Jun 25, 2013

Scenic Maine Breakwater Lighthouse Photography

We recently had a chance to spend an overnight in Portland Maine. Weather was gorgeous the first day and overcast the next. At sunset I made my way out eying a Portland skyline shot. The location turned out not to be pristine of that particular night for twilight Skyline Photography but the bug lighthouse made up big time for that disappointment. Upon arrival a beautiful sailboat was sailing into the harbor and I barely had enough time to make it from the parking lot to the shoreline to snap a few hand-held pictures. 

If you are a regular reader of my photo blog you know how I feel about not using a tripod! Following this attempt I settled in and started composing around the rocky shoreline and the Breakwater lighthouse. The sunset provided a beautiful backdrop. Using the rocks as a compositional foreground feature that also leads the viewer to the main subject of the lighthouse I released the shutter for multiple exposures and compositions. Deciding on the right format, Portrait or Landscape, was not an easy task either which is why I captured this Maine lighthouse in both formats. The critical tool was a neutral density photo filter. This filter allows lengthening exposure times to multiple seconds, thereby beautifully blurring out the water and creating a Silky Water Effect of the incoming tidal waves. The camera aperture in the portrait format was set to f/22 while for the landscape format photograph was f/18. Combined with an ISO setting of 100 and the neutral density filter reducing the incoming light, exposure times of 20 and 25 seconds respectively were achieved. During post processing dust spot removal was applied to clean up the image a bit. Minimal contrast, lighting and color saturation adjustments were made during post processing before sharpening provided the final photography images of this Scenic Maine lighthouse in Portland.

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