The Early Bird…

Sometimes, the early bird gets the shot!

Sunrise and sunsets are always fun to photograph, and for the reason of not having to get up early, I prefer sunsets or winter sunrises. I’m sure that many of you agree that the end of a good night’s sleep includes waking up when you can see the Sun’s warming rays.

On the East coast of the United States, there is one place where capturing the sunrise is almost a ritual, as it boasts being the first point of the continental states to see the sun rise. Cadillac Mountain in Maine sits on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. As it rises to 1,530 feet (466 meters), the sunrise view from the top is pretty early…

Watching the Sun rise

This shot was captured about 30 minutes past sunrise, as I caught these sun worshippers admiring the copper orb. The sun rose around 4:46 a.m. on that day, and provided some magic…

First Glimpse

We were the early birds on that June day, as we found a spot around 4 a.m., and it was worth experiencing this bit of magic!

Editing Mood (creative approach – part 3)

Dark moods may be useful!

Sometimes on a nice sunny day with an interesting cloud cover, you see a scene in front of you and photograph it. However, in your mind’s eye, you know there’s more to this landscape that you just captured than what you saw on that day.

If this ever happened to you, we have that in common, as it’s occurred numerous times to me. An example is this shot of Nubble Light on Cape Neddick, Maine, back in June of 2013.

Nubble Light

This lighthouse has been photographed by many, which had caused me to not ever shoot it until this day; the simple reason was that I hadn’t seen anything different from what I’d seen in all the wonderful photograph created by others of this lighthouse. That day, I felt that there was something a little different, so I got clambered down the rocks to get a lower vantage point and shot several exposure bracketed sequences. Overall, not a bad shot, but nothing especially outstanding.

It really was a nice day, as my mother and sister were visiting us from the Netherlands and we were showing them some of the sights in the area. When we got home that evening, I offloaded the images and took a quick look at them.

Over the next couple of weeks, there were a couple of times that I thought about editing the shots, but every time I started I got stuck, as I didn’t quite ‘feel’ it. Approximately 6 weeks after I took the shot, I finally sat down to create the following end result…

Nubble Brooding

What was different about this editing session? For one, I was in a somewhat darker mood, which allowed me to connect to a heavier cloud cover and the idea of a roiling sea; also, at that point my mind’s view of what the image could hold, had time to articulate itself. The resultant image is one that after almost 10 years, I still enjoy seeing, and I have resisted the temptation to re-edit it to make it ‘better’ (as our skills improve and we learn new software, this temptation is real).

The lesson I learned at that time was to allow myself to recognize when it’s not the right moment and/or mood to edit a certain image, as our creative selves may need some hidden inspiration.

The images were captured using a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Back in 2013 I used Photomatix Pro for my HDR processing.

Happy Holidays to One and All!

On this Christmas Day, a simple post and a simple wish. May all of you feel blessed and safe during this Holiday Season and may we all find peace in the New Year!

Nubble Winter Lighting

This shot of Nubble Light from 2014 is a night-time long exposure of about 2.5 minutes, which also allowed the reflection in the water to become soft and filled with mood.

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Happy Holidays!

Yes, kids of all ages, it is that time of year!! Everyone will be watching the flightpath of a certain jolly old elf, as he departs from his workshop on the North Pole to make a trip around this globe of ours…

He’s on the way!

A little bit of fun with editing to create this image. The base image is a 131 second exposure at 100 ISO that I took back in 2014 with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a Canon EF 24-105mm L IS USM lens. The flying Santa background is thanks to Skylum, who provided this for their Luminar customers.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope that you’re enjoying the holiday season!

Sunrise at Portland Head

A chilly morning, but worth the effort!

In this second post in the Thursday sunrise/sunset series, we experience quite the contrast over last week’s post. Whereas the weather in Bar Harbor in June was rather pleasant, this morning in March of 2019 was a little colder…

A Cold Sunrise at the Lighthouse

For this photoshoot, a number of us hardy souls met at Portland Head lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. On this early March morning the temperature was about 4F at the time of this capture (6:00 am).

