Discover Katahdin Visitor’s Mobile App

Discover Katahdin Visitors App image

We just developed our first app – Discover Katahdin!

A firm believer that we need to do a better job of helping others discover all there is to see and do in the region, Anita spent the winter months developing the Discover Katahdin – Maine’s Four Season Playground visitor’s app.

Sponsored by the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce the app is now available as a free download in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Store. The app and Discover Katahdin website were developed in an effort to highlight this remarkable area of Maine. It is full of four season recreation possibilities and includes business listings for goods and services all to help visitor’s to the Katahdin Region discover some of the area’s best kept secrets.

Discover Katahdin App Features

• Information and maps for exploring the Katahdin Region’s major conservation, park and recreation lands including but not limited to Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic By-way, Maine North Woods

• Twenty plus fun things for children to do while visiting the Katahdin Region

• Over 30 suggested hikes both inside and outside of Baxter State Park with degree of difficulty, distance, estimated time to complete as well as directions and GPS coordinates

• Hunting and Fishing information including Guides, Outfitters and Sporting Camps throughout the area

• Area Museums, Golf Course, Photo Workshops and Yoga Retreats

• Lodging and camping facilities including B&B, Resorts, Hotels, Motels, Private Rentals, Sporting Camps, Cottages Cabins and Campgrounds

• Paddling and Rafting on flat water or quick water with guided and self guided options for both branches of the Penobscot River as well as area lakes and ponds

• Restaurants and Pubs throughout the Katahdin Region including a handy tip calculator

• Services including but not limited to ATM, Banking, Economic Development, Higher Education, Hair and Beauty, Hospital and Emergency, Human Services, Insurance, Manufacturing, Massage, Pet Services and Real Estate

• Shopping locations for Art, Antiques, Collectibles, Crafts, Camping Gear, Groceries, Hunting and Fishing Supplies and Maine Made products

• ATV Trails and maps for the Katahdin Multi Use Trail

• Snowmobile Clubs and snowmobile rental information

• Wildlife, Moose, Bird and Photography Tours by boat, plane and van

• X-Country Ski and Snowshoe Trails and Club information with maps for each

So, if you have not downloaded the app yet, go to the Discover Katahdin website and select the store you wish to download the app from.

 

Shopping in Millinocket: Part of the Maine North Woods Experience

Millinocket serves as a shopping and refueling hub for outdoor recreation enthusiast and adventure seekers shopping for supplies and last minute purchases before heading to the Maine north woods Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Appalachian Trail, BaxterState Park and Katahdin itself – Maine’s highest peak.

The old saying “You can’t get thay-ah from he-ah” (spoken in a Maine accent) just does not apply to Millinocket. Millinocket is located eleven miles west of I-95, just an hour from Bangor and two hours from the Maine coast. In fact, a relatively new branding slogan gaining traction for Millinocket, “All trails lead to Millinocket” is perfectly fitting. Once you arrive in Millinocket, you can hike, bike, ATV, cross country ski, and snowmobile on hundreds of miles of maintained trails right from your lodging accommodations and the downtown shopping district.

What few visitors realize is that Millinocket also boasts some of the finest art galleries and gift shops you will find anywhere in Maine. And that, shopping for art and gifts in Millinocket, can be an adventure onto itself. With two of Millinocket’s art galleries situated right on the main road leading into Maine’s expansive north woods, you can shop for stunning original art, crafts and collectables created by regional artisans in all mediums and price ranges without even making a detour off the beaten path.

Both art galleries are owner operated with the artists typically on site to share their knowledge and answer shopper’s questions about their work.  The galleries also serve as informal Visitor Information Centers. Travelers can pick up a trail map, get day hiking and paddling suggestions, make last minute lodging and dining reservations or reserve a space for an afternoon Moose tour or next day river rafting adventure.

Shopping in Millinocket at Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts

 

Shopping in Millinocket Maine

 

Shopping at Moose Prints Gallery in Millinocket Maine

Our gallery, is located along Maine Route 157/11 at 58 Central   Street in downtown Millinocket just before Bangor Savings. It serves as home base for our Maine Woods Photography Workshops and is “where we hang our hat”, so to speak, as our residence is on the second floor. The first floor gallery space is where we hang our art!

The gallery features fine art nature photographs and archival stretched canvas wraps of Maine’s largest mammal – the endearing moose, landscape images of iconic Katahdin and environs, as well as fine art images of just about every wildlife subject that is at home in Maine’s north woods. Interspersed amongst the images in our shop are handmade gifts created by a select group of talented Maine crafters. Located at 58 Central Street, parking is behind the gallery on Congress  Street. Shopping hours are 10am – 6pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, and Sat, as well as shopping by appointment or chance Sundays and Wednesdays. International shipping available and major credit cards accepted.

