Boston's Back Bay

Boston's Back Bay


Instructors: Aaron Bieber and Chris Blake

Deepen your photographic experience as we explore one of the best preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States, beginning at the notable Christian Science Center, walking a segment of the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, a segment of the famous Newbury Street shopping area, pausing at Copley Square, and finally making our way to the Boston Public Garden.

At each location, learn fundamentals of the craft and intermediate techniques to bring atmosphere, emotion, and clarity to your images.

See the full itinerary and details below.

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This workshop meets at Christian Science Plaza (250 Massachusetts Ave.) at the north end of the reflecting pool and begins promptly at 4:15 PM. To ensure a smooth experience, please plan to be at the meeting spot no later than 4:00 PM (we’ll be there by 3:45 PM to receive you).

At the conclusion of the workshop, we will encourage you to continue exploring the area and offer advice and recommendations for ways to make use of civil twilight. Please refer to the logistical notes at the end, below the map.


The topics that we will aim to cover are listed below. Our workshops are meant to be interactive and we will happily help you with any topics not listed here, but as in all things it helps to have a plan.

  • Why do we do this? A practical foundation for art photography.

  • The “exposure triangle,” or how I learned to stop worrying and get the right exposure.

  • Balancing art and craft, the aesthetic impact of camera settings.

  • So you don’t have a tripod, rules of thumb for handheld photographing.

  • Breaking the rules requires knowing the rules, tips and techniques for great composition.

Preparing For Your Workshop

As always in photography, it is important to be prepared because that perfect shot will usually only present itself once. We ask that all participants bring the following:

  • A camera. This course is oriented toward DSLR or mirrorless cameras. If your camera has independent aperture, shutter speed, and ISO controls, you’re good to go! This course is not designed for smartphone shooters, but we might offer something like that in the future.

  • Optionally, a tripod. We will focus on handheld shooting for convenience and out of respect for the other people in the dense urban areas we are exploring, but at the conclusion of the workshop you may want to have a tripod with you to make the most of the post-sunset hour.

Please be aware that this is a walking tour approximately one mile in length over mostly flat terrain at a moderate pace, possibly including inclines, stairways, cobblestones, or other light obstacles. Please participate only if you feel able to undertake these activities.