Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: Maine (Page 1 of 3)

Back to Maine

A few weeks ago we finalized our plans for our summer vacation. We are taking my mom and grandma and heading back to Maine. This time its not a road trip. We are flying in to New Hampshire and renting a car from there. We are renting a condo in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for a week.

I am so excited to get back to Maine and to share this wonderful place with my family! We are still far out in the planning stages, of course, and I am hoping that the weather is better than last year. Maine is no fun when it is 95 degrees. As a state, they are not set up to handle that kind of heat, and this is coming from a Michigander. Hopefully it will be cool enough to fully experience the hiking trails and enjoy the outdoors. We are planning on doing a carriage tour of the carriage roads because that was the major thing we missed out on last year that we regretted not doing.

I am looking forward to the smell of salt air and the seeing the rocky Maine coastline. I am excited to drive the Park Loop Road and see the views from Cadillac Mountain. I am excited to spend more time on the quiet side of the island, exploring Southwest Harbor. Summer can come any time now!

Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully, next week I will begin the recap of our cruise and I will have lots of pictures of sunshine and blue waters! Stay tuned for that! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

National Plan for Vacation Day

The last Tuesday in January is designated as National Plan for Vacation Day. Why? I have no idea, but I have been doing a lot of planning lately and thought I could talk about it here. As I mentioned in my annual New Years post, I have two trips coming up in the next few months and I have been busy planning for all the little details for those trips.

Since it had been a few years since we had flown, the search for the perfect flights took a lot of searching and waiting, and searching some more. One thing I learned from this search is that nowadays, most of the best deals will actually be found booking directly through the airline, instead of Expedia or a company like that. I used both Kayak and Skyscanner to search with Hopper to tell when the was the best time to book. For both of our trips, we got better deals on one-way flights than on a round trip tickets. Those sites helped us pick through all of the flights find the best deals.

For both of our upcoming trips, we are staying in AirBNBs. AirBNB is great because it allows you to find inexpensive vacation rentals for every need. You just want to crash on a couch, you can probably find it on AirBNB. You need a house for 10? They have that too. AirBNB was a saving grace for our pre-cruise stay in New Orleans because hotels near the port are $300+ per night.

There aren’t many AirBNBs near the Grand Canyon that still have availability a month out, so we went the hotel route for that night. My trick for finding hotel deals is to look at both TripAdvisor and Priceline. TripAdvisor has the reviews and Priceline has the best deals. We ended up getting a great price on the #1 hotel in Grand Canyon, Arizona by checking Priceline before booking TripAdvisor’s deal.

I have been scouring Pinterest for how to handle one day at the Grand Canyon as well as must dos for a short trip to New Orleans. TripAdvisor is great for finding the heart of an area, but it can be overwhelming, especially with a limited amount of time. I’ve been enjoying reading what Bloggers enjoyed during their trips and what they would recommend skipping.

Thank you for stopping by! Do you have any trip planning tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

New Year, New Travels!

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Egg Rock Lighthouse

As with the last few years, for 2019 I have set the goal to go at least one place I have never been before. In 2018, I barely went anywhere I had been before. Within the next three months, I have two trips coming up to two places I’ve never explored before so that shouldn’t be a problem. After having not flown on a plane since January 1, 2014, we are going to take two flights in 30 days. And Chris was very excited to point out that neither of them are on Spirit.

The first thing coming up is a trip to Phoenix for a conference. I have never been that far west before so I am hoping to get a little bit of exploring in between sessions. We are also planning on staying an extra day and heading out to the Grand Canyon. You can’t send me that close and not to go! Right now we are trying to figure out where we want to stay. If you have any advice, please tell me in the comments. I’m a little overwhelmed right now.

And of course, the cruise I have been talking about has pushed back so many times I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen is coming up early this year! We are sailing out of New Orleans, which I have been to Louisiana several times but never to NOLA before. From there, we sail to Mexico and Belize. I’m excited to get back to the sea and smell the salt air while enjoying a floating hotel. Cruising is the best.

