Photography and Photoshop Classes

Online classes through Burlington Parks and Rec – with Andy Porter

I will be teaching a Basic DSLR Photography Course AND a 5-session Introduction to Photoshop Class, online, through Burlington Parks and Rec. These classes are all done via ZOOM. I just completed the first set of classes and it was a lot of fun!

The Basic DSLR Photography Class is for beginners. We will cover how to shoot in the manual mode, learn about bracketing and how to get the right shot, and also cover use of a circular polarizer, RAW files, and more. You need to have a DSLR Camera for the class (IF you cannot change lenses on the camera, its NOT a DSLR!) The class is scheduled for two different days (same Class, both days). Tuesday, June 1, from 6 to 7:30pm and again, the same class, on Tuesday, June 29, from 6pm to 7:30pm. You can enroll online through Bellingham Parks and Rec. beginning on April 12th at 8:30 am. The class is $40. Here is a link to the Parks and Rec web site. 

Introduction to Photoshop is a 5-session series of classes for anyone interested in learning some basics of Photoshop.

I never wanted to learn Photoshop. I was drawn into it rather reluctantly. But as a Nature – Landscape – Night Sky Photographer editing and prepping my images for printing is now an integral part of what I do. In this series of 5 classes we will first cover how to enhance your images using Adobe Camera Raw.  This allows you to adjust the overall exposure, shadows and highlights, as well as many other options, to make your image look much closer to what your eye saw when you captured the image.

The Camera Raw interface makes it easy to edit any image, portrait, nature or nighttime images and save them in the proper formats for printing and web use.

There will be creative lessons about layers and for some lessons you will need to both capture images, and edit them.  There is a lesson on Multiplicity, or cloning, where you blend multiple images of the same person together and another creative assignment, Levitation, learning how to make someone or something float in the air! We will also cover how to capture and edit a Panorama image and make it ready for printing.  

Students must have a current subscription to Photoshop, newest version/subscription. AND HAVE SOME familiarity with Photoshop. Please don’t download Photoshop for the first time and expect to be able to follow along!  The series of 5 classes can be purchased separately for $50 a class, or as a package for $200 for all 5 classes.  You will also need to have a camera or cell phone to capture images with as well as a simple tripod.

Why should you edit your images at all?

The Human Eye sees more than any camera can record. When you capture images of high contrast scenes, like sunrises or sunsets, the camera cannot capture BOTH the brightest AND darkest parts of the scene. So, sunset images you capture with your camera are either too bright in the sky or too dark in the foreground. But this is NOT how it looked to your eye!

You can use Photoshop to make the brightest parts of the image darker, and the darker parts of the image brighter. This is what Ansel Adams did with his black and white negatives, he “edited” them by dodging and burning (darkening and brightening) parts of the image.

In the world of Photoshop, this is easy to do. Of course Photoshop can do more than brighten and darken parts of the image; you can enhance colors, erase unwanted items in the image, and make the image look like the scene you saw with your own eye.

Each class is $50, or you can enroll for all 5 classes for $200.

Here is the link to Burlington Parks and Rec to enroll.

Classes are Wednesday Night, June 2; Thursday Night, June 10; Thursday Night, June 17; Thursday Night, July 1, and Thursday Night, July 8th. All classes from 6 to 7:30pm, all online.

IF you have ANY questions about the classes, or what will be covered, feel free to email me anytime.

Andyporterphotography@gmail.com

 

Wanted: Locations for Night Sky Photography

Capturing images of the arc of the Milky Way is fantastic fun. The images are quite stunning and not very hard to capture, if you can find the right place to photograph them!  

Getting a clear shot of the Milky Way requires that you get well away from the lights of any cities or towns. If you are near civilization the light pollution wipes out the lower half of your picture. You need a dark sky. Near my home the best place is up in the North Cascades. It’s a 2 hour drive from my place to Washington Pass. Eastern Washington has many places with wonderfully dark skies.  

Good night sky pics have an interesting foreground, in addition to the Milky Way. I’ve used mountains, highways, tents, a big stump and Fire Lookout towers!  

