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Sunrise at Castle Rock


This past weekend, I got up and made the short trip to Castle Rock Park in Marblehead, MA. I've been here a couple times before over the years. It's a very small park, with a public access path crammed between ocean-side mansions typical of the North Shore area. Parking is limited to what fits on the side of the street. My vehicle was the only one when I parked here, but when I left there were three more behind it.

Castle Rock

The park itself is fairly simple. There is a large promontory of rock that the park gets its name from. People often climb onto it to get their photos, but I find the compositions there less interesting. To the right of the rock is a broad beach covered in smooth stones about the size of golfballs. This is where I've shot from in the past, and the stones are quite shiny when wet, which can make for an interesting shot.

This time I decided I would shoot on the smaller beach to the left of Castle Rock. The beach is composed of similar smooth stones, but there are chunks of bedrock poking out as well and it helps make for what I believe are the most interesting composition opportunities here. Behind the beach is a bedrock wall about 15 feet high, and above that is a mansion.

The sunset ended up being so-so, but overall I felt it was worth getting out for. The waves that came in were substantial and I tried to focus on capturing how the water played around the rocks. I wish I hadn't left my waders in the truck, as I was shooting while the tide was coming in, and as the morning went on I had to keep retreating to avoid getting wet feet. All in all, I'm happy with the shot I captured here, but I think I'll still be returning another day in hopes of catching a really breathtaking sunrise.

- Justin Smith

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