A deer… spotted

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As winter starts to close in around us in Maine and I wonder if I will ever get out with the camera again, I took the opportunity to wander back into the vault and comb through my stash of images from the two glorious weeks we spent in Bar Harbor this past summer. Every time I go back into the archives I usually come across at least a couple of photographs that I either missed the first time around, or I didn’t deem worthy of processing. I must have missed this one.

I can remember returning to the cottage in the late afternoon after having spent the day cruising on Blue Hill Bay. As we turned down onto the long lane leading to our destination, right there standing in the middle of the road was this gorgeous animal. Only there for a split second though, it quickly skipped off and into the safety of the lush, wooded landscape.

Hoping to maybe catch another glimpse, I drove slowly and carefully, all the while keeping an eye on the area where the deer had disappeared. Just as we reached the top of the cottage driveway, out of the corner of my eye I noticed something move. I parked the car and retrieved my camera. Moving as stealthily as I could, and not wanting to startle the animal, I maneuvered to a spot where I had a clear look. With the 70-200mm f4 lens fully extended I wasn’t really all that close, but when the deer popped it’s head up and looked right at me, I squeezed off just the one frame that you see above. Can’t wait to get back to Bass Harbor again next summer!

A new look…

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Ten years ago I dabbled in web design, and believe me, in those days there was quite a learning curve involved in putting together a site that was easily navigable, rich in content, and pretty to look at, and if you were able to achieve all three, it probably would have cost you either an arm and a leg, or at a minimum, hours and hours of work! And this isn’t even considering trying to incorporate any of the social aspects of a modern, interactive web site… concepts like commenting, subscribing, and widgets that today come free with any blogging platform. WordPress makes it so very easy to customize your blog to suit your own needs, and I still sometimes can’t believe how simple it is from a technical point of view to design and maintain your own site.

Every now and then I take a little wander through the theme showcase here on WordPress, and probably like many bloggers, I start to futz with a new look, or at least what I think is a better one than whatever my current theme is. It is soooo easy to “preview” any of the available themes before activating them, though rarely have I had the urge to push the button and radically change the look of my blog… that is, until now.

I have been a big fan of the “Twenty Eleven” theme for a while, but when I came across this new “Piano Black” theme that you are obviously now seeing, something immediately clicked with me, and without too much debate inside my head, I just went ahead and pulled the trigger to activate it. Over time, I might consider designing my own custom header image for this new theme, but in the meantime, I like how sleek, simple, and modern it looks as is. I also like how well photographs are displayed on the neutral background, I like the typeface, and … well, I just like everything about it! Hope you do too!

Just to prove how nice photographs look on the background of this new theme, and since I believe that pictures can indeed paint a thousand words (or more), here’s one of my favorites so far from 2011… the Bass Harbor Lighthouse from an early morning in July.

The kids are alright

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Since Sam is 12 years older and off at college for most of the year, Jack is sort of an only child these days. He’s a pretty social kid, and with a slew of 7 year olds living on our block, he isn’t short of company. Any time he gets together with his cousins Isaiah (3), and Chloe (5), he is in his element. They all adore each other, and to see them playing so well together around the house throughout our recent Bass Harbor vacation was pretty cool. Aren’t they cute!

Marshall Brook, Bass Harbor

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Just a quick post of yet another stop on the Adams Bridge over Marshall Brook near Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island. I love this view, and as I have already mentioned, I find it hard not to stop, enjoy the scene, and maybe make a photograph. These are from an early morning visit during our recent vacation… the morning side-lighting and a circular polarizer really helped make the scene pop.

The best beer I have ever had

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From the moment we made our cottage reservation in Bass Harbor, I planned to photograph the lighthouse from the “other” side looking back toward the east. Most people shoot the lighthouse from the overlook where the bell is, and some even find the path to the left that takes you down to the jagged rocks where you get the classic view, but few get to shoot it from the “other” side.

