Light “Fen”tastic, Acadia National Park Maine

I apologize for not being around much lately.  I’m in the process of completely redesigning my website and integrating my blog and Photoshelter archive.  I will post links to the new website and blog as soon as the project is completed.  I’m looking into migrating this blog’s content to the new blog but will probably also keep this one up as a sort of sign post.  Thanks for your patience during this process.

On to the images I’ve included here.  This was from one of the last days I spent in Acadia National Park in October of 2010, and yes I’m still in the process of editing and processing those images 🙂  Nothing says “north country” or “wildness” here in the northeast quite like a boreal forest or bog.  For all the ecologists out there this particular shot could just as easily have been a fen, hence the goofy title of the post.  I simply couldn’t come up with anything catchy that incorporated the word bog.  I digress…

I’ve shot this area on past trips to Acadia but never really came away with anything to my liking.  On this late afternoon the light was still pretty intense and somewhat harsh.  I was attracted to the way the vegetation, particularly the red huckleberry seemed to glow when the scene was backlit by the sun.  When I first stumbled onto the scene and found my composition I envisioned a sunstar with radiating beams of light to give the shot more visual impact.  However, at the time the sun was still too far above the distant tree line to pull it off.  Knowing it would take 1/2 hour or so for the sun to descend into position, I set up the camera and tripod and waited for the magic.  In the meantime I shot several frames without the sun in the composition.  They work for me on a different level, primarily because there is more illuminated color distributed across the frame, especially in the background.

Acadia National Park Maine

© Kurt Budliger Photography

Once the sun was low to the horizon (the tops of the distant trees) I carefully adjusted the camera perspective so the sun was just outside the frame with only the slightest margin bleeding over the edge.  Combined with a small aperture this technique can yield some great sunstars with the radiating beams you see here.  If you include too much of the sun or any other light source the effect can be overpowering and cause a lot of lens flare in the other parts of the frame.  I shot two exposures, one with the sun and one where I blocked the sun with my finger.  Blocking the sun altogether provided me a frame with absolutely no flare that I could use back in the digital darkroom if necessary.  Indeed the frame including the sun had several large spots caused by lens flare and overall, lacked contrast in the background.  I processed both frames with the same white balance and combined them in Photoshop.  Using a layer mask I was able to manually blend the sunstar onto the frame with better contrast and no lens flare.

Acadia National Park Maine

© Kurt Budliger Photography

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~ by kurtbudliger on November 17, 2010.

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