by Dave Warner

Join Carl Heilman II, Adirondack landscape photographer for a community presentation, at 7:00 pm, July 13, 2022, at Rock City Centre, and then the next day for a full workshop from 9-5 pm at the Little Falls High School media lab. The community presentation is free, as is the workshop, which is designed for students.

This is the first of a number of presentations that will be made by photographers and filmmakers in Little Falls, based on a grant The Creative Outpost, Inc., received from the UpMobility Foundation.

Heilman is an award-winning outdoor photographer who specializes in nature panoramas, murals, and nature photography of Lake George, Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, New York State, the Maine Coast, and Montana panoramas and photos. He also creates wilderness nature photos of National Parks and other wild areas in the US and Canada.

He says that he spent his childhood in Pennsylvania, but he moved up to the Adirondacks and his parent’s summer place when he was 18. “So I have a history here. I’d always been coming here for as long as I can remember.”

“I got the photo bug after I’d made a hand-crafted pair of snowshoes and headed out to do some snowshoeing around here and up Pharaoh Mountain. I got to the top and was looking at the high peaks in the distance and saw all those glistening white mountains and said that’s where I’m going.”

He then climbed Algonquin and was just in awe of the wilderness and the winter world up there. “I wanted to find a way to hold on to the feeling of being there and thought I might be able to do that with a camera,” he said.

Heilman waited a few months to save up the money for a camera, then bought some film and set out to photograph the Adirondacks and try to capture that feeling.

“There’s snapping the shutter, but then there’s the learning experience and looking at other photos and thinking why don’t mine look like that?”

A lot of time went into figuring out the ways to turn his photos into what he wanted, and part of what he is now focused on is giving others that same opportunity through workshops and different kinds of presentations.

“I’ve enjoyed over the years sharing what I’ve learned and guiding people through the more difficult parts of what I’ve learned so they can get the photos that they want. Whether it’s wildlife, landscapes, or people photography, there are basic principles behind every photography,” he stated.

Photo by Carl Heilman II

For the community presentation, he says that over the years, he’s had a number of photography projects and that when he has one, it helps pull his thoughts and energy together in a direction. “I’ve always been intrigued with the angles of photos that I dream about that actually come true.”

One of the projects that he got to do a few years ago was for Adirondack Life, where they asked him to do a series of photographs from exactly the same spot, looking in the same direction, for every month of the year.

“Their requirements were water, mountains, nighttime, and of course the monthly scenes,” Heilman said.

“After a lot of thought about locations, I picked one that was easy access for people so that if they wanted to go and do the same shot, they weren’t tramping off the trail somewhere to find this unique location that I’d found.”

A ridge view on Giant Mountain overlooked the washbowl and had the High Peaks behind it with a south/southwest view which worked for the right light conditions for any time of the day.

“Through the year I was up there thirty-five times to capture the twelve images that they requested that turned into a real year-long project for me,” he stated.

He said that he enjoyed pulling in time-lapse sequences as well as a variety of other shots outside of the ones that were requested by Adirondack Life.

“I’ve put together a program that takes people through that year that I spent on the Giant Ridge Trail.”

For the workshop the next day, involving students from Little Falls City School District, Heilman said, “It’s an intensive introductory workshop designed to take people step-by-step through becoming more familiar with their camera, and then understanding the basic camera principles – exposure, motion, composition, and depth of field.”

The PowerPoint presentation is divided into chapters and at the end of each chapter, Heilman will work with individual students so that they understand the settings. “It will be the best and easiest way to check your exposure while you’re shooting.”

“It’s a really comprehensive day-long workshop to help give people an initial understanding and help them feel more comfortable with their camera, even if it’s a smartphone.”

The workshop is called ‘Perfect Pictures Every Time’. “The digital camera gives you the potential to create a perfect picture every time, so that’s the real advantage of digital photography, and what I try to convey during this workshop,” he said.

Students in the workshop will also be taken on a walking tour just east of the school to get some out-in-the-field experience.

To sign up for either of these events, go to https://creativeoutpost.org/events/ and click on the RSVP button under the event you want to attend. Space is limited, so please make your reservation early.

This program is in collaboration with the Little Falls Youth and Family Center and is funded by a grant from the UpMobility Foundation.

About The Creative Outpost, Inc.

The Creative Outpost, Inc. is a 501C3 charitable organization providing workforce development services in the form of vocational training, workshops, and internships to the general public. It offers an opportunity for up-skilling workers in a changing economy. It also provides career pathways to low-income youth with trade skills for employment locally and within the 45-minute commuting shed of Little Falls, NY. The organization leverages its workforce services by fostering collaborative partnerships within the film, video, and media industries to facilitate internships and job opportunities for its students.