In this second post in the Thursday sunrise/sunset series, we experience quite the contrast over last week’s post. Whereas the weather in Bar Harbor in June was rather pleasant, this morning in March of 2019 was a little colder…
For this photoshoot, a number of us hardy souls met at Portland Head lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. On this early March morning the temperature was about 4F at the time of this capture (6:00 am).
I vividly remember wearing several bulky layers to stay warm and wearing my woolen flip-top mittens, so that I could expose my fingers for the shortest possible amount of time. I was happy that there was barely the lightest breeze, as any significant wind would have been brutal.
At this location, I took my first pre-dawn shots at 5:32 am and the last ones at 6:44 am; for each I took a series of 3 exposure-bracketed shots, so that I could process them for HDR. This series centered at ISO 320 F/10 and 1/60s using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM lens.
Processing for HDR was done using Skylum’s Luminar Neo; I then made use of a template that I have created for Skylum’s Luminar AI software for color adjustments and structure; after that I used Adobe Photoshop to add a bit of soft light, contrast, final crop and text.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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8 thoughts on “Sunrise at Portland Head”
This is really amazing, Frank 🙂
Thank you very much, Hammad!
This is beautiful! Someday I hope to learn more about editing and settings. I guess right now I don’t have the patience. But I get inspired by beautiful photos!!
Lisa, it’s worth the time, as it enables you to express more of yourself through your photography. Once you start it will become an indispensable part of how you see the world around you.
I just need to take the time to learn!
This is amazing.