Where We Go: When you learn that the San Juan Islands archipelago, located only 60 miles off Washington’s western coast, boasts over 250 days of sun per year, you understand why it’s a favorite spot for landscape photographers. San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw islands treat you to magnificent sunrises and sunsets and views of the distant Olympic Mountains. After settling into “island time,” you spend the week photographing the seaports, vibrant gardens, and lively markets in the towns of Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor Village.
What You Learn: With so much natural beauty surrounding you, the San Juans are a perfect place to push yourself to see in new, more creative ways. Photographer and artist Eileen Rafferty is just the person to help. Her lecture topics include using creative angles in landscape photography, learning to love the equipment already in your bag, and how to keep your vision “fresh.” Over the course of six days, she educates you in the classroom and challenges you with creative assignments during location shoots when the light is just right. She stays available in the field to offer technical and conceptual assistance as needed. After each photo shoot (and after sampling some of the seafood available here), critique sessions with the group offer constructive feedback on your own work, and allow you to hear feedback on the work of others as their images are projected on the classroom screen.
Considerations: You should be comfortable with the manual exposure operation of your camera.