North West Bank no. 2 – Thompson Pond Area – Quabbin Reservoir


Nikon D700 with 14mm-24mm f/2.8


I try to be fairly precise when I name photographs taken in or around the Quabbin Reservoir. It is a fairly large area, so I want to give the viewer a point of reference when they see a photograph. I might try to put the name of the road, or the part of the town that I am in so there is a location associated with the image. Sometimes this can be difficult because there might not be a great point of reference within the shot, so I might default to literally where I am when the photograph was taken.


In addition to the literal location, I use maps to try to add more information to the title to give a historic point of reference to the photograph. The area in and around the reservoir has changed so much since it was settled, raised, and flooded. When you photograph the reservoir or the area around it, chances are you are also photographing a former residence, farm, street, or lost feature of the landscape and you might not even know it. I want to do justice for this area of including additional information for what used to be there so my imagery might cause you to wonder about what the area used to look like.


This image above depicts the reservoir, looking southwest. I noted my location in the first part of the title, and added what you might be looking at if this photograph was taken before the Quabbin was built. I found in my map that this point of view would have depicted a small pond called Thompson Pond. I wanted to include the name of the pond in the title because when I noticed the pond on the map I tried to picture it within the photograph. I imagined that instead of water, there was grass and perhaps a farmers field leading up to a small pond surrounded by hills. I am not sure if everyone will go one the same vision quest as me when viewing this photograph. I am lucky if someone else does because that might mean that I am not totally crazy. Joking aside, I hope to communicate using historic points of reference that when you are looking at a photograph of the Quabbin you are actually seeing two very difference landscapes from the past and present at the same time.