Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A sliver of light and a nice guy

When I woke up this morning, there was a huge cloud over my house but a big clear space in the East. Now, I know that weather usually moves from West to East, but I ignored this knowledge as the weatherman was saying something about clearing. So I made breakfast, got ready, and arrived on the waterfront of Boston before sunrise.

A glance at the sky told me I'd need to wait a while, because a stripe of cloud was clinging to the horizon. So I shot a few harbor scenes and then settled down in a spot with a view of the Custom House tower and some brightly-colored black locust trees. Every few minutes I peered over to see what was happening in the sky. The clouds were closing in on the bright strip. If the sun did come up over the cloud bank, it would shine for only a few moments. 

Seven o'clock. Seven-ten. Seven-fifteen. The city was coming to life around me. Dogs and their walkers passed, traffic picked up on the nearby street, and I waited. The rim of the clouds was glowing. Any minute. And then, two pickup trucks drove into the park. One passed. One parked right in front of me. I made a gesture, but not the one you might be thinking of. The two-hands-halfway-up, hey-whaddaya-doin-guy gesture. The driver made a funny face and drove ahead,  just as the alpenglow painted the side of the tower.

For three minutes I shot. Bracketing, using three different filters, trying to take a still picture as the wind made the branches sway. The light was gorgeous. It was one of those scenes that has you breathing heavy. Then, as fast as it had started, the sun disappeared behind the top cloud, and my sliver of light - and time - was gone. I looked around for the driver who had moved for me.  Couldn't see him. Maybe he had gone for coffee, or to check out his work site. It would have been nice to thank him.

The park is only a block from Quincy Market, so I walked over to see if there was any foliage. Yes! More black locusts, and the bee lights were on, too. It looked a bit like Christmas in October. So I took a few shots there.
It was 7:40, only twenty minutes until the parking meters start. It's really great being able to park free to shoot mornings in Boston, but the 8:00 deadline makes me feel like Cinderella rushing to her pumpkin-coach.

As I neared my car, I saw the guy. I showed him on the back of my camera, the picture he enabled me to get. Thank you, driver-guy, it's a really beautiful shot. Thank you!


  1. I enjoyed the story....how nice that you found the "driver guy" and shared the photo with him....beautiful shot, as always and I love the "tick-tock" moment by moment story behind it.....

  2. Your photos are reminding me of home. I lived in Boston on weekends throughout most of my life. I love Faneuil Hall and the Boston "chip yard " was my favorite place to eat ( chocolate chip cookies). You make one feel as though they are there...I have not seen some of those views in years!

  3. Great story - and beautiful shot!