Category: Mount Desert Island

What makes this sunrise so special ?

By , May 14, 2014 9:54 pm


If you google “Cadillac Mountain sunrise” you will see hundreds of images. But there is something different about this one. Compare and you will notice not many of the images have the Porcupine Islands in the foreground. Why? Well because that can only be photographed for a short period of time each year. Most of the year the sun rises closer to the Schoodic Penninsula and that is what you see in the foreground. But on the first day of summer (and a few more days before and after), the sun rises in it’s northern most position which puts it further to the left and closer to the islands. This allowed me to get a tightly framed image of the islands that also included the sunrise.

A few years ago I set myself a goal to get this picture. I dedicated a week to getting up there every morning until I got the shot, Sunrise on the first day of summer is the earliest sunrise in the year. It’s around 4:45 am. And you want to be on top of the mountain by at least 4:30 .  By the end of the first week…no luck. Fog, clouds, rain, you name it…no great sunrise. One year later I tried again. I was up there every morning for another week, same results, They say third time is the charm, and it was. My third year started off much the same but then one morning the skies cleared! About 20 other people were there that morning but no one was more thankful than I was for that glorious sunrise! Who would have thought it would take 3 years to get the shot! But if you’re serious, sometimes that’s what it takes.

Stars Over Sand Beach

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By , March 14, 2014 3:34 pm

I love taking pictures at twilight and sometimes stay late enough to get some stars but I never set out with a goal to photograph them until this past summer when my husband and I decided to go to “Stars Over Sand Beach” one of the popular weekly ranger talks. I decided this could be interesting to photograph.


In 2009 when I first saw the work of Tyler Nordgren I was stunned that he was able to capture stars and land, clearly sharp without star trails. I immediately read up on what he was doing. The new camera technology had finally made this possible. And slowly but surely the Internet filled with everyone’s version of Milky Way photos. You can find plenty of web sites with information about camera setting etc. and of course you need a tripod, but what I’d like to share are some tips most about what not to do and what else to keep in mind!

Test out your infinity focus on your lens ahead of time. If you crank your focusing ring all the way down it will go past infinity and with some lenses that won’t be sharp. Bring a tiny flashlight so you can set your focus and leave it in manual so it doesn’t change.

Turn off the auto preview!!! Having the back of your camera light up after every shot will annoy others around you and be blinding to you while you are trying to view the stars. I did not think to do this and held my hand over the back of the camera as I didn’t want to take time to find the setting. Next time I will know to check that setting ahead of time and turn it off.

Know your camera well enough that you can change settings in the dark! Practice at home so when you get to a great spot you are ready.

Things to be aware of…its dark, VERY dark. Photographs make it look like you can see the foreground but your eyes cannot. You will need a flashlight or headlamp, and you will annoy everyone every time you turn it on, so get there early and settle in one place if you go to a public event.

headlights on Park Loop Road and flashlights on Sand Beach illuminate the night

Headlights on Park Loop Road and flashlights on Sand Beach illuminate the night

Acadia is one of the best places for night sky photography. In 2008 Acadia National Park was listed by National Geographic as one of the places having dark skies and good for star gazing. In 2009 the first Acadia Night Sky Festival was held. Also In 2009, the ‘Bar Harbor Dark Sky Ordinance’ was voted in by a landslide popular vote. It is a local ordinance that requires, ‘night sky friendly’ outdoor lighting on all new construction in the Town of Bar Harbor, in an effort to prevent any further light pollution to our local skies.

You can enjoy those dark skies anytime and once or twice a week the rangers lead the “Star Over Sand Beach” program with lots of great information.

Read the Down East article here

Learn more about the Night Sky Festival here

Garland Farm and The Cultural Landscape Foundation 2012 Landslides

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By , October 8, 2012 9:21 pm

This summer I spent time photographing an MDI garden that you may not know,  Garland Farm. Many garden lovers visit Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden and Lodge, and the Asticou Terraces and Landing, on Mount Desert Island. But few may realize that many of the plantings for these gardens came from Beatrix Farrand’s garden at Reef Point and that the plantings and other details at her last residence and garden at Garland Farm are in the process of being saved, restored, and are now open to the public. This summer I had the pleasure of learning more as I photographed the garden and house for The Cultural Landscape Foundation.


Last week The Cultural Landscape Foundation announced  the 2012 Landslide®Landscape and PatronageLandslide, is the annual thematic compendium of threatened and at-risk landscapes, which in 2012 focuses on visionary patrons and organizations and the sites they helped create. This year Garland Farm was part of that list. The goal is to celebrate the accomplishments and inspire new generations of patrons and philanthropists.


There are wonderful stories and histories to be discovered at Garland Farm. As the last home designed for an aging Beatrix Farrand, she designed the garden as a garden she could enjoy for the view from her room. In a day before assisted living was available, as she downsized,  she created a home for herself  surrounded by things she loved most, especially her garden.


You can learn more about The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the 2012 Landslide at


Learn more about Beatrix Farrand and Garland Farm at

I have many more images from both the house and gardens to be posted in the near future.

Lantern Stroll at Asticou Azalea Gardens

By , July 6, 2012 12:20 pm

On July 2 the Asticou Azalea Garden had an evening lantern stroll similar to evenings hosted by Charles Savage in the 1960s. The last time such an event was held in the garden was in 2008 in celebration of the Garden’s 50th anniversary. Monday night  there  was a great turnout and the weather was perfect ! The stroll began at 8 while there was still some daylight and continued, as it got darker, until 10 pm.






You can learn more about the gardens at

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