2 Guys Walking: Boston, Rey Style

2 Guys Photo is both convergence and divergence, a collaboration marked by commonalities and differences. Ed and I share a good bit of genetic matter, roughly similar world views and outlooks… and a relentless fondness for the craft and artistry of making images.

But we are different… strikingly so sometimes.

And so it is in that spirit that we present the first of a two-part series pertaining to our recent early Saturday morning jaunt through the mostly deserted streets of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Two guys, two brothers, carrying late model Nikon digital SLRs and identical lenses… but with unique views and two approaches to the same subject matter… present their visions here.

Recently, we visited upon the newly discovered (for us) Borderland State Park, and combined our images into a single post that I penned. Today, we try a different approach. I’ll describe the experience and show you what I saw as Ed and I marched side-by-side through the too cold streets of early morning Boston. Then in a day or so, he’ll do the same. And the similarities and differences will be on display.

Here’s my version:

I thought we had said 7am, but uncharacteristically, I found myself thinking it was earlier. Much earlier. I texted that I’d be in front of his house by 6:30 and he, fortunately, replied that he could be ready. The stop at Dunkin’ Donuts was mandatory and then off we went to the downtown. Boston, an ancient metropolis (in U.S. history terms) contains an abundance of contrasts: stark, steel blue modern skyscrapers reflect in their windows 18th century churches and meeting houses, some of which contained the rebellious conversations of Samuel Adams and others. There are quiet parks, crowded waterfronts and busy marketplaces. And we wondered where precisely to begin.

We decided upon a central point allowing for easy walking access to the harbor, historic Quincy Market, and the Financial District.

I’ve worked in and around Boston for a long time and so I’ve been no stranger to the joys of walking around this beautiful city with a camera and a true desire to capture something interesting, something unique. As a primarily landscape photographer, I’ve been keen to grab wide shots such as this one…

… but on this particular day, I hoped to see and capture something different, something like the shot at the very top of this post. That was Ed going through the revolving door at a downtown Hilton where I made the first of my three required stops (Ed needed none). He wandered out to the street ahead of me and I was struck by the bright light coming from in front of him and through the glass panels of the doorway. I quickly dialed down the shutter speed in order to give the image a sense of movement. As I looked quickly upon the result on my camera’s LCD, I immediately thought: “convert to black and white to emphasize the contrasts and the bright light coming from in front.”

A short time later, I noticed Ed propping his camera atop his trusty monopod (I despise those and only resort to a tripod when absolutely necessary) and I wandered through the same area where he was shooting. I’m curious to see what he was grabbing in that moment as there was nothing there to capture my attention… except for Ed himself.

Though the sweeping panoramas of the city were impressive, particularly as the beautiful early rising light accentuated highlights and cast shadows across our path, I found myself searching for smaller details and hoping to avoid the self-made cliches of the Boston galleries that now occupy my computer’s hard drive.

Toward the end of one of the piers, there is a mostly brick structure that, per Ed, was featured in the film, “The Departed”. I hadn’t seen it. The structure was photogenic enough, but I tried to see something in it that gave a strong sense of the loneliness of the spot.

The final phase of our stroll around the city was to hit Quincy Market. It offered some nice photo ops… and some warmth. Having walked along the windy waterfront, we were both ready for the market pass. I was thinking cocoa, but Ed chose bottled water.

Merchants began filling their venues with food for the coming shoppers and tourists. I watched as the cases became filled with a colorful bounty… and was immediately drawn to one empty case just as the man behind the counter began to fill it.

Time was running out on our parking meter and I suggested a leisurely pace while Ed pressed on faster to avoid the ticket. Unfortunately, that was right as I needed my third stop… and a ticket was issued.

Two guys. Two photographers. Two visions.

Now it’s Ed’s turn…

Posted by Rey

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3 Responses to 2 Guys Walking: Boston, Rey Style

  1. I really like the top shot of Ed at the doors and the shot with all the arches. Both impress me. When I was at Duke Gardens yesterday, an older gentleman struck up a conversation with me while the kids petted his Bichon Gigi. He wanted to know what had caught my eye in the garden. I told him the pink dogwood and where it was and how the light and dof of the branches looked lovely. It’s not too often I have someone there on the spot to discuss what I’m shooting and how it interests me. Also of interest to me is your city view of the world since so often I am shotting out in the field…literally. I smiled at the sight of going into downtown Raleigh today…a city, yes, but so tiny really. I look forward to Ed’s corresponding post.

  2. Kara Stewart says:

    You got some great shot around the city. I think my favorite is the brick arches. Love the repetition and pattern of the arches and bricks.

  3. Beth Branyon says:

    I agree with Kara. I like the photo of the arches and I do get a sense of loneliness from it. I enjoyed your post and perspective.

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