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The State of Maine includes about 228 miles of coastline. Some 65 lighthouses lie along its rocky coast, many of which are counted among the most photogenic lights in the Country. As a result, New England photography usually includes a generous allocation of lighthouse images.
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is one of the smaller lighthouses in Maine. It was built to warn mariners of a dangerous ledge (i.e. Spring Point Ledge) that extends into the main shipping channel in Portland Harbor. The lighthouse was built in 1897 after many steamship companies complained that their vessels were running aground near the ledge.
There’s a lot of history around this place. The lighthouse sits on the site of Fort Preble, a military fort built in 1808. Incomplete fortified gun emplacements built during the American Civil War (1861-1865) are still visible on the stone walls. And in the distance to the left of Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is Hog Island holding Fort Gorges, a military fort built in 1856 but never used because it turned obsolete before it could be dedicated.
I took this photo at sunrise, using the historic stone walls and breakwater as a zig-zagging line leading to the small lighthouse tower near center. The early dawn sky was unimpressive, but as the sun cleared the horizon, it cast pleasant golden light upon both the textured clouds and the stone walls. The 6-second exposure served to soften the choppy waters and eliminate distracting ripples. In addition to the stone walls, a secondary leading line was formed by the path that runs parallel to the stone walls, so there are two leading lines in this image.
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