A Short Chat With Mark Bowie

In anticipation of PPSNYS Workshop, the photography school run by the PPA Community Network, Professional Photographers Society of New York State, we’re interviewing the instructors. Mark Bowie will be teaching Waterfall, Trees, and Night Sky, a Landscape Photography class that takes full advance of the school’s setting in the stunning Finger Lakes. Here’s what he has to say about what to expect at the workshop taking place July 23-28, 2023.

You can find Mark Bowie’s website here: https://www.markbowie.com/

Mark also has a couple of instructional videos available for purchase on his website:

  • Forests: The Art of Photographing Trees & Woods
  • Multiple Exposures For Maximum Landscapes

What To Bring To The Landscape Photography Class

We consider the following items important.  You can learn more about them at the workshop, but we made this checklist as a reminder to bring them if you already own them.  Items essential to this workshop are in bold.  You might also consider renting lenses, cameras, or other gear from Lens Pro To Go or other rental companies.

Camera – and extra camera body if you have one, just in case.

DSLR or mirrorless, full frame or cropped sensor.  Also, bring the camera manual should you need to consult it.

Lenses For Landscape Photography

There will likely be photo opportunities for your full range of lenses, from extreme wide angle to telephoto and macro.  We use lenses from 14-400mm (full-frame equivalent) for waterfalls and streams.  When buying lenses, we recommend getting the best quality you can afford, with maximum apertures of f/2.8 or wider for landscape work.

Tripod For Landscape Photography

For long exposures of flowing water a sturdy tripod is a MUST.  We recommend buying a lightweight carbon fiber tripod (Mark likes Induro and Gitzo brands) with a ball head.  Expect to pay $300-$400 for the set.    A quality set should last many years.

Polarizing Filter — for all your lenses.

Neutral Density Filters, Graduated Neutral Density Filters – Mark uses Tiffen 3- and 6-stop IR-ND neutral density filters. He can also recommend ND filters from Kase or Breakthrough Filters.  He also uses Singh-Ray 2-stop soft- and 3-stop hard-edge graduated filters.  Lee Filters also makes quality filters.  See www.leefilters.com.

Shutter Release ­

You can use a wired cable release, a wireless remote, or the camera’s self-timer (except in BULB).  Shutter releases are available for specific camera models, from simple units that only trip the shutter, to more advanced units with intervalometers that allow the photographer to program exposure time, count down the exposure, and shoot multiple exposures and timed intervals.  Mark uses the Vello Shutterboss III ($99) wireless intervalometer for shooting time-lapses.  He also uses his Nikon Z6’s internal intervalometer to shoot time lapses.

Camera and Lens Rain Cover

An inexpensive plastic shower cap works well in many instances.  Mark uses Op-Tech plastic rain sleeves that have a drawstring at one end and that slide over the camera & lenses.  A set of 2 costs about $6.

Additional Items

  • Battery-powered Alarm Clock/Watch – In case cell phone service isn’t available. It’s better to bring your own alarm than miss a morning shoot!
  • Cell Phone.
  • Camera Battery Charger and Extra Batteries.
  • Non-abrasive Lens Cleaning Cloth and Wipes.
  • Sensor Cleaning Tools — To remove dust and debris from the sensor.  Mark uses Eclipse solution and Sensor Swabs Ultra from Photographic Solutions.
  • Memory Cards – We use fast 64GB and 128 GB cards, good for both stills and video.

Computer Equipment

Laptop Computer

We highly recommend bringing your own laptop computer for downloading, processing, and viewing your images.

Processing Software

Good choices include Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  We use Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which includes Lightroom & Photoshop, for about $10/month.  Free 30-day trials of these programs are available from Adobe.

PPA hosts a number of instructional videos about Lightroom and Photoshop, this is a good place to review the programs before class:

Noise Reduction & Sharpening Software

We can also recommend DXO’s PhotoLab and PureRAW, or Topaz Labs’ Photo AI, DeNoise AI and Sharpen AI.

Additional Computer-Related Items

  • Power Strip – Please bring if convenient.  For easy access to power.
  • Back-up device – Such as an external hard drive.
  • Flash Drive – For sharing images.

Clothing & Outdoor Gear

Historical average temperatures for the Finger Lakes in June vary from a low of 53 to a high of 76 degrees.  It’s preferable to dress in several warm layers as temperatures can change significantly and quickly.

  • Warm Coat and Pants
  • Fleece Under Layer – Can be added or removed as the temperature changes.
  • Rain Jacket & Rain Pants – For rain and wind protection.
  • Hat
  • Hiking Boots – preferably waterproof
  • Wading boots or sandals – Two pair of footwear is wise, in case one gets wet.  Sandals and muck boots are great for wading in the streams.
  • Dress for the indoor sessions will be casual.
  • Water bottle.
  • Energy bars or other snacks.

Here is an Essential Iceland Packing List that has specific outerwear items, such as the best waterfall wading boots, that would work well in the Finger Lakes too.

Don’t Wait, Register Now

REMINDER: There is a $100 discount for the PPSNYS Workshop if the retainer is received before April 30th.

Got a question? For more information, contact Alan or Elisa Knataitis. Phone: 315-589-8665 or 315-945-4867. Email: aknataitis@editor

Here is the link to register for the New York Photography Workshop: REGISTER HERE.

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