boston harbor islands

i met my mom last week as she was visiting family who live a few hours out of boston, and it was but a train ride for us to meet. we had nothing really planned other than meet for lunch, take a walk on the waterfront and enjoy a leisurely afternoon together. after lunch, we sat on a bench watching the boats, water taxi's and ferry's come in and out and i noted that one of these days, i need to take a day and visit the boston harbor islands. my mom looked at me and said why not today ....

View of Boston from George's Island | 2014

tho we had no idea of the history of george's island (the one we visited), the fort or "lady in black" ghost story (which i may have to explore at some point) -  we enjoyed a ride filled with warmth, a mix of silence and conversation, clear skies, beautiful puffs of clouds and the island. though different from the excursions to vashon or bainbridge island in washington state, the experience of feeling lost in a different time and space were the same. so close, yet so far away. these are my impressions.


of late, life's felt like one big punch in the face - another in the gut - then a whallop over the head for good measure. what most people might experience over a longer stretch of time has landed all at once: a reduced income, a home situation nearing the finality of clarification, and a car totaled by a driver who was on their phone and of course, it was the five year old car with less than 20,000 miles on it, not the car that's in the shop again with 90,000 miles on it. all this in the middle of summer - the time of year i long for. a time when i'm usually out and about -  not inside hiding my eyes and crying finally opening them for a few days of blessed ocean peace only to crash into the next wave.

morgan | 2014

morgan | 2014

about a month ago, the day of the freakish tornado, one of the larger branches on a tree next to our house sort of cascaded off and remained nestled/stuck inside the other wild branches. this was a tree that was full and bushy and filled with little birds. it offered a sense of privacy and enclosure and felt enchanted - like a little part of the woods in our back yard. that was until the branch was stuck and the city came out to cut the branches out. 

what i was not prepared for, was the hack job that ensued  - one that left a beauty of a tree looking ravaged and scarred and dangerously lopsided. so when it rained heavily a few days ago and the leaves got wet, the tree had not choice but to let go of the other half of it's branches ....which also took out the entire fence line on our yard. no more privacy or shelter or woods in back yard. the hold left behind in the tree now only means more than likely the city will now cut it down.

at first i laughed. actually had a rather good laugh - and then that familiar feeling of despair descended; particularly when i looked at the tree realizing i felt how it looked - torn apart, opened up, severed. it hasn't helped that all the little birds that used to live inside the tree have been gathering on the tilted fence looking up - like wtf happened here? where's our little place to play. more than anything else, i feel really exposed; an emotion that can quickly descend to shame if permitted access.

this time around though, instead of hiding, i'm seeing there's a different route one can take which is the point:

life isn't so much what happens to me, to you or to any of us. it's what we do with it.

right now, at this moment, i'm considering options and alternatives - a different head space that feels a little more peaceful. while i believe that tears are there for a reason (and sometimes i need to cry them all out), while i may not always like the lemons life throws my way, i do have a choice with what to do with them. and today, i can add a little sugar to sweeten and a little water to lighten.

lifestyle session in boston

I recently spent a day with a client and good friend who'd brought me to her home in Albuquerque last summer for a week long lifestyle/documentary session, as she was in Boston with her new man - the very one she was introduced to right after I'd left last summer.

We planned a day that took us from the waterfront near the Aquarium, the North End, the water feature at Rose Kennedy Greenway, the Esplanade, Boston Common & Quincy Market,

michelle & greg | july, 2014

I mention this as lifestyle because it was documenting her time here (as if she lived here) with a specific set of images in mind as the photographs will be used in two new websites we are creating for her, and as you'll see, most of them are in color. Though our time and path was more than i'd normally suggest for most sessions, we made the most of each area we were in. and the pictures tell the story - actually they tell a few stories....and that's all i'm saying.

twelve portraits ~ july

so this was the day my camera literally crapped out after five years. the focus was shot (no pun intended). the timing wasn't so great as i was in boston with a client/friend who was visiting and we'd planned to spend the morning together photographing in various areas of the city. i mention this as my only means of focusing was manual, which doesn't present as much of an issue with a single adult or couple but for me, i've become a bit reliant on it for street work.

