A snowy lighthouse in Maine

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Park the car, walk 25 yards, and you’re able to enjoy this view. Easily accessible, this unique and striking lighthouse can be found guarding the rocky Maine coast just below the town of Thomaston. It protects those who depend on the ocean for their livelihood and call the working harbor of Port Clyde their home. A recent snowstorm had blanketed the landscape with about 8-10 inches of fresh powder, so I decided to stop off for a brief visit to admire what has become a familiar view. I was the first person to leave tracks in the broad expanse of snow, and with the cool ocean breeze and the sparkling blue sky laid out before me, I breathed in deeply to fully appreciate a scene magically transformed by winter’s grip.

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Early days and Maine lighthouses…

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The rugged coast of Maine is dotted with many picturesque and photogenic lighthouses. When I first started taking landscape photography seriously maybe 10 years ago, these lighthouses were a popular subject of mine. Now when I dip back into the archives, I can find several examples that I think stand the test of time. Very much a beginner when it came to composition, I can remember being ultra-conscious of trying to arrange the elements within the frame into a cohesive and pleasing composition. Compositional skills can always be improved, and even today, one of the challenges of landscape photography that I perhaps enjoy the most is using the camera viewfinder to create an interesting photograph.

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Back in the good old days I was shooting 35mm Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, and for those of you who can remember Velvia, it was renowned for the deep contrast and saturated colors it rendered. I have to admit, I almost miss waiting several days for slides to be processed and picked up from the lab – the anticipation and excitement of discovering if I had been successful or not only added to the magical moment when I fired up the light table and peered eagerly through the loupe. I said that I “almost” miss those days… but nah, methinks I definitely enjoy the instant gratification (and benefit of immediate feedback) of digital imagery more.

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In order from the top of this post… a foggy sunrise at Marshall Point Lighthouse with a cheap Cokin Filter and a coincidental lobster fisherman. Pemaquid Lighthouse at dawn with typically vibrant Velvia saturation, lying on my belly at the Rockland Breakwater Light on a cold and blustery morning, and then finally, a brave lobsterman is welcomed home on an icy Bass Harbor blue-sky winter day. Maybe I should renew my relationship with some of these picturesque Maine lighthouses… during the winter months they’re relatively accessible without having to trudge any real distance through a foot of snow. Hmmmm… stay tuned.

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My stash has run out

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It has been a long time since I have had a camera in my hand, so long in fact that I am literally out of material for the blog. After this post, I don’t have a single new image to share, so here’s a couple from my most recent photographic excursion. I made these on a wonderfully peaceful later afternoon jaunt to Marshall Point Lighthouse near Port Clyde in Maine. I’m accustomed to having a steady stream of photographs queued up for publishing regularly every 4 or 5 days, and that line usually extends out for maybe about a month. However, it has been about six weeks since I’ve laid my hand on the camera, so my “reserve” is totally spent. Hmmm… so where exactly did I leave that camera bag?

Reaching out into the ocean

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It has been a while since I was out with the camera. These photographs are from a wonderfully calm evening spent at Marshall Point Lighthouse in late August. That’s almost six weeks since I tripped the shutter : (

The New England fall foliage season is in full swing around these parts, but it doesn’t look promising for me to be able to get out to make any photographs. This will be a busy week with work and with soccer season winding down, but you never know, maybe I’ll be able to steal away for a few hours later in the week.

In the meantime, here are a few black and white renditions of what is a particularly striking lighthouse on the Maine coast. This is the lighthouse that Forrest Gump ran to and ran to and ran to in the movie as he traversed back and forth across the country. It is a unique structure, one that just begs to be photographed.

Marshall Point Lighthouse

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Can you imagine just chilling on the rocks at the ocean’s edge watching the sun go down on a view as pretty as this? As I have said many times, I feel quite fortunate to live in a state as beautiful as Maine, and it’s when I can slow down and enjoy a scene like this that I am most content. I have a couple more photographs to share from what was a very peaceful late afternoon spent here, but it wasn’t until the sun had gone down that I began to truly appreciate my surroundings. As the tide washed in around the lighthouse and jagged shore, I perched myself just out of its reach and watched as the day slowly and delicately gave way to the night.

Marshall Point in black and white

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I tried my hand at desaturating a couple of images – one wide and one not so wide – and rendering them as black and white photographs. Removing the color from an image can focus attention more on shapes and important elements… this isn’t something I often do, but felt as though these two images lent themselves to this process.

Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum

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The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum occupies the first floor of the light keeper’s house seen in this image. I’m not entirely sold on the wide angle distortion that you can see in the warped shape of the building, but as I experimented with long exposures, I liked how the soft light was reflecting in the windows, the amazing foreground details in the rocks, and the classic New England architecture of the lighthouse keeper’s house perched on this rocky point.

I spent a considerable amount of time exploring what are really remarkable rock formations surrounding this picturesque area, and by the time I finished shooting I was absolutely starving. Heading south a short way on US Route 1, I paid a memorable visit to the famous “Moody’s Diner” where I enjoyed some of the best corn chowder I have ever had, followed by a ridiculously big and delicious slice of home-made banana cream pie!

Highly recommended 🙂