It’s A Wrap!

It’s been a month since we took down the show at the NEH Library. The Painting Bridges show was successful on so many levels:

  • We were able to celebrate the completion of the project.
  • We were able to thank all of the volunteers and see many of them at the receptions.
  • We heard so many positive remarks about the photos and the project from various people who heard about the project.
  • We were thrilled with how many people purchased photos.

Because all of the profits during the month of May were donated to Friends of Acadia, we were happy to be able to present them with a check for $4000.00. The light painters made that happen – THANK YOU!

Donation to Friends of Acadia

Thank you to everyone who came out to the show, either at the receptions, or just going to the library. And a big thank you to everyone who purchased a print (or prints!). This whole project has been great for us, and we hope you all enjoyed it too. We couldn’t have done it without you!

There will be two talks about the project this summer, if you are interested in attending. One at SWH Library on July 23, and one at Jesup Library on August 9.

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Opening Reception

Although the painting bridges project has ended its run of painting the carriage road bridges, we are celebrating its success. For the month of May, all 18 images from the project are being displayed at the Northeast Harbor Library. We hung the show on May 1 with the help of some great volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks to Michael, Nicole, Heidi, and Kat.


We were overwhelmed by the turnout at the opening reception on May 4; over 200 people came out to see the exhibit and enjoy the evening. Many bridge painters where there, as seen by the raised hands during Howie’s remarks.


We all enjoyed the live jazz music of T.W. Zeptet. It was great to see so many light painters, friends, family, and members of our community. We were thrilled with all the positive feedback about the project and the final product of the aluminum prints. And everyone loved finding their names on the light painter poster. The enthusiasm of everyone who was there really speaks to the community aspect of the project.

Here, Pat and Julie Krevans point to their names.


There will be a closing reception on May 26 from 4-6 pm. This exhibit is the only time all 18 photos will be on display, so hopefully if you weren’t able to make the first reception, or if you want to come back for more fun, we’ll see you there!

Of course, you can stop by to see the exhibit any time the library is open.

The images may be purchased, and the sale price of 10% off lasts through the month of May. In keeping with the community spirit of the project, 100% of the profits from the exhibit will be donated to Friends of Acadia.

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Jordan Pond Road Bridge

We’ve arrived at our last shoot of this eight month project. We decided to end on a quiet note, much in the same way we started this project, with just a few folks. The last bridge is one of the smallest, and it’s right down the road from our house, so we decided to invite some of our most faithful light painters to come and light this last bridge. It was a snowy, rainy night and Brenda commented that if this wasn’t the last shoot, people might not show up. We had 20 people for the shoot, which was more than enough. We had done our first bridge, Bubble Pond, with only seven!

Here’s the preshot:
Jordan Pond Road Bridge Light Painting, Acadia National Park Pre-shot
I had Carol and Mary, with their bright lights, lighting the walls behind the bridge. Lighting inside the barrel was a concern, so we got creative with where we placed people (they affectionately referred to themselves as ‘groundhogs’). The veteran light painters were all willing to do whatever it took to get the shot.

The final shot:
Jordan Pond Road Bridge Light Painting, Acadia National Park


Once again, I took some video of the process:

The group shot, under the barrel, with the date stone visible:
Jordan Pond Road Bridge Light Painters, Acadia National Park Pre-shot
I couldn’t help but run into this picture, just like at Bubble Pond :-)

Linda won the print of Waterfall Bridge. We all went back to our house for a final celebration. Wow – we finished the project. Thanks everyone – you all made it happen!

Look for updates on the event page for the exhibit in May and sales of prints.

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Waterfall Bridge Light Painting

We had a perfect evening to shoot Waterfall bridge: it was cool, but not too cold, there was no wind, there were only a few inches of snow on the carriage roads so the walk in was pleasant and it wasn’t snowing. Twenty three people made the mile-long hike to Waterfall bridge. There was still a large amount of ice in the falls, and the water was pouring down. Good thing we had the walkie talkies to communicate over the noise!

The preshot:
Waterfall Bridge Acadia National Park Pre-Shot
I went down by the stream to set up my camera, and then climbed back up to greet people. We split into three groups: behind the bridge lighting the falls, to the left of the bridge, and to the right. We safely got everyone in place and then took a few shots. We had to rearrange a few folks and lights, but overall, the shoot went smoothly.

Here’s the final shot:
Waterfall Bridge Acadia National Park Light Painting

I took another video after we captured the shot. Click on video to play:

We took the group shot on top of the bridge. It was too treacherous with ice, snow and rushing water to try and get everyone under the bridge. Four new light painters joined the project. John won the raffle, a print of Eagle Lake (which he ran out and framed)!

Brenda baked a new recipe, cheesecake brownies, which were a big hit.

