I was working my shift at the Boston Herald on a sunny afternoon when the police scanners reported a fire in an office building on Route 9 in Newton. As I approached the building I knew this was not going to be an ordinary event. Heavy smoke filled the sky near the Chestnut Hill Mall as the building, packed with workers, exploded in fire. Five people died in the blaze even as Brookline and Newton fire companies did amazing and heroic work that day. This the site of the new Wegman’s, etc. See my photos below.
A Bald Eagle gave a handful of bird-watchers a thrill today as the majestic bird, perched atop a high tree, enjoyed its time on the banks of the Neponset River in Milton. The bird, however, did not seem too pleased when a number of crows gave chase closer to the Southeast Expressway. I was amazed at this bird’s sight. I was few hundred yards away and he/she was still eyeballing me. Thanks for the tip on where this beautiful bird hangs out, John C! Below are my photos from today. There is also a photo of Canada Geese.
On January 9, 2009, a Boston fire crew’s ladder truck, Ladder 26, suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure returning from a call on Mission Hill. Boston fire Lieutenant Kevin Kelley died after the truck slammed into a building on Huntington Ave. It is hard to believe that seven years have passed. Here is a photo of the very solemn moments after Lt. Kelley’s BFD colleagues, Boston EMS, and Boston police officials recovered him from the rubble. Needless to say it was a very difficult photo to snap at the time. There was not a dry eye in the area at that moment.
Last week signaled the passing of fifteen years since I photographed an Air India 747 passing directly over the former headquarters of the Boston Herald and “through” a winter’s half moon. The photograph was snapped at approximately 3:30pm on January 2, 2001 using one of the first digital cameras that the Herald had, and a 600mm lens with a 2x teleconverter extender. That made the lens a 1200mm F8. The photograph went on the front page of the Herald on January 3rd and the Associated Press picked up and transmitted it worldwide the same day. The next day over 50 newspapers worldwide ran the photo, with the London Independent, The Irish Times and a paper in Hong Kong being some of the many papers who ran it on the front page. It felt great making such a splash and a connection. I started receiving letters from all over the world about the photo. I even received one letter that was delivered to the Herald in an envelope that simply read: To the person who photographed the jet thru the moon, Boston,MA USA. I am still amazed that the letter made it to me. Thanks to the workers at the main post office at Fort Point Channel, Boston for that one. The photo continued on to numerous magazines and many books, 2 of which are seen below. I did not know what airline it was or where it was headed until I received a call from the FAA in Nashua,NH. They asked me what time it was that I photographed it and told me that it was Air India flying from London Heathrow to JFK in NYC. I made lots of friends worldwide. Thanks, as always for being a viewer of my photos and this website.
I have received requests to show more photos of yesterday’s incident in which 3 MBTA buses needed help from a “T” tow truck to free them from the small Clarendon St. bridge over the Pike, due to the morning snowfall. Four other buses were impacted and rendered “down” due to the 3 blocked buses. I started my Boston Herald work shift yesterday at 6am with the knowledge that I was going to have to move fast to photograph the snow prior to it changing to sleet and/or rain. I took some photos in Copley Sq. and then headed up Clarendon, toward the South End. Just past the Hancock Tower and Stuart St. I noticed a small backup of traffic. I saw two of these 60′ long buses, stuck near the entrance to the parking garage next door to the rear entrance to the Back Bay MBTA bus turnaround. I parked. I walked up past the buses and noticed another one stuck near the intersection of Columbus Ave. This bus had come out of the bus turnaround and slid within inches of a parked vehicle. Shortly thereafter, 2 more of the articulated buses entered the Clarendon St. area, just having past Stuart St. These 2 buses now became incapacitated because they were caught in the gridlock and could not safely be backed out. The drivers of these 2 buses then put blocks under their tires so that the buses could not move. Now we have a total of 5 incapacitated buses (3 stuck on snow/slush and 2 stuck in the gridlock. All of these buses were Route 39 buses. The buses needing tow truck help had license plate #’s of 1037, 1022, 1220. At this time 2 Transit Police officers arrived and started to direct the morning commute past the stuck buses. These cars were flowing slowly through one small lane. I heard plans to bring in a powerful MBTA tow truck tug. The maintenance workers associated with the tug did a remarkable, speedy job in getting these buses moving. I then noticed two more buses that were unable to get out of the bus turnaround due to the one that was stuck at Columbus and Clarendon. This whole incident took about 1hour, with 5 buses down for the hour and the two that had driven in, down less time than that. Boston Herald reporter Matthew Stout as today’s story here.
