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

 

Skagit Valley Tulips and Daffodils

Skagit Valley Tulips and Daffodils

Spring, thankfully, brings the colors back.

The winter creates a grayish monochrome of everything that is interesting for about a week.

When the colors come back, things are better. The snow just melted yesterday and we’ll probably see more before the end of the winter.

So I shouldn’t get myself all excited just yet, but I can sense the subtle stirrings of green.

In February the hints of green will become more pronounced and then, finally, the yellows will arrive with Skagit Valley Daffodils.

Depending upon the year the daffodils start coming up in late February or early March. Skagit Valley has a rather mild climate, rarely getting snow. Early spring brings almost daily rain. The daffodils emerge slowly, reluctantly.

Once the temp starts rising a bit, tulips start to pop up. The anticipation of the coming color explosion is tantalizing!

Every year the tulips and daffodils are planted in different fields.

You can see their location and bloom status with the Bloom Map.

I usually visit the tulip fields 10 times each season, sunrise is my favorite, because of the light and lack of people. Workers are in the fields then, harvesting and at the end, topping the tulips. I offer guided Photo Tours of Tulip Festival each year, at sunrise and sunset, details and prices can be found here.

Because the fields rotate every year, so do the backdrops, and foregrounds!

Barns, school busses, tractors, irrigation ditches, and puddles all serve well for offsetting the beauty of the flowers.

I teach basic Photography Classes through Parks and Rec in Burlington. Here is the link for more info.
Starting in Jan 2020 I will also be teaching basic Photography Classes through Parks and Rec in Bellingham.

Sometimes a visit can bring good luck in the form of rainbows, long shadows, dirty kids and much more.

Need a 2020 Calendar? There are still copies available of the Night Sky Images of Washington State Calendar! Click here to order your copy.

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

Sunset atop Big Rock

Big Rock lies along Highway 9, just south of Clear Lake. The promontory juts up a few hundred feet affording a nice view of the valley.

Star Trails

Here are my first two efforts at star trails.

This image is from Friday night, at the Diablo Overlook, along Highway 20 in the North Cascades National Park

and this image was captured on Sunday night, along the Baker River in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.

The next new moon is June 23rd…I will be teaching a class on Night Sky Photography through the North Cascades Institute on Friday, June 23rd, details here.

OR if you’d like to go on a Night Sky Photo Tour, have a look here.

Skagit Valley Tulips 2017

These are from Thursday, April 13th. I took a group of students to RoozenGaarde for Photo Class.

Way in the back across several very muddy fields, there were several lovely fields, actually bordering McClean Road.

I expected rain, and we were blessed with wonderful clouds and a near perfect sky. Anyway, here are a few images.

Next week, April 17 to 23 should see most of the fields go into bloom, but who knows what Mother Nature has in mind…

Images of the Enchantments

The Enchantments are a small section of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, in the North Cascades of Washington State.
There are many magical sights to see.
Here are three of my favorites:

  • Colchuck Lake from Aasgard Pass
  • Isolation Lake
  • Prusik Peak and Gnome Tarn

Here is a link for info about North Cascades Photo Tours

And here is a link to find out more about North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tours

Birds and Barn on Fir Island

Fir Island lies in the Skagit River delta. It is the winter home for snow geese and other migratory water fowl.

 

Mount Shuksan and Picture Lake, North Cascades

Mount Shuksan is reported to be the most photographed mountain in North America. One possible reason for this is that Picture Lake and this vantage point are just a few feet from where you park along the Mount Baker Highway.
Mount Shuksan
You can see faintly a SUV there, on the left that I forgot to photoshop out…

This image is from a September visit, nice red color from the huckleberry bushes.

This spot is about a 60 mile / 90 minute drive from my house, in Sedro Woolley. The last 10 miles gain 4,000 feet and its quite twisty!
I have visited many times at night, hoping to capture the great arc of the Milky Way Galaxy above Picture Lake and Mount Shuksan. This image is from a visit in June.
mount-shuksan-and-the-milky-way-jan
To get a good image of the Milky Way you need a wide angle lens. This allows you to have a longer exposure, capturing more light. But the wide angle lens also makes everything look farther away!

If you would like to learn how to go about capturing night sky images like these you may be interested in a North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tour. This is where we meet some near Sedro-Woolley and I give a guided tour to a great location for night sky imaging (like Picture Lake!) and then assist you to capture your own images.  Here is the link to learn more. There are drive-in tours, where we return home late after our photo shoot, and also Overnight Tours here we will backpack into a cool location for night sky imaging, like her at the Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout.

winchester-lookout-10

 

Images of 2016

The year has come to an end.

2017 and the future beckon. Like it or not, here they come!

But today is a day for reflection. To look back and see what was accomplished, to revisit the beauty and wonder I commiserated with and to merrily contemplate new sights to see and places to go.

First Beach, Olympic Coast

First Beach 3  These two images were captured at the fishing village of La Push, on the Olympic Coast. The image on the right is backlit by lights at the marina.

The image on the right features Orion as well as Em and Amber!

2017 Calendars are still available here!

 

One evening on the spring I had a premonition of a fiery sky, I headed over to Bow and found these images.

The Tulip Festival started in February again…well, the daffodils did anyway… Trying to find that perfect match with the flowers and the sky…what a fun problem to have!

My first serious backpack for the year ended up getting rained and stormed out midway, but I did find a few flowers along the way, in the Pasayten Wilderness.

My night sky images for the year took me to Diablo Overlook, Washington Pass Overlook and Winchester Mountain Lookout several times each.

The opportunity opened to return to Spider Meadows, and climb up and over the pass at Spider Gap. What a fantastically exhilarating feeling to crest the top and look down to Lyman Basin below…

If you haven’t spent the night in a Fire Lookout, make sure to put it on your list…choose a evening when there are mostly clear, partly cloudy skies forecast and get ready for a color show! These images are from Winchester Lookout, above Twin Lakes.

Fall is a wonderful time for hiking, no bugs and great colors…these images are from Washington Pass and Blue Lake.

I led a Night Sky Photo Tour Eastern Washington to capture images of the old Govan School House… if you’re interested in learning Night Sky  Imaging, you may like to come out on a Night Sky Photo Tour

And lastly, visited my favorite camping spot in Washington, Sahale Glacier Camp! Here are some details if you’d like to go out on a North Cascades Photo Tour this coming summer!

I wish you excitement and adventure in 2017, anything but a boring life! I look forward to hearing of and seeing images of the places you go and the things you do! Have fun and hope to see you on the trail,

Andy