A Few Shots From My Week in Maine

Hi Gang: I took last week off and headed up to Kennebunkport, Maine with my family for a week of just doin’ nuthin’. It’s so hot down in Florida, my wife wanted to spend a week someplace where you didn’t break into a sweat just looking out the window, so off to Maine we went.

Although we were there for a week, I only went “shooting” twice (well, technically two and half times, as you’ll read in a moment). Once when we took a one-day trip up to Bar Harbor (about four hours away), and once with 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). Here are a few shots I got along the way (I haven’t gone through all of them—I had a flight to catch).


Above: So there I was—-it was almost sunset, and I’m all alone, paddling down a creek just outside Old Orchard Beach as a came upon this beautiful area of still water. I tried to keep the boat still as not to disturb the still water, I slowly reached for my D3 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Steadying the canoe with one hand, I did my best to keep my heavy camera still with the other, while a huge snake slithered right along side the canoe, and….aw, who am I kidding—this is a totally set-up shot.

Scott and Mark positioned the rental canoe at the water’s edge for me, while I got down on one knee, with my tripod, in the parking lot and composed the shot so you couldn’t tell I was two feet in front of our minivan. Hey, I had ya going for a minute there, though didn’t I? So, it’s all real, but I wasn’t in the boat, which is a good thing, because I would have capsized it for sure.

Maine 3a

Above: This shot above was taken in Bar Harbor one morning. I missed sunrise (which was at 5:45 am), and instead woke up at 7:05 am, got my self together and was out of the room five minutes later while my family was still asleep. Around 7:50 am I drove past this lake and I headed back, pulled off the side of the road, grabbed my gear and headed down to the lake shore. It was kind of a steep climb down through a bunch of slippery rocks and stuff, and sure enough—I fell and slowly tumbled down to the shore. Hit the ground with a thud. Luckily, I was fine (slightly bruised ego, but thankfully no one was around. My camera wedged in between some fallen tree limbs, so it survived too (just a little banged up—like me). At 7:50 am I had long since missed any great light that morning, but I kinda liked the shot anyway (especially since I had to take a fall to get it, so it probably looks a lot better to me than it does to you).

Maine 5a

Above: The foggy shot above was taken in downtown Bar Harbor. It was incredibly foggy at 1:00 pm in the afternoon (which is really odd to me, but apparently is very common there), and out of the mist the four mast schooner “The Margaret Todd” came in to the dock, and I snapped this foggy shot (though it was much foggier than it looks here). Just kind of a simple shot, but I like that you don’t see anything else.

Maine 6

Above: There’s a little footbridge near a creek about 15 minutes from downtown Bar Harbor, and I got there right after the sun moved out of the nice cloud cover it had been in all morning. I waited for 45 minutes for it to move back into those clouds, but it never happened so I headed back for breakfast. On our way out of town late that afternoon, I came back, and the sun still wasn’t cooperating, but I snagged this one shot while crossing the bridge, which I thought was kind of interesting.

Maine 4

Above: Toward the end of my stay, I hooked up with Scott and Mark, and they had a connection with a guy who owns an huge abandoned six story old factory, that’s about a hundred years old, and creepy as all get out (Well, only parts were creepy—the parts where we went down in the cobweb covered basement with only my iPhone 4’s flashlight to light the way), but outside of that—it was an amazing place, and I got SO many shots to use as backgrounds. The shot above is a five-shot HDR image toned in Photoshop CS5, and I tried to keep more on the photo realistic side (not totally mind you, but more that way). This place had a ton of old rusty machinery, and old pipes, and it was an HDR love fest. I literally shot more HDR that day than I had all year. It was an awesome place.

