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Before leaving for Maine, I had the assumption that Acadia National Park was small. I’m not sure why I thought that but Holy Cow was I wrong! It reminded me of a mix of Shenandoah National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park with beautiful scenic drives and so many places to pull over and take pictures. And both places are huge. Like Yuge. There was no way we would have been able to see it all in less than a week.

So, we really only had time to explore a portion of the park. On our last day in Acadia, Sue and I decided to head over to the Southwest Harbor which was an adventure all on it’s own. We shot sunrise at Bass Harbor Lighthouse and made our way over to Echo Lake Beach to start our morning hike. The beach itself is really small but the reflections were amazing. I was having a field day with these rocks. I love how they divide the image and add an interesting focal point. Luckily, I was wearing my timberland boots so I was able to step in the water a little bit without getting wet.

I wish we were able to spend more time in the Southwest Harbor. It seemed like there were so many more colorful trees in that area than anywhere else we in the park. Our hike up Canada Cliffs was one of my favorites. It’s very steep and uphill but the view was completely worth it. I loved seeing all the trees from up above. I’ll be sure to work on one of those images soon. You’ll love it if you love fall and pretty things 🙂

The settings on my camera for this image is 1/50th of a second at F/8 ISO 250 with my Sony a7II and 28-70mm zoom lens.

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Every year in October I can expect a huge jump in texts and phone calls from my dad. No, he doesn’t miss me. We live about 5 minutes away from each other. It’s not his birthday month. It’s not my birthday month. Why all the constant phone dings from my dad? Every year he reminds me of the Harvest Moon and basically forces me to go out shooting 3 nights in a row to capture it. The day before, the day of and the day after the full moon to make sure I capture it at it’s fullest and brightest.

Well, being in Maine didn’t stop him this year. As soon as I arrived I was immediately reminded of the Harvest Moon which meant that I had to pick my location asap. I figured Cadillac Mountain would be the best since you’re on top of a mountain! If my calculations were off in figuring out where the moon would rise from, at least it would be easier to move around on the top of the mountain than it would have been to move to a whole new location if I weren’t.

Watching the moon rise was magical and definietly a lot easier than watching the sun rise. It made everything around me seem so tiny. And then when it turned orange? You could hear all the camera shutters around me going CRA-ZY! It was so bright orange that it kinda made the sky turn a reddish hue. It was absolutely beautiful.

So just in case you don’t have Daddy Pan calling you every October, make sure to catch the full moon rise during this month. Its always awesome. Unless, it’s a cloudy night then it can be super disappointing.

My settings for this image is F13 at 1.3 seconds ISO 400.

PS Where the moon cake at?

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If you asked my friend, Sue what her favorite part of our whole Acadia trip was, she’d say it was Ocean Path. It’s a super easy hike from Otter Point to Sandy Beach with a stop at Thunder Hole along the way. It’s two miles long and would typically take people 2-3 hours to complete, it took us almost 4. LOL. That’s only because we stopped a lot to take pictures… and snack breaks. This was our early morning hike so we didn’t have any breakfast prior.

If I had to guess, she liked this hike the most because every view point and every stop was so typical “Acadia”. Like when you google imaged pictures of Acadia, these are the views you’d see in the search results. We were also hiking on a super cloudy day and the air was crisp and cool. It made it so much more comfortable for us to really take our time and enjoy the scenery.

So if you have plans on visiting Acadia National Park, this hike would be one of my top suggestions. It faces east so basically anywhere you stand, you’re going to get a great view of the sunrise. And I’m not sure if we were just lucky or what it was, but we barely saw anyone on the hike. It wasn’t until we got closer to Sandy Beach (our end destination) where we really started seeing people. I think most people go to Cadillac Mountain to view the sunrise if they’re going to wake up that early, but there are other beautiful places in the park to see it too and Ocean Path is one of them!

The best part was being able to take a bus back to our original starting point, Otter Point where we parked our car 🙂 Luckily we got on the bus just in time before it started pouring rain. Man I can’t express how happy I was to be able to take that bus back instead of walking back 2 miles in the rain.

