Summer Fall Photography Tour

Two lane highway on the Columbia Plateau, Oregon Summer Fall Photography TourTwo Lane Country Road, Oregon  #59814

I’m very excited to announce my latest photo schedule. Beginning this week I will be leaving on a Summer Fall Photography Tour which includes a wide variety of cool locations. While the length of the trip and the specific locations are subject to change, it’s safe to say this one will be big.

Possibly extending into the fall season the trip will begin in the Bugaboo Range of the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. Then I will be moving on to the Midwest and the Appalachian areas of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Looping back west will take me through Michigan’s Upper Penninsula and the North Shore of Lake Superior. If time allows on the return home I may also fit in photographing the Wind River Range of Wyoming and a few selected sites in Montana.

Listed below are some of the locations and subject matter I hope to work with. However, with a trip this big it is difficult to say how factors such as weather and time constraints will affect the list. Of course I am always open to suggestions for locations and subject matter you have interest in seeing. Feel free to contact me through email, texts or FB Messenger.

General Locations:
Purcell Mountains British Columbia: Bugaboos, Jumbo Pass
Ohio: Hocking Hills Region
West Virginia: Appalachian Mountains, Babcock and Blackwater State Parks
Pennsylvania: Laurel Highlands Region
Michigan: Lake Michigan Lighthouses, Picture Rocks National Lakeshore
Minnesota: North Shore Lake Superior
Wind River Range Wyoming
Subject Matter:
Mountain views
Farms/Agriculture
Lighthouses
Waterfalls
Historic Sites
Country Roads and Byways

Make sure you also check my Facebook and Instagram pages to see new image updates as this trip progresses.

Thanks for viewing this post!

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Whatcom Peak North Cascades National Park

Whatcom Peak North Cascades National ParkWhatcom Peak North Cascades National Park  #61501  Purchase

Here are a few more images from last year’s trip to Whatcom Pass in North Cascades National Park. After going through my files recently I noticed that these images were still in the “sketching” phase of processing. Sometimes looking back at images over time sheds new light on interpreting the feel of subject matters.

To read more about this special place read my earlier post on Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes. Now I’m off for several day photographing back at Washington Pass along North Cascades Highway.

Whatcom Peak North Cascades National ParkWhatcom Peak North Cascades National Park  #61502  Purchase

Whatcom Peak North Cascades National ParkWhatcom Peak North Cascades National Park  #61515  Purchase

 

 

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Lady Washington

Lady Washington at sail in Semiahmoo Bay, Washington.Lady Washington Semiahmoo Bay  #62496  Purchase

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take an evening cruise on an authentic tall ship. The Lady Washington and her companion, the Hawaiian Chieftain, were spending the weekend in Blaine Harbor. Both of these ships are owned by the Grays Harbor Historical Society, in Aberdeen Washington. Throughout most of the year they cruise to ports in Washington and Oregon, and down to California in the fall. When both are in a port at the same time they offer an afternoon mock battle cruise and then an evening sunset cruise.

The Lady Washington is a replica of the original eighteenth century ship. She was the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America. Her smaller companion, the Hawaiian Chieftain, was built in 1988 for cargo trade in the Hawaiian Islands. Fans of the Pirates of the Carribean movies may recognize the Lady Washington as the ship featured in The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Lady Washington and Mount Baker, Semiahmoo Bay, Washington.Lady Washington and Mount Baker  #62509  Purchase

Sailing in Semiahmmo Bay

I’m a great fan of historical sailing ships. During my youth one of my hobbies was building scale models of various eighteenth and nineteenth century ships. Back then I could rattle off the names and function of all the sails and rigging. So I took advantage of their visit to Blaine Harbor and bought a ticket for the evening sunset cruise. Of course my other motivation was to make some photos of the ships at sail in the evening light.

Most folks on the evening cruise that day chose to sail on the Lady Washington. That was also my first choice since it is the bigger and more dramatic looking of the two. However, since I was out to make some photos, I chose the Hawaiian Chieftain. That way I could photograph the Lady Washington at sail. My choice in vessels was perfect, as we set out to sail the Lady Washington was out in front with a beautiful golden sky as a backdrop. Even the crew took time to grab their cameras!

