Showing posts with label landscape photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landscape photography. Show all posts

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Favorite Photographs

It's been about a year since I last posted on my blog, and I never intended to let it go that long. Jim Goldstein's Annual Blog Project is a great inspiration to get back on into the swing of it, and an opportunity to review my photography from 2016. This last revolution around the sun was a busy one for me, and it included just a few opportunities for photography. Thankfully, a move out of the city center has helped to keep me feeling connected with nature, with my morning dog walk taking place along wetland trails. The main chances to exercise my photographic creativity came during a week-long trip back out to California with a few days reserved for photography in Point Reyes National Seashore, as well as our annual weekend in Acadia National Park. This certainly wasn't a banner year for my photography in terms of volume, but I returned from these trips with a handful of interesting images to share. In no particular order, here are six of my favorites from 2016.

First light over the fog from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
The fog was pretty regular throughout our August trip to Maine, but we still decided to attempt to catch one sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain. I'm amazed each year at how many other tourists are up early filling up the parking lot as well!
First light over fog on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park

Tule elk cruising through the fog, Point Reyes National Seashore
Spending a few days back in Point Reyes with nothing to do other than focus on hiking and photography was food for my soul. Even though I was there in mid-July, the tule elk rut appeared to already be starting in the Drake's Beach herd.
Tule elk in the fog at Point Reyes National Seashore

Quail on a branch at sunrise, Point Reyes National Seashore
California quail are always a favorite subject of mine, and I caught this handsome male watching over his covey along the trail to Abbott's Lagoon. It was a surprisingly clear morning in the park, offering some delightful pastel colors instead of the more traditional overcast gray of the fog.
California quail on a branch at sunrise in Point Reyes National Seashore

Curious American avocet, Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge
The chance to see these stunning shorebirds is definitely something I miss on the east coast, so I spent a morning at Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge on San Francisco Bay. I took way more images than I've had time to look through of avocets elegantly moving through the salt ponds, but these old pillars added some additional interest in the morning light.
Curious American avocet at sunrise in Don Edwards NWR

Last light and "alpenglow" in Point Reyes National Seashore
I've written many times about how I fell in love with Point Reyes while living in California, and I made an effort on this trip to try to step back and study the landscape in addition to just the wildlife. The hills, valleys, and pastures along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard have always caught my eye, but I never really found a perspective that captured some of that magic. This is perhaps as close as I can come, with the hint of "alpenglow" on the crest of the hills just as the sun was dropping below the horizon.
Last light across the valleys of Point Reyes National Seashore

Fog rolling over the hillsides, Mount Tamalpais State Park
I scheduled one sunset of my summer trip to be on the western slopes of Mount Tamalpais to watch the fog roll in. I got there in the late afternoon while the fog was still offshore. I enjoyed some relaxing meditation until the fog crept over Stinson Beach and began its evening march up the hillside. It was a wonderful experience that would leave me completely shrouded in windy gray for my descent to the car, but offered some delightful abstractions along the way.
Fog rolling over the hillsides of Mt Tam at sunset

If you're interested, here are my favorite photographs from 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

Thanks for reading -- and all the best for a happy and healthy 2017! Cheers!


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sun slipping behind the fog, Acadia National Park

Photograph of the sun slipping behind the fog in Acadia National Park

As we watch the sun set on 2015, I can't help but wait with anticipation for the sun to rise on the new year. This past year was a really busy one, and while I don't see signs of that changing in 2016, I do hope to find a way to make more of an effort to connect with nature on a regular basis. I discovered my need to use nature photography as a meditation while in California for graduate school, and it's been exciting to see the recent articles (like the cover story for the January issue of National Geographic) supporting what I found to be intrinsically true. So as I look forward to 2016, I wish you all the best for a great year filled with family, friendship, love, and quiet time spent in nature!


This image from the slopes of Cadillac Mountain was the only landscape I selected for my Favorite Photographs of 2015 post. I had previsualized a number of photographs that I hoped to work at on the trip, but the ever present coastal fog had other plans. For about 20 minutes on our first evening in the park, I had my only chance at seeing a sunset, and I think that this is my favorite frame from that experience. What was most surprising to me was how quickly the fog descended down from the summit of Mount Cadillac once the sun slipped behind the fog for the last time.

