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Waterfalls of the Finger Lakes

Waterfalls all over the place!  We’re heading back to one of our favorite places to photograph waterfalls –
New York’s Finger Lakes region!

Amongst the rolling hills and panoramic vistas of the glacially-carved Finger Lakes tumble some of the most scenic waterfalls in the country.  There are over two hundred named falls, including Taughannock Falls, the highest in New York State. The sheer number and diversity of waterfalls makes this region 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 famous Watkins Glen, carve dramatic chasms.  In springtime lime-green beech leaves frame the cascades.  Shooting access is ideal; many are along roadsides, others within a short hike.

API staff instructors Mark Bowie and Chris Murray will be your photographic guides.  They are expert waterfall and stream photographers that know the region well.  They'll take you to waterfalls both spectacular and sublime, and provide lots of personalized instruction in the field.

After an initial orientation session on Sunday night, we will spend 3 days exploring and photographing waterfalls around Ithaca and Watkins Glen, NY.  Possible locations include Taughannock Falls, the Cascadilla Gorge, Robert H. Treman, and Watkins Glen State Parks.  We’ll also visit some beautiful lesser-known falls.

Field lessons will emphasize compositional and artistic considerations, with tips and techniques on:

•   the art of photographing waterfalls and streams

•   varying shutter speed for optimal water movement and texture

•   shooting long exposures for creative effect

•   equipment recommendations and use

•   reading and shooting the light

•   fine tuning compositions

•   creating visual flow, compositional balance and dynamic tension

•   achieving critical focus

•   using Live View to compose and focus

•   using the LCD screen and histogram to refine compositions, check exposures and confirm focus

•   using exposure to create mood

•   shooting color and tonal palettes for creative effect

•   working with your range of lenses

•   seeing from different vantage points

•   crafting images using patterns, lines and forms

•   using filters for artistic long exposures

•  multiple exposure blending for expanding exposure latitude and resolution: layer masks, panoramas and HDR’s

•   focus stacking to maximize depth of field

During indoor instructional sessions, we’ll cover efficient digital workflow and image optimization in Lightroom, Camera Raw and Photoshop.  We'll also critique participants' images.

Mark and Chris love sharing the art of photography.  Come explore with them as they take your waterfall imagery to new levels. 

Camera Skills Needed: 

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 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 other image editing program will be helpful.  A laptop computer with a program to store and view images is highly recommended.  Mark and Chris are glad to answer your image processing questions.


Other Considerations:

Though locations visited during this workshop are readily accessible, the terrain may require some short hiking.  Participants MUST be in good physical shape and able to climb and descend moderate 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:

12 maximum

Registration Fees $950 tuition only. 


A deposit of $250 is required at registration. Early registration discount ends April 9th. Click here to see any discounts that may apply.

Click here to register online



The workshop begins Sunday June 9th at 5pm and ends Wednesday June 12th at noon.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express  All indoor sessions will take place in the conference room.



The Holiday Inn Express is located at 371 Elmira Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850.  For driving directions go to Google Maps and enter the hotel’s address as your destination.   


Meals are the responsibility of the participant and their cost is not included in the registration fee. The leaders 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. 

We suggest the Holiday Inn Express located at 371 Elmira Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 for this event. Contact them at (607) 277-1100 for reservations. The hotel is offering discounted pricing for this workshop, so make sure to mention that you will be taking part in an Adirondack Photography Institute event.  The group code for this event is API (make sure you give this code when you call to make your reservation so that you are included in the block and receive the discounted rate of $150). 


Transportation During the Event

Transportation to and from the workshop is the responsibility of the participant and the cost is not included in the registration fee.

Participants’ vehicles will be used for transportation during field trips.  Note that the instructors are not allowed to provide transportation for participants during the event.


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


Mark - or 413-442-9125

Chris - or 315-416-8038

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