Behind The Light

Hey hey! Thanks for stopping by! I just wanted to show you a little bit of what went into capturing a couple of shots of a lighthouse in Portland, ME at sunrise! Let’s go!

Here’s the shot. It’s Portland Head Light and it’s one of many, many lights protecting the clam and lobster laden vessels from the rugged New England coastline and all its hidden hazards. A confession though, to start: –

That’s how it looked when it came out of Adobe Camera Raw – I ‘turned on’ the lights in Photoshop. This potentially poses the age old question of how much processing is too much, but that’s not what this post is about so leave that right there!

So, first off was the ridiculous time of the morning! I planned my shoot here at the lighthouse and the morning golden hour that day was particularly early.

Just before I got there I took this shot for my Instagram story to show the awesome tones and tranquil stillness of sunrise when compared to the much more sociable sunset.

When I got to the light I was met with a problem. It’s in a State Park and surrounded by fences to prevent people from clambering down the cliffs and risking a fall into the angry ocean below. Problem is it’s that clambering that I needed to do to get my composition!

The thing about this location was that the farther out you went on the rocks, the more of the lighthouse was revealed and the more central you could make that rocky outcrop sit within the composition. The rocks were like a small series of cliffs and hills though, sloping gradually and then being met with a sudden, sheer drop. I had two shots in mind – one long, silky, and smooth, and the other a frozen piece of the action. For the frozen action shot above I just needed to find my position and shoot: –

But the silky, smooth, long exposure needed something sturdy to support my rig. Lucky enough I had just the thing right there in my pocket! I whipped out the Platypod Ultra and within moments I was ready to get the shot, sitting the mounted camera right there on the rocks with a beautiful vantage point across that outcrop and back towards the light.

Here’s what I got: –

A very early sunrise, followed by a massive grin and a well deserved breakfast, and all by 05:30!

Much love


KelbyOne.Take better travel photography.

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