Photographing Boston’s Skyline

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Boston is truly a great inspiration for any photographer. During twilight, the city certainly becomes magical — it’s a time of day when Boston lights up and the sky turns a beautiful turquoise, making it one of the most amazing city photo subjects to capture.

This transforms an often-simple cityscape photograph into a piece of art. It’s no wonder that the amazing twilight colors in combination with the Boston skyline and famous city landmarks, such as the Prudential Center, John Hancock Building, and the Christian Science Center, are favorite photographic adventures among local and traveling photographers.

Every day and night, many photographers flock onto the streets of Boston in search of the once-in-a-lifetime shot, or to frame memories of that day and night in a beautiful picture.

Late evening is when you’ll find me, often wandering and photographing the Boston landscape.

Before you head out to take a photograph, make sure to monitor the weather closely — to ensure that you’re not missing out on clear skies, or an unusual phenomena like a full moon or a super moon.

In addition, landmarks are often lit in special colors to honor a day or event. For example, the Prudential Center glows in different colors: red and blue on Memorial Day, Go Sox in October or green on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Twilight occurs 20 to 50 minutes after sunset, and the optimum light does not last very long. The magic of twilight is often hard to predict, which is why setting up early at a memorable location is key. Once set up with a tripod and camera, you can fire away while closing in on the best light; so make sure you bring spare battery power and memory cards.

When incorporating an interesting foreground feature into the photo composition, street lanterns or lights may be used to light up the objects in front of you while the magical cityscape is still beautifully exposed in the background. When that sort of light isn’t at your disposal, a flashlight might be appropriate to use and provide a similar result.

During long image exposure, car headlights and rear lights turn into beautiful red- and white-colored streaks that often add great appeal to a picture. Using them as leading lines guiding the viewer into or through an image is a powerful tool that makes for a strong composition.

Boston’s prime destinations for night photography are along Memorial Drive, the parking garage of the Museum of Science, and the Christian Science Plaza in Back Bay, thanks to its reflective pool. Atop the Longfellow Bridge, the streets of Beacon Hill and Charlestown, Piers Park, and the Masspark Harbor park in East Boston are also great locations, to name only a few.

Next time you are out and about photographing Boston by night, make sure to bring your tripod, a good dose of patience, and be ready to soak in the beauty of Boston’s twilight because it’s not always about photography, it’s also the experience that makes it unforgettable.

For more information on local, award-winning photographer, Juergen Roth, visit his website, where you’ll find his stunning photography in hi res. You can also check out his blog, and find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • Margarita Soltren Shea

    Beautiful pictures!!