Boston Public Library and Copley Square 

with DPA Instructor Frank Siteman




Enter the regal caverns of the Boston Public Library and it is hard not be in awe of the beauty of this American landmark. The institution, a trailblazer among academia, was founded in 1848 through an act of the Massachusetts Court, becoming the first free large municipal public library in the country. Though today it has 26 branches, Copley Square serves as the library’s headquarters with the McKim building housing its research collection and the Johnson building holding its circulating collection.

Your instructor will share tips and techniques to enhance your efforts towards composing an image. The library and surrounding areas provide a chance to experiment with different lenses to capture vistas with varying perspectives.



You’ll receive insights in creating photographic narratives and panoramic portraits... tell the quiet story of a stranger or reflect an intimate moment between mother and child.




Your teacher's tips will help you to take advantage of the depth-of-field potential in your photos. Here, Steve's whimsical image of the man hard at work at the old-fashioned desk as he unknowingly wears a green lantern hat, using a shallow depth-of-field to make his subject pop. 

Perhaps one of the most incredible aspects of the library is the architecture of the establishment, especially the world-renowned Bates Hall. You will find barrel-arched ceilings, English oak bookcases, busts of illustrious authors and esteemed Bostonians, and lavish limestone-carved balconies. A walk through the hallways of the BPL seems to have the power to transport you back through time, a sight just waiting to be seen though you lens and perhaps a newfound perspective.




Your instructor will help you to recognize the compositional technique of leading lines. Here, the contrast of green lamps in the Bates Hall offers a classic example such an approach as well as perspective imagery. Notice how your eye is drawn from the foreground to the background of the image in one fluid glance.


The stacks here hold over 8.9 million books as well as being a vast source for rare books and manuscripts, maps, musical scores, and prints. You may want to capture the magnificent allure of some of the first edition Shakespeare folios maintained at the BPL, or perhaps you’d rather discover the secrets in still-life shots of the original music scores from composers such as Mozart and Prokofiev or even the personal library of John Adams. There are also numerous exhibitions of other rare books occupying the halls throughout the year.

You could also discover how to compose interesting focal points outside of the Library. These exteriors provide an array of opportunities to capture a complex environmental scene such as Kathy’s below on the left. 



If weather permits, step outside to see the interesting frescos, such as the one above on the right, that tell an entire story on their own, a photo op in and of itself. 


While Boston Public Library has splendor on it’s own that could take forever to unearth completely, you may want to take the time to step outside and explore what is juxtaposed to the Library- Copley Square, a photographer's playground. Part of Boston’s Back Bay area, the Square holds several other landmarks from past eras such as the Old South or Trinity churches, the S.S. Pierce Building, the Museum of Fine Arts, or the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Playing with the clash of modern structures, quotidian life, and a rich history here permits a rare opportunity for a photographic study of culture and design.


Learn how to depict an abstract concept, as Steve does here on the left, conveying past and present in one, in a way that is both uninhibited and naturally unnatural.



Antebellum detail in the street lights are drawn into focus against the modern metropolitan background. Steve displays this using deep focus, allowing us to notice what we might not have before- something you could be able to master too!


To join Kathy on this informative and enjoyable shoot, simply contact the DPA Booking Agent toll free at 1 877 372 2231 or to register on line, go to and click on Boston. From there scroll down and the directions to enroll are clearly explained.


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