Best Boston Globe photos of the year, 2012
Best Boston Globe photos of the year, 2012
WELLESLEY COLLEGE’S DAVIS MUSEUM, WELLESLEY, FEBRUARY 14: I was asked to photograph an installation by artist Radcliffe Bailey. This piece of artwork is a pile of piano keys, called “Windward Coast,” with something like 35,000 wooden piano keys. He just throws them on the floor. And there’s a mannequin head he sprayed black. I had to go up on a higher ladder in order to get the head. They did a final sweep, and someone walking by with a broom makes it different.
BRAINTREE ARMORY, BRAINTREE, MARCH 26: These Massachusetts National Guard soldiers were returning from Afghanistan. We cover these events routinely, and they still really get to me. What blows me away is the sacrifice, obviously by the soldiers returning, but also by the family members. The emotions are overwhelming. You’re trying as a photographer to capture that. As the guys got off the bus, I’m looking the other way. I spotted this family; they were so excited. This little boy, Liam McCarthy, hadn’t seen his father in a year. He swung the kid around, hugged him. It was powerful stuff.
BRIMFIELD, MARCH 21: The tornado that happened in June 2011 devastated areas of Central and Western Massachusetts. Brimfield was especially hard hit; there was a swath of destruction remarkable to see. I’ve been to disasters around the world, but I’ve never seen anything so extensive in our state. Ten months later, trees were still down like sticks. The concern among firefighting officials was, if a fire started, how would you put it out? You couldn’t even get firetrucks through. I saw this one lonely house surrounded by debris. I thought this was a compelling image that gave you an idea of the risk.
TEMPLE EMANUEL, ANDOVER, MARCH 3: From the moment I got the assignment I knew it would be special. I had never heard of a severely autistic child doing a bar mitzvah. It was amazing: On an iPad, 12-year-old Matthew Emmi, who cannot read, write, or speak sentences, recorded names of those who would be called to participate in the service; other people recorded blessings and Torah readings. The kid was restless, but every time he’d press the icons, he’d hear the voices and quiet down. After they let him go, he started rushing around the place. I saw him making a beeline for his dad, and I got ready. That’s when I saw him jumping in his dad’s arms. It was a sweet moment.
FENWAY PARK, BOSTON, AUGUST 14: This was the first of two nights Bruce Springsteen was playing Fenway. People had set up chairs outside on the street, listening to the concert for free. They had set the stage up in center field; the audience was on the field. I was worried — shooting Springsteen at Fenway, I didn’t want the photograph to look like it could have been taken anywhere. You want some of the park in your photograph. All of a sudden, he walks toward the Green Monster with his guitar on his back. The manual scoreboard is obviously the perfect place for him to be. The moment you see that, you know where he was.
ELLIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ROXBURY, SEPTEMBER 6: This is your usual first-day-back-to-school picture. Every year, you’re always trying to cover the beginning of school and the end, and you don’t know what you’re going to get. This time, the mayor was there giving out free backpacks for the kids arriving at school. I usually watch the kids to get their reaction. They were very happy. I was standing right in front of school as the buses were coming. Third-grader Niaysa Hill was just exuberant. She was like “yahoo!” It was cute. I was never that happy going back to school.
Dorchester Bay, Boston, July 24: I had some time between assignments on a hot summer night, and a pretty intense electrical storm was going on. I drove to the boat launching area off Morrissey Boulevard and parked. Using a medium-length telephoto lens, I sat in my car and just kept shooting, hoping to capture a bolt. Shooting lightning without a tripod is a pretty hit-or-miss situation. You keep your finger on the camera’s shutter, and as soon as you see any light, hit it, hold it, and hope. One frame, out of probably 800, worked.
HOG COLISEUM, NORTH CONWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, SEPTEMBER 7: The Mud Bowl has been going on for maybe 30 years. It’s a beloved upcountry annual sporting tradition. You’ve got guys jumping in the mud, catching footballs; it’s like sports on steroids. The hardest part is keeping mud off your lens. At one point, I had to wipe it off with my shirt. Afterward, the editor called and said they’re thinking of running it tomorrow, so I ran into a Dunkin’ Donuts covered in mud, ordered coffee, and sent them images. I felt like Pig-Pen — when I left, there was a pile of dirt in the corner.
PASTORAL CENTER, BRAINTREE, OCTOBER 11: After Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said noon Mass, there was a media availability; it was billed as “the cardinal is tweeting for the first time.” My delusion was, this will be a wonderful moment, he’ll whip an iPhone out of his robe and start tweeting. Instead it’s a guy sitting behind a desk with blank walls and PR people surrounding him. I’m thinking, “How can I save this?” So I stood behind him, extended my arms, and held my camera directly over my head. There is a leap of faith in those photos; they very rarely work out. In photojournalism circles, there is a term: We call those photos “Hail Marys.”
HOME SUITES INN, WALTHAM, FEBRUARY 16: The story was about homeless families on vouchers who live in motels. It was a sad situation. All their belongings, boxes of clothing, were piled up. The kids were running around like headless chickens, cooped up in a tiny space. The dad, Peter Braun, had just got a call from a social worker about an apartment. I sat in the corner — that’s one technique photographers use when you have to be present while life is evolving. Psychologically, you’re not a threat. You hope for tiny slivers of time they forget about you, and I think they did.
