Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg
While the national parks of the American West feature scenery that is stunningly dramatic, those East of the Mississippi possess a scenic charm that is more subtle. This is only partially true of the compact jewel that is Acadia National Park.
Lying mostly on Mt. Desert Island on the central coast of Maine, this meeting of land and sea provides more than enough drama for just about any photographer. Surf crashing against yellow granite cliffs and colorful lakes as flat as glass are just two of the many highlights.
Easily the best time to visit Acadia is the first half of October. Autumn color is at its peak and the road-clogging traffic of summer is gone. The park offers several opportunities for great sunrise photography. Allow enough time to drive to your chosen sunrise location and get set up at least 15 to 30 minutes before the rising sun actually cracks that horizon.
Some of the best sunrise spots are the summit of Cadillac Mountain, Otter Cliffs, the small area of Bowling Ball beach, and the ever-popular Bass Head lighthouse. Each of these can present some terrific photography in the right light. The smooth rocks here become very slippery when wet and can cause you to lose your footing, so make sure to wear solid footwear with rugged soles.
Once the early morning light has run its course and you have earned that welcomed sense of accomplishment that comes with some adrenaline-filled photography, it’s time to take a break from the cool crisp sea air and have a hearty breakfast and hot coffee.
After using the better part of the day for a combination of scouting, downloading images, resting and lunch, it’s time to head out again for late light into sunset. Among the best locations for this part of the day are the lovely lakes that stud Acadia like so many shining jewels. Popular among these are Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond. All feature ample parking and easy trails along their shores.
Acadia offers more photo opportunities than you can cover effectively in an entire week, so take your time and don’t rush. Coming home with fewer images featuring better quality is always the better choice. Enjoy!
Jerry Ginsberg is a freelance Nature and landscape photographer based in Florida. His work has graced the covers and pages of hundreds of books, magazines and travel catalogs. To see more of Jerry’s work, head to www.JerryGinsberg.com