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02.03.2012

Eye Scene: Photographer, Ryuichi Oshimoto Travels with Sigma Camera & Lenses

Title Photo: Standing on the north end of Campobello Island. Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada is not easily distinguishable as an island on a map. An older passerby informed me that this is the most picturesque area on the island, but the rainy weather created bad footing around the area. Firmly standing on the ground, I pointed the large aperture standard lens toward the red glowing lighthouse and pressed the shutter. The shutter sound dissipated throughout the misty Bay of Fundy. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 50 mm

Cruising on Interstate Freeway 95, I arrive at the big city of Bangor in Maine. It was difficult to find a road connecting the freeway to leave the city. Late afternoon, I drive through traffic for some time and finally found State Road 9 that leads to the most eastern part of the US. I jetted out of the city and sped through the long straight road. The forest around me became colorless as I traveled farther from the city. From SR9, the road merges to SR 192 and I arrive at Machias at night.

Machias is located in the northeast part of Maine. Machias Bay is composed of many smaller bays and Machias is located at the head of Machias Bay. Lubec, the most eastern  incorporated place in the 50 states, was just a drive away, but I decided to stay at a motel near Machias.

The bathroom was small, but the room was clean and quiet so I was able to spend a comfortable night. Early morning, I saw the eastern skies getting brighter through the opened curtain. I was thinking of heading to the coast on SR 191, but I mistakenly took Highway 1 toward the eastern direction. I carefully found SR189 again and headed northeast. The sunrise was moments away, but the ocean was nowhere in sight. When I saw the sign for Quoddy Head State Park, I expected to see the ocean and headed in that direction without hesitation.

Photo 1: The sunrise at Quoddy Narrows saturated the sky in red. The island in front of the sunset is Campobello Island, Canada. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/320 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 10 mm

The coastline is intricate here, so I wasn’t sure if I was by the seashore when I saw the sunrise. I was grateful to see the sunrise by a body of water. I walked over to West Quody Head Light soon after.

Photo 2: This lighthouse was first lit in 1858 and later automated in 1988. It was sparsely populated during the early morning. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/80 sec | Aperture:F9.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

Photo 3: The sunrise created a silhouette of the lighthouse. The large aperture telephoto lens was pointed at the barely visible 3rd generation Fresnel lens. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/1250 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 85 mm

Returning to SR 189 from Cape Coty, I head northeast and I arrive at the most eastern incorporated place in the 50 states. At the coast of Lubec, I parked the car and saw Campobello Island across the water.

Photo 4: The US and Canadian flags flutter from Lubec coast while I look out to Campobello Island. Surrounded by sea water, I captured the fresh morning air onto the sensor. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 33 mm

A man scurried around Lubec’s east coast where the morning sun still shined brightly. I slowly walked over to him and asked what he was doing. “I’m looking for metal. Sometimes I can find $200 to $300 worth,” he said in a bragging manner. His words surprised me as I thought he was picking some shellfish for dinner. Without asking him if there was a metal factory nearby, I waved goodbye.

Photo 5: The silhouetted man was collecting metal in his bucket. Since seaweed was scattered on the shore, I don’t know how he was able to see any of the metal. The silhouetted building across the river is the Immigration Bureau. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/500 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 43 mm

Drifting through the tranquil town from the east coast, I immediately ended up on the north coast. The shape of this land resembles a small cape and if this cape was a finger, then this town would be the nail bed and the north coast would be at the tip of the fingernail.

Photo 6: The quiet town seemed like a great place for relaxation, but the summer peak season had ended and there were few visitors on this Sunday autumn morning. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/400 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 85 mm

Photo 7: The pier on the north coast. Clouds appeared, but the heat from the morning sun could still be felt and the temperature was high. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 33mm

Photo 8: Several fishing boats and islands in varying size are seen from the north coast. Many bays existed on this convoluted terrain and docks were constructed. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 12 mm

Photo 9: Straying away from the water, I saw two churches on a small hill. The fisheye lens enveloped the entire hill. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 10mm F2.8 EX DC FISHEYE HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/60 sec | Aperture:F8.0| Focal Length: 10 mm

A small cozy inn stood on the northeast shore of Lubeck. It was a three-story inn with a reception and restaurant combined together on the first floor. A very welcoming place, there was a scenic view from the restaurant and an abundant wine list. I called out from the counter and a man in cyclist gear came out of the kitchen. I asked if there were any rooms tonight and he said that there was a cancellation in the morning and there was one room left. I bought a cup of coffee and stepped outside to see the eastern coast. A few minutes later, the man who served me the coffee got on his bicycle. Beside him was a woman dressed exactly like him. They both waved and rode away. They both looked like they were entering a bike race. The cyclists crossed the bridge and disappeared to Campobello Island.

