Jordan Stream

Jordan Stream - vertical

Acadia National Park's Jordan Stream surrounded by foliage at the peak of fall color

As I did research for the Maine photography trip, I kept running across images and commentary about Jordan Pond and Jordan Stream. Having never fully explored Acadia, I could only get a vague understanding of how these two bodies of water were related. I assumed that Jordan Pond was formed by Jordan Stream and that, based on the topography, the stream emptied from the pond. As it turned out that was a correct assumption.

In fact, Jordan Pond is a manmade lake formed by damming Jordan Stream. The series of carriage paths that I have described in earlier posts run around and across the pond and the stream. What I had no context for understanding was how easily accessible and intimate both would be. In the Smokies, I’m used to streams that form deep gorges forming steep banks making access difficult to impossible. At Jordan Pond, trails ran around the entire pond with frequent access points to the shoreline. Jordan Stream had paths on both sides of the stream and could easily be hiked from beginning to end. Well, I’m not certain about all the way to the end since it likely dumped into the Atlantic and I didn’t follow it that far.

In any case, access was easy and there were many vantage points to set up my tripod. Unfortunately, the color around the stream wasn’t quite at peak and the variety of trees wasn’t nearly as wide as I would have liked. I had seen images of red maples at the peak of their fall color contrasted against the quaint stream. Either those trees were well before or after their peak or I didn’t see all of Jordan Stream. In addition, there was a lot of deadfall in and around the stream that cluttered up the images that looked promising. As I started our short hike, I hoped that the whole length of the stream wouldn’t have the same conditions.

As it turned out, there was exactly one spot that had the conditions that I hoped to find. The image above is one version of that spot. As you can see there is one perfectly placed red maple, other trees with yellow leaves in the background, a nice view upstream of the water, a small cascade in the foreground, and a fern turning color itself to add further interest to the foreground. As I set up my tripod, I realized that this was the shot I had formed in my mind’s eye. I was excited to say the least. I must have shot a hundred images of this scene varying exposure and composition. This shot is one of my favorites. I really couldn’t decide if I preferred the vertical or horizontal version. Perhaps I will post the other soon and let you decide.

This shot was shot with an exposure of 1.3 seconds at f/22. It was shot with a polarizer to pop the colors a bit and a neutral density filter to allow the long exposure. Other than that there isn’t a lot of post-processing involved. I had to wait for the wind to die down to minimize leaf blur. I also had to pause a bit as the sun came out from behind the clouds that generally covered the skies. The high overcast and cloud cover helped to even out the scene overall.

When I think of Acadia National Park, this is one of the images that pops into my mind. Acadia can be symbolized by rugged coastlines and crashing waves, but intimate images like this are prevalent as well. Enjoy.

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