Maine Harbors and Lighthouses Workshop 2022
The coast of Maine offers some of the most scenic and photogenic maritime scenes in the United States. For our 2022 photo workshop, we focused on capturing the historic charm of the harbors, fishing wharves, lobster boats, lighthouses, and rocky cliffs in the area.
This workshop was scheduled to occur during the full moon so our photo opportunities could take advantage of the moon. I traveled to Maine several days early to get up to date on lobster trap placement and how many lobster boats were out fishing each day. A couple of the photographers also happened to meet up with me the day before the official start of the workshop.
On Friday evening, the whole group officially set up for the moon to rise behind the Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, which sat about a half mile offshore. There was a slight haze in the air not from moisture, but because of the fires burning on the West Coast. As the moon rose and drifted to the right, we constantly adjusted our exposure and positioning to keep it in our field of view. Once we were satisfied with our Whaleback Lighthouse shots, we walked to the other side of the park and photographed the Portsmouth Lighthouse, several hundred yards to our north.
The following morning, we got up before dawn and departed on our chartered boat for Boon Island Lighthouse to capture the full moon set and then sunrise. Like the previous night, the smoky, hazy sky softened the brightness of the moon and added extra saturation to the sunrise. Once we finished at Boon Island, we photographed three other lighthouses from the boat before returning to port.
As it turned out, the captain of our lighthouse boat also has a lobster harvesting demonstration license and lobster boat. To the surprise of the photographers, I had arranged with the captain to charter his lobster boat as well. Also, two days before our workshop, the captain and I had strategically placed a couple of lobster traps near Whaleback Lighthouse to set up the unique opportunity of photographing him checking the traps with the lighthouse in the background.
We returned to shore and took a midday break before meeting back up in Georgetown to photograph the harbor and surrounding landscape. Due to high fuel prices and low lobster prices, there was not much fishing activity around the harbor, resulting in few photo opportunities. After a short discussion with the photographers, we opted to change plans and drive over to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse for the moonrise.
We made it to Pemaquid Point with about 10 minutes to spare and picked our spot. There was less haze in the sky here so the moon appeared much sharper on the horizon when it started to rise. We shot night photos at Pemaquid for about an hour before calling it a night and making our way south to our final photo stop at the Old Orchard Beach Pier on Sunday morning.
The photographers on the workshop all came away with a great variety of photos of Maine’s maritime landscape and culture.
Keep an eye out for announcements regarding more photo workshops of Maine’s harbors and lighthouses in 2023.