Jordan Pond at sunrise, Acadia National Park
Star trails over Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Sometimes, you might be at the perfect location with a stunning shot in front of you. Like in the first shot above of Jordan Pond in National Park. While on my recent photography workshop there in October, I knew that sunrise might present a stunning opportunity for my students. I had everyone space out their tripods along the shore and as the early morning clouds swept across the sky, I knew that we were all in the right place at the right time.

I also knew that this could be a great spot for shooting after dark. Sometimes, we don’t think about this but with this spectacular wide angle view from the shoreline, I knew it possessed the possibility for one incredible star trail shot. The North Star was directly above the distant double mountain and I told my group that we would come back that night to have some fun under the night sky.

We arrived after dark and with our headlights on, we walked to the shoreline and set up our tripods in almost the exact same positions as we did at sunrise. I helped everyone with focusing after dark, had them set their cameras to the right star settings and use their cable releases and then when all looked good, we locked on the cable release and walked up to our cars where we waited for about an hour to stay out of the cold.

When we returned to our cameras, I had everyone take about 15 dark frame shots to add later in processing to reduce the noise. I also had them take one overexposed image to brighten up the foreground to add in post and the result from 149 images is the second image above.

Sometimes, there might be a great shot right ion front of you that works not only during the day but also at night. Keep those eyes peeled and the thinking cap on.