I love Acadia National Park. It is such an awesome gem, tucked in the heart of Maine's coast. Acadia was formed in 1919, under the original name of Lafayette National Park, with much of its land being donated to the federal government by private citizens. The name was changed in 1929 to Acadia National Park, in honor of the former French colony that included part of the state of Maine. Outside of Shenandoah, it is the largest national park within driving distance. Acadia, on paper, is only about 8 1/2 hours from my apartment in Manhattan. The real deal is that it is about 11 hours, when traffic and stops are included. Since it is relatively close, Chanthee and I have gone at least once a year - and sometimes as much as two or three times - until last year when we did not go. As it was two years since my last trip, I was feeling the need to go back.
Having photographed there over the last few years, I have been fortunate to get a lot of really nice photos...at least I think so. With this mind, I went to Acadia to get three specific photos. I wanted a good sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, a good sunrise at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and a good sunset at Jordan Pond. You might figure that given that these are some of the premier locations in Acadia that I would have a ton of photos in those locations....and I do. I am looking for the rainbow though...with the grizzly and the eagle swooping out of the background. I want 'the shot' - never mind that you will never see a griz in Acadia. I:)
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Sunset:
In the week that we were in Acadia, we spent two sunrises and two sunsets at Bass Harbor Light. This was the best I could get of the two sunsets that I was there for:
I am very pleased with the composition over-all. I like the long diagonal lines, essentially bisecting the photograph. It has most everything I am looking for - form, texture, perspective and it was certainly taken at the right time of day. I really enjoy the tidal pool where I am able to get the reflection of the lighthouse in. Unfortunately we got blanked for great light/color. The clouds just would not cooperate and there was not space for the light to refract and create those beautiful pink and red hues that I was looking for. "Sometimes the candy bar, sometimes the wrapper," as a wise friend of mine often says. It is not that the photo is bad - actually I still quite like it. I just know that the difference between a good photograph and an awesome one is that it has all of the components you are looking for - not just some of them.
This next shot from Bass Harbor though - I really like this. When there is nothing in the sky, honestly you may not want it in your composition. Using that small tidal pool to reflect the light from the lighthouse, I was able to create something that has all of the components I was looking for. I am really pleased with this shot. I bet you it would look really cool with a little bit of frost....next time.:P
If there is a spot in Acadia National Park that is considered to be 'the crown jewel,' it is definitely Cadillac Mountain. Ansel Adams described Cadillac Mountain as, "a high dome of stone, almost Arctic in mood, rising with hoary patience above a restless ocean." Cadillac Mountain, at 1530 feet, is the highest point on the North Eastern Seaboard. It is also the first place to see the sunrise in the United States of America. For example, the sun rises about a half hour earlier in Cadillac Mountain than it does when I am here in Manhattan.
In all of my trips to Cadillac Mountain, I have never - ever - gotten a good sunrise. I would like to think that this trip finally ended that drought. While the image is not 'awesome,' I think it is very good for a bunch of reasons. I like the long leading lines. I like the foreground texture and feel of the photo. I particularly like images that move from light to shadow and back to light again. My nitpick is that I wish that the sky had a bit more drama to it. All in all? I like the total package. I think it is a lovely photograph.
This next photo is from Cadillac Mountain at Sunset, looking towards the Porcupine Islands. This has been the composition I have been working on the last couple of trips I have made to Cadillac Mountain. I really like this composition. It has a strong foreground anchor which leads you nicely to the Porcupine Islands in the background. There is no question about where you are - at least if you are vaguely familiar with the area. This is one of those times where I just kept hoping that the cloud would not suck the life out of the image. Honestly, it almost did. There was a bit of post processing here, but I think it works.
This next photo is of Monument Cove at sunrise. Monument Cove is just lovely - a beautiful place to spend sunrise. Fortunately, not many people know about this location and there is never anyone there when I go. There is not a lot of room to move and get a great view of the monument, so I usually will only go with one or two people. This is a 'North/South' viewing location, and predawn color is not always a given. I like to wait just a bit after sunrise so that I can get the light to hit the top of the monument, creating a nice sense of drama and dimension to the image.
The Bubbles at Jordan Pond:
I spent two sunsets and a sunrise at Jordan Pond overlooking the bubbles. I have had this composition in my head for over three years, and this is the first time I have gone to take it. This is another example of where I thought that I was going to be lucky against the odds. It had been raining but there were breaks in the sky - both nights. I thought the color was going to come...it did not. And I waited...and I waited. I still liked the composition and I converted it to a black and white, which I think works. However, it is still the consolation image to the one I have in my mind.
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Sunrise:
This last image was from my last sunrise at Bass Harbor Light. As you can see, I am stuck on a composition. This is what I like. Unfortunately, the pre-dawn colors did not come and I had to wait for the consolation shot - waiting for the sun to start to strike the lighthouse. I think this shot works. I hope you do to.
Anyway, this was Acadia 2014 for me and Chanthee. I may not have gotten what I wanted always, but I left having fun. What a great little park. Thanks for taking this time to go through some of my shots and let me rant about what I felt worked and what did not.