Thursday, August 27, 2009

From the Archives | Daddy tricks me with lighthouse photo

Quoddy Head Light
West Quoddy Head Light is the easternmost point in the United States and is seen here in a 1996 photo as Hurricane Edouard tracked off the coast of Maine. (Image is a scan of the negative.)

ArchivesIn 1996, Hurricane Edouard, which at the time was an extratropical system, paralleled Maine's shoreline, sending high surf crashing into the coastal regions, accentuating their photogenic nature. Hurricane Bill's deadly effects last weekend at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor made me think of this photo.

As an annual before-school-starts tradition in the beginning of September, my family visited Quoddy Head State Park near Lubec, in Maine's southeastern corner, just as the storm was passing. (Acadia is more than an hour to the south.) I took several photos with my Pentax K1000. I was 12 years old at the time.

My father, being the great photographer and joker that he is, took this particular photo out of the stack when the prints were returned from the developer. He added it to his stack. And he did all of this while I was at school (I was in the seventh grade), before I had a chance to look at them.

I flipped through the photos, saw a few I liked - surf blasting upward in front of the famous West Quoddy Head Light. But then my father showed me the one he caught: a perfectly large wave hitting the rocks, with the beacon of the lighthouse shining and a few people watching the surf from the shore.

I told my father that his image was nice but that I liked mine better. Then, he admitted that he had taken this photo from my stack while I was at school. It wasn't his; it was mine. I suddenly loved it.

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