Monday, July 14, 2014

Water Wonderland

How much fun would it be to photograph from a canoe?!  Don’t you want to try it?  Imagine exploring the wild waters of the Adirondacks, places that you can only get to by boat.  Peaceful, serene, enchanting, exciting.  Mark Bowie will lead a tour by canoe to explore these enchanting waters, full of the plants and animals that thrive there.

The wild awaits.  Water lilies, loons, birds of prey all ready to pose for you. I’ve arranged it in advance ;)
Ok, maybe I couldn’t get them to sign the model releases, but they are there and you could be sneaking shots of them from one of the numerous bodies of water that you will explore on this adventure!

Griz Caudle, famed Adirondack guide, will join Mark to lead this wonderful exploration.

So, this is your assignment, if you choose to accept it…

For full details on this watery photo adventure, please visit our website.  Click on the link below and get ready!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gorgeous Waterfalls in Western NY!

Fellow API staff instructor Joe LeFevre and I led an intensive 4-day workshop to Letchworth and Stony Brook State Parks in western NY.  Each is quite distinctive, with its own personality, giving us the opportunity to create a variety of images of dramatic gorges, waterfalls and streams.  Letchworth is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”  A 550-foot deep gorge has been carved by the Genesee River into a series of imposing switchbacks.  Fresh spring greenery lined the river.  Hawks and turkey vultures rode the thermals above the canyon.  Down in the gorge we got close to Lower and Middle Falls for intimate images.  Afternoon sunlight cast a rainbow on mist rising from Middle’s plunge pool. 

At Stony Brook State Park a half-mile trail follows the brook to First and Second Falls.  There are numerous riffles and small falls along its course.  Colorful slabs of rock decorate the streambed.  We walked into the water and behind some falls for interesting perspectives.  We've learned that different weather and lighting conditions open unique shooting opportunities in these environments.  Bright sunlight added a wonderful luminance and blue-green striations to the waterfalls, something that just doesn’t happen in often-favored bright overcast conditions.

Joe and I also led indoor instructional sessions on the fine art of photographing waterfalls and streams, and the digital workflow for optimizing images of flowing water to their full potential.  We stressed the need for blending multiple exposures for exposure detail, and expanding resolution and depth of field.

We came away very excited about the possibilities for making inspired images of flowing water.  API will continue our series of workshops to areas that give us unprecedented access to photograph waterfalls and streams up close and personal.  Watch for 2015 workshops in Rickett’s Glen State Park, Pennsylvania and/or the Finger Lakes region of New York.  And let us know if you have a preference.  There’s so much to explore in each and Joe and I have so many innovative tips and techniques to share for creating stunning images of these special places!

New Offering! Making Time-Lapse Movies

We have added a new event to our spectacular 2014 line up, Making Nature Time-Lapse Movies with Joe LeFevre.

Anyone who is familiar with Joe and his work knows that he is a master of time-lapse photography.  His nighttime skies filled with the Milky Way, shooting stars, the Aurora Borealis and the like are awe-inspiring.

Now you too can learn how to capture these amazing moving images in an all new workshop.  Visit the link below to get all of the details!

Making NatureTime-Lapse Movies with Joe LeFevre 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Facebook Mentoring Group

mentor: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

We’re starting a new group on Facebook. It’s a place where Adirondack Photography Institute staff members will share their experience with you, informally. We're going to perform image critiques, answer questions, act as mentor in your quest to become the best photographer you can be.

Search Facebook for API Mentoring

Anyone can join!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Snowbound Up North!

Arriving just ahead of a blizzard that pummeled the eastern United States we settled into the turn-of-the-century Woods Inn in Inlet for our annual winter photography workshop, led by yours truly.  Over the next several days, our group of intrepid participants shot forests blanketed in pristine snows, night blizzards and frosty mornings.  We photographed the zen of peach-colored beech leaves decorated with fresh snow, intricate wind-driven snow patterns on the lakes and streams, a patch of cattails wearing snow caps, the subtle textures and hues of the landscape.  We even shot the night, my personal passion.  Though snowing and overcast, the sky turned rich blue, which was reflected on the snow.  We walked the village shooting the artificial lights of buildings and vehicles, and made some moody images of the moon popping out between clouds.

Winter is unlike any other season, with special happenstances capable of producing special images just not possible in other seasons.  I led indoor instructional sessions on the art of reading winter weather and light, strategies for winter landscape shooting, the benefits of shooting open water, big snows and extreme ice, shooting for color and tonal palette, determining winter exposures and critical focusing.  I also demonstrated multiple exposure techniques including layer masks, focus stacking, creating HDR's and panoramas.

The Adirondack winter is always conducive to great imagery and this years' fresh snows were a bonus.  We came away inspired by one another's work and excited to get out photographing more of winter.  Special thanks to the Woods Inn for being such a wonderful base camp to return to for warmth, hearty food and gracious hospitality.  Can't wait for next year....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Finger Lakes Waterfalls in Autumn

The Finger Lakes region of central New York has over 200 named waterfalls.  The variety is astounding.  There are long bridalveils, ledgy falls and stair-stepping cascades that leap over sedimentary cap rock to basins below.  API continued our annual visit this fall as staff instructors Mark Bowie and Joe LeFevre led participants to some of the most photogenic waterfalls in the East.  A wet summer ensured the falls were flowing strong.  Autumn colors adorned the banks and were reflected in the streams.  We visited the classic falls in Watkins Glen State Park and others nearby.  We also photographed the tallest falls in New York State, the majestic 215-feet high Taughannock Falls, and secured special permission to shoot the spectacular Frontenac Falls on private lands.  And since we were in the heart of New York's wine country, we mixed in a visit to the Americana Vineyards for wine tasting.  Autumn, waterfalls and wine — hard to beat!

Mark and Joe covered field strategies, tips and techniques for taking waterfall imagery to another level, including the use of specialized filters, long exposures, shooting expressionistic images and the need for shooting multiple exposures to expand depth of field, resolution and exposure latitude.

There's much more to explore in Finger Lakes region.  We plan to head back next year.  Watch for API's 2014 schedule, to be posted soon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adirondack Peak Fall Foliage - Another Dazzling Display!

Autumn workshops continue to be our most popular, and for good reason.  From mid-September to mid-October Adirondack forests put on a kaleidescopic show, what Mark Bowie calls "New England gone wild."  Stands of evergreens poke through the deciduous forest.  The hardwoods turn the classic yellows, oranges and reds of autumn, but what makes the Adirondacks so unique this time of year is that it also turns to black cherry, tangerine, lavendar, bubblegum, peach and other seemingly unnatural colors.  Sunrise and sunset light enhances the drama.  Mists are generated most mornings and lighten the vivid colors to artistic pastels.  All these events came together again at this year's Peak Fall Foliage Workshop, led by API staff photographers Mark Bowie and Johnathan Esper.  They guided participants through the water-laden central Adirondack region, visiting backwoods lakes and ponds, streams and waterfalls.  They also led participants on night photography excursions, Mark's specialty,  and Johnathan led treks up local peaks for spectacular views over the Fulton Chain at sunrise.

The instructors gave special emphasis to dynamic composition, reading autumn light and weather conditions, altering vantage points, shooting for color and tonal palette, expressionistic techniques for fall foliage and shooting multiple exposures for extending exposure range and depth of field.

The beauty of autumn in the Adirondacks is overwhelming.  There are grand scenics, intimate woodland scenes, and macro opportunities galore.  API's 2014 schedule will include several fall foliage events.  Watch for it soon!