Practicing for fall foliage…

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Here in Maine we’re about three weeks away from what I hope will be a colorful fall foliage season this year. Since I haven’t had the camera out much lately, I figured I’d better get some practice in before the leaves really start to change. So, what better place to dust the cobwebs off than Acadia National Park? I say three weeks, but there were already pockets of color developing in the swampy areas around the Great Meadow, so maybe things will happen a little earlier this year?

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These images are from a quiet little path that winds its way through the Great Meadow amongst some striking silver birches. I’m never sure if this is the Jesup Path or the Hemlock Trail, but either way, it’s a place that usually rewards the landscape photographer looking for fall foliage colors. Within a few weeks there’ll be a carpet of yellow covering the narrow path seen here, and I for one will be sure to return.

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I intentionally brought only one lens with me on this trip – the 50mm f1.8 – or thrifty fifty as it is sometimes known as. It’s a relatively cheap little plastic lens, but the quality of image it can produce under the right conditions belies the build, construction and price. I experimented with using a large aperture and a shallow depth of field, so most of what I shot throughout the day as I explored just a little part my favorite national park was dialed in on the camera at around f2.0-3.5.

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Oliver made the trip down to Acadia with us, and in the photograph below, he, Lori, Jack and Cathryn (visiting from Ireland), had walked on ahead while I moseyed along doing my photographer thing. I was about 50 yards or so behind the group when I asked everyone to jump off the trail and let Oliver run back to me. Needless to say, my boy needed no encouragement to come charging down the path to greet me… quite a sight!

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Fall Colors

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The wind is whipping pretty hard and the rain is coming down in sheets as I write this. I have yet to get out this year to really enjoy the changing fall colors, and by the time this storm blows through there might not even be any leaves left on the trees! Traditionally the colors should be peaking down on the coast this weekend, and my plan is to take a couple of runs down to Acadia over the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I am dipping back into the archives to share this image of Mount Katahdin from a year ago. I had a hard time truly conveying this scene with the camera… it was just above freezing as the top of Katahdin became bathed in soft early light. The fast-moving clouds that surrounded the peak also caught some of that light, creating a remarkable sight both around the mountain summit and in the foreground reflection. The grandeur of Baxter State Park and the mighty Katahdin was of course impressive, but in this scene I was especially drawn to the colorful carpeting of fallen leaves that seemed to stretch forever. Here’s hoping there are still some leaves left on the trees when I get down to Acadia National Park this weekend!