“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life….climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees” John Muir

I had been to Acadia National Park a number of times over the years, but never in autumn when New England color is ablaze. And I also knew that the visibility of the Milky Way’s galactic core would begin to wane in late October. So off we went on our five hour drive up the Maine coast to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Confused in Maine

This is why they invented GPS. I thought I was on Rt. 1 South, but apparently I was in a multi-directional vortex.

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise

Cadillac Mountain is one of the iconic places in the park and very crowded at sunrise and sunset as everyone wants to experience the beauty and mystery of night turning into day or day transforming into night. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point (1,530 ft.) on Atlantic coast from Maine to Brazil and is largely composed of stunning pink hued granite. The area is famous for its’ high quality granite and it was used in many of the country’s institutional buildings, the U.S. Treasury building in Washington D.C. being a prime example.

Surveying the Scene

Even the Gulls enjoy the view from the top of the park.

Boulder’s Beach

This is Boulder Beach which, as you can see, is an apropos name. This is early in the morning just as first light is coming over the horizon. This light is very blue and it added an eerie feeling to the image. Moving across these rocks is hazardous as they can be slippery and they often move as you gingerly step on them.

Otter Point

This section of the park is popular with photographers because the sunrise is due east of here and the morning sun lights up the red granite that lines this coast. This color only lasts a few minutes and if you miss it, it’ll be back in 24 hours.

Milky Way

Photographing the Milky Way was one of my objectives in traveling to the park. The eastern coast of Northern Maine has the darkest skies in New England and is the best place in New England to do astrophotography. You might notice that the most dense and colorful section of the MW is right at the horizon. In another month, this section of the MW would no longer be visible in the night sky until Spring.

White Birches in the Meadow

The park has a section of low meadow land which is populated by these white birches. It’s challenging to find a good composition because of the haphazard tree placements.

Carriage Road

The Carriage Roads and stone bridges in Acadia National Park were financed and directed by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., between 1913 and 1940, for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and carriages. The network includes 57 miles of woodland roads free of motor vehicles, of which 45 miles are within Acadia National Park.

These are some of the most spectacular hiking trails you will ever encounter, particularly in autumn.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

The Bass Harbor Lighthouse is among the most photographed and visited in the U.S. It’s particularly popular at sunset when the sun lights up this section of the park’s coastline. On any given summer or fall day, there will be hundreds of folks climbing all over these rocks as sunset approches. I shot this image on a previous trip to the park. On the day we visited the lighthouse there was a torrential rain and windstorm, but amazingly, there were still many people walking down the short trail to this area.

Hunter’s Head

I got up each morning in the dark and went to Hunter’s Head to try and get a great sunrise view. The good sunset composition is in the opposite direction and I set my camera and tripod up to capture a golden sunrise over the little cove in that direction. But alas, each morning the hoped for sunrise glory never materialized. On the last day I turned around to go back to my car and noticed that the risen sun was lighting up the area on the other side of Hunter’s Head. This golden rust color only lasted 2 minutes and I was forunate to get this wonderful image.

Thank you for reading my latest blog entry. If you thought it was worthy of your time and you hadn’t already done so, please take the opportunity to subscribe by clicking the “Follow” button on the right side of this page. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Also, you can share this blog entry on your Facebook page by clicking the share button below or you can email it to folks by clicking on the “Email” button.

Lastly, if you are inclined, I have many of these images and more on my home web page:


Frank Binder

Friends & Subscribers,

After too many years of having an inferior photographic web site, I promised myself I would spend the necessary time to develop a site that was more reflective of my work and would provide my images the care I felt they deserved.

Spending so much time at home the last few months provided the opportunity. 

So I’m pleased to reveal a newly constructed website that contains my best work over the past 15 years (you will be the judge of this). For subscribers to this blog website (www.Chasing-the-Light.net), the new website has a link to the blog which hopefully will make it easier to keep track of new blog entries.

The new website is: www.frankbinderphotography.com

Any comments or suggestions you may have will be appreciated.

All the best,


A few weeks ago I went to the Ansel Adams exhibition at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition had been drawing large crowds and my Saturday visit reinforced the reports…lots of people crowding around the photographs. The work was mostly drawn from a private collection lent to the museum and the curators added photographs from other photographers who claim to have been influenced by Adams and exhibited them sometimes side-by-side. Several of my favorite Adams’ images were in the show and for that reason alone the visit was worthwhile, but I have to say on balance the exhibition was disappointing. Most of the Adams images, and there were a lot of them, were printed in small formats and the accompanying photographs from other influenced artists were mediocre at best.

The two images that I have always loved were in the show: “Moonrise over Hernandez New Mexico” and “Clearing Winter Storm” and both were printed in a large format. And I learned something valuable from the backstory of Moonrise. The image as viewed by so many appears to be taken at night as the moon is shown rising in a dark sky. But in fact it was shot late in the afternoon with the sun lighting up all the cemetary crosses in the image and with the moon set in a bright afternoon sky. Adams printed this negative many times and over time gradually incremented burning in the light sky so that the sky became completly dark thereby leaving the moon much more prominent in the image that we are all familiar with.

I also came away from the exhibit determined to look for and shoot more black & white images. While I do so, here are a number of images either recently shot or re-imagined with a black & white treatment.

Late Afternoon Clouds over Wachusett Reservoir

I was looking for a great sunset this afternoon. It eluded me but I did get this shot of a great cloud formation.


Is there a better black & white subject than a zebra?

