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.

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.

A Few Wildlife Photography Tips

Twin Moose CalvesA few wildlife photography tips or “pointers” you might consider when photographing Moose and other wildlife.

The most important wildlife photography tip I can suggest is to always focus the camera on the eye (or the head) of any wildlife photography subject. If the eye area is not in sharp focus, the general impact of the photograph will be lost.

The second most important wildlife photography tip (unless you want extra work in Photoshop), is try to maintain a level horizon line in the background of your photographs. Refer to actual horizon lines such as a shoreline, a tree line, or another point of reference to help you achieve this.

Third wildlife photography tip –  don’t be afraid to rotate your camera and shoot photographs vertically! In many instances the photo’s composition would benefit greatly from shooting it vertical, especially when photographing wildlife such as a moose from head on.

Fourth important wildlife photography tip –  try to avoid cropping out or “cutting” off the Moose’s limbs when possible. If you must crop, try to crop above the joints (such as the ankle and knee joints). Sometimes, as in photographing close-up portraits, some cropping will be necessary. If you are including all of the Moose’s body and legs, always include the “virtual” area hidden below (as in grasses or water, for instance) where the feet would normally show as well.

Fifth wildlife photography tip –  leave room in the photo on the sides and try to lead the moose or any wildlife subject into the space around it in the direction it’s headed, while leaving some “space” for the Moose or subject to go. This tip usually lends itself to a more pleasing composition in general.

A final wildlife photography tip –  don’t be afraid to take several images at different focal lengths (such as with a zoom lens). Include images that show the Moose or subject’s environment as well. Some of the best photographs that have the most impact are taken with the Moose or main subject occupying only a small portion of the overall photo. This method supplies the viewer with a ton of information! Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t get that frame-filling portrait of a massive bull moose adorned with a huge rack! Try to be diverse and capture both images when time and conditions makes it possible!

We hope you found these wildlife photography tips helpful. Good luck, and we hope to see you at an upcoming Maine wildlife photography workshop!

A Few Basic Digital Camera Tips

Get to know the innermost workings of your camera so it’s like second nature. Learn all the dials and switches on your camera so well that you can work them without looking at them. Don’t get stuck fumbling around trying to locate and change the settings while something great is happening right in front of you and you can’t pull off the shot! I just had to say that……. There, now that I feel better, let’s move on!

Camera Set-up – Initially, let’s start by discussing how to properly set up your DSLR camera internally. Shoot in RAW whenever possible – RAW contains the most file information and range of colors available, with no compression as is the case when you choose JPEG. JPEGs are “compressed” in the camera, which means that many of the similarly colored pixels are discarded in favor of a smaller file size, reducing overall image quality, somewhat. If you need to have JPEGs, select both RAW and JPEG in your camera settings and it will record both for you. Simply store away your RAW files to use later if you intend to print. Set your color space to Adobe RGB, (not sRGB) which will match the Adobe PhotoShop 1998 setting. Adobe RGB contains millions more color variations than sRGB, and you can convert the image to sRGB later if needed.

White Balance – When shooting in raw, I personally set my white balance (the color temperature of the light in the image) to 5560 Kelvin in the camera, which simulates the old film days where the true color of the light in the early or late light turns warm. This setting does not affect the actual raw file, only the view colors on your camera’s rear monitor. If you cannot set your camera’s white balance to 5560, set it to the “Flash” setting (5500) which is only a little off from the 5560 Kelvin setting. Automatic white balance (where the camera determines the correct white balance) also works quite well in most situations. All these white balance settings can be corrected later on in an editing software such as PhotoShop CS, Elements, Lightroom, etc. in raw format, but not so easily in  the jpeg setting. It is more important to get your jpeg white balance settings more accurate than in the raw format.

Histogram – Use your Histogram! This tool is invaluable and is your exposure’s best friend! Keep the histogram graph favoring the right side but  don’t let it “hit” (this is called “clipping”) either left or the right side of the graph on the screen. This will result in a good exposure with nothing blown out in the highlights, while keeping as much detail as possible in the shadows or dark areas (left side of the histogram) of the image. I also use my “blinky” which is a highlight overexposure setting on the camera that blinks black and white on the monitor if an area in the photo is over-exposed (in conjunction with the histogram).

In Camera Sharpening – I don’t do any sharpening in the camera. PhotoShop and other editing programs (Lightroom, Elements, Aperture, etc.) do a much better job of this after the fact. Besides, this is the last thing you do to your image based on size output and resolution before you save and actually use the image.

Moose Prints Gallery Grand Opening

Moose Prints Gallery ExteriorReprint: Bangor Daily News

Internationally published wildlife photographer Mark Picard and his partner Anita Mueller have opened a new business Moose Prints Gallery and Gifts at 58 Central Street, Millinocket, Maine. The gallery features Mark’s extraordinary Moose prints, wildlife and landscape images along with other wildlife themed gifts.

Much like a walk in nature visitors to the gallery can expect the unexpected from the time they enter “MOOSE PRINTS” front door.  Imagine being greeted by a life size image of a pair of twin Moose calves!  Actually the gallery walls are filled with stunning wildlife images, both large and small that depict the regions indigenous wildlife through the lens of a very talented wildlife photographer’s camera. Black Bears in Autumn, Bull and Breakfast, Whitetail Buck in Red, Three Moose in the Fog, Mt Katahdin from Secret Pond, Great Grey Owl in Cedar, and Kissing Moose are just a few of the titled images. There is even an image entitled “The Hitch Hiker” that captures a Moose calve hitching a ride on its mother back.  And then Mark offers the following explanation: “It only looks that way. The calve was tiring from swimming around its mother who was busy feeding. The calve finally found a rock just below the surface of the water and just exhausted, stood there waiting patiently for mom to finish. With a little anticipation I was able to position myself at the right angle to take what I consider one of those “once in a lifetime” images. Like many of my images it is all about anticipation and timing.

