Feb 042018

After the Rain

The Old State House, Boston, (with the Custom House Tower in the background) in the evening after a rainy day. Opened in 1713, the Old State House is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States.  A familiar Boston scene, the building more typically shot in from the other side in daylight and in color.

This iPhone shot made Flickr Explore (highest rank: #86, 1/23/18). Explore compiles the 500 “most interesting” of the (literally) millions of photos posted to Flickr everyday. Always an honor.

And here’s another night photo from Clarendon Square in Boston’s South End. A historic Boston Church converted to condos.

Silent night (South End church lofts at night)




Jan 112018

Old Market Passageway with Holiday Lights

Listed as a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, the Old Market was originally Omaha’s wholesale grocery district. Starting in the late 1960s, funky art galleries, restaurants, and boutique shops began springing up along the cobblestone streets and the area gradually became more upscale with loft condos filling the warehouses. It’s a vibrant part of the city with street performers and many of the area’s best restaurants, galleries, and shops.

Poinsettia-matching red scarf

Rubin Distributing / Jams

I also stopped by to check out the recently reopened M’s Pub in the heart of the Old Market. The building housing M’s was nearly destroyed a couple of years ago by a devastating fire. The fire completely gutted the building, taking out the roof and part of an exterior wall. The space inside M’s has been completely restored and, amazingly, is all but indistinguishable from its original condition.

M’s has reopened! (After a devastating fire)

A dusting of snow (outside the recently reopened M’s)


Dec 192017

Braddock Park as the snow starts to stick

A Saturday morning snow starts out slow and then picks up a bit throughout the day. Around noon, I took a stroll just as the snow started to stick to the ground and other surfaces. Here are a few iPhone photos taken around my immediate neighborhood: the Southwest Corridor Park, Braddock Park, and St. Botolph Street.

Pink Bag

Frosting the Trees

Musician’s Mutual Relief Society


Dec 172017

Ornate. Illuminated.

I love taking high-contrast, iPhone photos at night. These two shots turned out better than I imagined, especially because it was damn cold and I shot them very quickly, struggling to keep the exposure as low as possible by simply focusing on bright lights just prior shifting quickly and shooting. Some post processing helped, but even SOOTC (straight out of the camera), these were quite satisfying.

The above shot is of Northeastern University’s Matthews Area. Opened in 1910 as Boston Arena, it is, according to wikipedia, the “oldest indoor ice hockey arena still being used for hockey — and is the oldest multi-purpose athletic building still in use in the world.” The Boston Bruins (of NHL’s “Original Six”) played their first home game in the Arena in 1924. The Boston Celtics played their first home game here in 1946, and continued to play some games in the Arena, as well as in Boston Garden, until 1955.

Rings of Light in the Night

This is a new building on the New England Conservatory campus, just a couple blocks down St. Botolph Street from Matthews Area. I love the composition and almost abstract nature of this shot, with the illuminated parts of the building disembodied from the rest.  As wikipedia notes, NEC “is the oldest independent school of music in the United States, and it is widely recognized as one of the country’s most distinguished music schools.”


Dec 072017

Brooke Courthouse Columns and Shadow Bars

A couple of iPhone shots focusing on shadow lines and light.  I noticed the stark shadow patterns in both of these photos while walking back from lunches on two different, late-fall days.

The above shot shows dramatic shadow lines and geometric patterns from the columns along the side of the Edward Brooke Courthouse.  While shooting this, I became aware of a guy walking up behind me, slowing down, and then coming right up to me. When I turned around to see what he wanted (thinking, I’ll admit, “oh crap, what’s this going to be?”), I was a bit surprised when he said something like “wow, that’s so cool! I was wondering why you were taking photos here.” He then grabbed his phone and started shooting. (Another testament to the benefits off always having a decent camera on hand in the form of an iPhone). Edward Brooke, btw, was the first elected African-American Attorney General in the United States, serving as the Massachusetts AG from 1962-1966, and the first African-American elected to the United States Senate, serving as a Massachusetts Senator from 1966-1978.

Charles River Plaza Stairs and Shadows

No one stopped or took their own photos while I shot this one, but it’s just as interesting and dramatic. Stairs off Cambridge Street leading to Charles River Plaza shops and medical offices, not far from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Nov 152017

It’s Quiet at Night (Ellis Memorial Children’s Park)

A few hand-held night shots with my Olympus Pen F during a late evening stroll through Boston’s South End. Starting with a couple shots of Chandler and Tremont Plaza, including the above photo of Ellis Memorial Children’s Park (I’m quote fond of this shot).

Chandler and Tremont Plaza

From earlier in the evening, here’s a quintessential South End Street, Pembroke Street, bathed in porch light and streetlight glow:

All quiet on Pembroke Street

Highlighting the glorious nature of the evening, here’s a photo of the Cyclorama Building adjacent to the Boston Center for the Arts.

Beautiful October Night at the Cyclorama

And  a block or so away from the Cyclorama, here’s an iPhone shot of Aquitaine (shot on a different evening):

Bistro Glow (Cocktails at Aquitaine)

And finally, also from another evening, a shot of the Liberty Mutual Building and skywalk not far away in the Back Bay.

Liberty Mutual Building and Lighted Skywalk

Nov 052017

Josiah Quincy Upper School from a Bay Village Alley

A few iPhone photos from a damp Sunday Morning in Bay Village. Bay Village is a tiny, historic Boston neighborhood squeezed between the Back Bay, South End, Park Square, Chinatown, and the Theatre District. Dominated by lots of small townhouses in the Federal style and larger ones of Greek Revival style, it still comes off as fairly eclectic overall with a few mid-(20th)century institutional and commercial buildings and even a very cool art deco structure. I’ve shot here before a few years ago.

