THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOS
Watch my YouTube
video featuring canvas prints of two of these photos. I have another YouTube
video showing sunrise on Sept. 25th (my birthday) at the Portland Head Lighthouse in Portland, ME and the arrival of the Ruby Princess cruise ship on her maiden voyage. View the Pemaquid Lighthouse video here
I also have two timelapse videos: Star-rise over the Nubble Lighthouse
and sunrise on a rocky beach in Camden, ME
What can you say about a place like Maine? Amazing natural beauty, really nice, easy going people - and lighthouses. Yes Maine has 57 active lighthouses.
I had been wanting to go there for several years and finally made the drive in September 2014. I wanted the trip to coincide with the New Moon so the skies would be dark for the Milky Way and that also happened to be my birthday week.
The ride up to York, Maine, was about 5 1/2 hours. First stop, Cape Neddick and the Nubble Lighthouse. I met my friend Mark there in the late afternoon and we spent the next seven hours shooting the lighthouse from all different angles under the changing light. Of course my photos can't look like everyone else's which meant climbing dangerously close to the water on the slippery, algae covered rocks. But Mark had my back and it was worth risk.
After the sun went down we starting shooting the Milky Way and star trails and finally left around midnight - knowing we'd have to be back by 5:30AM for the next day's sunrise.
Sure enough we were shooting again by 6AM and after a couple of hours called it quits. I went back to my motel to sleep for a couple more hours before heading off to Portland, Maine for our next stop.
Mark was already at the Portland Head Lighthouse by the time I arrived. The sight of the cool, clear blue water smashing against the rocks surrounding the lighthouse along with the fresh, clean smell of the Atlantic ocean were enough to make my heart sing. Then there is the lighthouse itself: according to the Park Rangers, the Portland Head Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the world. And for good reason: it is gorgeous.
Another friend, Nate, met us at the lighthouse and we started shooting. It soon became evident that the best shots were to be found on the rocky beach at the base of the cliff supporting the lighthouse. But it was 75 feet straight down to get there. It didn't look promising. Still we had seen photos of other photographers who had made it down there so we knew it was possible. So after a little reconnaissance, we found a chink in the cliff's armor, hopped the fence and began our descent. After a lot of small steps and some near mishaps we made it all the way down to the beach. An hour later we were done and made the long climb back up the rocks.
The park closed at sunset so there would be no star shooting that night. But it did reopen the next day at sunrise so the plan was to reconvene at dawn.
The next day I arrived later than Nate and Mark, but did get there in time to see the most glorious sunrise I have ever seen in my life. The entire sky burned orange and pink as the sun slowly made it's way toward the horizon. It literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. The fact that it was also my birthday that day made it all the more special.
Two hours and 500 photos later it was time to move on. I would be heading off on my own driving another two hours north to Camden, Maine to meet a friend and shoot some more breath-taking photos.