Maine 7

Above While we were in the creepy factory, I did a video tip on shooting long exposure HDR shots for Scott’s “WeeklyPhotoTips.com” blog  (an excellent blog by the way, which I’ve mentioned here previously—here’s the link—it’s a must visit blog), and the shot above is the image I created during the video tip. I’ll let you guys know when Scott puts the video tip up live). Anyway, when you’re shooting this much HDR you have to push one or two over the limit, right? So, that’s what I did above. I couldn’t help myself. ;-)


Above—here’s the 1/2 shoot part: We were leaving at 12:00 noon on Saturday morning to head to the airport, and it was such a pretty morning that once I was up (around 10:00 am), I thought I would walk into town (about a 15 minute walk from our cottage), and take some shots of the homes along the way. I couldn’t decide whether to take my 14-24mm and capture the entire home, or a 70-200mm and get it tight. I wound up taking the 70-200mm, so my idea of shots of quaint Maine homes, became shots of quaint doorways, and I used Lightroom 3 to put quickly put this 24″ x 10″ multi-photo layout together (it took all of three clicks). It’s far from finished, but I thought I’d give you this “in progress” look in the meantime (click on it for a much larger view).

Once I got back from wandering, it was off to the airport, and we got home by midnight (all, the joys of connecting flights). It was great to get away right before Photoshop World Vegas (since I won’t get much sleep while I’m there), and it was fun reconnecting with Scott and Mark, and enjoying such a wonderful place with my family (the kid’s absolutely loved it!).

  1. Scott,
    Do you have a Promote Control? Mike Reeves and I (unknowingly) each purchased one for the HDR workshop that APC is puting on at PSW. Brian Matiash is teaching this and we both sighned up. Looks like an essential HDR tool! Glad you and your family was able to get away for some R&R!

  2. Your Kennebunkport trip had the benefit of some good light. My days in the Adirondacks two weeks ago was a beautiful softbox of cloudy days on all but the last day, and then the 5am sunrise was what woke me up so I had already missed the best light, and spent the rest of the morning packing our canoes to leave…*sigh*

    Great shots nonetheless…timing is everything!

  3. Welcome back Scott and see you on the photoshop world :-)

    Thats funny… to travel to a other place (away from florida) cause its to hot.
    Wow, in germany we travel to florida cause its so cold here:-)

    lg Calvin

  4. Hey Scott,
    Great shots, I’m glad you got some time away from the heat. Boy it’s hot & humid here in OKC too. 13 days of 100+ in a row not counting the heat index.

    I’m really psyched about PhotoshopWorld in Vegas and like you, I won’t get much sleep. I’ll have Sunday and Labor day to recover before I go back to work.

    Like Ken said above, I did get the Promote Control that was suggested by Brian Matiash for the HDR Walkshop on Fremont Street just before the After Hours Party. It is really cool. I would suggest this item for anyone interested in HDR or Time Lapse photography.

    See ya in just over a week!

  5. Hey Scott,

    I’m glad to hear that you had a good week. You’ve captured some beautiful yet calm shots. Even thought they all look really great with the clean frame, my favourite one’s have to be the top three.

  6. Great images Scott and the framing gives it a very clean presentation. Maine is always a good escape from all the hustle, specially if it’s shared with your family. Welcome back.:)

  7. Sounds like a fun trip…Hope you had some lobster. I live an hour from Maine and have and hope to make it there before the winter rolls around..Plenty of photo opps in Maine.

  8. love these photos. what a beautiful place it is. i also love the idea for showcasing the doors. they do beautiful postcards in Dublin of the doors there. i loved the waterscapes, really beautiful. i aspire to crete great photos and am learning as I go. thanks for sharing.
    @notjustagranny & @3days_in_london

  9. hey there Scott, long time reader, first time writer, i live on Mdi, over on the backside near the Bass Harbor lighthouse and love to shoot this island with my 5dmkii- next time you come up, send me an email and i’ll show you around -i know All the cool places. here my island shots at my Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47218202@N02/ -have a nice day.

  10. “I fell and slowly tumbled down to the shore. Hit the ground with a thud. Luckily, I was fine (slightly bruised ego, but thankfully no one was around. My camera wedged in between some fallen tree limbs, so it survived too (just a little banged up—like me”

    Welcome to the joys of landscape photography. :-)

  11. Good stuff Scott. My favorite is the Bal Harbor shot. Yeah, you may have missed the sunrise. But good light is wherever you can find it. And this frame reminds me more of Maine (love Portland) than the other ones in your post. Sounds like you and yours had a great time.

    On another note, my wife has an uncanny ability to avoid my camera at any angle. The few frames I have of her were attained only through hard-fought battles of wits. Which is weird to me, as I was already a photographer when she married me. I notice you don’t publish many images of your family. Are they as reticent to be in frame as my family? Or is this more of a privacy decision?

