Discover the Beauty of San Juan Islands: A Unique Photography Workshop Adventure

Our 4-Day Adventures Northwest Photography Workshop Cruise aboard the David B offers a chance to take your photography to the next level in the scenic San Juan Islands

Photo by John D’Onofrio

The San Juan Islands are a world-famous cruising destination and also an absolutely amazing place for nature and landscape photography. Because we believe in exploring and examining the beauty of nature, we’ve teamed up with Adventures Northwest Magazine and photographers, John D’Onofrio and Alan Sanders, for an exciting, hands-on photo workshop aboard the M/V David B.

We’ll explore the secluded, northern islands where we’ll visit remote and lonely beaches, explore exquisite sculpture gardens of fancifully carved sandstone, and photograph the bountiful marine wildlife for which the Salish Sea is famous. Our time will be divided between shore excursions, skiff explorations, and hands-on photography processing instruction in the comfortable salon of the M/V David B. Everyone will go home with a gallery-ready 12 x 18 print of one of their images, ready for framing.

Trip Highlights:

  • Scenic Beauty: Capture the stunning landscapes of the San Juan Islands, from lush forests to dramatic coastlines.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Photograph the diverse wildlife, including orcas, seals, and a variety of bird species.
  • Expert Guidance: Learn from professional photographers who will provide personalized tips and techniques.
  • Sunset and Sunrise Sessions: Experience and capture the magic of golden hours.
  • Small Group Experience: Enjoy a more intimate and focused photography adventure.
Sea Lions
Sealions at Sucia Island: Photo by John D’Onofrio

Why Choose Our  Photography Workshops:

  • Unique Locations: Visits locations that are only accessible by boat and are known for their photographic potential.
  • Skill Enhancement: Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced photographer, our workshop caters to all skill levels.
  • Networking Opportunity: Connect with fellow photography enthusiasts and create lasting relationships.
  • Relaxing Environment: Our workshop not only focuses on photography but also ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience amidst nature.
  • Local Knowledge: Benefit from our guides’ extensive knowledge of the area, ensuring you capture the best the islands have to offer.
Weather-sculpted sandstone at Sucia Island. Photo by John D’Onofrio

Click here to see our current schedule and rates.

To Book Your San Juan Islands Photography Workshop Call 360-474-7218 or Email.

About the David B – Your Floating Classroom for Photography and Adventure

While in the San Juan Islands, you’ll enjoy the creature comforts of the M/V David B, a beautifully-appointed 65-foot wooden boat built in 1929 and lovingly restored – private staterooms with heads, a shower, fireplace, wood-fired cookstove, and gourmet meals that have become legendary on the Alaska coast. Microbrews and fine wines.

Boat and Mountain in the San Juan Islands in Washington State
Photo By John D’Onofrio

The boat’s “saloon” is equipped with a ceiling-mounted LCD projector and pull-down screen for evening instruction in utilizing Adobe Lightroom Classic to bring out the best in your pictures. Once the images are optimized, we’ll share and discuss the work in group critiques. Finally, we’ll spend time learning to fine-tune for printing. Everyone will go home with a gallery-quality print – ready for framing – from the workshop.

During the workshop, we’ll have extensive shooting opportunities every day, instruction time aboard the David B, and generous amounts of ‘downtime’ to savor this special place. The trip is limited to eight passengers so individualized instruction is assured.

The David B’s skiff is a marvel of engineering and ideal for photography: roomy, super-stable, and dry. “Skiffyasaurus”, as it’s known, affords us amazing close-up photo opportunities of the glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.

Images from Previous Photography Workshops

Meet Your Instructors:

Alan Sanders

Instructor for photography cruise in Glacier Bay Alan Sanders has been making photographs since the 70’s and teaching photography since the 80’s. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

As a recovering commercial photographer specializing in advertising and public relations, Alan now concentrates on his own fine art photography. His photographs have been in many group and one person shows over the years. He has work in the permanent collections of several museums as well as many private collections. Alan has also spent many years doing custom printing, both analog and digital, and still loves to see a good quality print.

