How I Got the Shot: Trout Brook

Trout Brook photograph by Mark Bowie


Liquid Gold, Trout Brook, near Hague
Exposure Data:
8 seconds, f/16, ISO 1600 
Nikon D610, Nikkor 24-70mm lens set at 29mm. 

I don’t often photograph during sunny afternoons because the light is normally quite contrasty. However, I’ve learned that in forest-lined stream corridors, much of the terrain can be in shade, and evenly lit, while dappled sunlight provides luminous accents on both the surrounding landscape and the water. When photographing streams I also look for water sluicing over rock just beneath the surface, which can create wonderful patterns. Here in Trout Brook I found this vein of golden rock. I used a polarizer to cut glare from the water’s surface and reveal the beautiful glowing rock below. Since most of the water was in shade, it has a blue tint which contrasts nicely with the warm tones of the rock. The stream zig-zags into the distance, leading one’s eyes towards sunlight highlighting hemlocks upstream. I cropped the image a bit at the top where gaps in the trees allowed distracting bright sky to show. To accentuate the foreground, I used a wide-angle lens and got down low and close to the golden rock. I selected an aperture of f/16 for good depth of field. The scene was relatively dark, so I boosted the camera’s ISO to 1600, and still needed an eight-second exposure, but I love the silky look it imparted to the water.

Mark Bowie will be leading several photo workshops through the Adirondack Photography Institute this summer, including the Adirondack Summer Landscape, with fellow instructor Joe LeFevre, from July 20th-24th in Inlet; the Photographing the Night Landscape workshop July 27th-31st in Inlet; and the Adirondack Canoe Tour August 14th-17th in Tupper Lake. For more information visit Mark is also teaching his one-day Light of Midnight seminar through the Adirondack Museum on July 25th, with classroom instruction and a night photography field session. See for information and to register. For more on Mark’s work, visit his website: