Wood Island Light guards the entrance to Saco Bay and the Saco River. This shot is from the East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool where I was looking for Snowy Owls just before our Nor-easter. No owls, but a classic winter’s day photograph of the light. Sony Rx10iv at 24mm equivalent. Program mode with auto HDR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Nominal exposure: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light.” Jesus
Yesterday was one of those gray fall days in Maine along the coast. Just enough rain falling to dampen, skies heavy overhead, sea agitated…almost angry on the rocky shore. And yet, it was day to enjoy…a day of joy in being alive. In Cape Porpoise the lobster boats were mostly anchored, and the dock was quiet, under the eye of the lighthouse on Goat Island. We ate the excellent clam chowder at the Chowder House, and watched Eiders catching crabs, and Gulls stealing them. The sign on the wall announced the end of the season and begged our patience since all the summer help was gone back to college and school. We were warm on the inside and the outside by the time we left, with a the deep quiet of the end of season day settling in us, still at our centers as the boats floating the harbor…anchored by our faith in a loving creator and wrapped in the light, of the fellowship of Christ. Our safe harbor, our guiding light, no matter what comes in wind and rain, or how the waves beat against the shore…no matter the end of seasons, or even the end of days. We know where our harbor lies…we know the light within and look at the world of weather and change with generous eyes.
Happy Sunday! May you know safe harbor today.
On Friday morning before Emily’s wedding I had no assigned duties, so I took Anna’s boyfriend, visiting from New Mexico, looking for Lighthouses and classic Maine seaside village scenes. Sarah came with us because she likes bridges and wanted to go over the Deer Island bridge…a vintage suspension bridge just about two cars wide and with a significant humpback. I had found a light off Little Deer Island on the map of Maine Lighthouses I had consulted on the internet, but had to go by dead-reckoning once on the Island itself in hopes of finding it, and a photo worthy view. We drove out in the general direction of the light as far as we could go…and there it was…sitting on its little island just off-shore. It is the Pumpkin Island Lighthouse, decommissioned long ago, but still maintained by the same organization that maintains most of the Maine Lighthouses…as a historical monument. It is an odd light, far up into Pennobscot Bay, only visible for 3 miles on a good day (or night), and essentially landlocked. Before decommissioning it was judged to useless…and actually slightly dangerous as it often lead ships into a ice bound passage during winter months. But it sure is pretty!
In-camera HDR at 111mm equivalent field of view. Sony RX10iii. Processed in Lightroom.
I had to drive to the bus terminal in Portsmouth on Tuesday to pick up a daughter coming in for her sister’s wedding this weekend, and, since it was a nice day, and since she has not spent much time in Maine over the past few years, we took the scenic route home and stopped at Nubble Light. I had been there just the week before, but not in the afternoon when the light is on the face of the buildings and the gulls are soaring around the island. 🙂
Sony RX10iii. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.
“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus
This shot, and others I took last Friday at Nubble Light in Cape Neddick Maine (or York Beach if you prefer), inspired a poem…at least in part about photography. I include it here since it tells at least the first part of the story.
I took a loop south today to photograph
Nubble Light off Cape Neddick, one of
the closer of the iconic Maine Lighthouses
(Goat Island Light in Cape Porpoise is
closer, but nearly as photogenic). Nubble
is a place I take every new camera within
the first month I own it…it is a scene that
forms a baseline in my understanding of
image quality…a reference for comparison…
I know, who cares? I am enough of a geek
to say I do…and geek enough to brave the
Ogunquit traffic on a Friday to get to
the cape and stand on the rocks and shoot
the Light that I have shot, what, 50 times
before…from all angles. Some days the
clouds are great behind the Light (today
was one of them), some days there is drama
in the way the waves drive up the gap
between the cape and island, sending spray
fountaining in the foreground (today the
sea was as flat as I have seen it, and the
water in the gap lapped gently at the foot
of the rocks as though they edged a pond).
But always there is beauty in the way the
old home and the tall light, the picket fence
and the brick pump-house, the cable car
lines draped across the gap, stand up against
the sea, stand fast and sure, stand as an
icon of the struggle to wrest a living from
these northern waters…from this restless sea…
and catching a bit of that beauty, that strength,
is the challenge that keeps me, and a hundred,
(several hundred on a good day like today) other
photographers with every kind of camera coming
back, again and again, to the Lighthouse on the
Nubble, off the tip of Cape Neddick…I admit, most
do not have my interest in image quality, but they
all recognize a quality image when they see it.
And the second part of the story? If you did a count of the number of Christian Churches with Lighthouse in their name, it would, without doubt, amount to thousands…perhaps a hundred thousand or more around the world. It is such an obvious metaphor for the work any church worth its salt (and that is, of course, another reference from the words of Jesus) is supposed to do in this world: to hold up Jesus, the light of world, to turn anyone with eyes to see away from the rocks of this life and bring them safe to shore.
But Lighthouse is also a great metaphor for what each of us is supposed to be in this world. If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light…and that light shines out just as the light of God shines in. Each of us should hold up Jesus in our faces so that those around us know at least that someone cares enough to warn them of the rocks, and stands as a reminder that there is an alternative. Our bodies are lighthouses, or should be. Each one of us who claims the name of Jesus.
So, stand up tall on the line between the sea and shore, and shine brightly today, and every day. Happy Sunday!
I was coming up the coast from a abortive search for Snowy Owls on the beaches of New Hampshire and could not resist, despite the intermittent cold December rain, swinging out along the coast to see how Nubble Light was doing. They had the Christmas wreath up on the pump-house and a stiff wind was blowing the flag out. The light was dull enough so the beacon was lit and showing as it turned its circuit out to sea. The sea was steel gray reflecting green. Somber, but attractive in its own way.
In-camera HDR. Sony HX90V at 24mm equivalent field of view. Nominal exposure: 1/500th @ ISO 80 @ f3.5. Processed in Lightroom.
Tawas Point is a living hook spit, just like Cape Cod, but in the waters of Lake Huron, off Tawas City. This is the second lighthouse they built on the point, after the first lighthouse was left high and dry a mile inland as the point grew. This one suffered the same fate, and has been replaced by a fog horn on the point itself. Efforts were made, successfully, to preserve the lighthouse for its historical value. I was there on just about a perfect September day.
Sony HX90V in-camera HDR. Processed in Lightroom.
On the way home from Easter Dinner at the relatives in York, we stopped for a moment at Nubble Light (well, we detoured to Nubble Light) so I could take a few shots. Nubble Light is one of my standard test subjects when I get a new camera…and it is one of my favorite “scenic” places to photograph along the southern Maine coast. I mean…well maintained romantic lighthouse, crashing surf, blue green sea, a few clouds in the sky…what more could you ask? And here the gull adds to the composition. 🙂
Nikon P900 at 24mm. Landscape Mode. 1/1600th @ f2.8 @ ISO 100. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
I took a leisurely drive up the coast yesterday looking for Snowy Owls. A few were seen last month in likely places, but none yet this month. I did not find any either. The highlight of the trip was the brilliant display of Bittersweet berries at East Point Nature Conservancy Sanctuary. Of course, in December, they are about the only touch of color in the landscape 🙂 This is Wood Island Light off the Point at the mouth of Saco Bay.
Sony HX400V at 24mm equivalent. In-camera HDR. Processed in Lightrtoom on my Surface Pro 3. There were a number of berry whips which broke the horizon near the center of the frame, so I used Touch Retouch (a brilliant piece of software for the modern Windows interface) to remove them. Simple as painting over them and letting the software do its work!
Yesterday I rode my bike to the beach early, and the sky was so beautiful that I decided to ride my scooter to Nubble Light, 20 miles down the coast, to see if I could get some good shots. It was my longest scooter ride to date, and quite an adventure as I had to ride through both Wells and Ogunquet in September Sunday morning traffic. 🙂
I made it to Nubble by 10am. I only had to go around the parking lot twice to find a slot for my scooter. A lot of other people had the same September Sunday morning idea I had. And, of course, the sky behind the light was clear. 🙁 There were great clouds inland, and I got some shots of the the bay to the north that are memorable, but the Light itself was pretty stark and backlit to boot. I climbed around on the rocks and looked for interesting angles that did not include too many tourists for an hour or so, then went back to my scooter. I ate my banana. I actually had my helmet on and was ready to board when I happened to turn back for one more look at the Light. Wooo. Where did that nice cloud come from? I realized that the cloud cover inland was moving really fast…really fast…and while I had been eating my banana the leading edge had swung behind the light. I also noticed that the angle of the sun had improved so that the I now had light on one of the inner faces of the building. Excellent! Much to the dismay of the circling tourists in unparked cars, I took my helmet back off, and spent another hour retracing my steps, finding all the angles again…but this time with clouds! 🙂 This shot is from down at the water’s edge.
Sony HX400V at 24mm equivalent field of view. In-camera HDR. Nominal exposure: ISO 80 @ 1/800th @ f6.3. Processed in Lightroom on my Surface Pro 3 tablet.
For more shots of Nubble from this trip, check out the Photoprowl piece.