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

Three visits to Park Butte Lookout

Three visits to Park Butte Lookout

In 2015 I had the good fortune to make three visits to Park Butte Lookout.  Its always good fortune when you visit such a place, I have spent more than 20 nights in, on or near the lookout. Stormy or clear, with others or alone, each visit unique.

The last several years I have passed up chances to do Park Butte in July, thinking I’d have plenty of opportunity in August, only to have my plans dashed by wildfires. That’s not to say that the local forest burned, but rather smoke from fires in Canada and Eastern Washington filled the valleys. Photographically the images of mountain landscapes are utterly ruined by the smoke.

So, here I sit, looking at these three trips in June, July and August, 2015.

And its helping, I am feeling better already!


There was a high alert for sun activity making the Northern Lights visible, so I made my way up to the lookout. The only stellar shots I got were before sunset.


I spent the night alone at the Lookout, and the sky was sublime. The Sisters, across the valley and the Middle Fork stretching towards the sun, it was quite a show.


This trip was a busy one! I brought 2 clients up to stay the night, but the Lookout was taken, so we camped in tents just below. The sunset was unbelievable.

Park Butte Lookout and Mount Baker Panorama

and the next morning was one of those magical moments that wouldn’t end. The snow-melt tarns are perfect for reflections and the low angle light sumptuous in its tone…

Hopefully the smoke clears soon and I’ll be back for the 2018 versions of the Lookout!


Goat Rocks Wilderness Under Smoky Skies

The Goat Rocks Wilderness, located in the Central Cascades of Washington State, is filled with wonder. Goat Lake, Snow Grass Flats and Cispus Basin are but a few on the many splendors. The Pacific Crest Trail bisects the wilderness so it is usually a busy place in the summer. Here are two pics from a trip in 2016.

Depending upon your access point, its not hard to intersect the Pacific Crest Trail, which is what we did, from the Snow Grass Flats Trail. Its about 5 miles to get to the junction, and our goal was to camp as high as we could, making it easier to spend sunset at the main attraction, the Knife’s Edge.

Due to the unusually hot July we had, the south facing slopes we ascended were dry. Looking up, the peaks surrounding were almost naked, only a very few small snow patches remained.

We made our way up, looking for the elusive camping spot, made more difficult due to lack of water.

Our final resting spot for the night was a magnificent camp, just below the last remaining snow fields below Old Snowy.

We hid in the shade until the proper hour and ascended to the “summit” of the PCT. High above the timber line the PCT climbs to a junction. Heading right you’ll climb steeply up Old Snowy to a saddle where the trail makes a turn, here are the views towards the north and south.

This is the highest point along the PCT in the Goat Rocks. If you want to scramble up the rest of the way to the top of Old Snowy, it takes about 15 minutes, one way.

Continuing upon the PCT, (headed north) the trail now descends along what is known as the Knife’s Edge. The long ridge zigs and zags down, and the trail is blasted into the very top of the serrated, sinewy ridge line as it descends into the abyss…

Its a cool place.

A short way down the trail reconnects to the “bypass”.  Back at the trail junction: If you’d gone left the trail skirts along steep slopes to meet the PCT as it descends along the first section of the Knife’s Edge.

And a very smoky abyss as you can see from the images. There are a forest fire nearby, and the horizons were smoggy. During the day, I could not see even a hint of Mount Rainier, or Mt Adams. Only at sunset could you make them out at all.

My plan was to climb up, camp a few days getting images of sunrise and sunset and night sky from that vantage point, but alas, the smoke was there to stay!

Here is my best shot from the trip:

Interested in Photo Tours? Photo Classes? Buying Prints? Visit Andy Porter Images and joy you will find.

Velikiy Novgorod

Novgorod is a beautiful city in Russia, I am just back from a visit.

Veliky Novgorod (Russian: Вели́кий Но́вгород, IPA: [vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət]), also known as Novgorod the Great, or Novgorod Veliky, or just Novgorod, is one of the most important historic cities in Russia,[15] which serves as the administrative center of Novgorod Oblast. It is situated on the M10 federal highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg. The city lies along the Volkhov River just downstream from its outflow from Lake Ilmen.

