Spring in the Air at Portland Head
Well, Spring is finally here and it is really starting to feel like it along the Maine coast. Though the trees and vegetation remain in their dull, brown state, the warmer weather we have received for the past week or so has been quite a refreshing change from the winter cold. So with temperatures rising into the 50’s on a sunny morning last week, I took the opportunity to head down to Portland Head Lighthouse to enjoy the seasonable weather.
Arriving at the lighthouse around mid morning, I was greeted by a light sea breeze blowing from the south. The park was quiet as I headed down to the rocks just south of the lighthouse. Stopping for a moment to just stand still and observe the scene and the sounds that accompany it, I could hear the sound of the waves rolling along the boulder beach below the lighthouse, along with the occasional cry of a lone gull.
I then began to make my way down the rocks to the small beach, which is usually a nice spot to capture the sea rolling in with the lighthouse framed above the incoming surf. The rocks were dry thanks to the warmth of the sun and ocean breeze, which made climbing down them a much easier task. Once I arrived at the bottom, I set out looking for a composition to shoot. It was nearly low tide, which meant the water had receded to expose a large portion of the boulder beach, as well some of the large rocks I was thinking of including in an image with the water. Since that wasn’t possible, I looked around and found a few little pools of water that had gathered up on these large rocks. After playing with some compositions that ended up feeling a little lackluster, I made my way back up the rocks in search of a rock formation that I had found on a trip last year.
After a little bit of searching, I eventually found what I was looking for. When I had discovered this area on my last visit, the light wasn’t ideal to capture a nice image. Today the rock was lit up nicely, so I set about trying to find the best angle to capture it with the lighthouse. After a few minutes of arranging all the elements of the composition, I took a few shots of the scene and then headed further out toward the tideline to see if I could incorporate the crashing surf into an image.
Meandering around the rocks for a few minutes, I finally came to the end of a rock face and found what I was looking for. There was a spit of rock in the midst of open water, being constantly inundated by the tide when the sea surged forth. This was beautifully framed by the lighthouse directly over top of it and I quickly began to set up my gear to capture the scene. I was able to capture multiple images of each wave as it washed over the rock, and then slowly retreated away. After 15 minutes or so of capturing scores of unique waves, I began to pack my gear away, satisfied that one of these images achieved my vision.
The breeze was slowly beginning to pick up by the water, bringing with it a little chill to the air. Happy with the images I was able to capture, and the park beginning to get busier as the lunch hour approached, I decided to call it a day. The warm air and accompanying breeze was still enjoyable as I made my back to the parking lot, and it’s days like this that make it such a treat to be out along the Maine coast!