Boston night light + water reflection + boats

zzffnn

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I have some Boston night light + reflection compositions in mind, please kindly tell me exactly where I should go to capture them.

Mainly I would like colorful night light stars formed by my Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, plus some reflection on water (such as Charles River), and maybe plus some boats (though no boats are fine too).

I particularly like the following 3 compositions from this collection:

https://www.boredpanda.com/ive-capt...oogle&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Photo "Long exposure of the Boston waterfront at night, November 2015";

Photo "A pretty sunset on the Charles river, October 2015"; and

Photo "B&W shot of the reflective pool in Symphony, October 2015".

But I don't know exactly where to find those 3 compositions (I moved to Boston not long ago). Please kindly advise me. The more precise (e.g., GPS coordinates), the better.

I may go there by a combination of train and Uber, unless COVID-19 changed things around. Am I wrong in thinking that COVID-19 could make the places less crowded and better for photography?

I will bring a tripod.

I have read through the following thread by @barry13 and thought about bumping that thread with new questions. However my questions are more specific and that thread is 2 years old.

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/boston-at-night.101141/

Advice from Bostonian photographers are especially appreciated. @WT21 @Hendrik @davidzvi

Thank you very much!
 

Hendrik

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#1 seems to be from Fan Pier area, close to the Moakley Courthouse; ~ 42.355038, -71.046394
#2 is of Boston seen across the Charles River Basin from Cambridge in the vicinity of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, near the M.I.T. Sailing Pavilion; ~ 42.358213, -71.089009
#3 is the reflecting pool at the Mother Church (Christian Scientist) at Mass. Ave and Huntington. Symphony Station on Green Line; ~ 42.343755, -71.084626
 

davidzvi

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....
Photo "Long exposure of the Boston waterfront at night, November 2015";

Photo "A pretty sunset on the Charles river, October 2015"; and

Photo "B&W shot of the reflective pool in Symphony, October 2015".////
At a guess:
1. Around Fan Pier Park
2. Maybe around Atlantis Sports Club, Cambridge along Memorial Drive
3. somewhere around Christian Science Plaza, but I'm not really familiar with that area and there has been a lot of construction in that area for years.
 

davidzvi

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#1 seems to be from Fan Pier area, close to the Moakley Courthouse; ~ 42.355038, -71.046394
#2 is of Boston seen across the Charles River Basin from Cambridge in the vicinity of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, near the M.I.T. Sailing Pavilion; ~ 42.358213, -71.089009
#3 is the reflecting pool at the Mother Church (Christian Scientist) at Mass. Ave and Huntington. Symphony Station on Green Line; ~ 42.343755, -71.084626
I think #2 is further away. You can use Google maps and drop a walking "you" on a trail that goes along the Charles.
 

zzffnn

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Sadly I might wait until things calm down a bit before walking around with expensive gear after dark. :frown:
Was it bad a few days ago (did any protest in Boston turn violent)? I thought about that too.

Thank you!
 

Hendrik

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I think #2 is further away. You can use Google maps and drop a walking "you" on a trail that goes along the Charles.
I think you're right. About midway between the Mass Ave Bridge and the end of the sailing dock for a generic very wide angle lens.

Edited: On second thought, the view is approximately 90 degrees (10-12mm in m43 speak), the old Hancock building is at center and the line from it passes within a couple of feet of the sailing dock. If anything, the view is a couple of feet downriver from my initial attempt.
 
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Michael Meissner

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I have some Boston night light + reflection compositions in mind, please kindly tell me exactly where I should go to capture them.

Mainly I would like colorful night light stars formed by my Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, plus some reflection on water (such as Charles River), and maybe plus some boats (though no boats are fine too).

I particularly like the following 3 compositions from this collection:

https://www.boredpanda.com/ive-capt...oogle&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Photo "Long exposure of the Boston waterfront at night, November 2015";

Photo "A pretty sunset on the Charles river, October 2015"; and

Photo "B&W shot of the reflective pool in Symphony, October 2015".
There are sailing clubs along the Charles, but parking is generally a problem. And there might be issues of access if you aren't a member of the club.

There is a bike path that goes along the Charles (Doctor Paul Dudley-White bike path), but you may need to go some distance to get the shot. Generally to avoid trees, you either have to be on the water, or higher up. Obviously on a bike path you need to be considerate of the bikers (and walkers).

I prefer the parking lot at the Museum of Science, third or fourth floor. Now, since I am a MOS member, I go every so often, and throwing a tripod + camera to take a picture isn't a problem. Sometimes the skies are perfect for the sunset shot, sometimes not.

