Archive for the ‘Acadia National Park’ Tag

A Certain Symmetry   2 comments


A Certain Symmetry

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Normally, we’re not supposed to line things up in the center of the frame, but every now and then nature offers up an almost perfect symmetry. That makes it a good time to break the rules.

This pond, called The Tarn, is found in Acadia National Park in Maine, at the foot of a remarkable trail that leads off of Dorr Mountain. The trail features some of the most engineered sections of pathway I’ve ever seen, with curving staircases, overhead arches, and ‘paved’ areas made of carefully fitted natural stone.

Or, you can simply park at the Wild Gardens of Acadia and take an easy, flat walk over to The Tarn, but that wouldn’t be as sporting, right?

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The Bates Cairn   2 comments


The Bates Cairn

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On the east side of Mt. Desert Island (Acadia National Park) are a number of spectacular hikes. We like them because the payoff in scenic views is great relative to the small amount of effort required to get there.

Across the open, rocky tops of the hills, a number trails feature the Bates Cairn, a rather unique feature designed by pathmaker Waldron Bates in the late 1800s – early 1900s. In addition to helping to guide hikers along the trail, they also make for some excellent photo opportunities.

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Schooner Head   9 comments


Schooner Head

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I needed a refreshing change from all this blasted heat here in N.C. It’s been well over a week of days with heat indexes between 100-115F.

Located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor, Maine, this little ramshackle place sits exposed to the elements. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to build here. Too salty.

This image was created from a single RAW, but I used a second pass in Adobe Camera Raw to bring up the details, blending the second layer in Luminosity mode, thanks to a tip from Calvin Hollywood. I couldn’t resist touching in just a bit of Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter, but not enough to impact the realism of the photo.

Shout out to Klaus Herrmann for the interesting watermarking technique.

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Linzee’s Window   13 comments


Linzee's Window

Located at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Parish, Bar Harbor, Maine.

This church is definitely worth a stop if you’re in Bar Harbor. Although on the small side as far as churches go, it’s adorned with dozens of beautiful stained glass windows, with ten of them by Tiffany. I was particularly attracted to this one for it’s rich color and depiction of the local scenery.

From the St. Saviour’s web site:

Elizabeth Linzee: Designed by Denby of New York, made in Boston in 1937. It depicts St. Elizabeth with the child Jesus and St. John the Baptist. Note the hills of Mt. Desert Island in the background and the Trinity depicted with three gulls. Miss Linzee was an active supporter of the Jesup Library during a lifetime of summers in Bar Harbor.

More information on the church’s windows can be found here.

Because of the low amount of available light in the church, I shot this as a bracketed set in order to capture all elements of the window. Turns out that I needed them all! Nine exposures at 26mm, f/2.8, ISO100

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Sittin’ Pretty   7 comments


Sittin' Pretty
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On a casual day hike in the hills overlooking Otter Point, in Acadia National Park, Maine. This is one of the few places I know on the east coast where you can get a good leg stretcher and an outstanding view of the ocean.

I don’t know who these people are. They looked like they were enjoying themselves, so I asked if it would be okay to include them in the picture. If you know them, or if you are them, please let me know.

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At the End of Day   10 comments


Thurston's Wharf

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In the recent HDR Collaboration project, Inland Sailor, I mentioned that prior to snapping those brackets we had indulged in a great lobster dinner. This scene is from Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bernard, Maine, where lobster boats unload their daily catch to be enjoyed at the waterfront restaurant. It’s a great place to kick back and enjoy the scenery while waiting for your crustaceans to steam.

To be honest, I’ve become a bit bored with standard processing techniques, even though there is always room for improvement (perhaps particularly so in my case.) I’m sure it’s just a temporary condition. However, in order to fully break away from my typical stuff, I decided to give the image more of a nostalgic, postcard feel using a few techniques that I don’t usually approach. Given that the composition of the original shot was cluttered and had a chaos of different colors, I like the way that this treatment works with the scene, and hope you like it, too.

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Starting with an tonemapped image from 7 exposures (+/-1EV, f/14, 75mm, ISO200), I applied a Shadowmap derived from Nik’s Silver Efex Pro, adjusted for some imperfections, then turned around in SEP to apply both aged toning and light vignette effects. Seeing that it was a bit too monochromatic, I allowed just a hint of color to sneak through in places. Various other more subtle plug-ins were used, including Topaz DeNoise and Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 for final dressing.

