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Saturday, 25 April 2020 13:54

Water, Water Everywhere

At high tide, augmented by a squall, a small nor'easter actually, the pink granite cliffs that line the entrance to Ship Harbor thunder with the crashing surf coming in off the stormy Atlantic. Breakers reaching 30-35' in height spray across the rocks. Fall-turned blueberry bushes line the interior of the puddled trail as the entire world of nature joins in the watery show.

A focal length of 60mm, just beyond the cusp of normal at the edge of short telephoto-land, gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field; and an ISO of 800 allowed for a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second, fast enough to stop the motion of the leaves stirred by the onshore wind.

During the early part of autumn, as the mixing air masses over the coast - warm air over the water and cold air over the land - rotating counterclockwise as they move up the coastline, create percipitation seeming to come from the northeast. With a good rain shell and protection for my gear, the chance to work between showers is an adventure to be savored.

 

Thursday, 16 April 2020 22:04

A Marsh-ian Landscape

I can't help but think of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park as the land of rock, water, and light. All three are omnipresent and abundant along this beautiful stretch of the Maine Coast: Downeast as it is known. One of the under-appreciated ecosystems of this amazing land are the marshes, and there are a substantial number of them scattered across the face of the island. The headwaters of Hodgdon Brook are formed from just such a seemingly inconsequential marsh along Long Pond Fire Road. The brook feeds into Hodgdon Pond which drains into Seal Cove Pond, which slips through a short waterway into Seal Cove, and thus into the East Passage of Blue Hill Bay. It is a part of the island in which intimate landscapes abound.

A focal length of 300mm, medium telephoto-land, gave me the magnification and angle-of-view I wanted, isolating the small stand of drowned firs (cedar, I think) among the rich golden autumn grasses. The line of wildflower seed heads (which I could not identify from the camera-to-subject distance) helped anchor the bottom of the frame. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/5th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. Tha late-afternoon back-sidelight illuminated the grasses very nicely.

Over the years, as I have found my way to the fall color, as well as to the spring green, of Acadia National Park, my friend Dave Lloyd has been a never-ceasing source of photographic information and inspiration. He and his wonderful family have made our time on MDI a truly pleasurable experience.

Friday, 10 April 2020 22:03

Palette

There are several interesting stories of how Ship Harbor came by its name; but what is not contested in the least is that the 1.3 mile, figure-eight loop nature trail that skirts the edge of the harbor before cutting back into a lovely maritime forest of conifers and blueberry bushes is one of the most beautiful strolls on Mount Desert Island. Out where the trail cuts along the rocky, pink granite coastline of the open Atlantic, the dense blueberry barrens and intermixing spruce and pine grow right up against the bare lithic shelf along the water. Leading lines of fall-turned crimson color carry the eye back into the deeper woods.

A focal length of 46mm, very normal indeed, gave me a sufficiently wide angle-of-view to show the scene in my mind. An aperture of f/16 provided depth-of-field, and at ISO 800 gave me a shutter speed of 0.5 second, which was just fast enough to stop the slight motion of the leaves from a wafting breeze. It also gave me a very slightly darker-than-medium exposure.

It is true that most visitors spend most of their time along the more mountainous Park Loop Road, where the icons are; and there is great beauty to be found there to be sure. The soul of Acadia, however, is found in places like Ship Harbor and along its wonderful Nature Trail.

 

 

Saturday, 04 April 2020 13:10

An Eye of Reflection

It's been several years since I've been to Acadia National Park for the fall color, although there was a time when I went nearly every year. Traveling between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Mount Desert Island in order to maximize the color in both wonderful locations was always a mad dash; and I finally gave up autumn on MDI in favor of spring. It is my hope to be able to to return to Acadia this October and to share the beauty of an Acadian fall with a great group of adventurers. One of my favorite locations for color in Acadia is New Mills Meadow Marsh, a wonderfully diverse land of beaver lodges and ponds, grasses, and hardwoods, and the headwaters of Duck Brook. It is not the rocky, rugged headlands of the coast, but the softer, more subtle tones of deep reflection in still, tannin-laced water.

A focal length of 300mm from about 50 yards away gave me the angle-of-view I wanted, a narrow slit of pond-reflected color surrounded by brown autumn grasses and the grayer shades of woody blueberry stems. An aperture of f/22 provided depth-of-field across the narrow scene; and a shutter speed of 4.0 seconds at ISO 100 in dead-calm air gave me an overall very-slightly-darker-than-medium exposure.

May you and yours continue to fare safely and well as we negotiate these trying and difficult days ahead. 

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