when we’re traveling, whether to look at the skyline or take in the metamorphosis of the clouds, but usually our gaze stops there. Balancing the blue sky and the jagged peaks, we look no further. What if you spent some time looking straight up? Just tilt your head straight back and look up at the places you go? Take a new look at Boston, by looking up.
Can someone identify these towers? Alejandro describes them as towers that have different aromatics in each glass encasing in a square. Either way, it feels like an other world that you can crawl out of through this see-through tunnel.
For the life of me I can’t think of what these big pipes are called, but it’s the most beautiful industrial tubing has ever looked on the side of a building.
Fire escapes, and their crisscrossing metal supports look more like fences from the bottom.
Looking from the ground turns these ordinary fire escapes into an optical illusion, which way is up?
Buildings, Windows, and Reflections
Skyscrapers always provide a great opportunity for reflection (harhar, see what I did there?). When you go to “the big city” one of the things you’re going to see are huge glass buildings, and there is no shortage of them in Boston. Usually in photos they serve to border the skyline, or if you look from above you get a panoramic view that takes on a unique texture by the layout of the buildings. What if you tilt your head and look at it from the side? Or instead of highlighting the buildings, watch them fade into the sky?
The blues and reflected window patterns in this photograph are so similar that the only thing to distinguish the sky from the buildings is the lines that punctuate the shape of the skyscrapers.
Speaking of similar colors, go into the heart of downtown and you’re going to come across a lot of sandstone (and sandstone colored) buildings. Forgetting the sky altogether brings you into the heart of this street, the traffic light on “stop” makes you pause and realize that that you can see the sky only through the reflection on the buildings.
If you walk around and turn your head sideways you can see the sides of a building appear more like a floor. It’s dream deja vu, this perspective makes you question how well gravity is working.
Shadows and Repetition
Taking photos of things that just repeat themselves can seem dull. Seen one, seen ’em all! Not so, take a moment to look at the way shadows are cast and the way light changes throughout the day. Taking a new look at repetition and shadow casting brings us to our last section in this photo essay. Next time you are snapping photos, think about how you can capture repetition in a new way or to create some of your own.
These blank dogtags in the Memorial Garden are usually pictured from afar, to capture the scope of tragic loss. This close up photo shows that the repetitive nature of the memorial is actually unique in the way each tag hangs, and each dogtag takes on its own particular shade in the changing sunlight.
The Boston Harbor is beautiful and chock full of gorgeous photo shots of boats, people, and action. Focusing on these empty docks quiets the hustle of the city and brings focus to structural repetition while highlighting color contrast.
When Alejandro wanted to take this photo of me in our hotel I laughed, thinking of me imitating such a great photograph in the background. The end result surprised me, lacking the pearls and fabulous hat, it feels like a modern reflection of the black and white past.
Selfies, everyone takes them, but taking a selfie of a selfie can point out what you may be missing in the background if you spend too much of your time fiddling with gadgets when you travel.