I did this picture on March 7th, 2009 with my E-3 camera, using a 4 second delay.
2009-03-07-17-57-067-boston.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The Royal Sonesta Boston hotel would be another place.

The picture "Colorful Sunset July 2015" is probably taken from either the MOS, the Sonesta, or perhaps a drone due to its height.

The picture "Purple Sky after a hailstorm, August 2015" is most likely done at Magazine Beach. Typically I park at Micro Center/Trader Joes/Starbucks across the street at the end of the park, and cross over.

The picture "A Pretty Sunset on the Charles River, October 2015" is likely done just west of the Crimson Sailing Academy. Possibly the Charles River Yacht Club slightly west of the Crimson.

Was it bad a few days ago (did any protest in Boston turn violent)? I thought about that too.

Thank you!
Yes, things got pretty bad a few days ago, at least according to friends and social media. However, since I live 30 miles west of Boston, I didn't have direct knowledge.
 
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PakkyT

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Photo "Long exposure of the Boston waterfront at night, November 2015";
Not to be that stick in the mud, while that scene is a great shot it has been done a million times before. They often put a camera there to do live shots for Boston Bruins and other Boston teams sportscasts when going into or coming out of a commercial break. By all means if you want to try that shot, go for it, but just letting you know it won't be unique (if you were looking to do something like selling the shot).
 

zzffnn

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Thank you all very much! I like Boston much more than where I used to be (Houston)!

@Michael Meissner ,

I think you indicated that, to get your beautiful 3/7/2009 composition (which I like very much!), I need to be a MOS member or own a drone? Unfortunately, I own neither.

Does the Royal Sonesta Boston Hotel have an open space or super clean window up high enough AND will do allow me to sneak in a folded tripod :coco: I don't have high hopes.

So the exact framing spot or the picture "A Pretty Sunset on the Charles River, October 2015" is much easier to access (than your nice 3/7/2009 composition), correct?

Thank you again!
 

Michael Meissner

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Thank you all very much! I like Boston much more than where I used to be (Houston)!

@Michael Meissner ,

I think you indicated that, to get your beautiful 3/7/2009 composition (which I like very much!), I need to be a MOS member or own a drone? Unfortunately, I own neither.
No, I meant that since I am a MOS member, I go there every few months (when it is open of course, which it isn't now). The MOS membership includes 2 hours of parking free.

You can access the parking lot from the museum without charge. You can go into the museum's doors and head left to the gift shop or right to the parking lot without having to pay to enter the museum proper. It is a couple of minutes walk from the Green Line station at Lechmere to the MOS. As I recall there is security netting now, and you may need to position the camera to avoid the netting. I don't remember it being there back in 2009.

Since I live 30 miles west of Boston and no longer work at a job within Boston or Cambridge that includes free parking, when I plan trips to Boston, I have to consider parking.

For parking, it is probably cheaper at the Cambridgeside shopping mall, and walk across the street (as long as you are done within an hour). But it is a 2-3 block walk. The Lechmere station on the green line station is even more of a walk (3-4 blocks).

If you don't know the area, the Cambridgeside shopping center is north of Memorial Drive (Edwin Land Blvd at that point). You would need to cross on route 28 which is one block south to the Museum. For the Sonesta, you would need to back track on Memorial drive and walk west.

The Charles Riverboat Company (located at Cambridgeside) offers boat tours on the Charles river and Boston harbor. I've only used them one of the times when the Tall Ships were in Boston, and they offered harbor tours of the ships. Because you are in a boat, these would need to be grab and go shots (i.e. probably not good for sunset type pictures where you want a long exposure). There is also the Duck boat tours, but I haven't been on them for quite some time.

I recall there is the MBTA water taxi service. You could presumably book a round trip ticket, and just stay on the boat. At the moment, it is not being offered.

I generally do at least one whale watch a year (you can get boats from the Aquarium and Boston Harbor Hotel), but I prefer to do it from Gloucester instead of Boston. It is 2-3 hour trip, but in leaving and coming back, there should be nice harbor shots.

Note, in looking at Google maps, it is the CharlesGate Yacht Club that is in the pictures I mentioned, not the yacht/sailing clubs further down the river.

Another place to consider is the Rose Kennedy Greenway, which is a large swath of green space along the harbor. It includes the harbor area around the Aquarium and the Boston Harbor Hotel (the Boston Harbor Hotel is the hotel with the large arch in those pictures).

The harbor area at the Children's museum might also be interesting, providing you are walking and not driving.

The USS Constitution museum area also offer harbor views. If you do want to go on the Constitution, look up ahead of times what the security rules are (when we went with family a few years ago, people could not enter with penknives, and my brother-in-law had to go back to the car to pack his multi-tool).

