In 1997 the Boston Herald sent columnist Peter Gelzinis and me to cover the 2nd anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building. We returned to the bombing site in 2001 to provide coverage of the moment that Oklahoma City bomber/murderer Timothy McVeigh was executed. While we were there, on both trips, Peter introduced the Denny family to our readers and to me. Peter had met the Dennys only hours after the actual bombing when he and Herald photographer Matthew West were dispatched to the gruesome scene. In 1995 Rebecca Denny, then age 2 years, and her 3 year old brother Brandon Denny, were severely injured in the explosion, as they attended the building’s day care center. On June 11, 2001, the day that Timothy McVeigh was executed in Terre Haute Indiana, many victims and relatives, including the Dennys, marked this moment by returning to the now beautiful grounds and memorial of the Murrah federal building’s footprint. Here, beginning with a 1997 black & white photo of The Survivor Tree, are some of my photos from my two memorable trips. On a personal note, it is heartening to see that from senseless tragedy, good and decent people rise from the ashes and quickly turn the narrative positive. Also, I feel blessed to have met the Denny family.

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1997 photo of Rebecca Denny, then age 4 years, and me, as Peter Gelzinis, off camera, interviews Rebecca's brother Brandon, at their Oklahoma home.

1997 photo of Rebecca Denny, then age 4 years, and me, as Peter Gelzinis, off camera, interviews Rebecca’s brother Brandon, at their Oklahoma home.

Rebecca Denny, age 11 years, is seen at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, moments before the execution, in Indiana, of Timothy McVeigh.

Rebecca Denny, age 8 years, is seen at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, moments before the execution, in Indiana, of Timothy McVeigh.

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Brandon Denny, age 9 years, also known a "Miracle Boy" due to his improbable survival living against all odds after having a hole the size of a fist punched thru his brain in the Murrah Federal Bldg bombing, prays at a chair that  symbolizes his dead friend Chase Smith who was in the same day care in the bldg but did not survive.

Brandon Denny, age 9 years, also known a “Miracle Boy” due to his improbable survival living against all odds after having a hole the size of a fist punched thru his brain in the Murrah Federal Bldg bombing, prays at a chair that symbolizes his dead friend Chase Smith who was in the same day care in the bldg but did not survive.

The Denny family, moments before the McVeigh execution.

The Denny family, moments before the McVeigh execution.

 

Seconds before the execution of Timothy McVeigh, Deb Ferrell-Lynn, who lost her cousin Susan ferrell, hugs Constance Favorite, who lost her daughter LaKesha Levy.

Seconds before the execution of Timothy McVeigh, Deb Ferrell-Lynn, who lost her cousin Susan ferrell, hugs Constance Favorite, who lost her daughter LaKesha Levy.

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Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn, Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 President Richie Paris, and members of Boylston street’s Engine #33 and Ladder #15 came to 286 Beacon St. to commemorate the 2:40pm alarm of fire, one year ago today, that would turn into an inferno taking the lives of fire Lt. Edward Walsh, and firefighter Mike Kennedy. James Welsh, of Engine #33, spoke briefly while reading from a prepared text. as a burst of heavy rain pushed through, lasting only a few minutes. A moment of silence was then observed and then firefighters Joe Ford and Tim Freda placed flowers on the front stairs of the building. Here are some photos I snapped today. More in the Boston Herald, including a video.

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A new site offers my pictureboston.com photos as gifts

I would like to thank all my friends and supporters, as I announce my new photo purchasing site where photos for personal use (wall art), or for commercial use, can be purchased. This is my non-news photo collection of Aviation photography, Boston scenics, including sunsets, moons, sunrise, coastal, etc.
Thank you,
Mark
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Crescent moon and Austrian Airlines over Boston

FL OS90, Newark to Vienna, as seen from an 800mm Canon lens over Boston.

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On January 9, 2009, a Boston fire crew’s ladder truck, Ladder 26, suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure returning from a call on Mission Hill. Boston fire Lieutenant Kevin Kelley died after the truck slammed into a building on Huntington Ave. It is hard to believe that six years have passed. Here is a photo of the very solemn moments after Lt. Kelley’s colleagues recovered him from the rubble. Needless to say it was a very difficult photo to snap at the time. There was not a dry eye in the area at that moment.

