February 14, 2016

Thatcher Island Sea Smoke


Risking frostbite is not high on my list of things to do. Neither is getting up at 4:00 AM on four hours of sleep (late function last night), for that matter. But with the first real arctic deep freeze this winter predicted for this weekend, my friend Steven Perlmutter wore me down. Actually, it didn’t take much convincing. The air temperature this morning was predicted to be -10° Fahrenheit with a windchill of -40° — the perfect conditions to generate sea smoke. So I woke at 4:00am to rendezvous with Steven at 5:30 to make the 45 minute drive to Rockport, MA to photograph sea smoke.

Our first stop was Rockport Harbor to check out the jetty and the classic Motif #1 and if that was the only stop we made, the morning would have been considered a success. But after grabbing a few images, we decided to drive a couple of miles south to check out Thatcher Island. That’s when the fun and near frostbite really began.

Thatcher Island sits just off the coast of Rockport. It is a relatively small island with a profile dominated by two tall lighthouses. Those lighthouses, coupled with the low lying cloud bank behind the island, complimented the sea smoke nicely.

We withstood the cold as best as we could by setting up behind a ridge of rocks, which helped block the blistering wind. We photographed from there for a good 15-20 minutes, shooting constantly until the sun cleared the cloud bank.

I shot many many frames and got several shots I am happy with. This is my favorite.

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  1. Delightful! I am ” a lighthouse fancier” so your caption is on spot for me.