On the walk out, some of us were looking towards our next shoot, the last in the series, and reminiscing about the project. It’s been quite a journey, this painting bridges project!

The light painters:
Waterfall Bridge Acadia National Park Light Painters

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Eagle Lake Bridge Light Painting

The blizzard caused some havoc with our latest bridge shoot. When we first heard the forecast for a big snowstorm, we decided to change from our scheduled shoot of Waterfall Bridge to Eagle Lake Bridge since Eagle Lake is right by the road and we wouldn’t have to trudge through feet of snow. Then, when the storm was upgraded to a blizzard, and it wasn’t supposed to end until 7 pm Saturday, we made the call to change the shoot to Sunday, still at Eagle Lake. We think we made the right call, because Sunday evening was clear, cool, and with no breeze. Thanks to the 26 folks who showed up, we had plenty of people to light the bridge.

When we arrived, we noted that the “peep holes” were filled with the plowed snow from the road. Thankfully we brought a shovel, and Tom brought one too. Here’s Brenda and Tom shoveling while I’m directing them from my spot below:

Eagle Lake Bridge Acadia National Park Shoveling

There were plenty of people skiing and snowshoeing by us as the light painters arrived. This was the busiest we’ve seen the carriage roads at any of our shoots. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the park with the fresh snowfall.

I set up my camera and computer, and Brenda got people in place. Some folks were on snowshoes so they climbed the hills to the sides of the bridge.
Here’s the preshot:

Eagle Lake Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park Pre-Shot

And the final picture, with the clear, blue sky and fresh snow:

Eagle Lake Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park

Click on the video to play:

We went back to the cars for the raffle and treats. Nancy won the shot of Brown Mountain Gatehouse (her fiancé Matt won the Jordan Pond Gatehouse last fall, so now they have a matched set!). Brenda baked Key Lime Bars, and I think people enjoyed them because I heard more than one person ask for her recipe.

Eagle Lake Bridge Acadia National Park Light Painters

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Brown Mountain Gatehouse Light Painting

Brenda and I arrived extra early on a frigid Saturday afternoon at the gatehouse. I had to get the camera angle just right, and Brenda was lining up where people would be standing. We were also meeting the chief ranger, Stuart West, and he was allowing us access to the gatehouse for lighting purposes. We had plenty of time to get everything in order outside, and then turn on all the lights inside the gatehouse to ensure the yellow glow in the windows. People started arriving, and we realized there was really not too much to do to get them in place other than having them stand behind the line we set up. Boy, was it cold!

The preshot:

Brown Mountain Gatehouse Light Painting Acadia National Park PreShot

After a few adjustments of lights (Mary’s bright light along with Carol’s were too much for the face of the house), here is the final shot:

Brown Mountain Gatehouse Light Painting Acadia National Park
We were all excited that Stuart allowed us to have our drawing and snacks inside the warm gatehouse. It was a perfect night to have a warm shelter right there!
Joel won the extra large print of Stanley Brook Bridge. Joel and Jen have been light painters since the very first bridge, and we were pleased that he won the print.
The thermoses of warm drinks that Brenda brought went fast, along with the raspberry bars she baked.

Brown Mountain Gatehouse Light Painting Acadia National Park Painters

The project continues to grow with 15 new folks.  Some of them being the oldest light painters (Julie and Pat Krevans). In all we had, 38 light painters for evening. Lili isn’t pictured because she helped light the gatehouse during the portrait.

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Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painting

Snowshoes helpful, not required. That’s what we told folks after we checked out the snow conditions a few days before the shoot (scouting link).

Plenty of folks came, and lots of them were wearing their snowshoes. We were pleased to see that the snowy “frosting” was still on the bridge. There were a few more tracks in the snow, but mostly the scene was undisturbed.

I set up my camera in the new location on the north side of the bridge, then actually used my second camera to snap a few shots of people as they arrived.

Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park


The preshot:

Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park

Word is still spreading, and we continue to have new folks at every shoot. 10 first time light painters tromped through the snow for this shoot. We hid people in and behind the barrels, then rearranged one or two people for the final shot. There were plenty of flashlights on the face of the bridge too, and Carol lit all the trees in the background with her very bright light.

Here’s the final shot. I must admit, this is my new favorite:

Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painting, Acadia National Park

After I saw that I had a great shot, I tried a new technique: a video clip from the same position. The light painters weren’t aware that a video was being shot, so this is an authentic “light painting”. Click on the window below to watch the video.


Thanks to all 38 light painters who helped create this fantastic image. I only counted 37 in the photo. I wonder if Charlie was hiding behind someone?

Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painters Acadia National Park

We drew three names of people who weren’t present, then Alice won the Duck Brook Bridge photo. Yeah Alice! Brenda baked a family recipe, Black and White Bars, which might have been a little frozen by the time we ate them, but were enjoyed by all. Once again, Sean had his stove to make hot chocolate.



