Dawn at the Pier

Every so often I’ll be out shooting sunrise, and the sky will magically take on this eery orange glow before the sun comes up over the horizon.  While I still prefer a sky full of illuminated clouds, sometimes these single color sunrises can be quite impressive.

This one comes from Martha’s Vineyard from a trip a few years ago.  As the light was still low, I needed a 90 second exposure which added that nice smooth quality to the water.  Maybe not my best composition, but the color certainly made up for it.

Have a great weekend.

For today’s post we go back to Martha’s Vineyard once again.  This is Edgartown Light, which I’ve shot countless times before.  One of the great things about this lighthouse is that it’s ok to shoot it countless times because it provides so many angles, compositions, points of view, etc.  You can shoot it tight, or use the many opportunities to create a wide angle shot with a foreground interest.  Or you can try some combination of these or anything else that works for you.  For this particular shot, I chose a mid-range shot using the water and the sky to frame the lighthouse.  The smooth streak in the middle of  the water is the current flowing through from the other side of the jetty.  Although the horizon is smack dab in the middle of the shot, I still think it works.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/16, 70mm, 15 seconds

It’s a quick post for today with a visit back to my trip to Martha’s Vineyard last fall.  For this shot I tried some brackets for an HDR shot as well as some long exposures, but wasn’t happy with the results.  After much playing around, I ended up blending one of the brackets with one of the long exposures to get the look I wanted.  I’m still working on my masking skills, but certainly had fun working on this image.  It’s something I definitely plan to keep on practicing.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 18mm, 2 exposures blended in CS5

So it’s back to Martha’s Vineyard for today’s post.  This image is a little bit unusual, but I was playing around with some long exposures and thought this one came out kinda cool.  It’s a shot of the Chappaquiddick Ferry, more commonly known as the Chappy Ferry, that runs across Edgartown Harbor to Chappaquiddick Island.  The only way to get to Chappy is on this ferry, or by driving on the beach if you have four-wheel drive and know what you’re doing.   Made famous for the Dyke Bridge incident in 1969 with Ted Kennedy, it is also known for its incredibly beautiful beaches and great fishing.


For today’s post, we go back to the Vineyard.  When I was processing this shot, I kept finding myself trying to sing the classic Otis Redding song The Dock of the Bay, hence the title of the post.  It was a beautiful sunrise and a very peaceful morning, and I actually don’t think I was wasting time at all.

Anytime I find myself shooting near a harbor, I always look for opportunities to capture a boat’s reflection in the water.  What I really like is the potential of these scenes.  Depending on how calm or rough the water is, as well as the time of day, the colors of the boat hulls reflecting on the water create a different perspective every time.  If I went back to the same boat at the same time the next day, I’d be willing to bet that I’d come back with a different image.

This is another shot from my recent trip to Martha’s Vineyard.  This would have been a beautiful scene had this boat not been docked there, but it became that much more compelling because of it.  Those eyes are both interesting and a little creepy, and just seemed to add another layer to the image.

And I don’t know about you, but even when I move my head from side to side, the eyes keep following me.

Just a quick post for today, and apologies for the lame title.  This was taken on Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark on the Vineyard.  During the summer months, it’s a very exclusive private beach, but it is open to the public in the offseason.  It’s really quite beautiful with these boulders strewn around the beach and the cliffs that frame it.  Combine that with a moderate surf and warm afternoon light, and it’s just a great place to explore and enjoy.

Gay Head Lighthouse is one of the most iconic landmarks on Martha’s Vineyard.  It sits atop the beautiful clay cliffs in the town of Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) at the western end of the island.  It’s probably the most photographed lighthouse on the island, and it’s stunning location makes it a popular spot for wedding photos as well.  You’ve probably seen shots of it like this one, which is one of the more common vantage points.

The original wood-framed lighthouse went into service in 1799, and was eventually replaced by the current brick structure in 1854.  During the summer it’s open for visitors, but was closed when we were there last weekend, most likely due to some renovations as evidenced by the scaffolding on one side of the tower.  The signs were not much of a deterrent, however, as there was easy access around the gate, and no one else around.

Here are two additional shots from up close.  The scaffolding obviously takes away from the images, but it was a beautiful sunset, so I thought I’d show them anyway.  Even though it’s been done a million times before, I still tried to get the more touristy shot looking toward it from across the cliffs after I got these images.  But the sky suddenly clouded over, and left me with a little hope for any more good shots.   I hope to be back to try shooting it again soon.