Strolling under the cumulus clouds

A Cormorant Watch

Waves were pounding the South African coast and I took at least a hundred photographs trying to get just the right wave explosion. During the last few minutes of shooting, this cormorant flew in and added himself to my frame.

On the March

This group of elephants ambled across the Amboseli National Park plains and I was lucky that they all fit into the composition perfectly. I later turned this into a B&W image which I like much better than the color version.

Elephants at Play

Also taken at Amboseli National Park in Kenya and also originally shot in color. I also like this image better in B&W.

Tribal Woman

I originally photographed this woman in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley in color. I think it looks equally good in B&W.









Resting Leopard

Sabi Sands, a private reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the great wildlife areas for seeing and photographing Leopards.

Indian Camel Herder

I shot this at the Nagaur Cattle Fair in Nagaur, India. Doesn’t this fellow have a great face?











Newfoundland Village at Sunset

Love the way the sun lights up the whitewashed houses in this image.

Moon over local Shell Station

And finally a shot of a local gas station a mile from my house. This was a night of a full moon and I was out with my camera and tripod looking for something interesting to shoot with the full moon as a backdrop. I couldn’t find anything that looked any good. On my way home I passed through this intersection and voila!  this scene presented itself.

Thank you for reading my latest blog entry. If you thought it was worthy of your time and you hadn’t already done so, please take the opportunity to subscribe by clicking the “Follow” button in the middle of the right side of this page. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Also, you can share this blog entry on your Facebook page by clicking the share button below or you can email it to folks by clicking on the “Email” button.

Frank Binder








To quote Ken Burns…..National Parks are the country’s best idea. The breadth of the country’s national park experience varies from the flat swampy bird filled Everglades NP to the ice fields of Glacier NP to the spectacular cliffs and spires of Grand Canyon NP and everything in between.

If you’re into canyons and rock formations, southern Utah contains five national parks with some of the best hiking and photography anywhere on the planet.

Mesa Arch
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands NP contains one of the most famous arches in the country; Mesa Arch which has been photographed millions of times. The shot above is not particularly original but it’s on most landscape photographers bucket list since the light from the sunrise reflects off of the bottom surface of the arch and brilliantly lights up the underside of the arch. The brilliant red/orange glow on the underside of the arch lasts 15 minutes before it melts away for the rest of the day.

Obviously one needs to get here before sunrise to get in position to take the shot and capture the sun star in the image. I got there an hour before sunrise ( I needed a headlamp to walk the trail) and was greeted by 20 other tripod equipped photographers when I arrived. The arch is less than 20 ft. across and getting positioned in such a crowd takes some patience and a sharing attitude as you will undoubtedly be crossing tripod legs and bumping each other frequently.

Delicate Arch

As the most popular arch in Arches NP, Delicate Arch draws tens of thousands of visitors each year….and rightly so! There were probably 50 people viewing and taking photos of the arch the afternoon I was there. As you can see in the image, the setting sun casts beautiful light on the arch in the last hour of the day and gives the arch the rich red glow that makes the image. Of course having the snow-capped La Sal Mountain range in the background helps.

Thor's Hammer
Thor’s Hammer

Among a host of natural formations, Thor’s hammer is likely the most iconic image of Bryce Canyon NP. Belying the name, Bryce Canyon is not really a canyon. It has no river running through it carving the formations over millions of years (like the Grand Canyon or Zion Canyon). The hoodoos in the park stand on cliff sides and have been formed over millions of years by water seeping into the rock with the resulting ice expansions causing disruptions in the rock.

Bryce at night

The Milky Way was in the wrong place this night ( I guess it’s never really in the wrong place….it just wasn’t where I wanted it to be to place it in this image!). This tree shape is perfect for this shot…..it leans into the frame and has the right balance of branches.

Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point State Park

The legend is that early cowboys would run wild mustangs into a natural narrow ledge on a cliff overlooking a 2,000 ft. drop and close a fence on the ledge when they gathered the horses. At one point, apparently, the horses were not released and subsequently died of thirst….hence the name.

Zion National Park
Zion National Park

Unlike Bryce Canyon or the Grand Canyon, visitors to Zion enter the park at the bottom of the famous canyon carved over the millennia by the Virgin River.  Many of the most famous hikes in the park rise dramatically as you wind your way up to the top of the 2,500 ft. cliffs. The Angels Landing trail leads an intrepid hiker to the small mesa (Angels Landing) which is only accessible by climbing across steep ledges with rock cliffs on one side and a 2,000 ft. fall off on the immediate other side. Helpfully, park rangers have installed chains on the cliff side to hang on to.

Afternoon Light
Afternoon Light

Sometimes serendipity happens and you have to be ready to see it and capture it. By itself this tree isn’t particularly scenic or dramatic, but the afternoon the sun lit up the tree and it was possible to isolate the tree away from the background and make a very nice image.









Broken Arch
Broken Arch

Broken Arch is in Arches NP and gets its name from the split in the top of the arch which looks like it’s about to break.


Another serendipitous moment…..seeing these and imagining the image is part of the photographers skill. This spiky tree in the shadows shows off well against the red Cliffs and blue sky in the background.

Turret Arch

Another of the iconic images in Arches NP. You have to be a little adventurous to get this image because the correct photographic spot is up on a small ledge with an access trail that requires quite a bit of agility to navigate. But of course….no problem for me!!

Thank you for reading my latest blog entry. If you thought it was worthy of your time and you hadn’t already done so, please take the opportunity to subscribe by clicking the “Follow” button in the middle of the right side of this page. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Also, you can share this blog entry on your Facebook page by clicking the share button below or you can email it to folks by clicking on the “Email” button.


Shrewsbury, MA

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