View more photographs from Acadia National Park.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Favorite Photographs of 2015

As we prepare to turn the page on another year, I always enjoy looking back on my work to create a post for Jim Goldstein's Annual Favorite Photographs Blog Project. I'm disappointed to report that I failed miserably at my new year's resolution to spend more time reconnecting with nature, especially through local parks, this year. However, I did have a handful of special opportunities with my camera, including wading birds in southwestern Florida in the spring, baby piping plovers on Plum Island over the summer, and a very foggy trip to Acadia National Park in August.

If you're interested, here are my favorite photographs from 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009. Without further ado, my favorites from this year are below in no particular order.


Reacquainted with the sunrise
It was great to be out for the sunrise again a few times over the summer, and especially to share those golden moments with the breeding piping plovers at Sandy Point State Reservation on Plum Island. The chicks were adorable enough on their own, but it was fun to try to capture the moments of interaction with their parents.
Photograph of a piping plover chick approaching its parent in early morning light



Least tern delivers a fish, Sandy Point State Reservation
The beaches on Plum Island are a breeding ground for other coastal birds as well, including least terns. This pair nested fairly close to the perimeter of the protected area, providing a great view into their tender moments. Here, one partner brought a fish back to the other as it incubated the eggs. I'm disappointed that I clipped the wing tip in this frame, but I still love that both beaks are on the fish during the exchange.
Photograph of a least tern delivering a fish to its partner



Little blue reflection, Bunche Beach Preserve
I had a lot of fun over two mornings in southwestern Florida watching the wading birds during low tide at Bunche Beach Preserve. There was a great diversity of species, but the little blue herons were particularly photogenic. Here, one appeared to walk across the still water of a tidal pool.
Little blue heron looks like it's walking on water in southwest Florida



Curious piping plover chick, Sandy Point State Reservation
These tiny chicks really were a highlight of my summer. I saw them unexpectedly on an outing in June, and then I just had to keep coming back. They were quite curious about all of the photographers lying in the sand to see them, often coming well within my 8' minimum focusing distance. I came home with a lot of images to consider for this list, but this on with the exaggeratedly shallow depth of field was my favorite.
Shallow depth-of-field photograph of a young piping plover



Sun slipping behind the fog, Acadia National Park
Our annual trip to Acadia National Park was wonderful, but we fought the fog the whole time. I had hoped for multiple sunrises or sunsets above the fog, but as it turned out, the first evening was the only chance we had. This image was taken from the trails below the summit of Mount Cadillac as the fog swirled around us.
Photograph of the sun slipping behind the fog in Acadia National Park



Hungry least tern chick, Sandy Point State Reservation
Late in the summer, it was fun to see the young birds growing up. It was interesting to note the difference between the piping plovers that had to feed themselves from their first day and the young terns that relied on their parents to bring back each meal. Here, this least tern was kicking up sand as it impatiently watched its parent circling overhead with a fish.
Photograph of a hungry least tern chick calling out to its parents



Little blue heron in morning light, Bunche Beach Preserve
It was a really long winter in Boston this year with record snowfall, so it felt great to fly south to Florida for a few warm days in March. For me, nothing beats a sunrise photographing birds in the sand and it was almost too easy there. I would just set up next to a tidal pool, and it wouldn't take long for a flock of birds to arrive.
Little blue heron at sunrise on Bunche Beach, Fort Myers, Florida



Piping plover parents, Sandy Point State Reservation
The brooding behavior of the piping plover parents was wonderful to witness, like in this case when all four chicks scooted underneath. However, these moments of calm were short-lived -- the chicks would be off running in four separate directions soon!
Piping plover chicks snuggled under their parent's feathers in Massachusetts



Roseate spoonbill feeding at Bunche Beach Preserve
A highlight of our Florida trip was the chance to photograph this juvenile roseate spoonbill feeding in a tidal pool. It offered a lot of stately poses, but I like the more comical expression captured in this frame the most.
Feeding roseate spoonbill splashes water at Bunche Beach




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Boulders and reflections in Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park

Photograph of boulders and forests reflected in Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park

Bubble Pond was a location that we didn't see on our trip to Acadia National Park last year. The parking lot was rather small (maybe room for 10 cars?), so it took a few tries before we were able to walk the carriage road along shoreline. Like most of the ponds in the park, the water was wonderfully clear with views of the rocky bottom. There was only a light wind crossing the pond when we started out, providing nice reflections as well -- offering a simultaneous view both above and below the surface.

