Cape Neddick (a/k/a “Nubble”) Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

FOR SOME years now, I have thought about a trip to “mid-coast” Maine, primarily to shoot lighthouses, but also some seacoast and harbors. This year in April, my buddy, Rich, helped me make that trip possible. An executive in a Michigan Company that has one of its divisions headquartered in Yarmouth, Maine, Rich makes frequent trips to the Portsmouth area. Also an avid photographer, he has traveled the coastal areas of Maine a fair amount. It was really fun to join him and have him serve as chauffeur and guide.

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

ON MY list were 3 prominent lighthouses: Portland Head Light, Nubble Light, and Pemaquid Point Light. I cover Portland and Pemaquid in separate blogs. But I mention all three, because they are probably the most often photographed (Portland Head is perhaps the most photographed light anywhere), and I had seen them in print a few times. In terms of importance to me, they went in the order ascribed above. The good news was our hotel was just 15 minutes from Portland Head. So we were able to get their early easily a couple times. The others were over an hour from us. We did, however, make it to Pemaquid at sunrise one morning.

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

THE NUBBLE Light is certainly iconic. In seasons, it is decorated and lit accordingly. I would love to visit it after dark, during the Christmas season. I have seen shots with the complex lit up with decorative lights, and even reflections in the water in the middle ground of the image. But its orientation meant that a sunrise would (especially at this time of year) would probably yield nothing more than a silhouette. All of our research suggested that the time to photograph this lighthouse was late afternoon into evening. So the morning we visited Nubble, we started at Portland Head at sunrise, and then worked our way down toward Cape Neddick. As you can see, every shot here was made late in the afternoon (note that the light is on in a few of the images).

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

WHILE THE day dawned partly sunny, it deteriorated as it went on. We did find a couple nice harbors, including Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, and Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport. But the light was capricious that day, every-once-in-a-while suggesting rays of sun, only to ultimately disappoint. We made the best of it, finding colorful scenes in which we could exclude backgrounds, or shots that I later used Photoshop “replace” sky, to create images I think “could have been.”

Cape Porpoise
Kennebunkport, Maine
My “take” on a sunrise that could have been.
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

WE DID have the pleasure of having my co-author on the Vermont ebook, Carol Smith, drive up from Boston (with a couple photographer friends), and we spent most of the day with them, including a warming and social breakfast break near Cape Neddick.

Perkins Cove
Ogunquit, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

BEING THAT the light wasn’t conducive to shooting – we took a side trip to Cape Neddick to “scout” the Nubble Light and look at composition and viewpoint. We then “hoped” for clearing – especially toward the end of the day. We returned around 5:30 p.m. to grey, overcast, and very windy conditions. It was the first (and only) time I was cold during the trip. The Boston Group (all of whom had photographed the lighthouse in the past), left about then, for their trip back, knowing this wasn’t going to be the “magic” afternoon/evening. And it wasn’t. 😦 My composited image below is the way I might have imagined it to be on a relatively clear, sunny day, at twilight. 

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

THING IS, I am getting older (every year 🙂 ) and running out of time, with lots of places still on my horizon. I don’t know that I will ever have another chance at this one. So, we persevered, and hung around until just before dark. We probably should have stayed longer, but we were tired, hungry and had over an hour to get back to our hotel, with plans to be out early again the next morning. Just as it began to get dark, the sun finally teased us with some patches of blue and brightness against the clouds as things cleared from the west. And as the last image demonstrates, sometimes perseverance pays off.

Nubble Lighthouse
Cape Neddick, Maine
Copyright Andy Richards 2022
All Rights Reserved

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