Morning light moves fast. Right before I made the image above, I was shooting in the opposite direction, focusing on trying to create a composition that showcased the rugged, granite ledges along the Acadia National Park Loop Road. As I was doing so, I remembered to pause and take a quick glance over my shoulder to see if the high clouds rushing in ahead of an approaching front had caught any color… and as you can see… they had.
I love how the granite in Acadia takes on the color of the pre-dawn light. On different occasions I’ve seen it glow anywhere from red to orange to pink… sometimes it’s subtle, and sometimes it’s much more than that. On this particular morning, the sunrise over the ocean was mostly a yellow event, but for one fleeting moment overhead, we were treated to a palette of soft, pink light – only for a moment mind you – and as you can see, once again the Acadia granite didn’t disappoint.
I have visited Otter Cliffs and Boulder Beach in Acadia National Park often, always hoping to photograph an awesome sunrise partnered with some dramatic clouds and pounding surf. I have certainly been lucky at times with spectacular light, sometimes with ominous clouds, and at other times with pounding surf. Heck… I have even had two out of three on the rare occasion, but never has everything come together where the angels sing and I make the photograph I have been dreaming of. All of the forecasted conditions seemed to be happening as advertised this morning though, and as some warm pink hues peeked over the horizon I was beginning to get excited. Maybe this was the morning when everything would come together?
This was ten days before the summer solstice, with sunrise scheduled for a very early 4:48am and high tide supposed to hit at 7:05am. As my friend Josh and I cruised along the Loop Road toward the ocean, the adrenalin that was pumping masked the effects of the 2:30am start to the morning. Arriving at our destination with plenty of time to spare, we were welcomed by some of the most beautiful pre-dawn light I have ever seen. I made a couple of photographs looking back toward Great Head and Schoodic, but all the while I couldn’t help wondering just how good Otter Cliffs was going to look when this light hit them.
I even took my socks and shoes off and rolled my jeans up so that I could get closer to the breaking waves and round rocks. I learned that the Atlantic Ocean is quite chilly at this time of year, but that didn’t phase me one bit as I soaked in the incredible scene and waited for the moment. With my camera aimed at what I thought was a decent composition, all I needed was the bank of thick grey clouds that were gathering near the horizon to stay high enough to let the sun streak across the sky and light up the granite cliffs. As my toes started to get numb from the cold, and right about when the sun was supposed to make it’s appearance, like a curtain being drawn, the good light faded and the photograph below shows what the scene looked like. Oh well… still one of the most amazing places to let the senses soak in the experience at dawn, and all the more reason to return and try again 🙂