Nubble Light

Nubble Light in York Beach, Maine.

A comment on that lighthouse photo. This is Historic Nubble Light in York Beach, Maine. It’s been designated as a Historic site because two Presidents were born there, three were conceived there, and the armistice agreements that ended the Civil War, World War II, and the Browser Wars of 1997 were signed up in the lamphouse.

Actually, like most lighthouses, “Historic” is another way of saying “Nobody got around to knocking it down, and then someone came up with the idea of opening a seafood restaurant next to it.”

I define Nubble Light as the ultimate test of utter photographic cluelessness. It’s damned pretty. There’s an observation area just across from the inlet, and it faces West into the golden setting sun. If you can somehow remember to hold your camera with the lens bit facing away from you instead of towards you, you’ll take a fantastic picture.

If you don’t get a fantastic picture, then you need to hand your camera to the Brigadier General of Photography without further argument. You suck at this. He will break your camera in two pieces across his knee, hand it back to you, and then his lieutenants will escort you from the premises, with the understanding that you are henceforth banned from every scenic location everywhere in the world.

The only downside is that every photo of Nubble Light tends to look like every other photo of Nubble Light. Smart photographers will throw a newspaper or a “People” magazine or something into the shot, just to establish that you yourself recently took the photo.

14 thoughts on “Nubble Light

  1. Chris G.

    York Beach & Nubble Light is one of my favorite places to visit. Never get to go there as often as I want (especially living in NH), but when I do, it is always relaxing and beautiful.

  2. Nick

    Everything is so colorful and so clearly defined, I actually thought this was a model… :)

  3. Marcus Hamaker

    Yes, I too have this exact photo. I went down the rocks and took a few last year with an extended exposure time to give the water a milky sheen.

    That being said, we have pictures of family in front of the darn thing from 30 years ago and every year since!

  4. Ed C.

    I remember as a kid eating ice cream with my family near there and just staring at the view. Would love to see the camera tilt down a bit. I seem to remember a small dock and dingy. Andy thanks for running me down memory lane for a moment!

    Miss the taffy in York, ME.

  5. TJ Mullen

    My cousin and his father used to maintain that light house. Growing up we would swim in the inlet on the other side, playing the tide pools. That water is so cold!!!

  6. Jon

    I have a photo (ca. 1977) of my sisters and I with Nubble Light just over my left shoulder proudly displayed in my living room. Hard to believe the lighthouse still looks exactly the same.

    On a related note: my mom called yesterday to say she just mailed me a box of Goldenrod Kisses.

  7. Greg

    That photo is not doing it for me. I think you need to be the one taking it there. Since my only experience is viewing the photo, a good chunk of the meaning is lost.

    I mean, the lighting is perfect and all, but the angle, the crop, the whatever, eh, it’s missing something for me, as a viewer only of the photo. The other comments so far seem to be folks who have also been there. If I could step into the scene I suspect my reaction may be different.

  8. Royce

    Ah, beautiful, peaceful, scenic Maine, USA. Nothing happening, only person who’s famous there or creating anything there is Stephen King.

    Boring place to live. Boring place to visit, unless you’re in your 80’s.

  9. Domenico Bettinelli

    Royce: I wish more people had your attitude. All those people from “Away” would stop cluttering up our streets in the summer and we’d have fun doing all those things nobody else thinks is fun: hiking, sailing, fishing, climbing hills, sitting in the park, eating amazing food, and seeing scenery you can’t find anywhere else.

    Boring, yesirree, folks, nothing to see here, move along. :)

  10. oddbjorn

    This is the one Edward Hopper used as inspiration for a couple of his paintings?

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