"The National Parks": Lighthouses of the Holy

Actually, I'm talking about one lighthouse here, but in two images. First up, courtesy of the National Park Foundation:

Acadia for Web

Readers of our print magazine will recognize that as the photo accompanying our December 2009 review of The National Parks (PBS/Paramount), which was the first Ken Burns saga to appear on Blu-ray Disc. The photo shows the coast of Acadia National Park in Maine. Sadly, the image was cropped for publication in the magazine. Here it is in its full glory. (To read the review online, click here.)

Hopefully, that review inspired many readers to pick up the glorious Blu-ray set. At the very least, it did inspire one of our readers to send us his own image . . .

Lighthouse_1983 for Web

Great photographic minds think alike! This comes from Wayne Stewart of Newport News, Virginia. And whereas the other photo was likely taken in the last couple of years, Wayne's shot is from 1983.

We had hoped to show both photos and Wayne's letter in "Feedback" in the print magazine, but alas, we ran out of room. Still, we couldn't let this serendipity go unnoticed, and so you see it here.

"I enjoy your mag," Wayne wrote, "and when I got to page 81 of the December issue, I literally laughed out loud. While your image is much more vivid, I had the same thought in 1983 when I took mine. As a rule, I don't write to magazines, but this was compelling.

"My photo sits in the frame of the oil painting I had made of it, and it has been out in the elements all this time. I wish I had taken better care of it. I just gave it to a neighbor who does watercolors, and she is considering replicating it.

"All this attention to that scene is quite amazing. Your version is the rarest of days in Maine. A very lovely shot."

Lovely indeed. Thanks again to the National Park Foundation (and the folks at PBS) for providing it. And thanks to Wayne for sharing his memories.

— Ken Richardson