Bar Harbor, Maine has one of the earliest sunrises on the eastern seaboard. Which is exactly why I decided to sleep in, and find some good sunset locations instead. I did, actually, find some good sunrise locations (a few hundred yards to the left of Thunder Hole in Acadia, there’s a great little trail down to a boulder beach with tidal pools), however none of them compared to this sunset location at the very edge of Bass Harbor. The Bass Harbor Lighthouse can only be found if you’re looking for it, as it’s tucked away along rural roads at the southern edge of Mount Desert Island. I spent an evening shooting alongside a couple other folks vacationing in the area and talking shop. It’s nice to exchange ideas with other photographers once in a while.
While I love the wide shots you can take with the 14-24mm, I hate how bad the distortion is in the corners, and this is evident even after correcting it in DxO. At the same time, it did give the shot to the right a rather ominous and mysterious stance, so not all is lost. Trying to capture both the silky ocean flowing over the rocks and the lighthouse in the distance is much easier with a wide angle, and gives for a nice strong foreground; you just have to be careful with the corners and what you put in it. This isn’t always easy when trying to get the ideal composition – taking the limitations of the lens into consideration.
I played around with my Sigma 35mm art lens as well, as I have a number of 77mm filters that fit it, whereas the selection is somewhat limited on my Wonderpana 145mm adapter.
The photo to the left incorporated three different filters all stacked: a Hoya FL-W magenta filter, B&W CPL, and a B&W Vari-ND filter. I like the Vari-NDs as you can compose and focus with the ND turned down, then turn it all the way up to take the shot. I previously wrote about the magenta filters and how useful they can be at painting your sunset a nice purple color. In this instance, I waited until twilight and used a white balance setting of cloudy, to prevent the camera from automatically correcting the magenta out of the composition.
This comes in handy with portraits too; I saw a great trick in Joe McNally’s Language of Light video, where you could use a setup like this in portraiture by shooting the subject through a CT-Green (fluorescent green) gel. Green is the complement of magenta, and so the subject will be correctly lit / colored, while the rest of the composition will give you a nice rich magenta. Nice trick.
We took plenty of Acadia shots while in Bar Harbor, and enjoyed a nice sunset on a large schooner tall ship at sea. This series was, by far the best.