Surf Marbles, Photographing Acadia National Park

I recently spent an exhilarating 5 days photographing in Acadia National Park on the Maine coast.  Mid October is a great time to photograph Acadia, the autumn color is outstanding and sunrise doesn’t occur until just before 7 Am so you don’t have to haul yourself out of be too early to catch the sweet  light.  Likewise, sunset is relatively early so there is ample time to shoot and still have a nice dinner and get to bed early before you do it all over again.  I’ve only just begun editing and processing the images from my trip.  My plan is to feature a selection of images with an accompanying story behind the shot or simply a tip or strategy employed in its capture.

This image is from the first morning at one of the more iconic spots in Acadia National Park.  It’s definitely an early morning or sunrise location, as are most of the good spots in Acadia.  As my luck usually goes when on a photo trip the conditions were not ideal, no clouds to catch the magic light of sunrise and not much going on in the wave department; bottom line no drama.  Well guess what, it’s not always about drama, although you’d never know it by perusing the internet forums.

When I arrived on scene I quickly realized that sunrise wouldn’t produce the image I visualized so I quickly switched gears.  When shooting sunrise or sunset I always try to arrive at least 30-45 mins. before sunrise and stay 30-40 mins. after the sun goes down.  Often times nature puts on a show of color well before or after the sun breaks the horizon.  On this morning I knew the best color would come about 30 mins prior to sunrise and by using a long exposure the color would have an even greater chance to saturate the sensor.  I opted for a low perspective emphasizing the beautiful cobbles on the beach at low tide as my foreground and found a position that allowed for the shoreline to form an arch leading the eye out to the background.  Since the sky was basically empty of any cloud cover I composed the image with only a sliver of sky which also helped to emphasize the wonderful textures and shapes in the foreground beach cobbles.  Lastly I used a 3 stop grad ND filter to help balance the brighter sky and reflection on the water with the darker foreground rocks.   The resulting exposure was just under 2 minutes allowing the color to really build but also helping to smooth out the surface of the ocean and creating an ethereal, dreamlike landscape.

Acadia Nation Park Photography

© Kurt Budliger Photography

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~ by kurtbudliger on October 17, 2010.

2 Responses to “Surf Marbles, Photographing Acadia National Park”

  1. Beautiful composition making the best of the situation. Well done.

  2. What the image might lack in drama it certainly makes up for in beauty. Thanks for the insight into how your thought process adapted to the conditions, thereby changing the composition of the shot to make the most of the natural light.

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