Breathing in the ocean air…

1-5-14 bass harbor1 BW

Canon 5D Mk II, 315 seconds, f13, iso 100, 17-40 mm lens at 24 mm

I was determined to get out with the camera this weekend, but the frigid temperatures of late had made me a little gun-shy about making my usual pre-dawn start. Considering that the recent temperatures had dipped as low as minus 15 F with wind chills down around minus 30 F, perhaps you can understand my reluctance to make an early start to go stand on the icy ocean shore? Anyhoo… Sunday afternoon rolled around and it was beginning to look like another weekend would come and go without me getting my backside in gear. That’s when I looked at the most recent forecast – whaddya know, the temperature had risen by a whopping 35 degrees. It was now a balmy 20 F, and that was my cue to jump in the car and take a run down to Acadia National Park.

Most of the good stuff in Acadia is on the eastern side of the island and ideally suited for a morning shoot, but there are some cool places that lend themselves well to a more westerly view and a sunset composition. One such place is this cute little lighthouse that both warns and welcomes the mariners of Bass Harbor. There were some relatively uninteresting dappled clouds moving overhead in the darkening sky, and since the sunset colors I was hoping for didn’t really materialize, I figured it might be worth experimenting with a longer exposure. Not really sure what I would get by keeping the shutter open for a long time, I set the camera to bulb mode, triggered the remote, and waited. There’s nothing quite like being in a spot like this – there wasn’t another soul around, and as darkness enveloped the landscape, I breathed deeply and made sure to truly appreciate my surroundings.

32 thoughts on “Breathing in the ocean air…

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Nate. I know this scene is low-hanging fruit when it comes to photographing Acadia, but I’ve always loved spending time here. This was the last photograph of the day… just clicked the remote and sat back to enjoy the scene. Wonderful place where you can literally touch, hear and smell the ocean.

  1. Andrew Thomas

    Very nice indeed, David! I was telling someone today how it feels like we in the middle of winter here at the moment… is only about 56 today (should be up in the 80s plus). So its hard for me to imagine what you are facing. But it was well worth it for this. It must be nice to go to such a popular spot and have it all to yourself!
    All the best for 2014!

    • David Patterson

      Andrew – thanks, and Happy New Year to you and Deb too. Boy, what I’d give for 56 degrees right now! Here’s hoping the temps get back to normal for you soon. I guess the ice and snow kept everyone away from this wonderful place today – it was quite a tricky scramble to get where I needed to get to for this one… well worth it though 🙂

  2. David, one off my favorite lighthouses but it is more than that….the sky shows off your shot that just makes it go right to the the lighthouse. It is worth getting on my computer just to see what you are going to come up with next. This was worth the wait. Thanks. Kat

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the kind words. I always enjoy the mystery of what a might transpire after keeping the shutter open for along time. No blazing sunset this time, but I REALLY enjoyed being there.

  3. Stunning B&W. Love the lines in the clouds and rock line edge. I can appreciate when an interesting scene comes together. I am further please that the capture covers all zones; the lightest lights and darkest darks are rendered beautifully.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Dan. While a blazing sunset would have been nice, I’ll take nice, even light like this every now and then too!

  4. redwolf99

    Although I’m just a 14 years old girl, I know this is an Amazing photo shot! My eyes wide open when I see your photograph. The sky, the lighthouse, and the rocks are inspiring. It give me another way to see the beauty of the world.

    • David Patterson

      Why thank you for the very kind words. It’s pretty amazing what you can see when you leave the camera shutter open for a long time. I love compressing time into that one frame, though I can very clearly remember the 5+ minutes spent hanging out in what is a favorite place.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Conor… as someone who left Ireland 26 years ago, it does my heart good to see your wonderful photographs. Thanks for sharing.

    • David Patterson

      Thank you very much! I had a great time being back in Acadia with the camera. I’ve a few more from this particular afternoon to share… stay tuned.

  5. It’s a beautiful image, David. I love how the long exposure rendered the ocean creamy and the clouds as silk. My only experiences at that spot have been with dozens of other people taking every available inch of real estate during the fall color season. Although cold, it must have been a wonderful experience to have such a treasure all to yourself. Thanks for sharing.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Rick. Most times I’ve visited here – and there have been many – I have the place to myself. In the warmer months early morning starts usually deter a lot of folks, and in the winter months.. no-one. Don’t know if you remember, but standing on that little ledge with the ocean swells right there beside you is exciting… and once you deal with the initial excitement, it then becomes enchanting.

      • I do remember that ledge! The last time I was at Acadia (three falls ago), someone got swamped by an incoming wave because they were too close to the edge.

        I hope you continue to have time to make forays into Acadia and your part of Maine. I love seeing your images. You’re very gifted and capture the essence of the area so well. I hope you and your family have a truly prosperous and happy new year.

        • David Patterson

          Thanks Rick. I remember a couple of years ago when landscape photographer Aaron Feinberg was visiting from Hawaii – I don’t think he would mind me sharing this story – I brought him here, and he too was almost swept away by a big wave that flowed up and over that little ledge. Me… I had warned Aaron about the possibilities, and you could find me up a little higher on drier ground 🙂

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