Shooting Buildings In Boston. Sony Nex 7 and 50mm.

We've got a lot of open land here in Texas. Our buildings tend to be spread out. Most of our cities are pretty recent so we've got road that started as roads instead of horse paths. But wow! Boston has such a cool collection of buildings from various slices of history and narrow, twisty-turn-y streets. It's perfect for a bout of building stacking...

We were leaving Boston on Thurs. afternoon and we'd been all caught up in college visits for most of the week. The light wasn't great and the weather was freezing but I didn't want to leave before I got in a couple more hours of unfettered photography. I grabbed the Nex 7 and the 50mm Sony OSS lens, shoved an extra battery in my pocket and headed out of the revolving front door of the Taj Hotel, slipped across the street and walked through the park.  I knew what I was looking for and where I could find it. I was looking for something we don't really see in Texas. I call it time-travel-building-stacking.  The intersection of buildings from different eras in different architectural styles.  The buildings seem to cascade off into the difference almost as if someone grabbed a folder full of building images and went nuts layering them in PhotoShop.

The 50mm 1.8 OSS lens was perfect for this. A much tighter angle of view than most people would expect for shooting buildings made necessary by the desire to stack them. A wider angle lens would emphasize the first building and diminish the impact of the buildings behind it. A lens much longer than the 50mm on the Nex would be too limiting, giving me only small slices of the buildings and never really allowing more than two or three in a frame.

The EVF in the Nex worked to my advantage as I could see the relative tonalities while composing. I could make quicker adjustments (with instant feedback) to exposure and I knew when it might be smart to turn on the DRO for more shadow details.

Eventually my watch propelled me back to the hotel to pack and head to the airport. The city of Boston must be a relative heaven for people who are really into architectural photography. The little I saw of the city (how much can you see in a week?) made me want to turn around and head right back. A lot of wonderful stuff.


  1. Visit anytime! And maybe sometime you're around again, I can help get you to talk for one of our photo organizations and, y'know, help cover the trip...

    1. I'm ready to come back as soon as possible. Anything you can do to set up talks, slide shows, even an errant portrait lighting demo to defray travel and hotel costs would be most welcome.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I hate those horse paths, that get more traffic than my 6 lane gridded streets. I do love the history over there, but I'm glad I don't live there any more.

  4. Kirk..have you been able to try the 35/1.8 lens? I picked up a great used NEX 7 and have the Sigma 30, but the speed and stabilizing of the 35/1.8 are pluses to me.


Comments. If you disagree do so civilly. Be nice or see your comments fly into the void. Anonymous posters are not given special privileges or dispensation. If technology alone requires you to be anonymous your comments will likely pass through moderation if you "sign" them. A new note: Don't tell me how to write or how to blog!