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JBLM Northwest Adventure Center

The art of photography

Northwest Guardian

Published: 02:17PM September 28th, 2017
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Northwest Adventure Center

One of the most popular photography trips that the Northwest Adventure Center hosts is a nighttime tour of the city of Seattle.

If you go

What: Sunset Photography Clinic

When: Saturday. Meet at the Northwest Adventure Center at 4 p.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 4:15 p.m. Minimum age: 12. Children younger than 18 must be accompanied by adult.

Where: Discovery Park, Seattle

Cost: $60

To learn more: jblmadventuretrips@gmail.com

Retired Army sergeant first class Kaweka Stoney, an adventure programmer for the Northwest Adventure Center, has always done photography, but he’s become more involved with the art in the last five years.

Now as part of the team that provides outdoor adventure trips for the JBLM community, Stoney shares his passion and knowledge of photography with various outdoor trips, including a Sunset Photography trip to Discovery Park in Seattle Saturday afternoon.

Stoney said he likes to provide a variety of outdoor photography tours to capture as much of the Pacific Northwest as possible. That includes mountains, ocean, rivers, beaches, cities, rural areas and more.

“There’s just so much here in the Northwest that makes it pretty amazing,” Stoney said. “There’s always something new to discover.”

Stoney teaches the three essential elements of photography exposure — the International Standards Organization’s scale for measuring light, better known as ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

Stoney recommends people bring their own camera to shoot and learn; however, he does bring a few extra camera bodies for those who are very new to the art.

“There are people who really want to get into photography, but they don’t have a camera or they only have a point and shoot,” he said.

Whether his groups are the average three to five people, or up to 10 people, the majority of participants are seeking to learn how to work with their cameras.

“I find out a lot of them spend $200, $300 or up to $1,000 (on a camera), and they leave it on automatic,” Stoney said. “But they want to learn how to advance beyond that.”

Stoney spends a good portion of time during the tours providing tips on how to adjust ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings for different kinds of photography. Still, he said he wants participants to figure it out on their own.

The benefit to having trial-and-error moments in photography is that cameras on the market are majority digital, unlike yesteryear’s tedious and labor-intensive film format.

“You can keep filling up that memory card and just experiment,” Stoney said. “See what your camera can do.”

Stoney said there are a lot of repeat photography tour sign-ups because people want to learn more. That’s why Stoney recommends they sign up for his Photography 101 courses.

The next class is scheduled for Oct. 29, but he’s hoping to have it become a monthly class starting in 2018.

Stoney will host photography adventures tours this fall, including a Waterfall Photography Tour Oct. 28. Stoney said he’s planning on taking people to various waterfalls along the Lewis River, a tributary of the Columbia River in southwestern Washington.

“(We’re going to try) different ways (to photograph), like the silky effect or freezing the motions of the waterfall,” Stoney said.

Stoney will also host a Seattle Night Photography tour Nov. 4, which is one of the most popular tours he’s offered outside of astrophotography, he said.

Dean Siemon: 253-477-0235, @deansiemon