Gisele Bundchen.
Some know her as a supermodel, others as the wife of New England Patriot QB Tom Brady, or as a super mom. She has been a champion for the environment, and a spokesperson for the United Nations, and the Brazil olympics. 8 years ago today I knew her as an aspiring helicopter pilot, 6 months pregnant. Good for her, she can do anything. September 21, 2009, a day that most surely will be etched in my mind forever. I arrived at Marshfield Airport at 6am and waited and hoped, on a tip, that Gisele would be flying a helicopter with flight instructor Stuart Matsumoto.  All of a sudden, there she was and away she went. Gisele and Stuart stayed up for almost 2 hours before gliding the craft to a perfect landing.

(09/21/09-Marshfield,MA) Gisele Bundchen takes flying lessons today.. After flying, the pilot came over to a cameraman and said: "She (Gisele) is testing a new and cleaner fuel as part of her UN Goodwill ambassadorship, more will come out at a later date" Photos: Mark Edwards. NO BOSTON SALES

(09/18/09-Boston,MA) The 2nd Annual, Running of the Beds" competition pitting Boston's waterfront area hotels against each other. This is run in honor of International Housekeeping Week. Here, Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

(09/18/09-Boston,MA) The 2nd Annual, Running of the Beds" competition pitting Boston's waterfront area hotels against each other. This is run in honor of International Housekeeping Week. Here, Staff Photo by Mark Garfinkel

(09/21/09-Marshfield,MA) Gisele Bundchen takes flying lessons today.. After flying, the pilot came over to a cameraman and said: "She (Gisele) is testing a new and cleaner fuel as part of her UN Goodwill ambassadorship, more will come out at a later date" Photos: Mark Edwards. NO BOSTON SALES

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m seeing more and more dire reports regarding the knockout punch that Hurricane Irma delivered to St. Martin/ St. Maarten. My first trip to this beautiful island was in 2004. I did a travel piece for the Boston Herald. I focussed on the Island’s unique airport that abuts Maho Beach. This is an aviation enthusiast’s paradise. The relatively short runway forces arriving aircraft to make a very low approach over the beach. If you have not seen any photos of the jet arrivals at this beach, then you really are missing something. People come from all over the world to experience the exciting landings and the even more hair raising departures. The second visit that I was lucky enough to enjoy, was with my wife Laura, in 2011. We stayed at Le Petit Hotel, on the French side of the Island. We rented a car and drove throughout the island. The permanent residents were very nice and accommodating. The French side is quiet and very beautiful. We did find a short period of time to view the airplanes at Maho Beach. The temperature was 82 degrees when Laura and I trotted over to the Sunset Beach Bar, the unofficial headquarters of the Princess Juliana Airport fan club. There was a large crowd awaiting the day’s arrivals, and waiting for the larger departing planes so that they could get blown into the ocean by the large jet engine’s fan bladess, a Maho beach tradition. The incoming airplanes arrive only 50 feet-or so overhead of the people watching them. I wish the people of SXM well  in their recovery, and look forward to visiting soon.

                                 

                                 

                                  

                                  

                                  

 

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I was not planning on spending too much time, or thought, on today’s Solar Eclipse, due to a wrist fracture that I sustained covering the controversial protests on Boston Common two days ago. I decided I would try to set up my heavy gear in my Winthrop,MA driveway. With some help from my neighbor Ron, my set up of a Canon 800mm lens and a large tripod was complete with seconds to spare before the solar show. Stuart Cahill, a colleague of mine at the Boston Herald newspaper, had already made me an improvised solar filter for my large lens, and I had already obtained nerdy solar glasses for my eyes. I was amazed at how good the filter worked on my lens. I started to shoot photos every 4 minutes, or so, and was excited with what I had. There was one thing that I really wanted, though. I had expected that there would be an opportunity to get a high altitude airliner through the sun, or more correctly stated, through my view of the sun. I was not disappointed, though it came very late in the eclipse, and did just barely sneak into my view of the sun. I watched as one after another high altitude airliner, most flying from Europe to NYC, just missed the sun. I remember thinking that I wished air traffic controllers in Nashua,NH., would turn them just a little for me. It was getting late and clouds and haze were moving in front of my view of the sun. I noticed the flight tracking systems that I use, flightradar24 and planefinder, were showing an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, over the Massachusetts/NH border, and heading my way. The plane was at a flight level of 40,000′ and traveling at 446 knots. The Etihad Airlines plane was flying from Abu Dahbi to New York city. It was almost directly over Tufts University when I watched as the plane disappeared into the blinding rays of the sun. I shot a heavy handed burst of several photos. I only knew of my success as I looked at the back of the Canon digital camera a few seconds after the moment of impact. The spots on the sun are not dust, they are sun spots, or storms on the sun itself as I understand it. This was a once in a lifetime photo for me, on a couple of fronts. First, and most important, was the rarity of today’s solar eclipse. Second, this is the first time I have photographed an airplane thru the sun, as I usually concentrate my aviation photography on the moon and an airplane, as seen in my aviation photo link above. Also, this is the first time I have captured the A380 thru the sun or the moon. The sky is black due to the heavy filter I was using to safely photograph the sun.
For print sales