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A Snowy Scouting Mission

On New Year’s Day, Brenda and I strapped on our snowshoes to assess the conditions for our next shoot at Stanley Brook Bridge, since there had been two significant snowfalls after our original scouting mission. The area was truly a winter wonderland, with snow clinging to all the trees. There was a single set of snowshoe tracks, so the area was relatively untouched. The bridge was beautiful! On the north side, the snow clung to every stone, and filled the vertical cutouts at the railing. During our original scouting mission, we picked a site from the south side of the bridge, down across the small stream. We couldn’t even find the site with all the snow. And some of the snow had melted from the south face of the bridge. So we scouted out a new vantage point from the north.

Here’s the shot:

Stanley Brook Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park

I was concerned the snow would melt before the scheduled bridge shoot, four days later. Brenda suggested that we try to light paint the bridge tomorrow evening. I started rabidly calling the light painters for an impromptu bridge shot on Jan 2nd, the day everyone returns to work and school. I could only find a couple of folks on such short notice. We would have to wait until Saturday and cross our fingers hoping for cold, clear days without any rain or melting.

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Duck Brook Bridge Light Painting

Fantastically Freezing Fun for Fifty Folks!  The temperature was a chilly 21 degrees with a stiff breeze. Brenda and I arrived an hour early to assess the ice conditions and determine how risky the placement of people would be. After surveying the entire area, we thought it would be safe for folks to venture around the bridge and avoid icy patches, so long as they were careful.

We asked folks to arrive at 3:30 allowing time for logistics and organization. At 3:40 only ten people had arrived and I started wondering if we were going to have enough light painters to illuminate the bridge – the estimate was at least 35 needed to bathe the bridge in light. My fears quickly waned as more and more folks showed up, by 4:00 we had critical mass – a rough count of 45 people.

Duck Brook Bridge is the largest bridge of the project to light paint. While on top of the bridge, I divided the group into 4 teams each armed with a walkie-talkie and a designated location. Brenda had the great idea of putting all the little kids in the far barrel – there was no ice and no way for the kids to fall off a cliff!  Each team assembled in their respective location and checked that they were out of view of the camera. The before shot.

Duck Brook Bridge Acadia National Park Pre Shot

There’s a lot of area to cover on this bridge, with a long expanse and three barrels. We have never shot three barrels before! After a few shots and lots of adjustments, the image was starting to take shape. There was one final adjustment, I asked Kevin and Amy if they could run across the bridge and light the far wall from the stairs above. They said, “No problem” and ran off in a dash. Here’s the final image.

Duck Brook Bridge Light Painting Acadia National Park


A huge heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated! We really needed all 50 light painters for this bridge. Even with that many people, we still had to shift folks around to cover the entire bridge. Brenda started baking Snicker-doodles cookies early that morning and everyone enjoyed them. Others brought holiday cookies and brownies to share even before the bridge shot.  Scarlett was trying to negotiate holding onto her cookie while having to perform the serious responsibility of picking the winning raffle ticket with Eric Taylor’s name. He won the Amphitheater Bridge print.

Duck Brook Bridge Light Painters Acadia National Park

Twenty new folks joined us for this bridge. Everyone had fun. Everyone was safe and there were no injuries. All in all a very successful bridge shot in every way possible, in spite of our wind blown rosy cheeks.


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The Gear List

Ever wondered what we actually bring to the bridge shoots?

Gear for Painting Bridges

Can you spot the items in the picture:

  • Camera with wide angle lens
  • Tripod and ball head
  • Laptop with tethering software
  • USB cable to tether camera to laptop
  • Remote shutter release cable
  • Laptop bag
  • Camelbak as camera bag
  • Eyeglasses
  • Headlamp (with red light option, for nighttime)
  • Pad of paper and pen for sign-in sheet / emails
  • Bag of raffle names (I see Mike and Dexter tickets)
  • Business cards for anyone who wants one
  • 4 – Walkie talkies for easier communication
  • A roll of gaffers tape
  • Flashlights:
    • HID Green Force dive light
    • 2 LED Halcyon scout dive lights
    • UK 1200 dive light
    • Nite Rider 10 watt bike helmet light
    • UK 4C LED dive light
    • UK pocket backup dive light
  • 2 bins filled with treats (currently, two cookies from the last shoot)
  • 10 Vivtar strobe flashes
  • Speedlight strobe flash
  • Spare AA batteries
  • Raffle print 12 x 18
  • 3 Glow sticks to help light the path
  • Coil of rope

Thinking back to a simpler time, the gear for our first shot at Bubble Pond Bridge:

  • Camera with wide angle lens
  • Tripod and ball head
  • Eyeglasses
  • Camelbak Backpack
  • Headlamp
  • One container of cookies
  • 3 Flashlights
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