Best events in Boston to photograph

Series sponsored by Sony

Sony Style

Boston thrums with life year round, but at certain times, the city explodes with action. Grab your calendar and prepare to shoot five of the best events in Boston, including a Fourth of July fireworks display that will make your hair stand on end, the world’s oldest annual marathon, and an evening of unforgettable Christmas-time revelry.

Boston Pops Orchestra

The Boston Pops Orchestra performs by the Charles River every year on the Fourth of July, playing patriotic tunes in sync with thundering fireworks. We think it’s one of the best Boston events, performed in one of the best places in Boston. The Pops Orchestra also presents many free concerts, from popular rock bands, to holiday performances, at other times through the year.

Make sure to get the riverfront early to ensure a great view and seat, so you can capture the best shot possible if you would like to photograph the stage. There will be a big crowd, and lots of interesting things to photograph while there. The Charles River and the park as a background make a perfect setting for picturesque compositions. Have your camera set at a high speed in order to capture the best fireworks shots. A telephoto lens will get you closer to the colorful display if you don’t secure prime seating, and a flash is always handy for portrait shots at night.

Boston Pops Orchestra
Image courtesy of Chris Devers on Flickr

Boston Harbor Cruise

Boston’s harbor cruises will bring you out to sea for whale watching, and swing by nearby coastlines, like Provincetown. There is entertainment and dining while you are at sea. It is quite perfect scenery to shoot from a cruise, and you will not go home without getting a great photograph. We would advise shooting with a lens hood on, since it’s often sunny most of the time you are out at sea. The best times to take the cruises are during the summer. In the fall and spring, it may be too windy or a cold at sea.

Boston Harbor Cruise
Image courtesy of Christopher S. Penn on Flickr

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon takes place every year during the spring, and this year it’s scheduled for Monday, April 18. If you’re into sports and photography, this is the best event to attend in Boston. You can get many great shots of runners going by from a long stretch of the marathon path. To prevent blur as the runners huff by, have your camera on a high ISO setting, and use a tripod.

Boston Marathon
Image courtesy of Chris Wraight on Flickr

Tall Ships Cruises

Boston’s tall ships, reminiscent of the old sailing ships that once stood by the harbor many years ago, are a sight to see. You can take these cruises all year round, the best times being from April to September. Like the harbor cruises, you’ll get a chance to shoot at sea, with a dash of history thrown in. Bring a lens hood if it’s sunny, and make sure to have a lens-sensitive fabric to clean your lens if it gets wet from the spray. The ride can also get bumpy, so always have your lens strap and your camera around your neck!

Tall Ship Cruises
Image courtesy of ZaNiaC on Flickr

First Night

After Christmas, Bostonians leave their Christmas lights up and artists come out of the woodwork for the New Years Eve celebration known as First Night. Spectacular decorations ring the city and light up every area of Boston, making the city romantic, beautiful and magical. From Beacon Street to the Copley Place Plaza, you can see lights and events during first night, from vendors to art being sold. The decorated Christmas tree stands at Copley Place Plaza are a must see every year. In order to get a great photograph, you must have a tripod and have your ISO set at a high speed in order to capture great lights and images at night. Early evening makes the best time to shoot, so that you can get good lighting and capture the lights as well.

First Night
Image courtesy of Bradsearles on Flickr

Jump to other parts of this series:

Boston photography guide: tips, locations, and stores

Best photo shoot locations in Boston

Best camera stores in Boston

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robo sidekicks, AC for your bed, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

How to clean your records to keep them looking good and sounding sweet

Vinyl records are back in a big way, but the sound quality can suffer if you don't keep them clean. Check out our tips for keeping your vinyl and stylus immaculate, so you can hear every note of your favorite tunes.

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.

Watch how Nikon tests the durability of its D850 professional DSLR

Nikon's D850 DSLR won many plaudits when it launched in 2017. Praised for its robust, weather-resistant body design, the Japanese camera firm has released a video offering some insight into how it came to be built that way.

Selfies don’t usually descend into brawls, but this one did

Snapping a selfie is usually a fun activity, but for a couple of women attempting to get a picture of Rome's iconic Trevi Fountain last week, the exercise turned into a brawl involving both of their families.

Film-processing lab offers fascinating behind-the-scenes look

Digital is now the dominant format in the photography world, but there are still plenty of photographers who've chosen to continue with film. So how have the remaining processing labs adapted in order to serve those who love film?

From wide angle to telephoto, here are the best lenses for your Nikon DSLR

Looking for the perfect lens to pair with your Nikon DSLR? Here are Nikon's best lenses -- and a few from third-party manufacturers -- from macro to telephoto, from $220 to $2,400.

The best place to print photos online: Seven top photo labs

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.

Brother’s new laser printers spit out prints with just a tap thanks to NFC

Seven new color laser printers carry the Brother name, as well as new features like NFC to easily print from mobile. The lineup sits between $200 and $400, and boasts faster print speeds and an updated design.

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.

8 easy ways for you to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC

If you haven't already, you should back up your photos to a computer. Here's how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC using third-party services and a wealth of storage devices.

These are the best camera straps you can get your hands on

Choosing the right camera strap for your needs can be a tough decision. To help sort through the junk, we've rounded up the best camera straps on the market for you to choose from.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.