Maine Focus, Day 2, Rockport, Marshalls & Camden Hills

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October 12th 2013
Published: September 11th 2014
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Photos from our Harbor View House - 7 Harbor View, Rockport, ME

Our house was a very, very, very fine house. No cats in the yard, but great views of Rockport Harbor. You can walk out the backdoor into the ocean. From the computer room where we all processed our photos to the magnificent ocean-filled backyard where we captured more, from the spacious common areas where we gathered to laugh to the luscious dining area where we savored our lobsters, this was the perfect spot to headquarter our fun. Again we must thank Yvonne for such a magnificent choice. Photo 4 is a reflection of our dining room table showing the view out the window. Photos 17 & 20 were taken on a concrete dock below our house. We were trying night shots and those are my 2 best failures. Jim inspired me first with a wonderful shot of the boats; VB got a great shot of the boathouse and startrails; Jakub captured the Milky Way, and I got cold and went home. The house was good for that, too.

Photos from 10-12-13 - Marshalls<em style="margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: auto; background: transparent;"> Light

Barb went to bed our first night in the house thanking Neela for her bold, early morning statement of sleeping in, and she decided to try it next. VB is surely a lot better at being prepared for his photo shoot than Barb thinks I am. He must be because even I am better at it than she thinks. So she was wide awake as I got ready, making sure I didn’t forget a coat, where’s my hat, and are my boots tied. At least she knows she doesn’t have to make sure I have enough memory cards or batteries. She knows that I might absent-mindedly leave without clothes, but never without my camera.

Even though most mornings I skip breakfast, when I went upstairs to the kitchen I was ready to eat. Knowing there was no time, I satisfied myself by stuffing a banana in the side pocket of my vest, grabbed a container of coffee and headed out to the driveway where everyone else was waiting. I thought of the banana in my pocket. I was sure Barb didn’t buy it. Should I ask permission? Who would deny a starving photog some sustenance. I was a hippie and I’m part Indian, so didn’t give the banana another thought. I should have.

Today’s morning destination was Marshalls Lighthouse in Port Clyde. There were already 2 tripoders set up capturing the earliest light from the east. I jumped out of the car, attached the camera to the tripod, stuffed a couple other lens in my pockets and was off to join them. There was just a sliver of color in the light, but it was way out of frame from the lighthouse. Most of us skidded around the slippery black rocks on the south side, and I could see that the light was hitting the metal door of the lighthouse so I tried capturing it while the ship-saving light was still spinning. It was cool (photos 1 & 2), but didn’t tell the story of the danger –the reason for being for this warning beacon. There was more to tell.

Marshalls is the lighthouse in the movie Forrest Gump. It’s when he ran from coast to coast. He ran down the long planks leading up to the door to touch the eastern-most point of his trek, and quickly turned to head to California. Everyone who visits this place is likely to go home with a version like photos 10 & 11 on their memory card. After taking the fisheye shot from the porch (#13), I changed lenses again back to the 24-105mm, and shot my best representation of the walkway in photo 14. Sensing someone approaching from the left, I hurried the process and tripped the shutter just before a guy and girl came into frame. I smiled a quiet hello and watched them walk hand-in-hand down the walkway, touch the door, and quickly circle back. I asked if they were heading to California now. They didn’t quite stop but slowed their pace enough to exchange a few moments of their life. They told me they were planning on driving US1 from top to bottom. As far as I understand US1 is the only road named twice, that is, there is a US1 traveling the entire coast north to south (or vice versa) on each side of continental United States. I marveled at the adventure and wished them well, not wanting to delay their pace –nor mine. There was so much more to shoot.