Now in past years, during the summer, Memorial Avenue (that's the road on the Cambridge side of the Charles River that overlooks Boston) is closed to cars on Sundays. Because I don't live in Boston, it is more that I have to consider taking the alternate routes at that time (mostly Storrow Drive). With the pandemic, I don't know if they are going to do it this year.

What I would suggest is just do several days of just walking around, pretending you are a tourist. Don't bring a lot of gear, just maybe a camera and a lens, or maybe just a cell phone. The idea is to scout things that might appeal to you. Grab some snapshots, etc. Then you can always plan to come back later for sunset or golden hour shots, etc.
 
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Hendrik

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So the exact framing spot or the picture "A Pretty Sunset on the Charles River, October 2015" is much easier to access (than your nice 3/7/2009 composition), correct?
All three of the views you asked about are easy, public access. There will be problems if you try to go by car. Parking is not always close, simple or free.
 

zzffnn

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Should I bike over to that area for photography, as opposed to taking train and Uber?

I live in Quincy and am pretty athletic. I have been in city center before and prefer not to drive/park there.

I don't mind framing the same composition that has been done 100x before. I just need to do it slightly better than most, for my own enjoyment (which is not a very high expectation to start with).

For your entertainment, I have some Flickr albums made from New England, including some from White Mountains in "Landscape" (some of those have been done many times before, I admit):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zzffnn/albums
 
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Michael Meissner

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Should I bike over to that area for photography, as opposed to taking train and Uber?

I live in Quincy and am pretty athletic. I have been in city center before and prefer not to drive/park there.
I've never done it, and I'm not in shape. Google maps says it is an hour bike ride between Boston and Quincy. And given Boston drivers, I really wouldn't want to contemplate biking in Boston if you don't know where you are going, and haven't learned to deal with the traffic. And I think you can't use the tunnels that cars use (besides you probably would have to deal with a lot of car exhaust in those tunnels).

I tend to think it is better to take the train in and then take the subway/bus to get near to where you want to go, and walk. Or drive up to one of the outer MBTA lots. As I said, the initial trips are for you to scout out the photo ops you want. Then you can plan to do it with heavier gear. Just be sure you know what the schedule is for the day you are doing this (and whether it has changed, etc.).

In the past, when I was more fit, I would often drive into Alewife (since I'm west of Boston), take the red line and then green/orange lines to get to the harbor spots or Fanueil Hall or the common, and just wander around with a single camera and lens. I tend to like super-zooms for this (14-150mm or now 12-200mm). That way, I just have the camera/lens on a shoulder strap and no backpack. Sometimes I would see things I like on my walks, sometimes not.
 
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PakkyT

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Should I bike over to that area for photography, as opposed to taking train and Uber?
For some of the areas you are talking about shooting, having a bike along might get in the way a bit, especially along the wharves where the views are over the water. At least in that area between the Seaport district and the North End.

If you go on a weekend day, many of the garages offer decent flat rates for the day ($10 or less). When I used to take my kids to the Aquarium we would often park at One International Place which is a few blocks south, but it is a nice walk one direction via the Rose Kennedy Parkway as @Michael Meissner mentioned and then the other way taking the Harborwalk around India Wharf (that portion of the Harborwalk being only a tiny portion of it). While not as spectacular a view as others, in that same area Independence Wharf has a 14th floor observation deck and it is free. Normally you would have to show ID to get in, but I am not sure what they are doing now during the COVID-19 stuff. But certainly if you are wandering that area anyway, stop by and check.

Otherwise hop on the Red Line of the T and get off a South Station for that same area.
 

zzffnn

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No biking then. Thank you very much, gents!

I am not sure I own the title of "masshole" yet (I have been driving in Boston for 8 months now). But right, I definitely don't want to meet myself behind a driving wheel, if I am biking.

I actually think Texas red neck drivers and cops are worse, even though they have brain-dead-easy drives (unlike Boston)!

I am fairly athletic and plan to take my CV25/0.95, O9-18, P14-140, tripod and E-M1 for night shoots.

I may even take that rig to hike difficult mountains, but that rig in a decent backpack weights easily 15 lbs. Maybe I will swap P14-140 with kit O40-150 for highly technical hikes. Not to mention square filters + GNDs. Hard to stay under 30 lbs with all camera gears.
 

zzffnn

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Gents, is there night light for this site:

The reflecting pool at the Mother Church (Christian Scientist) at Mass. Ave and Huntington.

Or should I go during daytime?

Thank you!
 
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