The Coldest Day — Part Two

In a previous post, I wrote about my last-minute trip to Maine in early February to photograph sea smoke.  The arctic blast of air that I wanted to photograph was only going to last about 24 hours, which meant I’d only get one shot at a sea smoke sunrise — so I decided to go to Whaleback lighthouse, which I think was the right decision.  My other potential location was in South Portland at Willard Beach, which has a great view of some fish shacks as well as the Portland Head Lighthouse.  It’s also close to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.

When I finished at Whaleback lighthouse, I quickly packed up and checked out of my hotel in Kittery.  With the temperatures still well below zero, I knew I’d probably have a chance to get some sea smoke pictures in Portland as well, though they wouldn’t have the yellow glow of the early morning sun.

When I arrived in Portland, it was close to 10:00 am, but it was still -9F with brisk windchills.  I parked near the end of Willard Beach and photographed two scenes.  This one is the view of the fishing shacks at Willard Beach, with Portland Head Light in the background. For this photo, I use a 600mm lens to compress the image, making the lighthouse look much closer than it really is.  Since this isn’t a closeup, you really get to see a lot of the sea smoke.



This view is of a dory that floats offshore year-round.  I moved down to the beach and again used a long telephoto lens to make the lighthouse seem much closer and larger than it actually is.  I took a few dozen photos like this, and I think this one probably turned out best.  It was hard to get the dory relatively sharp as it was moving around, and the sea smoke makes it harder to focus.



I then moved over to Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is much closer to shore, so the visual impact of the sea smoke is diminished.  I took one photo of it with the Casco Bay Ferry, which was still running despite the cold.



As the temperature crept closer to zero, the sea smoke started to diminish.  By late afternoon, it was up to nearly ten degrees and the sea smoke was long gone.  I spent a few more days in Maine and got some more nice photos, so I’ll be showing those in future posts.



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