Bass Harbor Head, Maine, USA by Michael Thomas

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Picture Story

Acadia National Park is my favorite park in the eastern US. In its relatively compact dimensions are miles of rocky shoreline, ponds and tarns, forests and high hilltop vistas. One of the most picturesque spots, and wildly popular, is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse is about 20 miles and 30 minutes from Bar Harbor where most stay. I find a night at a B&B in Southwest Harbor more convenient as it is only 5 miles from the lighthouse. When I first visited in 2007, I could pull into the small parking lot at the lighthouse and find a space for a sunset shoot. Last year, cars were backed up all the way to the main road. I had to jockey for a small bit of space on the rocks and hope I wouldn’t be swallowed by the incoming tide before the sun set (I didn’t quite make it). So I favor sunrises here. I have rarely had more than four or five other photographers with me and usually just one or two. On this morning I was joined by only one other intrepid soul.

Several different spots can be found here, but if you want a reflection of the light, you must get close to the water’s edge. High tide precludes this. The rock is granite and very slick when wet. If it is dark, stay off of it, or you will take a nasty fall or worse.

On this morning a storm was approaching so no colorful sky. Nonetheless I liked the red light against the brooding blue dawn sky. This is a single exposure processed in Lightroom. Only minor adjustments were made with a gradient filter for sky contrast/noise and a brush to brighten the lighthouse itself.


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