Lost and found: Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, MaineIf you’ve been following my earlier posts about our trip to Mt. Desert Island Maine, then you know that we ran into some very heavy fog along the way.  I was concerned that the lighthouse, (assuming we could find it in “the soup”), would be so fogged in that I’d miss that iconic picture that I hoped for.

Well, upon arrival, we managed to snag one of the few parking spaces and, like every other visitor, headed down the main path to the right of the lighthouse.  And there it was: small, almost petite for a lighthouse, white and grey against a white and grey background.  Not much to look at, really.

Stairway to the rocks below Bass Head LighthouseBut having done some homework beforehand, I knew that there was an unmarked path to the left of the lighthouse that ordinarily, according to the literature, provided a better perspective.  Worth a shot, I thought.

We headed for that path, descended some rustic wooden stairs and found ourselves on the rocky coastline of Maine, rugged and ancient, and like everything else we saw that day, shrouded in grey and white.

Rocky coast of Maine, Bass Harbor

Rocky coast of Maine, Bass Harbor

Not being exactly certain how to shoot the Bass Harbor Light in these conditions, I bracketed +/- 1 stop, and experimented with tone mapping in Corel PSP X4 to try to balance the range of (abundant) shadows and (limited) highlights in the scene.

Bass Head Lighthouse in the fog, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

Bass Head Lighthouse in the fog, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

Ok, so it’s not the vibrant scene I’d appreciated in tour books and on the web, but at least I was there and able to get something.

We spent another 45 minutes or so climbing over the rocks, taking pictures, grateful for the opportunity to be in such an alluring place, despite the weather.  And then it happened.

First it was just a glimpse, and then a swath, but there was actually BLUE in the sky!  the sea began to change from grey to blue too, as the clouds burned off and the beauty of this southern tip of the island revealed itself.

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine in HDR

With a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude, we started to climb back up towards the stairs and the car.  But I took one last photo.  This one was with my iPhone 4, using the app HDR Pro, which takes two images, aligns and merges them, and then allows for some fine-tuning.  I wanted something that I could easily send home to family members, so they could share in our experience.  I didn’t expect much, but in the end, I thought this iPhone pic, unedited, was actually pretty good.

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine, HDR Pro, iPhone 4

Bass Head Lighthouse, Mt. Dessert Island, Maine, HDR Pro, iPhone 4

So, the moral of the story is…  never say never, be patient, and your wishes just might come true.

Thanks for visiting 2 Guys Photo.


About Ed Spadoni

www.2GuysPhoto.com "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
This entry was posted in Images, iPhone/cell phone, nikon, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lost and found: Bass Harbor Lighthouse

  1. Ed,

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I shoot trains, and on my birthday last year, I went to Baltimore’s B&O museum to shoot the vintage diesel and steam engines on display there. Being the proactive kinda guy I am, I called and got the times, etc. My fiance and I went promptly and got there 1/2 hour early (to avoid the crowds, ‘natch). Well, after waiting for a full hour (1/2 hour after opening) and seeing one person behind the closed gate, I went to the entrance and spoke to the lone individual in the lot. “We’re closed for renovations today. Tomorrow is our grand re-opening.”, he told me. Argh! This was my birthday, and I only had THAT day to shoot as I had to return to Jersey to work the next day! Well, I gave him my sad story and said I wouldn’t be able to return the following day, that I came ALL THE WAY from New Jersey ON MY BIRTHDAY to see the engines. He got quiet for a minute and then said, “OK, you can come in and shoot the yard for about 1/2 hour…and Happy Birthday”. Yes! I had complete free reign in the yard with NO CROWDS for 30 minutes (it went by quickly). Bottom line…be patient…things will happen.

    Frank V.

  2. David Patterson says:

    I’d say you did good 🙂

    Bass Harbor is one of those little places where you can spend all sorts of time exploring the rocky shoreline. It’s also one of those places that you can get a totally different photograph each time you return… all depending on the weather and the light. Nice work!

    • 2guysphoto says:

      Thanks David. It’s a wonderful spot under any conditions, as is the entire island. I see that you’re a regular visitor to the area so as much as I’d like to revisit frequently, I’ll accomplish that through your blog and wonderful photography for now! Ed


    Hi Ed, Nice article and pictures. love Dad


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