Inland Sailor – An HDR Collaboration Project   19 comments


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The HDR Collaboration Project: In each round, one photographer provides a set of image brackets to the group, and we apply our personal style in post-processing the set. The person who provides the brackets posts the results, and as most would agree, it’s fascinating to discover how each contributor ‘sees’ the same scene. 

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Oh, the guff I took over this one!

As we were emailing each other for the latest project, I asked the group what genre of brackets they’d like this time. A mighty chorus of one chimed in with “waterscape.”  So be it: Let’s see what I’ve got in the library.

One potential bracket set had 11 frames, but with a heavy sun flare and dust spots, I thought it would be more effort than they’d like to endure. Another composition was decent, but nothing all that spectacular.  “Okay, I like this other one,” I thought as I uploaded my chosen bracket set to DropBox.

What I’ve learned is that one should never present a paltry three-bracket set to these Big Guns without expecting a lot of ribbing about a simple -2/0/+2 EV set. You’ll see how they processed that sad bit of information in their comments below each picture. They’re all friends, so I don’t mind giving them a place to vent their rage.  🙂

So, why I did I have the audacity – the unmitigated gall – to present only three exposures to this pool of talent?  Allow me to explain:

We were in Maine, on Mount Desert Island, one of the most scenic places I know.

Many died that night. Four, in fact. There were horrible cracking noises, much gnashing of teeth, moaning, slurping… and a good bit of drawn butter. Susan and I had gone to the southwest side of the island to Thurston’s Lobster Pound, one of the best in the area. We were all over those lobsters like crazed squirrels on a feeder. (If you’re unfamiliar with a lobster pound, it’s a restaurant directly on the docks at the waterfront, where lobster boats unload their daily catch. The bugs go into holding tanks near the cash register, and you can choose, name, and give last rites to your dinner before it gets hauled off to the steamer. You can’t get a fresher Maine lobster.)

We finished dinner and went back to our campsite at Somes Sound, then decided to go out onto the camp’s dock to catch the setting sun. This dock was a challenge in the best of circumstances. Made of aluminum sections, it extended about 80 yards over the water, but as you walked it, it wobbled back and forth pretty badly. By the time I got to the end, I figured it would be best to flop on my belly and get low for stability. There was no way to stabilize a tripod there, and besides, I wanted a perspective as low as possible to the water.

That taught me another lesson: Never roll around on your belly after filling it with a bunch of lobster.  Being in a bit of discomfort, I set the camera to bracket and fired off a quick, handheld set of three.

Most of the photographers here routinely take bracket sets of 5, 7, 9, and 11 or 13 is not unheard of. When the chorus of indignant howls came up from the group, I told them, “Suck it up! Go back to your roots.”  We all pretty much started our exploration of HDR with minimal sets of three, so I thought it would be a good exercise to revisit that idea. As it turned out, the three frames provided plenty of dynamic range to keep these pros happy, and in my opinion, they all did a fantastic job, expressing their individuality on a fairly classic situation.

Following are the versions from myself, Mike “TheaterWiz” CriswellJim DenhamScott FrederickMark GarbowskiJacques “FotoFreq” GudéMark Gvazdinskas, and Bob Lussier. Each photographer represented here has a body of work that speaks volumes to their talents. Please be sure to visit their sites by clicking the links associated with each name.

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Inland Sailor by Rob Hanson :

 

Inland Sailor by Mike “Theaterwiz” Criswell :

Inland Sailor by Mike 'Theaterwiz' Criswell

 

“Thanks for the cool brackets Rob, I really like the scene, they actually came together quite nice, and a nice steady hand I might add.

“I ran all three brackets through Photomatix, although it faulted out and asked where the other 6 to 9 brackets were at, after I got past that hurdle I went through some normal fixes, then decided I wanted to do something a bit different with the processing, at least different for me. I used OnOne Perfect Effects and only perfect effects. I had about 3 different versions and finally decided on this one. Although I do not remember the exact effects I used, I know a few were from the landscape presets and I added a cloud texture as well. I was having so much fun with the different effects and how to use them I was happier creating that taking notes. After I was finished with OnOne I chose a different crop, to narrow the field of vision a bit, I liked the result. Thanks again Rob!”

 

Inland Sailor by Jim Denham :

Inland Sailor by Jim Denham

 

“What a beautiful scene Rob has presented for us. A gorgeous sunset over a calm inland bay. Fantastic Rob – thanks for sharing!

