©Wolfgang Kaehler

Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal Digital Photo Workshop


I have been teaching photo workshops for more than ten years. Last Saturday I led another advanced workshop through the Digital Photo Academy. I decided to try a new location for the shoot which offers a lot of vibrant color and graphic shapes: Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal.


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Point of View

After a critique session in my office, I headed out with my students. It was an overcast day with promising breaks in the clouds off in the distance. First we did a composition exercise, and I showed the students how important the point of view is. I picked a location to photograph some light posts with colorful banners and signs with the terminal in the background. By moving one to two feet to the side from this point I could demonstrate how the composition changed. Lesson One: Change your point of view and look at your subject from different directions.

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We moved on to the Fishermen’s memorial. The sky was still overcast. I gave a short talk about light. The memorial has a beautiful bronze base with fish, crab, octopus and other sea animal figures. The base is very dark and has the bright fishing boats in the background; camera sensors can’t cope with the high contrast. A soft diffused light helps to lower the contrast, and in our situation, with the overcast sky it was perfect. HDR would be another solution to cope with high contrast. I prefer natural lighting conditions because by watching the light carefully it gives you natural looking results without having to manipulate the images. Lesson Two: Use the right light.

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Lenses and Settings

Moving onto the dock, I pointed out all the colors, forms, lines and reflections which lead to hundreds of creative compositions. I showed the students how to use a long lens and a wide open aperture to create a shallow depth of field. With a shallow depth of field it is possible to separate a subject from the background. This is a nice advantage when the background is very busy and you want to blur it out to bring more attention to your subject. On the other hand, a closed down aperture with a short lens can create a huge depth of field, and we were able to photograph a row of boats having everything in focus. Lesson Three: Know your lenses and settings in order to get the result you like to achieve.


We spent more than three hours photographing and had a ball. There was a lot to teach besides the points I mentioned above. Afterwards the critique session showed an impressive result: the students images turned out great.  For more images of Fishermen’s Terminal please search on my website at: www.wkaehlerphoto.com

Digital Photo Academy offers workshops for beginners, intermediate, and advanced photo enthusiasts every month. www.digitalphotoacademy.com My next DPA workshop is a wildlife workshop February 19th.

Run with the Wolfies: Digital Photo Workshops and Upcoming Photo Tours:


May 20-22, 2011 Orcas Island Weekend Workshop;

June 18-24, 2011 Palouse Photo Workshop;

July 4-20, 2011 Brazil & Pantanal;

November 8-21, 2011 Patagonia;

December 9-19, Antarctica;

Sept. 2012 Madagascar

For more information please visit: https://phototours.us/ or http://www.runwiththewolfies.com
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