Photography Classes

The Intentional Photography series:


These seminars are designed to help you take your photos beyond snapshot quality images.  Express more of what inspired you to take the pictures in the first place!


•  Successful Milky Way Photo Shoots -- Thursday, 9/07


•  Milky Way at Snoqualmie Workshop -- Saturday in the field 9/16 and review Thursday 9/28


•  Demystify Camera Exposure and Focus -- Thursdays 11/2, 11/9 and 11/16


•  Begin to Perfect Your Photos in Lightroom -- Thursdays 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26


•  Mindful Composition and Great Light -- Wednesdays 11/1, 11/8 and 11/15



Bill Ray's specialty is translating the technical for the rest of us to understand.  These are meaty classes with ideas you can put to work right away.


All seminars are 7-9 pm and limited to 8 attendees.  The Workshop field trip times are below.

"Begin to Perfect Your Photos in Lightroom"

Want to bring out the best in your photos?  Ready to move beyond snapshots? This is the map that will help you get a nice boost up the learning curve for successful post-processing to get the results you desire.


Lightroom is professional photo development software which has a friendly editing interface with slider adjustments, instant feedback and infinite undo.  However, it is feature rich and operates differently from the usual Windows or Mac business app.  If you simply dive into Lightroom for a test drive, it can be like going down Alice’s rabbit hole to encounter the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts.


This class will show you the Yellow Brick Road from your camera through adjustments to an eye-catching social media post or a lovely big print.  It’s the map I wish I’d had when I decided to add Lightroom to my software toolkit.  I will help you get useful results now, so you can grow gracefully into the full power of Lightroom later.  There will be exercises to do at home between sessions to apply the tools, with email consultation if you like and review in class.


Prerequisites: Experience with Windows or Macintosh file management and applications like word processing or spreadsheet.  Access to Lightroom CC or 6 for exercises.


Date:  Thursdays 10/12, 10/19 and 10/26


Cost:  $85 / 3 sessions  (no materials fee)


Mail: send registration form with payment to:

"Demystify Exposure and Focus"

If your camera has a dial like one of these, but you do not realize what that dial can do for you, please join us!

Move off automatic to get more “wow” in your photos by exercising creative control of exposure and focus.  Learn the best options for taking your digital camera out of full auto -- practical ways to partner with the camera’s smarts where they work for an image, overriding it only where it does not.


Find out what ISO 200, f5.6 and histogram mean, and why you should care.  Understand what all those focus modes can do to grab your photo’s viewer. High impact photographs require a mix of artistic and technical skills; this class introduces the technical controls.


Keep detail in bright whites and colors. Have blur where it improves the image, whether it’s due to motion or scene depth. Choose the best light for attractive portraits and artistic impact elsewhere.


There will be exercises to do between sessions to try out the controls, with email consultation if you like plus review in class.


Prerequisites: A readiness to step beyond automatic photography after having some experience with your camera.


What to bring:  A suitable camera and its user manual.


Date:  Thursdays 11/2, 11/9 and 11/16


Cost:  $85 / 3 sessions  (no materials fee)


"Successful Milky Way Photo Shoots"

Efficiently shoot dramatic images of the Milky Way.  Follow a straightforward set of steps to plan, capture and post-process photographs of our home galaxy.  Don't waste your time standing around in the dark, so to speak.


Free tools and web sites get you to the right place, at the right time, with the Milky Way positioned over your perfect foreground.  Capture with a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera, a wide or ultra-wide lens, on a tripod.  I'll have tips for other handy gear and foreground light painting.


To bring out the best of what the camera sees better than our eyes can requires post-processing. The seminar has examples in Lightroom and Photoshop to get you started.


All the steps are under your control except the weather. You can even rent the right lens.


Prerequisites: Experience using your camera's manual exposure and focus modes, and post-processing in Lightroom or Photoshop.


Date:  Thursday, 9/07


Cost:  $35 / 1 session  (no materials fee)


"Milky Way at Snoqualmie"

A hands-on night of astro-landscape photography.  We will be at a dark sky site for several hours, plenty of time to capture the Milky Way with different foregrounds in silhouette, moonlight or light painted.  Practice shooting in the dark and find the best exposure for your own equipment.  We’ll be there before and after moonset – the image here was taken on a scouting trip with a little low-angle moonlight.


Planned date is Saturday September 16th.  We will meet near Snoqualmie summit around 10 pm, about an hour’s drive from Seattle.  Easy access about a half-mile from parking into the lake, a level walk on an excellent trail.  If the sky is overcast the fallback with be September 17th or 23rd.


Bring your raw files home to experiment with Lightroom or Photoshop development techniques.  We will get together at ArtWorks September 28th from 7 to 9 pm to discuss your post-processed images and share ideas.


What to bring: The gear suggested for successful shoots!


Prerequisites: Attendance at one of the Successful Milky Way Photo Shoots seminars


Date:  Field Workshop 9/16, Review 9/28,  7-9 pm


Cost:  $125  (no materials fee)


"Mindful Composition and Great Light"

Get more excitement in your photos by exercising creative control of composition and light.  Become more aware of what will draw the viewer in.  Avoid distractions, tailor backgrounds, place your subject to grab attention, chose the right lens.  Discover that moving a few feet may make a big difference.


High impact requires effective communication with your viewer at both conscious and subconscious levels.  Subconscious is most important because its where the emotional connection happens, where the oohs, aahs and giggles come from.


Finding the right light is essential to great images. Learn what light to look for, then try shooting from a different angle, perhaps at another time of day, or adding flash in a flattering way.


Prerequisites: None.  Suitable for beginner to intermediate photographers and all kinds of cameras. If you sometimes get nifty images and would like to have that happen more often, please join us!


What to bring:  Classes will have some hands on time so please bring your camera and its user manual.  Camera can be a smartphone, point-and-shoot, DSLR or mirrorless; composition is universal.


Date:  Wednesdays 11/1, 11/8 and 11/15


Cost:    $85 / 3 sessions  (no materials fee)


201 2nd Avenue, Edmonds, WA 98020    •   425-774-6049   •