One of my first blog posts was an HDR photo of the Bass Harbor Lighthouse at sunset. Now that I have learned more, read more, seen more, I’ve come to cringe a little over that early, over-the-top saturated version. This time I went back and started from the original bracketed exposures and gave it another go, trying to achieve something more realistic. I’ve toned down the saturation, and eliminated most of the halos.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse is just a great location, even if you end up shooting the same shot 1,000 other photographers have gotten. Like I did. At least the sky is different every sunset!
Here’s that earlier version for comparison.
Look behind you, there might be something interesting happening. That’s one of the little lessons I’ve learned when out photographing. This is especially true if you are in a generally interesting location, in changing light and/or changing weather. Sure, that main subject you’re fussing over is important, but don’t forget to glance around every once in awhile. Even if you don’t come away with a stunning photograph of the whatever-it-is, you may still be glad you were able to see it. This happened to me while shooting the Bass Harbor Lighthouse written about in my last post. After the other observers left me alone on the rocky shore in the fading light, I looked behind me and there was the moon rising above the hill. When it is this high in the sky, the moon is notoriously difficult to shoot due to exposure issues, so the resulting photo is nothing spectacular for me. That doesn’t matter though, just the memory of that scene, at that spectacular location is all I need.
One of the favorite places I have had the pleasure photographing is the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Maine. Admittedly, it is one of the most photographed lighthouses on the planet – but as they say, it isn’t a cliche if you haven’t shot it yet. Lighthouses hold a particular appeal to me, probably because they are in short supply here in Kansas. In 2008 I was lucky enough to visit Acadia National Park and surrounding areas, including this lighthouse. There are two main places to shoot from, one on the west side looking back east (good for sunrise), and one to the east looking west (good for sunset). We were there for sunset on this occasion, so east it was.