What a morning I had yesterday.  Bob Lussier, Mike Tully and I headed out early to shoot a different location in South Portland, ME (images to follow in a future post), and decided to visit Portland Head Light afterwards. Although we arrived past sunrise, the light was still sweet, and allowed us time to explore all around the lighthouse to take advantage of the beautiful conditions.

After shooting closer to the lighthouse, we trekked down an icy slope to get down to the rocks and spent some time at this wonderful vantage point as our last spot to shoot.  With my trusty 10 stop ND filter, I was able to get some nice long exposures that added a misty quality to the rocks and waves, while adding nice color saturation as well.


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.

 


Thacher Island

Creating this image set a new record for me in terms of getting up early for a photograph.  I recently had the opportunity to visit Thacher Island at sunrise, an opportunity which only happens once a year.   I left my house at 3am for a ferry (or technically a small floating bathtub) that was leaving at 4am.  A 20 minute boat ride in sheer darkness followed, and we then arrived on the island.  As a side note, it was a both comical and scary ride as one person drove the boat, while another shined a flashlight on the water to ensure we didn’t hit any lobster buoys.

Thacher Island is located off the coast of Rockport, MA, and is known for it’s two towering lighthouses – the only operating twin lighthouses in America.  The Town of Rockport owns the southern end of the Island, and the northern end is owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  While there, I discovered that it should also be known for it’s incredible seagull population.  So many in fact, that it was difficult to hear the beeps and clicks of my camera, even with my face pressed up against it.  The island’s other indigenous species, the mosquito, is equally present, yet thankfully disappear once the sun rises.

This image is of the north lighthouse tower.   This was my first visit to the island, and I was overwhelmed with all the possible images that could be made there, although finding some of them in the dark before the sun rose was a bit challenging.  I found this perspective just after the sun came up, and was able to get some of that warm light on the rocks and tower.  I wish the sky had cooperated by providing more clouds, but overall it was a great experience to explore and photograph this amazing place.  I hope to get back again soon.


Standing Silent

It’s been several days since my last blog post as my new job has been keeping me quite busy.  But I’m back today with a shot from the archives that I rediscovered the other day.

This was from a fall visit to Ogunquit, Maine a few years back.  Anyone who has ever visited this wonderful coastal community knows that the shoreline all along the Marginal Way is filled with scenes like this one.  The endless array of photo opportunities here is one of the reasons that I keep coming back time and again.


Frozen Sunrise

Sunrise photography in the winter can be a double-edge sword.  On the one hand, you’ve got the sun coming up past 7 am, which means sleeping a bit later than you would for a summer sunrise.  The other hand is of course a cold hand.  As in freezing cold temperatures.

We’ve had some really cold weather here in the northeast the past few days, but I decided to get up this past weekend to see if I could catch a nice sunrise.  This image was taken near Loblolly Cove in Rockport, MA, and those two structures you see in the distance are the twin lighthouses of Thacher Island.  I had to climb over and around some icy rocks to get to this spot, but was rewarded with really nice color in the sky just before the sun rose.   This is not a multi-image panorama, but rather a cropped image that just looked better with these dimensions.  Please click on the image for a larger view.



Peaceful Cove

Today’s image was taken along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME.  As I mentioned the other day, Bob Lussier and I were there last week to help a friend teach a photography workshop.  It started in the afternoon, but I decided to head up early to do some sunrise shooting and spend the whole day.  I was once again treated with another cloudless sunrise, so I decided to minimize the sky as much as possible, and play with some long exposures of the gentle waves over the rocks.


Wishing Stones

While the easiest reaction when seeing these towers of rocks and stones is to think that of aliens were here, it was pointed out to us that these are actually called wishing stones.  You’ll see them sporadically along parts of the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, ME, that is until you come across this one particular section where there are literally hundreds of these towers.  So many I was sure I would inadvertantly knock one over just by walking around.

Bob Lussier and I were in Ogunquit earlier this week to help a friend teach a photography workshop, and these structures were the perfect place to discuss composition, depth of field, etc. with the workshop participants.  We of course had to grab some shots for ourselves too, and this is one of my favorites.  We were shooting these during the middle of the day, so a black & white conversion seemed appropriate.

Make a wish.


Gloucester Sunset

Another sunset, another image from Gloucester.  This is part of Wingaersheek Beach which is located in the western part of Gloucester.  It runs along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay, and is a great family beach.  There’s a sandbar off the beach that’s exposed at low tide, allowing you to walk hundreds of yards out.  And large rocks like these can be found at one end of the beach, which provide beautiful tide pools as the tide comes in and out.  It’s definitely one of my favorite local beaches.