L.F. Workshops/Tours in Washington or Oregon

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone know of any workshops or tours being offered in the Washington or Oregon area. I live in South Florida and am interested in shooting in the Columbia River Gorge, Olympic Rain Forrest, and along the coast line but have no idea as to when and where to find photogenic areas,reasonable lodging, and good food...where to go and, perhaps just as important, where not to go.

many thanx,


-- Douglas A. Benson (dab@evcom.net), January 18, 2001


Hi Doug,

I can't point you to a tour, but I have lived in both eastern and western Washington over the past 23 years. I have worked as a field biologist so have been to many out of the way places. I don't know what kind of accomidation you are used to (camp vs B&B)or what time of year you plan on being here, but if you contact me at my home e-mail address we can communicate more efficiently and hopefully get you to the kind of place you want to be and when.

-- Paul Mongillo (pmongillo@thurston.com), January 18, 2001.

You may want to consider Joe Englander's workshop "Olympic National Park", august 20-25 2001. See http://www.englander-workshops.com Good luck.

-- Hans Berkhout (berkhout@cadvision.com), January 18, 2001.

If you are looking for a workshop, Stu Levy is one of the best teachers that I have encountered. He is from Portland, Oregon and I believe that he has workshops based around the Oregon coast. You can get more information at Stu Levy Portfolio.

-- Jeff White (jeff@jeffsphotos.com), January 18, 2001.


I have heard of this workshop by Bruce Barnbaum and am thinking about going myself. I heard it's a great learning experience.

The address is the one I got off the internet so it may not be current. Anyhow it's Photographic Arts Workshops, P.O. Box 1791, Granite Falls, WA 98252. For information, contact him at the workshop address above or by e-mail at barnbaum@aol.com.


-- Cal Eng (caleng@inficad.com), January 19, 2001.

Hi Douglas, the suggestions above look like they are worth looking into. You might also consider looking at the Cascades, and the intermountain region, like the Yakima Canyon, and consider the San Juan Islands very carefully before you make your final decision. Also, I think you might find more interesting photos in Puget Sound than out on the coast. Maybe around Port Townsend or Anacortes. There are lots of little parks and camp grounds all over the place. Look into Deception Pass area. Look into the North Cascades Highway from Marble Mt. over to Twisp. Mt Baker up by Bellingham. Mt Ranier is good. The highway along the Columbia River from Oregon north into Washington State. On the west side of the Cascades, in and around the Sound and the Islands, and anywhere in the I-5 corridor you will want to be prepaired for drizzle, it doesn't down pour so much as you might find it mists and drizzls which it can do for extended periods of time, days on end. In these conditions the scenery can be spectacular. Just have necessary precautions to keep yourself and gear dry. Although it is never really cold during the day, when the sun goes down it gets cool fast, and so have a warm jacket ready. There are all kinds of accomodations. You might find the scenery interesting from the deck of a ferry boat. If it does rain and if you find that annoying, then drive over the Cascades into the desert for a couple of days of shooting.

For a couple of ideas on the possiblities call for chamber of commerce info for say, Friday Harbor, Ellensburg, Twisp, Anacortes, Leavenworth or Port Townsend. Any of the above is surrounded by plenty to photograph. I don't know what your buget is? You could fly from Florida, transfer at SeaTac to a small plane to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island where you could spend a couple of weeks hiking through parks and along the beaches and never go very far and never take the same photo twice.

There is really no dangerous place not to go. I mean you could probably find any trouble you wanted to in Tacoma or Seattle, but it is not like you are going to get on the subway or interstate and get off in the wrong part of town by accident. Stay away from avalache zones and mountain passes in the winter. Don't go in the Sound until you've had a chance to learn about very cold deep water and strong rip tides. There is so much scenery don't worry about finding it, it should be apparent where to head after a little homework before you take off. I don't think you have to worry about bad food. There are grocery stores all over the place. Lodging and parks/camping comes in all sizes, shapes and costs. KOA camp grounds, puplic parks, cheap little motels and fancy expensive motels.

Good luck, David

-- david clark (doclark@yorku.ca), January 19, 2001.

The publication "Photograph America" has several booklets on the Oregon and Washington areas. You should be able to obtain them by contacting Robert Hickman, the author of the "Photograph America" series (which has been very helpful to me on numerous photography trips to new areas). I spent a week along the coast of Oregon, from the area due west of Portland down into the northern tip of California. Frankly, I don't think you need a workshop to find some wonderful photography just driving slowly down that coastline. Unlike states such as Maine, Oregon has done a wonderful job of preserving public access to the coast line so it's usually very easy to spot things from your car, park, and walk down to the coast. The "Photograph America" publication was useful but certainly not necessary. FWIW, the Bruce Barnbaum workshop in Washington that I'm familiar with is a darkroom only workshop. I haven't looked lately so maybe things have changed but a couple years ago that was the only workshop he offered in Washington I thought. His photography field workshops weren't offered there but, again, maybe things have changed. If you're interested in "Photograph America," you can contact Mr. Hickman by phone at 1-415-898-3736 or by fax at 1-415-898- 3377. He doesn't appear to have an e mail address.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), January 20, 2001.

I second everything that Brian says. In October 1999, my wife and I flew to Portland, rented a car, and traveled the Oregon coast down to N. California for a week. We used the same book and it was very helpful. The worst part of the trip was the headache of juggling large format equipment at the airport, etc. But we had a good time and it was very productive. As Brian says, the access to the shore is super in Oregon and terrible in Maine. (I live in Maine).

-- John Boeckeler (boeck@midcoast.com), January 24, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