Back in the 80's and 90's when I was active in the local camera club, one of the rules for entering a nature competition was the photograph could not show the "hand of man." Any photo with something man made in it would not qualify in the nature competition category, even cultivated garden flowers would be a no no. With the blog name being Maine Nature Photos, I've tried to stick to those guidelines when posting photos but this isn't a competition so I don't need to stick to strict rules. A good example is today's photo, a man made object in a natural setting, it may not qualify in a nature competition but I still think it's appealing. Pemaquid Point is one of the iconic, and oft photographed lighthouses in Maine, but this was actually the first time I ever photographed it.
This is my favorite photo I took in 2015. I made it last February and didn't post it till now because I saved it as one of my calendar exclusives. The two chickadees posed together on this fallen deer antler for maybe three seconds before the top one flew off.
Here’s another from last autumns Acadia trip. The first evening there I was photographing by Thunder Hole but I really didn’t like the photos I was getting, the sky was kind of gray and there were a lot of people milling about. I packed up my gear and headed out on The Loop road. I hadn’t driven for 10 minutes when I noticed the sky starting to light up. I pulled off into the first turn off which happened to be Otter Point, by this time the sky was on fire. I hurried and got the camera gear back out and rushed down the trail from the parking lot to the actual point. When I got everything set up and started taking photographs this was the only color left in the sky. Lesson learned, get to a place early and stick it out.
Acadia National Park can be a very busy place during the fall, making this image was the only time I had the whole area to myself. It shows that it is possible to find solitude in one of the busiest national parks in the country, you just need to find the right spot and the right time of day.This is The Bubbles and Jordan Pond. I was hoping to get a picture of the milky way over The Bubbles but it happened to be straight overhead going from left to right. This photograph is a combination of two, the sky and foreground are seperate exposures. The sky was f2.8 for 30 seconds at ISO 3200 and the foreground was a ten minute exposure at ISO 1600. It was very breezy on this particular evening, causing ripples in the water, so the stars were not reflected on the pond surface.
My favorite type of photography is macro, these two images were taken a few years ago during warmer times. I used to do this type of photography a lot in my film shooting days. I still do a lot of close ups but not so much the early morning dew variety. Mainly because my favorite areas are no longer accessible. Houses have gone up blocking my favorite place in Sabattus. Across the street from my home was a big meadow but the property changed hands and now the new owner keeps it mowed. Not much wildlife is attracted to a huge lawn.
This image was taken at Reid State Park. I created the panorama by combining four images together in Photoshop. In this case I took the photos horizontally but I should've had the camera in a vertical orientation, that way more of the foreground would've been included. That's how you get better, trial and error.
Here's an image I took on the same night I shot for my star trail photo, I saw a few shooting stars this night but most of them were behind me. Most of the time when I see them it's between exposures but I finally lucked out and one went through the frame while I had the shutter open.
Sunday night I went to Sabattus River to try my hand at Star Trail photography. This was my first attempt and it wasn't that difficult. The first thing I did was download some free software that combines all the images called Star Stax, a Google search will find the free download website. Afterward, I just went to Youtube and watched a video on how to use the software, pretty easy. This photo happens to be a compilation of 90 images taken in a 45 minute time span. I would've taken more but I got cold and a bank of clouds was moving in from behind me so it would've obscured the stars. I made sure to point my camera north so I would get the circular pattern, another section of sky and the streaks would've appeared as arcs.
My book is hot off the presses at Blurb! Take a sneak peek and place your order if you're so inclined by clicking on the cover photo above. An eBook version for download to your iPad or iPhone is now available in the iTunes store.
I live in Lewiston, Maine and have for most of my life. I've always had an interest in nature; as a kid I read books by Edwin Way Teal, Rachael Carson, among others, and I used to love studying the Golden Nature Guides. When I got into photography it was natural for me to take pictures of the natural world. A few years ago I got into kayaking and that allowed me to get to places I would never be able to by hiking and of course this gives me more photography oppurtunities. I realized years ago you don't have to travel to exotic locations to get good photographs. I have to admit I'm lucky to be living in a beautiful state with a lot of natural diversity, but I've taken good pictures right in my own back yard and neighborhood.