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Monthly Archives: August 2012
If you do any reading and research on Acadia National Park before you visit it, you’ll read about Thunder Hole. Thunder Hole is a small inlet, naturally carved out of the rocks, where the waves roll in. At the end of this inlet, down low, is a small cavern where, when the rush of the wave arrives, air and water is forced out like a clap of distant thunder. Water may spout as high as 40 feet with a thunderous roar! Hence the name: Thunder Hole. On this day, we had to settle for Thunder Hole surf.
Thunder Hole is one of those attractions you have to hit just right. In reading up on Thunder Hole, I knew that I had a slight chance of seeing the actual surge of water and the resulting large wave that explodes through the hole. But, the tide has to be right and it certainly helps if a storm is coming in while you’re there. I talked with a lady who lives near the park and despite visiting Thunder Hole multiple times a year, she had only seen the true “show” a couple of times.
We visited Thunder Hole early in the morning as a storm was approaching and the tide was almost completely in, but the inlet only gurgled and occasionally spit out a meager splash. On the other hand, directly behind us was a large mass of Maine granite protruding from the water but routinely being covered by the incoming surf. Since it was a cloudy, dreary morning, I decided that a black and white long exposure would be perfect for this photo. I took several different long exposures since the waves don’t pose for you. I came away with several solid images but I liked this one the best. I especially wanted to make sure I left some tone and texture in the water and preserved the highlights.
Thunder Hole remains on my list of places to go see the next time I’m in Maine. Hopefully, our timing will be better!
If you’ve never been to Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine, I highly recommend it. One of the first things you want to experience is the Cadillac Mountain sunrise.
At 1,532 feet high, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7th through March 6th. It is one of over 20 mountains on Mount Desert Island, Maine, that were pushed up by earth’s tectonic and volcanic forces millions of years ago. Were it not for the once huge glaciers that sheared off their tops, they would be even higher than what we see today.
For this sunrise we awakened at 4:00 AM to get to the top of the mountain by 4:30 AM. Sunrise was typically around 5:00 AM. Getting there 30 minutes before sunrise gave us an opportunity to get everything set up before the sun broke the horizon. The other advantage to getting there early is that you will quickly find that you’re not the only one there to watch and/or photograph the sunrise. The parking lot is large but fills quickly right before sunrise as people begin clamoring for their ideal spot to watch the sun rise. Finding a clear view to photograph from can be a challenge. Get there early. One of the big differences about this mountain summit from others is that the view is not obstructed in any way by trees. When the glaciers rounded off the tops of this mountain and others nearby, the beautiful colored granite you see in the photo was exposed.
We went to the top of Cadillac Mountain on four different days to catch the sunrise. Each day was different from the rest. This was my favorite photo of all the sunrise photos taken during our trip.
While traveling to Maine at the end of July I came upon the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.The bridge spans the Penobscot River, linking the towns of Prospect with Verona just south and a bit downriver from the town of Bucksport. I was facinated by the “Pillar of Strength” holding a section of the bridge up.
The look of the concrete as well as the multiple cables against the darkening clouds looked like the perfect photo opportunity. I brought out the details in the image using Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.
In keeping with my Maine theme this week, I wanted to share my photo of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.
The Bass Harbor Head lighthouse, located in Bass Harbor, Maine, was built of brick in 1858 on a stone foundation and stands 56 feet above mean high water. The best time to shoot, in my opinion, was at sunset. Be aware that there’s no “easy way” to get there. There is a trail from the tiny parking lot. Then you take about 50 steps down to a craggy granite ledge and carefully make your way down to your vantage point. It is recommended that you not wait till the last minute to get there and get set up as space on the rocks can be at a premium. When we got there, we carefully climbed down since a fall meant either on to the rocks below or into the ocean. Neither option was very appealing to us. We set up on a lower, flat ledge right at the edge of the water. The water was lapping at the rocks as the tide was coming in while we were there. As we set up, other photographers scrambled to find a suitable spot for their photos. While we waited for the right light we talked to one another about a variety of topics. One of those photographers was Christian Stogner. Christian was a great guy to talk to about his web site and photography.
This night we had beautiful clouds in the sky as the sun set giving us what I like to call “character” to the sky. This image required 7 exposure brackets to balance the range of the scene. All in all, it was a fantastic evening with a beautiful sunset over the water.