Behind the Lens: Bog in a Fog

by | Photography

Exposure Data:
1/80 Second, F/16, ISO 800
Nikon D610 Camera, Nikkor 24-70mm lens at 52mm

In 2015, during my self-assigned Finding November project, I visited a tributary stream of Glen Lake, along the southern border of the Adirondack Park. My goal for the project was to look beyond the month’s bare trees and gray skies to discover what hidden beauty November might possess. This place seemed to touch upon its very essence. It was 8:14 a.m. and a cold fog drifted through the tamarack bog. I watched it rise and fall, shimmer and wave, like a ribbon in a breeze. By then the leaves were off the trees and the tamaracks had shed many of their needles. The stalks of the feathery rushes were now golden-brown. Late autumn’s muted color palette cast a somber tone—brooding, mysterious, atmospheric. I felt the bog’s waning energy, the inexorable descent towards the next season.

Yet when I looked closer I found glimmers of life, and hope still aglow. The rushes still seemed to rejoice with the new day, the last yellow-green needles colored the tamaracks, and the undersides of the clouds were being painted with a luminous yellow-orange. It cast a warm glow over the landscape.

Interestingly, my image is strengthened by both vertical and horizontal components. The repetitive lines of rushes, marsh grasses and tamaracks give it a vertical movement; the horizontal bands of rushes, tamaracks, fog, forest and sky build depth. November’s beauty may be understated, but it’s unique to this time of year.  Whether you’re a photographer or not, challenging yourself to truly see it will bring visual treasures beyond your preconceptions, and a renewed appreciation for nature’s resilience.


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. API is already posting the 2021 workshop schedule to their website. It includes Mark’s popular winter workshop and two night photography summer workshops. For the program descriptions and to register, see www.adkpi.org. Please visit Mark’s website, www.markbowie.com, to view image galleries and keep abreast of his workshops, presentations and product releases.


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