Archive for July, 2018

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.
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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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              It was 8 years ago today that Christine Desrochers-Broderick, clinging to the roof of her submerged car, was rescued by off-duty Somerville firefighter Michael Marino in the Assembly Square underpass at Mystic Ave. It was not long after 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 very rainy immigration 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 maybe 10 feet high. 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 some of my scene photos below and my Herald photo gallery can be seen here and O’Ryan Johnson’s story here.

 

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Arthur Pollock, Boston Herald assistant director of photography, died yesterday. Arthur was a great photographer/morning-desk photo editor, very good person, special friend, loving husband to Judy Cockerton, caring dad to Jesse, Jenna and Brianna, and awesome coworker. I will remember his attention to detail, discipline, (fairly) cool demeanor , and voracious reading skills. He cared about journalism. Arthur would often finish reading the Herald and get halfway through the Globe before the beginning of his morning shift as morning-desk photo editor. His command of nearly every story was second to none at the Herald, including the writing-side editors. He would sometimes compliment or gently criticize a reporter, when warranted. He would even sometimes tell me: “please tell Laura Crimaldi (my wife and Boston Globe reporter) that her story in the Globe was great, today.” When a photographer got a message from Arthur of “congratulations, great photo”, it was known that he truly meant it. He was a great teacher, teaching me the nuances of the morning photodesk as I would often have to fill in for him during his treatments the last year, and teaching me the art/business of photojournalism. I remember his favorite lesson line of “shoot it like you had been contracted by Parade or People Magazine.” In other words, make every shot count. From my first day at the Herald in 1993 until the last day that I saw him in May, he would have an interesting story to tell, telling it with that famous Arthur grin. He was fiercely loyal to the Herald, Jim Mahoney and The Chief, Kevin Cole. The photos above are some of his favorites, including the Dinosaur of Boston, Roller Coaster, and his view of the very sad Challenger explosion in Florida. He covered the Pope, Presidents and travelled the world until becoming more of a presence on the photo desk in the late 90’s. The photo above of Arthur, at right, fixing my tie was taken in the mid 90’s in Warwick,RI. Five Herald photographers had won photo awards and we were in a hotel about to be feted. Arthur knocked on my hotel room door and wanted me to hustle as we were going to be late. He took one look at my tie and said: “Your tie is on wrong”, and proceeded to fix it. Not sure who took the photo but I will treasure it. RIP Arthur.

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