Thursday, October 25, 2012

Schroon Lake Autumn Photo Workshop Highlights

Our Schroon Lake Region Fall Color Workshop on October 12-14 was a great success with 8 participants!  I just wanted to reflect on the highlights of the trip, as I'm writing in from a fish and chips shop in Tasmania, Australia, where I'm doing some trekking and location scouting for other photo tours I lead. The autumn color was very vibrant this year, with ideal conditions for leaves to turn vibrantl, with there being cold nights and plenty of moisture. Our group was based out of the cozy Silver Spruce Bed and Breakfast, which is very historic and charming - parts of the house date from the late 1700's!

On friday evening we arrived to Schroon Lake village, then hurried over to the town of Adirondack to photograph the shoreline of Schroon Lake at sunset. On Saturday, we witnessed an incredible sunrise over Schroon Lake, then had a bountiful home-made breakfast at the B&B, including home-baked muffins, coffee cake, omelettes, pancakes, and more. Since the peak foliage was a week or so earlier than usual this season, we drove on a large loop day tour around the Port Henry and Ticonderoga regions, where there was still very bright autumn color.  One of my new favorite views is from Belfry Mt Firetower, after an easy .3 mile walk, where we photographed snow-dusted Adirondack High Peaks mountains beyond the yellow autumn color of the forests below. More highlights this day included macro photography of frost on flowers, Mt. Defiance's view over Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga,  farmscapes around Ticonderoga, and leaf covered country roads near Lake George.
  Sunday the weather was rainy, but that was ideal for us as I gave a brief indoor session on photo post processing, then spent the rest of the day at some enchanting mossy forest streams in the nearby Pharaoah Lakes Wilderness area.  My favorite photo from this day was certainly the long exposure (30 seconds) images of swirling foam patterns in idyllic mossy cascades along Crane Pond Rd.  So, we had a diversity of photographic subjects and styles, which we learned through an enjoyable weekend in the Adirondack Park's outdoors!  Everyone came away with some great images, and some new photographic skills and refreshed creative vision!
I look forward to next year's trips - come join us on one, and learn photography the best way, through one-on-one situational instruction in the field with a professional Adirondack photographer!

p.s. - Here's a link to the Flickr photo album my group decided to form, featuring photos from the weekend to show and share with each other!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Classic Retreat

To set aside time and immerse yourself in the craft of photography amidst the serenity of the central Lake Country is, to us, the ultimate Adirondack photographic experience — and the essence of our signature Retreats.  API director John Radigan and staff instructor Mark Bowie guided participants on this week-long artists' retreat, where we explored in-depth the beauty and emotional allure of this special place.  Participants worked on daily assignments, which culminated in a presentation of their week's theme.  Viewing others' work through their eyes is an incredible way to enhance one's own photography.  To track our progress images were printed and posted daily and an e-book showcasing everyone's imagery and writing was produced.

The Woods Inn, in Inlet, was once again our home.  With gourmet food, fantastic hospitality and a waterfront location offering so many photographic possibilities, they are the perfect hosts.

The Retreat format is an unrivaled success and the heart of our offerings.  Watch for more of them as next year's schedule is announced.  And sign up as soon as possible; they fill quickly! 

Adirondack Fall Fantastic!

The northern Adirondacks were ablaze with fall color for API's 6th Annual Fall Photo workshop, led by Mark Bowie.  Based out of the Northwoods Inn in Lake Placid, Mark led field excursions to lakes, ponds, rivers and woods decorated with classic Adirondack fall foliage.  Morning mists lingered over the waters, softening the colors to pastels.  The area's great variety of hardwoods set amidst evergreens makes it unique in the Northeast.  The mountains were carpeted with multi-hued blankets.  The waters reflected them.  With the abundance of color, the great challenge lay in crafting unique autumn images that resonated with meaning.  Mark led the group in exploring many different field and post-processing techniques: creating panoramas, abstract images, layer masks, and multiple exposures for focus stacking and contrast control.  The possibilities for great imagery were as plentiful as the fall colors.  Both are what makes this region so special as an autumn destination.

Special thanks to the Northwoods Inn for their fabulous meals and for being such gracious hosts.  Watch for more fall events on next year's schedule, to be posted soon.