When I travel to new places, I always look for inspiration for my photography. Sometimes that comes in the form of amazing light, sometimes it’s a situation or a mood, and sometimes it’s the place itself that inspires. Frankly though, when I had the opportunity to go to Boston earlier this year, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I threw my camera in because I knew I’d have some spare time, but I was just expecting to maybe get some cityscape type shots (which I did, by the way), and that was about it. Boston is, after all, a city on the water, and I do love cities on the water!

Now, this is the part where I have to embarrassingly admit that when I think of Boston, I think of the city… and not the history of the place. Or at least I used to. When I arrived and started digging around though, I was quickly reminded. Walking around through the old part of town, tracing on foot the path that Paul Revere rode on horse the night of April 18th, 1775, proclaiming that the British were coming, was amazing. I have no idea if this was really safe thing to do at night… but that’s when I did it. You know, for the full experience of it all.

I was reminded of this evening outside the Old North Church this past week as I was reading the book The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. In this book, Pressfield states: “Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance” (Pressfield defines Resistance, basically, as that force which keeps us from accomplishing our dreams and goals). Just as the lanterns on the steeple signaled a coming revolution, so too can the beginning of this week signal the start of something new for all of us.

Photography Notes

The Old North Church is not particularly easy to photograph. The surrounding buildings are extremely tight, and the roads are narrow. I shot this picture, literally standing in the middle of the street. Had the cars not been parked down the side of the street, you could have shot it from the curb which would allowed you to see the entire face of the building, however I visited the site on several occasions and never saw the street empty. Since the alleys are so steep, the contrasting shadows of the buildings cast by the rising or setting sun would make this shot particularly challenging challenging, though some first light color might work on a perfect day (it was fairly cloudy the entire time I was there). I chose to shoot it at night because, well, I shoot everything at night, and frankly its the easiest shot, and you’re basically guaranteed no people in the shot (the tour buses start rolling in around 9AM).

–Dan Thompson

Old North Church

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