Southwest Harbor Maine Panorama

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Places

Southwest Harbor, Maine is located in the southwest quadrant of Mount Desert Island. Aptly named, it's area of 22.69 square miles and population of less than 2,000 people are nearly entirely surrounded by Acadia National Park and the Atlantic Ocean. In summer the harbor is full of boats small and large, from kayaks to multimillion dollar yachts. This time of year lobster boats are predominant as you can see in the middle section of the panorama below. If the pano doesn't look right, or does not pan smoothly, and you are using Firefox on an older computer, please switch to another browser like Chrome or Safari.

I captured this scene from the end of the Manset Town dock. Though the view appears very wide, it's only about 90° from end to end. It seems wider because I shot it with a 200mm lens to get the detail along the shore with minimal water and sky. I stitched the panorama from 17 separate images taken left to right, each frame rotated 5° to the right of the previous one. Yesterday I saw this same scene while driving around to take the pictures posted here, but when I arrived at this spot the sun was too high and I didn't have my tripod with me. This morning I got up before dawn and set up my tripod on the snow-covered dock at 6:15 AM. Then I waited in the bitter cold for the sun to rise. Fresh snow that fell last night made the scene even better than it was yesterday. Sometimes it just works out that way.

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While setting up the panorama, I remembered something that legendary photographer Jay Maisel teaches: When you see nice light, look behind you and observe where it's coming from. Your picture might be there. I followed Jay's advice and wow, look what I saw! I swung my camera around 180° and fired off this frame just as the sun was peaking above the horizon. Thanks Jay!

Manset Maine Sunrise