I am always looking for new locations and specifically, a barn, house, or any building really, located in a dark spot. For example this image is the Govan School House, located in Wilbur Washington. The building is abandoned. I climbed in there and set up a few lanterns to illuminate the place from the inside.

The building can be currently used or abandoned, we must be able to gain entry and set up lights. An old barn, out in eastern Washington or anywhere its dark, and out on the open would work wonderfully.

IF you know of any such buildings we can photograph, please let me know. Of course any place must be used with permission; trespassing on somebodies property at night with bright lights and cameras is just not smart!  

I am happy to exchange photo lessons or prints from the photo shoot with the land owner!  

Please email me any ideas or questions to: andyporterphotography@gmail.com

Photography and Photoshop Classes

Starting in February 2021 I will be teaching a Basic DSLR Photography Course AND a 5-session Photoshop Class, online, through Bellingham Parks and Rec.

The Basic DSLR Photography Class is for beginners. We will cover how to shoot in the manual mode, learn about bracketing and how to get the right shot, and also cover use of a circular polarizer, RAW files, and more. You need to have a DSLR Camera for the class. The class is scheduled for two different days (same Class, both days). Thursday, Feb 18, from 6 to 8pm. and again on Tuesday, March 11, from 6pm to 8pm. You can enroll online here, through Bellingham Parks and Rec. The class is $50.

Intro to Photoshop is a 5-session series of classes for anyone interested in learning some basics of Photoshop. We will spend 2 lessons learning how to edit your landscape, nature and outdoors images with Adobe Camera Raw. This is a fun and fast way to edit your images. We will also do several assignments together, both capturing images and then editing them with Photoshop. We will cover Multiplicity, Levitation and Panorama.

To take the Photoshop Class you must have a current subscription to Adobe Photoshop/Creative Cloud.

Each class is $50, or you can enroll for all 5 classes for $200. Here is the link to Bellingham Parks and Rec to enroll. Classes are Wednesday Nights, Feb. 17, Feb 24, March 3, March 10 and March 17, all classes from 6 to 8pm, all online.

Sunset at Artist Point

The Mt Baker Highway (WA Rte 542) runs from Bellingham Bay east, through the town of Glacier, past the two ski lodges and finally, to the roads end, at Artist Point.

The road to the ski areas is open year round, but the last few miles of road up to Artist Point is only open in the summer.

The view is quite dramatic, with Mt Shuksan looming above on one side, while the huge snow cone of Mt Baker sits by at arms reach.

Here are a few pics from a recent visit at sunset, and beyond.

 

 

 

Night Sky Class at Artist Point

I teach Night Sky Photography through the North Cascades Institute, 2 or 3 classes a year.

The most recent class was July 31. We all met at the Glacier Public Information Center. The people from NCI came with a bus.

There were 15 students, we all met there and prepped our camera settings in the parking lot, jumped in the bus, and made our way up the hill to Artist Point.

We were there a bit early, so we practiced a bit, and when it was dark, we spread out and captured images.

I was busy, visiting the students to help with the details.

The sky was partly cloudy, we weren’t sure what we’d get, but as real darkness fell the vista was amazing.

Here are a few pics I managed while enjoying the dark spaces.

I teach photography for adults in Burlington, at Parks and Rec. Classes start in September.

I also do Night Sky Photo Tours, here is the link.

2020 Calendar – Night Sky Images of Washington State

2020 Calendar – Night Sky Images of Washington State

The 2020 Calendar is here a bit early this year!

There are several reasons for this, first, people who visit Washington in the summer want calendars! And normally none are available. Also I wanted to do a Night Sky Calendar for some time, which means no need to worry about getting seasonal images, etc etc.

So, here it is, the 2020 Calendar – Night Sky Images of Washington State

The calendar is printed on 100lb bond, gloss stock, really nice paper. The size is 8′ x 12′ (a bit bigger than normal) which means that I didn’t have to either crop the image, OR add a border to the print.

Ring bound and shrink wrapped, they are ready to ship anywhere your heart desires!

$20 each, shipping $6

You can order your copy here.

