Beacons of Light

“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”

Dwight L. Moody

After awhile you can start to take things for granted living in the same place your whole life. I’ve said it before that I really haven’t appreciated where I’ve lived until I was in my 20’s. In looking through my photographs I’ve come to realize how truly fortunate I am to live on the east coast in the Maritimes. The scenery and the weather are generally perfect for someone like me who isn’t a fan of extreme heat or cold. For the most part the only extreme weather that we get here is extreme fog and very strong winds that blow off The Bay of Fundy.

So with lots of fog comes lots of lighthouses. All along the coast of the Atlantic are 100’s of iconic lighthouses, protecting the sailors and the commercial ships during their voyages through the heavy fog of the summer and the hidden underwater islands and coastlines. As I vacation along the coastal communities, a lighthouse is always an attraction for me and my family. These towers of lights and sounds that protect the shorelines and waters are magnetic for a photographer.

As I’ve traveled the roads and highways of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that run along the Bay of Fundy I’ve been fortunate to see many of these lighthouses and some dramatic weather that makes the Maritimes famous. Three of my favourite lighthouses are all associated with Islands: Partridge Island and Campobello Island in New Brunswick and The Five Islands of Nova Scotia.

Partridge Island at sunrise and the breakwater that connects it to the mainland of Saint John, New Brunswick

Partridge Island is located in the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Saint John New Brunswick. The island is famous for being a quarantine station in the 1800’s for Irish immigrants coming from Ireland during the Great Famine also known as the Irish Potato Famine. Over a 1000 immigrants died from the typhus epidemic. The remnants of quarantine buildings, a Celtic cross and other memorials remain today on Partridge Island. Its location provides a nice foreground to the sunrise and colorful skies of sunset.

The Five Island Lighthouse at dusk.

The Five Islands lighthouse isn’t actually an operational lighthouse anymore. It was built in 1914, but eventually moved in 2008 due to the eroding coastline. It was the beacon that looked out for the ships passing by Moose, Diamond, Long, Egg, and Pinnacle; AKA… The Five Islands.  The Bay of Fundy is famous for having the highest tides in the world and this is the perfect place to experience it. Normally the tide is measured in feet or meters. Here I’m guessing you can measure it in miles or kilometers. I’ve never seen anything like the tides around here.

East Quoddy Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Photograph taken from Deer Island.

Campobello Island is one of the 3 Fundy Isles and quickly becoming one of my favorite places to vacation and photograph. The East Quoddy or Head Harbour Lighthouse is likely one of the most famous landmarks for this island community. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada, and also known as one of the most photographed. Again its location is wonderful in terms of the rising and setting sun, and its position allows it to be photographed from the neighboring Deer Island.

As a photographers I’m always looking for the best light. So it only seems appropriate that I look for the lighthouse.