Cape Cod Landscapes: The Art of Seeing Creatively
Instructor: Mark Bowie
Days: Thursday, May 28 (starts 6pm) – Sunday, May 31 (ends noon), 2020
Cost: Members $330 | Non-Members $400
Maximum of 10 participants
Photographically, what makes Cape Cod landscapes so special, is how light interacts with this convergence of land and sea. Learning to see the possibilities and then translate them into images can elevate our picture-taking from the commonplace to the artistic. Professional landscape photographer and night shooting expert Mark Bowie will lead this power-packed workshop to explore the Cape from pre-dawn to deep night, visiting some of its finest scenery: the ocean, beaches, dunes, coastal waterways, lighthouses and fishing villages. He’ll cover in-depth the fine art of seeing, offering innovative strategies, tips and techniques for looking deeper, refining your personal vision to creative images with feeling, that come from the heart.
We will typically shoot for several hours around sunrise and sunset each day, and other times as favorable lighting conditions present themselves. We’ll also photograph the moody blues of twilight and the Cape’s magnificent night sky. The landscape, so varied and photogenic in daylight, becomes ever-more mysterious and enchanting at night. Our schedule and selection of shooting locations will remain flexible to take best advantage of the weather and lighting conditions.
In the field and in the digital darkroom Mark will cover:
The Art of Seeing Creatively
Seeing the possibilities: reading weather and shooting the light
The quality, direction and color of light
Shooting at sunrise, sunset, twilight and at night
Photographing the night landscape in relation to the celestial skies
Designing and fine-tuning powerful compositions using the principles of visual flow, dynamic tension, balance, leading lines, shapes and patterns
Shooting from interesting vantage points
Using exposure to control mood and atmosphere
Determining exposure at night
Achieving critical focus day and night
Using Live View to compose and focus
Using the LCD screen and histogram to refine compositions, check exposures and confirm focus
Working creatively with your full suite of lenses
Varying shutter speed for artistic effect
Targeting color and tonal palettes
The artistry of long exposures
Creating expressionistic abstracts
Shooting and blending multiple exposures as layer masks, HDR’s, panoramas, focus stacks , star trails and time-lapse sequences
Image optimization in Lightroom, Camera Raw & Photoshop CC
Mark will also lead group critiquing sessions of participants’ images designed to enhance the creative process.
Indoor instructional sessions will be at Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable.
Informative and inspiring, this workshop is geared for both amateur and advanced photographers. Learn to envision the image-making potential of a variety of landscapes and translate it into your own compelling imagery.
Join Mark to see deeper, go deeper!
Locations visited during the workshop are easily accessible and do not require strenuous hiking or climbing. However, to access the beaches, participants should be in good physical shape and able to ascend and descend moderate slopes.
Participants are required to sign a Liability Release Form at the workshop.
1470 Iyannough Rd.
Hyannis, MA 02601
What to Bring
For questions contact Mark Bowie at
Photo Equipment Suggestions
In addition to all your basic equipment like cameras and lenses, I consider the following items important. You can learn more about them at the workshop, but I made this checklist as a reminder to bring them if you already own them. Items essential to this workshop are in bold:
Camera – and extra camera body if you have one, just in case. Also, bring the camera manual should you need to consult it.
Lenses – Lenses from wide-angle zooms to telephotos will be of use on this workshop. Also consider bringing your other favorite lenses, including macro and fast super wide-angle lenses in the 14-24mm range, especially for night photography.
Tripod – Sunrise, sunset, twilight and nighttime light levels are too low to photograph properly without a sturdy tripod. I recommend buying a lightweight carbon fiber tripod (I like Induro and Gitzo brands) with a ball head. Expect to pay $300-$400 for the set. Watch Hunt’s Photo for sales. A quality set should last many years.
Lots of Memory Card Storage – I use fast 64GB cards, good for stills & video.
Camera Battery Charger and Extra Batteries.
Non-abrasive Lens Cleaning Cloth and Wipes.
Sensor Cleaning Tools — To remove dust and debris from the sensor. I use Eclipse solution and Sensor Swabs Ultra from Photographic Solutions.
Neutral Density (ND) Filters, Graduated Neutral Density Filters – To extend exposure times. I use Tiffen 3- and 6-stop IR neutral density filters. See www.tiffen.com. Lee Filters also makes quality filters. See www.leefilters.com.
