Quick Trip to the Cape

Heart in the middle of this years dance season I was sent to an event in Foxboro. Normally, I stay somewhat local due to my Full Time work schedule, but with this particular weekends events scattered they gave me plenty of notice so I could adjust and take a Monday off. This meant I now had three days off in a row and since I was out of state, well, might as well take advantage of it. After surveying my possibilities, I was one hour from the Cape. Let’s go! I had no concrete plans, other than trying to find the Milky Way, I was figuring I would get in a couple sunsets and just do a little exploring. Two days is not a great deal of time to fully immerse yourself in area of unknowns so I did as much research as I could to get the lay of the land, and whatever played out from there I was good with.

Waking up Monday, figured I would make it up as I went along. Since it was only a few miles from where I was staying, Nobska Lighthouse was the first stop of the day.

I visited three lighthouses during my stay and the thing I found most interesting is that they were all small. Perched on little hills, but all not as tall as one would think. Guessing that light is pretty powerful to be seen 12 miles out. This one had a very homey feel to it. Definitely would not mind staying in that house.

The theme continued for second stop of the day at Nauset Light. I needed to scope out a nearby location for the sunset and a night sky and this seemed easy to get to from where they were. The parking lots were under construction and the surrounding land appeared in the midst of a manicure so it was a bit messy. Quite a bit of history with this one. Worth the look it you are interested.

I had chosen Rock Harbor beach for the evening’s sunset. Touted to be the best sunset spot on the cape. Isn’t any spot where you can grab a sunset the best spot? There was a location right across the inlet from the official beach, less crowded just as pretty and a few tidal pools were included. Kinda of a bland evening photographically but a cool experience nonetheless. I am a big fan of Lee filters but I was having some issues with condensation a while back so I purchased a screw on ND Graduated filter. Figured it would be easier in the long run. It was, but you do lose some control over your points of darkening. Really nice, just not as adjustable. But, instead of two or three areas of potential moisture build up, now there is only one. I heard a lens heater works great for eliminating build up and they are not that expensive so that is on the purchase to do list.

So, the night sky. The location I had chosen was Salt Pond. Read a bunch of good things about it and the composition looked good. Now I enter the phase for mind games. It was 20:30 hours. I had to wait 5 hours for optimal conditions, it was getting cloudy out, I was by myself in an unfamiliar location and I was an hour away from the hotel. What the heck do I do now. If I wait and the clouds do not clear I’m screwed. Well, I did not feel like waiting so I headed back. I remember a beach I drove past that was five minutes from where I was staying and it was pointed in the direction I needed. Drove past it to make sure the gates were open, got some dinner and relaxed for a few. Midnight struck and the skies were clear. Of course now I am cursing myself out for not sticking out the original spot. As I always do though, we make the best of the situation and take advantage of what we have to work with.

My third attempt with the Milky Way. This one was very difficult to see with the naked eye but the camera can see what the eye cannot. And Vice Versa. I still need to figure out the foreground aspect of things but plans are in place thanks to the knowledge of an old co-worker. I know very little about stacking right now, hopefully I will get a chance this month to learn all about it. Fingers crossed and weather permitting.

The foreground in this next image was taken from a test shot while getting things set up. Little did I know at the time in would come in handy. Ambient light was much brighter than I anticipated, and it was very dark. It is amazing how much light travels and illuminates the surroundings. During the two hours I was out thereI kept thinking I should go further out on the beach but I kinda appreciated this composition from the parking lot.

Since I was combining and blending images, a little bit to the left of me was residential light so why not right? More joy to come with these attempts. I am hoping by October I have this whole process down.

Day two was pretty interesting, headed over to Chatham to check out the lighthouse at the Coast Guard Station and took a little unexpected stroll on the beach before grabbing a sunset. On the way there I saw this 1797 windmill… Yowser. An impressive sight in the middle of a green.

One of the more substantial pieces I encountered during my two days was the Chatham Lighthouse. Another 19th Century wonder warning approaching vessels of potential dangers. So if I ever get up there again I need to capture these at night with the beacons shining. Lacking a bit of character in daylight and I am sure not doing them justice in this scenario.

Peaking out over the beach I saw a distant object with a flag flying over it. Naturally I satisfied my curiosity and made the jaunt out to see what it as. While not having an official name there is a sign on it that says “Occupy Chatham South Beach”. Apparently it is an ever changing structure without anyone seeming to know how it got there or who adds/subtracts objects from it. Though I do believe it is a community effort to keep it up and going. You can check out their Facebook Page here for more enlightening history and mystery

Headed over to First Encounter Beach for the sunset. Said to be the first encounter between Native Americans and the Pilgrims. Whether it was or not it was very pure and peaceful. About 20 people gathered for the event. Just the beach, water, sky and a bunch of kids playing in the sand. Simplicity at its finest.

Milky Way attempt number four is already in the books so I shall share that soon. The people side of things is slowly coming back, We have a couple of shoots booked so when they are done we will make sure and share those over on the people page. Thanks for stopping by, till the next one!


Published by Phil Shepherd

Capturing my interpretation of this world and its inhabitants... I am a Headshot and Portrait Photographer and supporter of Live, Local Music. This offering is dedicated mainly to Mom Nature and the travels I indulge in with her.

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