SOUTH BOSTON, OCTOBER 2: I was on the way to another assignment at the convention center; this company invented a new device to help paralyzed people walk. I parked on D Street and saw the window washers. He was leaning far over. Seeing that guy up there gives me the creeps; that has to be one of the most dangerous jobs. I walked by and saw how it looked through the old-style street lights. I said “Huh.” It’s not anything anybody else couldn’t have done. The lights added that accent to the picture. You try to make something interesting out of something normal.
EVANS WAY PARK, BOSTON, OCTOBER 3: It was a gray day. I saw them placing these cheesecloths all over the park in the Emerald Necklace. I knew I was going to get a picture. I was directly underneath them; they were up on a short little staging area on wheels, moving around. There were three or four people installing the artwork. It was very quick. They put their hands against that cloth, but I couldn’t see their faces — that’s what made the picture for me. It’s very ghostly. It appears to be black-and-white, but it was shot in color. It was a color photograph that actually showed no color.
TD GARDEN, BOSTON, MARCH 13: I was covering the state girl’s high school basketball semifinals. Braintree was playing Andover in the Division 1 game. I was sitting on the floor, on the base line, following the ball. While I was shooting a rebound play, Braintree’s Rachel Norton fell hard to the floor and was in obvious pain. There were three or four frames to choose from; this was the most descriptive in depicting the moment. She was ultimately OK and returned to action. Her painful night continued in another way — her team lost to Andover, ending their season.
THE CAPITAL GRILLE, BACK BAY, MARCH 14: A transformer caught fire in the Back Bay and power still was not restored the next morning. I was asked to go see how businesses were faring. As soon as I parked, I saw workers loading racks of meat into a refrigerated truck. They had a huge assembly line. This picture was taken on my iPhone. Later, The Capital Grille donated the meat — 2,500 pounds — to Southwick’s Zoo. We shot a tiger chowing down. It was a total treat for them.
Cape Canaveral, Florida, January 27: I was following the Republican primary campaign down in Florida. We were waiting for Mitt Romney to show up. As you’re waiting, lots of times before the event starts, you’re really desperate, looking for something to photograph. The wire services are always going to get head shots of the candidate. Sometimes, you get the offbeat picture. I was watching these little kids, 5 or 6 years old, putting flags at the bottom of this steel barrier with another flag over it. I blasted away, then they stopped. Romney walked in, gave his speech, and left.
EXXCEL GYMNASTICS AND CLIMBING, NEWTON, JULY 31: Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnast from Needham, was competing for the gold. This once was her home gymnasium; these girls idolize her. It was 2 in the afternoon; they were telecasting it live. I expected them all to be completely beside themselves, but I was struck by how much they weren’t paying attention. Some were checked out, some were competing over who got to wave the flag or wear the hat. These things take priority over an Olympic gymnast they’ve never met. It was a study of little-girl dynamics more than anything else. I like this picture; they were in their own microcosm.
AFRICAN CARIBBEAN AMERICAN CATHOLIC CENTER AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA, FEBRUARY 29: I was in Florida covering Red Sox spring training, and new manager Bobby Valentine was the story. I thought we needed something of him away from the game. We heard he was going to visit an after-school program that offers services to children in Lee County. At one point, team photographer Michael Ivins got Valentine, along with Wally the Green Monster, to pose for a group photo. I stood on a table and used a zoom lens to concentrate on Valentine. When the children raised their arms to make a lively photo, the always-expressive Valentine did the same, and we had our lead photo.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY, BACK BAY, FEBRUARY 13: In the past year, there were proposals for cuts to service in the MBTA. It was a very heated topic. They had public meetings. People would listen; some gave constructive feedback. It got very emotional; this was a vital part of everyday life. These particular people were reacting to a projected slide that showed proposed changes. The mood was frustration; people didn’t understand why the MBTA couldn’t figure out a solution. I did have pictures of the people speaking, but this story was very much about the public--the editors felt the people were the story.
ST. CECILIA CHURCH, BOSTON, FEBRUARY 1: Kevin White, the former mayor of Boston, died. He obviously was a man of huge power; it was a big day for the city. I was positioned at the church; we weren’t allowed inside. My mission was to shoot the procession, family, and dignitaries arriving. There was a riser set up; I rarely like where they want you to be. I like to stalk the perimeter. I saw this woman and boy go out in the street. The way the mother is bending over, it told the story. There is anticipation and reverence and solemnness. When I found out they were [White’s niece Beth Casey and her son Tommy], I thought, “That’s even better.”
ST. JOHNSBURY ACADEMY, ST. JOHNSBURY, VERMONT, MARCH 27: This was an unusually horrific story. A beloved teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont was brutally murdered. The story rocked the whole town. The students and faculty had arranged a candlelight vigil. It was happening at dusk. The students were all crowded around the entrance, people were singing, prayers were being said. It was getting darker, so logistically, as a photographer, you’re starting to freak out. There were two sisters [Jordan and Katrina Dekett], the way they were holding each other, I found really gripping. You really got the sense of horror. That one clearly transmitted the sense of what happened up there.
CASTLE ISLAND, SOUTH BOSTON, JULY 17: I was assigned to do a photo essay on the “new” South Boston. Because Castle Island is one of the most iconic parts, I headed down there and went out on the dock. It was 98 degrees. There was a group of kids and within minutes, I knew I had one shot--these kids jumping in. I crouched down and waited. I made three frames; the first was too soon, the third too late, the second was exactly right. I have a propensity to shoot people from the back. When they’re truly unaware of the photographer, their body language does all the talking.