Currently, he teaches workshops at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham as well as at location workshops, mostly in Alaska onboard the David B.

To see Alan’s work visit his website.



John D’Onofrio

Photography Cruise in Glacier Bay Instructor

John D’Onofrio’s photography has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries around the United States and utilized by the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, the National Parks Foundation, the North Cascades Institute, and Defenders of Wildlife, and the NBC and ABC television networks.

His images have been published in numerous calendars and magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, Trail Runner, Washington Trails, Tracks and Trails, and coffee table books including The Wild Nearby: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the North Cascades (Mountaineers Books) and The Salish Sea (Sasquatch Press). His film, Cascadia Dreams, a multi-media collaboration with photographer Lance Ekhart and Native American Flute Master Gary Stroutsos was featured as part of the San Juan Islands Film Festival.

He is the publisher/editor of Adventures Northwest Magazine and the author of Hiking Mt. Baker & the North Cascades (Hancock House) and co-author of Images of America: Mount Baker (Arcadia Publishing).

A life-long wilderness traveler, he is inspired by the luminous landscapes of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and has made it his life’s work to share these deep connections through photography, literature, and film. Committed to helping others capture both the grandeur and intimate details of our diverse landscapes, he has led photography workshops for the past eight years aboard the M/V David B and at the North Cascades Institute and loves nothing more than a good adventure. Check out his website.

To learn more about John and Alan, listen to our Northwest Navigation Podcast where we talk with them about their philosophies, photography, wilderness, and being in the moment. Listen here…

For more information on photography workshops hosted by Adventures Northwest Magazine click here:


Photography Workshop Details:

A photographer and a birdwatcher
Wildlife Photography in the San Juan Islands. Photo by John D’Onofrio

First, we’ll have an opportunity to make photographs in the scenic San Juan Islands.  Then we’ll use Adobe Lightroom Classic to bring out the best in your images. We’ll also discuss the use of Photoshop as well as other plug-ins that can be used in conjunction with Lightroom. Once the images are optimized, we will share and discuss the work as a group. Finally, we’ll spend time learning to print our work. Everyone will go home with at least one print – ready for framing – from the workshop.


What to Bring for Your Photography Workshop Cruise: 

  • Digital camera
  • Shooting from the boat will be enhanced by lenses with built-in stabilization (optional)
  • Tripod (suggested)
  • Laptop with Adobe Lightroom Classic (required) installed and Photoshop (suggested) 
  • Lots of Memory Cards
  • Extra Batteries & Battery Charger
  • Lens hoods for shooting in the rain
  • Mouse – because laptop touchpads just don’t work as well
  • Cable release or remote shutter release

For more photography workshops on the M/V David B click here.

Curious about our Photography Workshops? Check out our Zoom Live Event Recording featuring our crew and instructors.

To Book Your San Juan Islands Photography Workshop Call 360-474-7218 or Email.

Comments from Previous Workshop Attendees: 

Group of photographers and crew standing in front a large boulder on a beach
Photo by John D’Onofrio

“In seven days this workshop can transform your eye, focus your attention to detail, and restore your soul.”

–   Alison S., Eldorado Springs, CO


“Honestly, it was the best trip of my life…I learned a lot and gained a level of confidence that translated to better pictures. You are very good teachers. I am grateful to you both, for your professionalism, patience, kindness, and your humor!”

–  Laurie C., Sandy, OR


“The best outcome has been a change in the way I’m seeing. I can’t quantify what I mean but it is very exciting!”

–   Dave F., Australia


” The whole experience was unbelievable…my perspective about photography was blown out of the water!”

–   Shannon F., Stanwood, WA


“An awesome experience…with excellent instructors.”

–   Marian R., Spokane, WA


Click here to see our current schedule and rates.

To Book Your San Juan Islands Photography Workshop Call 360-474-7218 or Email.