View more photographs of Acadia National Park.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fog shrouded sunset on Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Photograph from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park of the sun setting behind a fog bank

As I've written in my last few posts, this year's summer trip to Acadia National park was all about the fog. I had daydreamed about having the chance to photograph the warm colors of the sun rising or setting behind a bank of cool coastal fog -- and our first evening in the park was my only opportunity. We experienced all of the other sunrises or sunsets from underneath a heavy layer of coastal fog.

It was a tenuous experience looking for the right location to catch the sunset at an elevation below the summit of Cadillac Mountain, which was fully shrouded in fog. The rolling moisture was ever-shifting, leaving some moments of deep, dark grey and others of clear views over the park. Thankfully, the fog that was slipping down the slopes from the summit stayed above our elevation during the last few minutes of the sun's descent toward the fog bank horizon. In fact, the constant motion of the fog gave me multiple opportunities to catch the "final" moments of the day -- after the sun had set, the fog would shift and provide another opportunity to watch the sun slip further behind. So even though I had only one evening to catch the sunset, at least I had a couple of rapid-fire opportunities at the time.

It was surprising how quickly the fog covering the summit crashed down to our location after the sun slipped behind the foggy horizon for the final time. Just a few minutes after taking my last image for the day, we were full-on in a cloud, getting soaked by the heavy mist on the brief hike back to the car.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Dynamic coastal fog rolling through the valleys, Acadia National Park

Photograph of rolling fog spilling through valleys in Acadia National Park

The fog was incredibly dynamic as it rolled across the landscape in Acadia National Park. As we awaited the sunset on the western slopes of Cadillac Mountain, the skies above and below us were constantly changing. One moment we would see far into the distance across Mount Desert Island, as in this image, and in the next moment we were fully enveloped in the fog. In fact, the photograph that I posted yesterday of a fog-shrouded scene was taken only 1 minute after this one!

View more photography from Acadia National Park.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fog and granite, Acadia National Park

Photograph of a granite outcrop under fog at sunset in Acadia National Park

On our first evening in Acadia National Park this year, after enjoying some delicious crab and lobster rolls as our welcome to Maine dinner, we planned to drive up Cadillac Mountain for the sunset. As we approached the bridge to Mount Desert Island, we could already see that the summit was hidden by fog rolling in from the coast. However, the fog had not yet slipped all the way down the slopes, so some of the intermediate elevations were clear. We joined a fleet of cars parking in the pullouts along the road and awaited the sunset from the granite outcrops. In the hour or so we hiked around the area, the ever changing fog would bury us completely and then fade away with a steady rhythm. This photograph was taken at the edge of one of these mountain breaths, where setting sun cast a warm glow in the cloud of fog surrounding us.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Embracing the fog, Acadia National Park

Earlier this summer, I wrote about how I was hoping we would luck out with the coastal fog on our annual trip to Acadia National Park. I had some images planned in my mind to shoot from the top of Cadillac Mountain above the marine layer as the sun rose or set. Well, I suppose you always need to be careful what you wish for! We had fog everyday of our trip, but only one brief opportunity to be above it on our first evening there. The fog settled in heavily and hung around for basically our entire trip, except for a few breaks in the middle of the day. So while I didn't score the images I was dreaming of, we were offered a totally different experience than last summer -- we now realize how lucky we were to have four completely clear days in the park last year!

Photograph of the fog rolling over Upper Hadlock Pond in Acadia National Park

Of course, I've also written many times on this blog how living in the San Francisco Bay Area taught me to appreciate the inherent beauty of coastal fog, and this trip made me stand by those claims. I tried my best to embrace the fog that enveloped Mount Desert Island, which meant stepping back from expectations of the grand landscapes of coastal Maine, and instead focusing in on the smaller, but still remarkably beautiful landscapes available at closer range.

Photograph of fog descends over Upper Hadlock Pond in Acadia National Park

This pair of photographs was taken from the shoreline of Upper Hadlock Pond on our final morning in the park. Once again, we scratched our plans to arise well before sunrise as the forecast was calling for the heavy fog to hang around. We chose the path around Lower Hadlock Pond for our morning hike, but I couldn't pass up this view of the fog descending the hillsides as we passed by the upper pond.

View more photographs of the impressive landscape of Acadia National Park.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trail through the fog, Point Reyes National Seashore

Photograph of a trail through wildflowers under heavy fog in Point Reyes National Seashore

Following on my theme in yesterday's post about switching my mind's eye into landscape mode, here is another photograph from last summer along the Tomales Point Trail under a heavy layer of fog. I've always enjoyed the wind-driven shape of these stately cypress trees, and they were even more engaging as they faded in and out of sight through the fog. My early June trip happened to coincide with an explosion of lupine and wild radish along the trail, which added an amazing amount of color, as well as a thick scent of pollen, to the scene.