I wondered about hopping the fence, but the “No Trespassing” sign was enough to deter me from doing that. I thought about trying to clamber around the lighthouse and along the rocks at low tide, but I wasn’t sure if there was access to the “other” side, even at the lowest of tides. That left me with one other option… to kayak along the coast and either shoot from the ocean, or beach it and set up on the exposed rocks.

I knew that the last light of the day at this time of year did not actually hit the lighthouse, so instead of sunset, this meant a late afternoon trip at around 6:00 p.m. My preconceived vision of what I was looking for involved dramatic clouds in the background being lit up by warm light, and I also wanted to catch some light on the white tower of the lighthouse. Lori took Jack and his buddy Jack – who was there for a sleepover – in the double kayak to keep me company on the way out, and even though the storm clouds didn’t materialize as I had hoped, I still liked the view.

I stashed a Corona with a couple of lime wedges and a handful of ice cubes into a water bottle, and as we set off toward the lighthouse, the tide was low and just about to start coming in. As we meandered along the shoreline, we were treated to some soft late afternoon light that was still warm, mixed in with a brisk ocean breeze. I had my 70-200mm f4 lens attached to my camera so that I could get a different perspective on the scene, and when I got within about 100 yards of the lighthouse I took a deep breath, stowed my paddle, and sat back to admire the view. I popped open the water bottle carrying my cold beverage, and took a few long swigs before I brought the camera up to my eye. I ended up taking way more photographs than I needed to, but as long as I had good light and some beer left, I was determined to stay as long as I could. And as the title of this post points out… I thoroughly enjoyed what was probably the best beer I have ever had 🙂

St. Sauveur and Flying Mountain

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During our two week stay in Bass Harbor we got into a routine where we picked out a local hike to do in the morning before the temperatures got too high. We explored three really enjoyable and similar hikes pretty much on back-to-back-to-back days… Acadia Mountain, the Ledge Trail to St. Sauveur, and then Flying Mountain.

Each of these hikes was fairly short in duration, but they all had moments when they required more than a walk. We liked the variety of terrain on each of the hikes, and as with every trail we tried on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, if we saw half a dozen people on our travels we would have considered it crowded. A nice vigorous hike and then a sandwich from Sawyer’s Market… hard to beat!

Cruising the Blue Hill Bay

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When visiting Acadia, there is so much to see and do if you stay on the land, but if you want a different perspective – and it is an island after all – then you have to get out onto the water. We considered trekking across the island to brave the throngs of tourists in Bar Harbor to take a cruise on the Margaret Todd, but in keeping with the quiet theme of this vacation, we instead decided to stay closer to home and made reservations to tour the Blue Hill Bay with Island Cruises out of Bass Harbor. As we left the calm waters of Bass Harbor, it was pretty cool to get a view of the famous Bass Harbor Lighthouse from the ocean.

Our captain was a great storyteller, so despite the amazing scenery all around us, we often found ourselves captivated by the history (and tales) he was sharing as we motored toward Great Gott Island. We learned the history of many of the island settlements, and about what life was like back in the day when these islands were once thriving communities. Our captain was a fountain of knowledge, and he gladly shared not only the history of the region, but also what it is like to be a modern-day lobster fisherman. He gave us a working demonstration of how to pull and bait a lobster trap, and he also explained the process by which lobstermen determine whether or not their catch can be kept and brought to market. As you can see, it isn’t just lobster that he catches!

The boat was rocking and the surf was up as we ventured beyond Great Gott, Little Gott, and Placentia Islands and then outside of the Blue Hill Bay. There was something about being “on the ocean” and outside the protection of the islands that made this trip pretty special, and as we cruised around and between some smaller islands, we were treated to some close-up views of all sorts of wildlife. On what was a two-hour voyage, we saw harbor and grey seals sunning themselves on rocky ledges, a bald eagle soaring high above, and all sorts of other sea birds nesting and feeding.

