Fly rod? Skis? Bikini? Snorkel mask? What’s the essential vacation gear you won’t leave home without?
If it’s a camera, Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine should be someplace you consider visiting this year.
The 46,000 acres of this storied national park offer rugged Atlantic coastline, glacial lakes, and mountains whose wonders are laid open to photographers by miles of carriage roads and hiking trails. Iconic New England villages, dating back to 1761, add postcard-perfect images of working fishing harbors and white church steeples to the portfolio.
Plus, it’s the first place to view sunrise in the U.S.
As a quick visit to the forums on TripAdvisor will show, Acadia has spawned a particularly collegial group of amateur and professional photographers who openly share techniques and favorite spots. Just ask and you’ll get plenty of tips on filters, shutter speed, and remote release techniques for Acadia’s different venues. Among the locations they name as “don’t miss” are:
Bass Harbor Headlight
Sunrise from Thunderhole
Jordan Pond and The Bubbles
The Bridge in Somesville
View Atop Cadillac Mountain
Lobster Boats in Bass Harbor
Views from Ocean Path
Margaret Todd Schooner
Among those offering photography workshops in Acadia National Park is Canon. Led by award-winning photographer Tyler Stableford, Canon bills its session as “A Seaside Photography Adventure.” The two-day weekend workshop, held August 6-7, 2011, is based in Bar Harbor and priced at $750 (excluding hotel). It starts with classroom instruction and gear handouts, then heads out to explore coastal landscapes and the Bass Harbor Headlight through sunset. Sunday morning is spent photographing working lobstermen in Bass Harbor, with instruction emphasis on lighting, composition and getting the most from your models. Lightroom processing and printmaking instruction follow back in the classroom. Limit: 16 students.
Robert Rodriguez, Jr., a Hudson Valley based photographer, offers his Downeast “Beyond the Lens” workshop at autumn’s height. For six days (Sunday, October 9 through Friday, October 14, 2011), eight serious photographers, whether beginner or advanced, get to work side-by-side with Rodriguez. Based near Seawall in the island’s southwest section, this workshop is about 25 minutes closer to the Bass Harbor lighthouse and harbor than Canon’s base in Bar Harbor and utilizes accommodations at the Seawall Motel that are thriftier at $80/night than Canon’s $239 rate at the Bar Harbor Regency, which has a swimming pool. With an $849 price tag, the curriculum is in-depth, providing both classroom and field sessions daily. The video about the photo workshop beautifully showcases Acadia’s scenery.
Another option is to explore Mount Desert Island with Ed Vatza. An advertising executive based in the Lehigh Valley, Ed has been visiting MDI since 1999 and is now a Destination Expert on Acadia for TripAdvisor. Ed says, “It seems every workshop tries to get to the same places. The key is to know other places, less well known, where you can get the shots that you want. That’s what I strive to do.” His five-day workshop to Acadia is also offered at the height of foliage season, October 11 through 15 in 2011, costs $750 and is limited to ten participants. It promises to take photographers off the beaten path.
All of these workshops, depending upon their length, offer free time for you to explore Mount Desert Island. To learn more, especially about the island’s wide range of restaurants, visit OUR ACADIA.