“In the normal banter that takes place amongst this group, a few folks were giving Rob a hard time for supplying an image with only 3 brackets and, in response, Rob said, “Suck it up; go back to your roots,” and that’s what I did. No presets, only some layering in Elements and final touches in Aperture. I loved the sky and wanted to darken it up a bit to bring out the colors. Also loved the rocky shore to camera left and wanted to make sure it stayed illuminated and sharp. I thoroughly enjoyed this set Rob, thanks for taking care of us this round!”

 

Inland Sailor by Scott Frederick :

Inland Sailor by Scott Frederick

 

“This was a great set to work on by Rob Hanson for two reasons.  I don’t get a lot of chances to shoot scenes like this and our collaboration group has a tendency to edit grungier brackets, so this was a refreshing change! I had two runs at this image.  The first pass through Photomatix without the de-ghosting option enabled allowed some ghosting of the trees in the water to bug me a little.  So back through Photomatix to take care of that!  Also Rob shot this scene handheld with 3 brackets at 2EV spacing and I must admit, I was very happy with the results that these brackets 3 brackets gave me while tone-mapping.  Next was off to Photoshop CS5 for some lens correction to fix the distortion and CA, a little noise reduction with Nik’s Dfine and some sharpening with Nik’s RAW Pre-Sharpener.  Next I fired up onOne’s Perfect Effect 3 and applied a few filters before bringing the images back to CS5 to apply some Un-Sharp Mask to the boats, trees and rocks!  As always, I finished the image off in Aperture 3 with subtle contrast and brightness adjustments, curves and levels and some saturation adjustments!  Thank you Rob for hosting this round and providing this fun set to work with!”

 

Inland Sailor by Mark Garbowski :

Inland Sailor by Mark Garbowski

 

“Never apologize in this group. That’s the lesson from this round. Rob made excuses as he posted the image for us to work with this week, because it only had 3 brackets, and we greedy folks are used to a minimum of 5 and as many as 11. So of course we all teased him before we even looked at them. And of course there was no need for any excuses.

“I loved working on these. I first made a version that enhanced the original golden hour look, and did that mostly in Nik Color Efex 4. Then I created a blue version in the latest update of OnOne’s Perfect Suite. While still in that powerful new suite, I pulled the golden version in as a layer and blended them using the masks and layer feature in the suite. The end result is I flipped the image from golden hour to blue hour. My final move was to crop out most of the sky and foreground, emphasizing the elements of interest in the horizon and creating a bit of a panoramic feel.”

 

Inland Sailor by Jacques “Fotofreq” Gudé :

Inland Sailor by Jacques "Fotofreq" Gudé

 

“At first, when I saw this set of brackets, I thought to myself: Oh, No! A landscape shot!  I’m not a landscape dude.  How the heck am I gonna do this?  So, I left them there on my desktop, not sure what I wanted to do to with them.  Fast forward to about a week later, and I was in a Google Hangout with my boys, Rob Hanson and Bob Lussier, I believe a day or two before Thanksgiving.  Heck, I’d completely forgotten about these brackets, when Rob asked something along the lines of: “So, when are you two going to get those brackets done.  No rush, but I wanted to post them RIGHT NOW!”  Ok, so maybe not that moment, but he wanted them soon.  Turns out Bob and I were holding up the crew.  It’s done when it’s done, right?

“A couple days later (Black Friday), while most of America (probably exaggerating here, but not much) were out shopping, I found myself a nice “quite” corner in a Starbucks near my hotel and went to work.  I ran the brackets through Photomatix and HATED what I was getting there.  Dang!! What to do?  I know!  DRI (aka Dynamic Range Increase)!  Or at least I think that’s what they call it when you merge (or blend) your brackets together manually.  I’d done this once before, and loved the result.  So I opened all the brackets up in Photoshop CS 5 and went to work, painting in here and painting out there until I had a nice canvas to play with.  I was already digging what I saw and the tunes I was working with (First Hans Zimmer’s Last Samurai soundtrack, and then his Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s Ends soundtrack.) were REALLY inspiring me.  I used various blend modes to get particular looks I wanted as I my drawing hand danced around my Wacom table: here a brush stroke, there a stroke, everywhere a stroke, stroke).  A little dodge here, a little burn there, and I even learned a few new techniques in Photoshop along the way; that happens when you are after a particular look somewhere on your canvas and are not sure how to go about creating said effect, which is ALWAYS good.  Finally, and I was done, and I was digging what I saw.”

 

Inland Sailor by Mark Gvazdinskas :

Inland Sailor by Mark Gvazdinskas

 

“What a fun set of brackets, Rob! One of my favorite things to do when new brackets are dropped is to blindly put them into Photomatix and drool at the possibilities.