As we returned to the calmer waters of Bass Harbor around 5:00 p.m., we all agreed that this was probably the best Acadia boat trip that any of us had taken. Seeing things from off shore gave us a cool perspective, hearing about and being near the islands that we see from the mainland was exciting, and enjoying the wildlife was an added bonus, but I think what what truly made this trip was wonderful storytelling of our captain. Highly recommended!

When it all comes together II…

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So… I wasn’t expecting the conditions to be particularly special on this morning, but as the light slowly climbed from the east up and over my shoulder toward the lighthouse, I started to wonder if I might actually be in for a show? There were some soft, wispy clouds behind the lighthouse, and as the day began to brighten, my jaw literally dropped as I marveled at how the high clouds were being illuminated with a phenomenal pinkish hue.

Knowing that the light probably wouldn’t last long, and with a big grin on my face, I worked quickly to try to combine all of the elements within the frame into something I liked. I couldn’t have ordered better weather conditions, and the impressive lighthouse that welcomes returning mariners to Bass Harbor certainly did its part. Below is a photograph that I am particularly pleased with… and well worth the feast I provided for the many mosquitoes!

When it all comes together I…

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Sunrise was scheduled for 4:56 a.m., and since we were staying literally half a mile from this location, I didn’t have to set the alarm clock for too early like I normally would. In fact – as usually happens – I stirred before the alarm even went off, and as also usually happens, I lay there contemplating whether or not to roll over and go back to sleep. The weather forecast had called for crystal clear skies at sunrise, and even though I knew the scene would probably still be impressive, I have been here many times in similar conditions and wasn’t sure if it would be worth my while to follow through with the plan… I’m glad I did!

When I first arrived, the rising tide was still low enough to reveal a small ledge that offers a cool tidepool reflection of the lighthouse. Scampering over some jagged rocks and always aware of what the rising tide was doing behind me, I quickly set up my gear in a spot where I could take advantage of the unique view. Based on my experience from the previous evening when we wandered down to check out the lighthouse, I was pretty sure I would encounter some blood-sucking mosquitoes eager to snack on me for breakfast… and boy was I right! Despite wearing long pants and a hooded sweatshirt, my thirsty little friends were determined to get a taste, and they even managed to bite through my clothes!

As the pre-dawn light started to paint the landscape, I was very aware of the sounds around me. Despite the constant buzzing in my ears, I was able to enjoy the incoming waves breaking peacefully over the rocky headland and the off-shore buoy clanking musically in the swells of the bay. As the morning light grew, I wondered if those pretty high clouds behind the lighthouse would offer any color? Boy did they ever..!

Bass Harbor Light

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The cottage we are renting is about half a mile from the famous and iconic Bass Harbor Lighthouse, and although we have been here for over a week already, I had yet to pay it a visit with my camera. This image is from a leisurely walk we made on a lazy summer evening, and I don’t think I have ever seen so many skeeters in my life! I have plans to get out in the kayak onto the less familiar side of the point so that I can check out the possibilities for something new compositionally from late in the afternoon, and I do have photographs to share from what are likely the MOST spectacular morning conditions I have ever experienced there… so stay tuned… that’s in a few days 😉

Soaring high above Acadia

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Last summer Jack and I went up for what was a spectacular aerial tour of Mount Desert Island in an Acadia Air Tours biplane, and we enjoyed it so much that we decided a gift certificate would be the perfect present for Grandpa. The weather on our vacation has been amazing so far, and as you can see from the the photographs in this post, we had perfect conditions to enjoy the flight. I think it’s safe to say that Grandpa got a kick out of this adventure, and oh yeah… the “official” family photographer just had to go along for the ride too 🙂

Bass Harbor Marsh, Acadia

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Every single time I pass over the bridge that spans Marshall Brook I find myself staring at what I consider to be a breathtaking scene. There is something about the view laid out before you that catches my eye every time… no matter what the time of day or the prevailing weather conditions, I find myself always having to pull over.

