I chase and photograph thunderstorms. Every thunderstorm that I can chase, I chase. July 28, 2014 was a day off from work as a Boston Herald news photographer, which afforded me the opportunity to storm chase. The storm cells that the weather radar showed just after 9am that morning, looked like a good possibility for me. I drove to Bayswater St. in East Boston thinking I could shoot the Boston skyline with any lightning that might be occur. It did not occur. The storm’s energy seemed to shift quickly toward the northeast, over what appeared to be the Revere, Saugus, Everett area. I then drove to Morton St. in Winthrop, which gives a nice view of Revere. Photos of daytime lightning are very difficult to achieve, especially during haze and heavy rain, so this was not turning out too well for me. I did, however, notice the very turbulent sky above Revere. I snapped a few photos. Shortly thereafter I got a tip that Revere had a lot of damage near the lower Broadway area, near city hall. I called the Herald photo desk and then arrived at Broadway and Tafts St. in approximately 10 minutes. The extent of the damage was shocking. I started taking photos and then moved toward Revere Beach Parkway. There I saw several homes with rooftops blown off. It was then, after seeing the angle of the fallen trees and calling up a high school weather class memory, that I guessed it might have been a tornado that socked this area. If fallen trees are angled in several different angles, then most likely it was a tornado. If the trees are lined up in the same way, then it was straight line winds that tore through the area. Here are some of the cloud formations just prior to, and after the tornado, and also the damage caused by it. Please check out the Boston Herald for continuing coverage.
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A good 72 hours for #Boston weather photography.

Moons, clouds, rainbows and lightning, oh my, A good few days for capturing the natural, near my home in Winthrop,MA. I even managed to get a British Airways Boeing 777, flying from Newark to London, to cross the moon for me, at 7 miles high :-)
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Happy 35th birthday to Gisele. On July 20, 1980 Gisele Caroline Bundchen was born. She has been the world’s most successful fashion model, an influential businesswoman, a champion of the environment, and more recently, a Bostonian. But on September 21, 2009 I witnessed, and photographed, a more daring side to her, when Gisele, more than 6 months pregnant, took helicopter flying lessons in Marshfield,MA. Her helicopter pilot/instructor is Stuart Matsumoto. Below are my exclusive photos.
Copyright PictureBoston, Copyright Mark Garfinkel

Gisele Bundchen takes helicopter lessons

Gisele Bundchen takes helicopter lessons

Gisele Bundchen takes helicopter lessons

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I pass this memorial frequently, on sunset bike rides, and have been moved to see the growth and the caring of the memorial at the area on Deer Island where the young girl’s body was found three weeks ago. Boston area residents have showed their true colors in stepping up to create this. Massachusetts State Police have set up an anonymous tip line. Tips can be called in to the 24-hour phone line at (617) 396-5655.

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Woodland creatures seem to be following me these days.

A racoon in Winthrop, and a family of skunks in Boston
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The man who climbed the Tobin Bridge shortly after the conclusion of last Wednesday’s evening commute had many first responders looking out for his well being. Police scanner broadcasts indicated that Boston EMS, Firefighters and Police from Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts State Police, and US Coast Guard sent units to the bridge. Boston Fire sent its Technical Rescue Unit, and Boston and Massachusetts State Police sent hostage negotiators. They were all very patient, as this effort took 2 hours. I was on scene to photograph, actually 1900 feet away in East Boston, according to Google Earth, when this drama played out. Photos below show an airbag inflated near Boston Fire’s Tower Ladder 3 on the upper deck roadway, a hostage negotiator with a bullhorn, and rescue boats in the water below. At one point the man can be seen inside one of the open air windows inside a steel beam, peering out. A first responder on scene told me later that night that the man had an amazing grip. The event was quite pressure packed for me. I hoped rescuers would save the man and did not want to see him fall. The final photo shows the man beginning his climb to safety. Below are several of my photos, including one that appeared in the Boston Herald. Herald colleagues, Matt Stone and Christopher Evans were also on scene, and their photos can be seen at the following link.

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06/02/15-Boston,MA. Law enforcement officials lift a knife that they allege was being held by a man, who was under surveillance for terror related issues, who police shot this morning at 4600 Washington St. in Roslindale. Staff photo by Mark Garfinkel

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Great weekend for Boston moon/aviation photos!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday offered great glimpses of the moon as jet traffic flew by. First, Friday, a Swiss International Airbus A-330 cooperated, then Saturday, a departing British Airways Boeing 747 obliged, and then Sunday saw Boeing 737’s from South West and Sun Country. The weekend fun ended shortly before midnight last night, as a privately owned Moroccan jet charter by the name of Dalia Air, flew through at 35,000′.
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The Boston Herald sent me to Boylston St. this morning for a very special event. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, Boston Marathon bombing survivor, was to dance at the marathon finish line this morning with her partner Shane Crellin, of Carver,MA. The dance was part of a video ad campaign for Oberto Beef Jerky. Here are my photos of the dance as well as a light moment when Adrianne was greeted by a nearby construction crew.

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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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