2020—Portland Head LIGHT

The Portland Head Light, completed in 1791 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine sits at the entrance to Portland Harbor in Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. It is the oldest lighthouse in Maine but was decommissioned in 1989 after 198 years of operation. To me, it is the quintessential light house with its tower and light perched on a rocky outcropping, waves crashing beneath it. For this photograph taken just before sunrise at about 6:30 AM, I used a ten-stop neutral density filter to produce a very long, eight minute exposure to blur and soften the waves and capture the clouds as streaks in the sky with just a hint of the sun’s morning blush. I calculated the exposure time using the NDTimer app on my iPhone. With the ND filter off the lens, I determined the exposure to get the look I wanted for the photograph, then noting the shutter speed, I attached the ND filter to the lens and entered that number along with the type of ND filter so that the app calculated the time needed for the exposure I sought. I turned on the camera’s Manual Mode, set the aperture I had decided on in the test exposure, and set the shutter speed dial to Time. simultaneously pressing the shutter release and the start button on the NDTimer App starts the process with my iPhone timing the exposure and chiming the alarm when it was time to stop the exposure. This was my first exposure Wednesday morning, using my Nikon Z7 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens with a Breakthrough 10-stop Neutral Density filter.

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