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The power of a destination

Photo assignments vary widely. They can be precise: Take a picture of the latest Nobel Prize winner at Harvard. They can be more vague: Cover a budget-cut protest at the State House. Assignments for The Home Forum can be even less defined: Shoot a visually captivating image that can work as a stand-alone item. I've learned that choosing a destination is a good place to start. For example, one foggy morning I rode a Boston Harbor ferry, searching for a dramatic shot of ships, sea, and mist. Well, I didn't see anything like that; it was gray and drab. But while waiting to board, I spied a leaf wedged in the pier's patterned grating. The image graced these pages. (See The Home Forum for Nov. 16, 2000.)

My destination the day I took this photo was the Charles River. Tree buds were beginning to swell, and I wanted to try to capture the immediacy of spring. Visual reality did not line up with my preconception, however. Then I saw these huge concrete highway supports. I love this abstract picture. It has nothing to do with spring or nature, but it has everything to do with the power of having a destination.

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