Photo 10: The view of Lubeck’s northeast coast from the restaurant. The inn at this ideal location had very few rooms and even during the off-season, it was quite popular with visitors. Camera: DP1x | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:100 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/60 sec | Aperture:F5.0 | Focal Length: 16.6 mm

Photo 11: The couple seemed to be owners of the inn. The trip to the small Canadian Island (8.7 miles by 3.1 miles wide) seemed like a daily routine. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/200 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 50 mm

I left after the couple. After crossing the bridge, Immigration and Customs were waiting. The checkpoint looked simple and didn’t look too different from a tollbooth. “How long is your stay?” asked the worker and I responded that I would leave the island before nightfall. She wished me a pleasant stay and handed me a map of the island. The Immigration building was located on the southwest coast and a lighthouse stood nearby.

Photo 12: Just looking at Campobello Island from Lubec, I was now looking at Lubec from Campobello Island. The lighthouse was built in 1888 to guide small cargo ships travelling through Lubec Narrows, located between Campobello Island and Lubec. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/400 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 43 mm

Photo 13: I look up at the 44ft high Mulholland Point Lighthouse. During poor weather conditions, the boats sailing on the island’s eastern side also went through Lubec narrows. In 1962 it ended its role when the navigation lights were set up on the bridge connecting Campobello Island and Lubec. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/160 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 8 mm

Photo 14: Regardless of borders, the sounds of seabirds can be heard everywhere. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 287 mm

Today, Roosevelt Campobello International Park is designated as a symbol of friendship between the US and Canada. The funding for the park and staff come from both countries. As I strolled over to the business center in the middle of the park, two cyclists approached me. It was the couple from the Lubec Inn. The man said, “You came all the way to the island! Will you be staying at our inn tonight?” The woman smiled vivaciously at me. I responded, “If I am going to stay overnight, I will be here by 4pm,” and that was my plan.

Photo 15: The 34-room summerhouse in the center of the park built in 1897. The 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family spent the summers here from 1909 to 1921. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F7.1 | Focal Length: 40 mm

Photo 16: A small walk from the summerhouse leads to the shore. It was a depressing space, but the presence of the summerhouse could be felt here. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/250 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 50 mm

Only one major road (Route 774) runs through the island, but the road split north and west from the center of the island. At the visitor center I was told that after the tourists visit the park, they go straight to the lighthouse on the north end of the island. As I headed there, it seemed like there wasn’t anything more interesting to see, so I headed on North Road toward a small peninsula.

Photo 17: The landscape on the west coast at the fork in the road. There are many bays on the island and this one is named, Friars Bay. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/320 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm

Photo 18: The North Road wharf greeted me at the end of the peninsula. It was still early afternoon, but the thick clouds caused the lights to turn on. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/200 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 21 mm

Photo 19: Returning to the main road (Route 774), this was a view I saw on my way to the northern peninsula. There were some no longer used, abandoned ships. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/80 sec | Aperture:F5.6 | Focal Length: 21 mm

The island tapered as I headed north and the water was drawing in close. I felt I was reaching the north end. The dead end is a parking lot and an old van was parked there. I saw the lighthouse ahead and it looked like it was floating on a small island. A couple walking their dogs were staring at the lighthouse in the misty weather.

“We traveled and slept in this van all the way from Tennessee. We were able to walk over to the lighthouse 15 years ago, but it seems like we need to wait for low tide…” said Richard, a skinny man in his fifties with a mellow drawl. His wife was upset that the campsite had closed the week before and that the town was going to lose business because of the closure. In my mind to keep the campsite open when there were too few customers was unrealistic, but I nodded in agreement. She also said that the van was equipped with a bathroom so they were going to use the parking lot as a camping ground.

While having a great conversation with the friendly couple, a sedan pulled up into the parking lot. The elderly man slowly got out of the car and suggested that before I go back, I should see the lighthouse in a different location for a greater view. I took his advice as he watched me move. After I thanked him before I left, he smiled with great satisfaction and nodded twice.

Photo 20: I heard I could walk over to the lighthouse during low tide. However I could not believe it when I saw the amount of water flowing between the island and the lighthouse. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/125 sec | Aperture:F8.0 | Focal Length: 50mm

Photo 21: The elderly man on the left and the couple from Tennessee talked endlessly about this island. I quickly focused on the lighthouse with the large aperture telephoto zoom lens and pressed the shutter. Camera: SIGMA SD1 | Lens: APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO:200 | White Balance: Daylight | Shutter Speed:1/400 sec | Aperture:F5.0 | Focal Length: 104 mm

Campobello Island is located at the entrance of Bay of Fundy, between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Peninsula.
In the misty weather, looking at the red light emitting in an orderly fashion from the lighthouse located on the northernmost tip of the island, I began to think it would be fun to stay here overnight.

Continued to Part II.

*All artwork on this page was processed from RAW data (X3F) with Sigma PhotoPro software. After processing, some selected images were imported into retouching software to remove dust. This photo essay is currently running on Sigma Japan’s site and it is published here two months later.

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  1. Your photographs are beautiful, and thank you for visiting Campobello Island and our part of the world.

  2. When I visited,
    It was a little out of season. But was a great stay.
    Summer is probably the best time.
    However, the season you visit is best for you ,
    I think.

  3. Nice works!
    Michael Pham
    http://www.hdshootnsee.com

  4. Thanks to comments from everyone.
    I would like to visit the island again.
    Next time, I want to stay a little longer.