Photography Shoots, Classes and Lectures
July 12 - 13, July 27

Photography for kids! With Jabon Eagar Photography
Saturday, July 12 , from 8 - 10 am

$30 (BTA members $20), with credit card ready, call 520-689-2723
What kid doesn't like to snap photos? Know a young shutterbug that wants to become a better photographer? Enroll you son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandkid in our new new Photography for Kids class, coached by
Jabon Eagar photography ! The class will start with a lively 25-minute chalk-talk in the classroom, topics begin with a ‘Meet your camera’ discussion on camera basics followed by the important ‘Camera Care’ chat where students will learn to care for the fragile tool they are using. A visual presentation discussing techniques such as ‘Stable Stance’, ‘Rule of Thirds’, and ‘What to focus on’; finishing with getting all cameras on their Auto-mode and baseline settings for good results. Then we'll spend the next hour hour explorring the gardens seeking close up images of vivid flowers and wide landscapes. The class will also spend some time discussing portrait photography along the way. Shooting alongside Jabon and his 9-year-old son, the class will get to see why word has gotten around about Jabon's skill at mentoring kids to see art through their lenses; the world through a child’s eye can be quite fascinating!
Check out some of Brett Eagar’s recent images on Facebook
Jabon Eagar's photography has been published by Arizona Highways and in our BTA members' magazine; also by the Tonto National Monument - and his work was featured on the walls at Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix. What to bring? Students need their digital camera, water, and a snack. This class would be ideal for kids ages 8-14, thei child's parent or guardian must be onsite at the Arboretum during the workshop, but can spend his or her time exploring the gardens and trailss; daily admission for the chaperone is $10. Class will begin and also end at the Smith Building lecture room.
Connect with Jabon on Facebook

Smartphone, 'mirror-less' and Point-n-Shoot Pointers with Tom Boggan
Sunday, July 13 , from 8 - 10 am
; $20 - $30
four (4) spaces remain as of Monday June 30
Truth is, we’re surprised this class remains just half-filled; if you’re a beginner/novice photographer, this one’s for you – and it’s a bargain at $20 for BTA members ($30 nonmembers). As Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Boggan describes it: “the best camera is the one you have with you. Even if you're shooting with your cellphone or a point-n-shot, you can still make great photos. In this two-hours class I'll demonstrate ways to capture better photos using compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, point-n-shoot cameras, and especially your smartphone. We'll spend about 45 minutes in the classroom talking about gear, apps for shooting and editing on your smartphone, capturing light and methods of composing a shot -- then head into the garden to practice together. “ Connect with Tom Boggan on Facebook
Wish you were more confident with your camera? Tom generously volunteers a morning or afternoon each month here helping our visitors improve their camera skills, donating his time so enrollments benefit BTA. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students; we challenge you to find a better opportunity – and value - than Tom Boggan's recurring workshop. Consider this email we received after one of Tom's classes; Cave Creek resident and BTA member Carol wrote: "Tom - thank you so much for the great photography class, you have a gift for taking something complex and bringing it down to a level that the average person can understand! I tried with books and magazines to make sense of the dizzying array of counter-intuitive settings on my camera such as ISO, F-stop etc. but things just continued to be confusing. With your concise handout and your class, I actually feel as though a light bulb has come on and I am beginning to understand these concepts for the first time! I now enjoy the challenge of creating a photo and taking photos feels more about my artistic efforts vs. the camera's magical workings. Thank you again for helping me move to a new level in my enjoyment of photography and (by extension) my real passion: nature."

