Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inspiring Time-lapse Workshop!

Milky Way over Upper Browns Tract Pond

Imagine the Milky Way in all its glory moving across the night sky.  This was our backdrop for my second time-lapse workshop in the Adirondacks, and it proved to be an inspiring time for all.  The first two nights were clear so we took advantage of it to shoot the Milky Way until early hours of the morning.  We then spent the late morning and early afternoon processing images at the conference center of the Woods Inn in Inlet, NY.  I’ll never forget the look of joy on one participant’s face after he produced his first time-lapse movie of the Milky Way!

In addition to night shooting, we also photographed the sunset, making memorable time-lapse movies of colored clouds moving across the sky as the sun went down.  Thanks to all the participants whose camaraderie made this workshop a wonderful time for all.  Please consider joining me in 2016 for a great learning experience with time-lapse photography.

Joe LeFevre

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stellar Night Workshop!

A brilliant Milky Way, billions of stars, hundreds of streaking meteors, and northern lights — an utterly amazing celestial show in the dark skies over the central Adirondacks during my annual night photography workshop.  We all went away awestruck.  I'm still counting the meteors captured in my images!

Milky Way standing on end.  ©Mark Bowie 2015.

This is an in-depth and comprehensive workshop.  During indoor instructional sessions I covered the latest techniques for shooting the night sky in relation to the landscape, with recommendations for shooting the moon, stars, planets, meteors and other celestial objects.  I discussed shooting both wild landscapes as well as artificially lit scenes.  Many thanks to the enthusiastic group of shooters who joined me.  Their commeraderie and creativity were infectious.  And the night shooting was a blast!  We had clear skies on the first night, cloudy conditions on the second and third.  The forecast called for persistent clouds until around midnight on our final night, with clearing afterwards.  We were determined to stay up late, and we were rewarded.  Around 11:30pm the clouds drifted away to unveil the Milky Way shining brightly.  Over the next two hours, we counted about a hundred Perseid meteors streaming out of the northeast and along the axis of the galaxy.  It was a spectacular natural fireworks display!

A Perseid meteor over Fourth Lake.  ©Mark Bowie 2015.

Light trails & lit trees, Inlet.  ©Mark Bowie 2015.

This event sold out quickly, with a lengthy waiting list.  I'm honored by the support.  If you're interested in joining me for next summer's Adirondack night workshop, once the schedule is announced later this year, consider registering as soon as possible.  With enough interest, we'll look at adding a second night workshop.  And I'll continue to share the unbounded beauty, awe and wonder of photographing the Adirondacks by the Light of Midnight!

Mark Bowie

Milky Way & Perseid meteor.   ©Mark Bowie 2015.

Monday, June 29, 2015

3-in-1..... Spectacular Olympic National Park

With towering glacially-sculpted mountains that seem to rise straight up out of the ground, temperate rain forests housing the largest biomass on Earth, and wild and rugged coastlines, Olympic is like three national parks in one.  All this diversity within a few miles.  It's unparalleled.

Joe LeFevre and I led a six-day workshop to the region, scheduled around a new moon to take advantage of Olympic's dark skies. On clear nights the Milky Way shone brightly above the serrated edges of Sitka spruce.  We photographed stars circling over jagged peaks, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the lights of Victoria, British Columbia in the distance.

Sunset from Hurricane Ridge overlook. ©Mark Bowie 2015
We also visited the lush forests of the Solduc River Valley, perhaps my favorite forest anywhere.  Giant spruce, pines, and red cedar climb the hillsides, many draped with hanging mosses.  Velvety green mosses cover boulders in small streams.  We shot golden reflections in the Solduc River, just upstream of Solduc Falls, which plunges through a dramatic chasm.  In the Hoh Rain Forest, our challenge was to make order out of the chaotic richness of Life.  Here plants seems to cover nearly each inch of forest floor.  Elk thrive here as well.  One participant counted thirty-two in one place!

Exploring the Hoh Rain Forest, Hall of Mosses trail. ©Mark Bowie 2015
The mountains and lush forests are impressive, but to me, Olympic's wild sea coasts are the most photogenic.  The motion of the ever-changing tides, the wind and waves that bring in fresh atmosphere, and the presence of numerous sea stacks on the beaches and just off-shore, provide an endless variety of subject matter, forms, textures and color palettes.  At sunset we practiced timing our shots of waves as they curled up on shore, then receded.  We shot time lapse sequences of clouds streaming overhead.  And on one magical evening on Ruby Beach, witnessed one of the most spectacular and long-lasting sunsets we had ever seen.  As twilight descended the beaches and sky turned blue.  Venus and Jupiter appeared, shining over the sea stacks.  They put on a show each night.  We shot into the night, as stars peered out from behind clouds, reflected on the sand beaches.  The possibilities here are astounding!