View more of my photography from the Tomales Point area of Point Reyes National Seashore.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Impressionist's landscape under the fog, Point Reyes National Seashore

Photograph of a wildflower filled valley in Point Reyes National Seashore

I'm looking forward to a trip to Acadia National Park later this month, which means I'll need to switch my photographic eye to landscape mode. I really wish that I was a better landscape photographer. With wildlife, it comes fairly naturally to me to create images that have the potential to build an emotional connection with the viewer. In some ways, I think it can be easier when you have a clear focus of attention on a living, breathing creature. The eyes provide that necessary window to pull a viewer directly into the scene, and there's always a dynamic component related to the perceived motion (or lack thereof) of the animal. I have yet to find a consistent way to generate an emotional connection through my landscape photography. I feel it strongly while viewing other photographer's work, but it still remains an elusive challenge in my own.

On my trip to Point Reyes National Seashore last summer, I was primarily focused on wildlife, but I made a conscious effort to try to capture the scenic aspects of the park as well. I have such a strong emotional connection to the Point Reyes landscape, and I would love to be able to express just a sliver of it through my lens. I walked the Tomales Point Trail a couple of times on this trip, and each time that I passed this valley bathed in wildflowers it caught my attention. I tried a number of times to create something that expressed my draw to this scene, and the closest I came was in this image under a dense layer of fog. The wind was barely blowing and the birds were quiet, as if the world was weighed down by the fog. The soft colors under the heavy air and remarkable density of blooms in the valley seemed to be cast by an impressionist's paintbrush. The stillness and serenity of this stop along the trail are still etched in my memory.

Ultimately, my efforts to create an impactful image fell short of my intentions, but with failure comes the opportunity for growth. Artistic expression would likely go stale without the constant pursuit of improvement, so I'm looking forward to the challenge. Acadia is another landscape that I felt an immediate connection with, and I hope I'll be returning from my upcoming trip with an expression of that connection.

View more of my landscapes from Point Reyes National Seashore.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Last rays of sunlight above the fog, Mount Tamalpais State Park

Photograph of the last rays of sunlight above the fog on Mount Tamalpais

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am enamored with landscape photographs that take place above the fog. I've seen so many glorious images of the Golden Gate Bridge draped in fog over the years, and I recall a specific image from this area of Mt Tam that appeared in a CSPF bulletin a few years back. I had always wanted to try to capture such an image myself, but regrettably never made the opportunity for myself while living in California. It took until my trip back to the west coast last summer to finally be present with the right conditions. Though as I wrote about last year, I still ended up pulling into a turnout different than I had intended as time was running out.

View more landscape photography from Marin County, California.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Cadillac Mountain in predawn light, Acadia National Park

Photograph from the summit of Mount Cadillac in predawn light in Acadia National Park

I'm already looking forward to a trip to Acadia National Park in August. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate and provide some coastal fog for a sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain. One photographic regret I have from my years in the SF Bay Area is that I didn't spend more time photographing the sunset from above the fog on Mt Tam. I'm always drawn into these kinds of pictures, and we'll see if I'm lucky enough to have a chance up in Maine. Regardless, I know Acadia will be a very fun vacation for my dog, who had a blast in the park last year.

Anyway, this was one of my personal favorites from last year's Acadia trip. I enjoy the cool colors of the predawn light before the warmth will soon explode over the horizon. I like too that you can see the headlights of a car as it makes its way up the road to the summit to join the throngs of people awaiting the rising sun.

View more photographs from Acadia National Park in Maine.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Start of a new day, start of a new year

Dawn of a new day on Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park

Well, 2014 is drawing to a close and sights are locked on our next revolution around the sun. Each morning that I'm able to experience the sunrise leaves me feeling refreshed with the anticipation of a new day, with all the stress of the prior day behind me. In some ways, this last day of year is the same. A chance to reflect on what was and to look forward to what will be. I chose this image from the summit of Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park as one of my favorite photographs of the year. For me, it embodies that invigorating feeling of the cool morning air and warm first rays of sunshine awakening my senses and nourishing my soul at the dawn of a new day.

