Behind the Lens: Lake Eaton

by Mark Bowie | Photography

Sticks ’n’ Stones ’n’ Ripples, Lake Eaton State Campground

Exposure Data:
1 sec, f/16, ISO 100
Nikon D610, Nikkor 24-70mm lens set at 32mm.

We are naturally drawn to patterns in nature, and they can make compelling imagery. I’ve seen ripples in the sandy shallows of Lake Eaton before, but there’s more to this spot that conveys a sense of this place; it’s so “Adirondack.” The ripples are overlain by sticks aligned perpendicular to the shore from wave motion. Pebbles are lodged in pockets between the ripples, and fallen autumn leaves are partially submerged in the sand. And, like along so many Adirondack shores, bands of black magnetite alternate with light brown bands of quartz, feldspar and mica.

The trick to capturing this scene was to reduce the glare off the surface of the water so the bottom features were more visible. In the field, I used a circular polarizer, and in processing increased the contrast—slightly, so as not to lose much detail in the sticks—then used Lightroom’s Dehaze slider on specific areas and in varying amounts. It’s particularly adept at cutting haze but it also boosts contrast, so I was careful not to overdo it. The resulting image conveys late autumn in the Adirondacks and the cyclical nature of the passage of seasons.

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. His Finding November e-book details his quest to look beyond the bare trees and gray skies to discover the month’s hidden beauty. It’s full of lessons in the art of seeing. Watch for his public presentations on the project. He is also a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute (API). API will release its 2018 schedule of events soon. For details see For more on Mark’s work, including the e-book, visit

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