Lady Washington at sail in Semiahmoo Bay, Washington.Lady Washington at sail in Semiahmoo Bay  #62537  Purchase

The cruise went on for about three hours out in Semiahmoo Bay, and I was able to make many photos in the changing light. Some of the most notable were of the Lady Washington with Mount Baker as a backdrop. However, the only disappointment was the lack of wind. There was only an occasional slight breeze to fill the sails and push us on at 1.5 knots per hour.

If you would like to know more about the ships and their schedule please check out the Grays Harbor Historical Society website. I hope you enjoy these photos, I’ll definitely be adding more the next time these ships are in port!

Hawaiian Chieftain masts rigging and sails.Hawaiian Chieftain Sails and Rigging  #62582   Purchase

Hawaiian Chieftain Square Topsail KetchSailing on the Hawaiian Chieftain   #62515  Purchase

Lady Washington at sail Semiahmoo Bay, Washington.Lady Washington at sail in Semiahmoo Bay  #62523  Purchase

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Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State ParkFort Casey State Park  #62178b  Purchase

Back in late April I made a brief visit to Fort Casey State Park located on Whidbey Island. Years ago, when we lived on South Whidbey I would make regular trips to this scenic and historic park. Later we would bring relatives there when visiting from back east. But although I’ve always wanted to spend some time photographing the park it never seemed to fit into the schedule. That is until this April, when I planned an Olympic Park coast trip. Coming down from Bellingham I stopped for the day at Fort Casey before taking the Keystone Port Townsend Ferry, adjacent to the park, the next morning.

Fort Casey State Park is an attractive destination for several reasons. First, it sites on the west side of Whidbey Island with a commanding view of the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, and Admiralty Inlet. One could spend a day sitting on the bluff just watching ships sail by. With the right timing you can even witness an aircraft carrier from the Home Port in Everett sail by. With exceptional luck and a good set of binoculars it’s possible to even see a Trident submarine.

Fort Casey State Park disappearing gunFort Casey State Park Battery Worth 10″ Disappearing Gun  #62165   Purchase

Fort Casey State Park, part of the Triangle of Fire

Aside from the views and ships the next biggest attraction of the park is the fort itself. Fort Casey if one of the three coastal forts forming the “Triangle of Fire”. Built around 1890 the forts guarded against invaders attempting to make their way into Puget Sound. At the time the forts were armed with a variety of artillery including state of the art 10 inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages. However, these guns became obsolete in less than twenty years. Most were sold for scrap or placed in forts in the Philippines, but two were eventually brought back years later as historic display pieces.

Fort Casey State Park, WashingtonFort Casey State Park Batteries and Bunkers  #62170   Purchase

Fort Casey State Park, battery bunkers.Fort Casey State Park Bunkers  #62105   Purchase

A visit to Fort Casey wouldn’t be complete without checking out the guns and the concrete bunkers of the batteries. These bunkers are a hands down favorite for families and their children. On a busy summer weekend kids will be running in and out of the bunkers, having a blast playing hide and seek.  If all of the above isn’t enough, there is also Admiralty Head Lighthouse to explore. Plus long stretches of driftwood strewn cobblestone beaches, camping and picnic areas.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Washington Fort Casey State ParkAdmiralty Head Lighthouse  #62218   Purchase

The kid in me loves all of this, but on this trip I also wanted to enjoy making long overdue photos. Fortunately on this visit the weather was beautiful and I had some nice evening light to work with. The park can offer a pleasant afternoon of fun, but I recommend staying a night or two. That way you can enjoy the sunset, and maybe take the Ferry over to Port Townsend the next day. Don’t forget your State Parks Discovery Pass, and to make reservations in advance for camping or for driving on the Ferry. Have fun!

Fort Casey Officers residence, Whidbey Island Washington Camp CaseyOfficers Residence Fort Casey  #62141  Purchase

10 inch gun, Fort Casey State ParkFort Casey State Park Battery Worth 10″ Disappearing Gun  #62087   Purchase

Forty Casey State Park WashingtonFort Casey State Park Battery Turman  #62083  Purchase

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Skagit Valley Daffodil Photography

Skagit Valley Daffodil Photography, WashingtonSkagit Valley Daffodils #61987b  Purchase

One of my spring rituals is to make a trip down to the Skagit Valley to photograph the Daffodil and tulip fields. After months of grey rainy weather it’s always a treat to see such bursts of color. From the end of March though the first week or so of April daffodils are the star attraction. Depending on the weather, tulips begin to bloom around the second week of April. Of course the fields also make great subjects for photography. Since the fields change location every year it’s worth scouting out in advance where the best compositions may be.

