Acadia N.P. Thunder Hole Photography – This location is on the top side of our top 10 places. This park will blow you away for dynamic photography! You cannot go wrong doing photography here. If you want to do a travel photography trip of a life time, this is your place. You can also go on a tour with Extra Eyes Photo Tours. They will show you all of the secret locations. They already know where to go to do sunrise and sunset photography and all the other things you will need to know. If you go at it alone, you cannot go wrong either. You could come out with at least one top ten photographs from this spot. When you go into the park, they will give you a map where Thunder Hole is clearly marked. There is also a link to it below. If you drive the one-way road and you are not sure just roll your window down. When you get close to Thunder Hole, the thunder will start, and you can hear it plain as day. Acadia National Park, Thunder Hole photography location is a main tourist stop along the park road. Sunrise is the best time to go here to avoid the big crowds in the warmer months. You won’t miss this spot driving the park route.
Food – Only one restaurant in the park in walking distance from Jordon Pond. There are chairs out back you can sit and view the location and eat in your chair. That’s what we did.
Park has an entrance fee so be prepared to pay or buy a yearly National Park Pass here.
Lens: A wide angle lens is a must for this location. There is a lot to shoot in this area but wildlife is very minimal but may pop out of nowhere so having a zoom with you cannot hurt but I would not recommend lugging it around just in case.
Gear: To get started doing your photography bring your tripod and your circular polarizing filter. The circular polarizing filter will make your white puffy clouds burst and deepen the blue around them. It will also take the glare off of the water and replace it with reflection. Bring your tripod in case there is not a lot of light to work with to get your depth of field when desired. Don’t forget your neutral density filter if we advise there is moving water here.
Gear List at a glance: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, tripod, shutter release.
Aperture Priority: It is generally used to get your depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). You will want to do some shots at the hyperfocal distance. That means your subject to infinity is in focus. Most formulas of hyperfocal distance, which are very complicated, lead you back to f8, f11 or f13. If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th sec. or lower you will need to put your camera on a tripod. The higher the f-number the less light that will come in and your shutter speed will drop to let more light in.
When doing certain shots such as flowers, you might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is in complete focus and the background is totally blurred called the bokeh effect. You will use your lowest F-number such as 2.8, or 3.5. Go as low as your particular lens will allow.
Shutter Priority: If you have moving subjects such as the birds flying by you want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure they come out clear. When people are walking through shoot at 1/250th sec. and adjust your ISO accordingly. If people or animals are running by increasing your shutter speed to about 1/500th sec and if it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as 1/1000th to 1/1200 sec. to get the birds crystal clear as they fly by here.
Manual Mode: To do your long exposure running, milky water shots you will have to use a tripod. All of your settings will vary depending on the lighting and what neutral density filter you have. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters. ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. Aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will vary depending on the light. Take some test shots to decide on your shutter speed after you put your neutral density filter on. (It’s like sunglasses for your camera to stop light from coming in). Use your live view mode to focus to lock the mirror up and avoid any camera movement. Use your shutter release or your 2-second timer to also avoid camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You want at least a 2-second exposure for running water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. Go to our store to buy your ND filter. I have a 3.0 for super long exposure in the sunshine.
Read more on our Photography Techniques Page
If you don’t have a neutral density filter you can buy one here.
Click here to open Acadia National Park Map – http://www.acadiamagic.com/Park.html
Entrance Fee’s – http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/fees.htm
FREE DAYS: January 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 14-16: Presidents’ Day Weekend
April 18-19: First Weekend of National Park Week
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 26: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
National Park Passes have some discounts be sure to check out the Entrance Fee Link – Example – Senior Pass: $10
This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over.