Prospect Harbor Point Light

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.


Don't Just Stand There! Photograph From Different Perspectives by Todd Henson

Most people create photos from the same position, standing up and holding the camera at eye level. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but if you always do it most of your photos will end up looking the same. If you’d like to give your photos a different look try shooting from different perspectives. Get up higher if you can, perhaps using a ladder. Lean down lower, or even lay on the ground. These different perspectives will help you create a range of images. The 3 images in this post are one example of how changing perspective can affect the look of an image.

Highest perspective. Prospect Harbor Point Light, a lighthouse in Maine.

The first photo was created at eye level. I was standing on a small raised portion of land looking out over the water. I thought it was a beautiful scene, with a very picturesque lighthouse on the far shore and some great fishing boats in the water for added interest. I like the photo. I think it works. But I knew there were other possibilities.

Middle perspective. Prospect Harbor Point Light, a lighthouse in Maine.

For the second photo I walked along the road, looking out at the lighthouse, watching the perspective change as I slowly walked downhill, closer to water level. If you look closely you can see the angle of the house beside the lighthouse has changed. The second image is more parallel to the camera. The first image was angled just slightly allowing you to see just a sliver of the left side. I also like this second image, and I think it also works. The elevation change has slightly changed the look of the image, but mostly the different look is due to a different composition. I was walking around, trying different shots.

Lowest perspective. Prospect Harbor Point Light, a lighthouse in Maine.

Finally, I walked all the way down to the water, to a small sandy beach. I found a position where I almost had a clear view of the lighthouse, with just a couple boats to the right. But to really change the look of the third image I got down low, bringing the camera almost to water level. You can tell it is a much lower position because the lighthouse now extends above the tree line. In the first image the lighthouse just reached the top of the tree line, and in the second it extended a little above it. To add a little more interest to the image I opened the aperture all the way, creating a very shallow depth of field, throwing the foreground water out of focus. I like this last image, and think it also works.

None of the images are necessarily better than the others. But each is different, both because I tried different compositions and because I changed my perspective, getting lower for each image. This is just one small example of how changing perspective can affect the look of an image. In this case it was subtle changes, but you can also create drastically different photos by changing perspective.

Next time you go out shooting I encourage you to try different perspectives. Don’t create all your images from the same eye-level perspective. Try different angles and different heights. If you’re photographing something down low, such as a flower, insect, or child, try getting down to their level. You’ll be creating an image from the perspective of your subject, and that can be an interesting change from the typical eye-level perspective.


10 Maine Lighthouses near Portland and Acadia National Park by Todd Henson

Maine is known for many things, one of which is its lighthouses. I recently visited Maine with my father. We were primarily in the region of Acadia National Park, but also visited the Portland area. I’ve never been all that drawn to lighthouses, but I’ve also not seen all that many. I had planned to photograph both the Portland Head Light and the Bass Harbor Head Light, two of the more well known lighthouses. These are iconic locations, so I figured I’d try to create my own images of them. But the more we saw the more I found myself drawn to lighthouses, and the more we sought them out. In the end I photographed 10 lighthouses along the coast of Maine.

1. Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light, in Maine, with rocky shore and view of Ram Island Ledge Light on an island in the bay

Perhaps the best known lighthouse in Maine is the Portland Head Light, located within Fort Williams State Park in Cape Elizabeth, just south of Portland. The lighthouse is the oldest in Maine and is still in operation. You can watch the light constantly rotate, flashing every few seconds. You can walk up to the lighthouse and the buildings around it, which include a small gift shop. Fort Williams State Park has a number of trails along the coast that give different views of the lighthouse and other sights. Look into the bay and you can also see the Ram Island Ledge Light. We were fortunate to have some interesting clouds in the sky during this visit. Other days were completely cloud free.

This photograph of Portland Head Light is available for purchase as wall art or on a variety of products.

2. Ram Island Ledge Light

Ram Island Ledge Light, in Maine, with white sailboat in foreground

Ram Island Ledge Light is at the entrance of the Portland Harbor and is visible from Fort Williams State Park and Portland Head Light. It sits on a rocky island in the bay. I was lucky to capture an image of it with a white sailboat passing by in the foreground.