Shopping in Millinocket at North Light Gallery

Shopping in Millinocket Maine

 

Shopping in Millinocket Maine

You will discover a unique shopping experience of original artworks of Katahdin and the north woods of Maine during your visit to North Light Gallery in downtown Millinocket at the crossroads of Route 11 at 256 Penobscot Ave (just 2 blocks from Moose Prints Gallery).

With a commitment to artists who live in the interior or travel to study the interior of Maine, the gallery features one-of-a-kind oils, acrylics, watercolors, carvings, and ceramics, plus photography and jewelry.  North Light Gallery also does framing, which complements a large selection of prints. Owner and accomplished artist, Marsha Donahue also makes shopping for art supplies convenient as painting classes and workshops are offered in the off season.  For your shopping convenience, the gallery accepts most major credit cards, ships almost everywhere and often hand delivers within the state of Maine. Shopping hours are 10-6, Monday thru Saturday, and 11-4 Sundays in August and September.

So, if you thought the old adage about traveling in rural Maine was true we are here to prove you wrong. You not only can get there from here but you are going right by!  So stop and shop in Millinocket, a lovely old mill town with several inspiring art galleries and gifts shops for your shopping pleasure.

Moose Prints Gallery Northern Maine Success Story

 

Millinocket, Maine (April, 2014)  Mark Picard knew he was on to something ten years ago when a calendar featuring the pictures of moose he had photographed in Maine sold 10,000 copies — in Japan. And then Abercrombie and Fitch called, asking to use Picard’s iconic wildlife images in its clothing line.

Picard and his partner, Anita Mueller, were soon convinced they could turn an avocation into a career and have the best of both worlds – a niche business of their own and a chance to photograph full time in what Mueller calls “a really big back yard” – Maine’s North Woods.

Five years ago the couple left their comfortable jobs and moved from Massachusetts to northern Maine. They renovated a turn of the century tenement in the old mill town of Millinocket, creating a stunning gallery space on the first floor to showcase their spectacular photographs. They have grown the business’s footprint by offering their photographs to the wholesale trade for resale. Their work is now sold at more than twenty locations throughout Maine.

Today, Mark Picard is an internationally published wildlife photographer. He was named the 2012 Maine Sportsman Artist of the year. The U.S. Postal Service uses one of his images on a Maine postal stamp. His work is treasured by collectors all over the world.

Anita Mueller manages the gallery and helps organize and run the couple’s popular North Maine Woods Photography Workshop series, which includes a workshop exclusively for women.

The workshops, which capitalize on the growing number of amateur photographers worldwide, are a four-day craft intensive experience photographing in some of the Katahdin Region’s most picturesque and productive wildlife habitats. Anita Mueller says it’s an opportunity for guests to combine a relaxing Maine vacation with a creative learning experience.

Mark Picard and Anita Mueller took a big risk in setting out to create a new life in the woods of northern Maine.  With hard work, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an intense love of the outdoors and Maine’s abundant wildlife, they have found a way to successfully make their passion their business.  But for this couple the bottom line is—and always will be–their craft.

“I don’t take a picture with my career in mind.” Mark Picard said. “I take a picture trying to show that moose or bear or butterfly in the best possible situation. So that the viewer is seeing that image and not thinking about the guy behind the camera.”

Moose Prints Gallery is located at 58 Central Street in Millinocket, Maine. For more information go to www.markpicard.com

When Photography Gets Wild

Yes, we are wild about wildlife photography and every once in a while someone asks for an interview:

Reprint from The Maine Edge: When Photography Gets Wild February 11, 2014

Anita Mueller was an interior designer. Mark Picard earned a living custom painting motorcycles. The couple lived comfortable lives in working in Massachusetts. That was, until five years ago. Mueller and Picard both became so convinced that they could turn their hobbies into careers that they left their jobs in Massachusetts and moved to Millinocket, Maine.

They decided to become wildlife photographers.

“It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it,” Picard says. Of course, the photographers were going on more than a hunch when they made the move. A calendar featuring pictures of a moose that Picard had photographed had sold ten thousand copies in Japan. Abercrombie and Fitch also bought a few of his images – 60, to be exact – to use in their clothing line.

“It was sort of a natural progression,” Picard says. He cited that he had a background in art, and already knew about composition from painting murals and scenes on motorcycles.

