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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

North shore of Boston - getting better exposure

Our German friends, Ulli and Norbert, came to visit this fall and arrived on Halloween! I thought this was a less that perfect time of year to be here - not quite fall and not quite winter. But they brought lots of ideas about where to go and after some discussion we ruled out going north and they decided to concentrate on the north shore, Boston, Cape Cod, and Nantucket. Their guide book suggested a tour of the north shore which began in Ipswich, then Castle Hill/Crane's beach, (the first 6 images), and down 133 with a side trip to Wingaersheek beach (the 7th image). We took a short ride going north on 128 and got off at 127 going north to Annisquam and around to Rockport ( a fun place to take pictures but not today) and Gloucester. Because we didn't want to retrace our route we took 1A back north (the last 2 images) to Newburyport where we had dinner at the Black Cow. "This reminds us so much of England!" they said.
A beautiful day makes it easy to take pictures but there are a few things to remember. I used a polarizing filter most of the afternoon which saturated the sky but could make shadows deeper. In Photoshop there is an Image Adjustment called Shadows and Highlights. That will take care of the shadows when they get a little too deep because you are exposing for the highlights. Remember: expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may. When I use the shadows/highlights adjustment tool I like to set the amount slider and the tonal width slider to very nearly the same physical place on the sliders then I set the radius slider to the right of both of them. I think this gives the most realistic rendition while lightening the shadows. I did this to the photo of the scary looking leafless tree I took at the Crane Estate on Castle Hill.
Castle Hill is a beautiful place to hike any time of year and the beach is long and shallow! Views of the salt marshes are especially pretty this time of year because the grass colors are mostly yellow and orange. The places we visited surprised me. I didn't think there would be so many photo opportunities this time of year. I guess a photographer needs an open mind.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market - Our own Backyard

When family comes to visit Boston right off a cruise ship I get a chance to explore my own backyard. They walked right into the hustle and bustle of the modern day Faneuil Hall - Quincy market complex but lets not forget the history!

Faneuil Hall, fronted by a statue of Sam Adams, was financed by young Peter Faneuil for the commercial benefit of Boston's merchants. John Hancock called him "the topmost merchant in all the town." It was dedicated on Sept. 10, 1742 in the hurly-burly action of Dock Square, which had market stalls on all four sides - waterfront, fish market, hay market and sheep market. The hall served as a forum for the opinions of rebels and patriots, including Sam Adams and Paul Revere. George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday!

Quincy Market was constructed in 1826 and served for almost 150 years as a retail and wholesale distribution center for meat and produce. By 1950 the area had become rundown and there were plans to demolish it. In the early 1970's a committed group of Bostonians wanted to preserve it and by 1976 it was rebuilt through the efforts of Jim Rouse, architect Benjamin Thompson and Mayor Kevin White.

Today the shops and restaurants attract more than 18 million visitors annually. There is always music, food and people to watch. The 25th annual tree lighting will happen Saturday, November 21st with a Holiday Tuba Concert Saturday, November 28th. Click on the link above for more information and enjoy your own "backyard"!
Thank you to the Boston Insight Guide for much of the information presented here!