Blog: Hermit Island

Blog: Hermit Island

Every summer, usually in August, my wife, Jill, and I join my in-law family on a trip north to a wonderful, almost magical, ocean side campground. Located on Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine, roughly 2 hours from my home in Rochester, NH, Hermit Island Campground has been bringing generations of families together for decades with days spent on pristine beaches and evenings roasting marshmallows around the campfire. My wife’s family is one of those generational families. Her grandfather started the tradition more than 50 years ago and her parents kept it going through the years. Now, their children (my wife’s generation) keep paying it forward with the next generation, our nieces and nephew. The older of the three of them at 5 and 7 years old (the youngest is less than a year old, but I think she had a good time), have already fallen in love with this wooded corner of heaven.

As for myself, I have developed a fierce love affair with Hermit Island. My first trip there with Jill’s family was in 2008 and it has become one of my life’s great joys. Creating beautiful photos that capture at least some of the magic of Hermit Island and a little of the feeling I have while I’m there has become one of my favorite things to do with a camera.

The 2-hour route from Rochester, NH to Hermit Island.


This is the map they give you when you arrive. It’s hard to see, but the site we had this year is marked red.


Day One: We arrived to, and had to set up in, fog, mist and drizzle. This is the view from our site on The Circle. It got so much better once the weather cleared. *cell phone photo*


Day Two: We met the rest of Jill’s family at her sister’s site on Joe’s Head which overlooks Head Beach. After I took this photo of the moon rise over Head Beach it was off the Kelp Shed for ice cream.


Day Three: While relaxing on West Dune Beach earlier in the day I got the idea for this composition and I am really happy with how it turned out.


I got a little help with the shot of Dune Beach above.


Day Three: When I saw that we would have a full moon the week of our trip I knew that meant no astro-photography. However, I also knew that a full moon would provide it’s own opportunities.


Anybody who knows me knows I love to cook and to eat… and while I’m camping it’s no different. These dogs, from Tendercrop Farm, a local farm store near my home, were cooked over an open fire with pasta salad and a tomato cucumber salad with shaved parmesan. *cell phone photo*


Day Four: I got an up close opportunity with one of the permanent residents of Hermit Island.


Day Five: With the low tide coinciding with sunset I decided to head for Joe’s Head. This area is only accessible during low tide and I just loved the puddle and the seaweed. It is almost other worldly.


The view from the little road that leads to Circle 27. *cell phone photo*


Day Six: I wanted a lasting image from our amazing campsite on The Circle and came up with the concept for this photo while we were eating dinner. The family was coming to us for a campfire this night so I got the fire started early, framed it up and waited for the color of the sunset to grip the sky.


Day Seven: The final night of our Hermit Island adventure. After essentially a nothing sunset we took the kids out for ice cream one last time. Afterward, I jetted off to get a shot I have been wanting to get for a while. I think this may end up being the cover for my 2018 Hermit Island calendar… stay tuned on that.

Below is a selection of my favorite photos from our trip to Hermit Island. All of these photos, as well as photos from past years, are available for purchase on my store:

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Posted on: September 9, 2017Shawn Pierce
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