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

 

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

Vote for the 2018 Calendar Images!

Always a tough call, which images to include for the next calendar… 14 images (12 months and front/back covers)

Please vote your fave in each category in the “Leave a Reply” section below.

Choice number 1:

I want to use one of these sunset shots from the Samish Overlook, which do you fancy? Choose your favorite and second fave.

Choice 2: View of Clear Lake from Big Rock: Which?

Choice 3: Samish Island Sunset.  Which?

Choice 4:

Tulips: Whats your first and second favorites?

Choice 5: Night Sky – Pick your two favorites

Choice 6: Scenic View: Pick your top two.

Here are a few pictures that have already made the cut:

The 2018 Calendars come off the press ready to ship by the end of October!

Washington Journey Magazine

Some months ago I was referred to a local travel author for tips on capturing awesome landscape images. I shared my ideas and sent it off with some images. I was a bit surprised to get a call later from a “fact checker” to verify what I had said!

Months past and I assumed the article was scrapped, but behold, here it is in the Fall issue of Washington Journey Magazine.

Departures  — Journeys Issue: September/October 2017

Scroll down a bit for the article “Picture Perfect”.

The next Night Sky Class at the North Cascades Institute is scheduled for Sat. Sept. 16th. This class is through NCI, I am the instructor. We will visit Artist Point.

I will also be doing Night Sky Tours on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday,Oct. 21 Here is the Link. 

Classes in Burlington and Marysville start again September.

 

Winter along the Cascade Loop Highway

Last week I had an opportunity to drive over the mountains on the Cascade Loop Highway, to Eastern Washington for a 3 day winter photo safari. The plan was to escape and explore on the east side of the mountains where they have a REAL winter with snow and that sort of thing.

I had intended to do some hiking and out door adventures but my plans were derailed by the two wonderfully sumptuous resorts I stayed in along the way.

My trip took me over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth, where I stayed at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. Leavenworth is a heaven for all winter activities, and the weather was perfect: It snowed the night before I arrived, was clear during the day and snowed again late at night, making for perfect conditions.

The drive over Stevens Pass was uneventful, at a bit over 4,000 feet the top of the pass was crusted with snow, but traction was good and all went perfectly.

The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort was such a treat. Everything about the place is wonderful, the rooms, food, hospitality and location, in fact it was too nice! I found myself so pampered that I didn’t make it very far afield out side, but rather luxuriated in the spa, hot tub and wonderfully warm room…

Here are a few images from my stay.

The next day took me further east along the Cascade Loop Highway to Twisp and another way too incredible lodging opportunity at the Twisp River Suites.

I rarely stay in resorts, or even hotels for that matter, I am happy with my Thermarest and sleeping bag. I am slightly embarrassed to report that I made little effort to brave the elements outdoors, but rather opted for the living the life of luxury at the Twisp River Suites. The room was amazing, everything perfect, even the couch was captivating, it enveloped me completely!

But, I did manage to get a few pics and here they are!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Night Sky Images 2016

Here, in no particular order, are the best night shots from this last year.

I am seriously looking forward to many new adventures in 2017.

For information about Night Sky Photo Tours, click here!

2017 Washington State Scenic Calendar is here!

The new 2017 Washington State Scenic Calendar is here!

Printed on 8.5″ x 11″ 100lb bond glossy paper the images will really pop with color and vibrance.

In my opinion, its my best calendar yet.

The calendars will be $20 each. Shipping anywhere in the US is $6 and anywhere out of the US the shipping cost is $12.

Calendars ship out in 24 hours.

We will ship your calendars anywhere you’d like!

Here is the link to order!

Here are the images from this years calendar.

Stehekin Weekend

Stehekin Weekend

We’ve made it onto the ferry early, needing a seat with table so that the boys, Max and Dawson, can get their algebra homework done. A 4-hour ride on the Lady of the Lake II will get us into Chelan just before days end, and we’ll start the drive back over the North Cascades Highway, west to home.

I have been invited to spend the weekend here teaching photographic workshops. I get room and board for the weekend for me and my crew. 32 years ago, in what seemed like another lifetime I caught a greyhound to Chelan, hiked up and over Park Creek Pass and upon reaching the North Cascades Hwy at Colonial Creek, hitchhiked back home. I relive this tip briefly as I board the boat, time traveling as I sit.

My last 2 trips to Stehekin were hike-in affairs, once crossing Cascade Pass and hiking down past Cottonwood Camp along the now abandoned upper Stehekin Road, and more recently time hiking south on the PCT from Highway 20, to High Bridge.

Although hiking is by far my preferred mode of transport, the Lady of the Lake is pleasant, a small town community feel abounds as a theme from when we get on the boat. Seating aboard the lady is Open and you’re free to roam about, taking in the views of the newly snow frosted summits popping up above the lake. Orange larches form a necklace just below the snowfields of the peaks. Not for the first time today I wish I was up, hiking there along the Chelan Summit, among the larches and brown meadows.

