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Sunday, 21 October 2012 07:26

On the Way to Great Head

The 1.7-mile Great Head Loop Trail is the quintessential walk along the Maine Coast. If you travel seaward (clockwise) where the loop begins you will soon encounter one of the most incredible rocky-outcrop beaches anywhere. Looking north toward Oak Hill Cliff and the slow initial curvature of Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay you come face-to-face with the juxtaposition of the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the incredible geologic forces that lifted the ancient rocks skyward in igneous profusion. The granites here are gray and brown, almost black and rusty orange, among which quartz veins can commonly be seen to flow. In a small alcove, unseen at my feet, are cobbles as if in a bowl in which they have been so regularly washed by the sea that they have rounded over the millennia into bowling balls and loaves of artisan bread, unlike the sharp crags that rise above the waves. I saw the diagonal lines of the rocky outcrops as they led toward Oak Hill Cliff and concluded with the cliff itself. I wanted to stand as high as I could above the rock so that I could create as much separation as possible in the various receding outcrops. The tide had recently turned out, so the wave action was minimal; but I waited for a small breaker so that some surf was present in the image. A focal length of 27mm was wide enough to take in the angle of view I wanted without admitting too much sky. An aperture of f/22 gave me all the depth-of-field I needed, and a shutter speed of 1/4th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The dark gray sky evened out the dynamic range and made the use of a GND filter unnecessary. 

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6 comments

  • Comment Link Michelle Sunday, 28 October 2012 13:26 posted by Michelle

    Don, I love this image. There are so many textures and elements evoking so many different adjectives all bound together in a graceful union. I know I'd love this image in my den so I recommend it for an Art Print.

  • Comment Link Don McGowan Saturday, 27 October 2012 12:14 posted by Don McGowan

    Thanks, Everyone for being part of this conversation. Bonnie and I have just arrived home from being on the road for five weeks. It was a great trip. Jessica, rather than being an HDR image, it is an image for which I used the Shadows/Highlights tool in processing to reduce some of the glare on the rocks and open up some of the shadow areas. Like you, I was very much attracted to the textures here and thought that shadows/highlights tool would bring them out. Nancy Y., I share your love of the Maine coast. It is an incredible place that feels very much at home to me. Nancy T., we thought about you along Ship Harbor Nature Trail and knew you would love the Great Head Trail as well; and thanks, Margene: the New England coastline is, indeed, miraculous.

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Monday, 22 October 2012 12:08 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Beautiful image that speaks of Maine loud and clear! Beautiful texture and colors in the rocky beach. Thanks for sharing. Sorry I missed the workshop.

  • Comment Link margene odom Sunday, 21 October 2012 16:06 posted by margene odom

    Miraculous scenery and photography!

  • Comment Link Nancy Yoder Sunday, 21 October 2012 11:30 posted by Nancy Yoder

    Beautiful! I used to live near there (lucky me) and this is just the way "home" felt.

  • Comment Link Jessyca Stansbury- McCargo Sunday, 21 October 2012 09:28 posted by Jessyca Stansbury- McCargo

    This is an absolutely dynamic photo. It looks like an HDR- wide angle shot. The colors are awesome; nice, rich textures, all flowing together. I love the way that all four natural elements have been captured here. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

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