Looking north across the Bass Harbor Marsh toward Bernard (left) and Mansell Mountains (right), the eyes are treated to a snaking river that gently winds its way off into the distance. Just outside Bass Harbor, this scene is one of those places that just begs to be enjoyed, and since I have yet to make a photograph that I believe truly does it justice, I will just have to keep on stopping every time I pass this way!

What to do on a foggy day?

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Day two and the sun stubbornly refuses to make an appearance, so what do you do on a foggy day like this? You comb the beach for cool rocks and shells, you make fairy houses in the woods, you explore the Wonderland Trail in the fog, and you jump in the kayaks and go for a paddle. Despite the cooler temperatures and overcast skies today, Jack and his cousins Chloe and Isaiah are having a ball. The forecast is for warmer temperatures the rest of the week with morning fog burning off to reveal clearing skies… classic Maine summer weather!

This little stretch of rocky beach between Bass Harbor and the Bass Harbor Lighthouse is proving to be quite beautiful, with different conditions and changing tides unveiling lots to see and do. The soft, diffused light of the cloudy morning made the rocks come alive with color, and I had fun wandering the shoreline pointing my camera down instead of up!

Secrets revealed

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As the sun got lower in the sky, I wandered down onto the rocky beach below our rental cottage where low tide had revealed all sorts of interesting shapes and textures.  The ocean was calm and quiet tonight, softly lapping the shore with a rhythmic and gentle beat, and in amongst the periwinkle and barnacle covered-rocks scattered along the shoreline, I found little pockets of color which were being illuminated by the soft, late light.

As the sun slowly dipped below the horizon, I had a grand time using my camera to try to both isolate and connect various elements of the landscape – all the while remembering to soak in the surroundings and smell the clean, fresh sea air. Just around the furthest corner in the last photograph is the famous Bass Harbor Lighthouse… perhaps I should pay it another visit when the light is good?

The island life…

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…on Mount Desert Island that is. When Granny and Grandpa generously offered to rent a house in Maine for two weeks this summer, the search was on for the right place. We’ve never really done a big family get together, so we had to find a house with enough space for all of the kids (Jack and his cousins Chloe and Isaiah) to play, and one that satisfied the adults’ desire for a relaxing getaway.

We looked at some properties down toward the Georgetown area, and even further south below Portland, but as the search progressed, we kept coming back to the spectacular Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. We settled on a beautiful cottage right on the ocean just outside Bass Harbor on the quiet side of the island. We are literally about half a mile from the famous Bass Harbor Lighthouse, so if the conditions look right, I might just have to pay it another visit.

As you can see… the views from the deck of the house across Bass Harbor toward Lopaus Point are remarkable. As I sat out on the deck late into the night watching the Milky Way glow overhead in the dark sky, I couldn’t help thinking that these next two weeks are going to be quite something… thanks to Granny and Grandpa 🙂

Top 10 places to shoot in Acadia

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I am sometimes asked by visiting photographers who only have a short period of time to spend in Acadia where the best places to shoot are. While I can certainly offer some specific location suggestions, it should be noted that there is beauty to be found all across Acadia, and this post merely outlines some of my own personal favorite places to shoot. Everyone knows about the familiar and iconic locations you see on picture postcards – and for good reason since they are strikingly beautiful – but there is so much more to Acadia than Otter Cliffs, Cadillac Mountain, and the Bass Harbor lighthouse. Acadia is an absolute jewel of a national park, and for those with time to explore, it is a landscape photographer’s paradise. Anyhoo… for the photographer with limited time to spend in the area, here are some ideas to get you started on the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia… icons and all. If interested in purchasing prints, go to my “real” site at: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com

1. Cadillac Mountain – Back home in Ireland we have the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down that sweep down to the sea, and at 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain too rises up from the ocean making it appear larger than it actually is. On this particular morning there were some hazy clouds on the eastern horizon which on the one hand obscured the sunrise, but on the other hand helped diffuse the light creating some wonderful pink and purple hues. I plopped myself down on the slope of Cadillac and enjoyed the show. I especially liked how the early colors from the sky were absorbed by the foreground rocks, though after a few minutes the more familiar golden light began to bathe the summit. Not a bad way to start the day.