Today, their work is sold at more than 20 locations throughout Maine. Picard has become internationally published, and was named the 2012 Maine Sportsman Artist of the Year. The United States Postal Service has used one of his images on a Maine stamp. His images range from landscapes to Maine’s wildlife, including moose and bears. You can view them by visiting markpicard.com.

Anita Mueller manages the gallery. She also helps coordinate and run the North Maine Woods Photography Workshop series, including a workshop exclusively for women.

According to Picard, they have workshops coming up in June, as well as September and October. He says that the workshops have been popular, drawing people from as far away as New Zealand. He stated that people have even come back to attend the workshop a second time.

Of course the job isn’t always a walk in the park. Picard says that he uses all natural lighting, relying on the sun to give him the best possible exposures.

“It takes patience and time,” says Picard.

“I can’t even begin to remotely light Mt. Katahdin,” Picard says. He says that animals like moose are also challenging, because he is so far away from them when he shoots them.

“Anything is hard. I could go out and shoot something ten times and not even get something that I remotely like,” says Picard.

So what is a typical day like for a wildlife photographer? Picard says that it varies. Some days, he heads out to shoot early in the morning, only to come back with nothing of value at the end of the day. On other days, he prints dozens of his own images to keep up with inventory. He says like most business owners, he works beyond what is considered full time.

“I don’t want people to think about the guy behind the camera,” Picard says. “I want them to say, ‘Isn’t that moose or particular wild subject beautiful?’”

It’s safe to say that people are doing just that.

Mark and Anita’s Ten Favorite Photography Websites

Mt Katahdin from the Cribworks with Full Moon in Winter

Katahdin from the Cribworks with Full Moon in Winter

 

In case you have not heard – it is really cold outside.  And, if you are like us, you are spending more time inside – maybe at your computer. Surfing the web we see lists of all sorts. Top 10, Top 20, Must have, Must do, Best this, Best that – the list goes on. So, not to be “listless” in this frigid weather Mark and I offer a list of our Ten Favorite Photography Websites.  Some of the photography websites will inspire and others will help you keep up with the latest photography trends. All are offered to help you focus on enjoying photography more in the coming year. We hope you will sit down with a hot cup of your favorite winter beverage, visit our list of favorite photography websites, and enjoy the New Year!

10 Favorite Photography Websites

  1. Naturescapes.net is a high quality nature photography forum which Mark reads daily with his morning coffee. Thousands of talented nature photographers post to this site and much can be learned from their inspiring images and feedback. It is free to join unless you want to post and then there is a small  annual fee which is well worth the investment for the feedback you receive and the camaraderie that develops as photographers share their passion for nature photography. The site also provides information on upcoming photography workshops and has an online store. Photography friend Jim Borden markets his Borden Steady Foot Extreme thru this site.
  2. Tim Grey is the “go to guy” for post processing digital image tips. We subscribe to his “Ask Tim Grey” daily emails and always learn something. What is great about Tim’s information is that it is concise and comes in small snippets. It is free to register for daily emails – to ask your own questions the subscription price is $35 a year. Tim puts a great amount of time and effort into providing quality technical information. If you find the information useful we hope you will support his site.
  3. In our case the Maine Bird Google Group list serve is invaluable.  However, each state has its own bird list serve to join free where birders will post their recent sightings – often times of rare species. If you don’t want all the emails delivered to your inbox throughout the day (in real-time) you can opt for an archived version and receive just one email per day that includes all of the day’s posts. Archived is the way to go in the spring when bird migration is at its height and the list serves are the most active. As a side Note: Many of you know the United States is experiencing a major eruption of Snowy Owls this winter – one even showed up here near Painted Rock on the Park Road outside of Millinocket a few weeks ago!  Remember many of the birds listed on these sites have traveled great distances in search of adequate food and it is unethical to stress wildlife by altering their behavior.
  4. Now our file sharing site of choice Dropbox is not just for photographers. Good friend, internet wiz, and talented photographer and videographer Jim Boutin put us on to this. We have tried others but found that once downloaded to your desktop sharing files via Dropbox is seamless. A Dropbox folder becomes active whenever something is added to it. Behind the scenes large files are loaded to the site while you work on other tasks. When the file is fully loaded the intended recipient receives an email asking them to join the share folder. Free space is available at no charge and most users will find that they don’t need the larger paid subscriptions.
  5. A global community of nature photographers Whytake.net is much like Facebook.  You can register and upload images for free, commenting is encouraged. Stephen Gingold whose landscape and macro images we admire posts on this site. His images are in good company as there are thousands of quality nature images to be admired on this photography website.
  6. A good source for photographers Lisa’s Photography INFO Blog is always informative. Lisa and husband Tom Cuchara are well known for their camera club presentations and Lisa’s blog provides a wealth of up to date information. Lisa sends one email a day. Subscribing is free – donations are appreciated.
  7. Two sites we frequent when planning new equipment purchases are DPreview and Fred Miranda. They serve as the Consumer Reports for photography equipment and offer unbiased reviews. These sites will save you time and costly mistakes – nothing is worse than purchasing an expensive piece of equipment only to find it does not do what you had hoped.
  8. Downloaded to your desktop for free or uploaded to your phone as an app (for a small fee) Photographer’s Ephemeris is comes in handy. It allows you to check the exact location and time of the rising and setting Sun and Moon on the horizon. As photographers who always ‘want more’ when it comes to interesting elements in their landscape images we find this app really helpful. The location for “Full Moon Rising Over Katahdin” was chosen after consulting this app.
  9. The photography website that keeps night sky watchers abreast of the latest celestial happenings is SpaceWeather.Com . The images are fascinating however their Aurora Alert in particular is invaluable for anyone who would like to catch the phenomenon of Northern Lights on memory card. While you can sign up for their email distribution list for free it is not a daily event. They support their site by charging a small monthly fee to receive Aurora Alerts by text or phone which is well worth the money if you do not want to stand out in the cold or be eaten alive by mosquitoes waiting for a something truly remarkable to happen in the night sky.
  10. Facebook has taken on a life of its own with 350 Million pictures posted per day. Trying to keep up with friend activity let alone which pages post the most compelling images is difficult at best. We suggest Mark Picard Wildlife Photography our official business page. We post at least once a day. LIKE our page, join the conversation, and post frequently. We are happy to answer your photography questions if we can or we will direct you to someone who might be able to better help.