Graduated Neutral Density Filters – Primarily for daytime use. I use Singh-Ray 2-stop soft and 3-stop hard-edge graduated filters. See www.singh-ray.com/grndgrads.html.
Shutter Release – You can use a locking cable release, a wireless remote, or the camera’s self-timer (usually good only for exposures up to 30 seconds). Shutter releases are available for specific camera models, from simple units that only trip the shutter, to more advanced units that allow the photographer to program exposure time, count down the exposure, shoot multiple exposures and timed intervals. These are available from photo retailers, including Hunts Photo and Video. I use a wireless remote shutter release, the hahnel Giga T Pro II, about $99.
Intervalometer – For time-lapse photography. If you are a Canon shooter, consider the Canon TC-80N3 Remote timer, or an equivalent. See
Here’s a less expensive alternative, but identical in structure and function: http://www.amazon.com/Cowboystudio-Timer-Remote-Control-Shutter/dp/B003PFYKGW/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1378831815&sr=8-6&keywords=canon+remote+timer.
Many Nikons have a built-in intervalometer, or you can use the Nikon MC-36A Multi-Function Remote Cord, about $190. See http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/detail_page.cfm?ProductID=27032&mfg=Nikon&show=yes. My hahnel Giga T Pro II remote has the same features for about half the price.
Flashlights &/or Headlamp – preferably with a red light, or cover with a red filter to prevent stray light from distracting others during night photography sessions. You could also bring lights for light painting, or other light sources, like LED’s or glow sticks, for painting with wild colors.
Rain Cover – For camera and lens protection. An inexpensive plastic shower cap works well in many instances. I use Op-Tech plastic rain sleeves that have a drawstring at one end and that slide over camera & lenses. A set of 2 costs about $6.
Heat wraps – placed around the lens barrel to inhibit condensation. I use Therma-Care heat wraps and similar brands. About $5 for a box of 3.
Small towel, Cloth or Gaffer’s tape – for covering the viewfinder to prevent light leak during long exposures. Most cameras come with a viewfinder cover, but they’re often inconvenient to use.
Battery-powered Alarm Clock/Watch
Computer Equipment Suggestions
Laptop Computer – I highly recommend bringing your own laptop computer for downloading, processing and viewing your images.
Processing Software – Good choices include Adobe Lightroom, Elements, and Photoshop. I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan, about $10/month. Free 30-day trials of these programs are available from Adobe.
To create time-lapse movies, you may also want the following software:
- Lightroom. A free trial version is available at https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop_lightroom
- LRTimelapse: The free download will allow you to load up to 400 images: https://lrtimelapse.com/download/. This software is particularly good at reducing flicker in daytime time-lapses.
or 3. iMovie or VLC Media Player for the Mac, or Windows Movie Maker to output the movie.
Back-up device – Such as an external hard drive.
Flash Drive – For sharing images.
Clothing & Outdoor Gear Suggestions
Warm Clothing – It is preferable to dress in warm layers for field trips as temperatures can change significantly and quickly. Night can be very chilly at this time of year.
Warm Jacket or Coat.
Fleece Underlayer/Wool Sweater – Can be added or removed as the temperature falls or rises.
Rain Jacket & Pants – For wind as well as rain protection.
Warm Gloves/Mittens, Hat, and Hiking Boots or Sneakers. Several pairs of warm, moisture-wicking socks. Two pair of footwear is wise, in case one gets wet. Sandals or muck boots are great for getting in the ocean and streams.
Hand Warmers. Foot warmers.
Dress for the indoor sessions will be casual.
Energy bars or other snacks.
Mark Bowie is a professional nature photographer, writer and much sought-after public speaker. His work has been published internationally in books, on calendars and posters, and in advertising media. His first two coffee table books, Adirondack Waters and In Stoddard’s Footsteps have become landmark regional publications. They were followed by The Adirondacks: In Celebration of the Seasons. He is an expert on night photography and has produced two comprehensive e-books on it: The Light of Midnight: Photographing the Landscape at Night, and After Midnight: Night Photography by Example. He has also produced an e-book on his remarkable Finding November project, his search to find the hidden beauty of this under-appreciated month. For more on his work, see www.markbowie.com.