Nubble Lighthouse, York Maine, USA by Kathryn Wallace Yeaton

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Picture Story

I planned a quick trip to Maine in December 2019 to photograph the last full moon of the decade. The goal was to photograph the Cold Moon (as it's called in December) as it rose over the Nubble Lighthouse in York Beach, Maine. It is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine/New England/The World depending on who you ask, and it is especially beautiful around the holidays as it is outlined with Christmas lights. I was hoping for some snow too, but that can be hard to come by this time of year. As luck would have it, a snowstorm moved in the night before my trip and had tapered off enough for me to drive up the next morning.

When I arrived in York Beach, Maine the storm had just moved out to sea and the sun was out with a low layer of clouds on the horizon. I spent a couple hours taking photos in the area and planning so I would be ready when the moon came up. Using my PhotoPills phone app, I knew I had to be way out on the rocks to capture the moon directly over the lighthouse when it first came up. However, it was extremely slippery out there and there wasn't a great foreground element for a composition. I decided to take a gamble and stay further inland where there was a nice composition with small reflecting pools in the foreground. I knew I would have to wait longer for the moon to arc up into place above the lighthouse, and hoped the risk would pay off. Finally, by the time the moon got into position, this cute little cloud decided to show up and I had just enough feeling left in my fingers to click the shutter button. I ended up processing the photo as a two image vertorama + focus stack for the extreme foreground + exposure blend for the brights.

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