“I put on my “Kiss the Cook” apron and deep fried the heck out of this one.  The second I loaded the brackets I noticed the clouds and the reflection. I hated to take out the amazing detail in those gorgeous clouds but felt this was the perfect opportunity to do some practice in OnOne’s Perfect Effects. In order to give this a long exposure feel I first did a full strength radial blur layer. I then added a glow to the sky and water to give that glassy appearance. I always like the warmth I get out of my 10 stop and wanted to create a feel like that so went a little crazy with the colors here. I was going to do a sharpening layer for the boats as Photomatix always seems to take a bit of that tact-sharp feel out of the image, but decided to leave them be giving somewhat of a blurred effect as if the shutter was open for 30+ seconds and the boats would be rocking. Finally I added a pretty heavy vignette. All editing done within Perfect Effects and Layers. This software is just something else.

“All in all an absolute blast to work on this gorgeous set. Thanks for the opportunity to destroy your pretty shot, Rob!”

 

Inland Sailor by Bob Lussier :

Inland Sailor by Bob Lussier

 

“Thanks to Mr. Hanson for providing a great set of brackets to work with. And, from one of my favorite places to shoot Acadia National Park, Mt Desert Island, Maine.  I have probably driven past this little harbor dozens of times over the years but, unlike Rob never had the vision to stop and shoot it! So thanks for looking out for me, Rob!

“I used this opportunity to play around a bit with onOne’s new Perfect Photo Suite. I figured, since it was Rob’s image I would potentially be screwing up, I had nothing to lose! After running the three brackets through Photomatix, I pulled them into the Photo Suite. I ran the “Daily Vitamin” filter on it, which boosted the local contrast and punched up the colors a bit with emphasis on the blues in the sky. I then went to the “Glow” tab and added some “Deep Forest.” I really love how the shore, boats and treelike are mirrored in this image, so I wanted to bring back some of the contrast. I added one more layer in onOne and painted in some “lighten” tonal adjustment on the boats, dock, house and some of the rocks on the left shoreline.

Thanks again, Rob!”

 

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Thanks for your entries, gentlemen. See you for the next round.


	

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse   13 comments


The lighthouse at Bass Harbor Head, Mount Desert Island, Maine

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - © 2011 Rob Hanson Photography

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On the southwest side of Mount Desert Island, far from the tourist-laden areas of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, is the easily accessible Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Since it’s just a short walk from the parking lot down to the rocks, it’s probably one of the most frequently photographed lighthouses in Maine. I can safely suggest that on this evening, at least 100 pictures were taken, judging by the small crowd that crammed into nooks and crannies on the craggy rocks. As the sun began to set, more and more people filtered down the steep steps, looking for a place to shoot the lighthouse while simultaneously avoiding having other people in the frame. Not an easy thing to do…

I rather quickly tired of maneuvering with the crowd down below and decided to move up the hill a bit for a different perspective. I had my heavy boots on, so it was pretty easy to scramble over the rough rocks and set the tripod in a safe place to catch the sun behind the pine tree. Even that didn’t stop one intrepid couple from hiking directly into my frame, causing me to throw out one of the exposures.

It’s a jungle out there, but the rewards are great.

Since so many images have been taken of this lighthouse, I wanted my version to be as distinctive as possible, so I pushed the ‘painterly’ feel in processing rather than keeping it hyper-realistic. For this scene, I like how it worked out.

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HDR from eleven exposures +/-1EV, f/22, 31mm, processed with HDR Express, Photomatix Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Photoshop CS5

Pretty Maids All In A Row   9 comments


A string of dories lies in wait on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, Maine

Pretty Maids All In A Row

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A string of dories lies in wait on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, Maine.

In an attempt to avoid the crowds around Acadia National Park, we took a leisurely drive around the west side of Mt. Desert Island, looking for new opportunities. As we drove past one of the many bays shrouded in woods, we caught a glimpse of some potential well below the level of the roadway.

Sometimes it really pays to swing the truck around to investigate. After climbing downhill about fifty feet, I found a nice spot to catch these dories.

Handheld three exposure HDR, f/14, 24mm, ISO 100, Photomatix Pro and HDR Express

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Alone + Nature = Nurture   19 comments


A lone person regards the ocean surf at Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine

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This is one of my favorite spots on the coast of Maine.

Rather than go into some lengthy prose regarding the image, I thought I’d let the title speak for itself.

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