Secret spot in Acadia National Park
The Beaver Dam Pond sits along one of the nicest wooded stretches of the Park Loop Road. In the fall, I think this is the prettiest stretch to drive on the island as your field of view out the windows is blanketed with rich yellows and deeper reds. The pond itself sits in a natural bowl as Bear Brook expands from the activities of the resident wildlife from which this spot gets its name. I have not personally seen beavers on my numerous visits here but their homes rest quietly on the far side of the usually still water. Birch tree stumps here and there attest to their toothy industry in the area. You are unlikely to find a crowd here as most folks motor on past, headed for the shoreline sections of the Park Loop Road. There are a few places to pull the car over a bit on the right.
Unlike some of the larger bodies of water in Acadia National Park, the sheltered nature of the pond lends itself to calm tree reflections much of the time. The white birch trees on the far shore make for excellent vertical composition elements. If you find yourself having missed the early alarm, the surrounding hillsides keep the morning sun at bay for an extra half hour to forty-five minutes or so and it’s a great location on an overcast day.
This is a great spot for picking out patterns and details. Put the wide angle lens away and save it for the grand vistas you are sure to find elsewhere in the park. I love using a telephoto here. Medium lenses can work well on the right hand edge of the pond as the range of forest colors is dramatic moving visually up into the distance. Try using the reeds as a foreground element to anchor the lower third of your frame if you aren’t shooting with a telephoto.
Useful gear: telephoto lens, circular polarizer, sturdy tripod, cable release
Below is a map to the location.
- If your lens has a vibration reduction feature, make sure to turn it off if you are using a tripod.
- If you don’t have a cable release, try using a delayed shutter function of five seconds like you would if you are trying to hit the button and run into a family photo.
- Try stopping down the aperture (larger f/ number.) You might want a deeper depth of field to get all the elements in focus.
- Be careful not to overextend your tripod. Larger glass can make it top heavy and more prone to falling over.
Until next time,