The Land of 1,000 Postcards

"Sunrise at Boulder Beach" was just one of the amazing prints created during my first visit to Maine's Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park was simply amazing!

Maine's Acadia National Park has been on my radar for years, so I decided to head there after finishing up some Upstate New York work with Bassmaster — and the amazing national park was everything I dreamed.

My wife and I only had three full days at Acadia National Park, but it was a whirlwind of beauty. In fact, it seemed there was a postcard photo waiting to be captured every 100 yards. Honestly, it drove my wife a little crazy because I wanted to shoot everything I saw.

We arrived at our little AirBnB cottage in Tremont (the quiet side of the island) on a Wednesday afternoon, after shooting Portland Head Lighthouse with my buddy Rick Berk. After settling in, I looked around on Google and decided to start off with a sunset at Jordan Pond

Day 1

I hoped for a crazy sunrise on our first full day of the trip, but the forecast was for 100 percent cloud coverage — so we chose to sleep in a bit before getting started. After a bit of breakfast, we drove a few minutes to Bass Harbor Head Light.

It was an amazing lighthouse above the iconic rugged Maine coast, and I was soon scrambling down the water-slicked rocks to get into position. I used boot spikes to ensure I didn't fall, and was soon composing what turned out to be a fantastic black-and-white print that worked really well with the clouds. I used a Lee Filters Little Stopper to slow down my shutter speed and smooth out the water and create movement in the clouds, and added a .9 soft-grad neutral density filter to darken the sky and help balance out the overall exposure.

The result was one of my favorite black-and-white photos.

"Bass Harbor Head Light" is one of my favorite black-and-white photos, and was a great beginning to our first full day at Acadia National Park.

From there, my wife and I headed to Ocean Path near Bar Harbor to take a look at such iconic Acadia National Park locations as Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs. We arrived before the crowds, and I was soon walking around the rocky beach looking for a nice composition.

Clouds still covered the sky, but that really doesn't bother me. In fact, I love clouds when there is some texture, and that was the case on this morning. The waves were crashing into the rocky ledges, so I quickly set up to capture the scene with Otter Cliffs in the background. I used a rocky ledge in the foreground to help frame the image, and the clouds actually seem to point to Otter Cliffs.

Again, I used a selection of Lee Filters to slow down the shutter speed and balance the contrast between the sky and the cliffs to create a dreamy, moody print that would be a wonderful addition to any room or office!

Click here to see the final print!

By the time I finished up, crowds of tourists had descended onto the Ocean Path beaches, so my wife and spent the midday hiking the path and enjoying the panoramic views. It's just amazing!

Day 2 Sunset

"Sunset at Bass Harbor Marsh" was an amazing ending to our first day in Acadia National park.

One of Rick Berk's sunset location recommendations was the Bass Harbor Marsh, which was just 15 minutes from our cottage. And the clouds were really shaping up nicely for a great sunset, so my wife and I arrived about an hour early so I could ensure I had the best location staked out.

I chose to include a set of wonderful, still pools in the foreground so the colors in the sky would be reflected. I normally would use a neutral density filter to slow down my shutters speed, but there was a slight breeze blowing so I just used a .9 soft grad neutral density filter to darken the sky and control the contrast between the foreground and the sky.

After the sun dropped below the horizon, the sky lighted up with beautiful rose colors. It was just wonderful, even though the mosquitoes were so bad my wife retreated to the safety of the truck.

I loaded up my equipment knowing I had a beautiful print, but I soon saw the sunset wasn't over.

As we drove across the bridge to head back to the cottage, my wife and I looked in the opposite direction, and we both said the same thing at the same time.


The setting sun had thrown that beautiful rose color across some wispy clouds, and the moon was actually rising through those clouds. The sky was also reflected in the waters of the marsh.

I quickly pulled off the road, grabbed my camera back and tripod, and sprinted back to the bridge. I used a .6 soft grad ND filter to darken the sky, and created "Moon Over Bass Harbor Marsh."

What a great day it was!

"Moon Over Bass Harbor Marsh" was a bonus to our first sunset in Acadia National Park.

Day 3: Sunrise at Otter Cliffs

Our second full day began with my scrambling down Boulder Beach to get into position for sunset. I was in such a hurry I didn't even think about the slick rocks, and it didn't take long for my feet to come out from under me. I was dumped onto the rocks, but fortunately not hurt.

So I took a few minutes to put spikes onto my boots, and then continued until I found the perfect place to create a great print that shows Boulder Beach and the beautiful light striking Otter Cliffs.

This was the perfect opportunity to use a neutral density filter to slow down the shutter speed and turn the water into foggy wisps. I played around, and finally settled on a 10-stop ND to allow me to extend the exposure to 157 seconds.

The result was perfect, with the waves washing through the rocks turned ghostly and the actual rocks still being visible. The composition was completed when the rising sun lighted up Otter Cliffs.

Sunrise was actually behind me, but the small patch of sunrise color in the sky on the left horizon communicated clearly the time of day.

I just love this print, which I titled "Sunrise at Boulder Beach", which is seen at the top of this blog!

As a bonus, I hopped to the top of a nearby ledge, turned the camera toward the rising sun and created "Sunrise at Ocean Path."

"Sunrise at Ocean Path" was the second photo created during my second full day at Acadia National Park.

Final Day

This was the end of a three-week road trip, so I was wiped out by Day 3. So I agreed to give the day to my wife, just hiking and enjoying time together.

We headed to Schoodic Penninsula, which is a more isolated portion of Acadia National Park that gets relatively little attention from tourists. It's just a beautiful as the Bar Harbor side of the park, but it requires a bit of drive so people tend to ignore it.

Which was fine with us. We arrived and hiked a couple trails, ending up at Schoodic Head and the panoramic views from the top of that mountain. It was stunning.

My wife was tired by the time we hiked back down the trail, so she didn't argue when I asked to spend a few minutes creating one last print before our trip was over.

The Atlantic Ocean seemed intent on destroying Schoodic Point, with huge waved crashing into the rocky beach. I set up and zoomed in to isolate one of the points of rock, again using a neutral density filter to slow down the shutter speed.

I titled the resulting print "Ghost Waves at Schoodic Print" because the waves were transformed into what looks like ghostly tendrils. It's a wonderful effect that shows the ruggedness and beauty of Schoodic Point while also illustrating the harsh marine environment.

"Ghost Waves at Schoodic Point" was the final print created during my amazing trip to Acadia National Park.

Final thoughts

We left Acadia National Park full of memories, knowing we didn't have time to explore the entire park. That said, I'm so happy with the prints I created during our time there.

I'm already scheming to find a way to spend more time there! It's just an amazing national park that is one of my favorite stops during all of my travels around the country.

If you have any questions about these prints, please don't hesitate to email me: I love chatting with others about my work!