Handbag in the window (at Chemical 2)

And here’s a shot of and from Mike and Patty’s Sandwich Shop in Bay Village (the best breakfast sandwiches in Boston, hands down).

Mike and Patty’s on a drizzly day

Bay Village Through Mike and Patty’s Window


Oct 302017

spooky sky and moonlight at night in the church yard

A couple shots of Union Church in Boston’s South End at night in moonlight and marbled cloudy skies. Both were shot hand held with an Olympus Pen F from Titus Sparrow Park. 

Union Church Steeple

And in a similar vein, here’s an iPhone shot of Old South Church at night:

Old South Church Shadows

And finally, another hand held Pen F shot of Boston’s Public Garden at night:

The Public Garden shines at night


Apr 042017

The Durham (Omaha Union Station) at Twilight
Omaha Union Station at Twilight

On January 11, 2017, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Omaha Union Station (listed on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1971) a National Historic Landmark. Which is kind of a big deal: only about 2,500 of the more than 85,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places are designated National Historic Landmarks.

I’ve shot this magnificent example of Art Deco architecture before, but wanted to highlight its new status with this post. Interior’s January designation noted that the Station “is one of the most distinctive and complete examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation . . . [and] outstandingly expresses the style’s innovative and diverse surface ornamentation inspired by the machine age.” That surface ornamentation includes the heroic female and male railroad worker bas-relief sculptures seen in the photos below (and close up here and here). The station’s great hall boasts a 60 foot high, sculpted plaster ceiling with gold and silver leaf trim, a terrazzo floor including marvelous starbust patterns, and impressive 13-foot tall chandeliers. See here for more on the station’s history and architecture.

Omaha Union Station (10th Street entrance façade)
Omaha Union Station (south entrance)

Designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood in 1929, Omaha Union Station opened in 1931. In addition to other rail stations and federal buildings such as the San Francisco Mint, Underwood is known for designing landmark lodges and hotels in many National Parks, including Yellowstone, Bryce, Grand Teton, and Yosemite (there the famous Ahwahnee Hotel, currently embroiled in a trademark dispute over rights to its name, but that’s another story).

mimic and pose

Blue Hour at the Durham (Union Station)

The designated landmark is actually the third Omaha Union Station at the site and replaced the second Union Station built adjacent to the historic 10th Street bridge in 1899. Omaha Burlington Station—first opened in 1898 across the rail yard from Union Station—also served passengers in the busy Omaha rail hub of the first half of the 20th Century, the fourth largest in the country. Union Station alone served about 10,000 passengers per day in the 1940s. Passenger rail service declined drastically starting in the mid-1950s, and both Omaha Union Station and Burlington Station closed in the early 1970s when a new Amtrak station opened nearby.

Donated by Union Pacific to the City of Omaha, Union Station now houses the Durham Museum. As noted on the museum’s website, the Durham showcases everything from permanent exhibits highlighting the history of Omaha and its surrounding regions, to traveling exhibitions from the museum’s national partners including the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Field Museum.


To Trains

Inside Omaha Union Station

Soda Fountain
Setting Sun Illuminates Union Station Lights and Flags_final
Setting Sun Illuminates Union Station Lights and Flags

A full set of two dozen photos of Omaha Union Station I’ve shot over the years may be seen here, on Flickr.


Mar 042017

the sun illuminates and the wind whips the flags_new final
the sun illuminates and the wind whips the flags

Some street and architecture photos from a President’s Day trip to New York, shot with the Olympus Pen F monochrome mode.  This set includes photos shot from three different walks, including to and from Penn Station to the West Village via the High Line, and another post-brunch, Sunday walk through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.


The Dry Cleaning Company


Bond Paige & Lumas

Sun Dappled P. F. Collier & Son

I’ve also included a couple of iPhone photos from the train, looking toward a hazy Manhattan skyline from Queens. These turned out to be relatively striking shots, with the winter sun getting low in the sky.

hazy afternoon skyline

NYC Sykline from the Train

The High Line, which I’ve shot a couple of times before, is an urban greenway—-a former elevated freight rail line transformed into a park and trail that runs from the West Village and Meatpacking District through Chelsea, ending beyond Penn Station.


. . . Swift Completion of Their Appointed Rounds

MTA Rail YardGainsvort Constructionsez WiredHigh Line Cellist

empire state

The full set may be seen here, on Flickr.

Jan 192017

Setting Sun Illuminates Union Station Lights and Flags_final
Setting Sun Illuminates Union Station Lights and Flags

A few photos–shot as monochrome B&W with my Pen F–from a twilight walk down 10th Street while in my hometown of Omaha for the holidays. The walk started at the recently renovated Burlington Station and Omaha Union Station and continued down the 10th Street Viaduct toward the the Old Market.

I also shot a few color photos of Union Station, including this shot of the late afternoon sun illuminating the flags and Art Deco street lamps, as well as this sunset shot looking out over the Union Pacific yards and river into Iowa.  But most of the photos are of old warehouses under the 10th Street Viaduct over the rail yards by Union and Burlington Stations.  The warehouses, including the old Parlin Orendorff building, have all been renovated into residential lofts.

Butternut Coffee Building & 10th St Bridge in the Late Afternoon Sun_final

Parlin Orendorff Building & 10th St Viaduct in the Late Afternoon Sun

Old Market Lofts
Old Market Lofts

Ford's Warehouse No. 14 and couple on bridge with bouquet
Ford’s Warehouse No. 14 & Couple on Bridge with Bouquet

walkway connection

Walkway Connection

eleven lights and one flag
eleven lights and one flag