Scottsdale Photographer Lisa Langell's July 27 Class:"Its OK to use AUTO"
use the link below to enroll
Artist Lisa Langell easily fills classes at $50-a-pop for basic photography; $75 and up for specific topics. So why would she offer her services free to a fortunate 20 enrollees July 27 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum?
"BTA is one of my favorite places in Arizona - I love the gardens, and I love photography. Here's a chance for me to meet new beginner photographers who want to improve how they use their cameras...and to see that "Ah-HA!" moment light up their eyes when they master a new setting or technique," said the Scottsdale pro photographer.
I'm hoping the room will be filled with new faces - people who've never attended one of my classes before, and also haven't visited the Arboretum.I'm volunteering my time that day - and keeping the cost negligible. This workshop's included with $10 daily admission to BTA, but you do have to pre-register as we can only accommodate the first 20 attendees. I'll keep a wait list and if this proves popular enough, we'll repeat the same class in July for those on the wait list."
Titled, "Its OK to shoot on Auto," Langell's informal 90-minute class takes a different tack for casual photographers who want to improve the quality of their shots, but who aren't yet interested in learning the complexities of manual settings like exposure, aperture, white balance, depth of field, and more. "Whether you are new to photography as a hobby or you simply want to take better pictures of family, friends, events, or nature, this class is a perfect fit. Manual settings are powerful, important tools for photographers--but mastering them doesn't have to be the first step to taking beautiful photographs. It can even be downright intimidating--and perhaps beyond the need of the casual photographer. My goal is to introduce casual photographers to the joy of photography via a few tips, tricks, and techniques that are easily applied and can dramatically improve the quality of their images while never moving the camera off of its auto settings. This class will offer a fun, interactive way to learn those skills!"
"I'll share 10 simple tips for improving your photographs while never moving the switch off Auto. In part, I designed this class for owners of mobile devices such as smartphones, compact 'point-n-shoot cameras," said Langell, "But I've also worked with people who have beautiful DSLR cameras that they want to learn how to use. This is the first step."
Connect with Lisa on Facebook, see more of the artist's work at
Date for the class will be July 27 -- and the exact start time will be emailed to the 20 enrollees - a little secret kept "below the radar" in order to restrain the class size to its maximum of 20 pre-registered enrollees.
"I offer a variety of webinars, too; this class will have an optional online evening follow-up supportive critique and discussion June 25. Specific details will be shared during class; these webinars give participant a chance to upload two images, then log-on and join us for a live discussion/critique, I keep these positively-oriented, a chance to hear some praise, and constructive advice of your wildlife/nature images."
Enroll in Langell's June 8 Arboretum workshop via this link (and please make sure to advise Lisa if your plans change and you won't attend - spaces are limited, there's sure to be a wait-list.

    $30 BTA annual members, $40 non-members call 520-689-2723
Gilbert pro photographers Michael Madsen and Patty Van Herpen will teach camera basics and more -- here's a chance to learn camera functions and to practice what you have learned in the Demonstration Garden alongside two professionals, a Canon and a Nikon expert. "Teaching photography over the past few years Patty and I have noticed more women in our classes. Why? Maybe due to improvements in camera technology over the past decade as they've become smaller, portable and affordable.
If you are interested in the art of photography, and the technical side of how a camera works. Mothers' Day weekend presents a great opportunity to
enjoy a class hosted at one of the most scenic, picturesque and camera-ready places we know: the colorful, peaceful gardens at Boyce Thompson Arboretum."Gilbert professional photographer Michael Madsen was a featured artist in our Visitor Center Gallery and, by popular demand, continues to offer photography workshops at BTA - including his Switching to Manual class for beginners. Madsen has traveled to Europe, Thailand, Mexico, Morocco, Jamaica and the Bahamas in search of the perfect picture. This special workshop includes the chance to learn from two different photographers: Madsen, an expert with Nikon cameras and lenses and Patty Van Herpen, who shoots with Canon gear.
Classes with Michael and Patty coach beginning-to-intermediate photographers who are ready to harness the horsepower of their digital cameras by getting past the "auto" settings in favor of manually controlling their own aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance.
"We will switch our cameras to manual mode and learn to take chargeof our cameras, and explore the creative side of photography," says Madsen. "You'll be taught how to adjust your camera settings, and the photographic effects that occur based on these settings. Heading outdoors after lunch allows us toapply techniques we have learned in the classroom and experiment with camera settings together and one-on-one." Two hours in the classroom from 10:00 am to noon will be followed by a optional lunch break together at the Jade Grill or another restaurant in the nearby town of Superior, and then two more hours from 1:00-3:00 pm spent outside, shooting and practicing alongside Michael Madsen in Arboretum gardens.
Madsen has photographed Fall at the best spots in Arizona, from Oak Creek Canyon to the San Francisco peaks and majestic mountains from Escudilla to Graham, Lemon, and Galiuros wilderness, and Pinal Mountains near Globe -- and along the Mogollon Rim Read an interview with Michael about Fall, and his favorite spots around AZ for foliage photography
See more of the photographer's work
One special recent class with Michael included the chance to learn from two different photographers: Madsen, an expert with Nikon cameras and lenses
and Patty Van Herpen, who shoots with Canon gear

