Mount Rainier National Park offers up a true mountain landscape paradise. Literally, we will visit Paradise! The August session will split time between the Sunrise side of the mountain and Paradise in hopes of catching the narrow window for peak wildflower bloom. We will also take advantage of a less than half moon setting in the west as the milky way rises over Mount Rainier. The September session will focus on scenes small and grand as fall foliage spreads across the high alpine landscape in carpets of fiery orange and red. Both workshops will visit some of the park’s beautiful waterfalls such as Narada, Christine, and Myrtle Falls as well as Reflection and Tipsoo Lake.
We’ll visit several waterfalls which will give ample opportunity for grand and small scenes alike. Mastering shutter speeds and their effect will be on the list.
Mount Rainier National Park offers grand landscape opportunities like no other. Wildflower meadows and rugged alpine terrain accent the ever-present face of a sleeping volcano. Make sure you have a wide angle lens to take it all in!
Timing can be tricky, but we hope to encounter carpets of wildflowers to photograph! Macro lenses or extension tubes on your telephoto will help create soft and simple floral scenes.
Fall Foliage: Take I
We’ll experience fall foliage in the forests and right off the road which will offer a multitude of small scenes filled with rich, warm colors.
Fall Color with a Chance of Snow
The fall season is brief, and if we’re lucky, we’ll have some fresh snow on Mount Rainier as well as among the fall foliage.
Fall Foliage: Take II
Just a short walk from the parking lot, the hillsides explode with rich colors.
The Mount Rainier National Park Photography Workshop topics include:
• Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
• Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO – their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
• Metering and getting a correct exposure
• Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
• Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
• Capturing motion within your photos using different shutter speeds
• White balance and creative coloration
• Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of “being there” in your photos
• Creating powerful compositions with impact
• Composing to control your viewer’s attention in your photos
• Composition balance, tension, and visual flow
• How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
• Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time
• Aspects of post-processing and digital workflow
• Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time
Getting to the workshop
This workshop is going to be based near Paradise for two nights, possibly all three. I am still determining the best itinerary. If you’re interested and flexible, feel free to sign up!
The Mount Rainier photography workshop begins on Tuesday afternoon where we will go over logistics and introductions before heading out to photograph sunset. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent photographing from sunrise until sundown with mid-day breaks due to the long days at this time of year. The workshop wraps after sunrise on Friday. The workshop will be spent wandering the trails in search of the best scenery and light with waterfalls, forests, and mountain views.
The timing and locations take advantage of the best of each season in Mount Rainier National Park. However, the exact itinerary and places we visit may change depending on the group and weather conditions.
Mount Rainier National Park in spring can be a mix of just about everything. Certainly we may encounter rain and possibly snow in the fall. We may also have clear skies or foggy conditions. The best advice is to prepare for everything and bring layers and extra shoes so you always have a dry pair.
$2050 per person (approximate until lodging is fully booked)
A $700 deposit is required to reserve your spot with the balance due 60 days prior to the start of the workshop.
• Quality, professional, 1-on-1 photography instruction on par with your level as a photographer
• Small group size of 8 or less with two guides or 5 or less with one guide
• 3 nights lodging
• 2 full days and 2 half days of in-field shooting and instruction
• Snacks throughout the workshop
• A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
What’s Not Included
• Getting to the workshop at Mount Rainier National Park. The park is approximately 2-2.5 hour drive from the SeaTac Airport (SEA).
• Transportation during the workshop. While students need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible.
• Meals, though the group often eats together throughout the workshop
• Interchangeable lens camera: either mirror less or DSLR
• Lenses: Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended as are mid-range, medium telephoto, and possibly macro
• A sturdy tripod
• Circular polarizer and neutral density filters
• Rain fly
• Remote shutter release
Most participants will be comfortable with a warm jacket, beanie, and gloves for the mornings and evenings, and rain wear (if necessary) throughout the day. For our late night and early morning shoots, we recommend a very warm jacket, hat, and gloves. A wide-brim hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and a large water bottle will also be indispensable. Hiking boots with good traction are great for the short hikes we will do.
The Mount Rainier Photo Workshop is appropriate for photographers of most fitness levels. We will walk approximately 5-8 miles over the course of the workshop each day over mostly even terrain. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.
My workshops combine the very best scenery we can find along with in-depth knowledge of the areas we’re visiting. From the coast to the mountains to the desert, our workshops visit some of the most breathtaking landscapes you can imagine. And with hundreds of hours spent scouting and shooting in each location, I know the best times to visit, the best things to see, and the best shots to get. Plus I’m constantly adding new and exciting locations to our line-up so you can keep expanding your photographic horizons.
1-on-1 Instruction at Your Level
I take a three-tiered approach to my photography instruction: Philosophy. Theory. Technique. This means that no matter what level of photographer you are, you can expect to walk away from a workshop with your head bursting with ideas about how to refine your vision and find your own style, an understanding of camera techniques and composition concepts to springboard your photography, and the actual “How-To” of nailing a shot in the field. And with my relaxed, casual, 1-on-1 approach, you can soak up just the information YOU need to become a better shooter.
Small Class Size
My workshops insure you get ample one-on-one time, and the small group size also helps build camaraderie. Plus, we can go places big photography tours simply can’t.
A “Go Happy or Go Home” Attitude
I believe photography is as much about enjoyment as it is about scoring a keeper for your portfolio. I strive to create a fun and dynamic environment in which you meet other photographers, learn at your own pace, enjoy the beauty of nature, and have a great time while doing it.
I Never Stop Scouting
I’m never content to rest on my laurels. Before and after every workshop, I am scouting, scouting, scouting. Whether it’s to find new and exciting location to shoot or to provide a different view of the old icons, I strive to show you the absolute best places for photography.
Fully Insured and Permitted, Leave-No-Trace Advocates
My workshops are 100% above board, and I obtain all necessary permissions and insurances.
I am also a strong advocate of Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness ethics. I teach responsible photography practices and never sacrifice the environment for the sake of a photo. My goal is to leave our photography workshop locations in better shape than how we found them.
Jim Patterson has a a vast experience teaching landscape photography and has been leading workshops since 2009. He has explored many of Mount Rainier’s trails in all four seasons and continues to add new views to his knowledge base. A major goal leading up the this workshop is learning more about the “stack and track” style of astrophotography.