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!


•  Milky Way Seminar—August 29, 2018


•  Perfecting Your Photos in Lightroom— September 5, 12, 19, 2018


•  Demystify Camera Exposure and Focus—September 20, 27, October 4, 2018


•  Milky Way at Snoqualime Workshop—September 8 at Snoqualmie, review October 3, 2018


•  Develop Your Photographers Eye—October 10, 17, 24, 2018


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 7:00 to 9:00 pm and limited to 8 attendees.  The Workshop field trip times are below.


"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: August 29, 2018


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


"Perfecting Your Photos in Lightroom"

Want to bring out the best in your photos? Ready to move beyond snapshots? Learn to crop out distractions, lighten or darken to reveal detail and correct colors. Selectively blur or blacken backgrounds. Make “pop” what inspired you about the picture!


Lightroom is professional photo development software which has a friendly editing interface suited to new users 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 up the learning curve.


Topics:  Library Import and file management.  Develop Panels Basic (White Balance, Tone, Presence), Tone Curve, Lens Corrections, Transform Perspective, Dehaze.  Tools to Crop, Adjustment Brushes, Remove Spots, Gradient.  Print or Export jpeg.  HDR and B&W.


Prerequisites: Access to Lightroom Classic CC 2018 or Lightroom 6 for assignments.  Recommend you start saving RAW files in your camera along with the JPEGs.   Lightroom can improve your JPEGs but it will do much more with RAW files, such as recover detail in shadows.



September 5, 12, 19, 2018


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


Mail: send registration form with payment to:

"Demystify Camera Exposure and Focus (AKA step off automatic) "

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!

Learn what ISO 200, f5.6 and histogram mean, and why you should care.  Understand what all those focus modes can do to grab your audience.  Great photographs require a mix of artistic and technical skills; this class introduces those technical controls.


Keep detail in bright whites and saturated colors instead of blowing them out.  Capture as much shadow detail as possible.  Have blur when and only when it improves the image, whether it’s due to motion or scene depth.  Understand the ISO-aperture-shutter "exposure triangle" tradeoffs.  Learn why raw files are so much better than jpegs for perfecting photos later.


Modern cameras are very smart; they will do a decent job of average snapshot scenes automatically.  Dramatic, stirring, intriguing images often do not fit those rules so you need to assist.  I'll show you a practical straightforward plan to set a few controls yourself, then let your smart camera take care of optimizing the rest.


Prerequisites: Have a little experience with your DSLR, mirrorless or advanced point-and-shoot camera, ready to step beyond automatic.  Bring it to class for exercises.


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



September 20, 27, October 4, 2018


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


"Milky Way at Snoqualmie Workshop"

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. The image here was taken on a scouting trip at the site with a little low-angle moonlight on the mountain sides.


Planned date is Saturday September 8th. 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 9th or 15th.


Bring your raw files home to experiment with Lightroom or Photoshop development techniques.  We will get together at ArtWorks October 3rd from 7 to 9 pm to discuss your post-processed images, share ideas and answer questions.


Prerequisites: Attendance at one of the Successful Milky Way Photo Shoots seminars, plus intermediate skills with your camera's manual settings and post-processing.


Date: September 8 at Snoqualmie, review October 3, 2018


Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Cost:  $125 / 1 session  (no materials fee)


"Develop Your Photographer's Eye Class"

See opportunities.  Compose mindfully, creatively and artistically.  These ideas will make any photo better regardless of the camera or phone used to capture it.


Get more excitement in your photos by creatively managing composition and light.  Become more aware of what will draw the viewer in (or drive them away).  Avoid distractions or clutter, tailor backgrounds, place your subject to grab attention.  Chose the right lens.  Discover how 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 get it by shooting from a different angle, perhaps at another time of day, or adding flash in a flattering way.


I will present ideas that work (not rigid rules) and offer exercises to try them yourself.  In class we will discuss why a number of successful images have succeeded.  There is no substitute for analyzing real photographs to learn how to apply composition ideas to your photography.


If you sometimes get nifty images and would like to have that happen more often, please join us!


Prerequisites: None. Suitable for beginner to intermediate photographers and all kinds of cameras or smartphones.


Date: October 10, 17, 24, 2018


Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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


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