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A quick break from autumn Maine images to show off Washington DC’s beautiful sunrise from yesterday. Sunrise is around 7:15ish now, so I have to take advantage of the later wake up call while I can. I shot this at the Tidal Basin on the little footbridge between the Jefferson Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial. It’s an angle that I’ve always wanted, but wasn’t sure I could get. I’m so glad it actually worked out this time.

Since I’ve been shooting DC sunrises for years now, I’m finding it to be a challenge to photograph it in new, different ways. I was super happy with the way this one turned out. My favorite part about the image is the color change between the two peep holes. The transition from cool to warm tones in a photograph is always something I strive for. I feel like it completes the whole color story and really adds a lot of dimension in a photograph. Plus the reflections of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial look super cool too.

In order to capture this, my camera settings were F/6.3 at 1/20th of a second and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. This was shot handheld although I did try to shoot it with my tripod. I just couldn’t get the tripod at the level that I wanted and I was constantly moving around to make sure the the monuments were centered, so the tripod just didn’t work out. Now that I think of it, I must have looked like I was spying on someone while I was sitting on the sidewalk and moving my neck all around to make sure everything lined up correctly. LOL, oh well. It’s not the first time I looked crazy for an image.

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Our days in Acadia National Park went as follows:

4:30a wake up for sunrise
5:30a make our way to the sunrise location
7:00a go for an early morning hike
Finish around 11-12p and eat breakfest/lunch
Go back to the hotel for a much needed nap
Wake up go on another hike
5:30p make our way to the sunset location and shoot the full moon
8p Dinner
9:30p HOT TUB TIME

It may sound intense but we got a lot done with just 2 full days in the park. We did everything we wanted to do, including the Bubble Rock hike. This was our first day’s afternoon hike. To be honest, I think we just wanted to do the hike because it’s called Bubble Rock. It’s a funny name and the entire way up we were making up songs and dances about it. It was hilarious. Plus it took our minds off how intensely steep the hike was. It was a short hike but very vertical. I was huffin’ and puffin’ the entire way up.

This image was taken about 3/4ths of the way up. At first I thought it was THE bubble rock but it wasn’t. Must have been wishful thinking and hoping that the hike was over. It actually was just a miniature version of the real thing but still thought it looked cool. I brought my camera up to my eye when that girl just jumped onto the rock and started to eat an apple. I was so happy when she did. I love how the tree trunks frame the rock and her just sitting there was the extra element it needed. I kinda felt like a creeper, but oh well. It happens.

The settings for this image was F/10 at 1/40th of a second ISO 250. I made it with my Sony A7II and my 28-70mm zoom lens.

 

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I usually have tons of plans and to-do lists before I leave for a trip, but this time I didn’t have any of that. I might of had a few suggestions here and there from friends but otherwise, I left for Maine last week with no expectations. Well, I’m happy to say that I had a blast. It was way better than expected! LOL.

About 2 days before we left, my friend Sue and I decided to stay one less day in Acadia National Park and spend that extra time in Portland. I’m so glad we did that. It’s only 3 hours away from Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park but it gave us a better idea of what it’s really like being in Maine. From the one day that we were there, I loved how seeing lobster cages in the back of a pick up truck was no big deal and you can really tell that the people who lived there, loved it there. Everybody was so happy and friendly and I don’t think I have seen such a clean city before. You can really tell that Mainers respect their land and their water.

And on the top of every to-do list that we googled about Portland was this lighthouse, Portland Head Light. I loved how accessible it was. It’s so close to the city and it’s just a short walk from the parking lot. Which was perfect when you are running late for a sunrise! Man, was I running through that parking lot like it was no one’s business. And I may or may not have jumped a fence to capture this, but I figured it was ok since I saw other people doing it, right?

My camera settings for this image is 8.0 seconds at F/4 ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. I also had my neutral density filter on there to make a longer exposure to smooth out the water.