The village of Bernard, Maine, is part of the municipality of Tremont on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County. It is also part of one of the most beautiful fishing harbors on the east coast of the U.S. On the east side is the well known Bass Harbor. On the west side is Bernard. Many people visiting Bass Harbor do not realize that, as they are looking across the water to the west, they are actually looking at Bernard. Each side provides a unique perspective of this protected harbor and, depending upon the time of day, one may be desired over the other for “just the right” lighting.
As an example, the Bernard image above shows what is called “side lighting.” This increases contrast in a scene such as in this landscape photo where the sun is setting to the left or, in the west. The boats on the lower left side are in the shadow area created from the land and trees blocking the sunlight. Landscape artists and photographers much prefer the quality of light in the early morning or the later afternoon hours for this reason and because the light has a “warmer” tone to it.
In the same example above, if you panned to the right, you would be looking directly at Bass Harbor and it would be bathed in the warm light of a setting sun, as would the landscape behind the shoreline. This makes this a great location (Bernard) for shooting photographs of Bass Harbor in the late afternoon. Bernard, would be largely in shadow except in side lit situations as seen above. The opposite situation, with the sun rising in the east, makes Bass Harbor a prime location to photograph the harbor and Bernard early in the morning.
Bernard, Bass Harbor, and Seal Cove, are accessed via Route 102 on Mount Desert Island. If you go through Southwest Harbor, consider taking alternate Route 102 A to reach Bass Harbor. This is a good option as it goes through the section of Southwest Harbor called “Manset” and arrives at a section of Acadia National Park called Seawall with some spectacular open ocean views. Further, you will go by Wonderland Trail and Ship Harbor Trail. Eventually, you will arrive at the entrance to the Bass Harbor Head Light. Route 102 A will connect back to Route 102 in Tremont. Take a left to see Bernard, Seal Cove, or go further to Pretty Marsh Picnic Area.
Photos: Sunset | Fishing
Interesting Fact: Part of the 1999 movie “Cider House Rules” was filmed in Bernard.
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular stops in Bernard and Bass Harbor. (In season only - Refer to their #7 Southwest Harbor Route Schedule.) Buses also stop in Bar Harbor at the Village Green.
Refer to the Mount Desert Island map to see the location. Bernard's zip code is 04612.
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