I have been seeking the quintessential fall color image of the year. In the parking lot behind a bank this scene snuck up on me. There are many other shots and many other candidates all over and around Maine from our trip. All worthy images, but, this one jumped out at this point, right now. Yes, it was tweaked a bit to focus on the richness of color in the scene. It reaches an emotional level beyond prose. Ok!
There is one convenience that can’t be beat with the iPhone. Panorama. It’s dead simple. Ha! I can Photoshop. It’s easy enough. But…. So, I ask? Dave advised me to tap on the mountain to adjust the exposure so there would not be overexposure. When did he get so smart? Meanwhile pano is a neat trick I pull out of the pocket on occasion.
You simply cannot not stop at every potential photo-op. Even while I drove alone, I did not do it. Traveling with your wife is enough to try her patience many times over. Colleen is such a good sport. I am careful not to overdo things? Ha! Have I been known to be moderate? You can see some of the results of stopping by the roadside. And, you may ascertain some of the image shot thru the windshield on the go. Actually, Colleen has acquired some skill shooting on the go. She thinks she’s better than if I try to drive and shoot. Stop, go, hey! It’s all the same when I edit the images. Good, or, bad? Keep it, or, discard it? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. I will readily admit that I tend to draw a crowd while I am stopped by the roadside.
My point? During leaf peeping season in Acadia, Maine, it’s hard to find a place off the beaten track. In fact, parking around Acadia – Bar Harbor – was at a premium. I actually cruised for a while before locating a parking spot. The same can be said for Jordan Pond, an extremely popular site. My map reading skill took me off the path. Ignore Siri and GPS. Voila! Serenity, peace, solitude. It was Colleen and I, no one else in sight or hearing. A downy woodpecker came to rest nearby. Yes, Sommesville had a hoard of tourists hovering over the requisite shot. And, Jordan Pond found a photographer with a tripod who lingered long after the evening sunset glow was gone. ??? I am not them. We moved on to more peace and definite serenity. Remember, you are never lost as long as you do not put the car in reverse.
We usually do our selfies without assistance. That’s me, my modus operandi. I take a shot of Colleen. Then Colleen takes one of me in the same spot while I sit in the next chair over. It works well. A helpful wife urged her photographer husband to shoot the two of us. Oddly, I could not reciprocate. Ok! There was an old lady in black who was in the background in all the shots. That was a pain. I simply blotted her out. More work? Which method was better? Hey! We got a selfie. Do I need help? … more than you know.
A day later in a different area of the state, we found fall color. Location, location, location. I should be satisfied. I was vaguely unrequited. No matter. We did get color. I do believe it was more user (photographer) dissatisfaction than it was nature. I like to think of myself as always changing and improving. It also helps to be in the right place at the right time.
I got a series of three for this scene. None are more informative. Amish family, three kids, the dad drives from the right seat. The kids sit on folding chairs in the back. They wear distinctive traditional garb that marks them. I had seen horse shit by the side of the road. This now closed the information loop on how it got there. There is a lot to be learned passing a two horse cart on the side of the road.
Shot of the day? We finally saw color. This is one of many on a successful day finding fall color.
Regret? I’ve had a few. This one time I had an opportunity to go back and shoot one more time. Did I do better? Well, it’s different. It was a scene full of possibility and opportunity. We love all of our children… and cats… some better than others? No. Sometimes, you just cannot choose. Can you? Oh boy. We spent time with a psychiatrist (chance acquaintance) between shoots. Subtle, sublimation, transference? Do over? It’s different. Better? It’s in our mind. Confused? You bet! Me too!
New England, Maine, in the fall (every family relative asked) – have you seen the leaves change? Yet? Climate change, it’s been whacky. When we arrived, we were definitely too early. There was barely a hint of color change. As the weeks passed (yes, we were here for a few weeks) colors changed subtly. And, then, suddenly they were here/changed, only to fade quickly. Within the span of the few times we passed by, a tree in Rockland faded drastically losing its leaves. I shot individual trees; I shot individual leaves; I shot scenes; I shot reflections; I shot fog. Quintessential?! Sort of. I feel vaguely unrequited. I did get color. For sure. I’ve done better. And, I’ve done worse. I hate the randomness of my finding a suitable scene. Mostly, we were on the way to somewhere else and I shot out the from the car window or we stopped, paused, shot, and then quickly drove onward. I cannot say that I ever got that “Ah!!” shot. Otherwise, if I were chasing wool (fiber), I would say we were successful. Priorities! Keep priority straight and it’s a completely different picture. (pun intended)
I kept passing this charming cottage and failed to take a picture… till this time. I missed a picture of the “pot” T shirt we got the kids. Pop up books? Frank Lloyd Wright? Yup, I found it in the library’s second-hand book section. Really?! They bought this for the library? And, it remained intact? Poor Frank must be rolling in his… I will admit to taking photos of carved signs. Sometimes they stack up.
