Behind the Lens: Heart Lake Sea Foam

by Mark Bowie | Photography

Photograph by Mark Bowie


Heart Lake Sea Foam

Exposure Data:
2 Seconds, F/22, ISO 100
Nikon Z6 Camera, Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 29mm

On a blustery morning at Heart Lake, winds were driving whitecaps into the shoreline, now scalloped into tiny bays by the erosive action. Downed autumn leaves collected along the edges. Natural foam washed in and out with the wave action, riding over and around the leaves. I felt like I was at the ocean.

I was shooting video of the phenomenon when I realized that long-exposure still images could also be interesting. I attached a six-stop neutral density filter and a polarizer, stopped my aperture down to f/22 and kept the ISO low at 100, which allowed me to lengthen exposures to two- to four-seconds. I experimented with shorter shutter speeds, but two-second exposures best captured the water and foam swirling around the colorful leaves. The polarizer also cut glare off the water’s surface, allowing the leaves below to shine through.

It was a raw, rugged and wild scene—nature sculpting and reshaping the landscape, reminding me that our earth is always in flux, and that new photo opportunities present themselves with every turn.

Mark Bowie is a frequent contributor to Adirondack Life magazine and a much sought-after public speaker, offering presentations in-person and via Zoom for conferences, camera clubs and other groups. He is a staff instructor for the Adirondack Photography Institute. For the latest information on API’s 2021 workshop schedule, see their website:, or ask to be added to the contact list. Please visit Mark’s website,, to view image galleries and keep abreast of his workshops, presentations and product releases.

Related Stories

On Newsstands Now

December 2023

Sleigh rides, sipping whiskey in a speakeasy and more cold-weather fun at Lake Clear Lodge, plus park-inspired gifts, the North Country’s nuclear past and a sneak peek at a park-based novel from a bestselling author.
  • Adirondack Life Digital Edition

Adirondack Life Magazine

Subscribe Today!

Latest Articles


Follow Us

Adirondack Life Store

for calendars, apparel, maps and more!