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.


As the title suggests, this is Portsmouth Harbor Light which protects Portsmouth Harbor near the mouth of the Piscataqua River.  Originally built as a wooden structure in 1771, the current cast iron and brick tower was erected in 1877.  The original was the tenth lighthouse built in North America, and was the first light station established at a military installation of the British colonies in the United States.  The fortification surrounding the lighthouse became what is now known as Fort Constitution, and makes the whole area quite interesting to explore.


Just a quick post this morning.  This view was captured looking through one of the openings (windows?) in the outer wall of Fort Constitution in Portsmouth, NH.  The fort is located right next to Portsmouth Light, which was what I originally planned to shoot that morning.  As I was exploring the area, I thought the view of the pre-dawn sky through the fort was quite interesting as well.

Have a great weekend.