This was the original destination for our visit to Portland, ME this past weekend.  I had seen a few images of this location online, and finally had an opportunity to go up there and get a shot of my own.  Along with fellow photographers Bob Lussier and Mike Tully of course.

These three shacks are on Fisherman’s Point and can be seen and photographed from Willard Beach in South Portland.  We were fortunate to get some really nice color in the sky just before sunrise, and with the tide just starting to recede, the ocean added a nice foreground element as it held the reflection of the sky.  I’m looking forward to getting back here in the spring to get a different perspective on this wonderful spot.


As we brace for the first real arctic cold of the winter here in the northeast, I thought I’d post an image from warmer times.  This shot was captured this past summer in Ogunquit, Maine along the famous Marginal Way.  This mile-plus path winds it way along stunning rock cliffs  from Ogunquit beach to Perkins Cove, and provides unlimited photographic opportunities.  Sunrise, in my opinion, is the best time to be there – not only for witnessing the beauty of the sun coming up over the ocean and cliffs, but also for the peacefulness and quiet of being there virtually alone. The Marginal Way gets quite crowded during the day in the summer, so I really look forward to being there at sunrise.

I woke up early to a promising forecast, and was certainly rewarded for the effort.  As I walked along the path, I was seeking out some leading lines in the patterns of the rocks that would take the viewer right out to the morning sky, and found this spot which did the trick.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting back there this winter to get some images with snow on the rocks.  Once I’m a little more used to the cold that is.


 

Morris Island Lighthouse

Taking a break from the fall foliage images with a lighthouse shot from my recent visit to Charleston, SC.  The Morris Island Lighthouse, a non-working lighthouse just north of Folly Beach at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, stands just a few hundred feet off the coast. It’s 161 feet tall, and was completed in 1876.  Over time, jetties were built to protect the harbor, which accelerated the erosion on Morris Island around the lighthouse.  In 1938, the lighthouse became too difficult to reach and maintain, and thus became automated. By 1962, the lighthouse was too close to the shore due to continued erosion on the island, and state officials ordered it closed.  It was replaced by Charleston Light on the north side of nearby Sullivan’s Island, and is now being preserved by the state of South Carolina.

While all this history is very interesting, I was drawn to the great compositional possibilities of the lighthouse that include this jetty on the northern end of Folly Beach that leads right out to the tower in the distance.  I used a long lens to compress the scene and bring the rocks and lighthouse closer together.  The sunrise that morning wasn’t too exciting, but did provide a nice pink/red glow to the sky.

 


Sunset Over Boston

The sunset over the city of Boston last night was spectacular.  I had chosen a new vantage point for some skyline shots, and was on the observation deck of the Custom House tower.  This building is a Boston landmark, and appears in many if not most images of the the Boston skyline.  Aside from being a beautiful structure on its own, its observation deck provides some great views of the city and surrounding area.  The only challenge here is the fact that the deck is surrounded by a serious fence, and you need to conduct tripod gymnastics to get your camera to point through the fence.

This image is looking to the north towards the North End and Charlestown further in the distance.  The sky put on quite a show, and added great mood to this city skyline image.  I’ll have more images to share in later posts.


Sea Smoke at Sunrise

I love living in New England, and having access to some amazing places to photograph in all four seasons.  Now, while getting out to shoot at sunrise in the spring and summer take little motivation as the weather is warm, getting up in the dead of winter to capture the sun rising takes a bit more dedication.  Especially when the forecast is for single digit temps and wind chills well below zero.

But with the prospect of photographing sea smoke coming off the ocean in New Hampshire, I was more motivated than usual as this is something I’d always wanted to try to capture.  My friend Bob Lussier offered the opportunity to join him and Mike Tully to seek out this amazing phenomenon that only occurs when the temps really dip down to some low numbers.  After poking around Portsmouth before dawn, we made our way over to Great Island Common in Newcastle to watch the sun come up behind Whaleback Light.  There wasn’t a lot of sea smoke, but just enough to combine with the sun lighting up the clouds on the horizon to make a truly incredible scene.  A lone lobster boat heading out to sea was the icing on the cake.

It took a few hours to defrost my fingers and toes afterwards, but it was definitely worth it.


Stormy Motif

When you’re in a creative rut like I’ve been for the past few months, any old photo subject will do.  Even one that happens to be one of the most photographed and painted structures on the east coast, Motif #1 in Rockport, MA.  This thing has been documented to death, yet it’s still great place to go when you need a slam dunk, no-brainer photo subject.

The fact that we had some major clouds and wind made things perfect for long exposures like this image.  Same old structure; perhaps somewhat unique image (thanks clouds!).




Old Orchard Beach

This past weekend I decided to make the drive up to Old Orchard Beach in Maine to photograph its famous pier.  The forecast looked promising for a nice sunrise, with some clouds arriving at dawn and temps in the low 30’s (that’s pretty warm for Maine in February).  Well they got it half right.  It was a balmy winter morning, but the clouds failed to materialize.  Again.

So what does one do when the clouds you expected don’t show up?  You covert your images to black & white (this is of course after you’re finished cursing).   I also went a little further with this shot giving it a darker processing treatment, while still leaving some nice light on the side of the buildings.  Although I like using plug-ins for most of my B&W conversions like Silver Efex Pro or Perfect B&W, I was able to coax out the image I wanted this time by just using the tools in Lightroom.

It wasn’t the sunrise long exposure I had hoped for, but still an image that I like.


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.