One of the dilemmas faced by landscape and nature photographers is that we want to photograph the most interesting scenes and wildlife. However, these are the scenes that everyone else wants to photograph and paint. Just think Motif # 1 in Rockport, Massachusetts or Portland Head Light on Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Unlike Ansel Adams and other early photographers who could photograph what almost no one has seen before, we are not so fortunate. Even the Antarctic Peninsular is heavily photographed now that regular expeditions can take us there during the summer.
So the challenge is to do something different with the scene, of which there are several potential options. For example, scenes are more interesting when shot from unusual: angles (small drones are making possible the next unusual angles for common scenes—until those angles also become common), lighting (mid-day while convenient, typically provides the worst lighting), and weather or seasonal conditions.Usually, the more difficult or inconvenient conditions for the photographer result in the best photos—another dilemma. Once the photographer decides to put personal comfort and convenience aside, the task is to be on location at the right time and conditions. This usually means that we have to stay in an area for an extended period during the appropriate season, requiring time and money, unless it’s where we live.
In this instance I was able to spend four days during foliage season at the northern end of the mid-coast. Still, not a lot of time, some of which was devoted to resting (driving and hiking put a lot of demand on aging bodies). Here are a few of what I thought were the most interesting shots—you will certainly make your own decisions.
Rockland, until about ten years ago, was a run-down fishing town. Now, it’s rejuvenated with a vibrant economy that includes tourism, windjammer cruises, and the arts. In fact, it has surpassed its neighbor, Camden, the more affluent town, in windjammer cruises. The season is over and crews can be seen doing maintenance on the boats before winter.
Rockland is also a big Puffin town with its own information center, sponsored by Maine Audubon. I also found a Puffin mural down by the waterfront.
The harbor was just a five-minute walk from my inn and so I got many shots of it under a range of conditions. The first, is from a day trip in late September, followed by shots from the current trip. Note that many boats are no longer at their moorings.
So where did all the boats go? Some sailed to warmer destinations, but most ended up in local dry-docks, such as the one below at the ferry marina.
Of course, I have to say something about lighthouses on this trip (I also went to the Lighthouse Museum). Lighthouses on the coast (not those in harbors or rivers) were built within twenty miles of each other, ensuring that one light was always visible to ships navigating along the coast. Here are two.
I did make a day trip to Camden where I captured these photographs.
The leaf peepers were all atop Mt. Battie, so naturally I drove there to see what was going on. It was a mob scene!
This is just a small number of the scenes from this trip. Given the multiple shots of each scene and that I set the cameras to capture both RAW and JPEGS for each shot, I’ve got about 60 GB of photos thus far on this extended trip!
Okay, back to Peaks.
-From Portland and the mid-coast