I do not purport to be good. I just want to fool the average viewer. There are Photoshop gurus who can make this all look too real. I’m a bit more casual. You can call me lazy. But, I do have some skill. Anyway, it’s all in fun. My model is cooperative. Everyone has a good time. Luckily, we do not require the help of strangers to stage our antics.
This was about catching the reflection of the lighthouse. Once again, people walked by and never looked down. There were a few savvy photographers. Yes! A few trips ago, I found out Colleen was a tree hugger. It has not affected our relationship. She has told me white birch is one of her favorites. Imagine?! Competing with a tree! But then, I have always been beside myself.
There’s not much to show (the one I missed). We got a spectacular sunset at the lighthouse complete with ‘angel light.’ I got the reflection one more time. Colleen did not come down on the rocks. The light was fading too much. I got sunset hitting the top of the lighthouse. Colleen made me sit! Yes, actually, sit. No pictures, just sit. It worked for a minute. Ha!
We just missed the golden pink glow hitting right under all the clouds. Timing. We left a bit too early. Who knew? That would have been spectacular. The hint of it that I shot … well, it’s enough to make you wistful. Hey! We got another great ending to the day! We passed a local favorite – Moody’s. Maybe, someday….
I watch people when there is no scenery to photograph. Library? Yes, again. The building was picturesque enough to demand a visit. Books? But, of course! There was a sale of used books! Oh, surprise! We came away with a couple (books, not people). Hat? Hats? Alpaca, you gotta feel! Soft!! Of course, they are all the more stylish in this year’s fashion cat mask. Imagine me, parked, patiently sitting in one place? Hardly! I usefully perused my phone for a place to eat. Yeah, all that sittin’ makes me hungry.
Without an agenda, we ambled up and down the coast of Maine. I was always a failure at fishing (non sequitur). Lobstermen make a fine living every day? We stop by chance at stores along the road. For instance, this is a weaving store stop. They spin and weave expensive items. We don’t buy. I have my very own spinner and weaver in the car. But, we look. Ideas. The prices are breathtaking for handwoven articles. We just don’t produce in quantity. So, I will never break even. Colleen looks; I get photo ops – free.
If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute… so, they say. They made chairs out of old lobster traps. We sat. 50% chance of rain means 50% no rain, too. We got quite a cloud formation as the weather stopped storming. That would be 100% priceless. Colleen sit? I had to make her sit in the lobster chair; she thought it was wet. Ha!? Rain??
A revisit to Rockland got me to the only tree of color (so far). The lighthouse was off in the distance. A heron posed. Raindrops adorned the geranium. And, we reflected on a rainy day. Colleen shopped the farmer’s market. Some days are just made for quiet contemplation away from chaos. Is this the reason Maine calls to Colleen? Me? … all go and more go…. Hey! I was (came from) in NYC.
Tech alert: I shot the lighthouse from far away with a tiny point and shoot – Sony RX100 VI. The zoom is as good as my large heavy Nikon 80-400mm zoom. There is no comparison in weight. I think heavily (pun) on whether to carry the big lens for only a few telephoto zoom shots.
Can you live with it? We are adults, after all. Can you say lobster shooter? It is lobster with butter and garlic in a shot glass. Drizzle a little lemon over the top. Colleen talked about that since she had one three years ago. Three years! The restaurant has the silly lobster cutout. It was closed for the season! No hired help. All this waiting, and all Colleen got was a stupid picture in a lobster cutout!
Andre, the seal. He’s an institution. He originated in Rockport. Yay! Jen says we can bring him home and keep him in the pond.
One tree. Yeah, it’s pitiful so far. One fall tree. So, work the scene!