After that, I don’t have anything planned, which is very weird feeling. I’m sure we will get some camping in this summer, exploring more of our beautiful home state. Be sure to stay tuned to find out where we end up!

Thanks for stopping by! Where are you traveling to in 2019? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

2018: A Year in Review

2018 has been one of the biggest years for photography for me so far. While I feel like my landscape work has been pretty stagnant over the last few years. I definitely improved my portrait game this year. We continued our photography tours in 2018 and we are looking at how we can continue and come up with new classes for next year.

Catwalk at frozen St. Joseph Lighthouse

We had our biggest portrait job ever this year, photographing over one hundred families for our church directory. We also shot a wedding this year and I did my first ever infant shoot. We even got a few senior shoots in too and did a little more sports photography.

In terms of landscape photography, we started off the year with a trip to frozen Lake Michigan lighthouses (left). Early in the summer, we explored the Hocking Hills region of Ohio which really blew me away. I really want to return there when the colors change. That would be beautiful!

We also returned to a favorite campground, Straits State Park in St. Ignace and took a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Michigan’s oldest city. Of course, at the end of the summer, we took a great road trip to Boston,  Acadia National Park, and Watkins Glen. As unbelievably beautiful as it was at Acadia, the sheer vastness was difficult to capture. Watkins Glen (right) was one of the most stunning places I have ever visited and I have been telling everyone I meet that they need to check it out. It really isn’t a bad drive from Michigan. If you would make the drive to the U.P., Watkins Glen is a similar distance.

Us at Watkins Glen

We finally upgraded our camera this year to a Nikon D7200. I can no longer say that I shoot with an entry level camera. We had rented them a few times so I was excited to finally own one. When you hit the top of your camera’s abilities, it feels so good to upgrade and be able to do the things that your camera was keeping you from. In this case the biggest thing was ISO sensitivity and low light capability. Even with the new camera, I think my favorite photo I took all year may be the Jordan Pond House photo I took with my iPhone (top).

This has been a good year for photography and exploring new places. I am looking forward to 2019 for more of the same! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Missing Maine

East Coast Adventure

Cadillac Mountain Panorama

Looking back on this trip, and I have to think that this was one of the best trips in my recent memory. We visited three places that I have wanted to visit for years. We visited three places that I want to return to. There is so much history in Boston. There is no way to see it all in a day. Acadia National Park is giant and I feel like we only scratched the surface. Watkins Glen is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I would love to see it in the fall. All three of the stops on this trip will have to be revisited later.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Boston Highlights: Honestly, the best thing about our time in Boston was dinner at a trendy, Mexican restaurant called Lolita Cantina that was unlike anything we have at home. The meal started with a complimentary granita with a splash of tequila and ended with cotton candy and temporary tattoos. I often wondered if I was cool enough to eat there. I was worried they were going to throw me out. For me the biggest thing about Boston was just being in this historic city. Boston played a huge part in the early part of our country and there are many sites to see. Walking the freedom trail and knowing all that happened there was unreal.

Acadia Highlights: My favorite part of Acadia was probably the sweeping vistas along the Park Loop Road. I’ve thought about that a lot since I’ve been back home. When work gets tough, I can go back to Cadillac Mountain and hear the rush of the water and smell the salt air. Its not a matter of if I will get back there but a when. And it needs to be for longer. And maybe not in August. Lunch at The Jordan Pond House was good too. Eating a lobster roll and looking out over Jordan Pond is not something you can do anywhere else.

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

Watkins Glen Highlights: Obviously, Corning Museum of Glass was great and I want to go back and create some more glass. But, the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park was unlike anything I had seen before. As beautiful as Acadia was, Watkins Glen was more photogenic. The beauty was more compact. Every turn was more beautiful than the one before. I had expected beauty and was blown away.

As I kind of mentioned about Boston, one of the best things about this trip was the food. We utilized TripAdvisor’s Cheap Eats a lot and got to try off the beaten path places that were surprisingly good! We had Asian Fusion is Corning, Gyros in New Hampshire, and poutine in Boston. Probably one of the best was a little Italian Place in Lexington (Massachusetts) called Marios that had unlimited bread and ridiculous portions of very good pasta. We were able to get out of there for less than $25 for two people. It was insane. We wouldn’t have found it without TripAdvisor.

