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BAXTER SP- Moose Tour, Maine

Baxter State Park Photography Hot Spot at New England Outdoor Center.

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Baxter State Park is a large wilderness area permanently preserved as a state park, located in Piscataquis County in north-central Maine. It is in the North Maine Woods region.

The park was established by 28 donations of land, in trust, from Park donor Percival P. Baxter between the years of 1931 and 1962, eventually creating a park of over 200,000 acres in size. Baxter Park is not part of the Maine State Park system. Sole governance is provided by the Baxter State Park Authority, consisting of the Maine Attorney General, the Maine Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director of the Maine Forest Service. The park is independently funded through a combination of revenues from trusts, user fees, and the sale of forest products from the park’s Scientific Forest Management Area. The park is home to the state’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin. The number of visitors to the park declined from 75,000 in 2000 to 55,000 in 2005, but since 2005 visitor use has been slowly increasing.

New England Outdoor Center

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Baxter S.P.cabin-0405

A moose tour at New England Outdoor Center is an absolute must! The cabins are incredible and the tour starts just a short walk from your cabin!!

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Photography Information

Lens: This area is definitely a wide angle and zoom lens location.

Gear:  Make sure you bring your tripod and your circular polarizing filters. The CPL will make your white puffy clouds burst and deepen the blue sky color around them.  It will also take the glare off the water and replace it with the reflection. Bring your tripod too. It is also a dark sky milkyway photography hot spot location so bring your tripod! Don’t for get your ND filter in case of you want to shoot moving waters.

Gear List at a Glance: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, tripod, shutter release, wide angle and zoom lens.

When to Go: Late June to early July supplies prime moose photography opportunities.  Milky way photography follows the basics. The week before the new moon in Spring to fall is the best time to go. Be sure to see our milky way photography pages here.

Camera Settings

Aperture Priority – It is used to get your depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th of a second, it is because you lack light and you will need to put your camera on a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Anything handheld below 1/30th of a second will be blurry. The higher the “f” in number, the less light that will into the camera and your shutter speed will drop to let more light in. When your “f” number goes up, your aperture closes. At f-22 you are barely letting any light in.  Always watch your shutter speed.  When taking your shot look at the bottom of the screen through the viewfinder and check your shutter speed. Do not to let your shutter speed go too low when hand holding.  Sometimes you cannot get a super high f stop because you do not have enough light. This will happen quite often at times such as sunset. Again, put your camera on a tripod and now your photos will not blur except for any subject that is moving in the image.

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 small as your particular lens will allow.  Shooting in Aperture Priority allows you to control this.

Shutter Priority – If you have moving subjects such as the birds flying or boats moving you will want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure they come out clear. When boats are slowly going by shoot at 1/250th of a second and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are moving very fast increase your shutter speed to about 1/500th of a second. If it’s a bright sunny day go as high as 1/1000th to 1/1200th of a second to get the birds crystal clear as they fly by.

Manual Mode – You have moving waters here. You can do your long exposure running, milky water shots like our picture above.  You will have to use a tripod for this effect.  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 prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You will want at least a 2-second exposure for water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. That does not give you a good effect. 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.  You can go to our waterfall photography section to learn how to shoot any moving waters.  You can also go to our Basic Photography section if you need a more detailed explanation of shutter speed or aperture priority modes.

If you don’t have a neutral density filter, you can buy one here. We highly suggest you do not go anywhere without one. It makes all the difference between lifeless images and outstanding, dynamic images.

Buy a 62mm Tiffen 1.2 ND filter

Buy a Tiffen – 67mm  1.2 ND filter

Buy a Tiffen – 77mm  1.2 ND filter

Buy a Tiffen – 72mm  ND filter kit

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Park and Area Information:

Entrance Fees: 

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