anyway - during our time together, we'd walked over to the Esplanade and as we were setting up for one image, i see saw a man lift up his dog and gently place him on top of a column over looking the water. it seemed funny and loving and strange and as i was there somewhat in place, with my camera, i was ready when he turned around and they both unknowingly posed. while i walked in closer to introduce myself and get another, he put his head down, quickly removed the dog and left.

man & dog, boston | 07/2014

while this was taken later in the morning, the heat and brightness of the early july sun is apparent for its starkly blinding and has in ways muddied the tones. i also think a different angle may have helped but i like the indicators here - the water, the steps, the text in behind the man. i like his casual stance and that both are looking right at me while the leash connects them together. so - it'll do for this month.

now it's onto the rest starting with Stacie Ann Smith, Denver, CO.

set of threes

three weeks ago i took this picture filled with the gifts of summer - the heat in the air tinged with the scent of the sea. the stretch of days laid out before. a time that clears the system in ways that's as simple and uncomplicated as the wonderment and joy children find in water sprinklers. but then it all shifted into a series of annoying pokes that gurgled and sputtered before erupting into a wild and unconstrained blow.

boston common | july, 2014

as i'm prone to a mercurial persuasion, i can fall into a hole of shadow mirrors ... that of sadness and futility, of complaints (all i don't have & don't get to do), of a longing to be like others who's lives are illuminated into a blissfully artful arrangement with ample opportunities to create and be inspired with beautiful soulful children.

it's a dangerous place to slide for complaints and comparisons are like a rip tide holding me hostage while tearing my being into shreds.

yet it is precisely at times like these that i discover what i'm made of.

it's easy to be inspired and create and go further when life is uncomplicated, when i'm surrounded by beautiful people, when my needs of health, income, and stability are met. but when life cracks at the seams and begins to fall apart, times when ideas are evasive and opportunities dry up that my mind can get tangled.

in talking to a close friend who's in a similar paradigm, i was asked to consider the micro mirroring the macro. that the world has gone mad and in ways, my connection to it is showing up the way it is.

i was also asked what i'm not noticing ... what opportunity this presents.

so i'll leave it at that for now, three weeks later.

ignite - june

i've been keeping track of the photographs selected and shown within this group so far, and at midway, i think perhaps i've begun to get a little understanding of what i'm showing month to month. i've kind of lost my steam for the group shares and find the only way i can maintain enthusiasm and inspiration is to understand what i'm doing at the onset. that way, each month seems to add to a collection of the whole. so with this group, i started out rather flat and directionless. the first picture of the year in january of two views in a cafe sort of set the tone; but as i wasn't clear on that direction, february's now looks kind of odd. i think maybe in march i started to get clearer and since then, april and may begin to make sense. which brings me to june and this.

US District Court | Boston, 2014

this photograph was taken as a test shot during a client session in boston at the courthouse. (client is an attorney and i was commissioned to photograph portraits, headshots and documentary images for a website we're developing for her). the idea here was to photograph her coming out of the courthouse - thus, my test.

what i didn't plan on were the three men (presumably attorneys) who were beginning to exit at the moment i set my test shot. being that i was already there and in place, i photographed them as they exited.

while i love everything about the story here - the three poses, the expression of the man on the left along with the connection of those in the middle and right - the exposure was incorrect. in fact it was seriously over exposed. a hard image to photograph (high noon, clear, cloudless bright early summer day). so while i almost didn't show it for those reasons, it fits with the series i seem to have going.

with that & my long winded outline....i will send you onto one who's creativity and imagination is as beautiful as her name:  January Skye, Melbourne Photographer.

ignite - march

on a day that was freezing & cold & snowing (and in truth, another day of a very long winter) it felt good to be out in boston despite it all. with each gust of wind, each drift of snow, i smiled thinking maybe just maybe this would be the last day of the year for that (though sadly it wasn't). regardless, as i took time out to assess, the downside of that was not photographing as often as i have been. and it felt good to simply look around and discover....

woman smoking | boston, 2014

woman smoking | boston, 2014