Thank you for stopping by and for following along with this trip! To read more about our East Coast Adventure, click the link to get to our itinerary. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Fog at Owls Head

Wordless Wednesday: Owl Head Light

Exploring Maine Lighthouses

After packing up camp, we decided to take Route 1 instead of the interstate so we could stop and see some Maine Lighthouses on our way south. The dense fog from the night before was still thick which made for interesting photos.

Our first stop was Fort Point Light (left). Fort Point Lighthouse is located in Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs, Maine on the easternmost tip of Cape Jellison, a peninsula that juts into the Penobscot Bay. The ruins of Fort Pownall (a British fort built during the French and Indian War) are also in the park. The lighthouse wasn’t open when we visited, so we just got out, stretched our legs and took a picture before continuing our journey down the coast (wiki).

Rockland Breakwater Light in the fog

Our next stop was the Rockland Breakwater Light. The breakwater is .8 miles long and the heat was still out of control so we chose not to hike to this lighthouse. I put on the telephoto lens and shot this (right) from the entrance to the breakwater. The fog made it kind of tricky to shoot, but with some Lightroom magic, I think I was able to make a decent shot out of it.

Our next stop on this lighthouse tour was the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Housed in the Rockland Chamber of Commerce, this small museum is home to a lot of U.S. Coast Guard and lighthouse memorbilia, some of which had Michigan connections. It is an inexpensive museum and is worth a visit if you are in the Rockland area. In the gift shop, I picked up a Lighthouse Passport so I can now collect stamps for each ligthhouse I visit.

Our final lighthouse in Maine was the Owl Head Light (top). The current lighthouse was built in 1852 and is a 30 foot tall round brick tower standing on top of a cliff. Here I got my first stamp in my passport book and we had a picnic lunch before continuing on our way to New Hampshire for the night. Check back next week as we make our way to Watkins Glen, New York!

Thanks for stopping by! For more information about the Maine Lighthouse Museum, visit MaineLighthouseMuseum.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Bass Harbor Head Light

You’ve seen the iconic photos of this lighthouse, right? Gorgeous sunset over the water and the lighthouse atop the rocks? They’re really something. I desperately wanted to get one of those pictures this trip!

As you can see from the above picture, I didn’t get the beautiful sunset I was dreaming of. First, I wasn’t prepared for how early the sun sets in eastern Maine. In Michigan, we’re lucky in that the sun stays up until 9:00 in the summer. In Maine, the sun sets more than an hour earlier. We were getting ready to make dinner and the sun was going down. It was like the opposite of camping at McLain State Park in the Keewenaw, where the sun didn’t set until almost 10. The other thing that made it difficult was the fog. Every evening we spent at Acadia was foggy or rainy. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. I was actually OK with it because it took the pressure off getting the perfect sunset photo.

Set the weather aside for a second. Because of the iconic nature of this lighthouse, everyone wants a photo of it. Photographers were lined up all over the rocks near the lighthouse. Here’s the kicker, they weren’t just taking a photo and heading on their merry way. Nope, they had their tripods set up and they were not budging until the sun was past the horizon. Chris is more daring than I and he weaved in between them to get this shot. It was not worth it to me. Honestly, I was disgusted with my fellow photographers over this. I could not believe the photographers looking out at the sea of other photographers, shrugging their shoulders and saying “well, I got here first”. Craziness. Especially because it wasn’t even that great of a sky that day.

So, you are going to be at Acadia and you want to try to get this shot. Here’s my advice for you.  Avoid summer. If you want to visit Acadia at all, avoid the busy season. The crowds are ridiculous. Late spring and early fall are supposed to be much better. And in fall you get the colors. I will have to make it to Acadia sometime in the fall. If you want the place to yourself, go in the winter. It never hurts to be the person staking out a spot. Try to get to the lighthouse early, just don’t be rude about it.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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