Pacific Northwest Art School workshop produces some sweet photos

Professional photographer Tony Sweet captured this sunset over an Ebey
Professional photographer Tony Sweet captured this sunset over an Ebey's Landing prairie in Coupeville.
— image credit: Tony Sweet photo

Professional photographers Tony Sweet and Susan Milestone recently spent five days on Whidbey Island to give a workshop through the Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville.

The participants were treated to an exploration of some of the gardens and farms on Whidbey Island including a trip to some South End locations.

The group took two outings daily, one in early morning and the other at mid-afternoon until sunset.

They visited such sites as Bayview Farm & Garden, the private gardens of the Kamera family in Langley, several gardens and farms in Coupeville and one farm in Oak Harbor.

The teachers held daily critique sessions, enabling students to fine tune new techniques as the week progressed.

Sweet and Milestone, who live in Maryland, said it was their fifth visit to the island since they began teaching workshops 15 years ago.

Sweet said people who take the workshops already have a sense of what they like and are more or less looking at fine-tuning their technique while learning about the newest software.

"Software pretty much drives the business of photography," Sweet said. "It's essential knowledge for any photographer."

Sweet should know.

After spending 20 years as a professional jazz musician, Sweet switched gears and focused his creative energy on nature photography.

Now he's a much-sought after photographer with countless commercially published photos and is the author of four books on fine art photography.

Milestone, too, is a professional nature and fine art photographer whose work has been produced widely.

Workshop participant Dave King of Idaho said he was mad about both of them.

"Tony is a monster photographer," King said while taking a break from photographing flowers in Coupeville early one morning.

"And Susan here is soooo good with the people. It's just fun being in this class with these two. People have come from all over the country — Georgia, Wisconsin, even Toronto — to take this workshop. They are the best," King added.

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