Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Night in Boston

Boston, MA 123110 Among the First Night celebrations in Boston there were dancers from the Chu Ling Dance Academy of Boston performing on December 31, 2010 at the Hynes Convention Center and fireworks. And then on first day of the year the traditional L Street Bath House Polar Plunge in South Boston. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ Met BEHIND THE SCENES: Photographing the First Night activities this year was much easier than in previous years since I wasn't assigned to cover both the parade and the fireworks. I'd be the first one to admit that shooting fireworks is not my forte. It has never been anything I particularly care to shoot. I think these two images are okay and represent the spirit of the festivities and that is about it. BEHIND THE SCENES POLAR BEAR PLUNGE: I have covered this event about three times already and after the first year I figured out the only way to get good images is from the water itself otherwise you don't get to see the faces of the people running in. So I put on a pair of fishing waders and go in the water up to mid thigh. In past years this has worked out but this year due to warm temperatures the number of people who showed up to take the "arctic" plunge, mind you it was close to 50F, numbered in the hundreds. Perhaps as many as 1,000 people showed up on this day and several hundred more came to watch. Needless to say this presents a whole new issue of safety regarding the well being of the cameras. As the first wave of swimmers approached the water's edge, I heard alarm bells going off in my head since I saw how much water they were displacing as they ran in. Both of my cameras became soaking wet with salt water just from the splashing and usually these can take a beating and keep on ticking. This time the issue was aggravated when someone bumped into me and I took a step back to regain my balance and one of my cameras, the one with the wide angle in it, slid off my shoulder and into the water. I found out through a colleague at work the best thing to do in a situation like this is to clean all the salt water of the cameras and lenses... even if it means completely dunking these under the tap or submerging these in distilled water. I did this with the camera and lens that were submerged in the water and it was a painful experience. It was a first for me to actually hold these under the running water for whatever brief amount of time it might have been. I'm keeping my fingers crossed while waiting for the repair diagnose. Wish them luck... TECH STUFF: Fireworks ISO 640, time 3", aperture 9.0 and of course on a tripod, WB auto.

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