Moose Photography Workshops and Moose Tours – What’s the difference?

Moose Photography Workshop Moose Tour picture

“participate in a guided Moose Photography Workshop that focuses not only on Moose but also the landscapes and other wildlife”

Guided Moose photography workshops as well as guided moose tours are becoming more popular each year. This post attempts to help potential guided moose photography workshop and guided moose tour participants determine the type of experience that best meets their needs and individual goals.

First, it is important to differentiate between the two. A guided Moose Tour can be a three hour tour by van or an all day adventure that focuses on as many Moose sightings as possible and does not include any photography instruction. A guided Moose Photography Workshop on the other hand, generally lasts several days, focuses on photographing Moose and other wildlife at close distances, includes instruction, and may, or may not include local transportation, meals, and lodging in the package price. Some guided Moose Photography Workshops also take advantage of accessing Moose habitats via kayak or pontoon boat. Prices vary considerably between the two.

The time of year to participate in a guided Moose Photography Workshop or Moose Tour should be your first consideration. Moose are most visible in June and early July when they frequent ponds and waterways to feed heavily on aquatic vegetation. Bull Moose are in velvet with their antlers growing as much as an inch a day. Cow Moose give birth in May and June and there is nothing cuter than a cinnamon colored new-born calf.

Fall Moose Photography Workshops and Moose Tours coincide with the annual Moose Rut and while Moose are much more difficult to locate that time of year, it is the only time of the year to observe and photograph Moose displaying courtship behavior. Moose are often elusive in the fall and generally no guarantees are made about sightings for either guided Moose Photography Workshops or Moose Tours at this time of year. However, when you do observe Moose during the moose rut, the Moose interaction can be both fascinating and thrilling.

If you have a few days, we suggest that you participate in a guided Moose Photography Workshop that focuses not only on Moose but also the landscapes and other wildlife that are indigenous to the region. That way, given a few days, you will have a greater chance of success photographing Moose and also have time to photograph other subjects of interest in between Moose sightings.

A well conducted Moose Photography Workshop should offer plenty of instruction and focus on each participant’s individual skill level and their respective goals. A Moose Photography Workshop’s group size should be small to ensure individual instruction and a “front row seat” so to speak, when photographing. An experienced professional Moose Photography Workshop leader, who preferably lives in the area, should be your first choice when differentiating between offerings. They will help you save time and frustration by taking you to the most productive Moose habitats which can change from year to year depending on the availability and quality of the food Moose eat. A local Moose Photography Workshop leader and guide will also be aware of the rules associated with visiting a particular location, have the required permits to conduct business in a particular park, and have permission to access private lands that you may visit.

