Photography Workshops & Photo Tours: Adirondack Park With ADKPI + Mark Bowie, Fall 2015

Adirondack Peak Fall Color Mark Bowie, and Johnathan Esper
an Adirondack Photography Institute sponsored workshop
September 27 - October 1, 2015
Long Lake & Schroon Lake, New York

As promised, API is expanding our offerings for our veteran workshop attendees and new participants alike, guiding them to autumn locations we haven’t toured before. We have selected not one, but two fantastic areas for this workshop — Long Lake and Schroon Lake!

Each section of the Adirondack Park is distinctively different, harboring its own scenic wonders. For this workshop we’ll base ourselves out of two locations: the villages of Long Lake and Schroon Lake. The first couple of days will be spent photographing new locales around Long Lake. We’ll then work our way towards Schroon Lake for a different look and feel of autumn in the Adirondacks, spending the next three days photographing a wide variety of landscapes.

The central Adirondack lake country is carpeted with lush forests sprinkled with numerous lakes and ponds, including Long Lake. The autumn forests explode with color; yellows, oranges and reds are mixed with aquamarine, tangerine, cherry, peach and other fanciful colors. Shorelines are rimmed with maple, beech, birch and cherry, their colors creating impressionistic paintings on the waters. With the changing of the seasons, mists rise from the waters most mornings, softening the rich colors to beautiful pastels.

The gentle, rolling terrain of the central lake country gives way to wilder, more rugged country around Schroon Lake. Here the mix of deciduous trees and evergreens drape whole mountainsides with tapestries of bold color — some of the most dazzling fall foliage in the North Country. The Elk Lake-Clear Pond Preserve may contain the grandest juxtaposition of mountains and waters in the Adirondacks. The area also offers some of the finest stream and forest photography in the Park, especially in and around the Pharoah Lake and Hoffman Notch Wilderness Areas. There’s the Spectacle Ponds, Crane Pond, Blue Ridge Falls, and the Schroon River, which alternates between wild whitewater and placid stretches that reflect the fall colors. The possibilities for creative photography here are unbounded.

Mark Bowie, Adirondack Life contributor and author of three photography books on the Adirondacks, has worked extensively in both areas. He'll be joined by Adirondack native Jonathan Esper , whose images have appeared in Adirondack Life, Adirondack Explorer, and Adirondac magazines. They will guide you to wild shores, rivers, streams, waterfalls, intimate backwoods and boreal bogs. You’ll also likely encounter wildlife; the area is home to numerous songbirds, ducks, loons, great blue herons, and mammals, including beavers, otters, chipmunks, squirrels, coyote, fox, bear and moose.

As this is one of our “Shoot & Process Workshops”, our emphasis will be on shooting, shooting, shooting! You will typically shoot for several hours around sunrise and sunset each day, and other times as favorable lighting conditions present themselves. You'll even photograph the moody blues of twilight and the magnificent Adirondack night sky.

Field lessons will include tips and techniques on:

  • reading and shooting the light
  • fine tuning compositions
  • determining proper exposure for a variety of autumn conditions
  • varying shutter speed for creative effect
  • achieving critical focus
  • working with your range of lenses, from wide angle to telephoto
  • shooting color and tonal palettes for creative effect
  • using Live View to compose and focus
  • using the LCD screen and histogram to refine compositions, check exposures and confirm focus
  • Mark and Jonathan will also give indoor instructional sessions on:
  • optimizing images in Lightroom and Photoshop
  • combining multiple exposures of the same scene
  • blending panoramas, HDR’s, layer masks and focus stacks
  • We will also have critiquing sessions of participants’ images shot during the workshop.

Join two of the most prolific and approachable photographers shooting in the region today as they guide you to spectacular backwoods locations and help elevate your fall photography to artistic excellence!

Mark Bowie, Johnathan Esper

Camera Skills Needed
All skill levels are welcome.

Other Considerations
Locations visited during the workshop are easily accessible and most do not require strenuous hiking or climbing. Optional hikes involving moderate inclines to small peaks may be offered. As one instructor leads a short climb, the other will lead a less strenuous excursion. 

Group Size
12 participants max.

Registration Fees
Deposit of $250 required at time of registration. Deadline for early registration discount is July 27.  Discounts may be available. 

Dates and Times
The workshop begins Sunday, September 27th at 2:00 pm in Long Lake and ends Thursday, October 1st at noon in Schroon Lake.

Where to Meet
Participants will gather in the lobby of the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, New York.

Meals are the responsibility of the participant and their cost is not included in the registration fee. Mark and Johnathan will organize and provide advice on nearby meal options.

Lodging is the responsibility of the participant and is not included in the registration fee.
This workshop will be based out of two locations: the villages of Long Lake and Schroon Lake. Participants are asked to make lodging reservations for Long Lake for the nights of September 27th and 28th, and for Schroon Lake for the nights of September 29th and 30th.
In Long Lake, the Adirondack Hotel is offering discount pricing to the institute for this event. Contact the Adirondack Hotel - - (518) 624-4700.

The Silver Spruce Inn Bed and Breakfast will be the base for the Schroon Lake portion of the workshop. For logistical reasons we recommend that all participants stay here. See or call them at (518) 532-7031 for reservations and details. Breakfast is provided. The inn is offering discount pricing to the institute for this event. Make sure to mention that you will be taking part in an Adirondack Photography Institute event.

Transportation During the Event
Participants’ vehicles will be used for transportation during field trips. We are adamant about carpooling as much as possible to minimize the number of vehicles needed for any given field trip, as well as to lessen our impact on easily damaged roads and trails. Note that the instructor is not allowed to provide transportation for participants duing the event.

The Program Schedule

Day 1
Participants gather at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake. Welcome and introductory session on fall photography in the region by Mark and Johnathan. Sunset photo shoot. Dinner locally. Optional night shoot.

Day 2, 3, 4
Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Instructional presentations by Mark and Johnathan on artistic Fall Photography:
Weather & Reading the Light
Using Exposure to Create Mood
Shooting the Adirondack Autumn Color Palette
Lens Selection and Use
Creative Use of Filters
Multiple Exposure Techniques for Expanding Tonal Range, Depth of Field and Resolution
Layer Masks
Focus Stacking
Creating Abstract, Expressionistic Images
Image Optimization in Lightroom, Camera Raw & Photoshop. Image analysis and group critique of participant's images. Afternoon field trip. Sunset, twilight and night shooting field trips.

Day 5
Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Image analysis and group critique of participants’ images. Workshop wrap-up and participant slideshow.
Note - The actual itinerary may vary considerably from this due to weather and other conditions that cannot be anticipated.

What To Bring
The trip leaders have a packing list for you.