Hi Gang: As you read this, I’m on my way back home from our annual family vacation to Kennebunkport, Maine (my wife chose Maine a few years back because we live in the scorching Florida heat, and at this time of year Maine is a place that’s easy to get to where it’s nice and cool every day (we actually had to wear sweaters after dusk). So, we came for the weather, and but then fell in love with the people and the place. Maine is awesome).

I’m off tomorrow for my new two tour dates in Canada (Calgary and Vancouver), so I don’t have a lot of time to blog but I thought I’d at least share a few photos from the trip (Including the HDR photo above, taken in the lobby of a boat house where we went for a two-hour harbor tour on the two-masted Schooner The Eleanor. Perfect weather for sailing and the kids absolutely loved it.

The HDR shot was hand-held in low light (I braced myself on a wall, and had to shoot the 5-shot bracketed image four or five times to get one full set fairly in focus). I processed it using Photomatix Pro and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 3.0).

What I didn’t want to do
I’ve been coming to Kennebunkport for years now, so I’ve shot every lighthouse to death, along with every little quaint harbor with row boats on glassy water at sunset (if you want to see those shots, click my Portfolio link on the top left, then go to my Travel category), so I was determined not to shoot that stuff, but unfortunately that stuff is everywhere here, so I didn’t take any “Non-family vacation shots” until about 8 days into the trip (more on that in a moment). I did a lot of nothing. Sitting by the lake, reading books, playing with the kids, playing golf, shopping, and hanging out with the 13 family members that were here with us (you’re never alone when there’s 13 of you), and one night we had a dinner to celebrate my birthday (hey, you want to do it up right—30 years old—-that’s a big one). ;-)

(Above: Photo by my wife Kalebra using her iPhone)

“Borrowing” photos from my wife
The photo you see above, was actually taken by my wife Kalebra using her trusty iPhone (I’m continually amazed at what she gets out of her phone’s camera). That’s our daughter Kira, sound asleep on the boat, on the way back in to port. My wife loved the colors, and that just a little sliver of her face was showing, so I asked her if I could share it here with you on the blog, because it’s my favorite photo from the entire trip.

(Above: Photo by my wife Kalebra using her iPhone)

While I was “borrowing” her iPhone photos, I asked if I could share this one (above) of hers, too because I just particularly liked the color and composition. It was taken on the schooner (I guess that’s pretty obvious) while we were out at sea.

Shooting with my buddies Scott & Mark
Each year that I’ve come up here, I wind up hanging out with two of my buddies Scott Eccleston and his photography business partner Mark Hensley (both of whom I met on my first trip up there back in July of 2007). Totally great guys, and this time around my son Jordan came along with this, and while I didn’t get dink, we all laughed our way around about 200 miles of Maine Coast line in search of some place for me to shoot long exposure Black and White images. Ideally, you’d have a old dock with just pilings, or a old shipwreck, or a pier, or something extending out into a fast moving lake or ocean so you can leave the shutter open for like three or four minutes, and turn the water into an almost silky look.

Well, we tried and while we didn’t really come up with an ideal spot (I like to blame Scott & Mark, because as a photographer, our sworn tenet is to blame others for shots we missed), we did have a yummy dinner at Federal Jack’s Brew House, so the night wasn’t a total bust.

While I was there, I did tape a video tip for Scott’s “Weekly Photo Tips” blog (link), and during the tip taping I took the long exposure black and white photo you see above. Nothing great for sure, but at least I got to show the technique, which includes using a 10-step Neutral Density filter (so you can keep the shutter open that long during the day), and a bunch of little camera techniques and tips (like keeping the viewfinder covered during the exposure so ambient light doesn’t sneak in and ruin your exposure). As soon as Scott posts the tip, I’ll be sure to link to it here.

I went searching another night for a perfect subject for long exposure black and whites but came up empty handed again (it was a tide problem. Again, notice the subtle assignment of blame, this time on mother nature). However, while I was there, I turned around and saw this grassy area with a great sky above, and snagged this simple image (shown above) which for some reason I just really like. It’ll probably never be seen by anyone again, but I figured I’d share it here just the same.

Now, it’s back to work time
Well, I can’t relax for long, because I’m off to Canada tomorrow (glad I had 10 days with my family first), and I’m looking forward to getting back home after this leg of the tour, hanging out again with my wonderful wife and kids, playing fetch with Maggie the Wonder Dog, and sleeping in my own bed (yay!). Have an awesome Monday everybody (even though I’m fully aware that “awesome Monday” is an oxymoron).

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

31 Comments

  1. I love Maine too!!! So many great places!!

    Thanks for the post!

  2. My dear Scott, Hi ….

    The best part…. (Sleeping in my own bed ) :D ………

    Great post and again, Hope you have a wonderful Workshop in Canada :).

