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Photo Walk to the Tall Ships

One of my new favorite weekend activities is the “photo walk”. These were created by my good friend Travis, who started inviting me over the last few months. We get a group of people together and go explore the Greater Boston Area looking for cool places to wander around and photograph. Usually these are very impromptu adventures with no pre-decided destination, which makes for a lot of great discoveries.

Travis had mentioned having a photo walk this weekend at one point, and as it got closer (and for another reason that will be discussed in an upcoming post) I decided to re-ignite the conversation and see what we could do. Travis countered by mentioning that this weekend was both the Tall Ships here in Boston, and the Newport Kite Festival. In the end, the Tall Ships won out, because, as pretty as kites are, I think we all just felt the ships would be a more interesting day. Belynda and Tom ended up coming along too, and we made a good day of it.

For those of you who don’t know, every once in a while a giant flotilla of Tall Ships comes to port in Boston. This is part of a giant race they all participate in that takes them back and forth across the Atlantic. They’ve dubbed this event Sail Boston and I have to say, the number of ships and size of the crowd were staggering. The whole event was much grander than I had imagined.

The day itself started with a pseudo-secret wedding in the Boston Public Garden that my friend Belynda was invited to, and which I won’t be posting any pictures of or giving more detail about for obvious reasons. During the discussion about this weekend, Belynda had mentioned that she, and her friend who was getting married, would be incredibly grateful to have a couple of photographers come out to capture the big day, and being the sap that I am, I couldn’t say no.

I have to say, it was a really beautiful and touching ceremony. The last wedding I attended was years ago, at an un-air-conditioned church, in 98 degree weather and 90% humidity. I was in a full suit and it took the better part of two hours. I now have a strong aversion to going to weddings. This one, however, was on a gorgeous day outside, was touchingly short, and I could lounge about in jeans and a t-shirt. There’s something to be said about leaving out all the show and to-do, and just having a small ceremony with only the parts that mean the most to you. Should I ever get married, I would want something like that.

After following the bride and groom around for a while and taking other pictures of them in the Gardens, we headed off to South Station to meet up with Travis, and then began our little tour of the tall ships. The crowds were a bit much at times, but the four of us are pretty good at making our own fun. At one point we came across what could only be a giant high-art “sculpture” of some sort. It was four giant slabs of metal, made out of smaller panels. Each large piece was bent at a 45-50 degree angle off the ground. After debating what it could be (the holy site of some sort of new religion, the worlds first microwave) we devolved in to a game of “who can get up the sheer slippery side the farthest before the ‘security’ yells at us”.

Travis vs. Belynda

Travis vs. Belynda

Before long, Belynda had to run off to go see Ani DiFranco with Ed, and we continued on to see more of the ships, being joined first by Tom’s lovely girlfriend Stephanie, and then  Tom’s roommate and his girlfriend, Chris and Ashley. We spent the next hour or so wandering around the Tall Ships over at the World Trade Center, before heading off to get dinner. The dinner was a bit of a debacle with food taking forever to come out and being marginally cold when it finally did emerge. Thankfully, the wonderful company more than made up for it.

By the time we got out of dinner, it was becoming a chilly night, and so the couples decided to head out and get home so they could warm up. This left Travis and I to wander around a bit shooting the ships lit up at night, before heading out ourselves. Unfortunately, we were about halfway to the garage where Travis had parked when last night’s torrential downpour began. If nothing else though, now I know that my camera bag really is thoroughly waterproof. All in all it was a lovely day.

I’ll leave you with a few of the pics I took:

Sinking Dinghy

Sinking Dinghy



Tall Ship at Night

Tall Ship at Night

You can see the rest of the pictures over at my Flickr page.


- B

Posted in Photography.

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  1. Tom says

    I seriously wish I had been able to get the night shots of the tall ships. The ones you and Travis took are fabulous. Ah well, another time perhaps. I would like to do a night thing – or maybe one that stretches into night?

    I’ll have to keep my eyes open for good night scenes….

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