Iconic Places

18 Mar


I have a love-hate relationship with famous, overly photographed locations.  On the one hand, they look so damn beautiful…obviously I want to visit them.  On the other hand, I want to build a portfolio full of fresh images.

In most cases, the solution is to find a new take on an old place.  The goal for any location is to make an image that reflects my experiences and my interpretation of the icon.  At Bass Harbor Light, however…well…good luck. lol

David and I got to Acadia just in time for sunset so we raced to Bass Harbor, hoping to have a half hour to scout before the real light show began.  What we found was about a 30 foot wide space – the only vantage point from this side of the lighthouse – crammed with approximately 15 photographers.  About 10 of those had tripods.

We took what we could get.  I spent more energy trying not to fall off the cliff into the ocean than I did on my composition.  There was only one composition…the one that fit between the lens of the other photographers.

In fact, after I took the image, I forgot about it.  The world doesn’t need another almost identical shot of Bass Harbor Light, does it?

No, it doesn’t.  But turns out, our upcoming book might…and an edited photo is meant to be shared. lol  Here is a little sneak-peak at something that might make it to the book.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, then at least the internet is one lighthouse photo richer today. 🙂

32 Responses to “Iconic Places”

  1. Rob Moses Photography March 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm #


  2. bigsurkate March 18, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    That is absolutely exquisite!


    • seeingspotsphoto March 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks so much, Kate. Its kind of a New England classic. 🙂

  3. trietnguyen1982 March 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    wow, beautiful place 🙂

  4. Pat Reeder March 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this picture. It may be overly photographed, but I have never seen it You brightened my day. Love you, Aunt Pat

  5. Foghorn The IKonoclast March 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    The lighting adds something more to it. Thanks!

    • seeingspotsphoto March 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

      It sure was a pretty sunset. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

  6. Alex Roan March 18, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Haha – I appreciate your love / hate affair. I have similar reactions to beautiful sunsets and sunrises, sometimes I want to make the effort to go to the right place get up at a crazy time and get a great photo, it’ll be beautiful.. but.. you know… soooo many !!

    I tip I was given once on working the scene was to take the photo I immediately want at a scene, and then force myself to take a complete film roll or in the digital world 10/20/30 different shots using different focal lengths, different selective focus, different compositions etc.

    Perhaps that’s a good tip for some of these scenes?

    • seeingspotsphoto March 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Its absolutely good advice. I think those sort of exercises are great for creativity and experience. Not all of your captures will be award winning, but the experience you gain is priceless.

      And thats how I feel about most sunrises. I wish they were…well…later. Lol

  7. TPJ March 18, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    But was the picture new to you? There is no new direction on the Eiffel tower. I have a picture I shot that I love. Reminds me of the day.

    • seeingspotsphoto March 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      Good point. It is a good way for me to remember the trip and day. 🙂

  8. Len March 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    One of my favorite places and beautifully shot Shannon. If you only had 15 photographers there, then you were lucky. The times I have shot there, it was at least double that. I try to get there about 2 hours before sunset.

    • seeingspotsphoto March 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      Honestly, there may have been more than that but I only recall about that many people w tripods and obviously holding cameras. There were a bunch more just hanging around, but I don’t know if they were there to enjoy the lightshow, or to take a turn photographing the scene as space opened up.

      Either way, I can definitely see why a 2 hr window there is a good idea. We intended to get there much earlier but traffic conspired against us. Lol

  9. Marcus March 19, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    In the bottom left corner it appears that the ocean is dropping off the edge of the world. The Lighthouse at the Edge of the World.
    I wonder what would happen to you if you climbed down on the rocks to get a different perspective and ruined the usual photo for the photographers up above. 🙂 Better not chance it . . . .

    • seeingspotsphoto March 19, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

      Lol actually, there were photographers on the rocks directly in front/below me. So really, they ruined it for me. 😉 And to my left was just cliff edge and a drop to the ocean!

  10. zascha March 19, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    I love your pictures!

  11. falopezdel7 March 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    I understand your pain. In an effort to avoid copying what others have done, I end up doing nothing! So now I try to go to the places others have been and just try to do it differently.

    Sometimes taking a knee or getting closer can change an image dramatically.

    • seeingspotsphoto March 19, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

      Right?? We call that Photo-Yoga! haha

      Thanks for the kind words!

  12. falopezdel7 March 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Great image BTW!

  13. guiiesandgaardferrer March 19, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Love that location, is simply great. And if you wait for the right time, your final shot will be amazing. Beautiful photo.

    • seeingspotsphoto March 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

      Thanks so much! Yeah, the right moment is always the name of the game for landscapers. I always tell my students that patience is one of the most important skills they have to develop!

  14. flahertylandscape March 23, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    And, after wrestling into a spot to set up, then shooting, then post processing, then blog posting–what do you think is the absolute essence of this popular landscape shot–light, water, land meeting water–is there such a thing as essence in beauty? Seriously. Essence of the landscape that impelled your photo, that is the question. What do you think?

    • seeingspotsphoto March 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Dang…that’s a deep question, with a complicated answer. lol I mean, realistically, I can’t speak for what other people find so attractive about this particular location since each person’s definition of beautiful is different.

      For me though, for this particular location, on the surface it’s an attractive lighthouse (as lighthouses go), in this case, there was fabulous light, and because it is such a popular image location, people readily accept it.

      On a deeper level, there is something about the ocean that has always called to me. The rocks, the wind, the wild water in Maine all stir something deep in me (and I assume in most people) that tells me I should sit in a cubicle less and adventure more. I think for a lot of people (definitely for me) the routine gets boring. We aren’t meant to be sedentary. We are meant to move. We get get endorphin rushes from trying new things and seeing new spaces. We are social creatures who bond over experiences. This particular image isn’t just a “pretty face” for me. It’s a memory of the time I drove 6 hours with one of my closest friends (who also happens to be my business partner) to meet up with other photographers we had met once before to share our passions, to laugh, and to explore the unknown. It’s a photo that represents joy, which to me, is beautiful.

      Does that answer the question? lol

      • flahertylandscape March 26, 2015 at 5:51 am #

        🙂 Definitely. Those deep things that you get when seeing that landscape–similar things occur when I am in certain landscapes–those are what get me writing–those are what I like to explore. Thank you for sharing that!

  15. shalanmoore March 25, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    I totally agree. Completely torn. My view is – it’s all worth seeing and photographing. No two photographs are ever going to look the same – no matter how similar they are. With a bad ass shot like that, who gives a damn who else took it, YOU took that one!


    • seeingspotsphoto April 1, 2015 at 3:05 am #

      lol Good point! I’ll take the compliment! Thank you. 🙂

  16. december March 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    I also have a love/hate relationship with iconic places but no matter how many times a place photographed it will depreciate its beauty. And that is one beautiful image you’ve captured.

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