2. Bubble Pond – Nestled between Pemetic Mountain (1,248 feet), and Cadillac Mountain (1,532 feet), Bubble Pond is a glaciated valley that is now home to a beautiful and pristine pond. Using a circular polarizer, I was able to eliminate reflections from the crystal clear pond water allowing views of the rocky bottom. The polarizer also removed the glare of the mid-morning light from the trees hugging the rugged shoreline, and it enhanced the definition in the clouds. The intermittent sunshine breaking through the clouds made the scene sparkle, and in the fall the foliage colors here come alive.

3. Jordan Pond Stream – I had looked at the weather forecast for the day, and it had predicted overcast skies and some light showers… perfect weather for shooting fall foliage and running water. Clouds provide softer, more diffused light which makes getting a good exposure easier, and any rainfall that came my way would certainly help saturate the already vibrant fall colors. Intermittent raindrops and relatively cool fall temperatures did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm as I stumbled upon scene after scene with rich and striking foliage colors complimenting the dynamic water rushing downhill toward Little Long Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Fallen leaves were scattered everywhere, and the pockets of color and mini-landscapes that I encountered around just about every turn were amazing.

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4. Bass Harbor Light – Bass Harbor Light is quintessential Maine. Part of Acadia National Park, it is a classic New England-style lighthouse perched on jagged rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a place that I genuinely enjoy being at… whether I am fighting off the summer mosquitoes, listening to the fog-dampened sound of the buoy bell, or fumbling with cold fingers in the dead of winter. Regular readers of this blog will notice that I have been to this spot quite a few times, but seeing the ocean and the impressive beacon watching over it never gets old. This is a great place to shoot at either sunrise or sunset… both can provide spectacular views.

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5. Monument Cove – 
Monument Cove is a little piece of heaven tucked quietly away between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs in Acadia National Park. If you have ever walked the ocean path along the loop road you have probably stopped to enjoy the view from the small rock wall atop the 100 ft high cliff looking down into Monument Cove and further to Otter Cliffs. Most people settle for the view from above, justifiably marveling at the beauty below, but I like to get a little closer to the action. Not easy to get down into, this small cove is protected on three sides by steep rocky cliffs, and the Atlantic Ocean does it’s job protecting the fourth side. I love this place… even in summer there rarely is anyone there, and you are pretty much guaranteed to have it all to yourself if you visit first thing in the morning any time of year. Combined with some nice light, the knocking sounds from the round rocks being jostled by the waves makes this a pretty neat experience. As always, first light does a number on the Acadia granite shoreline, lighting it up to create a sight that only the earliest of risers will experience.

6. Boulder Beach – There are a myriad of classic compositions to be had in the area in the shadow of 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 algae-covered rocks that become uncovered at low tide. Definitely a sunrise location, both high and low-tides offer many creative possibilities.

7. Otter Cliffs – As winter started to really grab hold of the season, I had been itching to get out with the camera so I decided to visit one of my favorite places and see if I could capture some snow blanketing the famous round rocks below Otter Cliffs. An early start that morning got me there about 45 minutes before the sun was scheduled to crest at 6:36am, and as always, I had the place completely to myself. Though the temperature was certainly chilly, there was little to no wind blowing, and since I was dressed in several layers, the 13 degrees Farenheit actually felt quite comfortable. An iconic view for sure, like much of the scenery along the Loop Road, Otter Cliffs are especially spectacular at first light. This view can be obtained by turning your tripod legs about 45 degrees clockwise from the scene above.

