South Portland: A David and Goliath Story

Last night I went to Bug Light Park about a half hour after sunset. It was 29oF with a northwest wind about 16 MPH. Although I was dressed in layers, my fingertips became numb even with gloves and hand warmers. However, the bigger problem was the wind vibrating the camera during long exposures. Fortunately, I was able to control this by not fully extending the tripod and holding it firmly during the exposures.

South Portland recently prevailed in a suit regarding its clear skies ordinance. It also obtained an agreement with the EPA about improved monitoring of emissions from heated storage tanks located by the inner harbor.

You can see where supertankers once unloaded crude from the Middle-East for pipeline shipment to Montreal in the photo, below. However, Montreal stopped receiving that oil as a result of its production of tar sands shale production in Alberta. Instead, Canada wanted to send that dirtier oil through the pipeline to Portland for distribution along the east coast. That, too, has been blocked by Clear Skies.

You can also see the oil off-loading pier, below. These are digital photographs taken with my new Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 lens (the “pancake” lens). I also took a couple of 35mm star-trail photos of Casco Bay using Kodak’s Ektachrome Professional E200 film. This is considered to be one of the best color, fine-grain films for astrophotography (wow, I haven’t shot my go to film, Ektachrome, in about 45 years!). Film is better for long exposures because it doesn’t developed hot pixels (which look like stars) like long digital exposures. Instead, when using digital you have to take a series of sequential short exposures and then stitch them together in Photoshop to see the star-trails. Of course, you won’t see my film shots for awhile since I have 34 exposures remaining and then the film has to be sent to Kansas or California for processing.

You can find my best shots of the night at my on-line gallery.