Acadia, Boulder Beach in early morning.
Recently, I spent several days in Acadia with the hopes of capturing some great sunrises and sunsets. Last year on our visit to Acadia, the weather wasn’t the best so I was pleased when I saw we were going to have great weather. I did the typical sunrise trek to Cadillac Mountain for sunrise photos along with about a hundred other folks but the real shots were along the east coastal trail in the early morning hours. The image above is at Boulder Beach with its smoothed basketball-size boulders that make up the rocky shore. These round, egg shaped rocks made a perfect foreground to capture the rising sun against the distant cliff. I used this image for this week’s assignment of ‘shaped bokeh’. Although, the bokeh isn’t really shaped, I hope at a later time to learn how to do ‘shaped bokeh’. In fact, some may argue that this is lens flare and not bokeh!
Nikon D810, 24mm, ISO 100, 1/30 sec at f/22
Pemaquid Point Light, Bristol, Maine
One of my most favorite places to visit is the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in mid-coast Maine. The rock formations are the most famous and with raging seas, a fantastic sight to capture with the lighthouse in the distance. For today’s blog, it isn’t about the rocks or the lighthouse but summer’s end approaching and nature’s preparation for the winter ahead. I thought this image through the window for this week’s theme “dried” illustrated the end of the beautiful flowers and grasses that grace this amazing property.
The Olson House, Cushing, Maine.
The Olson House was the subject of many of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings and drawings and made famous from his painting, Christina’s World, now owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I love this area of Maine and one can easily see how Wyeth was inspired by the surroundings. Every summer when in Maine, we visit the Olson House and I never tire finding new ways to capture its essence. On this particular day, it was not open and I had to be satisfied photographing through the windows. I particularly liked this image. If you look closely under the window, you can see my husband’s reflection patiently waiting on the bench in the yard.
Union Fair/The Maine Wild Blueberry Festival
I’m not one for crowds or carnival rides or the midway when it comes to county fairs but I’m always game for walking the barns and watching kids show off the animals they have been grooming for this annual event, the Union Fair and Wild Blueberry Festival. As advertised, “….. The fair is a major hub of 4-H activity. There are beef shows, dairy shows, dairy goat shows, horse shoes, rabbit shows, sheep shows, working steer shows, and even small domestic animal shows.” What’s not to love!
And of course, one must feast upon their famous blueberry pies!
This week’s theme is ‘circles’ and it seemed fitting to use one of the fair’s rides to illustrate the theme. As I looked around, it seemed that all the rides seem to go in some sort of circle, around and around and around they go. And then there were the pies … baskets full of freshly baked single serve round pies waiting to be devoured! And they were free!! Sigh ~~~ I love Maine’s Union Fair and Festival.
I was wondering how I would capture the theme ‘hard/soft’ until I happened on this image I took the other morning from our deck. The fog or ‘sea smoke’ was thick and nothing was visible in the harbor. As I enjoyed my coffee, the fog began to lift and as it did, I noticed one of our resident ospreys sitting in the tree. He was either one of the parents or a sibling but I guess I’d like to think it was a parent, keeping watch in the early morning before beginning his day.
I found the starkness of the osprey, tree and foreground striking against the soft fog and water and not wanting to lose the scene (sea smoke moves quickly!) by rising and getting my big camera, I snapped the image with my iPhone. Since it wasn’t the sharpest image but still liking the scene, I post-processed the image in Topaz Texture Effects which added a soft pastel effect in the background. Sometimes, memorable moments captured don’t have to be ideal!
Photographers at Work, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol, Maine
The 3-day photography workshop that I participated in with Downeast Maine Magazine illustrated to me how I could better capture sunrises and sunsets by using a method called HDR, high dynamic range. It is taking a series of images at different exposure levels (bracketing and best with a tripod) combining them to create a single image comprised of the most focused, well-lit, and colorful parts of the scene. In the past, I would have had to do a lot of post-processing work to bring out the shadows when shooting into a sunrise or sunset. So I was excited to learn how to better capture those scenes. In the above image, two of my fellow classmates where capturing the same sunrise. One with a tripod in the lower right corner and the other hand-held in the upper left corner. I shot 3 images bracketed at +2 stops but in post processing I realized that I should have captured at least 5+ images since I had to do a bit of processing to bring up the shadows in the rocks. That probably would not have been necessary had I given myself more images to work with.
Nikon d810, Tamron 24-70 lens, 26mm, ISO 200, f/11,
The King, Richard’s River Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Although our wonderful safaris were back in February, I still enjoy reviewing my images, and editing them at my leisure. This handsome fellow was relaxing in an open field as we drove by. We stopped and watched him for a bit, taking dozens of photos and interrupting his siesta. (Male lions spend about 18-20 hours a day snoozing!) He sat up, looked at us with disinterest and turned away sniffing at the air. Soon he laid back down and continued his nap.
Nikon d810, Tamron 150-600mm, 460mm, f/6