The Night Sky Images of Washington State – 2020 Calendar is for sale locally at:

North Cascades National Park / Forest Service Headquarters, Sedro-Woolley

Skagit Valley Food Co-op, Mt Vernon

Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce, Sedro-Woolley

Bulk Orders and Orders for Resale are available! Contact me at Andyporterphotography@gmail.com

Here are the 14 images

Night Sky Images of Washington State

I have been capturing night sky images of Washington State for about 4 years now. These 14 images display my moments of good luck so far.

Capturing nice Milky Way shots is not difficult, technically. A decent camera, wide angle lens, tripod and remote are all that’s needed. The aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focus are all set. You can read more about the settings here.

The tricky part is getting yourself and camera to a spot far away from light pollution, on a night when there is
a.) No moon in the sky and
b.) No clouds covering up the stars!

Once you get that all figured out, then its a matter of practice, trail and error (lots of errors), and really just getting yourself out there.

The settings for these types of images were the same:

  • Milky Way shots: Aperture: f2/8 ; Shutter Speed: 30 seconds ; ISO 2,500 to 6,400
  • Star Trail Shots: Aperture: f2/8 ; Shutter Speed: 20 minutes ; ISO 100

Here are the details on each image.

First Beach, Olympic Coast This is First Beach, in La Push, down the road from Forks. I used this huge stump to block the light pollution from the small village. This was taken in January, and the Milky Way is faint.

Winchester Lookout at Dawn Late September, the Lookout had been battened down for the fall… Early sunrise created a split sky of colors, while my friends meditated with their I phone. They would have the phone “on” for just 2 or 3 seconds during my 30 exposure. The light in the lookout is from a very dim stand-up flashlight I put on the floor of the building

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort The plan was to wander off from the resort and camp and takes pics. This was shot at about 2am, in late July. There are several satellites in this image. When using a wide angle lens you have to be very close to any foreground objects, or they will be very tiny in your image.

Sahale Camp, North Cascades National Park This is the highest camp site in the North Cascades National Park, at more than 7,500 ft. The view is facing south. 30 second exposure, my friends in the tent had the light on for 1 -2 seconds. Any longer and the tent would be over exposed.

Night Sky Images of Washington State 2020 Calendar

This year I started the Calendar early! We printed on 8″ x 12″ sheets of 100lb bond, glossy paper.

They really look fabulous! Each individually wrapped.

The calendar is now back from the printer and ready to ship anywhere in the world!

Order Yours Here

Palouse Falls is a wonderful spot for Night Sky Imaging, its very remote and scenic. Someone started a campfire in the basin that night, and that’s where the wonderful illumination comes from in this shot.

Mount Larrabee, North Cascades This is a 20 minute exposure. The green glow along the horizon is the Aurora Borealis! This image was captured from atop Winchester Mountain.

Nighttime at Diablo Overlook Here is a south facing view of Colonial Peak, from Diablo Overlook. The star trails are streaks across the frame. If you shoot pointing north the star trails form a circle.

Milky Way over the North Cascades Highway at the Washington Pass Overlook. This image was taken on June 2nd, at about 1am. As the Earth rotates the Milky Way arcs across the sky. The tail lights from a car headed east, to Winthrop, provide the lighting for this pic.

Mount Shuksan and Picture Lake This famous view of Mt Shuksan affords some nice reflective opportunities! Its easy to get to, and from there you can head up to Artist Point for more images of Mts. Shuksan and Baker.

Buying Prints

Prints are available for all images. Traditional paper prints of all sizes are possible. These come ready for matting and framing. Canvas Wrapped Prints of any styles and sizes are also available directly from the web site. Here is the link to the Night Sky Gallery. Feel free to call me if you have any questions. 360-809-0661.

Also, if you use the code: NIGHTSKY50 you will receive 50% off your order!

Govan School House. Located near Wilbur on Hwy 2, this remote abandoned building was perfect for night sky. We illuminated the inside with a Coleman Lantern and a few other orange/yellow lights. I would love to find some more old building or barns to do this again!

Park Butte Lookout and Mt Baker. I brought a very dim flash light and hung it from the ceiling, I could barely see it from out side, and it provided plenty of light for me. It looks like the stars emanate from the crater on Mt Baker!

Liberty Bell, North Cascades Highway. The Washington Pass Overlook is one of the best spots there is to capture night sky pics. Its VERY dark, the foreground is outstanding (Liberty Bell and the hairpin turn in the North Cascades Hwy) and its easy to park and get there in the dark.

