Lighthouses North and South

I climbed all the way to the pebble beach below Portland Head Lighthouse to create this beautiful print.

Cool lighthouses from New England, the Midwest and down South

Lighthouses still dot the coasts of the United States, with many of them remnants of the 19th Century. They are popular tourist destinations, and I have to admit that I just love the old maritime beacons.

So I never pass up an opportunity to shoot photos of lighthouses. My Lighthouse Collection includes examples from South Louisiana to Michigan and New York to Maine — and I'm hoping to add Florida to the list in early 2022!

Here are some of my favorite images.


I was blown away last month when my wife and arrived on the rugged Maine coast. Nothing I had seen on TV or on the internet prepared me for the raw beauty of the rocks, the pounding surf and those beautiful old lighthouses.

I only had the opportunity to shoot two of these grand beacons. One of them was Bass Harbor Head Light, and it was so cool to hunt around for the right angle. All of the images I've ever seen of Bass Harbor Head Light were taken left side of the structure.

Wanting something different, I hunted around for a way down the rocks on the lighthouse's right side, and I finally found a faint trail. I slipped spikes over my boots to ensure I didn't slip, and picked my way over the slippery rocks to create two stunningly beautiful prints.

The first image is featured was taken from as close as the rocks allowed. I wanted to highlight the seaweed draping the rocks at low tide, and I also included a line of huge boulders pointing into the sea to add some visual interest to the composition. The thick cloud cover created wonderful moodiness.

I moved back a bit for the second print, and decided a black-and-white treatment was the best choice for this composition. The result was a stark and moody photo that really shows off the ruggedness of the Maine coastline.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse sits over the rugged Maine coast as part of Acadia National Park.

This black-and-white print really shows off the rugged rocks below Bass Harbor Head Light.

I also had the opportunity to create prints at Portland Head Lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth, Maine. What a wonderful old beacon!

Portland Head Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington, so it really has some history. It continues to stand tall above the Atlantic Ocean, leading mariners to safety. My buddy Rick Berk, who lives in nearby Freeport, took me and my wife out there last month, and we were just blown away when we drove up.

I was soon down on the rocks, working to capture some beautiful photos of the old lighthouse.

Click here to see all the prints of Portland Head Lighthouse!

Portland Head Lighthouse has stood on this rocky outcropping since 1791. 

St. Clair river Lighthouse

I was working a Bassmaster Elite Series event on Michigan's Lake St. Clair, and I passed an abandoned lighthouse near the mouth of the St. Clair River several times. I always looked longingly at it, but had work to do so we passed it up.

Finally, on the third day of the event my boater and I were bobbing around near the lighthouse, waiting on the pro anglers to arrive from their launch location. I kept one eye across the lake for the anglers and the other eye on the lighthouse, which was going to be backlighted by the sunrise.

I was fortunate the anglers didn't show up before the sky began to light up. I quickly brought my Nikon 300mm to bear and captured some photos as the sunrise painted the skies above the old St. Clair River Lighthouse neon colors. Man, it was epic!

The next morning we were back in the same location, again waiting for the Bassmaster day to begin, when the rising sun began ascending to a conjunction with the top of the lighthouse. I had my boater move closer so I could create the perfect image of the sun, which was a perfect ball of fire in the morning haze, lighted up the top of the beacon.

This print of Michigan's old St. Clair River Lighthouse is one my fan favorites!

Upstate New York

Upstate New York has a couple of really cool lighthouses. One is Sunken Rock Lighthouse in the delightful Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River. the Bassmaster team stayed at Bonnie Castle Resort, and this small lighthouse helping freighters navigate into the American Narrows, the primary commercial route between Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands portion of the river.

The cool thing is that I was able to stand on land to shoot it. It was a bland, overcast day, so I turned the photo into a nice black-and-white photo.

And then I headed to the western-most end of the St. Lawrence River for sunset at Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. This is a wonderful lighthouse that was easily accessible, so I set up an hour before the sun slide behind the horizon and waited. It was worth it! 

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse was stunning at sunset!

South Louisiana: Madisonville LIghthouse

Louisiana isn't known for its lighthouses, but that doesn't mean its ample coastline is devoid of old maritime beacons. There's one at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and then there's the Madisonville Lighthouse that for years guided sailors safely into the beautiful Tchefuncte River.

The Madisonville Lighthouse is only about an hour from my home, but for some reason I haven't spent much time there. Probably because the swamps call to me whenever I'm not traveling the country.

However, I did head over to the mouth of the Tchefuncte River a few years ago in hopes of capturing the old brick lighthouse during sunset. I arrived to find thick cloud cover, and I honestly almost threw in the towel and headed home.

I'm so happy I didn't!

The sun found a break in the clouds as it moved toward the horizon, and that allowed it to throw amazing pastel colors across the sky.

The print has been one of my best sellers!

Sunset was amazing when I set up to shoot the old Madisonville Lighthouse in Louisiana.

More to come

One state I'm looking forward to visiting in 2022 is Florida. I will be there at least two consecutive weeks, with a few days off between Bassmaster events, and my plan is to hit a couple of the lighthouses along the Atlantic Coast.

I can't wait!

So keep an eye on the growling Lighthouse Collection, and let me know what you think!