George Washington rode his horse over there. Babe Ruth got his start over there. The Boston Tea Party? Yea, that was right around the corner. Boston is saturated in history you’ll want to capture on camera, and has its share of stunning urban landscapes and architecture, too. Here are a few of our favorite spots to shoot around Bean Town.
If you want the best skyline of Boston, this is the place to photograph it. We’re very fond of this area in Boston, because it is very scenic from one side of the Charles River to the other side. There are walkways, running paths and biking paths all along the Charles River, and you can find yourself walking and photographing beautiful sights all along this gorgeous area of Boston. The best locations are along Storrow Drive on the west side of the river, and Memorial Drive on the east side. You can drive, walk, or bike across the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and connect to either side of the river. The best time of the day is late afternoon – we photographed this particular image at 2:45 p.m. The summer, fall, or spring is the best time of the year to photograph this particular area. If you want a steady shot, bring your portable tripod with you.
Christian Science Center
The Christian Science Center is located directly on the west side of Huntington Avenue in Boston, between Belvidere Street and Massachusetts Avenue. It is a wonderful sight to behold in person, and one of our favorite places to photograph. There is the Christian Science building in the background, and a wonderful area to sit by the fountains and pond structure, which almost creates the illusion of a riverbed. You can get great angles and perspectives on every area here. The best time of the day is really up to the photographer, but we photographed in the evening, when we got great lighting and a reflection off of the water. You have to be careful with the sun – if it dips behind the building you are shooting, it can prevent you from getting a decent shot. Summer and fall are the best times to dodge the rain and snow that can prevent shooting here. We would recommend bringing your tripod so you can get even, leveled and straight-angle shots, to get a nice balanced perspective.
The Boston Common, located on 147 Tremont Street, is one of the first public parks ever created in the United States, and one of the most historic places in Boston to photograph. George Washington once rode his horse through this park, and in remembrance and honor of our first president, there is an incredible brass statue that stands right in the entrance. For a different view, try the swan boat rides, which you can take right into the center of the pond. You can get great images during the day and evening when the sun is low, and your lens hood can protect your images from lens flare. At night, this is a wonderful place to photograph when the old lamp lights turn on. Bring your tripod and shutter release chord for long exposures.
The home of the historic Fenway Park and the Red Sox, Kenmore Square is the one of the most visited sites in Boston. This is the place to be if you are a sports fan, but it also provides a picturesque view of other historic areas of Boston. The great big Citgo sign is a Boston icon. Be sure to catch it at night, when it lights up, which can make for some interesting compositions with passing cars. We recommend a tripod if you take this approach, a shutter release for long exposures, and setting your camera at a low ISO.
Prudential Center and Building
Directly across from the Christian Science center is the Prudential Center. If you are into architectural photography, this is a great area to photograph some of the most popular buildings in Boston, aside from the downtown financial district. With the fountains in front and the buildings in the back, you can get a spectacular view of these iconic Boston structures. You can also walk directly in front of the building, which is located on Boylston Street, and see the front of the building and plaza.
We recommend photographing this site during the evening, or when the sun is setting, to get great lighting, and perhaps more reflection off the building. It’s a very reflective surface, so you can get an interesting composition. We used a wide-angle lens, 24-70 mm, to squeeze all the buildings into the frame. We also used a tripod to prevent an unbalanced, distorted perspective.