One of the nicer hidden gems along the coast of Maine is Bailey Island in the town of Harpswell. I’d never heard of it until I moved here and a few of my new friends mentioned it to me. I first photographed here in 2017, and returned a couple of times last year. I don’t quite feel like I’ve exhausted the possibilities here just yet.
Yesterday, I decided to return here because I hadn’t been in a while. I was hoping to photograph Mackerel Cove or the cribstone bridge at sunrise, neither of which I’d done before. The sunrise forecast looked promising earlier in the week, but as I woke up yesterday morning the report had changed and it was expected to be a dud as far as color in the sky went. I decided to switch to plan B and head to Giants Stairs, a short distance away. The tide would be coming in and the incoming storm would have the waters of Casco Bay churning up against the rocky shoreline.
The Giants Stairs trail follows a short stretch of rocky shoreline on the east side of Bailey Island. Named for the rock formation that evokes the look of a huge staircase, this trail overlooks Casco Bay. There are several areas of interest, including Pinnacle Rock, Giants Stairs, and Thunder Hole. There are several places to step off the trail and climb around the rocks, where waves crash against and wash over the rocks, creating all sorts of visual interest. Since the sky refused to cooperate and produced little in the way of interest, I focused on the patterns created by the water washing over the rocks, as well as the explosiveness of the waves.
I varied my shutter speed quite a bit to capture the violent motion of the water in different ways. At times, this meant using Benro Master Filters neutral density filters to cut the amount of light coming into the camera and enable me to use slower shutter speeds. It also meant adjusting my camera’s ISO as well to enable various shutter speeds. Thinking about the constant adjustments shot after shot kept me thinking the entire time I was there!
Despite all the thinking, when I’m in a location such as this, I always take some time to take it in, and enjoy the spectacular show Mother Nature can put on. It’s these displays that continually get me out of bed before the sun is up, just so I can witness it.
As always, my work is available for purchase at my website at www.rickberk.com.