Boston moons, airplanes, lightning, weather: Part of my year in photos 2015 included high altitude jets, severe thunderstorms, rising and setting moons, etc. For the News Photography part of my photos of 2015, please click here. I used a Canon 1Dx camera and Canon lenses 800mm lens, a 100-400mm lens and sometimes a 1.4 extender.
From young ballerinas readying for their first-of-the-year recital, to a man threatening to jump off the Tobin Bridge, 2015 had many memorable moments that I witnessed. Here are some of them. Photos taken on and off my Boston Herald shift. Thank you to the Herald, and to my subjects, many of whom are first responders.
It is said that inside every aviation enthusiast is a little child. If that’s true then it must also be true that this “child” writer feels how a kid must feel on Christmas morning. Shortly after 4pm yesterday, while I was browsing the internet, I noticed on the website planefinder.net that one of the largest planes in the world, the Airbus A380 passenger jet, was 7 miles high (38,000′) over the Portsmouth,NH area. The British Airways jet was traveling south and radar showed the trip was from London to Miami. This is a normal everyday occurence over Boston, as hundreds and hundreds of flights exit and enter the east coast in this fashion. The light was nice and the contrails that these planes produce were large and pluming. I setup a tripod in my driveway in Winthrop,MA. and used a Canon EOS 1DX and a Canon 800mm lens with a 1.4 extender. I waited and at 4:13pm the jet showed itself to be over the North Shore of Boston. I took a few photos and was going to pack up when I noticed a smaller passenger plane, a Southwest 737, from BWI-Portland,ME. heading toward the British Airways jet at 28,000′, or 10,000′ below it. They “crossed” over Franklin,MA., roughly 30 miles away from me. I posted the photos on twitter, with the flight numbers, BA209 and SWA3733. These photos got a good response but when I checked twitter a few minutes before bed last night, there was one twitter message that piqued my interest and gave me a big smile. One of the three crew members that was piloting the massive plane tweeted the following messages, below, after he landed in Miami. Also, please continue to scroll down to see my photos, below. If it is said that aviation brings the world together, and Twitter makes the world smaller, then it must also be said that good old-fashioned manners and friendliness make the world a better place. Peace out!
Tomorrow marks the 16th anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage & Warehouse Company fire that killed six firefighters. The dead included: FF Jeremiah Lucey, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey, James Lyons III, Joseph McGuirk, and fire Lt. Thomas Spencer. Some of my photos from that week are seen below, as I was on assignment for the Boston Herald.
I have received questions about my settings for this type of photograph. The first photo, at top, was photographed last night, Sunday October 18, at 6:06pm. It is Aer Lingus flight EIN 139, a Dublin to Boston Airbus A330. I used a Canon camera and a 100-400mm lens at 176mm. Speed was ISO/ASA 1000. Shutter speed 1/400th of a second at F5 aperture.
I set the camera fire 5 bursts on the same frame. A 5 multiple exposure photo, with each snap at 1.2 second intervals. A tripod is a must as the city skyline will actually be photographed 5 separate, and thus has to be lined up the same each time.
The bottom photo, a 6 image multiple exposure, was snapped on Saturday night at 5:49pm. ISO/ASA 320 with a lens of 200mm. Shutter speed of 1/320th of a second at F5, with a 1.5 second interval between snaps. These photo are a lot of fun, especially when the wind kicked up and the jet lands somewhat sideways.