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Users Group Meeting
in the Smith Building Lecture Room

* No Additional Fee or registration -- attendance of this monthly Users Group is included with daily admission of $10; Free to BTA annual members and AZ State Parks pass-holders. No sign-up or pre-registration required.
East valley photographer 'Rim' Vidziunas,
invites photographers who use ADOBE Photoshop Lightroom 5for the next users group meeting. One of the most popular photography software packages, Adobe Lightroom, is described by the company as: "Photo editing software built for photographers, by photographers. From first look to final image, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 makes everything about digital photography easier, faster and more amazing. Perfect your shots with powerful new adjustment tools, efficiently organize all your photos and share them almost anywhere."
Jack Haskell has agreed to show his cross-processing workflow using Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6, Photomatix for portraits and HDR Imaging landscapes. View Jack's work at:
Bring your camera, and laptop. We will be giving you an assignment to work on for next month's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Users Group Meeting at the Arboretum.Connect with Rim on Facebook
This Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Users Group is a chance for monthly meetings where I'll demonstrate workflow using Lightroom and all are welcome - from novice photographers to semi-professional. Even if you're simply curious about this software and want to see what it can do before buying it, you can gain much from attending our meetings. If you edit photos on your laptop, bring it - and bring your camera, our workshop lasts just two hours - but its easy to spend an entire day shooting around the gardens and trails at BTA. I'll coach, show various 'tips and tricks in Lightroom 5; as the season progresses I hope to bring guest instructors to show their own 'tips'n tricks". We could also have monthly topics, discussions, and have others show what they have learned....In other words a true, "Users Group"
See more of the artist's work at

Tom Boggan Camera Basics
$20 enrollment for Arboretum annual members - $30 for nonmembers
Call 520.689.2723
Wish you were more confident with your camera settings? Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Boggan leads a monthly outdoor 'walk-a-bout'photo workshop demonstrating how to set your camera's aperture, exposure and white balance – all during a relaxed outing where you're surrounded by beautiful gardens and learning from a pro. Tom generously volunteers a morning or afternoon each month here helping our visitors improve their camera skills, donating his time so enrollments help benefit BTA! Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students; we challenge you to find a better opportunity than Tom Boggan's recurring workshop.
Consider this email we received after one of his classes; Cave Creek resident and BTA member Carol: "Tom - thank you so much for the great photography class, you have a gift for taking something complex and bringing it down to a level that the average person can understand! I tried with books and magazines to make sense of the dizzying array of counter-intuitive settings on my camera such as ISO, F-stop etc. but things just continued to be confusing. With your concise handout and your class, I actually feel as though a light bulb has come on and I am beginning to understand these concepts for the first time! I now enjoy the challenge of creating a photo and taking photos feels more about my artistic efforts vs. the camera's magical workings. Thank you again for helping me moveto a new level in my enjoyment of photography and (by extension) my real passion: nature."
View other workshop images on the Tom Boggan Arboretum Flickr Gallery

Superior Smartphone Snapshots Cellphone Camera Photography Aapril 12, saturday, 1-3pm

$25 (or $35 for nonmembers)
pay by credit card, call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours.
Learn how to take better pictures with the camera you always have with you; Pete Casillas got this fun group portrait at left on his Iphone4 while John, at center, was coaching this workshop last winter. Chances are that your cellphone has a built-in camera. And with settings ranging from zoom to exposure, it's also likely that you're not using that camera to its full potential. Phoenix photographer John Aho has captured everything from macros to portraits and landscapes at Boyce Thompson Arboretum on his Droid Razr and will teach how to get the most out of cellphone and smartphone cameras during an outdoor workshop around the gardens. Aho will share composition tips and advice about lighting and scene selection, too. The cost is $25 (or $35 for nonmembers); pay by credit card by calling 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours.
check out cellphone snapshots taken here at