08/21/17-Winthrop,MA. With just a few minutes left before today’s rare solar eclipse ends, an Etihad Airlines, Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, flies across my view of the disk of the sun en route to New York city from Abu Dhabi. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

 

 

 

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Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 flies over Boston

I have seen my share of unique airplanes over the skies of greater Boston in my decades of work as a Boston Herald news photographer. I saw a Russian surveillance plane, a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-154, flying over Boston yesterday. That was a first. It all started Thursday when I saw a Washington Post story about a Russian surveillance plane flying low over Washington DC. That story piqued my interest. Yesterday, while doing assignment editor, photodesk duty at the Boston Herald, I saw a tweet from FlightRadar24. The tweet read: “stay with us for radar coverage of the Russian surveillance flight.” I tracked this plane from Dayton,OH to New York State to Warwick,RI where it then took a sharp right turn. I then noticed it flying a circle over Newport,RI and then headed directly north, toward Boston. I ran out of the Herald’s offices and onto Southie’s D St. and got in my car and drove to East 1st st. I looked to my left as I was driving and there it was, flying over the old Edison plant on L St. FlightRadar had it at a low 3600′. I had little time to grab a Canon 800mm lens, which had a 1.4 extender attached. I parked, jumped out of the car, and must’ve struck a curious pose to passers-by as I pointed my “bazooka” skyward. My only regret is that I did not have time to photograph the plane with the Boston skyline, to put it into context to where it was.
**Ed note** This is a sanctioned flight. The US is able to do it over Russia as well. The reciprocal agreement is called “Open Skies.” More from the Boston Herald. More here from the Dayton Daily News, where the plane is being housed.
More from CNN, with one of the first stories, over Washington,DC.

August 11, 2017- Boston,MA. An unarmed Russian jet, sanctioned to fly over the USA, is seen over Boston during the noon hour. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

August 11, 2017- Boston,MA. An unarmed Russian jet, sanctioned to fly over the USA, is seen over Boston during the noon hour. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

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It was 7 years ago today that Christine Desrochers-Broderick, clinging to the roof of her submerged car, was rescued by off-duty Somerville firefighter Michael Marino. It was not long thereafter that all three of us were contacted by The Weather Channel, to “star” in their (then) new show, Twist of Fate. Here is my blog dispatch from that day.
I came upon this dramatic scene after completing news coverage of a long, hot, then rainy immigrant rally in Boston for the Boston Herald. The police scanner was crackling something about a person or persons stuck under the Assembly Square underpass at Mystic Ave. I drove to an area near the courthouse where I saw troopers feverishly trying to enter the water and gain access to the serious situation that was unfolding. I noticed a young couple sitting on the curb and I turned to see that their car’s roof, about an inch of it, was still visible. Within a few minutes the tunnel was almost 80% filled with water, 10 to 15 feet of water is my guess. I had to kneel down to see what was unfolding about 70 yards into the tunnel. There I could see a woman atop of what appeared to be her car. I returned to my car to get my 800mm telephoto lens, snapped a few photos there and then ran like hell to the other side of the underpass. That is where I saw troopers Joe Kalil and Stephen Barnes and Somerville firefighters Jack Betkwith, LT Michael Anzalone and off-duty firefighter Michael Marino. I positioned myself on McGrath Highway above the rescue and pointed my 70-200 mm lens through the chain link fence. The troopers and the firefighters worked in unison to perfection. The only problem was, would my lens stay dry enough in the rain to capture the rescue? I borrowed the corner of a passerby’s dry shirt to use to clean my lens since my clothes were drenched. Lucky for me that the man didn’t think I was nuts when I asked him: “may I use your shirt to clean my lens?” Then, out the rescuers popped with one cold and wet, Christine Broderick, as they guided her through the water that now contained mostly raw sewage. Please see 4 of my photos below and my Herald photo gallery can be seen here and O’Ryan Johnson’s story
here.