    Best Wishes
    -Ali

  3. Nice.

    Should we be looking forward for a iphoto album :D

  4. I sure hope that you had some awesome seafood, nothing like it on earth! The maritimes seafood!, ok at least Maine is beside the maritimes! I was hoping to see some lobster photos or seafood platers? But, still very good photos and love that Schooner boat because been there several times.
    You should have plan the workshop a few days before and you could have experience the famous Stampede! Welcome to Canada! and hopefully will see you in Calgary.

  5. Scott, y’all are truly blessed, life is good!
    KT

  6. “and while I didn’t get dink,” – you sure about that? ;-)

  7. Great pictures! Glad I found you on Twitter. I’ve been to Maine several times (12 hr ride from Long Island) and it’s beautiful there.

    I’m impressed with the color and composition your wife took with her iPhone. I’ll be sending that one out this morning on Twitter (I’m a Color Specialist)

    I JUST started taking pictures myself. I was given a 2007 Sony Cybershot and love it. I found a new hobby but I still have to incorporate color with it somehow. Here’s one of my new blogs that shows a few of my pics. I’d love to hear your professional opinion.
    http://colorandthequeencity.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs. I have a lot of reading to do!

  8. Thanks for sharing your vacation memories, Scott. I haven’t been to Maine since I was a teenager (but I’ve been to NH regularly), but you’re right….New England’s North Country is truly one of America’s treasures. Glad I live in New England year-round.

    So did you get all your photographic tips from Kalebra? 8) The shot of your daughter sleeping has excellent composition and colors.

    Have fun in Canada. Don’t forget your passport this time! :D

    –John

    • Hi John: thanks for the heads up on the passport. :)

      Kalebra’s a traditional artist (she paints acrylics, water colors, charcoal, etc), so she’s got a really great eye. She’ll often point out great shots for me while we’re out wandering in a city. I’m very happy to have her as my photography secret weapon). :)

      Cheers,

      -Scott

  9. Hi Scott,

    I too love that “simple” photo you took of the hillside. Those simple photos are often my favourites. While you may never show it again, it will at least be seen in my mind for some time to come.

    I’ve never shot one of those extra long exposure water/pier shots myself, although I wanted to for a long time. Unfortunately, I feel they become a little cliché now and everyone is shooting them. That doesn’t mean though I wouldn’t want to try one too. :-)

    Enjoy your trip to our western half.

    Trev J.

  10. Hey Scott…I’m a big fan and look forward to reading your blog every morning…Glad you enjoyed your vacation. Never been to Maine, but definitely looks like somewhere I need to visit very soon…Thanks again!

  11. I went to Maine once on a Sunday night, but it was closed.

    I think we’re getting to the point when it’s easy to tell you’re on vacation – lots of telltale signs. The challenge is guessing where you went. Haven’t gotten that one right yet.

  12. Nice that You to do a bit of sailing while in Maine. I particularly like combining sailing with photography since sailing provides a great atmosphere and lots of action. I recommend exploring that area of photography.

    I can see from the picture that You were sailing a gaff rigged schooner. Those are easy to sail and great fun although they do require quite a bit of manual labour. I still have rough hands from my last trip where I was pressed into service.

  13. This was a great stretch of 10 days up here. Really an awesome New England summer … hot days and cool nights. Can’t beat it! Maybe you should try some spots in New Hampshire next year (hint hint) :)

  14. Beautiful images as always Scott –

    Now, if you want to break the norm, come up to Chicago and spend a day with me shooting. I’ll take you around and we’ll break the mold without shooting skylines and sports.

  15. Have to agree, I love Maine! Spent a few days there last fall and blogged some images daily, processed on my iPad. Looking forward to getting back there again someday.

  16. Hey Scott,

    Glad that you and your family get to enjoy Maine this time of year! Have you ever photographed at Higgins Beach in Scarborough? If you catch it just right the ribs of an old coal boat show up and can make for some dramatic shots!

    Maybe I’ll run into you there next year…

    -chris

  17. Some awesome shots here man. Love that one with the poles in the water. Really cool.

  18. My favorite beach in the world is in York, ME… Long Sands Beach. And I know you are sick to death of lighthouses, but the Cape Nedick (aka “Nubble”) Light is pretty darn awesome too.

  19. Great Stuff! I have a picture on my wall in my office from the schooner Eleanor and Federal Jack’s is always good. I love Kennebunkport.

  20. Hey Scott,
    I read something a bit ago that made my day. ;) You totally rock my FRIEND! ;)
    Have fun in Canada.
    See you in Vegas,
    Mike

  21. Sitting in a shore front cabin in Camden reading your blog. What geat timing! Hope I get shots as good as your wife’s using a D700! By the way this week it’s been 80’s everyday!

  22. I think you meant tenet as opposed to tenant.

  23. outstanding Scott! love the HDR shot. I have a question, can you get the same HDR look from CS5 HDR? it just seems that I can’t get the textures in my photos that I see here. thanks!

  24. I live in Maine! Awesome Scott, just like last year after you came up to these parts, i’ll comment: look me up next time your up and i’ll show you all around Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor. it’s been the most amazing summer weather ever up here, you came at a good time. also really diggin that simple grass and sky scene-

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