And, a cormorant took flight for me!
To finish? Sunset and spectacular clouds in Pemaquid. Colleen was mad – at me. It’s not the lobster shooter – three years of waiting. But, of the fact, that I dragged her out of the library to see the view at the lighthouse – for the 3rd!!! time this week. I’d say it was worth it. I endured the wrath. I know she will still love me in the morning.
Colleen wanted to visit a logging museum. Ok? It did not start out promisingly. We were in a cluttered rundown building with some old rusty steam log pulling equipment. I was shooting mushrooms – my best opportunity…. Then, Colleen got a map. Ha ha! There’s a whole village with buildings full of stuff. Photo-ops! Yes, sometimes, she fools me. This gal knows more than she lets on. It was a great surprise. A covered bridge? Priceless!!
I see people. I watch people. It comes from observing patients for so many years. You watch them walk, how they act, and how they interact. I was there for the reflection. Walking sticks? Well, the woman could hardly walk. Ok?! Engagement photo shoot? The photographer was shooting from behind the couple and probably never saw the reflection. How? (did she not see it?) Photo-ops everywhere you look. I kept my mouth shut and did not engage (pun, anyone?). The fat lady? Not that fat lady – she found the reflection, pulled a camera out of her pink bag, and proceeded to ignore me.
We were turned away at Cadillac mountain. No ride to the top. There is a new toll instituted this year to limit cars in the parking lot there. The gatekeeper turned us away and bade us down the hill to a turnout for the sunset. It was extremely fortuitous. We arrived and claimed the last spot by the roadside. Soon after the two lane access road was clogged with double parked cars. Ha ha, the problem had shifted downhill. We had a ringside seat. It was chilly! I worked the scene until one minute after. That is to say, you know, when the moment passes its peak. We cleared. Someone slipped into our parking spot and we beat the crowd down the hill. I am glad we were there for the critical moment. Equipment? I would have had a better “selfie” with a flash to compensate for a dark foreground. Yeah, yeah, lazy me, no flash. The new mirrorless does not have one in the camera. We’re fine. Yeah, panorama, too? iPhone? No, I considered the moment (watching the sunset) with Colleen, held her closer, and kept the phone in my pocket.
… another museum. There is only so much room to maneuver in a museum. I’m working on a new routine. On this day we did the classics. Sommesville bridge. Considering the numbers of cars at the Bass lighthouse (on this same road), everyone was speeding along and missing this quintessential Maine shot by the bridge. We paused to sit under the arbor. The lighthouse has a front and back side. You have to go around the back and down a steep rocky path to get the “real” view. From the speed at which cars departed the crowded parking lot, it seems most folks missed the back side. Sometimes tourism is not about the speed at which you check off another sight seen.
Traveling is tricky. You need to strike a balance between running around and sitting around. Humor is where you find it. How about a deer hunting orange cap? Blow drying your restaurant after the rain? Lobster roll? Party colored rake? Colleen adores sitting in a used bookstore amid all the possibilities. But, the sun was newly shining after all the rain. Go! There is a need to visit all the photo ops! (I like old windows.) Or, to sit and spin. Yes, we got a new wheel. New? No, used. Gently used, this was Colleen’s drool wheel. Ok! Cherry wood! It’s gorgeous. It spins like a dream. Only if you were another spinner, could you appreciate the pleasure. It’s like driving a Porsche. Nope, I have not done that either.
We returned to the scene. Ordinarily, there are no second chances. The last visit was only days ago. Colleen. It was her call. I’m glad we did – return again. I was always told a bright sunny day was less than ideal for photographing. Who knows? I love the bright white contrasting against the autumn sky. Give me a few clouds. And, the monarch butterflies were out, just for me. It seems everyone else was ignoring them for the lighthouse. I worked the scene and had a grand time. It was all Colleen’s idea. She’s a genius.
Photoshop can do wonders. But, the real thing is easier, more reliable? A few posts back I was lazy and did not wait. I put in the reflection. This time around was an almost perfect day. It still required patience to let the ripples in the water settle. Nope, there is a limit to my patience. Colleen laughs. She’s a good sport about it all. She hates jumping around back and forth on the rocks. Meanwhile, tourists came and went without noticing the reflection. And, yes, this selfie required Photoshop.