It’s Only Waves

The last shot I took at Pemaquid Point on my last day in Maine. I set my hat down next to my bag as I composed this one and realized back at the car that I hadn’t come back with it. Me and the hat have been through a lot, so it was a run back to the rocks to retrieve it. And one last view of the amazing sea…


The surf at Pemaquid Point in early morning light

And Then The Light

Pemaquid Point was certainly one of the highlights of my trip to Maine. I am very glad I chose to fit that trip in at the last minute. If you have a Maine quarter in your pocket, then you will see this lighthouse depicted on its “tails” side. It won a popular vote by Maine residents to be there and I would guess it is one of three most popular lighthouses to photograph; the other two being Portland Head Light in Portland and Bass Harbor Light in Acadia National Park, the latter of which I was able to photograph myself as well. Portland Head Light will have to wait for another day. As far as the spot of coastline they reside on, Pemaquid wins in my book with an awesome rock peninsula that wedges itself into the ocean.


The sun rises on Pemaquid Point Light - Maine


Photo Details:

Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Settings: 6 bracketed exposures were captured at a 16mm Focal Length, f/22, and ISO 100. These were combined in Photomatix and blended together in Photoshop to achieve one balanced exposure. Contrast and color correction were tweaked in ColorEFX Pro by NIK software. Sharpening with NIK’s Sharpener Pro and noise in the darker areas and sky was taken care of with Noiseware. I did add a bit of a motion blur to one layer and blend it back in for the water and clouds. I thought this gave it a bit more dreamy appearance just in those areas.

Pemaquid Bellhouse

As I was leaving Pemaquid Point, I took this shot of the bellhouse wrapped in the warm morning glow. I almost talked myself out of getting up early and driving a two-hour round trip to this light on the same day I would be driving nine hours towards home. But I am glad that I did. I have some nice shots from here and it was just simply a really beautiful morning and a great spot to enjoy it.


The bellhouse at Pemaquid Point Light - Maine

Always New

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

-Victor Hugo – Les Misérables


I had realized by the very last day of the trip to Maine that I had yet to experience a sunrise on the coast. The day of the journey back to home began with an early morning trip to Pemaquid Point and the often photographed lighthouse there. Soon after getting a few shots of the light, my attention turned to the sea as is often the case. The clouds here are moving eastward and the sky was opening up after the previous days’ rain. It was a fitting beginning to the day and as well as a fitting end to the trip overall.


The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean at Pemaquid Point in Maine


Photo Details:

Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Settings: 16mm Focal Length, 1/50 sec @ f/16 ISO 100 (w/circular polarizer)

More and more often I am finding a single exposure that can be used for the final image, with Lightroom taking care of most of the processing. I was able to tone down the brightness of the sky and get detail from the foreground rocks in just the 0 exposure. I used OnOne’s Perfect Effects to add a very slight texture and more color to the sky and color correct the rocks in the foreground. I find that when I am processing shots with water, I often notice too much “blue” in the water. I think that this is because a single color temperature setting for a scene with water in it often does not work as the sky, foliage, etc. has very different reflective properties from water. So the water always ends up being a little too cool or blue. When I see this, I use the saturation slider in Lightroom specifically for the blue channel. You can crank this all the way up and see very obviously where the blue is hiding, then tone it back down until the water looks about right. This works especially well for waterfalls as I like my falls to look nice and crisp and white. Just be careful as you are applying a global adjustment to the image. You don’t want to desaturate other areas of the photo where you might want the blue channel to show through.