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View Poll Results: Which is more Photogenic
Boston 72 59.02%
Philadelphia 50 40.98%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2011, 07:14 AM
Location: NC
4,112 posts, read 3,823,302 times
Reputation: 1331


Boston because of the Old World style street layout and the Back Bay.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:16 AM
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,335 posts, read 1,317,255 times
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I agree, crooked streets and hills enhance the aesthetics of a city at the macro level. I also enjoy photographing Providence, RI for similar reasons and San Francisco lives off that effect.

Philly's flat grid somehow 'shrinks' the city. Stand in the center of any major downtown intersection and you can see out to the horizon in all four directions. There isn't that feeling of being totally surrounded by the city, rather there is an awareness that it ends.

Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I voted for Boston because I gave it a slight edge due (mostly) to my personal preferences for shooting photos. I love streetscapes and macro shots. I feel that Boston's convoluted street grid and abundance of brick (not that Philly lacks here) and various architectural styles (differences between Back Bay, Beacon Hill, South End, North End, Fort Point, Financial District, etc) make it a bit more appealing for my favorite style of photography. I just feel like it's a tad bit more quirky in that regard which makes it a bit more photogenic for that style. Certainly you can do very well in Philadelphia, but I give Boston the edge here.

However, if you want a distance shot... Philadelphia looks better by quite a large margin. When I say this, I'm taking both waterfronts into account as well. I know Boston's waterfront (both the river and harbor) are a little more attractive, but Philadelphia still looks better from a distance. Boston has some real abortions as far as high rise buildings go (One Beacon, One Boston Place, and even my Prudential Center- I do love it- the city's second tallest is ugly) and there isn't the same scale to the skyline as Philadelphia. Philadelphia is much more photogenic from a distance.

I guess you could call Boston a butterface. Everything looks good under the hood and close up, but the face (the skyline) is really unimpressive from most angle. Philadelphia's probably a bit more well-rounded but my shooting preference fits Boston better.
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