Shooting on the Dark Side
Backlight & Silhouette Photography
with Lisa Langell
date to be announced

        $30 for Arboretum annual members, $40 non-members.
  Have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Explore 'the dark side' of photography in this innovative new class with Scottsdale pro photographer Lisa Langell, including both lecture and in-the-field shoot time during late afternoon hours when warm setting sunlight bathes the arboretum in a golden sunset. Learn about shooting the dark side of your subjects via backlight and silhouette. We'll spent 90 minutes in the classroom, take a break, then 90 more inthe field, shooting through sunset (around 6PM-ish).
Key topics include:
- Exposure and shooting in both back light and silhouette
- Spot vs. Evaluative Metering (in-camera settings) for silhouette and back lit photographs
- Positioning yourself (or your subjects) for best results
- A few simple processing tips
- Field work through sunset
What to bring? your camera, a pen and notepad for the lecture portion; bring a snack for break time (we'll go until sunset); for field work, bring your camera, tripod, any lenses you wish from wide-angle through to medium-length telephoto/zoom, memory cards. Bring knee pads or a pillow/rug for kneeling on the ground if you wish to 'get low.' Definitely bring a small flashlight, for walking garden trails after sundown. Connect with the artist at see more examples of her work at

Photographing FLOWERS with Lisa Langell
(*for INTERMEDIATE LEVEL photographers)
Date To Be Announced
$30 for BTA members, $40 nonmembers.
With credit card ready, Call 520.689.2723

Here's a class for "Intermediate" level photographers confident they already have a solid understanding of exposure and basic camera functions; Lisa says "let's focus on more advanced techniques of macro and closeup flower photography where we'll study "Lighting and composition" (natural and added light), using reflectors, capturing water droplets, an introduction to the technique calle "Focus Stacking;" and with the time allowed we may even have time to explore basics of processing your focus-stacked images using Photoshop (and I'll stress that Photoshop will be the only software taught for the purposes of this class, given our limited time and scope.) I'll bring my reflectors and diffusers (hand-held) and also clamps for use during the workshop. Are you an intermediate photorgapher? I'd define that as someone who already has basic understanding of your camera's functions and settings such as manual settings - primarily aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This class is designed for DSLRs and macro or close-up shooting. Here's what you should bring: your camera, macro lenses (if you have additional lenses); camera manual and a tripod (borrow one from a friend if you don't already own a tripod); flashlight, small spray bottle for water, knee pads (or blanket, car mat, something for kneeling on the ground if desired), sunscreen, water/snacks if needed. For the "focus-stacking" portion, participants should bring a charged laptop if possible, (there may not be a plug for everyone) -- and a bud vase; I will provide flowers. Yes, of course we can photograph flowers outside, too, but I want to do the first focus-stacking lesson under controlled settings--no wind, no rain, etc. to mess up the results.)
Few artists have found the commercial success of
Scottsdale photographer Lisa Langell -- whose artworks can be seen on restaurant walls and galleries from AZ to Alaska. She's also among our most popular instructors, and will offer two March classes focussed on the artistic side of photography. Questions?
or Connect with Lisa on Facebook

John Aho "Painting With Light" High-Power LED Night Shoot
spring-summer 2014 DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
             $30 BTA members, $40 non-members
Bet you've never seen the Drover's Shed, the old Dodge Power Wagon or our gardens lit quite as they appear in these scenes by Patsy Akers and Dave Langdon, familiar plants and scenery rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after dark by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by artist and local luminary John Aho. His Saturday night painting-with-light nighttime shoots are limited to TWELVE photographers.
Preview our Nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshopson YouTube. The $30 fee for these special-access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $40 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; pleasemake sure to spell out your email and give your current cell#or home phone to our clerks when you sign up so we can provide specific meeting/parking instructions just ahead of Saturday's shoot.If this class has filled when you call, make sure to leave your name, phone and email (again, please take a minute to spell it out so we have it right) so we can alert you to November and December shoots as dates are added to this calendar. See more of John's surreal nighttime scenes -- such as Superior Architecture, and these scenes from Besich Park Downtown.

