What a day! The best that fall 2021 has to offer. Great sky, some color in the trees, and the open expanse of the remnant bog at Laudholm Farms in Wells, Maine, USA. This is a “sweep panorama” with the iPhone SE and the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. A lotta pixels in there! Apple Camera app. Processed in Apple Photos.
North American Porcupine: Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine, USA — As I came to the junction of the Piliger Trail and the Laudholm Connector there was a family standing just beyond under the old apple trees, with cell phones out, looking into the deeper brush, so of course, I had to go see what they were seeing. Nothing much they said, just a porcupine in the apple tree. And indeed, there was one, out on a branch asleep when I first saw it. Not easy to see as it blended well with the bark of the tree. I (again, of course), took hundreds of photos from all different angles, mostly trying to get a clear shot of the face. It is pretty rare in my experience to see a healthy porcupine right out in plain sight (as opposed to flattened the road). In fact, my last “out in the open” sighing of a porcupine was the Mexican Porcupine in Honduras many years ago. When I had my photos, I left the porcupine to the attention of others who had come down the path after me. Going up the hill toward the Knight Trail and back to my eTrike, I was pretty full of the experience (and myself to be honest) and decided to take a look at a few of the photos on the back of the camera just to check if I had ever really gotten the face. The face is easily lost, black on black within the gray cowl of the quills. “NO CARD, CAN NOT DISPLAY” What? This was not a good time for the camera to tell me that! Not useful at all. Very disappointing. I mean, why not tell me that when I took my first photo of the porcupine? This is not the first time this has happened to me, but the first time when the photos really mattered to me. I mean, really, my porcupine shots? Not that it would have done me any good if the camera had been more forthcoming. I stopped carrying a second card when out on my eTrike several months ago. That is a bad habit I will now make every effort to break. Always carry a spare card! Sigh! So I trudged back to the apple tree. The porcupine was still there, though it had, under the pressure of less cautions observation (there were a lot of folks using the trail that day), retreated down the branch toward the safety of the crotch of the tree, where it had taken refuge. I was just a bit chagrined to be among the cell phone photographers, but I put my Sirui 60mm portrait lens on my iPhone SE and got as close as I felt good about to take my shots. Nothing great, but I did get the face. This shot has been through Pixomator Pro’s ML Super Resolution treatment to simulate a longer telephoto, as well as being processed in Apple Photos. So folks, always carry a spare card! You never know when you will see something very special in the wild.
As I have said a few times before, it is being a very strange fall here in southern Maine. Still no frost in the third week of October, and the trees are struggling with the change…exposed trees, alone in the field, or on the edge of the forest are turning late and we are not getting the reds of a normal year…and inside the forest many leaves are just turning brown and falling. Still you find scenes like this one…taken into the sun as patches of sun and shadow raced across the field, spotlighting the colors. The sky was so intense I had to tone it down to keep the image from looking too surreal. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Laudholm Farms (Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at…), Wells, Maine, USA — I am often at a loss as to how to display or use a panoramic shot. This is something new for me…a three in one view, with the pano at the top and closer views at the bottom. This is made possible by my compulsion to take multiple views when I see something worth capturing. 🙂 I certainly did not envision this in the field. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide. The bottom two images are crops for the detail, but not from the pano. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR. Processed in Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic.
Another celebration of autumn in Southern Maine. The ledges on the Batson River at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport. The low flow of water has the leaves to contend with as well as gravity. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR. Processed in Apple Photos.
This is one of the upper pools on the Batson River at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine, USA. Nothing spectacular but an interesting place for a panorama with the fall foliage. iPhone SE with the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens, held in portrait position and swept from left to right through only a portion of its 360 degree reach. Smart HDR was on in the Apple Camera app, but I have no idea if it works with sweep panorama. Processed in Apple Photos.
Looking into Autumn, and into the sun, down another long alley of marsh, this time just over the hill from the Kennebunk town line on Rt. 9. I really like the perspective of the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide for this kind of of shot, especially since it is wide both ways…vertically as well as horizontally. It gives the scene a very natural look. At least to my eye. The high contrast light picks out every detail, and the Apple Camera app’s Smart HDR renders the range of light effectively, producing another memorable image of fall. Or that is what I think. Processed in Apple Photos.
Of course, this time of year, I have my eye out for great autumn shots…places where the color is at its best and well displayed. I was in the passenger seat of our car (a rare position for me to be) when we crossed the marsh at the edge of Kennebunk Lower Village, in leaf-peeper traffic at its best (or worst), and glimpsed this scene out the widow as we passed. It was overcast with a dull grey sky, so I could let the scene pass, but I would remember. I immediately began to plot how to get there safely on Indigenous People/Columbus Day Monday, when better skies were predicted, on my eTrike, without getting myself run over by a leaf peeper. By 11am the next morning the sky was promising and I got the trike out and took my chances…going the long way around to approach from the right side of the road, and avoid as much traffic as I could…as well as the stretch of horrible trike road on Rt. 9 coming into Lower Village. When I got there I found that there was enough of a shoulder on the bridge over the marsh so I could safely park my trike for the photos. I took many views of this with slightly different compositions, and picked this one as the best of the non-panoramic set. I might post the panorama another day. Anyway. This is a classic southern Maine autumn landscape. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
We had our first sunny day…or at least a few sunny hours, yesterday and I got out on my eTrike for photoprowl, to see how fall is coming along. It has been kind of stuttering after an early start. No worries. At least in the likely spots it is coming along fine. 🙂 This is one of two little ponds right next to Rt. 9 between Brown Street and the Wells Town line. I photograph it in all seasons, but fall is certainly the most striking. I got down just about at ground level with my iPhone and the Sirui 18mm ultra-wide lens. The sky was bright but the foreground was in cloud shadow already. Really an attractive combination that does well with the fall color. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.
This is the other little pond along Rt. 9 between Brown Street and the Wells town line. This one is right on the road. I have photos of it in all seasons, but fall is by far the most colorful. This pond is so exposed, and the water’s so cold, that you have to watch it closely. The leaves here are done turning and off the trees when the leaves further inland are just thinking about color. iPhone SE with Sirui 18mm ultrawide lens. Apple Camera app with Smart HDR engaged. Processed in Apple Photos.