I’m spinning my archive. The good thing about living in Maine for a while is that you got to visit lighthouses in inclement weather. Fog is always a hard subject. The other element is the light itself. Then to blend soft light and focused detail is harder yet. I let the camera figure out the exposure. I just fixed the compositional elements. In that instant I got the shot I wanted. It’s good.
There is a distinct advantage to having a local lighthouse to visit. While I was in Maine I took advantage of the less than sunny days to visit the Portland lighthouse. Fog, snow, and rain became part of the inventory of interesting images. I always saw tourists in a hurry, drive up, photograph the lighthouse, hop in the car, and drive away again. I never even had the chance to point out the best show was at their feet in the reflections of the tidal pools on the rocks below. On the days when the reflection was sharp because the wind was still, you got that signature shot everyone looks to get.
I’m not one to camp out and wait for sunset, or to wait hours upon hours for the clouds to arrange themselves for my image. And I’m not a fan of changing things in Photoshop. I prefer drive by shooting. Hey, it works for me. I can appreciate some images that were made by others who toiled and waited…. just not me.
If you just look down at the tidal pools, there’s a reflection to reward you. On a sunny day a polarizing filter will get you a more distinct image. Either way try to break out of the typical tourist mode and get something different.
Sometimes you never know how things will come out. I was pleasantly surprised to get the lighthouse detail of this shot in the early morning fog. We were in Lubec, Maine and I’m shooting to the Canadian side lighthouse. It has that little red crest that they like in Canada. The shot is too centered. My bad, I’m still an amateur at that time. It’s film not digital, so there’s no way to know whether the shot is good until much later. I look at the old shots and am pretty amazed to have such nice slides. I really trusted to luck back then. There was some skill, I suppose. To me it was like conducting a photo experiment. The results would come back months later. You needed a lot of patience. In those days I was already developing my own slides. So I would shoot enough to make it worthwhile to mix up a batch of solution – usually about 60 rolls. That could take about half a year. As I said I was patient… and careful. You have to hold the water temperature to 100 degrees plus or minus a tenth of a degree. Yes, I did it… nerve wracking but I did it.
We are at the eastern most point on the north fork of Long Island. It’s the terminus for the ferry. This ferry has had a significant part in our lives. It connects Long Island to New London, Connecticut. It is the way to summer camp, friends, skiing, Maine and so many events. It’s not a regular trip but we’ve made it often enough for the scene to be familiar. Like everything else, I take a picture of the lighthouse on each trip. Sometimes you like the shot better than others.
Under the George Washington Bridge. On my last day in New York, the kids and I rode our bikes to the GW Bridge. It was my last outdoor bike ride for now. As part of our ongoing silliness project, the kids ‘jumped’ in front of the Little Red Lighthouse. It took a few tries to get this one. I had a Canon G11 with the usual fractional timed shutter delay. You’d be surprised but a jump doesn’t last but a moment and to get both kids in the air was more challenging than I expected. Anyway, I got the shot. Since then I have gone to the other side of the globe and Julia will land in Africa in a couple hours. This is a memorable moment on many planes.
West Quoddy Lighthouse, Lubec, Maine. Ah, old age. I was incorrect in the original post and described this light as on Campobello Island. I have been there too. I guess I have been to too many lighthouses in one day and got them mixed up. Fran Corriveau pointed out my mistake. No doubt she is more familiar with the area than I am. Thanks and many apologies to the kind folks in Maine. The image remains the same, just the location is different.
Yellow goldenrods are in the foreground and all around on the hill surrounding the site. My father used to suffer greatly from summer allergies. Fortunately I’m not affected too badly. The Ram Island Ledge lighthouse is in the background as a speck. I’ve never been able to figure out how to get both lighthouses effectively on the same frame. Since I lived in Maine for a couple years, I had an opportunity to visit this lighthouse many times in different seasons.
Portland Headlight, Maine. I will post a summer photo. So this is my autumn storm photo. It’s high tide and the weather is blustery. You can catch the umbrella action close by to the building. And, the light is just now coming around into view.
Portland Headlight, winter. Well I guess it’s no secret with the snow. It’s not as popular in the dead of winter although the kids like sledding on the hill nearby within the park. The Ram Island light is a bit easier to see.
Bass Harbor lighthouse, Acadia, Maine. This is another classic shot. It’s one of the best views you can get from land. I have seen better shots with snow or sunset or better clouds. This image is mine. I was there.