Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is not a place you can visit once. There is magic there, a magical feeling and once you experience it, you will want to go back again and again.

The drama of the landscape ebbs and flows with the weather; each day the storms of the Pacific make their way eastward filling the Gorge with clouds and sun.

The deep gash of the river cuts a trough thousands of feet deep through the mountains, its steep cliffs covered in green. As the day progresses the shadows shift and colors change. Each day the show is different.

Driving back and forth, up and down the valley, chasing the light I visit each little town along the highway, each has a unique character, a story to tell… life along the river goes at its own speed. I am amazed by the place and the people I am lucky enough to meet. I already want to go back!

These images are from a 4 day trip over spring break. I spent my time hunting for blooming wildflowers and exploring a few waterfalls.

Each week of spring bring new blooms in the Gorge; here are some wildflowers images from Columbia Hills State Park.

Panther Creek Falls is one of my all-time favorite waterfalls. The images tell all.

Rodney Creek Falls is another wonderful, multi-tiered falls, in Beacon Rock State Park.

Here are more random images from 4 days of rambling about…

Wind Mountain Ranch is where I stayed, a wonderful place!

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.

Vistas of Skagit Valley

Skagit valley stretches a long way from Ross Lake to Anacortes. Along the way there are many promontory spots from which to view its magnificence!

Diablo Lake is a emerald jewel at the foot of Colonial Peak.

Sauk Mountain rises more than 5,000 feet above the valley

Samish Overlook affords spectacular views of the valley.

Mount Erie and Cap Sante in Anacortes are wonderful vistas.

2021 Washington State Scenic Calendars are now on sale! Here is the link to see the images and order your copy!

2021 Washington State Scenic Calendar

The Andy Porter Photography 2021 Washington State Scenic Calendar, featuring 12 images from all corners of Washington Sate is now available!

The calendar is printed on 8″ x 12″ 100lb high gloss paper, each individually wrapped. $20 each, plus $6 shipping.

Here are the images.

Here is the link to order your calendar today!

 

New Moon, July 2020

The New Moon is marked on all my calendars, year-round. This is when there is NO moon in the sky. Dark skies are what you need to capture clear images of the Milky Way. The sunlight reflected by the moon washes out the stars… You also need clear skies, and a location away from the lights of civilization.

Last month the new moon was July 20th, the skies were clear and Comet NEOWISE paid us a visit.

These first 4 images are from Baker Lake, at the boat launch. Mt Baker is close by and Mt Shuksan not far off to the north. As the night progressed the comet rose in the sky and then the Aurora Borealis showed up!

Encouraged by these images I went next up the Mt Baker Highway. It took a bit to find a good vantage point, but managed to get the comet as well as several other interesting night sky phenomena!

Next I decided to try the Samish Overlook and try for more NEOWISE images. I was never able to find a good vantage for the comet, but to my surprise the Milky Way was visible from there. The lights from the valley wash out the stars, especially close to the horizon, but it was clearly visible to the naked eye!

Picture Lake, on the Mt Baker Highway is a fantastic spot for Milky Way images, high elevation, dark skies and what a reflection! Notice how clear the stars are, especially close to the horizon at Picture Lake and Mt Rainier compared to the Samish Overlook…

My final destination for July Night Sky was Mt Rainier! The Sunrise area of Mt Rainier Nat Park is famous for its night sky views. The glaciers seem to emanate light of their own at night and the mountain glows…

The August New Moon is on the 18th! I am excited to go find new vistas!

Night Sky Photo Tours are available on a limited basis! Here is a link with more info. 

Prints are for sale at several locations! The Sedro-Woolley Chamber currently has a display of more then 15 large canvas prints, some are in a floating frame!  You can also see and purchase new prints at Peace Health Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, I have a large display of my prints for sale in the lobby.

Prints of all kinds and sizes are also available anytime on my web site.  Find a gallery and look for the perfect image…

IF you find something you love, use the Coupon Code: SUMMER for 50% OFF ANY purchase.

Comet Neowise: Images from the North Cascades

This first set of images was taken on Monday, July14, at the Baker Lake Boat Launch. Mount Baker looms nearby and Mt Shuksan is off to the north, across the lake.

The Boat Launch has one very big, bright light, high up on a poll, illuminating the area at night. This is the source of the light on the trees.

About 11:30 pm the Northern Lights were visible and I was able to get a few pics.

For the most part I used the following settings: Shutter speed: 30 sec; f/2.8 and 1600-2000 ISO. I used a very long exposure on one of these shots and you can see the stars stretched a bit.

The next night I ventured up the Mt Baker Highway, heading to Picture Lake, but the comet was rising in the Northwest…the road is gated a bit past the Heather Meadows Ranger Station, again, view blocked…so we wound up along the road! Got a few decent pics…

Cape Disappointment

Cape Disappointment is located at the southwestern corner of Washington State, at the mouth of the Columbia River. There are two lighthouses, wonderful beaches and great camping in Cape Disappointment State Park.

The general area is known as the Graveyard of the Pacific due to the number of shipwrecks over the years. More than 100 days of fog each year! The Coast Guard has an active base at the Cape.

The nearest town is the Port of Ilwaco, with a nice marina and a few hotels. Oceanside is 10 miles to the north, a true Beach Resort Tourist Mecca…

The Cape is at the base of a long peninsula stretching north for almost 30 miles. In many places there is beach access with your car: you can tool up and down long beautiful stretches of sand… Highway 103 extends to Leadbetter State Park, at the northern tip of the peninsula.

Not far from the South Lighthouse is small Waikiki Beach. Here are some day time and night time images from there:

The beacon of the South Lighthouse is visible, as well as the line of ships leaving the bay with the high tide. The two bright stars, to the left of the Milky Way are Saturn and Jupiter…

The North Lighthouse is easily accessible and quite beautiful…

 

The Port of Ilwaco is the nearest town, with a nice marina and a few hotels.

The Palouse

The Palouse is a section of SE Washington state where they grow a lot of wheat. The terrain is smooth rolling hills and almost all of it is covered with endless green.

The Palouse is the most popular spot in Washington for Photography Tours. There are endless viewpoints and all sorts of photo opportunities over there.

I found a map that shows where all the cool stuff is. Its like a treasure hunt! 

Barns, old farm equipment, abandoned houses and vistas are marked, but its still tricky finding some of the stuff…

Most people drive up atop Steptoe Butte for images, like the one above.

But there are wonderful vistas all over, and exploring is a blast.

The wheat is about a foot tall now, (late May) and will stay green as it grows a while, then late summer it all turns golden brown…

Then I will need to go back for another visit.

Here are a few more pics from 2 days of rambling…

 

An evenings walk near Conway

There is a boat ramp and you can walk atop the dike, along Dike Road, near Conway.

The South Fork of the Skagit River is nearby.

Several of the farms nearby have wonderful old barns…

Here are a few images.