Skagit Valley Daffodil Photography, WashingtonSkagit Valley Daffodils #61960b  Purchase

Photographing daffodils can be more difficult than photographing tulips. Mostly this is due to the fact that daffodils bloom earlier in the season. In late March the weather is still winter-like with rain and cold winds. Daffodil blossoms stand higher and on thinner stalks than tulips, so they move easily in the slightest of breezes. Meaning if you’re lucky enough to have good light you may be hampered by windy conditions.

If there is a breeze present you may need to resort to techniques such as focus stacking to achieve the necessary depth of field while using a faster shutter speed. Photographing in lower light conditions will only compound these issues. Of course it should go without saying that a good tripod is a necessity here. Another very helpful item I’m never without is a remote to trip the shutter while the mirror is locked up.

Photographers know that it pays to get up before dawn in order to take advantage of blue hour and sunrise light. Here in the Skagit Valley, another good reason to arrive early is to beat the crowds. On a sunny weekend the roads will be gridlocked like Seattle on a Friday afternoon. At the height of the bloom it may seem like everyone on the entire West Coast is here to get a photo of their loved ones in the tulip fields! So go early, and preferably on a weekday.

Other Skagit Valley Daffodil Photography Subjects

Aside from photographing Skagit Valley daffodil fields and tulips, the lower Skagit Valley also boasts some other worthwhile attractions. Foremost among these are the snow geese and trumpeter swans. Every winter through early spring these beautiful white birds come to the fields to rest and feed before resuming their long journey north. They move among the fields every day, so it can be a challenge to photograph them in the best location. If you plan on photographing these birds please refrain from alarming them. While it’s a magnificent sight to see an entire flock in flight, it also cause undo stress on them.

Snow Geese Skagit Valley WashingtonSkagit Valley Snow Geese #59742  Purchase

Finally, visit to the Skagit Valley wouldn’t be complete without stopping by LaConner, a self-described artist enclave and boater’s paradise. Aside from browsing the quaint shops and having a bite to eat, photographers can come away with some great travel photos from this picturesque town. Hint, photograph the red bridge and sailboats in evening light!

Skagit Valley Daffodil Photography, WashingtonSkagit Valley Daffodils #61982b  Purchase

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Oregon Desert Photography

Oregon Desert Photography 

Warner Lakes Wetlands, Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographyWarner Lakes Wetlands, Oregon #60942  Purchase

Oregon Natural Desert Association is a grassroots organization that promotes awareness and protection of unique environments of the Oregon Desert. Several years ago I was approached by Jim Davis, one of the founders of ONDA, to contribute photos for their yearly promotional calendar. Until then I wasn’t even aware of ONDA, but I quickly jumped at the chance to have my photography help with their conservation efforts. Being a lifelong landscape and nature photographer I always look for opportunities to give something back to the environment, and also help others appreciate the natural world we live in.

So when ONDA asked if I was interested in sharing some desert photography tips for their blog I didn’t hesitate to join in. The post has numerous tips from a variety of photographers that have contribute to the ONDA calendar. Many tips can apply to all landscape and nature photography subjects, but some are specific to desert environments.

You can check out the article here: How to Take Better Images of Oregon’s High Desert 

Below are a few more tips I’d like to share.

Oregon Desert Photography Tip: Lighting

Warner Lakes Wetlands with full moon, Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographyFull moon over Warner Lakes Wetlands, Oregon #60939   Purchase

The two photos above illustrate two important tips for all landscape photography. The first being, make sure to scout out locations with potential for good compositions in advance. That way you’ll know just where to go when the light gets good later on. Here at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge I wanted to find a good spot to make some photographs of Warner Lakes. While spending the afternoon hiking the slopes of hart Mountain, I looked an elevated view along with a foreground that included some features native to the area. Here I included ubiquitous sagebrush and basalt boulders.

Secondly, photograph in the best light. There are many types of lighting conditions to work with and not all are suitable for every subject. I already photographed both of the above images the previous evening. However clouds had diminished the quality of light. The next morning I awoke early, ready to work in the soft saturated light present during the Blue Hour. Many photographers pack it in as soon as the sun goes down, but it’s worthwhile to keep working. The hour following sunset can offer a soft colorful glow with low contrast. Not all Blue Hour light is equal though. Wispy high clouds directly above can reflect warm light down on your subject. However, those same clouds can cancel out any color if they are situated on and below the horizon where the sun set or rises.

