How I Got the Shot: Morning Light at Chapel Pond

by Mark Bowie | Photography


Early Morning Light, Chapel Pond

Exposure Data:

0.6 seconds, f/22, ISO 200 

Nikon D70, Nikkor 24-70mm lens set at 24mm.

Much photographed in the warmer months, idyllic Chapel Pond takes on a different guise late in the year. On this November morning, a hard frost painted the shoreline. Shafts of sunlight squeezed through the narrow valley to light birches on the adjacent cliffside, their reflections mirrored in the still water. The austere late autumn waterscape suddenly came alive, the birches seeming to dance with joy.

The image has a wonderful visual flow. The eye first takes in the bright birches, then circles around the frosty shoreline. There’s also a pleasing color contrast between the warm tones of the sunlight striking the trees and the rest of the landscape in cool blue shadows. November is a wonderful time for exploring and for creating uncommon images. The lack of leaves reveals the underlying character of the landscape and the light comes through clean, crisp atmosphere. The resulting colors have a distinctive look and feel: brilliant … and cold!  

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a sought-after public speaker, offering presentations to camera clubs, environmental groups and others. He is a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute (API). API’s 2016 schedule of photo workshops will soon be posted at For more on Mark’s work, visit

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