Adirondack Peak Fall Color
October 1-5
Long Lake & Tupper Lake, New York


New shooting locations in some of the most beautiful fall foliage destinations in the Adirondacks — the Long, Tupper and Saranac Lake areas!

This workshop tends to fill quickly. Register soon to reserve a slot.

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 Tupper Lake. The first couple of days will be spent photographing new locales around Long Lake. We’ll then work our way to Tupper Lake, where the fall foliage presents its own unique look and feel. We’ll spend the next three days photographing a variety of land- and waterscapes around Tupper and the Saranac Lakes.

The central Adirondack lake country near Long Lake is carpeted with lush forests sprinkled with numerous lakes and ponds. 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 area also offers some of the finest stream and forest photography in the Park, notably around the Raquette and Bog River corridors.

The rolling hills of the central lake country give way to the wilder, even more watery terrain of the Tri-Lakes region. Here the mix of deciduous trees and evergreens create tapestries of bold color, reflected in the many lakes and ponds of the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest and the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness, and in the Raquette, Saranac and St Regis Rivers, which alternate between whitewater and placid stretches. Glacial features are imprinted on the landscape and the possibilities for creative photography are unbounded. We’ll also visit grand overviews to Whiteface Mountain and the McKenzie Range. And we’ll 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.

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 National Geographic Travel, Adirondack Life, Adirondack Explorer, Adirondac, Climbing and Delta Airlines magazines. They will be your guides, and the 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:

  • the Art of Seeing Creatively
  • reading and shooting the light
  • special opportunities presented by autumn shooting
  • 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
  • blending multiple exposures of the same scene
for 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 help elevate your fall photography to artistic excellence!


Mark Bowie, Johnathan Esper

Program Type

Field workshop

Camera Skills Needed

All skill levels are welcome.

Users of all types of cameras may attend. However, digital SLR cameras are preferred for their ability to provide immediate feedback and instant access to the images. Without one, you will not be able to take full advantage of the indoor sessions in this workshop.

Description of skill levels - click here

Computer Skills Needed

A basic understanding of digital workflow and some working knowledge of Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture will be helpful.

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. Only those in good physical shape and able to ascend and descend moderate slopes should attempt.

Group Size

15 participants max.

Registration Fees

$795. See details below for a description of what is included.

Deposit of $250 required at time of registration. Deadline for early registration discount is August 1. Click here for information on any other discounts that may be available.

Click here to register online

Dates and Times

The workshop begins Sunday, October 1st at 2:00 pm in Long Lake and ends Thursday, October 5th at noon in Tupper Lake.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather in the parlor of the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake, NY.


The Adirondack Hotel is located on Rt 30N in Long Lake, New York. For driving directions go to and enter ZIP Code 12847 as your destination. If you have further questions don't hesitate to contact the Adirondack Hotel at (518) 624-4700.


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.


This workshop will be based out of two locations: the villages of Long Lake and Tupper Lake. Participants are asked to make lodging reservations for Long Lake for the nights of October 1st and 2nd, and for Tupper Lake for the nights of October 3rd and 4th.

In Long Lake, the Adirondack Hotel will be our “base of operations”. They are offering discount pricing to the institute for this event. Be sure to mention that you will be taking part in an Adirondack Photography Institute event. Visit or call the hotel at (518) 624-4700 for details. Other recommended lodging in Long Lake:

Shamrock Motel & Cottages - (518) 624-3861

Sandy Point Motel - (518) 624-3871

The Red Top Inn will be our “base” for the Tupper Lake portion of the workshop. The address is 1562 State Route 30, Tupper Lake, NY 12986. Visit or call them at (518) 359-9209 for reservations and details. Make sure to mention that you will be taking part in an Adirondack Photography Institute event.

Other lodging options in Tupper Lake:

Tupper Lake Motel – (518) 359-3381

Park Motel and Cabins – (518) 359-3600

Pine Terrace Motel – (518) 359-9258  

Getting to the Event

The two nearest airports are Syracuse Hancock International (SYR) and Albany International (ALB). Rental cars are available at both locations.

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 (Day 3 - Travel to the Tupper Lake area.)

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
  • Panoramas
  • HDRs
  • 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

Important: The program leaders have provided additional information regarding your needs for this program. Click here to view or download that information. Please contact the leader directly with questions.

What Participants Say

"The opportunity to photograph in the Adirondacks, during the rapidly changing lighting conditions of sunrise and sunset was a great experience, as was the guidance from Mark Bowie. Overall, this was a wonderful learning experience. I'll be back for another workshop!"

Jim M.

"You did a great job with managing (juggling?) the different personalities in the group, the weather, and the changing nature of the fall colors.  I'll stick to physics teaching .. way easier than what you have to do!"

Scott S.