Oregon Desert Photography Tip: Be Patient

Owyhee River Canyon Sunset Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographySunset over Owyhee Canton, Oregon  #56352   Purchase

The photos above and below illustrate another important tip, be patient. Watch the weather, and wait it out until the light is gone. In both photos I experienced good light at the last minute. The weather had been dismal and grey for the entire day, and it didn’t look good for evening light. Both locations were very remote, especially Owyhee Canyon. Meaning there was no cell signal, so I couldn’t check weather forecasts. With nowhere else to go it just made sense to wait and see what happened, in these instances I was lucky.

When photographing the immensely popular Painted Hills, I was the only photographer that stayed. Everyone else gave up on the light and left. I also had my doubts until a tiny clearing in the clouds opened up on the horizon. Fortunately this clearing was were the sun would be setting. When the sun poked through this clearing I had less five minutes of good light to work with, but it was enough.

Painted Hills Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographyPainted Hills, Oregon #44747   Purchase

Oregon Desert Photography Tip: Midday Light Creativity

Another tip, and one that many photographers scoff at, is don’t neglect midday light. While not as common, making good photos during the middle part of the day is possible. Interesting cloud formations or approaching storms can add an often overlooked dimension to a landscape. Also, this is a good time to get a bit creative. Experiment with minimalism, low saturation or black and white. The image below of Alvord Lake may not have the dramatic qualities to make it on the cover of Landscape or Outdoor photographer, or garner thousands of likes on Instagram or 500PX. However, it does illustrate the barren aspect of the Alvord Desert.

Painted Hills Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographyPainted Hills Oregon  #44704   Purchase

Alvord Lake Oregon Oregon Desert PhotographyClouds over Alvord Lake, Oregon  #60973  Purchase

Oregon Desert Photography Tip: Enjoy Your Surroundings!

If you’re photographing in the Oregon Desert, and especially the southeast corner, check out the many hot springs. After a job well done there’s nothing like a soak in a natural hot spring. Just sit back and enjoy the view!

Willow Creek Hot Springs Oregon Desert PhotographyWillow Creek Hot Spring, Oregon  #61026

Oregon Desert Photography

 

 

 

 

 

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New Website Alan Crowe Photography

New Website Alan Crowe Photography

Sawtooth Mountains Idaho Condo New Website Alan Crowe Photography

I’m excited to announce that I just launched a new website. With the title Alan Crowe Photography, this new website is dedicated to selling fine art prints.  I believe you will find this site simple, clean, functional, and easy to navigate, with a high degree of usability. I also hope you will find many images that will inspire you to place my photography in your home or office!

To clarify, Alan Crowe and Alan Majchrowicz are the same person.  Alan Crowe is a somewhat distilled version of my name. I just removed the first and last syllables and added an e to the middle syllable. In case you are wondering, Majchrowicz is pronounced muh-CROWvitch.

New Features

Since this new site focuses solely on fine art prints I want to make a clear distinction between the two. My other website still exists under the same name and will continue to offer photography for commercial stock licensing, along with fine art prints.

On this new website there are several features which aim to improve the user experience. First is a more streamlined method of purchasing prints. All photos are no more than a click away from purchasing. There is now a Lightbox feature where you can add photos selected for later review and purchase. A new page called In-Situ helps you envision what my images look like in several different interior scenarios. Another new features is the FAQ page. Here you can find on one page answers to common questions, such as shipping and print materials. Bringing the site together is a clean uncluttered look with photos organized into galleries with distinct categories.

Take a few minutes to browse through my new website, and feel free to contact me if you see anything that isn’t functioning properly or needs correction.

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Photo Highlights 2017

Photo Highlights 2017

We say it every December, yet another year has flown by! It seems it was only yesterday I was writing on this blog about my favorite images of 2016. As with every passing year we can look back and revel on our accomplishments, and learn valuable lessons from our disappointments. Hopefully we all had more of the former!

This year I was once again very fortunate to be able to travel to and photograph some great new locations. I was also thrilled to make a long awaited backpacking pilgrimage to one of my favorite spots in the North Cascades. Throughout my journeys I met some great people who shared my love for the natural world.  This past year also brought with it some valuable new clients and business opportunities. Building on these successes I hope to make 2018 an even better year!

