John O’Connor, accomplished photographer and assistant to master landscape photographer William Neill, recently blogged about returning again and again to a familiar place. He described how he often returns to Lewis Creek in the Sierra National Forest, not just to photograph it, but to enjoy and experience it. In his very eloquent blog post, John shares a wonderful image, but he also captured much of how I think about Acadia National Park, and specifically the area around Otter Cliffs.
Each of the last three weekends I have visited my favorite place, and each time there I have tried to “see” and capture it in different ways. Spending time alone in a place so beautiful is good for the soul, and in addition to attempting to make some pretty pictures, I have really appreciated the time spent there. On the past two weekends I was lucky to see extraordinary sunrises, but this time around the area was socked in with fog. This brought a totally different feel to the location… eerily blue and still before dawn, and soft and grey even after the sun had risen. I spent a long time on the rocks this time, shooting the obligatory icon shot in what were for me unique foggy conditions, but I also wandered the shoreline searching for more intimate scenes like the ones in this post.
There are certainly classic compositions to be had in the area under Otter Cliffs, and I have returned often in different seasons and at different times of day in search of light and conditions that help convey the beauty of this location. I feel as if I now “know” many of the elements better… individual rocks among the round boulders, the impressive granite cliffs rising up out of the Atlantic, and the usually hidden rocks that become uncovered at low tide. I never get tired of spending time here, and am sure that I will return again and again, photographing and enjoying what for me has become a familiar and favorite place.