Wildlife photographer Pat Ulrich photographing the sunrise in Acadia National Park

I wish all of my followers a happy, healthy, and productive new year -- with as many inspiring moments spent in golden light as you can handle!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Island in a sea of fog, Mount Tamalpais State Park

A tree covered peak breaks through the fog in Mount Tamalpais State Park

I've previously written about my experience of chasing the sunset above the marine layer on my summer trip to California this year. It was a spectacular experience, and something I wish I had taken the time to do more often back when Mt. Tam used to be visible outside our kitchen window! I took a variety of images from the few pullouts I had time to stop at that day, and I think maybe this one is my favorite. I strongly considered it for my Favorite Photographs of 2014 post, but ultimately it was just outside my top ten.

View more landscape photographs from Marin County, California.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Favorite Photographs of 2014

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to take a step back and reflect on the work I was able to produced over the last 12 months. I probably wouldn't take the time to consider this exercise so carefully if it wasn't for Jim Goldstein's Annual Blog Project -- so many thanks again to Jim for coordinating such a great effort every year!

I started putting together an annual favorites post in 2009, and I ended up skipping it for the first time in 2013. I had very few chances to get out with my camera last year, other than a fantastic trip to Hawaii. As the calendar rolled through the first few months of 2014, I really felt like something was missing from my life and I made a concerted effort to find time to get out and connect with nature through my photography. While my overall number of trips was still relatively small this year, many of the trips I did have were exciting and productive. Some highlights, in addition to working with shorebirds on the local Massachusetts beaches, were spending five fantastic days back in Point Reyes National Seashore and visiting Acadia National Park for the first time (a location that seems destined to become an annual trip for me). Anyway, without further ado and in no particular order, here are my ten personal favorites from 2014.


Curious quail in focus, Point Reyes National Seashore
It was great to return to my favorite park again after almost two years. While June isn't necessarily my preferred season for wildlife there, the quails were out in abundance. This curious male was bouncing between the bushes near the Abbott's Lagoon parking lot.
Curious quail in Point Reyes National Seashore



Sanderling in the shallows at dusk, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
One of my favorite shorebird encounters of the year came in late October on a trip to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The sun was dropping low in the sky and I thought I was heading home empty-handed, but a last minute choice to walk the path to Beach #6 yielded a very friendly flock of sanderlings in the evening light.
Sanderling wading through the shallows at dusk in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge



Mount Cadillac Sunrise, Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park has been on our to-do list since moving to the Northeast, and we made our first trip there in August. The summit of Mount Cadillac holds some real magic, especially at sunrise.
Sunrise from the summit of Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park



Sanderlings in a sand storm, Plymouth Beach
It was incredibly windy on my first trip to Plymouth Beach, with really strong gusts whipping up the sand. This is perhaps the most unique shooting conditions I had this year -- and an interesting chance to document the daily challenges of being a shorebird.
Sanderlings brace against blowing sand on Plymouth Beach, Massachusetts



California quail calling out, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
For a long time my photographic wishlist has included photographing a male California quail in song. I love to hear their calls, and they toss their heads back with such gusto. It was awesome to have the chance to spend time watching this quail singing from a photogenic perch along the hillside in Tennessee Valley.
Quail singing from a twisted branch of coyote brush



Sanderling searching for prey at sunset, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
I only made it out twice this fall for the shorebird migration, but I was fortunate to have great encounters on both occasions. My best opportunities were primarily with sanderlings, and this bird's transitional plumage stood out nicely in the late golden light.
Sanderling looking for a meal at sunset in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge



Common tern at Sandy Point State Reservation
I was a little too early for migrating shorebirds on this summer trip to the North Shore, but a flock of common terns was a delightful consolation prize.
Common tern on the beach at Sandy Point State Reservation



Dunlin feeding in front of the waves, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
I started experimenting with an even lower ground-level style this year, providing an effectively shallower depth of field for creamy foregrounds and backgrounds.
Dunlin feeding in Massachusetts with shallow DOF



California quail atop the brush, Point Reyes National Seashore
I'm not one to pass up the chance for a quail portrait, and this handsome male was particularly photogenic in this coastal scrub setting in Point Reyes.
A California quail stands atop the brush near Abbott's Lagoon in Point Reyes National Seashore



Sanderling splash, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
It was a very special experience to be laying so close to this sanderling as it washed its feathers and splashed around in the shallows of an ebbing tide.
Sanderling splashing as it takes a bath at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge



