Fallen leaves and reflections in the pond under the footbridge,

It's always hard to pick your favorite picture. I made 1700 images on my last trip to Acadia (and threw half away during editing). But– so far– this image is my favorite of 2016. It's not a sweeping vista, or stunning mountain scenery or a beautifully lit stand of trees. But this image is all about color- it's drenched in it. And rather than just being a record of color, it works on two levels. Let me explain.

When I'm in Acadia, I'm constantly searching for images to make. Most photographers go out and shoot whatever they find, but not me. I go out every day consciously looking for certain images I already have in my mind. In Acadia, with so many choices of places to photograph, along with my years of experience photographing there, I often pre-visualize my images. Of course, I'll photograph unexpected scenes too, but I'm usually on the lookout for specific images. Then I just have to go out and find them.

Detail #1

Detail #1

The weather really dictates where I go and what I'll look for. On this day, the sky was a brilliant blue– perfect for most people, but too 'postcard-y' for me. But you work with what you've been given. I knew that with the blue skies, it would be a good day for photographing colorful foliage, specially if I could mix the yellows, reds and oranges with the blues. But rather than photograph foliage on trees, I went looking for fallen leaves on water to add a different dimension to the image, with the leaves all suspended face up or down and the blue sky reflected in the water.

And it couldn't just be any body of water- it had to be somewhere calm enough to get good reflections under the leaves, so I searched for a pond with colorful trees on the opposite bank to reflect back into the water, adding a second layer of abstract color below the fallen leaves. I also had to find leaves that had just fallen, so I wouldn't get a lot of dead, brown leaves in the image. It was a tall order but I managed to find the perfect location on the quiet side of the island.

Detail #2

Detail #2

I like this image because it reminds me of a Monet painting. Landscape photography tends to be very literal- here's a mountain, or there's a lake, etc. But with this photo, the layer of leaves and the layer of reflections combine to make an abstract image. And yet, it hasn't been altered in Photoshop or enhanced. The best photos make the viewer look twice and ask questions. What is it? Where are all the colors coming from? How did the artist/ photographer make that?

Detail #3

Detail #3

I hope you like this image. Let me know what you think by adding a comment here or sending an email to mike@imagesofacadia.com.

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