We played around the grounds and shot what we saw until about 8 o’clock, then one by one got back into our cars to drive back to Rockport. I laid the tripod on the floor with the camera still attached, and reached into my pockets for the other lenses. When my hand dug down for the 17mm that I hadn’t used all day, my heart sank from the mushy encounter. Yep, the banana turned black and was crushed open. No matter how hard I try to clean the threads on the cap, it still has a reminding grind –perhaps a punishment (no, not for a hippie), but more likely a lasting guilt enforced by the social paradigm of what’s mine is mine. On the other hand, it suggests one of the best diets for losing weight. I never think of eating, or nearly anything else for that matter, when I’m out shooting –the taking mode. The same thing happens later while processing –the making mode. Creativity is food for the soul.

As I headed back to our house I started hearing my stomach ask for attention as my nose fed it some fresh banana flavor. Then, way down the road, I saw a couple walking hand-in-hand. When I got closer I slowed and rolled down the window. “Now I get it. You’re doing US1 on the west coast.” They laughed and kept walking, and are probably somewhere in Ohio by now.

Photos from 10-12-13 - Camden Hills State Park

When we got back to the house Barb was already up, dressed and ready for the day. So much for sleeping in. Neela probably had more rest by getting up and going… then going back to the car to catch up with her dreams. Barb still needs a few more lessons, Neela.

So what do we shoot next? Jakub had a suggestion. Camden Hills State Park is just a few miles north of the town of Camden and we were just a couple miles further south. When you come to the park north on US1, the visitors center and high hill views of Camden are to the left, and a small forest to the right ends with a short climb to a secluded shoreline. We turned right. From what I’ve seen so far, Jakub was the only one to leave this afternoon with a quality shot (VB and Neela were following their own muse somewhere else). In his preparation for this trip Jakub had seen a downed tree that he figured would make an interesting element in a photo. It was not as easy a climb down the cliff to get to it as he may have thought, but he was undeterred.

Before we even found a spot to climb down, Barb had told me about a premonition of some sort that was making her uneasy and it seemed to involve this very spot of decent. Knowing m’lady is cautious though not afraid of such adventures I just couldn’t follow Jakub. He should be very grateful because he would have been the only one down there to drag my lifeless body back up, and he would have likely missed his beautiful tree shot.

The rest of us made our way north on a path above the shore and settled for an easier way to the water. When we reached the beach I walked south kind of looking for our great explorer. Perhaps it was Barb’s premonition but I wanted to make sure Jakub was doing well. Well he was, but I couldn’t see him. Photo 6 is the best illustration in this gallery of how difficult it could be to walk the beaches in Maine. There are ankle-turners all around and many of them are quite slippery, some with wet seaweed that thrives in high tide and remains treacherous in low. Photographers carrying equipment and seeing the prize in there eyes just ahead are especially more likely to ignore such things as eating or footing. He could have easily fallen and no one would find him for quite awhile. I soon abandoned my fear for his safety, and returned to where the others were enjoying the day. The one shot of this session I like is #5. As I walked by I thought I saw the Grinch who stole Christmas smiling at me; so I shot him.

So where do we go for the sunset shots this evening. Jakub suggested we go back to the state park and turn left into the hills getting what we can of the sunset over Camden. VB went with him, but Jim and I stayed to get some shots of the Rockport Harbor out our backdoor. I took photos 5 thru 13 in the Maine House Gallery during this session, but soon left Jim for the imagined potential of the Camden hills.

I turned left to the visitors center and rolled down my window at the booth. I certainly didn’t want to pay the 8 bucks or whatever for less than an hour shooting on the hill, so I told the guy, “I’m just going to pick up a couple photogs we left on the overlook.” “Sure, everyone says that,” he must have thought. “Foreigners” was written on his face when he waved me through with a smirk. He wasn’t coming to the window to ask for money; he was coming to help me out. God, you gotta love the Mainers who stay.

When I reached the lot at the top and got out with my camera, I noticed Jakub & VB off to the left at a spot to capture Camden Harbor, but the sun was setting far to the right so I followed the last of its light. I eventually made my way to the top of the tower there and caught the last light of day flashing farewell on the horizon in photo 12. There was Jakub standing beside me.

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