Behind the scenes…


1-5-14 bass harbor4

Here’s a little peek behind the scenes as it were. When I arrived at Bass Harbor Lighthouse about an hour before sunrise, I quickly realized that the light, though subtle and quite calming, wasn’t going to produce a lot of action in the sky, so I started to look for ways to make the scene before me more interesting. The little white structure perched high above the Atlantic Ocean is obviously the star of the show, and the jagged granite shoreline plays a solid complimentary role, but without a compelling backdrop, it would be hard to make an engaging composition. I needed to get closer to the water.

1-5-14 bass harbor4(where?)

The recent sub-zero blast of Arctic air had left the rocks covered in ice, so I had to be somewhat careful as I navigated my surroundings. If you’ve ever visited this spot you’ll likely remember that although some care needs to be taken, it isn’t that difficult to get out onto the edge of the rocks. On this day however, all of those cracks and crevices were filled with either ice or snow, which made traversing the rocky landscape quite precarious. I knew if I could get myself and my camera out onto the rock to the left of the frame, I would be able to include the waves in a composition.Β In the photograph above, I’ve diagrammed where my camera was set up.

1-5-14 bass harbor2

Two exposures blended: 0.5s for the sky and 3.2s for the foreground

So, despite being a tad unsure of my footing, I used my tripod to provide stability and set out to get that little bit closer to what would hopefully be a dynamic foreground element. I splayed the tripod legs wide so I could get as low to the ground as possible, and when I turned the camera and wide-angle lens to portrait orientation, I was able to include a lot into one frame. I have to admit, laying down on the rocks with my back to the large ocean swells was just a tiny bit unnerving, butΒ I should note, although it looks like I was balanced in a uncertain place, I wasn’t in any jeopardy. I would never put myself in a dangerous position just for a photograph.


33 thoughts on “Behind the scenes…

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Dan. I have to admit I’m quite partial to black and white imagery myself. I’ve a couple more to share from this visit, and a few of them are in B&W.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. Combining two exposures is out of necessity (at least artistic necessity), otherwise some part of a scene like this would be either too dark or too light.

  1. It looks like it was well worth the effort…of course, I say that from a couple thousand miles away and from the relative safety and comfort (?) of my desk at work. πŸ™‚ It’s another beautiful image, David…and looks like the clouds agreed to help a little bit, as well, with their touch of light. Wonderful….

    • David Patterson

      Thank you… it was relatively easy to get to this pretty spot. I just had to be careful with the snow and ice. Glad you like the photograph πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve never been to Acadia in the winter, David. So I am envious of your ability to visit here and the rest of the park under different conditions. The image is great. I really enjoyed the monochrome version, but this color one is pretty darned nice too.
    Re the icy rocks…..when I traipse around the local streams and other icy situations I wear a pair of Microspikes. They are fantastic. It’s still treacherous on the rocks and, I am sure on these as well, but they really dig in.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the kind words Steve, and for the suggestion. My wife has a pair of those lying in the house, and I hadn’t even thought of using them. They’d probably work wonders in these conditions.

  3. David,
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first post of the B & W shot, and now the behind the scenes photo with explanation. Thanks for sharing the method behind the beauty! Glad you kept your footing.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. I’m glad you liked my photograph, but I’m afraid you have me confused with someone else. I think the person you are referring to has his blog here:

      Who knew there would be another talented and handsome David Patterson πŸ˜‰

      Nice work yourself by the way.

  4. Great post showing how a little different vantage point can make a big difference. Climbing out on those rocks is scary enough even without ice. (I mostly worry for my equipment and not bodily harm!)

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Ed. Happy New Year to you too. This wasn’t meant to sound like some grand and dangerous escapade – just some icy rocks to deal with πŸ™‚

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