The beautifully colored layers of rock on the coast of Maine. Bailey Island is full of great spots to witness the ocean and land converging in the most dramatic ways. My favorite that I witnessed during our trip out there was along The Giants Stairs Trail. You can climb out onto the rocks (depending on the conditions) and get as close to the ocean waves as you dare. I took about three trips to this spot.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF14mm f/2.8L II USM
Settings: 14mm Focal Length, 1/20 sec @ f/22 and ISO 100
Processing: As I almost always do, I took six bracketed images for this scene. In the end, this scene was captured quite well in the base exposure. I was able to get some detail in the sky and I also had lots of great color and detail in the rocks, so I scrapped the other exposures. Lightroom handled the highlight recovery and some contrast. Then, on to Color EFX Pro for some color correction and added contrast. Noise was minimal, so I did not have to use anything more than a slight adjustment in Lightroom. The one added element here is the fogginess on the left side. I thought there was too much contrast across the board and I really wanted all the contrast to be focused on the rocks. I used Color EFX Pro’s graduated Fog Filter, tweaked to just the areas I wanted to tone down. I think it helps with the overall mood of the image as well.
The last shot I took at Pemaquid Point on my last day in Maine. I set my hat down next to my bag as I composed this one and realized back at the car that I hadn’t come back with it. Me and the hat have been through a lot, so it was a run back to the rocks to retrieve it. And one last view of the amazing sea…
This rendition of this photo was inspired by some old photos of this spot I found online while researching this area in Maine. This again is at Giant’s Stairs on Bailey Island, Maine. The large outcropping is known as Pinnacle Rock.
The trails on Great Head in Acadia National Park were a great choice to spend some time on. If you are looking for iconic views of Maine’s rocky coastline, then traversing the trails on this little peninsula will not disappoint. Every side of the rocky peninsula afforded awesome views of the ocean and Newport Cove. The weather at this point was varying from moody and foggy to bright sunshine as the fog burnt away.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
-Victor Hugo – Les Misérables
I had realized by the very last day of the trip to Maine that I had yet to experience a sunrise on the coast. The day of the journey back to home began with an early morning trip to Pemaquid Point and the often photographed lighthouse there. Soon after getting a few shots of the light, my attention turned to the sea as is often the case. The clouds here are moving eastward and the sky was opening up after the previous days’ rain. It was a fitting beginning to the day and as well as a fitting end to the trip overall.
More and more often I am finding a single exposure that can be used for the final image, with Lightroom taking care of most of the processing. I was able to tone down the brightness of the sky and get detail from the foreground rocks in just the 0 exposure. I used OnOne’s Perfect Effects to add a very slight texture and more color to the sky and color correct the rocks in the foreground. I find that when I am processing shots with water, I often notice too much “blue” in the water. I think that this is because a single color temperature setting for a scene with water in it often does not work as the sky, foliage, etc. has very different reflective properties from water. So the water always ends up being a little too cool or blue. When I see this, I use the saturation slider in Lightroom specifically for the blue channel. You can crank this all the way up and see very obviously where the blue is hiding, then tone it back down until the water looks about right. This works especially well for waterfalls as I like my falls to look nice and crisp and white. Just be careful as you are applying a global adjustment to the image. You don’t want to desaturate other areas of the photo where you might want the blue channel to show through.