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Milky Way and Night Landscape

Scheduled around the new moon to take advantage of dark Adirondack skies and the Milky Way! 

The art of night photography is rapidly evolving. Mark Bowie, one of the country's foremost experts on night photography, will share state-of-the-art tips and techniques for shooting the Milky Way, stars, moon, northern lights and more! He’ll also cover reducing noise, stacking stars, and blending multiple exposures for detail in the landscape and sky.

The Adirondacks have some of the darkest night skies in the Northeast. The Milky Way stands out brilliantly. Planets shine like beacons. Meteors streak across the sky nightly. The haunting calls of loons resound over the lakes and ponds. There is so much going on here at night. The landscape itself, so varied and photogenic in daylight, becomes evermore mysterious and enchanting at night. The beauty is absolutely breathtaking!

At night the camera allows us to record phenomena we are physically incapable of seeing. Long exposures render vibrant colors and intricate detail. They capture celestial objects in motion, creating metaphors for the passage of time. The photographer can’t be sure what he or she will create, and that’s part of the allure and the excitement! It's a spellbinding, spiritual experience.

Mark, the author of The Light of Midnight: Photographing the Landscape at Night and After Midnight: Night Photography by Example, will demonstrate field and digital darkroom techniques with special emphasis on shooting and processing the Milky Way in relation to the night landscape. He’ll cover strategies, tips and techniques on:

  • Camera settings — Shutter speed, aperture, BULB, ISO, white balance

  • Determining nighttime exposures

  • Using the histogram

  • Taking High ISO test shots

  • Composing and focusing in the dark

  • Using LiveView at night

  • Capturing detail in both the landscape and sky

  • Photographing the Milky Way, stars, planets, moon, moonlit landscapes, meteors, Northern Lights and other celestial phenomena

  • Shooting long exposures by ambient light, from seconds- to hours-long

  • Shooting time-lapse sequences and creating time-lapse movies

  • Shooting time interval sequences

  • Capturing stars as points of light, as trails and as circles

  • Photographing lightning 

  • "Painting" with artificial light

  • Shooting portraits that include the Milky Way and night sky using flash and LED lights

  • Noise Reduction in-camera and in post-processing

  • Processing a variety of night images

  • Software used to seamlessly blend night sky and landscape images, while reducing noise

  • Specialized software for star stacking

  • Blending multiple exposures for depth of field, noise reduction and expanded exposure latitude

  • Creating night panoramas

Mark plans to stay out shooting until midnight and later, visiting wilderness landscapes as well as artificially lit scenes. Possible field locations include the area’s numerous lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, waterfalls, marshlands and quaint villages. 

Indoor instructional sessions will begin in late morning so that participants get appropriate rest. 

Come expand your image-making beyond daylight shooting, creating images that evoke the majesty, awe and wonder of the Adirondacks at night!

Camera Skills Needed

All skill levels are welcome.

Users of all types of cameras may attend. However, digital SLR and mirrorless 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 other image editing program will be helpful.

Other Considerations

Locations visited during this workshop are easily accessible and do not require any strenuous hiking or climbing.

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

Group Size

10 participants max.

Registration Fees $995

A deposit of $250 is required at time of registration. Deadline for early registration discount is May 24th. Click here for information on any other discounts that may be available.

Click Here to Register Online


Dates and Times

The program begins Sunday, July 24th at 5:00 pm and ends Thursday, July 28th at noon.

Where to Meet

Participants will gather in the lobby of Shaheens Adirondack Inn in Tupper Lake. 


Directions to the Shaheens Adirondack Inn can be found on their website. Call them at (518) 359-3384 if you need further assistance.  


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

We suggest Shaheen’s Adirondack Inn for this event. Contact them at (518) 359-3384 or (800) 474-2445 for reservations.  *Reservations cannot be made before January 3, 2022 and must be made by June 24th. The inn is offering discounted pricing for this workshop, so make sure to mention that you will be taking part in an Adirondack Photography Institute event. 


Other lodging suggestions in Tupper Lake:
Red Top Inn  - (518) 359-9209
Tupper Lake Motel – (518) 359-3381
Park Motel and Cabins – (518) 359-3600


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

Getting to the Event

The two nearest airports are Syracuse Hancock International Airport and the Albany Internationall Airport. 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 during the event.

The Program Schedule

Day 1

Participants gather in the lobby of Shaheens Adirondack Inn. Dinner and opening presentation by Mark Bowie. Night photo shoot.

Day 2, 3, 4

Participants may shoot sunrise on their own. Breakfast. Instructional presentation by Mark on camera settings, focusing techniques, determining exposures, photographing the stars, moon, Milky Way, meteors, auroras and other celestial objects, and capturing detail in both landscape and sky. Instructional presentation by Mark on processing night images in Lightroom, Photoshop, and star stacking and noise reduction programs. Group critique of participants’ images. Sunset, twilight and night photo shoot.

Day 5

Participants may shoot sunrise on their own. Breakfast. Instructional presentation by Mark on processing night images in Lightroom, Photoshop, and star stacking and noise reduction programs. Group critique of participants’ images. 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 has provided additional information regarding your needs for this program. Click here to view or download that information.


Please contact Mark directly with questions: (413) 442-9125 or

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