Spring Waterfalls Workshop
June 22-25
Ithaca, New York


For the extraordinary variety, the Finger Lakes region is one of our favorite places to photograph waterfalls. Come explore with us as we visit new locales in one of the best places in the country to shoot falls!

Amongst the rolling hills and panoramic overlooks of the glacially-carved Finger Lakes tumble some of the most scenic waterfalls in the country. There are over two hundred, including Taughannock Falls, the highest in New York State. The sheer number and diversity of waterfalls makes this place truly special and the possibilities for unique images are overwhelming. Each waterfall has its own character; some drop like bridal veils, others sluice over ledges, and some, like those in renowned Watkins Glen, carve dramatic chasms. Spring is especially beautiful here. The falls gush with winter run-off and the fresh, lime-green foliage is reflected in the water.

After an initial orientation session on Thursday night, we will spend two full days in the field exploring and photographing waterfalls near Ithaca and Watkins Glen. Mark and Joe are renowned experts on waterfall and stream photography. They will provide individual field instruction as well as indoor instructional sessions and critiques. 

Field lessons will emphasize attention to detail, with tips and techniques on:
  • the Art of Seeing waterfall and stream photographic possibilities
  • photographing from different vantagepoints
  • reading and shooting the light
  • fine tuning compositions
  • creating visual flow, compositional balance and dynamic tension
  • determining proper exposure
  • varying shutter speed for creative effect
  • achieving critical focus
  • working with your range of lenses
  • using filters for artistic results
  • using Live View to compose and focus
  • using the LCD screen and histogram to refine compositions, check exposures and confirm focus
  • shooting multiple exposures for blending in processing
  • shooting video and time lapse sequences
Indoor time will be spent viewing and critiquing participants' images and discussing techniques helpful to maximizing waterfall images. Joe and Mark will give indoor instructional presentations on:
  • the Art of Photographing Waterfalls and Other Flowing Waters
  • using exposure to create mood
  • shooting color and tonal palettes for creative effect
  • combining multiple exposures for extended exposure range and latitude, and depth of field
  • blending panoramas, HDR’s, layer masks, and focus stacks
  • digital workflow using Lightroom, Photoshop and other software
Indoor sessions will be held at the Country Inn & Suites Inn in Ithaca.

Joe and Mark will help take your waterfall images to a new level. Our low instructor to participant ratio guarantees everyone significant one-on-one instruction in the field, and the beautiful settings will give each plenty of inspiration to explore their photographic vision. Join two of the most approachable professionals working today for an unforgettable workshop in the heart of waterfall and wine country! 


Mark Bowie, Joe LeFevre

Program Type

Field workshop

Camera Skills Needed

All skill levels are welcome.

Users of all types of cameras are encouraged to attend, however digital SLR cameras are preferred for their ability to maximize the learning possibilities of 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. Mark and Joe are glad to answer your image processing questions.

Other Considerations

Though locations visited during this workshop are readily accessible, the hilly terrain requires some moderate hiking. Participants MUST be in good physical shape and able to climb and descend moderate to steep inclines. They should wear sturdy boots and use caution on slippery and rocky slopes.

As with all outdoor pursuits, some risk is inherent; all participants will be required to sign a waiver prior to the workshop.

Group Size

15 participants max.

Registration Fees

$640 tuition only. Park entrance fees are the responsibility of the participant.

Deposit of $250 required at time of registration. Deadline for early registration discount is March 22. Click here for information on any other discounts that may be available.

Click here to register online

Dates and Times

Workshop begins Thursday, June 22 at 5:00 pm and ends Sunday, June 25 at noon.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather at the Country Inn & Suites Inn in Ithaca.


Directions to the Country Inn & Suites Inn can be found on their website. Call the Inn at (607) 256-1100 if you need further assistance


Meals are the responsibility of the participant and their cost is not included in the registration fee. Your leader(s) will work with the group to organize meal times and locations.


Lodging is the responsibility of the participant and is not included in the registration fee.

The Country Inn & Suites Inn is holding a number of rooms under the Adirondack Photography Institute at a discounted rate. Contact them for details: (800) 830-5222 and be sure to let them know you are attending the Institute's workshop. Alternate lodging choices are the Super 8 Motel (607-273-8088) and Comfort Inn in Ithaca (607) 272-0100.

Getting to the Event

The nearest airport is Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Rental cars are available nearby.

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

Rather than adhering to a set itinerary, we will stay flexible so that we optimize our time in the field, giving you the best chances to capture great images based on weather and lighting conditions. We plan to photograph throughout the day. After dinner, we’ll head back to the Inn for instructional sessions.

Day 1

Participants arrive in Ithaca. Kick-off dinner and opening presentation by Mark and Joe.

Day 2, 3

Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Viewing and critique of participants’ images. Afternoon field trip. Evening indoor instructional sessions by Mark and Joe.

Day 4

Morning field trip followed by breakfast. Presentations by Mark and Joe. Group critiquing session. Workshop wrap-up.

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 leader(s) have provided additional information regarding your needs for this program. Click here to view or download that information. Please contact the leader(s) directly with questions: Mark - mrbowie@earthlink.net, Joe - joe@joelefevrephoto.com.