Night Photography in Cambridge

Boathouse: Winter

Guest blogger Nora Vrublevska was born in Riga, Latvia. I invited her here to share her beautiful black and white photographs of urban landscape at night. 


I love photography because I enjoy stories, documenting locations and the process of developing film and making prints. Knowing that Boston will be my home for only a few years I've chosen to document the part of the town where I live. I've been working on a project called Cambridge at Night for a little more than half a year. I like to return to locations to see their transformations through seasons.

Boathouse: Spring

I photographed the boathouse in winter, with lots of snow on a very foggy night. I love how the tree in the winter photo resembles a broom but in spring looks completely different with the new leaves. Both times I had to cover the lens mid-exposure several times in order to avoid the car lights from the busy Memorial Drive traffic. It's not unusual to be approached by people while photographing at night. While I was taking the photo in winter, someone approached me and asked if I could paint their van. I was so confused why I would be asked such a thing and the response I got was "well, you all artists can do it, right?"

Tree on Memorial Drive: Spring

Tree on Memorial Drive: Summer

This tree is less than a mile away from the boathouse. I photographed it earlier in the spring and revisited just a few weeks ago in July. It was a hot, clear night compared to the misty weather in May. More leaves, more light, more cars passing through the side street where my tripod was setup, more boats in the water. It seems like there is more of everything during summer.

Why would I bother to return to locations I already have photographed? Because I find new places each time I go out, and it still amazes me how night, weather and passage of time has such a great influence on the mood of a photograph. Even if the location is the same. From article The Thing Itself by Bill Jay that I recently read: "in order to photograph with any degree of continuous passion, you must have a fascination for the subject, otherwise you cannot sustain an interest in the act of creation for a long enough period of time in which to make any insightful or original statement about it."