An experienced Moose Photography Workshop leader will also know their subjects well which will help immensely with the participants success rate. Moose sightings are often time-of-day and weather dependant. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to view Moose as well as most other wildlife. Moose, regardless of the time of year, heat stress at temperatures you and I typically might find a little chilly. If the region experiences a heat wave Moose sightings go way down. Prolonged rains can force Moose out of the ponds and streams due to high water levels. Windy conditions will also have an adverse effect on Moose sightings as high winds impair a Moose’s most important senses needed for survival – hearing and smelling approaching predators. In the fall, Moose are in the woods, generally not in the ponds, and coaxing them out (much like a hunter would do) requires skill.

With 40 plus years of combined experience photographing and observing Moose it has become abundantly clear that like people, Moose each have their own personalities. Some Moose have been habituated to people, are pretty laid-back, and happy to hang about allowing ample time for even the beginner photographer to capture amazing Moose images. Some Moose are even a little gregarious, coming closer to the photographer out of curiosity – almost appearing to pose for the photographer. Other Moose will have no part of a photographer’s presence, or anyone else’s for that matter, and quickly exits the scene.

For those less cooperative Moose, it is important for each Moose photography workshop participant to be able to quickly, confidently, and quietly adjust camera settings and composition. That’s where good instruction comes in. Spending adequate time with each Moose workshop participant ensures they get the most out of the workshop and are prepared to capture a fast moving wildlife subject with ease. For this reason workshop leaders who are not photographing for themselves during a workshop are better able to help participants take their current skills to the next level regardless of the participant’s current expertise.

Unlike a petting zoo, Wildlife Park or even a wildlife safari, a Moose Photography Workshop is different. The biggest difference is that some of the Moose you encounter during a Moose Photography Workshop may have never seen a human. Expect to travel to some remote wildlife habitats. A good tour leader will scout extensively for Moose and animal sign prior to the Moose Photography Workshop start date and will be happy to share the not so well known “secret spots” the area has to offer.

Finally, check out the testimonials associated with the Moose Photography Workshop or Moose Tour you are interested in. Often times they can be helpful in determining if past participants were happy with the experience. If the workshop includes meals or lodging in the pricing, dig a little deeper and read the respective establishments reviews on Trip Advisor. Often times it will quickly become evident that differences in quality exist.

We hope this information was helpful and that you consider joining one of our professionally guided Moose Photography Workshops, now in their 11th year!  Our 4-day, all-inclusive Moose Photography Workshops are like mini vacations and include expert photography instruction, transportation (once you arrive at our location), kayak rental, pontoon boat reservation, Registered Maine Guide, as well as upscale lodging and meals. Be prepared to be pampered! With spectacular views of Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain, our host resort boast luxury North Woods style shared cabins and wonderful food in quantities that mirror the appetites of log driver’s from a bye gone era.

We hope to see you in the woods, Mark and Anita

Photography Workshop for Women – 2013

A video commemorating the first Maine Woods Photography Workshop for Women held in the Katahdin Region of Maine. Eight women wildlife and nature photographers combined a relaxing Maine vacation with a creative learning experience photographing the amazing wildlife and spectacular landscapes the Katahdin Region is noted for including its majestic Moose.

Finally, and I do mean finally, as it is something that we have wanted to do for several years; we held our very first Mark Picard sponsored Wildlife Photography Workshop for Women this summer at the New England Outdoor Center’s Twin Pine Camps.

Five of the eight women participants traveled to the Katahdin Region from the western states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. One hailed from Connecticut and the other two traveled I-95 North from Southern Maine.

They photographed the region’s landscapes and wildlife on the water from kayaks and pontoon boat, as well as photographed and toured by van. It was a fun group to lead as they enthusiastically photographed all manner of wildlife including Maine’s majestic Moose, nesting snapping turtles, white-tailed deer, butterflies, dragon flies, Loons and diving ducks as well as a number of nesting birds and warblers.

The weather was near perfect and as usual for June, the Moose were plentiful. As for wildflowers and macro opportunities, Bunchberry, Twin Flower, and Hawk Weed were prevalent with a few Pink and also White (variant) Lady Slippers still hanging about.

Sunrises and sunsets were dramatic each day with a tribute on the Summer Solstice to one of the earliest artist’s to visit the Katahdin Region, Fredrick Church. A visit to his historic cabin “Rhodora” on Millinocket Lake to photograph the setting sun below the Katahdin Range was the cultural highlight of the workshop, if you don’t count the food! The region’s logging history was also woven into the weekend as the group photographed several of the rivers, gorges, and falls that once served as bi-ways for the river log-drives of a bygone era.