Wildlife Photography Presentation:
date and time TO BE ANNOUNCED

For 25 years Stan Cunningham lived an adventurous life you'd expect to see depicted on film: crawling into black bear dens during wintertime as a wildlife biologist for the Arizona Game aND Fish Department, and spending a summer month every year in Alaska as a professional photographer shooting vivid pictures of Brown and Kodiak bears for tourist lodges, and also leading Alaskan photo safaris and ecotourism trips. A professor of wildlife biology at Arizona State University since 2006, Cunningham is known for his decades of research about bears, mountain lions, and the ecological effects of wildfire. December 22 (Sunday) he will show some of his most breathtaking photos of bears from Arizona to Alaska during a slide show and presentation about bears and their biology in the lecture room here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum at 10:00 AM.
"I'll share some of the experiences I've had and what I've learned," said Cunningham. The talk and slideshow of his photography is open to all visitors.
"I have been taking pictures throughout my career," said Cunningham, "but only in the past seven years have become serious about it. Now I shoot with any of three different Canon camera bodies and with lenses ranging from a 500 mm lens, to a 70-to-200, 17-40 wide angle." Learn more, follow Stan's blog and see more of his award-winning photography at

date and time TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 BTA members or $40 nonmembers
Have a Credit Card ready And Call 520-689-2723 to enroll

Check out the scenes in this filmstrip arrangement at right -- they make it obvious why photographer San Tan Valley photographer Jabon Eagar has earned a reputation for creative portraits that put his subjects in the best light. Jabon volunteers here at BTA, sharing his time and expertise as a camera class instructor -- and he also accepts clients for private portrait shoots, specializing in family and high school senior portraits, such as the eye-catching photos at right of Ashlyn, Jacky, Serenity and Skylee. On Saturday morning September 28 from 10am to Noon he'll share some of his techniques and secrets during a new
'Portraits In The Park' workshop and outdoor shoot here. The first hour of class will be a discussion and a PowerPoint presentation in the air-conditioned lecture room of the historic Smith Building, followed by an outdoor shoot in the beautiful gardens in BTA.

And, says Jabon "we will have an experienced model or two to demonstrate the key points of capturing a portrait.
Class participants such as Kathleen got great shots! See more, check out Tami's Album from the August shoot. Discussion over strobe lighting and reflectors for fill lighting will show how to avoid harsh shadows. Bring your DSLR and medium telephoto lens from the 50-200mm range with the lowest numerical aperture you have. If you have an external flash, bring it too!"
Jabon's "9-to-5" is as a tool automation expert for Intel; he lives in San Tan Valley with his wife and three sons.

Connect with Jabon on Facebook

"I've been serious about photography for about five years and have built Jabon Eagar Photography into a business specializing in portraits like these, also product photography and landscape photography. I also volunteer at the Arboretum and with both the state and national parks, offering my images for use in promotional brochures, newsletters, web sites and park history archives. My choic of camera? The pro Nikon platform, and I favor D3 bodies for low-light capability and dynamic range. My lens assortment runs the gamut from 10-400mm ... and the incredible Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 is my landscape lens of choice. For top notch portraits, I use the Nikkor micro 105mm f2.8 which is an unusual use for a ‘macro’ lens but the sharpness and bokeh have no equal.

PETE RENDEK PHOTOGRAPHY -- "Night Shots, Lightning & Monsoon Cloud-scapes "

Learn approaches to nocturnal landscape photography, dramatic monsoon season storm cloud shots, and lightning photography from award-winning Chandler photographer Pete Rendek during a two-hour morning session in the air-conditioned lecture room of our historic Smith Building.

