Baxter State Park Photography Hot Spot Location

 and New England Outdoor Center.

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Where to do Photography in Maine

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 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.

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One of Photography Magazines Favorite Places to Stay – 2018.  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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How to do Photography in Maine – Baxter State Park

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 milky way photography hot spot location so bring your tripod! Don’t forget your ND filter in case if 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: Weekdays, when it is slightly offseason, is best. This is a tourist town, so be prepared for people. Keep in mind this is also a milky way dark sky area, so you might want to plan your trip around a new moon or the week before during milky way week.

Camera Settings

Aperture Priority

It is generally used to control the depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th sec. or lower because you lack light, you will need to put your camera on a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Anything handheld below 1/30 sec will be blurry. The higher the “f” number, the less light that will come in, 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 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 a sunset. Again, put your camera on a tripod, and now your photos will not blur except for any subject moving in the image.

You might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is in complete focus, and the background is 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 people moving, you will want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure your images come out sharp. When people are moving slowly, shoot at 1/250th sec, and adjust your ISO accordingly. If they are moving very fast, increase your shutter speed to about 1/1000th sec. If it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as 1/1200 second for very fast-moving subjects.

Manual Mode

If you have moving waters here, you can do your long exposure running, milky water shots.  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 shutter release or your 2-second timer also to prevent camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You will want at least a 5-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. We like a 3.0 for super long exposure in the daytime, and we have a ten stop filter for bright sunny days.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Park and Area Information

Entrance Fees: 

Baxter State Park – $15.00, Season – $40.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Hotel Information

NEW ENGLAND OUTDOOR CENTER – 30 Twin Pines Rd, Millinocket, ME 04462, USA

See the images above. We only stay here when visiting Baxter State Park.

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 Restaurants

NEW ENGLAND OUTDOOR CENTER – 30 Twin Pines Rd, Millinocket, ME 04462, USA

This is where we eat when we go to Baxter State Park.

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If you want to do milky way photography plus daytime photography you can search in our milky way hot spot section.

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