Did I say we had fun? We did, but I have to say, I think the funniest part of the weekend was when our New Mexico gal decided to climb a tree to get a better look at a Moose feeding in the stream below as Speckled Alder obscured the view! Only seconds after announcing she wanted to climb a very large pine tree she was 15 feet in the air. Apparently she does a lot of rock wall climbing as a hobbyist and the skill set is the same. And really, who does not want to both see a Moose and do some climbing when vacationing in the Katahdin Region of the Pine Tree State?

Photography Vacation with Mark Picard and Friends

One of this summer’s highlights was our much anticipated annual working photography vacation deep in Maine’s North Woods. Moose feed heavily in the ponds, rivers and streams in the early summer so a summer photography vacation and kayaking trip that focuses on capturing fresh new images and visiting with old friends is always a treat. As luck would have it, this year’s photography vacation also provided an opportunity for Mark to share his wildlife photography passion and philosophy with Portland Press Herald’s award winning journalist, Susan Kimball, for the Kimball and Keyser video segment INTO THE WOODS: WITH WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER MARK PICARD viewed above. We commend Susan for her journalism and interviewing skill. Her love of craft is evident in her work. Special thanks to Jim Boutin, videographer and friend for capturing the interview.

Wildlife photography is not only our passion, we love to share the Katahdin Region of Maine and all the things we have learned over the years during our North Maine Woods Photography Workshops. Now in their 10th year, our workshops are really photography vacations that mirror as close as possible, the experience we enjoy during our summer photography vacations. That is why, in addition to touring by van, we include opportunities to photograph from kayaks and pontoon boat in otherwise inaccessible remote wildlife habitats. Check out the fall 2013 all-inclusive Maine Woods Photography Workshop dates if you are so inclined, as we do have limited space available.

Prefer to venture out on your own? Visit Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts for information on the latest wildlife sightings and the largest display of Mark’s work. Although Mark (who is a wealth of information) spends as much time as possible in the woods photographing you can generally catch him in the gallery mid-day (when the light is too harsh to photograph) through-out the busy summer tourist season. The only caveat to this is when the Katahdin Region experiences bright overcast skies at which time, all bets are off. Either way, both of us enjoy meeting vacationers and visitors that travel to the Katahdin Region of Maine from near and far, registering their origin in the gallery guest book. So far, 2013 has brought us many Maine summer vacationers, New England tourist, and shoppers from just about every state as well as several countries including, Canada, China, Botswana, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts is open 7 days a week during Maine’s busy vacation season which is the 4th of July through Columbus Day Weekend.

With just a couple of weeks left, you can also view a large selection of Mark’s images this summer by visiting Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Peninsula Visitor’s Center. MAINE: WOODS, WATER, AND WILDLIFE II is a show of fine art photography depicting Maine landscapes and creatures both great and small on display at the visitor’s center in Winter Harbor through Labor Day. From Maine’s North Woods to its Rocky Coast, thirty-five images provide just a sampling of the spectacular vistas and amazing wildlife that have attracted artist, vacationers and visitors to Maine for more than a century. Speaking of spectacular vistas, there is no better place in Winter Harbor than the Visitor’s Center to relax and enjoy the changing landscape as the tide comes and goes – which makes the Schoodic Peninsula Visitor’s Center a great place to stop for a morning coffee and fresh baked scone, blueberry muffin, or breakfast sandwich. At lunch time, choose from a nice selection of hearty gourmet sandwiches and coastal soup of the day, or enjoy a sizzling fresh wood-fired artisan pizza Friday or Saturday night.

Another of this summer’s highlights was when Moose Prints Gallery had the pleasure of co-hosted the opening night reception for the 27th Annual Highpointers Convention with our friends at North Light Gallery. Conventioneer’s strolled between the two galleries before heading to the Blue Ox for a dinner barbecue, Millinocket style. The Highpointer’s actually spell convention with a “k” though. Apparently, their founding-father’s typewriter had no “c” key and the “k” became sticky in that, the “k” is still used 27 years later. They were a wonderful group of passionate hikers who annually plan their conventions around visiting and climbing each state’s highest peak. In Maine’s case that would be Katahdin. Mark also had the honor of presenting his Giant’s of the North Woods digital slide presentation at the convention banquet two nights later. It was interesting to learn that many of the 225 convention attendees had previously visited Maine and had already climbed Katahdin multiples times. Many in fact, have visited and climbed (which they also spell with a “k”) the highpoints of all 50 states! And, several highpointers have hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail which many of you know Katahdin to be, either the start or terminus of their 2,200 mile trek. There are local Highpointer’s activities throughout the country which may be of interest. Their motto is “Keep Klimbin”, they clearly know how to have fun, and their foundation does good work promoting access and maintenance projects at highpoints in many states.

