Milky Way Over Marshall Point

New Work: Milky Way Over Marshall Point

A blog post about capturing the night sky over one of Maine's most beloved lighthouses

Capturing the Milky Way over a well-known landmark is a formula for an eye-catching image. Back in March, I wrote about making a similar shot in Cape Neddick, with the Nubble Lighthouse as the subject.  Last night, with the weather forecast looking cooperative, I decided to knock another lighthouse off my list, by photographing the Milky Way over Marshall Point Lighthouse, the lighthouse featured in the movie Forrest Gump.

I arrived shortly after sunset and enjoyed a bit of the afterglow but waited a bit to start photographing. As it got darker I made my way down on the rocks near the base of the lighthouse, knowing the tide was coming in and would soon make this spot inaccessible unless I wanted to swim. Finding my spot, I did some experimenting to find the exposure and composition I wanted. Once I had that, I set about making several exposures- in this case, 14- so I could stack them together and reduce the amount of noise that is inherent in low-light images taken with a digital camera.

Two things made this image special for me. From a purely photographic standpoint, I got a little lucky. There was just enough moisture in the air to create the rays of light emanating from the lighthouse, which adds some nice depth to the image. The second thing was I spent several hours under the stars with my son and a couple of friends, which always makes getting out worthwhile. I find some of my fondest memories are the ones I've made while out photographing with the people in my life.  I hope you enjoy this image!