Watching Over Prospect Harbor by Todd Henson

Watching Over Prospect Harbor

During a vacation in Maine my father and I viewed and photographed a number of lighthouses, one of which was Prospect Harbor Point Light. It’s located on a point that juts into Prospect Harbor, watching over the many fishing boats that work those waters.

We had first viewed Prospect Harbor Point Light from Main Street, Gouldsboro. This was across Inner Harbor from the lighthouse and provided a nice view with fishing boats in the harbor and the lighthouse across the water in the background. I created a number of images from different perspectives in this area.

Later we drove around Inner Harbor to see whether it was possible to get a different perspective entirely. We discovered the grounds of the lighthouse are fenced in and not open to the public, but it can be seen from outside the fenced in area. That’s where I created the image above. I really like the view of lighthouses looking out on the waters they watch over, so I was pleased to find this perspective.

If you ever happen to visit this area and are looking for a bite to eat I’d recommend heading over to Birch Harbor where you’ll find The Pickled Wrinkle. This was an unexpected find and one we really enjoyed. It’s open year-round, so you can stop by even during the off season. And in case you’re curious, as I was, how the restaurant got its name, it’s from a type of carnivorous sea snail, also called a whelk. They are caught locally, pickled, and served as Pickled Wrinkles. Apparently they are a bit of an old Downeast Maine delicacy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any when we were there, but perhaps they will when you visit.

Watching Over Prospect Harbor is available for purchase as wall art or on a variety of products.

Keeping Watch by Todd Henson

Keeping Watch - Portland Head Light watching over Casco Bay

Maine’s coastline can be a rough and rocky terrain, potentially dangerous for the boats and ships that must navigate its waters. Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in Maine, stands watch over Casco Bay and the channel leading into Portland Harbor. Located in Cape Elizabeth within Fort Williams State Park, Portland Head Light is likely the best known lighthouse in Maine.

Being the most popular Maine Lighthouse also makes Portland Head Light one of the most photographed. Most of the photos I’d seen of the lighthouse were grand sweeping landscape images that included much of the coastline and the grand keeper’s house and were often full of bold, vibrant colors. There are some really fantastic photographs out there of this lighthouse. But I wanted to try something with a different feel to it.

Trails follow the coastline in Fort Williams State Park, so I chose a path to the left of the lighthouse. I found a vantage point that let me isolate the lighthouse from the keeper’s house and the other small buildings. I really liked the idea of this lone sentinel atop the rocky coast standing watch over the bay. Late afternoon storm clouds covered most of the sky, with a bit of a clearing towards the left. I liked how this clearing to the left helped balance the lighthouse to the right. And finally, processing the photo in black & white helped add to the mood I was looking for.

It didn’t matter that people were all around me walking the trails of the park. Carefully isolating the lighthouse from the rest of the scenery helped create a quiet, intimate look at a lighthouse and the body of water it keeps watch over.

Keeping Watch is available for purchase as wall art or on a variety of products.

Storytelling Example Using Kayakers on Jordan Pond by Todd Henson

Photography is a form of storytelling. A single photograph can tell a story. It can make you think, make you wonder about what’s happening, what you are seeing, where the people are looking, or what the animal is doing. And a series of photographs can be used to tell a longer story, one told in vignettes, each frame telling its own story while also contributing to the larger story as a whole.

National Geographic Magazine is full of great examples of stories told through series of images. Most articles in their magazine include a series of photographs that help tell the story, that enhance the words and help draw in the reader. These photographs are typically created intentionally with storytelling in mind, with that specific article in mind.

I recently thought about storytelling when going back through my photographs of Acadia National Park in Maine. I had not thought much about storytelling during the trip. It was a vacation to get away from work, to clear my mind and spend some time with my father. We just wanted to see some sights and eat some great food.

But recently, going back through the images, I began to see the potential for a story. The images were of Jordan Pond in the fog. Initially I was attempting to create landscape images, showing the pond and the fog along with parts of the shore, some rocks, trees, etc. But then I saw kayakers on the pond and began focusing in on them, integrating them into the photographs. They made great subjects.

Looking back at the images I wondered if there might be a combination of images that could tell a story. I tried to imagine my vacation had been an assignment, that I needed a series of photographs to go along with a story. So I edited them down to the selection you see in this post.

I don’t have a written story for these images. This was just an exercise to see how I might pull together images if there were one. But this also was an exercise to help get me thinking more intentionally on future trips or future photo shoots, to think about telling a story with the images I create. Instead of just creating a large number of individual images I can attempt to intentionally create a series to tell a story.

Have you ever attempted to tell a story using a series of images? If not then I encourage you to give it a try. If you have then leave a comment below and let me know about your experiences.

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