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Old Aug 5, 2013, 9:55 AM   #1
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Default Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, Portsmouth, NH

Went over to the seacoast yesterday, stopped at the Beach Plum and had some chunky lobster bisque and my wife a lobster roll and drove up to see the USCGC Eagle but found the line too long so we decided to go tour the nearby Harbor lighthouse which has been in operation since 1771 in one form or another. The current incarnation was built inside the old wooden structure in 1878, which was then demoed around it.


P8041756 by ramcewan, on Flickr

It holds a commanding vista of the entrance to the port from the ocean, with Kittery Maine on the left mouth of the river and Portsmouth NH on the right side. Visible just to the right of the sail boat in center of this panorama is the Whaleback lighthouse on an island more like a pile of rocks, entering the port requires navigating between the two lighthouses.


P8041660_stitch by ramcewan, on Flickr

inside the lighthouse I took this shot from the watch level just below the lamp looking out through the portal onto Fort Constitution below. Fort Constitution was formerly known as Fort William and Mary established first in 1632 by the British. Later in 1774 the Fort was raided by Patriots eventually forcing the British to abandon it and the colony of New Hampshire as they focused on Boston. In 1808 the Fort was renamed Fort Constitution and is still an active Coast Guard installation today.


Port Hole Portal by ramcewan, on Flickr

Symmetries of spiral staircases are always fun, this one especially so with the sunlight shining in on the brick work, it is featured in most books on this place of which there are a few as it is reportedly haunted and was the subject of a ghost hunters episode. It is a favorite of photogs on the tour according to the guide, here is my take;


Lighthouse Stairway by ramcewan, on Flickr


As we were finished with the tour looking back storm clouds were gathering providing this dramatic panorama with the lighthouse keeper's home behind the fort wall and oil house which used to keep the supply of kerosene before the lamp was turned to electric


Storm at Fort Constitution NH 2 by ramcewan, on Flickr

Time to go before we get wet I snapped a shot of the old fog bell, long since retired for a modern fog horn, now turned on by a switch inside the coast guard station but still an often used safety measure in this still active port.


P8041650 by ramcewan, on Flickr

p.s. all were taken with the E-PL2 Zuiko 14-54 MK II combo
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 7:57 PM   #2
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Excellent series; both the shots and the commentary. Well done.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 8:27 PM   #3
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.....great series, excellent photography and I enjoyed the history lesson. Super Well Done, thanks.

BTW, I've never seen a lighthouse.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 9:52 PM   #4
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Very nice! I especially like #2 and #4.

Bob - I saw my first lighthouse just last week. My computer has been acting up, but I hope to get some pictures posted soon.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 8:08 AM   #5
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thanks for showing these ramce
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 8:48 AM   #6
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Thanks all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
.....great series, excellent photography and I enjoyed the history lesson. Super Well Done, thanks.

BTW, I've never seen a lighthouse.
Bob, I think this was the first lighthouse I have toured but there are many here in the North East. New Hampshire has but two which are actually both in these photos along with one of Maine's 57 active light houses! I have heard of folks going on lighthouse tours up the Maine cost which can take weeks, like hiking the tall peaks in the Adirondack's, going to a MLB game in all the stadiums, or walking the Appalachian trail it is a quest some take on, and I can understand why as each lighthouse sits at a spot with a view from the rocky coast of Maine. One can imagine the salvation these beacons represented for people on a cross sea journey from Europe. I'm not sure I'll sign up for seeing all of them myself but I can say I'll probably not skip an opportunity.

One of the lighthouse keepers at the Portsmouth one had formerly tended the light on Lubec Channel, a spark plug lighthouse on a block pylon it stands in shallow water with Canada on one side and the US on the other side. The keeper and his wife had lived there for years, the only way on was to take a boat and climb up a latter on the side of the pylon. When they took up residence in Portsmouth it was luxury living for them and the first time they had electric power.

Picture from wikipedia;

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Last edited by ramcewan; Aug 6, 2013 at 8:51 AM.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
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New Hampshire has but two which are actually both in these photos
The second of NH's two lighthouses (the first being the subject of this thread) is located on White Island which is part of the Isle of Shoals which sit about 6 miles off the coast. In this very heavy crop you can just see the lighthouse to the left of the red buoy.


White Island Lighthouse and Sailboat by ramcewan, on Flickr

This is the full size image from which that was cropped, also showing the Whaleback lighthouse which is claimed by Maine. 54mm @ F9 handheld, imho this lens is tack sharp, atmospheric issues probably more of an issue then the lens.


P8041669_1 by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 8:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
.........54mm @ F9 handheld, imho this lens is tack sharp
IMO too, I used mine on the P3 last weekend.

Thanks for more of the history lessons, I enjoy it.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 2:32 PM   #9
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Nice shots, Lighthouse are my favorite subject to photograph and did a great job with those.

Marcelo
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 2:02 PM   #10
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Thanks Marcelo, I'm glad you enjoyed them.
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