8. Thunder Hole and Loop Road – Anyone who visits Acadia National Park probably takes in the grand vista offered all along the stretch of blacktop known as The Loop Road. Surely one of America’s most picturesque roadways, visitors who choose this path weave their way from the park entrance through lush New England forest under the shadow of imposing granite mountains to the ragged and distinctive Maine shoreline that adorns many a picture postcard. Even in midday light, there are photographs to be made along this stretch of road, and on this day strong swell after swell would come crashing onshore, and though it was certainly an impressive sight, the sound and power of the ocean were the real stars of this show.

9. Little Long Pond – It was 23 25 years ago this July that Lori and I visited Acadia on our honeymoon. It was the first time we had been to Maine, and we both immediately fell in love with the park. We rented bicycles for part of our week there, cycling from inn to inn as we traversed across Mount Desert Island. I can recall how exciting and exhilarating cycling around the roads of Acadia was, with the anticipation and expectation of what we would see over the next hill or around the next bend always fueling our efforts. On one particularly stunning morning, we were freewheeling down Peabody Drive toward Bracy Cove when we were stopped in our tracks by an amazing view looking away from the ocean and toward Long Pond and Penobscot Mountain. Back in those days I was only carrying a disposable film camera with me, but I can remember getting a really nice photograph from this location, and the 4 x 6 print was one of the few images from the trip that I was quite proud of. Over the years that one image has unfortunately become displaced, but I can still vividly see that same scene in my mind’s eye. I have been back to this location many times since – in fact, any time I am driving along the shore road I can’t help but stop to see the view again. Each time I take my camera with me, and depending on the conditions, I guess have been trying to emulate that shot from 22 years ago. In this more recent photograph, the late afternoon sun dropped some nice light and shadow on the pond, and a circular polarizer helped reduce the glare on the water lillies, producing those same wonderful Acadia greens and blues… just like I remember.

10. Manset and Seawall – I have always looked forward to mid-June when the Lupine in Maine come to life. Serious gardeners often disparage this hardy perennial for its ability to overwhelm a planned garden space. Me… I love the swaths of deep color that appear along the roadside at this time of year, and I have long searched for a nice composition that includes these beautiful flowers. During one of our many family camping trips to Acadia we spent a really nice evening, free from the already increasing crowds in Bar Harbor, along the quiet shore at Seawall. As we made our way past Southwest Harbor and through Manset, this pretty little scene presented itself. Needless to say I started drooling, stopped the car, and enjoyed the view with my camera. The road along the shore between Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor is home to some quiet, less-frequented places with family-friendly trails like Wonderland and Ship Harbor to enjoy… well worth a visit.

Southwest Harbor, Seawall, Somesville, Northeast Harbor, Sand Beach, Eagle Lake, Pick-a-mountain trail, Asticou Gardens, Bar Harbor, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Seal Harbor, carriage roads and bridges, Schoodic, and Isle-au-Haut… you get the idea… there is SO MUCH MORE to see in what is a small but surprisingly stunning national park, and for those interested in spending some time photographing the landscape, you really can’t go wrong!

Do you have a favorite place to photograph in Acadia? I’d love to hear about it…

* I’m updating this post to include a quieter part of Acadia, Schoodic. Just recently I have had the pleasure of exploring this part of the world, and I have to admit, I have totally fallen in love.

If interested in purchasing prints, go to my “real” site at: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com

My Favorite Photographs from 2010

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I tried my best to resist the urge to follow along with the trend of posting favorite photographs of the year, but in the end I couldn’t stop myself. On a positive note, I do believe that reflection is one of the strongest learning tools one could ever employ – so I do this little exercise in the name of improving my photography skills.

Looking back over the year and picking favorites is not an easy task, and as you can see below I wasn’t exactly able to whittle it down to a top 10! Also, I know that just because I like a photograph it doesn’t mean others will like it, so though these aren’t necessarily my best photographs… they are my favorite photographs!

