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Cape Cod: Light on the Landscape with Mark Bowie

  • Cape Cod Art Center 3480 Massachusetts 6A Barnstable, MA, 02630 United States (map)

Cape Cod: Light on the Landscape
with Mark Bowie

October 2018: Thursday, Oct 18-Sunday, Oct 21- starting at 6:30PM Thursday

Cost: Members $330  Non-Members $400

Program Description

It all starts with the light… and the Cape has a special quality of light.  Here it interacts with the convergence of land and sea, the salty atmosphere, a variety of coastal environments and distinctive subject matter, all of which make this place unique.  In this brand new workshop, we’ll explore Cape light from pre-dawn to deep night, to experience the essence of this place and craft meaningful images — images with feeling, that come from the heart.

Professional landscape photographer and night shooting expert Mark Bowie will lead this power-packed workshop on the innovative techniques he uses for taking extraordinary landscape imagery.  He will lead day and night photography field sessions to some of the Cape’s finest scenery: the ocean, beaches, dunes, coastal waterways, lighthouses and fishing villages.  Our schedule and selection of shooting locations will remain flexible to take best advantage of the weather and lighting conditions.  Indoor instructional sessions will be held at the Cape Cod Art Center in Barnstable.  Mark will explore the beautiful interaction of light and subject that speaks to somewhere deep within us.  He’ll also offer strategies, tips and techniques for the field and the digital darkroom on:


  • The quality, direction and color of light
  • Reading weather and shooting the light
  • The interaction of light and subject matter
  • Shooting at sunrise, sunset, twilight and at night
  • Photographing the night landscape in relation to the celestial skies
  • Seeing from different vantage points
  • Designing and fine-tuning powerful compositions using the principles of visual flow, dynamic tension, balance, leading lines, shapes and patterns
  • Using exposure to control mood and atmosphere
  • Determining exposure at night
  • Achieving critical focus-day and night
  • Using Live View
  • 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 multiple exposures — layer masks, HDR’s, panoramas, star trails and time-lapse sequences — and blending them with state-of-the-art software
  • Focus stackingto maximize depth of field
  • Processing images for maximum impact

Informative and inspiring, this workshop is geared for both amateur and advanced photographers who want to take their landscape imagery to new levels.  Join Mark to explore the wonders of Cape Cod light.  “Find the light and shoot what’s in it.”



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


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.

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 – Light levels are usually too low early in the day and at night to photograph properly without a sturdy tripod.  If you need to purchase one, I can offer recommendations.  Hunt’s Photo often offers discount specials to my students.

Lots of Memory Card Storage.

Camera Battery Charger and Extra Batteries.

Non-abrasive Lens Cleaning Cloth and Wipes.

Polarizing Filter

Neutral Density (ND) Filters, Graduated Neutral Density Filters – To extend exposure times.  I use Tiffen 3- and 6-stop IR neutral density filters.  See  Lee Filters also makes quality filters.  See

Graduated Neutral Density Filters – Primarily for daytime use.  I use Singh-Ray 2-stop soft and 3-stop hard-edge graduated filters.  See

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:



Many Nikons have a built-in intervalometer, or you can use the Nikon MC-36A Multi-Function Remote Cord, about $190.  See  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.  Bring both small and large lights for light painting.  Bring other light sources, like LED’s or glow sticks, for painting with wild colors.

Rain/snow Cover – For camera and lens protection.  An inexpensive plastic shower cap works well in many instances.

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

Cell Phone.


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. We 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:

  1. Lightroom. A free trial version is available at


  1. QuickTime Pro: $29.99. Available at:
  2. LRTimelapse: The free down load will allow you to load up to 400 images: software is particularly good at reducing flicker.

Back-up device – Such as an external hard drive.

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.

Other Suggestions

Water bottle.

Energy bars or other snacks.

Later Event: October 21
Hyannis Open Streets