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Carl Heilman

Carl Heilman II is an internationally published photographer and author. Carl has been photographing North American wilds since the mid 1970's, working to capture both the grandeur of these special places, and the emotional and spiritual connection he has felt as well. He's been digital since setting up a 'digital darkroom' with a film scanner and Photoshop 4.0 in 1997, and went fully digital with a Nikon D200 several years ago. His work has been published in numerous publications including National Geographic Explorer, Outdoor Photographer, Shutterbug, the New York Times, Nature Conservancy publications, Adirondack Life, and the Conservationist.

His most recent books are the 'The Landscape Photography Field Guide', from Focal Press (fall 2011), and 'Contemporary Landscape Photography', from Amphoto (2010). They are both published internationally by The Ilex Press, London. These books are both comprehensive and concise guides to digital photography. The field guide is printed in a 4" x 6" handbook size that is easy to carry in a camera pack. It is cross referenced, with an index and glossary as well as reference pages for the full digital workflow and shooting guidelines. They both offer photo tips and techniques from Carl's 35 years of experience with a camera. His coffee table books include, 'The Maine Coast', 'The Adirondacks', and 'Adirondacks: Views of An American Wilderness' by Rizzoli; 'Lake George' by North Country Books; and 3 NY State books by Voyageur Press

Since the 1990's, Carl has enjoyed sharing his photography experience to help folks learn more about photography in his diverse photography and Photoshop workshops. These are based in special landscapes around the country as well as his favorite shooting locations near his home in the Adirondack Park. His AV programs have aired on regional PBS stations, and he was featured in the May 2008 national PBS special, 'The Adirondacks'.

Information on Carl's publications, fine art prints, and workshops can be found online at www.carlheilman.com www.facebook.com/NaturePhotographyTips www.facebook.com/NaturePhotographyWorkshops

Falling Water


The abundance of water in the Adirondacks creates endless opportunities for landscape photographers. Besides all the lakes and ponds, are the many streams and rivers, with lots of different waterfalls and cascades. While taking photos with the camera on Program Mode can capture some nice images, over-riding the camera's settings by using Aperture or Shutter Priority, or Manual Mode lets you set up longer exposures so you can capture the changing patterns that moving water creates.


heilman_ND207800.jpgWorking with Aperture Priority and setting the camera to the smallest aperture, plus dropping the ISO to the smallest number, gets the camera down to the slowest exposure you can set in the current available light. Be sure to mount the camera on a sturdy tripod so all the rocks and other details are as sharp as possible.

Cloudy days or lower light at the beginning or end of the day are best for getting the slow exposures of about 1/8 sec or longer needed to create a nice soft blur with moving water. Filters, such as a polarizer or a neutral density filter - with a 2 stop to 6 stop light reduction - can be used on the front of the lens to cut down the amount of light, making it easier to shoot longer exposures in brighter conditions.

With digital, once you have taken the photo, it's easy to zoom into the image to check the amount of motion blur to see if you like the effect. Then you can change the shutter speed to a longer or shorter time and try again if it isn't working as well as you'd like!  

heilman_NA057018.jpgIt doesn't take working with a big waterfall to make a great picture - all you need is some moving water in any stream or river, a couple of rocks, and some time to set up a camera and experiment! And, you don't have to be that far away from the road - this waterfall photo was taken in a small park along the main road right at the outlet of Lake Luzerne. It was a wonderful location to experiment with folks on composition and techniques during the workshops I just did at the Adirondack Folk School this past weekend.

Happy shooting!


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WOW those waterfall pics are gorgeous. Can't wait to see even more of your work!

Love your pics !

I like the way you wrote this article. I do hope you continue to write more articles like these and touch on more interesting points.

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