For me, there is usually a story to accompany each image, and it is more about the experience of having been there… hearing the early morning sounds that no-one else does, being amazed by the beauty of nature in a new place, or simply seeing something in a familiar place that I hadn’t previously noticed… these are why my photography expeditions are so personal.

Anyhoo… some from far away and some from close to home here in Maine… here they are, not in any particular order… my favorite photographs from 2010… enjoy!

Last Light of the Year

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My friend Josh just bought his first DSLR, so he and I ventured out today to take it for a spin. What better place for someone to practice their photography than my favorite lighthouse… Bass Harbor Light. Regular readers of this blog will notice that I have been to this spot quite a few times lately, but seeing the ocean and the impressive beacon watching over it never gets old.

As we crossed the bridge onto Mount Desert Island, the temperature outside registered a balmy 46 degrees. For someone who isn’t a fan of the Maine winter cold, that is music to my ears. Josh and I spent a couple of hours exploring many of the compositional possibilities from this scene, and as the last light of the year faded, we were treated to perhaps some of the best conditions I have experienced here.

Some high clouds moved in behind the lighthouse right as the sun was getting ready to dip below the horizon, and a soft pink glow lit up the sky. Josh was doing his homework shooting the scene from every angle, and I was trying for something different… dare I say original? I slapped the 6-stop neutral density filter on and tried to capture some movement in the clouds by using an especially long shutter speed. With a circular polarizer and an ND filter stacked on my 17-40mm lens I was getting exposures somewhere in the range of 30 seconds.

I didn’t realize until I downloaded my pics that I had been shooting jpgs all afternoon instead of RAW – sigh – and when I went to change my batteries just as the light was getting really good I discovered that not one of my spares was charged. Despite my rookie mistakes, Josh and I had a great time photographing our own local icon together, and I am quite excited to see the images he made.

It wasn’t lost on me that this was the last sunset of 2010… so Happy New Year to you and yours, and thanks for stopping by.

 

Lighthouses of Maine

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Stumbling over the image of Marshall Point Light (I think that’s what it is called) from my previous post got me thinking about photographs I have made of other Maine lighthouses such as the one of Portland Head Light above. This also brought back vivid memories of the bone-chilling cold temperatures and icy wind from when I made this image late one January afternoon.

Anyway,  I went back into the archives and did some digging around to see what I could find on lighthouses, and the selection posted below is a small sampling. Most of the images seen here are from a few years ago when I was still shooting slide film, which gives me incentive to re-visit some of these places to see what I can do digitally. Pemaquid, West Quoddy, Portland Head, Rockland Breakwater, and Bass Harbor are just a few of the classic and iconic lighthouses standing guard along the Maine coast, with many more to be explored. Hmmm… perhaps this could be my project for the next few winter months?

Bass Harbor Light, Acadia National Park

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I have photographed this lighthouse in Acadia National Park many times, but I don’t think I have ever been there in the month of December. The weather was relatively mild for this time of year in Maine – mid 40’s – and apart from one other person wandering around the rocks, I had the place all to myself.

I had checked the weather forecast and it looked like a winter storm might be breaking just as the sun was scheduled to go down, so I jumped in the car and hurried down to Mount Desert Island anticipating a nice sunset. The wind was blowing pretty well, and off to my left the waves at low tide were crashing hard. Standing on the edge of the atlantic with such a remarkable view isn’t a bad way to spend some time.

I spent a couple of hours in this wonderful spot enjoying the view, and this first image was made about 20 minutes before sunset as I was waiting for the sun to dip below the thicker band of clouds that you can see on the horizon. Taking a moment to experiment, using my 6 stop neutral density filter I was able to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, thereby allowing for longer shutter speeds. I combined two exposures for this photograph… one for the foreground, and one of 21 seconds to catch the movement in the clouds.

I never get tired of being in Acadia with my camera, and this little lighthouse just begs to be photographed. I was happy to oblige 🙂