The best beer I have ever had


From the moment we made our cottage reservation in Bass Harbor, I planned to photograph the lighthouse from the “other” side looking back toward the east. Most people shoot the lighthouse from the overlook where the bell is, and some even find the path to the left that takes you down to the jagged rocks where you get the classic view, but few get to shoot it from the “other” side.

I wondered about hopping the fence, but the “No Trespassing” sign was enough to deter me from doing that. I thought about trying to clamber around the lighthouse and along the rocks at low tide, but I wasn’t sure if there was access to the “other” side, even at the lowest of tides. That left me with one other option… to kayak along the coast and either shoot from the ocean, or beach it and set up on the exposed rocks.

I knew that the last light of the day at this time of year did not actually hit the lighthouse, so instead of sunset, this meant a late afternoon trip at around 6:00 p.m. My preconceived vision of what I was looking for involved dramatic clouds in the background being lit up by warm light, and I also wanted to catch some light on the white tower of the lighthouse.Β Lori took Jack and his buddy Jack – who was there for a sleepover – in the double kayak to keep me company on the way out, and even though the storm clouds didn’t materialize as I had hoped, I still liked the view.

I stashed a Corona with a couple of lime wedges and a handful of ice cubes into a water bottle,Β and as we set off toward the lighthouse, the tide was low and just about to start coming in. As we meandered along the shoreline, we were treated to some soft late afternoon light that was still warm, mixed in with a brisk ocean breeze. I had my 70-200mm f4 lens attached to my camera so that I could get a different perspective on the scene, and when I got within about 100 yards of the lighthouse I took a deep breath, stowed my paddle, and sat back to admire the view.Β I popped open the water bottle carrying my cold beverage, and took a few long swigs before I brought the camera up to my eye. I ended up taking way more photographs than I needed to, but as long as I had good light and some beer left, I was determined to stay as long as I could. And as the title of this post points out… I thoroughly enjoyed what was probably the best beer I have ever had πŸ™‚


94 thoughts on “The best beer I have ever had

  1. Sounds amazing … and the shot is absolutely breathtaking!

    I love that the best beer of your life isn’t some pretentious microbrew — but rather, a Corona stashed in a water bottle.


  2. your picture came out really well, this helps us to realize more and more how great the simple things can be. I love the water and seeing the designs of buildings like a lighthouse. Your slowly enjoyed drink with a good camera can be such a great experience to be relived. Hopefully you can do it again soon, with some more pictures for us to enjoy.

  3. How great! I don’t even like beer, but somehow I think I would have loved yours. That’s one way to recognize good writing! The photos are fabulous, as well!

    (And congrats on Freshly Pressed!)


    • David Patterson

      It is… I have been to this place many times and in all seasons. It was nice to experience something new.

  4. The Bass Harbor Lighthouse was a highlight of my one and only trip to the Maine Coast. I was photographing it at sunset looking west, from the same area as a gazillion other photos have been taken. It was great to read your post about seeking out the less frequently visited view from the other side, your desire for a dramatic sky, and your resourcefulness in getting the shot. I can relate to all that, and would like to say well done, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Charles… this is a favorite place of mine, and I too have photographs looking west at sunset… gorgeous place no matter what time of day!

  5. Sarah

    Nice shots! I’m one of those who photographed the lighthouse from the typical spot, so I’m jealous at your kayak excursion!

    If you’re still in Maine looking for another good beer, the best one I had up there was the Blueberry Ale, from the Atlantic Brewing Company…I was told before my trip that I absolutely had to try it.

  6. Beautiful work.
    Why is it – no matter how good the camera (I’ve borrowed), or the film I’ve carefully purchased, or how hard I try, I can’t get pictures like that.
    I suppose you NEED to actually be an ARTIST.

  7. Kudos for taking the path less travelled. The picture you’ve put up here is perfect for a watercolour!
    And I love the way you captured the atmosphere around this little adventure πŸ™‚

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. It’s always good to explore new things, and I was very fortunate to be able to enjoy a nice time here.

  8. Raconteur

    Wonderful photos. I put myself through college working at a photofinishing store (long time ago, LOL). I learned a lot about photography from the photos that passed through our hands. (Yes, the clerks looked at everybody’s photos. Get over it.)

    What was most fascinating is that the camera had very little to do with a good photo. Composing a great frame, considering the existing light, adjusting the angle made all the difference. We had a dude with a Hasselblad who could not ‘see’ the subject and setting — and I had a 14 inner-city kid with an cheap Kodak Instamatic who blew us away with his artistic nature. He clearly could ‘see’ the shot and made that little box sing.

    I always wanted to loan him a Nikon or Canon… but he loved his camera and I loved his eye.

    Great lighthouse photography; I admire your eye, too.

    • David Patterson

      Thank you for the very thoughtful comment. The camera is just a tool for capturing the moment… we all have the ability to interpret what we see before us in our own way… that’s what makes photography fun for me.

  9. Wonderful photo. I love lighthouses. My husband and I go out of our way to take photos of any lighthouse we see on every vacation. Great post. We’ve got quite a few here in Michigan, although usually not up on the rocky elevations like this one. Congrats on being FP’d.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. I’ve seen photographs of some of the lighthouses in Michigan, and they are indeed quite impressive. Thanks for the comment.

  10. It prooves the saying: The best beer in the world is the one you got in your fist.

    Nice pictures and obviously a good beer as well.
    Even though to call Corona a beer ………………… πŸ˜‰

  11. Corona – you do know, I hope, that the Mexican peasants it was originally marketed to as the cheapest beer available only stuck the fruit in the neck to disguise the lack of taste? Good photograph, though.

    • David Patterson

      Didn’t know that… thanks! All I know is that it tasted great to me while bobbing around on the ocean looking at the lighthouse πŸ™‚

  12. I love your pictures! This is such a cute post with the lighthouse, water, and everything. Congratulations on being freshly pressed! I enjoyed reading.

  13. I’m so jealous. We visited this area in September of 2009 and all we got to see was fog and rain. We hope to get back in 2012, but now I am inspired to push the Bar Harbor area higher to the top of the list.

    • David Patterson

      Peter… Bar Harbor (and Acadia) is definitely one of my favorite places. Fog and rain are pretty common, though this summer has been spectacular so far.

  14. Beautiful pictures…fully understand, but would have had to have a different beer. Got messed up on those like 20 years ago & can’t even smell them now!

  15. Honestly, Maine is one of the most beautiful places, in my opinion, in the world! Lived there for 7 years! (Now I’m in Germany with no OCEAN! gasp!) I envy these pictures and that moment you got to have with a corona…man I miss those!

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