Continued in next post…

Celebrating All Things Moose from North Country Magazine

North Country Article Tear sheet

Celebrating All Things Moose from North Country Magazine – A reprint from the Spring 2013 Issue of North Country: The Journal of Maine. Shelia Talbot is a talented freelance writer and regularly contributes to North Country Magazine. She resides in the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine. North Country: The Journal of Maine is published bi-monthly and features all that is Maine.

Many people come to Maine with the hope of seeing one of the most amazing creatures, the mighty moose, or as it is technically known Alces alces, the largest member of the deer family. This amazing creature, which can seem as large as a house when encountered on foot, saunters gracefully through the woods in spite of its size, and in the case of the male, its ungainly rack of antlers. They are like no other animal; to some they look like they’ve been constructed out of spare parts by Mother Nature – an almost droopy cow-like nose, narrow hips, long, long legs and a tiny snip of tail. In spring they move out of the deep woods and into boggy places on lakes and ponds to enjoy the fresh plant life growing nearby or underwater. That’s the best place to catch sight of them. And, if you’re very fortunate, you might be treated to a Mama moose with one or two fuzzy little ones. It’s a lifetime experience for sure – one you’ll never forget. Hopefully you have your camera ready!

If not, you still can find your moose, magnificently photographed by the folks at MOOSE PRINTS GALLERY AND GIFTS in Millinocket. This July, owners Mark Picard and Anita Mueller will celebrate the third anniversary of their business. They are both talented photographers and, as our good fortune would have it, also have a passion for the North Woods of Maine and the creatures that live there. Mark’s work has graced the cover of North Country Magazine many times. His photographs are like paintings, the brilliant shot of a fox on the last edition of North Country and the antlered moose in snowfall published prior to that, are two examples.

It takes infinite patience and time, not to mention a deep understanding of the animal’s behavior to capture images like these. Mark’s quiet way has been such an asset and he is now known worldwide for his extraordinary digital presentation of moose. His portfolio of more than 150,000 quality nature images has been featured in numerous national and international publications, books, and calendars including Audubon, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Vermont Magazine, Yankee, Defenders of Wildlife and Birder’s World, and Ranger Rick, (just to name a few) as well as North Country.

While photographing at a wildlife sanctuary he met Anita, a talented free lance interior designer, who as a hobbyist, photographed birds. She shares Mark’s passion for the natural world and, with her eye for design as well as photography, designed Moose Prints Gallery as a perfect foil for their work.

“This space reflects my long-time love affair with the Katahdin region and its wildlife,” Mark observed. “Much like a walk in nature, you need to expect the unexpected. Anita has created this gallery in such a way that the walls are filled with creatures, landscapes and gift items both great and small.”

Anita smiled. “Mark has been photographing in Maine for over 30 years now,” she said. “Then, a little over 10 years ago, LL Bean hired him to lead one of their Photography Outdoor Discovery Schools. It seemed like such a good idea we continued to promote the workshops in the Katahdin Region, which have attracted visitors from around the world. However, the few short months we spent in Maine for the workshops was never enough so we re-located permanently to Millinocket three years ago and opened MOOSEPRINTS GALLERY & GIFTS.”

Not long ago Mark was honored to have his Moose images used in rendering the Maine State Postal Stamp and last year he was selected as the Maine Sportsman Artist of the Year. “Most recently, the Turnpike Authority has used his images on one of the large-scale banners that hang in the visitor centers,” Anita said. “We have several large canvases on loan to the Maine Tourism Association to greet visitors at the Kittery Visitors Center. The center attracts thousands of visitors each year. And, who does not want to see a Moose when they visit Maine?” For most, it’s at the top of their list and the banner and canvases are dramatic invitations to spot your own.

Picard’s canvases, with the photograph stretched around the frame are impressive, especially the ones featuring the adult bull moose, a creature who can weigh in at around 1200 pounds and stand over seven feet tall! No less spectacular are the panoramic landscape images of Mt Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain which are photographed in such a way as to make the viewer feel as though they are standing right there. The image transferred to canvas gives it a more “painterly” look and can be a centerpiece that commands a whole wall.