Camped along Baker River, North Cascades. I would start the 30 second exposure and yell to them: Turn it on! and then after 1 second, Turn it off! that was plenty of light on their faces and the tent. The gravel bars along Baker River are an easy distance and very dark spots for night sky.

Winchester Lookout and the Northern Lights. For long exposures, if you point towards the North Star, all of the other stars will make concentric circles. The green and reddish glow is the Aurora Borealis.

Night Sky Photo Classes and Photo Tours

Currently I am scheduled to teach one more Night Sky Photo Class this year, through the North Cascades Institute. It is scheduled for Wednesday night, July 31, and you can find out more here, and register.

Night Sky Photo Tours are also available each month at the New Moon. I take individuals and groups to Drive-in locations, like the Washington Pass Overlook, or Artist Point. For those adventurous photographers who can carry a 30 lb backpack up hill for a while, there are back country locations we can visit, like the Park Butte or Winchester Mountain Lookouts. You can find out more here, and feel free to email or call if you have any questions.

Photography Classes in Burlington Fall 2018

Andy Porter Photography

I will be teaching several Photography Classes in Burlington Fall 2018. There are 3 different classes, each is about 2.5 hours long and cost $40.

How to Capture Awesome Images with your DSLR – Beginners Level 1

Looking down the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River

There are 4 scheduled sessions for this class on different dates and times to make it easier to find a date that works for you.

  • Sept. 18,    Tuesday,      6pm – 8:30pm
  • Sept. 27,    Thursday,     6pm – 8:30pm
  • Oct. 6,       Saturday,      10am – 12:30pm
  • Nov. 6,      Tuesday,      6pm – 8:30pm

Taking pictures with your new DSLR is easy, just set it on auto and shoot away. Capturing GOOD pictures with your new DSLR…that’s harder. Quality photography starts with understanding how to set your exposure manually.  This is NOT difficult to do.

In this 3 hour workshop we’ll cover aperture and shutter speed and show you how to change them on your camera. Next we’ll discuss how to use these settings to create the image you want. Bracketing the exposure is a very key part of this and will set you on the right path. We will also cover the use of polarizers and capturing images in the RAW format.

To register for classes, visit the Burlington Parks and Rec web site here

How to Capture Awesome Images with your DSLR – Intermediate Level 2

Mt Rainier and Packwood Lake

There are 2 scheduled sessions for this class on different dates and times to make it easier to find a date that works for you.

  • Oct. 16,    Tuesday,      6pm – 8:30pm
  • Oct. 27,    Saturday,     10am – 12:30pm

In this class we will delve deeper into depth of field and how to master control over how much of what’s in front of you is in focus. Then we’ll cover the use of different shutter speeds to create stunning, unique images.

We will discuss different types of lenses and which is best for you.

Next will be more advanced techniques to obtain a sharp focus throughout your entire image, we will practice each technique as we go.

This class will cover in detail how to shoot Milky Way and Star Trail images.

Bring your tripod and any and all lenses you have for your camera.

Prerequisites: You must have taken the How to Capture Awesome Images with your DSLR – Beginners Level 1 (aka Nature Photography – Beginners class) OR be VERY comfortable shooting in the Manual Mode with your current camera.

Liberty Bell and the Milky Way

Photography Composition and Basic Editing

Having an eye” for photography is definitely an acquired skill! Once you learn the basic tools and practice you’ll have it. We will cover: subject placement; use of the horizon; reflections; leading lines; the Rule of Thirds; framing and more.

Then we’ll delve into how to edit your images on the computer, covering cropping, color adjustment, filters and all sorts of amazing stuff to make your images pop!

  • Nov. 8,   Thursday,   6pm  – 8:30pm

To register for ALL CLASSES you must sign up and pay through Burlington Parks and Recreation. Seating is limited so sign up sooner!

Visit their web site here  OR Call them at : 360-755-9649

Andy Porter Images is my main web site where you can buy prints, calendars, cards and more.

Are you interested in a Night Sky Photo Tour? Learn more here.

Questions? Email me at andyporterphotography@gmail.com