    1. Hi Omar:
      It’s a privacy thing. I took more family shots than all the others combined. Im lucky though; My son and daughter will pose for mras long as I want, and they’re both extremely photogenic.

      My wife used to be very reticent about having her photo taken, but I was able to convince her a few years ago that these photos are the visual history of her life, and that later on her kids would treasure them, the way I treasure photos of my mom and dad (who are both since passed), and she totally changed.

      Though the blog is an off-limits area for family photos, I did sneak in one photo of my wife and I from psworld Vegas last year. I ran it with the post about the Christmas song she recorded for my daughter into the Voice Recording App in her iPhone. It’s a rare sighting. :)



      1. Hmm, I’ll have to try that “visual record of our life” approach with her. However, my wife is a Mensa member. I’m always at a disadvantage on the brain cell meter. Which is as it should be. :-)

  12. Things ran so smoothly on the blog last week, we didn’t even notice you were gone, Scott! Thanks for sharing these; I also like the layout of the doorways.

    While you suckers are slaving away at PSW, I’ll be catchinght good light at Garden of the Gods and the Ballon Classic in Colorado Springs. Tough luck, gang.

  13. I love your vacation posts, Scott! With the excellent photographs and descriptive and entertaining words to accompany them, I feel like I’m right there on a trip too. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

  14. Scott as always you work is superb. I was making some notes today for a blog and thought, “You know if I don’t know an answer to a question or how to do something, Scott knows. I bet Scott knows everything.” So that has become my new mantra “Scott knows.”

  15. How nice :) Thank you so much for sharing these shots. And I can sympathize with trying to get away from the heat…we’re on day 17 I think here in Texas of 100 degree temps. I’m what they call a “yankee” here so I’ve had just about as much summer as I can stand.

    Love the Bar Harbor shot (second one down in the post) I love how the color in the sky reflects into the water.

    Glad you had a nice time cooling off!

  16. Your vacation shots never fail to impress and inspire me, Scott. You really should take more of them, ya know. :-)

    I love that you see not only the “big picture,” but also the smaller details that most people miss. Together they really tell a story about the location. I’ve tried to employ the same approach in my own travel photography.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Trev J.

    1. Meant to ask, Scott:
      Is there a reason why you didn’t center the canoe in the first photo? Telephone poles or something just out of the left frame? Or were you going with the asymmetrical balance of the reeds on the right? Whatever the reason, I do love this image.

  17. Hi Scott,

    Great photographs. If only all of us could come back with images like these from our vacations. I especially like the way you presented them with the frames on your blog. Is it easy to accomplish?

  18. Hi Scott,

    Great Photos! I love the serenity all your photos have! They say so much with so little elements…

    I have a question: How do you combine your family vacation with making these kinda shots? I always find it hard to find oppertunities to take the time to really make some great photographs on family vacations. When you get up so early you must be tired pretty soon? What’s your secret?


  19. Scott,

    I want to tell you that I’m really sorry to hear that you took a tumble while out shooting. More than that, I want to mean it. However, there’s some small part of me that feels a sense of relief that I’m not the only one who slipped and busted my butt while out looking for some images.

    I’ve slipped on snow in Zion National Park. I slipped three times and butt-plopped up in Alaska while hiking in the mountains. I even slipped off a boat deck in the Gulf, though I managed to grab the rail with one hand and hold my camera with the other. The inertia threw my body out and then it slammed my back into the hull of the boat.

    The part of me that’s fallen truly feels sympathy for you. Yet, I have to thank you for sharing that part of the story. At least now I know I’m not the only slippery-footed photographer out here.

    1. William,

      Years ago I had just bought the newly released D70 so I went to Charelston,SC to get some good photos. As I got out of my car, I was unaware of the high curbs there due to flooding. As I stepped up I fought my foot and down I went breaking the brand new camera open. I was sick (and sore) but I pushed it back together and it still worked!
      It cost me half what I paid for it to fix!