“We have enjoyed living and doing business in Maine” Anita said. “We have accomplished a great deal in a few short years.” Looking forward and new for 2013, in addition to Mark’s group photography workshops they have added Maine Woods Photography Workshops for Women led by Anita which are scheduled during prime viewing times of June and September. It is quite a trick to photograph a sometimes fast-moving subject, and with her special eye for birds, Anita has the knowledge and technique to assist photographers of all levels of experience. She knows her subjects well, and can anticipate movement and patterns of animal behavior. As is true for all their workshops a heavy emphasis is placed on learning how to operate a digital camera for consistent results.

On your way to Katahdin or Baxter State Park, be sure to include enough time for a stop in Millinocket and a leisurely visit to MOOSEPRINTS GALLERY & GIFTS where you can bag your own moose souvenir. You will find a rich assortment of Mark and Anita’s work, including Mark’s popular moose wall calendar, greeting cards and photographs of all sizes. You can also find works by other gifted artisans, including nature-themed jewelry, candles, cd sound tracks, moose antler sheds, and locally authored books.

MOOSEPRINTS GALLERY & GIFTS is located on 58 Central Street (Routes 11 and 157) at the intersection of Congress Street and just down the road from a picturesque stretch of Millinocket Stream, adjacent to Key Bank. Call Mark or Anita for information regarding workshops and presentations at 207/447-6906 or visit their excellent website at www.markpicard.com or e-mail them at mark@markpicard.com

Reprinted by permission North Country Magazine

Spring in Maine’s North Woods

Katahdin from the ATIt has been an unusually long Winter in Maine’s North Woods (compared to recent years) with another three inches of snow falling just last week. Making the most of the extended Winter, Mark has been photographing the ever changing Katahdin landscape. His newest image provides a view of Katahdin from the Appalachian Trail with its snow capped peak. The locals will tell you, as long as there is snow on the mountain it will remain chilly in town – and it has been chilly.

Cow Moose Licking SaltA sign that Spring has technically arrived though are the numerous sightings of Moose licking salt along the roadsides, a behavior that not only tells us we need to take extra care when traveling but that the Moose are starting to move around in search for depleted nutrients after a long Winter.

Here in the gallery we have also been making the most of the extended Winter. For starters, we tackled creating a new website. The old website needed to be more user friendly, which also meant creating a mobile friendly version. Visit www.markpicard.com on your mobile device and find icons that link to basic web functions, a full site option, or choose to browse the mobile friendly version – either way, we have an all new look.

Once the new website went live, preparations began for our premier at the New England Products Wholesale Trade Show which took place in late March. The show was a success as we visited with existing re-sellers and added several new locations that will carry Mark’s photographs in the coming year. Look for a list (with links) to resellers on the new site and when visiting their respective shops, be sure to check out Mark’s latest images.

Over the next several weeks we will be getting Moose Prints Gallery ready for the upcoming season and on nicer days we will be out photographing and scouting for Moose and other wildlife. It is always exciting to find which ponds are attracting Moose in a particular year, which fox dens are active and where nesting birds begin to construct their seasonal homes.

We hope this newsletter finds you all well and that we see you in the woods, Mark and Anita

Maine Photography Workshop News – Registration open!

Carefree Cow MooseOur biggest news are some changes (and additions) to our Maine Photography Workshop offerings. In addition to Mark’s group workshops, now in their 11th year, Anita will guide two workshops exclusively for women.  As many of you know, Anita has been co-leading workshops for the past 6 years. What you may not know is that many of the female participants have asked if she would consider offering something for women as well as more time devoted to Bird photography. These two new Maine Photography Workshops will address both requests.

Also new for 2013 is the ability for participants to photograph in remote wildlife habitats via kayak and pontoon boat. Personally we have enjoyed some of our most memorable and productive wildlife photography while on the water and want to share this experience with photography workshop participants. As a result, we have made arrangements for several excursions during our workshops – which have been expanded to four full days! Check out this year’s schedule and all the details related to our all-inclusive Maine Photography Workshop.

Alces alces Latin for Moose

Watch Alces, alces a You tube video featuring Maine Wildlife Photographer Mark Picard who specializes in Alces, alces which is Latin for Moose, other wildlife and landscape photography workshops and instruction in the Katahdin Region of Maine. This video was sponsored by New England Outdoor Center, the Maine outdoor adventure company that host’s our Maine photography workshops. They had a summer intern who was a photographer and videographer who produced a number of “shorts” about businesses in the Katahdin Region of Maine who specialize in providing outdoor recreation opportunities. Watch the short video to learn what Mark Picard did before he became a professional photographer, what got him hooked on photography, and what he has learned about wildlife photography and Moose over the years. Take a guided tour through Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts and learn about Moose and wildlife photography as Mark discusses images that tell a story about Moose behavior and their natural history.