I vividly remember wearing several bulky layers to stay warm and wearing my woolen flip-top mittens, so that I could expose my fingers for the shortest possible amount of time. I was happy that there was barely the lightest breeze, as any significant wind would have been brutal.

At this location, I took my first pre-dawn shots at 5:32 am and the last ones at 6:44 am; for each I took a series of 3 exposure-bracketed shots, so that I could process them for HDR. This series centered at ISO 320 F/10 and 1/60s using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM lens.

Processing for HDR was done using Skylum’s Luminar Neo; I then made use of a template that I have created for Skylum’s Luminar AI software for color adjustments and structure; after that I used Adobe Photoshop to add a bit of soft light, contrast, final crop and text.

Sunset over a Harbor

A setting sun and a calm moment

As a new diversion, I’ll be sharing various sunsets and sunrises on Thursdays; there are plenty of images to choose from, so I think I may have something for just about all tastes!

Let’s kick things off with a wonderful moment from June of 2021, when I was lucky enough to find myself with this view…

Bar Harbor Sunset

As the day was drawing to a close, we found ourselves sauntering around the harbor front area in the town of Bar Harbor. As the Sun started getting lower, I started experimenting with different approaches of capturing the moment, while finding a balance between the brightness of the Sun and the silhouette of the landscape.

Ultimately, I settled on a higher shutter speed of 1/1600 s with an ISO of 125, which gave me this result at F/9. Shot with a Canon EOS R5 and a Canon RF 24-105mm L IS USM lens. Post processing was used to add a little bit of warmth and pop the contrast.

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon (all Day)

It’s been a busy week, and still a bunch of things to do around the house before a short work-trip this coming week, so nothing like the present time to play around a bit editing some more puffins to share with you.

Which Direction?

After leaving the island in the afternoon, we toured a bit around the shoreline for several different views, which provided the opportunity to see these lovely birds floating on the calm sea. I’m still not sure, if they were just passing each other or they couldn’t agree on the direction to the next tasty morsel of fish.

My beak is shinier!

Part of the fun was observing all the interactions among the puffins; these two atop the rock stood there for quite a while, as if to decide who was getting the best spot in the neighborhood; of course, the referee might be the only winner in this contest!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunsetting the Week

As this week comes to an end, or begins again, depending on your perspective, I thought I’d share another sunset from last year’s outing to Maine.

While enjoying some more spectacular weather, we spent time sauntering around the lovely downtown waterfront of Bar Harbor, anticipating the sunset. Near the end of this exploration, I was fortunate enough to be able to view this scene in front of me.

Bar Harbor Sunset

Part of what attracted me to this vista are the people who have ventured out onto the sandbank, as they provide a sense of scale. The gently gliding seagull made for a lovely bonus element.

This image was captured using a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 24-105mm F4/L lens; exposure was 1/1600s at f/9 and 125 ISO. These settings were chosen to purposely underexpose the image a bit with this much sunlight coming straight into the sensor. Post-processing focused on bringing a bit more detail into the water and darkening the sky to get more balance between the bright sun and its reflection in the water.

Hope you enjoy this one!

Impression of a Boat

As I’m going through the images from last year’s photography trip to Acadia National Park and surroundings, it’s fun to see some of the moments that were captured away from the main events of the trip. Yes, there was lots of stunning scenery, cute animals and grand vistas, but that shouldn’t take away from those times when the eye catches a slightly different moment.

The moment shared here was from when we wandered around the docks of Bar Harbor in preparation of capturing the amazing sunset that presented itself there. Out of the corner of my left eye, I noticed this reflection of a boat that had lots of interesting light on it.

Impression of a Boat

The first thing you may notice is that the image is not tack-sharp, which is what we often look for in our photography. That was my intent, as I wanted to soften the image in camera to get an effect of becoming an impressionist image. I shot this with the Canon EOS R5 using a Canon RF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens at 0.6s, F7.1 at 125 ISO; there was a lot of light there, which is why I dropped the ISO and the longer exposure allowed the rippling of the water to have this effect.

Processing was done in Luminar Neo to add a bit of warmth with the Instant Result preset and followed up by work in Photoshop to reduce the impact of the brighter white part of the reflection near the top of the image.

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