$20 pre-registration for members -- or $30 nonmembers -- includes an indoor presentation and slideshow on long-exposure night shots, lightning and cloud-scapes. "This workshop will teach techniques applicable whether you have a high-end DSLR or an advanced digital point-and-shoot, and approaches to photographing long-exposure photos after darkness such as star trails and nighttime landscapes," said Rendek.
See more Pete Rendek Arboretum Photography
"Discussions will include equipment and techniques; for non-members, enrollment includes their day's admission to the gardens, so you may want to arrive closer to the opening hour of 6:00 a.m. to enjoy shooting garden scenes during the comparatively cooler hours of the day prior to classroom time.
Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours to register.
Click the "night photography" gallery at imagesofaz.comto see Rendek's star trails and long exposures. connect with Rendek as well as other Arboretum volunteer photography instructors at .

Paul Landau Macros Photography
DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Look closely at the bright red larvae of a Pipevine Swallowtail in Paul Landau's photo at left; before the colorful caterpillar morphs into one of the blue-black butterflies seen throughout AZ, they have a beauty all their own - with intricate rows of dorsal spikes making them resemble an undersea creature more than an insect of the Sonoran desert.
The human eye can only look so close; Scottsdale photographer Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing compound eyes, antennae and patterns almost invisible to the human eye -- such as the predatory Yersin's Mantis shown at right.
He'll share techniques during an afternoon spent in search of tiny creatures and plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and photographing them along with 15 participants. Enrollment is $30 for BTA annual members, $40 for nonmembers.
"You'll probably be amazed to find out what your camera can do," predicts Landau. "Even the simplest 'point-and-shoot' digital cameras have close-up capabilities that reveal inner worlds of detail, iridescent green beetle wings, and the intensity of nature on a scale that's overlooked until you learn where to look - and how to see. One of the great things about macro photography is that my quarry is tiny - and often fairly easy to photograph once you know where to look for them. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is my favorite place, no question, to photograph vivid insects and flower blossoms, along with other natural phenomenon."
Landau's photography was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Arboretum in July and August, where he taught a popular series of workshops specifically devoted to hummingbirds at the park. See more of the artist's work at

date to be announced
$30 to Arboretum annual members, $40 non-members
Call 520-689-2723 to be on the alert list for next class date
High Dynamic Range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is an approach to digital photography that heightens light, dark and color in ways beyond what most digital cameras are designed to capture. Mesa, Arizona fine art photographer Rimgaudas "Rim" Vidziunas usesHDR with surgical precision to make a candy-apple red restored vintage car nearly jump off the page - and he'll share some of his expertise with HDR in a workshop at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The workshop will be indoors, and does not include an outdoor shoot, although enrollment allows participants to explore and enjoy the Arboretum gardens both before and after class.
Not For Beginners
"I need to emphasize that this workshop is not for beginners," said Vidziunas, "there's a lot of material to be covered, and my experience has shown that photographers who are already experienced and comfortable with some basic post-creative processing get the most benefit from HDR.
All enrollees should already be familiar with Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe LightRoom or another post-production software. For those who are: have you ever photographed a high contrast scene? If so, you know that even the best exposure gives you blown-out highlights, flat shadows, or both. For many of us, the solution is High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing, a technique where you capture multiple photographs of the same scene but at varying exposure levels, then merge the photos into an HDR image -- and then adjust the settings to get the look you want, from natural-looking to painterly or surreal."
Software You'll Need
Participants in the class need to bring their laptops loaded with Photomatix Pro 4.2 trial version available( or $99 license from; Adobe Lightroom (either version 3 or 4) 30 day trial version available( ) ; their camera (and with the ability to bracket exposures) and tripod. Optional software include Nik HDR Efex Pro 2( ) . "Rim" Vidziunas has over 40 years experience in photography, three years HDR processing experience, and belongs to AZ HDR Photography Forum. See more of his work at; if you're wondering if this workshop is for you, or have questions about the required software, email To enroll in this class have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime business hours from8am-5pm at 520.689.2723

