Photographing Bass Head Light

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Kathy and I took our long-planned trip to Maine in May. After a quick flight to Boston, it took the rest of the day to make the drive to Bar Harbor, including a stop at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport.

Unfortunately, the weather was overcast with a low ceiling, mist, and fog for the first two of our three nights in the area. I like pictures in foggy locations: they can be very evocative. But it was getting very tiresome.

Finally, Night #3's weather was perfect. We arrived at Bass Head about 7:00 PM. With the late sunset of the northern latitudes we knew we were in for a long evening. There were several photographers there already, but there was plenty of room for us to find our own spots, so we planted our tripods and waited.

It being May, sunset was late (7:45), and we took a few frames now and then, adjusting our locations slightly. Finally, I captured the first of my two favorite shots as the sun dropped to the horizon. A few minutes later the other photographers packed up and left, leaving just the two of us. Apparently, they were unfamiliar with the Blue Hour, scheduled to last until 8:45. The sky turned a deep blue and a few stars appeared. I took the second photo, a 30-second exposure, at almost 9 PM. It now hangs as a beautiful canvas print on my office wall. (Thank you, Kathy.)

The lesson: sometimes it doesn't get interesting until the other photographers leave.

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Mario Dennis