      Now I step high on curbs. :)

  20. Hi Scott-
    I love reading your posts such as this. Seeing your photos and a little bit of info about the shot and how it was made is great reading. Your writing style is also quite enjoyable. Thank you.

  21. Hey Scott,
    Great vacation story and of course great photos! I love the different approaches you took, everything from landscapes to an excellent HDR!

    As a few others mentioned above, can you share how you created the frame/mat effect? I’m sure its simple but rather than trying to reinvent the wheel….

    Thank you for all your dedication to the photo community!
    Looking forward to PSW 2011!

      1. Hi Scott,
        Glad I went back and checked the comments. Just spent an hour trying to work out your frame system. Thanks very much for putting a tutorial together on it. See in London on the 15th Oct.

      2. Yippee! I was going to ask you about the frames and if you would,
        well…do what you already said you would do.
        I’m excited about the frame tutorial. I know I read or saw something like this already by you or one of the PS Guys, but I can’t remember where I saw it.
        Thanks Scott!

      3. I’m guessing the frame is a variation on the Digital Frame in Chapter 14 of your CS2 book and the template using smart objects you described in Photoshop User Oct/Nov 2008? I’m looking forward to the tutorial to see if this can all be done in Lightroom 3 or if you still need Photoshop for this:)

  22. Just switched from Aperture to Lightroom…would you mind providing a little more detail on how to do the 24? x 10? multi-photo layout. I’m intrigued.

    1. Hi Jonathan:
      In the Layout panel of the Print Module, just set your number of Columns to 1, and the number of Rows to 9. Leave .25 in horizontal space between cells. For your margins, leave 1.83 in on the sides. 1.20 on the top. 3.00 in on the bottom. Make your cell sizes: 4.81 x 2.00 in.

      That should do it. :)


  23. Hi Scott, really nice pictures and very nice colors… Just one question though, why all squares?They are squares, right? I know it is because you like it that way, but I read some many times that square frames are not good unless you have strong symmetries (like in the picture if the footbridge) or mostly loose forms…would you have any suggestion on what aspect ratio works best based on the content of the picture?

  24. Scott –

    Glad you had a great time in our lovely state! Sometimes I forget what a great place it really is to live in. Are you traveling up this way again anytime soon – would be interested in grabbing a coffee with you and pointing out some interesting local locations to shoot in!

  25. Scott,

    Your pictures are fantastic! However it seems that they are all cropped to 8×10, and considering that one of your recent blog posts was advocating for more common digital sizes in picture frames I am surprised that you chose to crop your photos to 8×10. Was there a specific reason for this?

  26. Scott,

    A little off subject, can you use your influence to get MPIX to mat with the
    “heavy bottom” like you show on these prints?

    If they would do that, they would get lots of people ordering them because
    it’s the popular way to mat at present. Makes such a nice presentation.

  27. I loved your images, Scott. I’ll be up at our home on Schoodic Peninsula, just east of MDI, next week and will certainly visit the island as well. These will be an inspiration to me!

  28. I was in that same area recently on a trip and took a lot of photos. Sadly I will probably have to wait a long time to look at them again since now I will be compareing them to yours.

  29. Hi,
    Sorry to be totally off subject.
    A few months ago you mentioned a website that shows the websites and blogs you follow and that you use this to consolidate the websites into one place.
    What is that website? I can’t find it.
    Thanks so much.

  30. Sorry to be totally off subject.
    A few months ago you mentioned a website you use to consolidate all the websites and blogs you follow daily.
    What is that website? I can’t find it.
    Thanks so much!

  31. Great series of images Scott and I’m really liking the presentation with the framing.

    Favourite shots would have to be the very first boat shot; you know the one where you were paddling down the river….yeah you had me for a few lines there I gotta admit :)

    Loving the boat in the fog!!!

    Great stuff as always and a great way to document your holiday/time away. Scott, do you get Apple Books or similar done for most trips?


  32. I was in Portland while you were there! I was there form July 23rd – August 21st! Was there for work training some people at a business my company bought! Have been so busy I was checking up on all your blogs! Wish I had known you were so close , I think I owe you and your wife at least a dinner!

Leave a Reply
Previous Post

Your Lightroom 4 Wish List Comments

Next Post

Going to Photoshop World Next Week? Don’t Miss…