So without further ado let’s see some of the photo highlights 2017.

John Day River

John Day River Oregon Photo Highlights 2017John Day River, Oregon  #59904   Purchase

This image of the John Day River was made during an extended spring photo tour. One of the first stops on this trip was Cottonwood Canyon State Park in north central Oregon. Designated a wild and scenic river, the John Day snakes it’s way through steep walled valleys of the Columbia Plateau. One of the few viewpoints down to the river is above Cottonwood Canyon. I  made this photo shortly before sunrise after car-camping on a muddy backroad near the rim. The green slopes can be misleading. This is a very dry region, with brown the dominant color for most of the year.

Lichens

Lichens on basalt Photo Highlights 2017Colorful Lichens on Basalt  #59871  Purchase

Down in Cottonwood Canyon colorful lichens paint exposed cliffs of Columbia Plateau basalt. Seen across the river at the campground I made it a point to check out this display. The lichen colonies are impressive enough from a distance, but a close inspection reveals another world. I spent a good part of the morning exploring the cliffs with my macro lens. Getting in close you can find an infinite range of details and abstract patterns. Some are reminiscent of fractal patterns.

Hood River Valley

Hood River Valley Orchards, OregonHood River Valley Orchards, Oregon  #60108  Purchase

After photographing in Cottonwood Canyon I returned to the Hood River Valley. I was hoping to photograph the orchards in bloom. However a cold lingering winter delayed the bloom by a few weeks. On my return only a few of the orchards offered a good display. Arriving at sunrise throngs of other photographers were already setting up. When it became apparent there would be no dramatic clouds or light, they all left. I lingered on for a few hours, slowly scouting out some compositions. The above composition, and a few others, helped make the most of a blue sky.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta Photo Highlights 2017Mount Shasta  #60134  Purchase

Further south the same trip I was able to make this image of Mount Shasta just as I arrived in the area. Driving madly down a gravel road I was able to find this composition only minutes before the light faded. I spent several days exploring this area, however, this was the best light I encountered.,

Point Reyes

Point Reyes Beach Photo Highlights 2017Point Reyes National Seashore, California  #60262  #Purchase

Point Reyes National Seashore in California is arguably the windiest place on the North American coast. On this and a previous trip it would’ve been hard to convince me otherwise. To make this photo I crouched down behind a small boulder to shield me from the incessant wind. Even with the tripod inches off the ground with the legs spread wide I still had to hold on to the camera to reduce shaking.

Redwoods

Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) Photo Highlights 2017Coast Redwoods  #60743  #Purchase

The Redwood forests of Northern California are among some of the most beautiful and humbling places to visit. Pictures cannot convey the scale of these massive trees. They are also one of the most difficult subjects to photograph. Generally the best opportunities are from the edge of a clearing. In this case my photo was made from alongside a road. While most photos of Redwood forests utilize a wide to super wide angle lens, I used a short telephoto for this one. Of course the nearly constant fog and overcast works in your favor to accentuate colors and keep contrast manageable.

Gold Bluffs Beach

Gold Bluffs Beach, California Photo Highlights 2017Triptych, Gold Bluffs Beach, California   Purchase

On Gold Bluffs Beach in Redwoods National Park I enjoyed making a series of images of surf action as the fog cleared. The simple elements of dark sand, water, and sky were constantly shifting into new shapes and patterns. While several images from this session stand well alone, I feel this triptych helps further project the abstract nature of the experience.

Harris Beach

Harris Beach Oregon Photo Highlights 2017Harris Beach, Brookings, Oregon  #60783  Purchase

The southern Oregon coast has some of the best locations for photographers. Harris Beach State Park, in Brookings, makes a great base for days or weeks of location work. This photo was made in the twilight before dawn. A long exposure gave the creek a silky feel, which adds another dimension to the curves and textures of the composition.

Liberty Bell Mountain

Liberty Bell Mountain Washington Pass Photo Highlights 2017Liberty Bell Mountain, North Cascades, Washington  #61324  Purchase

Back on my own home turf in the North Cascades, I made this photo as park of a fun weekend of hiking in the Rainy and Washington Pass vicinities. For over 30 years I’ve visited Washington Pass and marveled at the beauty of Liberty Bell Mountain. Although I’ve photographed this scene many times in the fall, or snow covered in early spring, this was my first attempt during the height of summer. Photographic compositions here come fairly easy, with help from leading lines curves of the meandering creek. If you decide to visit this area please thread very lightly, as the meadows are fragile and are showing signs of wear and abuse.