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Boston fire Lt. Steven Minehan died 23 years ago today.

On June 24, 1994 Boston fire Lieutenant Steven F. Minehan, of Boylston street’s Ladder 15, died in a 9-alarm fire  in Charlestown after he became trapped in a large warehouse while searching for other  firefighters who had become trapped. I had been a staff photographer at the Boston Herald for almost 15 months that night when, police/fire radio scanners broke the silence of what had been a quiet evening. John Landers Jr., then Herald night desk photo editor, and I heard the initial call for help from Minehan as he dispatched me to the scene. Below are my photos from that night and from Lt. Minehan’s funeral. Over the years I have been lucky to be able to call Lt. Minehan’s wife Kathy a friend. She is a very kind and considerate soul. RIP Lt. Minehan. My photos from that night are seen below. The photo of Lt. Minehan, at bottom of page, is courtesy of Bill Noonan. 

Boston,MA Fire 1994

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I photographed several Boston storms that day, 6 years ago. I did not go out to the hard hit areas of western Massachusetts, but I did see some tremendous lightning in and around Boston. The top two photos were snapped between 9-10pm from Medford. The bottom photo was snapped in the mid-afternoon from East Boston. The Coast Guard station lightning bolt looks totally fake, or “photoshopped.” Lucky for me, I had another camera rolling video (at bottom) of the same strike.

CLICK here for lightning video of same photo

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Maureen O’Neill, friend, cancer victim and Hospice of the North Shore patient died 14 years ago today, May 9, 2003. 

In January 2003, I contacted the Danvers-based hospice now known as Care Dimensions about the possibility of following the life and trials of one of their patients. They introduced me to Danvers resident Maureen O’Neill.

I spent the majority of my time with Maureen, at her house and beyond, from the time she returned home from Salem Hospital to the moment of her death. 

I often think about the first time I met Maureen.

In order for this project to go forward, Maureen insisted on meeting with me first and seeing some of my photography work. I brought my photo portfolio to Salem Hospital, just a few days before she was to be released to the peaceful confines of her home.

Maureen chose to bypass chemotherapy to die at home with her 92- year-old mother at her side.  

One of the first photos in that portfolio was a mother duckling and her babies crossing a busy street in Waltham. Maureen loved the photo as she was a huge bird lover. We hit it off from that moment forward.

The following photos are dedicated to Maureen’s loyal friends and family, Care Dimensions, and most of all, Maureen, who wanted to show the benefits and dignity of dying at home.

Above & below: Cancer victim Maureen O’Neill, wishing to die at home with her mother, returns home from the hospital after realizing Chemotherapy was not going to work against her cancer.

“Don’t worry Mum, we will get thru this” Maureen O’Neill (above) returns from the hospital greeted by her 92 yr old mother Ann

Maureen O’Neill shares a laugh with Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo and mom Ann.

After a difficult morning, Maureen O’Neill is instructed on her medicine usage by Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo.

Maureen O’Neill sits on her Mom’s bed as she talks about her family.

Maureen O’Neill celebrates what would be her last birthday, her 63rd, with Josh, her friend’s grandson.

A tired Maureen O’Neill is watched over by her mom Ann.

"Choosing Hospice" - Ann O'Neill wipes moisture from the face of her daughter Maureen O'Neill. The next day Maureen would be gone. fragm

As friend Bob Supino places one hand on Maureen’s forehead and one hand on her pulse, Maureen O’Neill dies in her Danver’s living room with best friend Glenda, mother Ann and Hospice Nurse Ann-Marie DePaolo at her side.

Maureen O’Neill is laid to rest in her lifelong home of Danvers, Massachusetts


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In 1997 I was sent with Boston Herald columnist Peter Gelzinis to cover the 2nd anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building. In 2001 we returned to the bombing site to provide coverage of the moment that Oklahoma City bomber/murderer Timothy McVeigh was executed (in Indiana). While we were there, on both trips, Peter introduced the Denny family to our readers and to me. Peter had met the Dennys only hours after the actual bombing when he and Herald photographer Matthew West were dispatched to the horrific scene. In 1995 Rebecca Denny, then age 2 years, and her 3 year old brother Brandon Denny, were severely injured in the explosion while they were attending the building’s day care center. On June 11, 2001, the day that Timothy McVeigh was executed in Terre Haute Indiana, many victims and relatives, including the Dennys, marked this moment by returning to the now beautiful grounds and memorial of the Murrah federal building’s footprint. Here, beginning with a 1997 black & white photo of The Survivor Tree, are some of my photos from my two memorable trips. On a personal note, it is heartening to see that from senseless tragedy, good and decent people rise from the ashes and quickly turn the narrative positive. Also, I feel blessed to have met the Denny family.

