A Window to the World

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I’m celebrating the fact that I actually got off my you-know-what and made a new landscape photograph – one that I’m actually prepared to share! I hadn’t visited Acadia in several months, but all that changed this past weekend when local photographer Chad Tracy and I cruised down to MDI for a quick photo expedition. Despite the below freezing temperatures and the biting wind, standing on the rocky shoreline of my favorite national park never felt so good!

I’ll share a few more photographs from what was a beautiful sunrise over the next few days, so stay tuned. After exploring a part of the granite “ledges” along the Loop Road near Thunder Hole, our original plan was to meander back toward Sand Beach to maybe do some long exposures with the surf. We got sidetracked though when I realized how close we were to this unique location, and since the sun was already up, I was excited to visit at a time when I wouldn’t get the willies from it being too dark.

The ecosystem within this sea cave is extraordinarily delicate, so Chad and I were extremely cautious about making sure to walk only on the solid rock. Although not a huge secret, and relatively easy to find, to further protect this little gem I made Chad swear not to divulge the location to anyone else. The approach to the cave – and the floor inside – was quite slippery and tricky to navigate, and to add to the mystique, this location is only accessible at low tide. It was quite an experience to spend some time in here, and as we looked through the window out onto Frenchman Bay, we appreciated the shelter from the chilly winter air. I like this photograph, and I’m going to add it to my portfolio.

If you haven’t seen my full portfolio yet – if interested – you can click on over and check out a selection of my favorite images on Acadia and Beyond (in addition to Acadia, I’ve shared images of Maine, Ireland, Death Valley, Yosemite). If you do visit the site, drop me a line… I’d love to hear your thoughts. If interested in purchasing from the site between now and the New Year, to save some cash be sure to type in the discount code “Acadia” when checking out. A bargain… Happy holidays!

And yes… I’m trying out a new blog theme. Feedback appreciated on that too 🙂

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More twiddling…

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As I browse the Interwebz, I often see spectacular landscape photographs from Zion National Park. Unfortunately though, it’s a place I have yet to be able to spend any significant time in. I think it was maybe 6 years or so ago that I had the chance to literally drive through the park on my way to Salt Lake City for a conference. Needless to say, on this short visit I wasn’t able to explore the way I would have liked, and I also couldn’t do much about the so-so weather. Arriving midday, I can remember driving along the Virgin River into the canyon and being blown away by the sheer size (and beauty) of the rock walls surrounding me. Though the light on my visit wasn’t anything special, when you have time constraints like I did on this trip, you take what you get. I hopped on one of the easy trails and wandered for maybe an hour or so, making a few photographs along the way to remind me of a place I would like to return to someday. Warning: there are a couple of “icon” shots below – not in great light – but shots of icons nonetheless. California landscape photographer Ben Horne recently published his thoughts on shooting the icons and the lack of creativity required to make these photographs – worth a watch.

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Twiddling my thumbs

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As I sit here twiddling my thumbs in anticipation of the first snow covered landscape photography opportunity of the winter, I do what most photographers do… go back into the archives to see if there are any images I might have missed the first time around, or any that I might be able to post-process better after all this time. Here are a couple I came up with of a big rock in Yosemite National Park, hands down one of the most beautiful parcels of land I have ever seen…

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A picture postcard

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Here are a couple more images from my morning on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. There is so much to see on this magnificent summit, and for the photographer looking for interesting foreground elements to include in a composition… couldn’t ask for a better place. The ground cover that turns red in the fall is spectacular, and the weathered and shaped slabs of granite are truly impressive. Throw in the picturesque view of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands and you have, well… a picture postcard.

Sharing the love…

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Ever since Lori and I honeymooned in Acadia way back in the summer of 1988, we have always felt a strong bond to the park and Mount Desert Island. On that first visit together, as we hiked and biked our way from inn to inn, we utterly and completely fell in love with the Acadian landscape. Together we explored and enjoyed many of the mountains, coves, ponds and trails… all the while marveling at the striking character of what is an incredibly intimate, yet stunningly beautiful, national park.

In 1995, we made the decision to return and settle in Maine, and to this day, it still feels good to be living as close as we do to a place as remarkable as Acadia. We visit as often as we can and at all times of the year, and we never get tired of experiencing everything that this jewel of a national park offers. We’ve always maintained a personal and private connection with our time spent in Acadia, and despite the fact that nearly 3 million people visit this tiny place every year, we feel as though we can always find a way to make it our own.

Over the years we have always taken great pleasure in sharing our love for Acadia with friends and family as they come up north to visit. We can’t wait to take them to the top of Cadillac to enjoy the sunset, to Bubble Pond late in the afternoon as the water gets as still as glass, or to stroll the Ocean Path as first light washes over the rugged and famous coastline along the Loop Road. Seeing the look of wonder and appreciation on the faces of those witnessing the park for the first time… well, that never gets old. Gratitude is always expressed for the opportunity to experience such a remarkable place, but honestly, we just feel immensely lucky to be able to share this place we love.

Reaching out into the ocean

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It has been a while since I was out with the camera. These photographs are from a wonderfully calm evening spent at Marshall Point Lighthouse in late August. That’s almost six weeks since I tripped the shutter : (

The New England fall foliage season is in full swing around these parts, but it doesn’t look promising for me to be able to get out to make any photographs. This will be a busy week with work and with soccer season winding down, but you never know, maybe I’ll be able to steal away for a few hours later in the week.

In the meantime, here are a few black and white renditions of what is a particularly striking lighthouse on the Maine coast. This is the lighthouse that Forrest Gump ran to and ran to and ran to in the movie as he traversed back and forth across the country. It is a unique structure, one that just begs to be photographed.

The most photographed lighthouse in Maine

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Standing sentinel over Casco Bay, and the most photographed lighthouse in Maine, Portland Head Light is one of those places where I don’t think it is possible to take a bad photograph. Instantly recognizable from any angle, the striking white pillar contrasts wonderfully with the rocky headland it protects against.

Though the conditions on this visit were vastly different from when I made one of my favorite photographs, I never get tired of seeing this picturesque and photogenic Maine landmark. We were spending a relaxing family weekend in the Portland area when we visited on this occasion, and as we wandered along the coastal path away from the lighthouse, we got a true appreciation of the reason why this magnificent beacon was created in the first place.