Date Of Visit: April 21, 2019
Location: Boston Public Garden, 4 Charles St, Boston, MA
Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset
Parking: There are several parking garages in the area and limited street parking
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: flowers, sculptures, swan boats, trees, statues
Website: Boston Public Garden
Summary: The Ducklings were dressed in their Sunday bests as people thronged to Boston Public Garden to enjoy an unseasonably warm day at the park.
The Dressing of the Ducklings has become an Easter tradition for some time.
But, they are not only dressed up for the Easter holiday. The ducklings, which were installed in 1987, have also been seen wearing jerseys of the home sports teams, particularly during the playoffs or other important points of the season. They are also dressed up for other holidays or days of interest, most notably Mother’s Day.
The book “Make Way For Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey is the inspiration for these sculptures. In the book a pair of mallards decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden. Oh, sorry spoiler alert.
The ducklings are a favorite of the children who like to play with, and sometimes on, the statues.
The ducklings aren’t the only sculptures at the park.
At the Arlington St entrance, there is a larger than life statue of George Washington. The 22 foot granite statue stands on a 16 foot pedestal making the total height of the statue and pedestal 38 feet.
Built by Boston painter and musician Thomas Ball, the statue took 4 years to complete. Because of shortages of bronze casting due to the Civil War, it would not be completed until 1863.
The real beauty of the park is more natural. Countless trees, flowers and plants adorn the park.
The views at the park are some of the most beautiful in Boston. You may see the lagoon that I mentioned above where the ducklings are said to have resided.
I was surprised at how many people were at the park on what I thought would be a “family holiday” for most. Seeing all of the people dressed to the hilt, I do think many people came to the park after their morning obligations were completed. These visitors were having fun celebrating the day.
This creative lady took the opportunity to paint at the park.
Birds and other wildlife are abundant at the park. Fittingly, I did see a few mallards there.
Some animals are so used to seeing and interacting with humans they will eat from your hand.
Dogs and even a cat were at the pet friendly park.
Maggie, an 18 month old Aussiedoodle (Australian Toy Poodle), had fun retrieving a miniature sized ball.
This brave cat named Blue, a 6 year old Orange and Siamese cat, went to the park with her mom.
Now the fun part. How did I photograph this place? Since I left early before the sun was high in the sky and it was overcast for most of my visit, it was easier than on some of the sunnier days, For the most part, I shot with a 5.6 or 6.3 aperture. I even went down to 3.5 and 4.0 and I kept my ISO at 100 since lighting wasn’t an issue for this shoot.
I usually use the Aperture Value (or Aperture Priority) setting. So, I didn’t worrying about controlling my shutter speed. Until I photographed Maggie, of course. To capture her motion as she rain I used a 320 shutter setting and I probably could have gone to 500 or higher. The hardest part of photography, especially for us beginners, can be making sure all of the settings are correct before you click. I can attest to this. As I went into, gulp, manual mode I made sure to put my shutter speed at 1,000 to photograph Maggie. But, I forgot to adjust my other settings. So, I had a few black images in my LCD screen. Once I made this correction the photos came out better. This just goes to underscore the importance of looking at your meter and viewing photos in your screen and adjusting as needed as you shoot.
However, I would caution anyone from deleting files from their memory card. For reasons that are far too technical for me to explain clearly, you can actually damage your memory card if you try to delete images from your card. Everyone does or has done it, though. In fact, I did it just the other day out of habit. Here’s an article that explains it in greater depth: Why you should not delete images on your memory card in your camera
But, another easier way to explain this is to just say you don’t know what you can do to the image in LightRoom or PhotoShop (more on these applications in a future post). But, take a look at this photo of Maggie, the dog I photographed at Boston Public Garden.
I almost used this photo in my post. But, I thought the other photo showed better motion and was an overall photo especially since this photo was too dark no matter how much I played with the settings in LightRoom. But, considering what I had to work with it wasn’t too bad. This is what the original photo looked like on my memory card before I edited it in LightRoom.
Yes, that’s what the photo looked like on my card before I edited it. I was so eager to photograph the cute little doggie that I only adjusted the shutter speed and not the aperture (it was at 22 when I took the photo). I noticed the error and I adjusted my aperture and shutter speed accordingly (the photo I posted in the blog post above was at 5.6 aperture, 320 shutter speed, 160 ISO and 128 mm). I should have used a faster shutter speed (500 or 1000) and adjusted the aperture as you can see some blur in her legs and a faster shutter speed would have eliminated this.
The main point of me posting those photos is that virtually any photo is salvageable or at least you can “save” almost any photo, unless, of course, it is blurry. So, please don’t ever delete in your camera!
I didn’t use a lens hood or any other device to limit sun glare since it wasn’t a particularly sunny day. I did, however, use this when I was photographing the child on the goose sculpture.
You slip on the lens and it can help to attract the child’s attention. It also works with some dogs and other pets (and probably even adults!). Isn’t it cute? While I don’t sponsor items or advertise items, I do like and recommend this item. I will leave the link for this and other knitted “camera buddies” here in case you may want to look into purchasing one.
I hope all of this info helps