North Cascades National Park

Whatcom Peak North Cascades National Park Photo Highlights 2017Whatcom Peak reflected in Tapto Lake, North Cascades National Park  #61497  Purchase

I made this photo last August during a six day backpacking trip to Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes. It’s a magical place that for various reasons took me over 20 years to return to. North Cascades National Park is a rarity in the National Park System. Over 90 % of the park is designated wilderness, with only one short gravel road intruding on it’s borders. Most of it’s magnificent rugged beauty can be seen only via hiking its many trails. Even then, some of the best views are off-trail, requiring mountaineering experience.

Whatcom Pass is an exception. You can visit this scene after trail hiking around 18 miles, over one pass, down into a deep valley, up another pass, and then straight up a rough climbers route. This trip can be made in three days by strong hikers with light packs, but I recommend a more leisurely 5-6 days. Plan a day or two of just sitting around taking in the views. You never know when you’ll get a chance to come back!

Heather Meadows

Heather Meadows Recreation Area in winterHeather Meadows, North Cascades, Washington  #61935  Purchase

Adjacent to the Mount Baker Ski Area, Heather Meadows is just a short drive up the road from my home. It’s one of the gateways into the rugged backcountry of the North Cascades, in addition to being one of my longtime go-to places for winter photography. I made this photo after the first major snowfall of the season. Slowing making my way around on skis I came across this composition in soft diffused light. I liked how the soft delicate shapes in the foreground contrasted with the harder rugged shapes in the distance.

I hope you enjoyed my Photo Highlights 2017 please feel free vote and comment on your favorite images! And don’t forget, all of these images are ready to purchase as fine art prints or commercial licensing. Just click on any image!

Thanks for viewing this post, I wish you and your families, peace, joy, and prosperity in 2018.  I hope to see you on the road and trail in soon!

Photo Highlights 2017

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Bluenose Coast Nova Scotia

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks Nova Scotia  #58819   Purchase

Bluenose Coast Nova Scotia

In my last post I left off with our departure from Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia. In this post I’ll be talking about our visit to Bluenose Coast of Nova Scotia. This area of Nova Scotia has been high on my photography wish list for many years. Bluenose Coast contains some of the most famous tourist attractions in the Province. Situated southwest of Halifax the area includes Peggy’s Cove, and the lovely coastal villages of Chester, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, and Blue Rocks. How the term Bluenose originated is up for debate, some say it is a derisive term dating to political divisions of the late eighteenth century. However, others will say it refers to a bluish variety of potato, or the nose color of locals in winter.

Rowboat, Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia  #58804  Purchase

Our drive from Cape Breton Island down to the Bluenose Coast was again a long tiring journey. Not only was the weather rainy discouraging, the route we took was longer than anticipated. Instead of taking a direct course via the main highway, we decided on a more scenic drive along the coast. While I won’t say this was a mistake we did find the road to be exceedingly long with very few coastal views. Most of the way travelled through heavily forested lands dotted with tiny villages. Occasionally the roads breaks out on the coast with views of numerous islands. According to our travel brochures this area northeast of Halifax is a haven for wilderness loving sea kayakers. I’d love to be able to return and explore this vast area with a boat.

The Fo’c’sle Pub Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastThe Fo’c’sle Pub Chester, Nova Scotia #58700  Purchase

At Chester

Between the rain and the torturous road we decided to finish the drive to Bluenose Coast the next day. We weren’t to thrilled at the prospect of finding our way through the Halifax area at night. After anxiously getting through Halifax in the morning we decided to base our stay at Graves Island Provincial Park. Well situated near all the sites I was hoping to photograph, Graves Island also had some of the best campsites on our trip. After setting up camp we went on to check out the nearby town of Chester. Founded in 1759, Chester is a quaint village on Mahone Bay noted for stately old homes, and a thriving artist community. Along with a boat filled harbor Chester is also home to The Fo’c’sle, Nova Scotia’s oldest pub. I couldn’t resist photographing the whimsical dragon hanging above the entrance.

