I chase and photograph thunderstorms. Every thunderstorm that I can chase, I chase. Today I could chase as I was on an off day from work as a Boston Herald photographer. The storm cells that the weather radar showed just after 9am this morning, looked like a good possibility for me. I drove to Bayswater St. in East Boston and then to Morton St. in Winthrop, which gives a nice view of Revere. Photos of daytime lightning are very difficult to achieve, especially during haze and heavy rain, so this was not turning out too well for me. I did, however, notice the very turbulent sky above Boston and Revere. I snapped a few photos. Shortly thereafter I got a tip that Revere had a lot of damage near the lower Broadway area, near city hall. I called the Herald photo desk and then arrived at Broadway and Tafts St. in approximately 10 minutes. The extent of the damage was shocking. I started taking photos and then moved toward Revere Beach Parkway. There I saw several homes with rooftops blown off. It was then, after seeing the angle of the fallen trees and calling up a high school weather class memory, that I guessed it might have been a tornado that socked this area. If fallen trees are angled in several different angles, then most likely it was a tornado. If the trees are lined up in the same way, then it was straight line winds that tore through the area. Here are some of the cloud formations just prior to, and after the tornado, and also the damage caused by it. Please check out the Boston Herald for continuing coverage.
Happy 34th birthday to Gisele. On July 20, 1980 Gisele Caroline Bundchen was born. She has been the world’s most successful fashion model, an influential businesswoman, and a champion of the environment. But on September 21, 2009 I witnessed, and photographed, a more daredevil side to her, when Gisele, more than 5 months pregnant, took helicopter flying lessons in Marshfield,MA. Below are my exclusive photos from that day.
When I was a child, maybe 9, my parents took my sister and me to Puerto Rico. I remember asking my parents what happens if the plane falls from the sky. The plane, in this case, was an Eastern Airlines Lockheed L-10-11. My dad said, and of course I’m paraphrasing, “they don’t fall from the sky!” We had an uneventful flight to most, but an amazing, creative experience for me, as this was my first flight. That flight got me hooked on planes. That’s right, from constructing model airplanes that next summer, to photographing a 747 flying “through” the moon last week, 40 years later, I had started and followed through with a love affair with all things aviation. When I am photographing these miracles of science at cruising altitude, that is 30-38,000 feet, or 6 miles up, I always wonder where they are going and what they see looking down at my area as I look up at them. Yesterday, close to three hundred people were blown out of the sky by a missile. Three hundred passengers, including children, possibly on their first flight, ended up in a field, in a tangled mess in a region called Crimea. These planes, no matter what country of origin they have departed from, are secured tighter than a delivery to Fort Knox. The ground crews, security and all others involved in the safety of these planes, from what I have seen over the years, take it extremely seriously to secure the plane before, during, and after flight. That’s why it was so disappointing and sad that some shithead, with an agenda, shot down Malaysia Fl 17 yesterday. In words that might be used by a 9 year old, “what did they do to deserve this?”
A jetliner exits the East Coast of Massachusetts, over Nahant,MA. as the sun sets.
Last night’s fireworks over Winthrop,MA were delayed for two nights, due to Hurricane Arthur. This was good luck for me as the moon was positioned perfectly above the fireworks. That would not have happened Friday night. 1/125 of a second at F11 at 100asa (ISO) Handheld lens at 200mm.
I snapped this photo of the wife of James B. Carver, the man who was found guilty at the moment this photo was taken, November 1989. The 1984 Beverly rooming house fire killed 15 residents, making him at that time the perpetrator of the deadliest arson fire in Massachusetts history. As guilty verdicts were read Carver wept. Mary Carver, below, exploded, saying: “He didn’t do it! No!” as she collapsed to her knees screaming.
I photographed the Boston police today as they captured a bank robbery suspect, and gun in his car. The alleged suspect was still wearing the blue hospital mask he used to allegedly rob the bank.
06/19/2014-Boston,MA. A man, identified by Boston police Superintendent Robert Merner as being the suspect that had just robbed the Santander Bank on Boylston St., is seen being questioned by police after being caught on St. Botolph St. this afternoon. The man is still wearing the blue hospital mask that he reportedly used in the alleged robbery.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy Page today as I photographed him outside of his hotel shortly after he received an honorary doctoral degree from the Berklee College of Music. I had passed a hotel where I saw a large crowd gathered, so I stopped and inquired what/who they were waiting for. A nice man named Ross came out to greet the crowd. Ross is an associate of Jimmy’s. He told the crowd the crowd rules regarding autographs and photos. There were to be no photos. I took out my Leica camera and left my large and bulky press cameras in my car’s trunk. I explained to Ross that I had no intent on selling the photo, simply I wanted a nice portrait. He went into the hotel and came out and said that it was ok that I snap Jimmy’s photo but that I could only shoot for a few seconds, and that I had to wait in line with the autograph seekers. I got to Jimmy and he smiled broadly and said something to the effect of: oh, I was told (by Ross) about this professional camera and that you must be a professional, ok, just a second. He then went into his pocket and took out his sunglasses and put them on. I shook his hand and thanked him. He continued his infectious smile and was quite at ease. I was not. I confess to being a little nervous, after all, it is not everyday one meets a guitar God. The other photo here is from 1995 when I photographed the Page and Plant concert down the street at the Boston Garden for the Boston Herald.
The 135th Annual Ball and Awards Ceremony of the Boston Fire Department honored 20 firefighters last night who, according to Interim Fire CommissionerJohn F. Hasson, “have distinguished themselves in the performance of their duty during 2013.” Hasson spoke to the large crowd at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and touched upon the bravery displayed at the April 15 Boston Marathon terrorist attack where “members, on duty or off, performed their duties with the utmost bravery”. Firefighter Douglas Menard, of Engine Company 14, was awarded the John E. Fitzgerald Medal for the Most Meritorious Act. His plaque description reads: “On April 15, 2013, two bombs were detonated by terrorists at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. Fire Fighter Douglas Menard was in close proximity to the bomb detonation and was knocked off balance by the explosion. Without hesitation and under the uncertain threat of more bombs, he came upon his first victim, a mother covering her teenage daughter’s injured leg. He applied a tourniquet and moved on to several other victims with burning cloths caused by the hot metal fragments of the bomb. He extinguished their burning cloths and provided first aid to their burns. After receiving several reports of victims in the Marathon Sports building, he entered the building and, aided by other firefighters, continued to to provide first aid to multiple victims.”
Nineteen other firefighters were honored for heroic acts performed in 2013.
- Firefighter Douglas Menard, with John F. Hasson, Interim Fire Commissioner, and Joseph E. Finn, Deputy Chief, at right.
Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O’Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, and Michael Foley.
- Medal of Honor recipients, Fire Lieutenant Sean M. O’Brien, engine company 7, at left, and firefighter Charles M. Buchanan engine company 24, among others.
Here is the photo sequence from late afternoon yesterday as Air Force One was on short final approach over South Boston, flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport. I had some folks questioning whether this was real or a photo fake, with the skyline of Boston so close. The one photo in the middle of this sequence was “retweeted” on Twitter several hundred times. It seems people like this amazing airplane, and see it as a source of American pride, as opposed to another divisive political topic. Shot from Deer Island with an 1120mm lens.