Images that move….me.

Welcome to Andy Porter Photography!

Hope you like the images, please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions!
  • Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
  • Copper Ridge North Cascades
  • Left Fork Canyon, Zion National Park
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Sahale Camp
  • Camping-under-the-stars-NCNP
  • 1 page flyer Photography Spring 2014
  • stacked and merged 2em
  • Skagit Valley Daffodils


Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
Arches National Park has many short hiking trails, each visiting a wonderland of red rock fins. One of the long-ish trails is the Devils Garden Loop.
Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
The loop is 7 miles fantastic long, taking you through arches, up slick rock walls, along the tops of rock fins and through a labyrinth of magic.
Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
With out a doubt one of the most fun and interesting hikes ever.
Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park
Here are a few more images!
Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Devils Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Tips for Taking Great Trail Photos

Copper Ridge North Cascades

1. The best light is in the morning and evening. Day hikes get you to your destination in the middle of the day. Plan your campsites to include the most scenic places. This may involve longer or shorter days that you would normally do, but it’s all worth it! A guide book is good for descriptions, you can get many great ideas of what and when to shoot but if I’ve never been to an area before, I do an image search for the specific place and get ideas of what’s there. I plan my entire trip around where I want to be at sunrise and sunset to take pictures.

Mount Logan and waterfall North Cascades National Park

2. Minimum of what to bring with you:
a. One lens – I always bring a Zoom Lens, a 24mm to 104mm or a 28mm to 135mm are good starting spots. This makes it possible to capture a wide angle shot and also get in close with the telephoto end. Of course it’s nice to have several lenses, but then you have to carry them!
b. Polarizer – This is a filter that attaches to the end of your lens. It handles refracted light so that the sky and clouds look wonderful and is a must for getting stunning images of water and reflections.
c. Light weight tripod, they are cheap and easy to strap on your pack. You can always weigh them down if needed
d. Simple cable release. When you use the tripod any movement of the camera makes the image blurry. This device allows take pictures without touching the camera.
e. Extra batteries, charged the night before you leave!
f. Lots of memory! Its cheap and doesn’t weigh anything

Left Fork Canyon, the Subway at Zion National Park, Utah

3. Avoid the auto mode for image capture. When you set the camera on automatic mode, the camera does all the thinking for you. You are a lot smarter than your camera! Instead use the Manual Mode on your camera or the various Creative Modes if there is no Manual setting.

Zion River and Orion

4. Bracket your exposure. Bracketing means that you are capturing the same exact scene, but with different settings. This could include altering your depth of field (how much of the scene is in focus) or how bright or dark the image is. Scenes often have a great disparity between the dark areas and the bright ones. Try multiple shots, where you capture the details of one then the other.
a. Using the manual mode, set your aperture and shutter speed based on what the light meter tells you, THEN take several more shots of the same thing with slightly different exposures. If you have a manual setting, simply shoot over and under the recommended exposure.
b. If you are using a creative mode you can “trick” the light meter by pointing the camera a little bit above (or below or right or left) your intended subject, press the button half way, hold it, then lower or raise the camera back to your start spot and press the shutter the rest of the way.

Mount Olympus and Blue Glacier Image 5

5. Shoot in the RAW format. JPEG format compresses (and looses data from) the images, where as RAW records all the data and allows you to handle areas of over or under-exposure. It took a lot of effort to haul all your gear out there, not to mention yourself! The scenery is fantastic, the weather is perfect, who knows if you will ever have a chance to return…so shoot in RAW!


6. Four simple tips on Composition
a. The Rule of Thirds. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over your image. Try to get your subject on these lines, away from the middle. Get points of interest where the lines intersect.

Liberty Bell from North Cascades Highway

b. Look for lines. Trails, clouds, trees, and more can create leading lines that add a wonderfully simple and compelling element to images. When you see a line anywhere walk all around it composing shots from different angles.

Arriving at Copper Ridge Lookout North Cascades National Park

c. Reflections. Even a small puddle can make for a fantastic reflective composition. Get down on the ground for the best scope.

Liberty Bell Reflected from the Washington Pass Overlook, Highway 20, North Cascades Highway

d. Near and Far. Pictures of an unbelievably awesome horizon will be 1,000 times better if you include something close. A tent, people, trees, flowers, any and all of these make a vista much more interesting.

