Maine’s Lighthouses

Strictly speaking, lighthouses are not part of the natural environment since they’re human-made. Nevertheless, they occupy a special place in our collective psyche. Everyone loves lighthouses—they always have onlookers on nice days, particularly on week-ends and holidays. They are one of the few things we have built that just seem to fit in with the natural environment, so I include two here.

The first three photographs show Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park on Cape Elizabeth. I’m told this is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine. It’s certainly has to be one of the most sketched. I counted about half a dozen artists working from a range of vantage points.


By the way, this is an active light, as you can see by its lit beacon. Many lighthouses across the U.S. are no longer in service, due to “better” means of navigation. They have either become museums or they are privately owned—some converted into seaside housing.

I made these shots about an hour-and-a-half before sunset to take advantage of shadows. They’re okay, but perhaps they would be better shrouded in a light fog. What do you think?
I then moved to the opposite side of the lighthouse and captured the following scene. This, I think, is the better view of the light. The small craft returning to port also added a bit of interest as it appeared between the rocky ledge.

The next day I drove further down Cape Elizabeth to its lighthouse of the same name. It overlooks the Atlantic Ocean at the southern entrance to Casco Bay. This day I decided to take a different tact and photograph the lighthouse from daylight to dusk.

The first shot shows the lighthouse at 6:24PM, followed by shots at 6:58PM and 7:07PM. These latter two shots lend a bit of surrealism to the scenes.

IMG_4947 IMG_4959

In the near future I’ll be heading up to Penobscot Bay to photograph Owl’s Head Lighthouse and the Bay.

-From Portland and the mid-coast

Author: Stephen Fielding Images

I'm a retired medical sociologist from the University of Rochester. Climate change is one of the two great challenges facing humanity (the other is nuclear weapons). In writing about the impact of climate change I read reputable books and articles on the topic. So when I make statements about climate change you will see a link taking you to the scientific source(s) of the information I provide. As for my independently published photobooks, each has gone through several layers of editing and peer review for both readability and accuracy. This is not to say that everything I say is accurate. Even the New York Times makes mistakes. So, if you find something that is factually incorrect, let me know. I hope you find reading my blog a positive experience. If you do, please encourage your family and friends to have a look. You can find photos from my other photo work by clicking on the My SmugMug Gallery tab, above. Best wishes, -Steve

One thought on “Maine’s Lighthouses”

  1. Outstanding. I love how you captured the colors and the light of the water and sky

    Mark Dieter

    From: Stephen Fielding Images Reply-To: Stephen Fielding Images Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM To: Mark Dieter Subject: [New post] Maine¹s Lighthouses Stephen Fielding Images posted: “Strictly speaking, lighthouses are not part of the natural environment since they¹re human-made. Nevertheless, they occupy a special place in our collective psyche. Everyone loves lighthouses‹they always have onlookers on nice days, particularly on week-e”


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