As a bonus, here is my favorite image that my wife took of me in action this year -- photographing the sunrise in Acadia National Park with my four-legged assistant. One of the best parts of going to Acadia is that it's a super dog-friendly area, so my pup was able to enjoy the entire experience with us.
Photographer photographs the sunrise as his dog watches the morning light in Acadia National Park



If you're interested in seeing more of my work, here are my Favorite Photographs of 2012, Favorite Photographs of 2011, Favorite Photographs of 2010, and Favorite Photographs of 2009.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spring flows in Tenaya Creek, Yosemite National Park

Spring flows in Tenaya Creek in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Creek, laden with heavy spring rain and snow melt, rushes over a cascade near Mirror Lake

I recently spent some time digging through my archives from a May 2011 trip to Yosemite National Park. I had processed some of my favorites right after the trip, but it was fun to delve a little deeper for images I had initially overlooked. It's so easy to get caught up in the dramatic rock faces, that I had passed over some of the more intimate scenes I stopped to photograph along the way. I found a few "new" images that I'm excited about, including this one, but what stood out to me the most during this exercise was the incredible beauty of Yosemite National Park. We only spent a couple of days in the valley on that trip, but there are so many stunning scenes. It is a photographic regret of mine that we didn't spend more time in that incredible place while living in California -- but it's nice to have a list of good reasons to go back and visit!

View more landscape photography from Yosemite National Park


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunset above the fog, Mount Tamalpais State Park

Hillsides illuminated by a unset above the fog on Mount Tamalpais
The last rays of golden light illuminate hillsides above the marine layer on Mt Tam

On my summer trip to Point Reyes, I included a single sunset in my schedule to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge, which I had hoped would be bathed in partial fog. I spent the afternoon photographing quail in Tennessee Valley and drove to the bridge for the golden hour. To my dismay, the entire scene was completely fogged in, enough that I couldn't even see the bridge from the first pullout on Conzelman Road. Instead of waiting for the slim chance that the fog might lift, I made a last-minute change of plans to get above the marine layer along the crest of Mount Tam. I ascended the mountain under heavy gray, and eventually burst into the warm colors of sunset as I drove for the pullouts on Ridgecrest Boulevard. I was pressed for time with the sun already close to the horizon, but what a sight to see the warm colors of sunset offset by the cool fog. It was breathtaking, and Marin yet again delivered another of my favorite experiences.

Sunset above the fog on Mount Tam
Trees frame a fairly tale scene above the fog

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sun rising over the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Sunrise over the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park
The late summer sun rises over the Schoodic Peninsula as seen from the summit of Mount Cadillac

One of life's true simple pleasures is seeing the sunrise. This is especially true when you can witness the spectacle from a gorgeous location like the summit of Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park. Even in mid-August, when we took this trip to Maine, the sun was still rising rather early (around 5:30). But as the colors filled the sky, and the warm golden-light broke the horizon above the Schoodic Peninsula, all sense of fatigue melted away and the excitement of the start of a new day filled its space.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pemetic Mountain rises above Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park

Pemetic Mountain as seen from the shoreline of Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park
Looking south across Eagle Lake to Pemetic Mountain in Acadia National Park

On our first evening in Acadia National Park, we decided to take in the sunset at Eagle Lake. We hadn't done much scouting before the trip and ended up here just on a whim while looking at the park map. It was a lovely stroll along the carriage road on the northern edge of of the lake, with nice views of Pemetic Mountain and the Bubbles all along the way.

View more landscape photography from Acadia National Park


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First rays of the sunrise on Mount Cadillac, Acadia National Park

The first sliver of sunrise visible from Mount Cadillac in Acadia National Park
The summer sun breaks above the horizon to start a new day in Acadia National Park

While our trip to Acadia National Park was not explicitly for photography, it's hard to be in such a beautiful place without wanting to take advantage of the golden hours. Seeing the sunrise from the summit of Mount Cadillac is something I would have wanted to do anyway -- it's not everyday that you get to be in the first place in the U.S. to witness the sunrise (well, at least it holds that distinction in the winter months) -- but it really is a "thing to do" there. While the photographers visiting Mt. Desert Island would surely be used to waking up at 3-something in the morning in order to reach their destination by sunrise, I was shocked at the number of visitors who lined the summit each morning. What surprised me more though was how quickly almost everyone jumped back into their cars only a few minutes after the sun had fully emerged from below the horizon.

View more landscapes from Acadia National Park.