Archive for June, 2010



Seawall Beaver Pond

The active beaver pond behind the Seawall at Acadia National Park is always picturesque. Here the beach roses set off the foreground and enough of the pond peeks over the hedge to make an interesting composition. Since the sky was largely featureless on this overcast day, I cropped most of it out, which gives an intimate feel to the landscape.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/320th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Besides the crop, in Lightroom 3, Recovery for the sky (though it did not help much on this day), Fill Light for the foreground, Blackpoint just barely right, added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.



Bass Head Light

Until a few years ago if you wanted to photograph Bass Head Light from a flattering angle, you had to risk life and limb climbing down a cliff to the shelving rocks above the surf. The park service put in a stair, and that makes the photographer’s life much easier, and safer. Now you don’t have risk life and limb until you get to the shelving rocks above the surf. The best vantages are still a scramble.

On a cloudy Saturday morning, fairly early, I had the place to myself. In fact, I debated making the drive down to the light, as the day did not look promising. Turns out the flat light, along with just enough interest in the cloud cover, made for some of my best shots of Bass Head to date.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom 3, Recovery for the sky, Fill Light to balance the foreground, just a touch of Blackpoint right, added Clarity and a smidge of Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.

And the vertical view.



Corner of MDI and the Cranberries

Looking across at the Cranberry Isles from the overlook where the Park Loop Road turns the corner to head up toward the Seal Harbor Entrance and Jordan Pond. That is the point of land on the right that protects Seal Harbor. The sea foam adds a design element, which adds a lot to the image. It only improves with scale, so you might want to view it at a larger size on Wide Eyed In Wonder (click the image for the link).

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. Aperture Preferred.

In Lightroom 3, Recovery for the sky. Some Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint just slightly right. Added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.



Lupine Love

Happy Sunday! Again this year on my way up to Acadia I could not miss the masses of Lupine growing on banks along the interstate, and again, I determined to find a good stand in Acadia to photograph. The trick is not fining them…they are all over Mount Desert Island…the trick is finding them when they are not obliviously in someone’s yard, where it would be awkward at best to get out of the car to spend any time photographing them. Of course I need a good background too.  Last year’s stand, near Southwest Harbor, was pretty sparse (I checked), but I found this field of them just off Route 3, near my motel. Good enough!

Of course, Lupine is not native to New England, or even to the Americas. [Note: further research, prompted by some viewer comments, yields the fact that while the Lupines most common in New England are not native to New England, they are native to North America. The Blue-pod Lupine, which is what you see in these tall mass stands generally, was introduced from the Northwest. Other cultivars have escaped from gardens, and there has been some inevitable cross-breeding. There is also a Wild Lupine, considerably shorter on the average, which is native to New England.] There is a children’s book about the lady who actually, like Johnny Appleseed, is responsible for their proliferation in Maine and adjoining states. IMHO we owe her a debt of gratitude. They are strikingly beautiful in the spring.

Subdued afternoon light on an overcast day. Hence the white sky, but otherwise perfect for photographing the color and the details of this striking plant.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 28mm equivalent @ f5.6 @ 1/320th @ ISO 160, 2) 215 mm @ f5.6 @ 1/250 @ ISO 125, 3) 28mm and Super-macro @ f5.6 @ 1/800 @ ISO 160. I was experimenting with aperture preferred.

Similar treatment for all in Lightroom. Recovery for the sky (though it did not help much), Fill Light and Blackpoint just barely right, added Clarity and a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.



Margret Todd at Anchor

This is a tourist boat: it makes daily excursions under full sail on Frenchman’s Bay and the surrounding waters for the delight of paying passengers, and does a very popular sunset dinner cruse as well. Always picturesque, this early evening shot sets it against the still waters of Bar Harbor and the backdrop of the Porcupine Islands. The ornamental railing at the foreground adds dimension to the composition. I cropped slightly from the bottom to eliminate the path in front of the railing.

It will repay a larger view.

Canon SX20IS at about 80mm equivalent for framing. F4.0 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. A bit of Fill Light, Blackpoint just barely right. Added Clarity and more than usual Vibrance to try for a little blue in the water. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.

And a second view. This time with more sky.



In a Family Way

In my  Yearling in Flowers post earlier this week, I told the story of a extraordinarily considerate dump-truck driver who alerted me, last Saturday morning, to three deer feeding just down the road from where I was at the time in Acadia National Park. You have seen the Yearling. Here are the two adults, one clearly pregnant with this year’s fawn. The deer, while aware of my presence at the edge of their field (though I attempted to blend into the bushes at the edge of the road as much as possible) were not overly concerned, and I enjoyed one of those peak moments for a nature photographer, when everything just came together: light, subject, foreground (I love the flowers), and background, to create a memorable experience and memorable images. One of those camera-don’t-fail-me-now moments.

Canon SD1400IS Digital Elph behind the eyepiece of a ZEISS Diascope 65FL spotting scope for an equivalent focal length of 1500mm (top three) and 3500mm (bottom). Exposures ranged from 1/125 at ISO 125 to 1/200th at ISO 200 (last shot). Programmed auto. The combination of the little pocket digital point-and-shoot camera and the spotting scope allows for these intimate portraits from distances that leave the wildlife pretty much undisturbed.

In Lightroom 3, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right (which with this camera and scope combination introduces way too much yellow, so Auto White Balance to restore the tones), added Clarity and a tiny amount of Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges preset. The last two images are cropped for composition.

From Acadia 2010.



Pitcher Plant in Bloom

Sieur de Mont Springs, at Acadia National Park features the Wild Gardens of Acadia maintained by local volunteers. In a small corner of the grounds they have recreated all of the major habitats, from the bogs to the peaks, on Mount Desert Island and planted them with representative plants.  Few plants are more bazaars than the Pitcher Plant. Bog dweller. Carnivorous. Strange in shape. And with a particularly complex (looking) flower structure. This is the bloom. I got down practically to ground level to shoot low enough to see into the flower head, using Macro and the long end of the zoom on the Canon SX20IS. Generally what you see is more like the image below, also taken from a distance with the tel zoom, this time because they were in a wet area with no direct approach.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 425mm equivalent @ f5.0 @ 1/500th @ ISO 200. 2) 560mm equivalent @ f5.7 @ 1/400th @ ISO 400. Programmed auto.

Recovery for the highlights in Lightroom 3, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right to extend apparent tonal range, added Clarity and Vibrance, Sharpen Narrow Edges preset.

From Acadia 2010.