How I Got the Shot: Spring Flow, Chapel Pond Outlet

by Mark Bowie | Photography, Uncategorized

Spring Flow, Chapel Pond outlet

Exposure Data:
1.3 seconds, f/22, ISO 200
Nikon D70, Nikkor 12-24mm lens set at 12mm.

On an overcast, drizzly day I found the outlet stream of Chapel Pond flowing beneath a radiant spring canopy. It was like being in a secret garden. Moss-covered rocks were evidence that the corridor was often in shade. The rain had moistened the rocks so that there were no glaring hotspots.  

Photographers are often told to simplify their compositions, to include only those elements that enhance the image. However, compositions can become too simplistic. I’m drawn to images that have what I call visual complexity—that is, the viewer can readily ascertain the main subject, yet there’s more to discover as they move through the scene. Landscape photographer Ian Plant wrote, “The marriage of simplicity and complexity will allow you to create sophisticated compositions that have both a strong initial impact and hold the viewer’s interest over time.”

There are several layers of visual interest in my scene. The grouping of bright rocks commands the foreground and forms a strong diagonal with the leaning log and the large boulder in the center. The stream parallels it, leading into the distance. There’s more to explore in the stream off-shoot to the left, the shaded hillside and spring greenery. It’s compositionally well-defined, yet with lots to discover.     

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a much sought-after public speaker, offering presentations to camera clubs, environmental groups and others. He recently released a new e-book, Finding November, about his quest to seek out the hidden beauty beyond the month’s bare trees and gray skies. He is a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute (API). See API’s 2016 schedule of photo workshops, including the Weekend with Adirondack Life Magazine event, at For more on Mark’s work, visit

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