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Waxing Crescent moon over Boston

I get asked sometimes if a photo is “real”, that is, has it been photoshopped, or is the photo a multiple exposure. I do not use those techniques. Sometimes I get asked about the size of the moon, or sun in a certain photo. Why is it so large? Well, usually when I take a photo of the sun or moon, they are usually positioned low to the horizon anyway. When the moon or sun is low to the horizon, they appear bigger to the human eye. Here is a good explanation from the good people at Old Dominion University. The lens one uses also makes the object appear bigger. This photo was snapped using a Canon 100-400mm lens. 1/30th of a second at F5.6 at 5000 ASA (ISO), on December 26, 2014 at 9:49pm. The moon moves fast and is considerably brighter than the city. This city angle is  not as bright as other angles, so my unique problem was to get somewhere in the middle regarding exposure. Give enough to the city in exposure without blowing out the moon. A bonus, especially for Boston, was the nice green tail of the Aer Lingus shamrock, below left. Copies for purchase, of this, and of all my photos, can be found here.

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Memorable, tragic moments from my year in Boston photos, 2014.

From an apartment building fire in Lowell that killed 7, to a Back Bay brownstone that killed two brave firefighters, the tragic moments from my 2014 were plentiful. A Revere tornado in the summer is still causing pain to the  homeless victims. A sunrise shines off of windows on Drydock Ave. There were also happy outcomes, like Sylvie, the Southie Husky who ended up stuck in ice off Castle Island and who was rescued by Boston firefighter Sean Coyle. Many of these photographs were taken during my 6:30am shift for the Boston Herald. There are also some aviation photos here, my passionate pastime. Thanks for viewing and being a friend. Please check out my new website. 

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24 hours and 5 minutes later…

Yesterday afternoon, at 4:22pm, I photographed British Airways FL BA197, a 747-400, traveling at 500 kts and 38,000 ft above my driveway in Winthrop, Massachusetts, with a Tail # G-CIVW, flying from London to Houston. I used a 1600mm lens on a tripod at 1/640th of a second at F11 at 10,000 ISO (asa). Tonight, 24hrs and 5 minutes later, I photographed the same flight number, this time at 38,000′, and traveling a little slower, at 443 kts. This time I used the photography method called “panning.” I used a tripod, 1600mm lens, and an ISO(ASA) of 1250. My camera settings were  1/15th of a second at F11. The plane was also a 747-400 but the tail # was G-BYGD. It is amazing that tonight’s flight was only 5 minutes later than last night’s, given that this bird is 3300 miles from London. Below top is last night’s flight. Below bottom is tonight’s flight.
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I met Peter Pan in Nantucket in 2011.

Allison Williams, star of tonight’s live NBC broadcast of Peter Pan, and daughter of NBC news anchor Brian Williams, is seen at the  2011 Nantucket Film Festival. I was covering the film festival with Laura Raposa, former Inside Track columnist at the Boston Herald. Williams was nice, personable. One could see her stardom coming. Brian is quite personable and extremely funny, usually telling jokes on the red carpet. I took a family portrait and emailed it to Jane Williams, Brian’s wife, who, I believe, used the photo for their Christmas card.

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Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage & Warehouse Company fire that killed 6 firefighters.
The dead included: FF Jeremiah Lucey, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey, James Lyons III, Joseph McGuirk, and fire Lt. Thomas Spencer. Some of my photos from that week are seen below, as I was on assignment for the Boston Herald.

The search goes on for the remaining missing Worcester Firefighters.

The search goes on for the remaining missing Worcester Firefighters.

                                                                                                                             

As the procession passes by the home Fire Station of 2 of the dead Worcester Firefighters, mutual aid firefighters (from No. Reading and Marblehead) salute back from on top of Marblehead Fire Engine. Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel

As the procession passes by the home Fire Station of 2 of the dead Worcester Firefighters, mutual aid firefighters (from No. Reading and Marblehead) salute back from on top of Marblehead Fire Engine.
Staff Photo: Mark Garfinkel

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