New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Finding MAGIC on Cape Cod

Guest post from Photographer Nancy Marshall, who wants you to explore Cape Cod.

Just a little bit about myself, I am a local photographer residing on the South Coast of MA. I have been photographing since the film days but it has only been in the last 6 years where I have really found my passion for photography. I am willing to explore all aspects of photography however I have found my love lies in wildlife and landscape. As a guest on this page I will be writing about one of my favorite areas to photograph, Cape Cod.

Cape Cod is a hooked shaped peninsula and independent land mass separated from the mainland by the Cape Cod Canal. It juts out into the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern most part of the state of Massachusetts. Because of this, the light on the Cape is PURE MAGIC and as the evening progresses to night, the Cape takes on a whole other entity and charm.

Sunrises and sunsets can be quite dramatic as the light is reflected by the ocean waters that envelope the peninsula and filters through the clouds. It’s always best to arrive BEFORE actual sunrise, about 45 minutes before so to experience the FIRST rays of light. Unlike sunsets, with a sunrise most of the magic happens BEFORE the sun comes up over the horizon!!!
Sunsets are just the opposite, never leave after the sun sets, you will be MISSING the
BEST PART!Sunrise on Longnook Beach

Sunrise ~ Long Nook Beach ~ Truro The wilderness and isolation of Long Nook is synonymous with Truro’s outer beaches.The beach is backed by massive sand and dunes and the only access is down a steep cliff.

Sunrise ~ Stage Harbor Lighthouse ~ Chatham,The lighthouse can be viewed from a mile long walk over Harding’s Beach.Sunrise Stage Harbor Light

As the sun continues to blanket and warm the coast the light becomes ever so “sweet”…

Even a passing storm can be a blessing in disguise. While photographing sunset at Race Point I turned around to see if the sun was reflecting on the Old Harbor Life Saving Station and was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow.

Rainbow of Race Point

And at the end of day, as the sun begins to fade it casts a warm glow over the land…Sunset Race PointRace Point has a vast sand beach. It is the wilder ocean sister to the milder Herring Cove and is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.The shoreline drops off dramatically so it is not unusual to watch whales feeding in the deeper waters.

Sunset ~ Race Point

As day turns to dusk, due to the reflective properties of the waters surrounding the land mass early evening becomes more than just a “blue Hour’…the light lingers a while longer, all is still and quiet creating a time of peace and tranquility.

Moon Rise over Stage Harbor Light
Moon Rise over Stage Harbor Lighthouse

Slowly the light fades rendering dusk to darkness. Since the arm of the Cape juts out into the Atlantic Ocean it provides a near perfect scenario for night photography. Unlike much of the East Coast, being so far extended into the ocean, much of the ambient light that pollutes the eastern seaboard is minimal.
The Milky Way, during a clear summer night, is visible to the naked eye. With the advancement of equipment and camera sensors, the Milky Way will twinkle on your LCD beyond belief.

Such was a night this past summer in August when my photo buddy, my dog Noah and I headed to the Cape. It was a crystal clear night and I just knew it would be a perfect night to capture the Milky Way in all its glory. I first went to Salt Pond in Eastham but it wasn’t “gabbing me” so to speak so off we went, doubling back to Chatham and a dead end street I knew would put me overlooking the channel towards Stage Harbor Light. I had photographed there during the day, knew the area, and thought it would render itself perfect for the shot I had envisioned.
I was not disappointed!!!! Upon arrival I looked up out my open window and could SEE the Milky Way! This was going to be good!!!

Letting Noah out to do some exploring I set up my tripod, camera, and remote.
I can still remember the excitement I felt after reviewing my first shot!!! PURE MAGIC!

We stayed about an hour and as I photographed I also enjoyed the stillness, quiet, and peacefulness of the night.

Milky Way over Chatham
This is a vertical panorama created from 4 horizontal images and stitched together in Photoshop.

As in my title, the light on the Cape is magic, PURE MAGIC. There is nothing “sweeter” however stick around till dark… presents a whole new world.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to photograph on Cape Cod yet do yourself a favor…GET THERE!

I have photographed in all seasons, in all types of weather, at all times of the day, evening, and night, it NEVER disappoints!!!

Nancy Marshall

My photography may be viewed at Fine Art America



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Finding MAGIC on Cape Cod — 3 Comments

  1. Great write up and beautiful photos Nancy! I so miss living on Cape (26 years). Thankfully I dont live to far off Cape. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing your talent. Looks like I have another place to add to my “must visit” list!

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