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Carl Heilman

Carl Heilman II is an internationally published photographer and author. He has been photographing the Adirondacks since the mid 1970's, working to capture the grandeur, and his emotional and spiritual connection to these special locations in each of his photographs. His work has been published in numerous regional and international publications including National Geographic Explorer, Outdoor Photographer, Shutterbug, the New York Times, Nature Conservancy publications, Adirondack Life, the Adirondack Explorer, and the Conservationist.

Carl leads a variety of one day and multi-day photography and Photoshop workshops and tours each year in the Adirondack Park, Acadia National Park and other unique landscapes around the country. His AV programs have aired on regional PBS stations, and are shown regularly in regional nature centers. He was the featured photographer in the May 2008 national PBS special, 'The Adirondacks'.

His most recent books are, '101 Top Tips for Digital Landscape Photography' (Ilex Press, May 2014), 'Photographing the Adirondacks' (Countryman Press, June 2013), 'The Landscape Photography Field Guide' (Focal Press / Ilex Press, fall 2011), and 'Advanced Digital Landscape Photography' (Ilex Press 2010). The field guide is available for Kindle, or as a 4" x 6" handbook that easily fits in a camera pack. While the Adirondacks book is more specific to this region, all the books offer creative photo tips and techniques from Carl's 4 decades 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.

Information on Carl's photography workshops, fine art prints, calendars, books, and puzzles are online at www.carlheilman.com

On Facebook - Facebook.com/NaturePhotographyWorkshops

Facebook Photo Help Page

He has also written articles as one of the photo 'experts' at the Adorama Learning Center

Plus, there are a couple of video segments of his work, as well as a segment from 'The Adirondacks'

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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