Early night at Second Beach. ©Mark Bowie 2015
We heartily thank those intrepid photographers who experienced this place with us.  And to all our workshop attendees, whether you've been with us for one workshop or several... thank you for your support.  We'll continue to bring you the latest field techniques and digital workflow information as we pursue our creative endeavors together, in wild places far afield, and at home in the beautiful Adirondacks.

Mark Bowie

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

So Many Waterfalls, So Much Beauty - Exploring Ricketts Glen

There are so many waterfalls on Ricketts Glen's Kitchen Creek — 22 of them over a 3-mile stretch, ranging from 10 - 100 feet high — it's hard to photograph them all well in a single workshop... but we tried!  Joe LeFevre and I led an intrepid group of shooters here over two full days.  We experienced a range of lighting conditions, from sunny and breezy to overcast and quiet.  And the falls put on a show.   When the sun was out, we learned how to capture the colorful reflections of spring foliage in the creek.  The reflections changed with our vantage point and the wide contrast range demanded shooting multiple exposures to blend later in processing.  When it was overcast, the lime-green forest surrounding the cascades made a magnificent backdrop.  The lighting was even and the forest glowed against brilliance of the falls.  So both conditions created special imaging opportunities.

During the indoor instructional sessions Joe and I covered many field and processing techniques specific to waterfall imagery, including blending multiple exposures for exposure latitude, expanding resolution and focus stacking.  We discussed the creative use of filters for lengthening shutter speeds and reducing glare.  And we illustrated the special conditions produced by flowing water that make photographing waterfalls so enticing.

The concentration and variety of Ricketts' waterfalls makes it one of the best places in the East to photograph falling water.  This was our third trip here and we were again overwhelmed by the sheer number and beauty of the falls.  They're seemingly around every bend of the trail.  So much beauty over such a short span.  We can't wait to return!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winners of the Adirondack Life 2015 Photo Contest

It's that time of year again when we get to see all of the beautiful photographs from the photo contest winners in the Annual Adirondack Life Photography Contest

Congratulations to Matt Champlin for his grand prize winning entry Green Island on Indian Lake which you can see by clicking the link below:

Matt wins a spot in the Weekend with Adirondack Life workshop in Lake Placid this September.  Get details about this great event hosted by three our of fabulous instructors here!

 And congratulations also go out to all of the other winners, some for the first time, and some repeats, including some of our own alumni!  We are so proud!

Linda Benzon, Carlisle PA (third-place recreation)
Russ Hartung, Morrisonville NY (first-place recreation)
Ronan Chris Murphy, Marina del Rey CA (first-place people)
Hobit Lafaye, Ithaca (second-place people)
Melanie Houck, Brant Lake (first-place wildlife)
Lee Drake, Bloomfield NY (third-place landscape)  Lee placed Second in Macro in 2013!
Timothy Behuniak, Latham (second-place recreation)
Wayne Jones, Gansevoort (second-place landscape)
John Seelbinder, Rochester (first-place landscape)
Anita Vigorito, Willsboro (third-place wildlife)
Howard Arndt, Amherst (second-place wildlife) Howard was the Grand Prize winner in 2013!

Check out our 2015 schedule below.  You can also find us on Facebook!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Adirondack Life Photography show at View

Coinciding with the release of the 2015 Adirondack Life Photography issue, View will partner with the magazine in presenting highlights from this years issue. Adirondack Life Photography: A Celebration of Iconic Images features iconic images of the Adirondack park from some of the area’s top photographers—including work by:

Nancie Battaglia
Mark Bowie
Eric Dresser
Anne Diggory                                                                                             
Erika Edgley
Johnathan Esper
Nathan Farb                                                                                                 
Lisa Godfrey
Carl Heilman II                                                                                             
Joe LeFevre                                                                                               
Barry Lobdell
Robert A. Lubeck
Ben Stechschulte

A special opening reception will be held Sunday March 1, 2015 from 1pm-4pm. For more information visit View's website.