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1997 photo of Rebecca Denny, then age 4 years, and me, as Peter Gelzinis, off camera, interviews Rebecca's brother Brandon, at their Oklahoma home.

1997 photo of Rebecca Denny, then age 4 years, and me, as Peter Gelzinis, off camera, interviews Rebecca’s brother Brandon, at their Oklahoma home.

Rebecca Denny, age 11 years, is seen at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, moments before the execution, in Indiana, of Timothy McVeigh.

Rebecca Denny, age 8 years, is seen at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, moments before the execution, in Indiana, of Timothy McVeigh.

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Brandon Denny, age 9 years, also known a "Miracle Boy" due to his improbable survival living against all odds after having a hole the size of a fist punched thru his brain in the Murrah Federal Bldg bombing, prays at a chair that symbolizes his dead friend Chase Smith who was in the same day care in the bldg but did not survive.

Brandon Denny, age 9 years, also known a “Miracle Boy” due to his improbable survival living against all odds after having a hole the size of a fist punched thru his brain in the Murrah Federal Bldg bombing, prays at a chair that symbolizes his dead friend Chase Smith who was in the same day care in the bldg but did not survive.

The Denny family, moments before the McVeigh execution.

The Denny family, moments before the McVeigh execution.

 

Seconds before the execution of Timothy McVeigh, Deb Ferrell-Lynn, who lost her cousin Susan ferrell, hugs Constance Favorite, who lost her daughter LaKesha Levy.

Seconds before the execution of Timothy McVeigh, Deb Ferrell-Lynn, who lost her cousin Susan ferrell, hugs Constance Favorite, who lost her daughter LaKesha Levy.

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Neil Fingleton, “Game of Thrones” actor and one of the tallest people in the world at 7 feet 7 inches, died yesterday at the age of 36, reportedly of a heart attack. See Worcester Telegram story here. In 1999, I spent several weeks with Neil as he completed his senior season on Worcester’s Holy Name High School basketball team. I had heard about Neil and wanted to do a picture story/photo essay about him for the Boston Herald. I took my idea and petitioned his coach, Worcester sport’s legend J.P. Ricciardi, who later became a Major League Baseball executive. I met with Coach Ricciardi at a coffee shop in Worcester. He made it clear that he did not want Neil’s height to be exploited. I was given a thumbs up to meet Neil and to get his blessing on the project. He was all in. Neil was a bit shy at first, but we quickly took a liking to each other. The last time I spoke to him, he had called me at the Herald in 2007 or 2008 and alerted me to his new career in the entertainment business. He said he was traveling to Boston to promote a show he was in, and asked if I wanted to cover the event for the Herald. We never connected. Below are my photographs from my time with Neil. May he rest in peace. 

Two years ago 18 year old Neil Fingleton traveled to Worcester,MA. from his home in Durham, England to learn a game he had never played. In several days he will have come full circle when he announces his decision to accept a full Basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

Running sprints in the hallways of Holy Name High in Worcester into the night…

Legendary Worcester area athlete and former Celt’s player Togo Palazzi works with Neil. Togo says about the “work in progress”, “it’s a labor of love” (working with Neil) .

“Doin’ Steps” is the term affectionately known for the exercise that was developed by school strength coach Tony Elia.

In his room which has a taste of home Union Jack flag on the wall, hours after deciding on a full scholarship to University of North Carolina, Neil receives congratulations from a friend. 

Hours before choosing UNC over Wake Forest, Neil consults with Asst. Holy Name hoop coach Tom Clark (Left) and head coach J.P Ricciardi.

Long hours at the gym have paid off for Neil as he dunks during practice.

Going thru the workout developed by Holy Name strength coach Tony Elia, teammates of Neil’s come up short during a flexibility drill.

Neil Fingleton going thru the training paces with fellow teammate A.J. at Holy Name High in Worcester.

Neil relaxes with friends in the Holy Name Cafeteria hours before the first game of the season. 

Before his 1st game of the Holy Name High School schedule, Neil gathers his thoughts alone in the locker room.

1st game of the year vs Worcester South.

Neil leaves school the day after making his choice to accept a full scholarship at University of North Carolina.

 

 

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