After a few weeks of photographing mostly nature oriented locations we were finally in Coleen’s environment. Picturesque coastal towns with lots of shops to browse through was something she had been looking forward to. Although I’m mostly a wilderness nature lover I also was enjoying the change. The next day was perhaps the most memorable of the entire trip. It was a big day with lots of sites to see and photograph on the Bluenose Coast. We began it with breakfast at The Kiwi Cafe in Chester, a colorful establishment with great food, after which we proceeded to Lunenburg and Blue Rocks. Along the way we passed by Oak Island, the site of questionable buried treasure, made famous on the History Channel’s Curse of Oak Island tv show. Needless to say, we didn’t stop by to check it out.

Mahone Bay Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastMahone Bay Sailboats  #58726  Purchase

Mahone Bay & Lunenburg

Along the way we had to stop in the town Mahone Bay for the annual Scarecrow Festival and antique fair. Even without the festival the town is definitely worth a stop. Dating back to 1754, Mahone Bay has numerous eclectic boutiques, art studios, antique shops, B&Bs, and restaurants. Of course with the festival in full swing Mahone Bay was overflowing with tourists, including us. We ended up spending several hours there checking out shops and the over 250 whimsical handmade scarecrows. But we had to move on, I was anxious to scout Lunenburg and the tiny fishing community of Blue Rocks. Aside from Peggy’s Cove these to locations are perhaps the most scenic and photographed in all of Nova Scotia.

Mahone Bay Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastMahone Bay Scarecrows  #58715  Purchase

Lunenburg is yet another old historic fishing town. In my mind it was the most interesting one we visited. The town sits on a gentle hill overlooking the bay, with many of the historic buildings sporting vibrant colors. For photographers looking to capture these colorful buildings on the waterfront there is no better spot than a park directly across the bay. You have the option of photographing from the waterfront or up a hill on the edge of a golf course. The later offers a wonderful elevated view of the town and boats.

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastColorful Lunenburg Architecture  #58737  Purchase

Blue Rocks Fishing Community

After finding these locations and making a few photos we went on to scout Blue Rocks. Being new to the area it was a bit difficult to find among the maze of roads. However there was no mistaking it on arrival. Blue Rocks really is just a small community with several fishing shacks and boats on calm inlet. The location though is classic, old colorful fishing shacks and boats moored alongside with islands and the Atlantic as a backdrop. And the rocks are really blue, with the layers eroded into fantastic shapes. With crystal clear water and bright yellow skirts of seaweed the rocks boats and buildings presents a dazzling array of colors and shapes. I was bubbling over excitement at photographing this wonderful location! The only thing missing though were clouds, the sky was an empty electric blue. Perfect for picnics and leisurely drives but not for photography.

Boat dock Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia  #58778  Purchase

It was still early so we went back to Lunenburg to check out the town and have a bite to eat. We found another gem at the tiny Salt Shaker Deli. I would highly recommend stopping by if you are in the area. The food was wonderful, probably the best seafood chowder in the Province, and the friendly staff and outstanding harbor view made for a memorable experience.  And if this wasn’t enough, as we were finishing our meal I noticed some interesting clouds moving in!

Rainbow, Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks Rainbow  #58795  Purchase

Blue Rocks Evening Photography

Our plan was to head back to Blue rocks after dinner for evening light, and then hurry back to Lunenburg to photograph the waterfront at twilight. Arriving at Blue Rocks the sky darkened and rain began to come down in sheets. A complete opposite of the earlier sunny blue sky. I was getting discouraged at my prospects when the showers began to move on. The elements for some great evening light were beginning to come together. Firstly a rainbow began to take shape, followed by curtains of rain and clouds being illuminated by the setting sun. Moving around I found many compositions among the boats and fishing shacks. As the light began to peak and fade I worked to photograph one of the most iconic shacks in the last glowing light of the evening. So far this was the best combination of light and subject matter on the trip.

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia  #58807   Purchase

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia  #58825   Purchase

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia  #58811  Purchase

We were also able to get back to the Lunenburg location in time for more photography. I quickly set up and made some photos just as the lights began to turn on in town with a purple twilight glowing above. All in all it was a perfect autumn day, sightseeing in historic towns with Coleen, great meals, and successful photography. But there was more in store for us along the Bluenose Coast the next day at Peggy’s Cove, our final location in Nova Scotia.

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Bluenose CoastLunenburg, Nova Scotia  #58836  Purchase

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