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!