Although Mark will aim his camera on any wildlife species his specialty is Moose and he has been studying and photographing them in the region for the past thirty years. For the past eight he has offered both group and one-on-one photography workshops in partnership with local businesses which have attracted participants from around the globe.

He is noted for his creativity in the field; not only in composition and lighting, but also in his use of equipment, blinds, and knowledge of animal behavior. His images have appeared in numerous national and international publications, books, and calendars, including AUDUBON, SIERRA CLUB, ANIMALS, CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION, MAINE SCENE, NATURE CONSERVANCY, BIRDER ‘S WORLD , DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE, WILD BIRD , BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST, SCHOLASTIC, NORTHERN WOODLANDS, NORTHEAST KINGDOM, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, ONTARIO OUT OF DOORS, CHASE AND PECHE, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION, TIDE- MARK PRESS, RANGER RICK, VERMONT MAGAZINE, YANKEE and others.

Mark also has an impressive list of commercial clients including Abercrombie and Fitch, Somerset Entertainment, Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism and has recently provided images for the renderings on the new Maine Stamp.

Anita’s passion is Bird photography and co-leading photography workshops with Mark. She is a freelance interior designer with a retail background. She will manage MOOSE PRINTS day to day activities and plan special events.

The couple is excited about providing local residents and tourists alike an opportunity to view and purchase unique wildlife themed photography, art, and gifts. In addition to Mark’s work the gallery offers fascinating oil paintings on petrified wood, moose sheds, and nature themed jewelry, calendars, puzzles and cd’s.

They are celebrating MOOSE PRINTS Grand Opening throughout the month of July with a series of Saturday Open Houses beginning this weekend where they will serve light refreshments and visitors to the gallery can register for a chance to win a framed and matted print of Mark’s signature image “Eye on You”.  The public is encouraged stop in, shop the gallery, share their own wildlife stories or just take a break from the heat with a cold glass of lemonade. The Gallery hours are 10 am to 6pm daily except for Wednesdays when the gallery is closed. The gallery phone number is 207-447-6906.

Photographing Wildlife in the Spring

Yawning Owl Redphase Eastern Screech Owl in Sycamore February 2010We are beginning to see signs of Spring in the hill towns of Western MA but Winter is holding on in Northern Maine where we will be moving to in a few short weeks. Certainly the recent high temperatures are keeping us from photographing the usual snowy landscapes and suspended icicles. In the valleys and lower elevations it is a good time to photograph wildlife. Keep an eye out for Screech Owls sunning themselves at the entrances to tree cavities facing southwest. Finding them is a challenge. This is where your state bird listserv comes in handy. Often times local birders will post locations or word gets out that one of these fascinating creatures has become fond of a particular daytime roost.
If you are lucky enough to find such a spot, patience is the name of the game. What you are waiting for is an opportunity to capture the behavior of anything but a sleeping owl! It can take hours if not days to get an image that I am happy with while waiting for a wing stretch, eyes opened, or a yawn, in just a momentary blink of the eye. If you are really lucky a Blue Jay or an ornery Chickadee, not appreciating the Owls presence, will display its feelings by “mobbing” (as it is called) the Owl. If the Owl sticks around long enough to hold its ground you may get an interesting image. Most times they just drop down into the cavity until the offensive bird gets bored and flies off to its next unsuspecting victim.

Moose Prints Gallery RenovationsAbout now Anita and I are feeling a bit like this “Yawning Owl” – tired! We just returned from Millinocket where we started the first round of renovations on our new home and Gallery space. With the help of trusted friends and talented contractors we raised ceilings, removed plaster and lathe, widened doorways, replaced plumbing, modified wiring and hung sheetrock. As you can see from this image it got pretty messy. Actually we are further along with renovations than expected and plan to have the gallery open for the June Workshops which brings me to the next subject.
It is not too early to register for my Maine Photography Workshops as spaces seem to be filling faster than in previous years. Our workshops offer an unparalleled opportunity to photograph the Katahdin Region of Maine including its spectacular landscapes and magnificent Moose. These all inclusive workshops (lodging, meals, and transportation to and from shooting locations during the workshop) make the most of our time together. There is no formal classroom instruction. Other than an afternoon break, we are in the field from sunrise to sunset. The most difficult decision you will have is whether you should attend in the Spring or Fall.
June (Spring in the North Woods of Maine) and now July provide opportunities to photograph a world coming to life after a long Winter. Moose feed heavily in the ponds this time of year, often times along side their cinnamon colored calves. Bull Moose antlers are covered in velvet and can grow as much as an inch a day. Picturesque indigenous wildflowers, rushing waterways, boreal birds and other fauna also provide inspiration and opportunities to learn new skills.
September and October workshops coincide with the Moose Rut and spectacular Fall color that the region is noted for. Now those 35 pound calves from Spring have grown a bit weighing about 400 pounds. The massive Bull’s antlers are finished growing, the velvet having been shed for the mating season. This is the time to capture these magnificent creatures in courtship and mating behavior with a backdrop of Fall color.
Several hundred participants of all skill levels have already taken my workshops. Whether it is a well planned all-inclusive Getaway Weekend or customized private one on one instruction you are guaranteed to learn new skills while exploring all that is unique to the region. Plan to attend one of my workshops in the North Woods of Maine this year and who knows, you may decide you like the area as much as we do.