The sky is interspersed with clouds and sky as we make our way north, stopping to pick up a few more people here, dropping off a handful of backpackers there. One last stop, in Holden Village, sees a lot of people and goods on and off the boat.

Arriving at Stehekin Landing the fall weather was warm and pleasant, and there was quite a festive group awaiting us at the dock. The permanent population of the village is about 100 souls, but during the season the numbers swell with lodge staff. This is the last big weekend in Stehekin for the season. Mid October sees the weather change, wetter and colder skies are ahead. I talk to several of the seasonal staff, asking where they will head off too next week, one is headed to Key West, another to Taos, New Mexico, to work the winter season at a ski resort, and another has plans that will take her to New Zealand.

Part of the reason for the swell of visitors this weekend is the list of cool events including the annual October Apple Harvest and the Buckner Music Festival.

The orchard is located about 10 miles north of town, along the river road. We arrive Saturday afternoon among a throng of busy apple pickers, slicers and mashers, all working in unison to press as much cider as they can. A camp stove sits nearby, a bottomless pot warming the cider beckons.

The look and feel of the farm is magnificent. The people living here have a marvelously genuine and friendly demeanor and one can’t help imagine life, living here in the valley. Yeah, I think I would like this.

There is a band striking up the music, a pot luck lunch and a bonfire. Besides drinking my share of warm cider I interest myself capturing images of all the old farm equipment scattered about. The boys are happy to be here, but soon are urging me to head out, they have a hankerin’ to visit the Stehekin Pastry Company as soon as humanly possible. We make our way back to the river road and hitchhike back to town.

You can’t drive a car to Stehekin. The ferry, float plan or afoot are the three ways to arrive. Any cars that are here were brought by ferry and generally stay here. The couple who pick up us 3 scruffy hitchhikers are from Chelan and have a cabin here, which the call home most all summer. This is there last weekend as well. Out on a drive looking for bears they have not seen any today.

We joyfully get out and head into the Pastry Company, luxuriating in the smells. Now hard choices are before us. Which delicious treat to choose? Mountain bars, Almond-Apple pastry, sinful brownies and much more entice us. Several of each sounds good, along with a triple mocha and 2 hot chocolates.

The red National Park Bus arrives and we catch a ride back to the landing along with a dozen or so people fresh off the boat who have just returned from a trip to Rainbow Falls. We are welcomed aboard with our snacks and hot drinks.

Things are nice and easy here in the North Cascades National Park!

The food at the lodge is awesome; we all order the Steak and Frittes, seeing how much we can eat before buttons start flying. The take home containers are full!

Friday night brings the Stehekin Valley Music Festival, we arrive at a new looking log cabin in the dark and there about 35 people crammed in, listening with rapturous intent to the different musicians. I am outside, circumnavigating the house, looking for the nice shot of the Milky Way above.

I am here to teach several courses one on composition and another on night sky imaging. My night sky class is scheduled for tomorrow night, but I am pretty sure we will not be seeing stars then, there is a storm forecast for Saturday. So I ask some two people outside in the dark for a nearby spot to go for a nice view of the lake and sky, they drop me off at the trailhead and point me on the trail. As I hike up the hill I am surprised to see I am walking through a camp site full of weekend revelers. Once my imaging is complete and I am on the way back I am accosted with questions of what sort of firewood I am toting. I explain that it’s a tripod and before I know it I am invited under a canopy tent for some scotch. My 4 new ‘ladies night out friends’ share stories and lots of laughter before I make my way back to the lodge and the boys.

The incessant rain on Saturday did little to dampen our spirits, we discovered a Rec Room for Lodge guests, replete with satellite TV, games, puzzles and a pool table. This is a welcome relief, because my aura of coolness faded a bit when we arrived and discovered that there would be no internet connection.

This morning I am up before sunrise, out to see what the sky may bring. Fall is a wonder of rich colors. I walk through empty Purple Creek Campground and north along the road. Another great meal and a short hike later we are ready to get on the boat.

Good-bye, North Cascades, you’ll see me again soon.

Photo Classes at North Cascades National Park

Photo Classes at North Cascades National Park

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Landscape Class July 11

This is definite cause for celebration! National Parks are fantastic places, full of wonder and fun.

I am proud to be leading two classes in the North Cascades National Park this summer!

The first class is a Landscape Photography Workshop, scheduled for Monday, July 11th from 6 to 9pm. The class will be held at the North Cascades National Park Visitors Center, in Newhalem.

Be sure to bring your camera! We will start the class with a lecture and slide show covering the basic of Nature Photo Composition and then we will head out side to practice what our new-found knowledge!

 

Night Sky Aug. 1The second class is a Night Sky Photography Class. This will be held on Monday, August 1st at the Diablo Lake Overlook, at Mile Marker 132, on the North Cascades Highway.

This class is for anyone interested in capturing images of the Milky Way. There will be no moon in the sky, and if we get clear skies we will be able to see and capture the arc of the Milky Way above Diablo Lake!

See the flyer here for a list of what you need to bring!

Both classes are free. Hope to see you there!

Email me of you have any questions: andyporterphotography@gmail.com