Morning at Sahale Glacier Camp

Left Fork Canyon, Zion National Park

This has been officially added to my list of all time favorite hikes. Last week was my second visit and I was even more enamored than before…
Left Fork Canyon, Zion National Park
Sometimes known as the “Subway”, Left Fork Canyon is out of the main section of the park. To get there you need to go north on the Kolob Reservoir Road, out of Virgin. Permits are required for ANY hiking there, which is a wonderful thing as it makes for a real wilderness experience which is totally unlike hiking in the Zion Canyon part of the park.
The “subway” name comes from the shape of the canyon walls, as you can see here.
Left Fork Canyon, Zion National Park
This last shot I managed from inside the subway using my new 14mm lens. Left Fork Canyon, Zion National Park
A truly stunning location. Make sure to book a permit before you head down there next time, you will not be disappointed!

Antelope Canyon

Antelope CanyonEvery spring I take a trip to Utah to go canyoneering. last year, someone asked me if I’d ever visited Antelope Canyon, and I answered that I’d never even heard of the place. Soon after I had a look on-line and was stunned by the images.
Antelope CanyonAntelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon
So, this year I added it to the list of places to visit.
Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon

The canyon is in Page, Arizona, on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The only was to visit is to book a photo tour, something I would normally avoid. Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon
The canyon is narrow, but easy to walk through, the floor is sandy and completely flat. Being only a few hundred feet long its not a long excursion, but every step is filled with colors, textures, light and shapes out of a dream.
Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Northwest Travel Magazine

Here is the cover of the March-April Northwest Travel Magazine, featuring one of my favorite tulip images…
Here is my original image…
red tulips blue and orange sky

Next months issue will feature another cover shot I took, in the North Cascades National Park. Here is the image.Mount Logan from North Fork Bridge Creek, North Cascades National Park

Sahale Camp Panoramas

Sahale Glacier Camp sits at the base of Sahale glacier atop 3 piles of rubble each crowned with a ring of stone. The views are breathtaking: a 180 degree sweeping view of the North Cascades, a sea of peaks stretching out to the horizon.
Sahale Glacier Campsahale camp sunset Panorama
I have visited many times and tried to capture the feel of the view. Here are several panoramas, some from sunrise, and several from sunset, each comprised of two or more images merged.
Morning at Sahale Glacier Camp 1 emAndyPorter_sahalesunset_LandscapeSahale CampSahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park Panorama Sahale sunrise_Panorama1emMorning at Sahale Glacier Camp 2 em
Sahale 2010Panorama2emMorning at Sahale Camp with visitor

North Cascades Book

I just got word that these three images will be included in a new book about the North Cascades, due out in the Fall of 2014.
More details coming soon!

Camping-under-the-stars-NCNP Camping under the stars

Mt-Baker-and-Coleman-Glacier Mount Baker and Coleman Glacier

Sahale-Hiker-NCNP Hikers on Sahale Arm

Focus Stacking: First Effort

Focus stacking is a technique used to ensure that every part of an image is sharply in focus. What you are doing is to combine several images taken over a number of different focusing distances.

The main steps are:
1. Capture of a multi-focus sequence of images
2. Process the RAW files to ready them for merging
3. Align the image sequence
4. Merging the aligned images into a final product

I read about this technique a few weeks ago and for some reason did not get around to giving it a try until today. I was out this morning checking out the daffodil fields and remembered to get the image sequence captured.

the post-processing was easy and the result stunning as to clarity and focus! This is a technique I will be using on every photo shoot I do from now on!

If you’ve never heard about this technique, look it up and give it a try! I am not going to write up here how to do it, there are already many good instructions and write ups, including videos on line detailing how to do it.

Here is the result of today’s work.

This first shot is one of the multi focus set, un-modified.

Here is the final, merged image.
stacked and merged 2em
The clarity and depth are really something!

First Daffodils of 2014

Skagit Valley Daffodils
These images were taken at sunrise, on March 13th, 2014!

Skagit Valley is famous for tulips in the spring. And daffodils! Each year the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival harkens the arrival of spring to the Pacific Northwest.
Skagit Valley Daffodils
There are hundreds of acres of tulips and daffodils. If you want to visit, here is a link to the Bloom Map.

Daffodils bloom first, there three large fields alight now, with more to come. The arrival of the tulips generally happens in the first week of April, but it always depends on how many sunny days we get!
Skagit Valley Daffodils


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