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Photography in Acadia

August 19, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I would like to think that most people see Maine as a beautiful place. I certainly do. Especially Bar Harbor and the Acadia National Park. This area has been somewhere I've visited several times now over the years and my wife and I returned once again for a few days to admire the park and the town with all it's offerings and it's clear popularity as a tourist hotspot.

Canon 5D MkIII, 24-105 F4L, ISO800, 73mm, F5.6, 1/400th

We arrived on a Monday and weather couldn't have been better. After checking in at the campground we wanted to explore. One of my favorite places has always been Cadillac Mountain. As the weather was amazing we decided to head up there for the sunset. It was very busy but you could still find areas of solitude to quietly take in the views. As the sun began to set I had found my shot: A lone dying tree amongst the green surroundings (See below). As everyone swarmed in facing the sun I was the only one looking the opposite direction waiting for the sun to dip below a big cloud and light up the side of this tree. With the number of people around I was lucky to find a moment where I had a clear shot. I'm glad that I waited for the right moment.

24-105 F4L, ISO800, 50mm, f5.6, 1/200th

On our way down the mountain we stopped to check out one last spot as the sun hit the horizon. (See top) Sunset shots can be boring if you're not careful no matter how great it is in person. This happy couple provided a great foreground element to add to the fantastic spectacle of this sunset. I got a shot of them kissing too but, for some reason, this one felt better to me. Their enjoyment of the event seemed better with them enjoying it rather than enjoying each other.

That evening the skies remained clear and from our campground I could see how bright the stars were. I needed to explore a little and my wife joined me on a little night mission through the campground. There wasn't a lot of great spots but I decided to see if I could make use of some road markings and an LED flashlight. 

Canon 16-35 F2.8L, ISO6400, 16mm, f4.5, 30sec

This was my fourth or 5th attempt at this shot. It's VERY difficult to get focus in the dark. Using a flashlight or even a laser pointer will help. 

As I was taking this shot a father and his 2 kids came walking by. I told him what I was doing (as it looked a bit sketchy otherwise) and showed them the shot. They told us that a short distance away you could access the coast and see some amazing sky. There had even been meteor showers. It was lucky they ran into us as we would have never known it was there! Especially at night. In less than 5 minutes we had arrived and were all alone at this magnificent spot. It was clear and warm with a slight breeze. It couldn't have been nicer. And boy, could you see the Milky Way! This was a first for me with it being so prominent...

16-35 F2.8L, ISO5000, 16mm, f2.8, 30secs

Amy was loving every second too!

16-35 F2.8L, ISO5000, 16mm, F2.8, 30secs


The night couldn't have lasted long enough! It was something to remember and I'm happy I got some shots to remember the night. 

The following morning we woke up to clouds and fog. The tuesday was forecasted dull with a 60% chance of rain. Not ideal when you're tenting it but what are you going to do? We drove out and into the park and decided we would make the most of Acadia, even if you could only see a few hundred yards in front of you! This however, provided some photographic possibilities all of it's own!

Canon 24-105 F4L, ISO200, 40mm, F6.3, 1/400th

The mist rolled in thicker at times then pulled back out. It was really a magical feel and I found a couple of trees perched on the edge of the rocks that asked me to take a picture of them. I took several shots with the mist at various thicknesses. This one felt good once I got them all into Lightroom. It's easy to make shots like this black and white but the color seemed to work well. Muted yet telling of what it was like to be there.

24-105 F4L, ISO200, 24mm, F6.3, 1/640th

The following day was overcast as well but kept the heat at bay and still made for pleasant outings. In fact, the day we arrived and following morning offered the best photo opportunities of the week. Feeling I had my quota I tried to focus more on enjoying the vacation and shopping online for a new car (but that's a whole other story!) 

There was one more shot I had scouted that I decided I must tackle....

16-35 F2.8L, ISO2000, 35mm, F2.8, 25secs

Thank you taking a look and prints are available if you go to the 'Art' section.


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