It felt so good to get out and shoot this morning. I haven’t made too many sunrises in the past month or so, mainly because the light hasn’t been too promising, but also because I haven’t had the will to deprive myself of sleep. The rewards are evident, but it’s just plain hard to get up at 4 AM.
4 AM it was when the alarm went off this morning. I rolled out of bed and checked the satellite images on my phone. The clouds looked good for a dramatic sunrise, so I considered my options. The skies were clear from Augusta to Belfast, so heading Northeast wasn’t looking good. I-295 South would take me to the better light. After driving for a while, I could see the break beneath the bank of clouds was fairly far south. This meant that I would need to go further south. Portland was my first thought, but Old Orchard Beach was growing in my mind.
What I’m saying here is, whenever I plan for a shoot, it’s always contingent on finding the best light. If I go to sleep thinking of great shots around Camden, as I did last night, but I wake up to find that the light looks like it will be better to the south, south I go. Anyways, Old Orchard seemed like the best option for good light, but as happens time and time again, I felt a strong pull to visit Portland Head Light.
I usually park outside the gate at PHL and walk in, but for some reason the gate was wide open at 4:45 AM! Nice. Scouting shots and compositions is always a joy here. I had in mind a panorama of the horseshoe-shaped cove on the more popular side of the lighthouse, but as the light began to really blow up, I was having difficulties panning the head on my cheap tripod. If there was ever a wake-up call for upgrading to better gear, this was it. I was wasting precious time and the sunrise was quickly becoming epic.
I did what I could with the pano, but the amount of bracketing required to get the shadowed foreground and lighthouse and blazing sky properly exposed was too much. I quickly reviewed the h