Population: 218,717 (2010 Census);[8] 216,856 (2002 Census);[16] 229,126 (1989 Census).[17] At its peak during the 14th century, the city was the capital of the Novgorod Republic and one of Europe’s largest cities.[18]

Anyway, I was there to visit my wife’s parents. I stayed a week and had the luck to visit quite a few wonderful places.

First, is the Novgorod Kremlin, which is a giant castle-like enclosed area, with turrets, moats and the like, situated on a bluff above the Volkhov River.

I did a Photo Tour there one evening.

There is a foot bridge that crosses the Volkhov River connecting the Kremlin to a part of the city with many very old churches. We strolled over and about.

As the sun set the colors were amazing. It was an incredibly pleasant city for a sunset stroll!

Not far from the city is a famous Monastery, St. George’s Monastery. We visited and walked about. There is a walled, enclosed area, and several churches, one of which we visited inside. The monastery is along the shores of a lake, and out side is a beach filled with people sunbathing and having a cookout!

There was another monastery we visited, arrived just as it was closing, and so I was only able to sneak in for a few quick pics before they locked me in!

Trip to St. Petersburg, Russia

I recently visited Russia. More specifically, I visited Saint Petersburg and Novgorod.

The reasons for the trip were many, my wife, Svetlana is from Novgorod and goes every summer with our son, Max, to visit her parents. This year happened to provide the World Cup Soccer spectacle in Russia, and so we entered a lottery, (never expecting to win) for a semi-final match, on July 10th, (which is Max’s birthday), and we won!

France vs. Belgium, Semi-final, July 10th @ Saint Petersburg Stadium

Winning in this sense meant that we were now allowed to purchase the tickets for the game!

And so we received our tickets and booked the flights to St Pete.

My brief stay in the city took us to several wonderful spots where I managed a few images. Here are two random shots from the streets.

One of the places we visited was St Isaac’s Cathedral. Here is the info on the place from Wikipedia.

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor (Russian: Исаа́киевский Собо́р) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral (sobor) in the city. It is the largest orthodox basilica and the fourth largest (by the volume under the cupola) cathedral in the world.[5] It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint.

And here are some of my images. You can tour inside, AND navigate the stairs to the roof as well!

Next we visited the Peterhof Palace. Again, info from Wikipedia here.

The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, IPA: [pʲɪtʲɪrˈɡof],[1] German for Peter’s Court)[2] is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles“.

And a few images from our self guided tour!

That’s it for now, stay tuned for the next installment, Veliky Novgorod!

Night Sky Images at Winchester Lookout

The Winchester Mountain Fire Lookout is located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, along the Mount Baker Highway. This is one of the few remaining lookouts in Washington. Most of them were removed, but several are now maintained by local alpine clubs. The Mt Baker Club does a fantastic job of caring for and maintaining the Winchester lookout, you can donate to their efforts here.

During the summer the lookout is open to the public, you can day hike up and spend the day there, or if you’re inclined, you can spend the night. There are no reservations, its first come, you got it for the night. If you hike up and the lookout of already claimed for the night there is plenty of flat space nearby where you can pitch a tent.

I have hiked up and spent the night atop Winchester Mountain 5 times, three of those trips I slept in the lookout, and 2 times I camped in my tent. Basically, if you want to sleep in the lookout, go on the weekdays and go very early. And bring a tent or a bivvy sack just in case! Oh yes, and bring all your water, there is none there, nor along the hike.

The view from the lookout is unbelievable.

As you can imagine the night sky views are fantastic. To the south and east the darkness is almost complete. The western horizon is aglow in the direction of Vancouver to the north, Bellingham to the west and Skagit Valley south.

These 4 images were taken during the same evening. Check out the green aurora glow!

During the same night, a view of Mount Larrabee from Winchester.

Here is one more for good measure. Good luck and happy shooting! I may see yo there.

If you’re interested, Night Sky Photo Tours are available, you can find out more here. 

Silesia Camp and Copper Ridge, North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades National Park turns 50 this year! Learn more about its history here.

This is the 4th post in a series highlighting spectacular places in the North Cascades National Park. You can access earlier posts here.

Silesia Camp is located along Copper Ridge in the northern section of the North Cascades National Park.

You can hike there in one day, access is from the Hannegan Pass trail head. You must have a permit to camp there. Details here.

There are few camp sites with a better view then Silesia Camp.