Behind the Lens: Predawn Fog, Lake George

by Mark Bowie | Photography

Frozen in Time—Lac du Saint Sacrement in Predawn Fog, Lake George

Exposure Data:
1/2 sec, f/4, ISO 1600
Nikon D610 camera, Nikkor 80-200mm lens set at 125mm.

I arrived at Million Dollar Beach along the south shore of Lake George in the blues of predawn twilight looking to shoot up the lake towards distant islands and mountains awash in blue. But to my surprise the streetlights and shops along Beach Road were spotlighting a line of blue fog, turning it purplish-pink. Struck by the pleasing color contrast I homed in on the scene with a moderate telephoto. It was an unseasonably warm morning. The longish focal length compressed the alternating light and dark bands of melting ice. I noticed all the major compositional elements were horizontal lines: the long ship, the narrow band of the village, the fog layer and mountain ridge. They practically demanded to be shot in a horizontal composition, framed between the blue ice and sky.

The scene also communicated a feeling. From afar, it felt suspended in time—as if I were viewing it in a moment between pre-dawn and sunrise, between winter and spring, the sleepy off-season and bustling tourist trade. Yet change was stirring. The ice was melting; fog lifted from the lake, feeding the long swirling stream. The place was slowly waking from its winter slumber.

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a much sought-after public speaker, offering presentations for conferences, camera clubs and other groups. He is a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute, which is offering a full slate of workshops in 2018. Mark’s next API workshop is the Waterfalls of Ricketts Glen, PA, May 31–June 3, with Joe LeFevre. For all program descriptions see For more on Mark’s work, visit

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