The Buck Stopped Here …

The last snow we had was barely a dusting.  It was snowing fairly heavily when I took Molly for her evening walk, so I thought I might head back into Huntley Meadows in the morning, to photograph the boardwalk – hopefully snow-covered and pristine.  Well, there wasn’t much snow to begin with and the wind had blown all night, so that by the time I left the house an hour before sunrise, very little snow was left on the ground or the boardwalk.  To top it off, there were already footprints in the sparse remaining snow! Despite all, I decided to spend some time working the scene, seeing what I could make of it.

I am not quite sure how I feel about this image.  The photographic possibilities of the area and the subject intrigue me, but I think it is going to take many more visits to get something really worthwhile.

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  Just look to the dark spots in the middle section of the boardwalk. As near as I can figure, the deer must have begun using it as part of their trail system to cross the park, and some of the deer did what deer do when they have to.  To paraphrase President Truman, the buck stopped right there.  Nature adapts.

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Pemaquid Lighthouse Black & White

The Pemaquid Lighthouse is one of the most iconic in the country. Having first been there several years ago with a workshop, I was eager to visit it again, to show it to Barb and hopefully capture an image that went beyond the typical blank sky sunrise scene I had previously experienced.  So, as we began our journey home, Barb and I decided to make a detour to this famous scene.

Given that getting from Bar Harbor to Pemaquid would take several hours in the car, it meant that we would arrive close to mid day, not usually an auspicious time for landscape photography.  But, luck was with us as the storms I had been photographing through in Acadia for several days were still moving slowly out to sea, meaning there were dramatic skies and churning seas to contribute to the scene.

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The lighting we found was a bright overcast with the clouds overhead moving pretty quickly because of strong off-shore winds.  The scene was bright enough that I needed to use several stops of neutral density in order to allow for a long enough exposure to capture some of the movement in the sky.  I only wanted to show a little movement in the clouds; just enough to give a visual hint of the strength of the passing storm, but not so much that the cloud movement would show up as a long smear across the top of the image. Channeling a classic 20th century photographer, Paul Strand, I also wanted to use the picket fence surrounding the lighthouse as an element to lead the viewers eye through the scene.  In the end, I think I was able to achieve a fairly acceptable image of a classic venue. I hope you agree.

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Acadia Black & White #2

The storm that past through Acadia during our stay was spread over three days.  Ever the optimist (yeah, sure), I headed out in hopes of capturing a dramatic sunrise with storm activity out over the sea, but the reality was fog.  I did not really want to take the standard drive down the eastern side of the island, past well known and much photographed vantage points along the park loop road, so I left Bar Harbor along Schooner Head Road and visited Schooner Head Overlook for the first time.  Only slightly off the beaten tourist path, the Schooner Head Overlook is part of the national park, so while visited, I do not think it gets the full tour bus treatment.

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To get to the overlook, you have to walk about 200 yards down a formal path.  The coastal rocks at the end of the path are easily navigated so that you can work yourself further up the coastline for different views. Today’s image was captured only about 100 feet beyond the end of the path, looking approximately north.  When I got there, the scene was pretty well socked in by fog, that began to lift after a short while, when this image was captured.  For me, this is the quintessential Maine coast I had been looking for. The wind, the waves, the fog, rocks and trees really came together for me at this spot … and black & white was the only way to render it.

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