One of my primary objectives on the Maine trip was to capture an iconic image of Portland Head Light. We had flown into Portland and would fly out of there as well. As it turned out, the lighthouse was only twenty minutes away from the airport. So, I would have three shots at photographing the lighthouse. I thought that would surely be enough and I certainly would get good conditions on at least one of my visits. As it turned out, I needed to learn a thing or two about the weather in coastal Maine.
On landing we headed straight to Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth hoping to catch a break in the weather and to capture a decent image of the lighthouse. Even though the conditions were gloomy while landing, we still took the trip over. We had no luck although we did capture a good image of the lighthouse then. As it turned out, this image was the best one of the lighthouse on the entire trip.
We returned the next morning only to find even worse conditions. It was neat to hear the foghorn and bell, smell the salty air, and experience the Maine-like conditions. It just wasn’t the photograph I had envisioned. I left disappointed but hopeful because I knew that I would have another shot at the image at the end of our trip. Surely conditions would change by then.
And conditions did change. After a deluge the following day and evening, the weather turned clear, crisp, and beautiful. We had wonderful conditions for photographing Acadia and on our way back down the coast toward Portland. But, on our last day, the weather turned against us once again. The rain moved back in and fog settled along much of the coast. The good news was that this weather system was supposed to be short-lived. The bad news was that it wasn’t supposed to lift until a few hours before our plane took off.
So, in order to have one more shot at the jealously sought after iconic image of Portland Head Light, we headed there as the last stop of our trip. We had an hour or so to kill before we had to be at the airport. The weather forecast showed that we should now be experiencing clearing skies. However, this image shows what we actually experienced. The ceiling wasn’t quite as low as it had been at the beginning of the trip, but it still wasn’t the brilliant sunrise or sunset I had hoped for. It wasn’t even a partly cloudy sky to make for an interesting background to the shot. So, I took this image from the trail on the opposite side of the lighthouse from where the original image was taken. I like the way the ocean is bubbling and boiling below. But, alas, it wasn’t the image I had hoped for.
Having squeezed out as much time as we could and not be in jeopardy of missing our flight, we left Cape Elizabeth. We made our way back to the airport, returned our rental car, checked in, and headed for the gate. Have you been to the Portland airport before? It’s a really neat small airport with modern architecture and neat artwork hanging from the ceilings. It also has huge floor to ceiling windows that allow you to take in the surrounding views. And what did I see? Yes, the elusive blue skies were lifting from the coast and beautiful sunshine began to flood the airport. We had only missed ideal conditions by an hour! I was totally bummed and more than a bit frustrated. I wanted to head back out right then and take my shot. But, I couldn’t.
All things considered, it was a brilliant trip. Maine was everything I had hoped it would be. The conditions had been as good as I could have hoped for. I had captured some amazing images – and I had a perfect excuse to return.