3. Portland Breakwater (Bug) Light

Portland Breakwater (Bug) Light, in South Portland, Maine, with distant view of Fort Gorges to the left in the bay

Portland Breakwater Light, also called Bug Light for its small size, is located on shore at the entrance to Portland Harbor in Bug Light Park, South Portland. It’s at the end of a small rock walkway with a black fence. You can walk right up to and around the lighthouse. There are memorial stones along the length of the walkway. Bug Light is no longer in active use. From Bug Light Park you can see both Fort Gorges in the bay and Spring Point Ledge Light further along the shore.

4. Spring Point Ledge Light

Spring Point Ledge Light, in South Portland, Maine, with view of Fort Gorges and white sailboat in the bay

Spring Point Ledge Light is very close to Bug Light, near the Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. It is located at the end of a long rocky walkway. You can walk out to and around the lighthouse, though it is not smooth walking, and can be a little nerve racking in a strong wind. I watched as some folks turned around before reaching the lighthouse. We watched people fishing along the rocks at the base of the lighthouse. For the image, I liked how the rocky walkway leads directly to the lighthouse. I waited until the white sailboat was visible and not obscured by the rocks, and made sure Fort Gorges, on the left, was in the frame for a little added interest and context.

5 and 6. Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)

The Eastern Tower of Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights), in Maine, seen from rocky shore

The Western Tower of Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights), in Maine, seen from the grounds of a restaurant

Cape Elizabeth Light is home to two lighthouses known as Two Lights, located in Cape Elizabeth near Two Lights State Park, just south of Portland. The eastern tower is still active, but the western tower is now privately owned. I viewed the western tower from the grounds of a local restaurant, and the eastern tower from the rocky shore just beyond the restaurant. For the eastern tower image, I positioned the yellow foliage between the rocks and the trees to add a little more interest and draw the eye from the rocks up to the lighthouse. For the western tower image I liked the juxtaposition of the lighthouse with the “Thank You Please Come Again” sign from the restaurant.

The photograph of the Eastern Tower of Cape Elizabeth Light is available for purchase as wall art or on a variety of products.

7. Bass Harbor Head Light

Bass Harbor Head Light, in Acadia National Park, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Light is within Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island not far from the village of Bass Harbor. The lighthouse is still in active use but tourists can walk up to the lighthouse, and along a trail to stairs that head down to the rocky shoreline to get different views. I wasn’t able to get good views from the rocky shoreline this trip. Parking is very limited and this is a popular spot.

8. Egg Rock Light

Egg Rock Light on an island in Frenchman Bay, Maine, viewed from overlook in Acadia National Park

Egg Rock Light is on an island in Frenchman Bay, and has a different look than most of the other lighthouses. The lighthouse, itself, is in a tower within the keeper’s house, so it looks like a large house with the light tower at the top. We viewed the lighthouse from Acadia National Park on a drizzly day. Visibility went in and out as drizzle or fog moved through the area. To get a closer view of the lighthouse I used my 200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter.

9. Winter Harbor Light

Winter Harbor Light, on Mark Island, Maine, seen from rocky coast of the Schoodic Peninsula portion of Acadia National Park

Winter Harbor Light is located on Mark Island, not far from the town of Winter Harbor. It’s visible from several locations along the coast in the Schoodic Peninsula portion of Acadia National Park. Winter Harbor Light is no longer in active use and is privately owned. This view of the island was at quite a distance, so I used my longest lens (400mm) with a 1.4x teleconverter to get in closer.

10. Prospect Harbor Point Light

Prospect Harbor Light, Maine, with fishing boats in Inner Harbor, viewed from the shore of Prospect Harbor

Prospect Harbor Point Light is located on Prospect Harbor Point, which is a point that extends into Prospect Harbor, separating Sand Cove from Inner Harbor. It’s no longer possible to visit the grounds of the lighthouse, but it is visible from a couple locations. The photo was taken from across Inner Harbor along the shore of Prospect Harbor. I found a location where I could get down to water level, held the camera close to the water and used a wide aperture to give me a shallow depth of field, blurring out the foreground water. I like the effect this gives.



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