Port Clyde, Maine, USA by Michael Blanchette

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Picture Story

Port Clyde is the southernmost settlement on the St. George peninsula on the coast of central Maine in the United States. Marshall Point — site of the Marshall Point Lighthouse — is the southernmost extremity of Port Clyde. The lighthouse sits on a rocky outcrop near the fishing village that has appealed to artists and writers since the 20th century. In addition to the tower, the lighthouse features a long wooden runway and a restored Keeper's House. The present tower was erected in 1858, and the Keeper's House was replaced in 1895 after the original structure was destroyed by lightning. In the 1993 movie, Forrest Gump, actor Tom Hanks finished his long run on this runway — a film that put the lighthouse on the map.

I’ve photographed Marshall Point Lighthouse on many occasions. So when I arrived here for sunset in December, I had hopes of finding a different composition than the usual iconic photo. After scouting around the structures several times, I noticed that the window screens on the Keeper’s House had been removed for the winter season, making it possible to catch a reflection of the lighthouse tower and runway in glass. But this newfound composition was not going to be an easy one, requiring me to lean the tripod against the Keeper’s House at a precarious angle in order to mirror as much of the lighthouse as possible.

Since my lens was almost touching the siding on the Keeper’s House, I decided to make a “focus stack” to ensure front-to-back sharpness. To shoot the stack, I took six frames at a shutter speed of 10 seconds using an aperture of f/11 and ISO 100. The six frames were then combined using the Helicon Focus application to yield this image taken after sunset.

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