     $30 BTA annual members, $40 non-members
call 520-689-2723

Learn to shoot flower portraits from a pro! Saguaros and cactus blossoms are at peak in June and Pete Rendek leads a Saturday morning session focused on flowers. Participants will learn to create better images using anything from simple accessories to more sophisticated macro lenses and ring-lights. Workshop begins with a presentation in the air-conditioned lecture room, then moves outdoors to practice techniques in nearby gardens.
See more Pete Rendek Arboretum Photography
"We'll talk about lighting and I'll arrange a specimen or two in the classroom for discussion and demonstration. Since its June and likely to be warm, we'll spend about 90-minutes in the air-conditioned classroom talking about technique and setting-up, then we'll head out to practice what we've learned for an hour or so around the gardens. Once the class ends around noon, all who want to join me can caravan over to one of the local restaruants in Superior for lunch and we can continue to chat about flowers, macro photography, or any other photography topics that arise."
Rendek suggests bringing your camera manual along to the workshop, and to spend time the week prior to the class reviewing sections of the manual that cover macro photography - even if you're using a 'point-N-shoot.' And make sure you know how to turn your camera's flash on or off, regardless of camera type.

Halloween Creepy Crawly Critters Night Shoot with Paul Landau and Dave Oberpriller
$30 for BTA annual members, $40 non-members - call 520.689.2723
The same week that Arizona kids say "trick or treat," Boyce Thompson Arboretum offers a rare treat for photographers: an opportunity for after-hour access during a Saturday night workshop that will focus on creepy critters such as scorpions (which flouresce eerily under blacklights!), moths that can be lured to spot-lit white sheets (then photographed up-close) and other creatures of the night. Scottsdale artist Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing compound eyes, antennae and patterns invisible to the human eye. Mesa photographer David Oberpriller has spent the past two years honing his ability to capture vivid nighttime images of glowing scorpions - which flouresce an unreal"Gatorade-green" hue under ultraviolet light. The two friends will team-up and share their techniques during an evening spent searching for rare scenes of nocturnal critters at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and sharing tips to photograph them alongside 15 participants. The event is a fundraiser for the Arboretum; enrollment is $30 for BTA annual members, $39 for nonmembers. Bring your camera flash unit and UV flashlights (if you have them) and also a small flashlight for finding your way in the dark.
" What a totally cool way for any of us to spend Halloween night," said Landau,"Dave and I are thrilled to offer this. You know one of the best parts about nighttime photography? Anyone can do it - most of today's simple 'point-and-shoot' digital cameras have light gathering capabilities that far surpass 35mm camera, and rival the more expensive DSLRs... so this type of shoot is for just about any photographer enthused to try something new."Landau's photography was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Arboretum from July through September, where he taught a popular series of workshops specifically devoted to hummingbirds at the park.
See more of the Paul's work and also links to his websites and online galleries at
and David's impressive scorpion pics are posted at

Date To Be Announced
The Zen Of Fall Foliage Photography-- With Andrew Henry

Cost: $30 to BTA annual members, $39 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723 to pre-pay

Mesa artist Andrew Henry leads seasonal workshops in 'Zen photography' here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum; for a description of what 'Zen' photography mean, below he describes a shoot that was held Sept. 17, 2011.

Q. How would 'Zen' photography be different from my own personal photographic visits to BTA?
A. "Zen photography combines being in a centered place with good photographic technique. I teach mindfulness and Zen daily as a part of my work as a Dialectical Behavior Therapist. I've been studying and practicing photographic technique since 2005. At some point I began to realize that I could combine the two and offer Zen Mindfulness and Photography together, as a class."

Q. What's special about a September Saturday morning at Boyce Thompson Arboretum?
A. "For one, we're being allowed to enter the gardens shortly after sunrise, and during a time BTA that has not yet opened to the public. We will photograph what is there, from a centered perspective, and surrounded by this beautiful environment. I prefer that everyone have with them a tripod for this macro class; no other special equipment necessary beyond that. I do recommend all participants spend a little time with your manual at home during the week prior to class -- become more familiar with your camera before bringing it to the Arboretum that Saturday morning. Learning Zen techniques is probably most appropriate for those who are passionate about photography and are already have an understanding of basic settings and controls. But that doesn't mean this workshop is only for adults, I've taught Zen techniques to teenagers before with success. If a child or teenager has a passion for photography, and a willingness to listen, they're invited as well."
Q. What's inherent about the gardens and trails that makes this place ideal for contemplative, inward-looking photography?
A. "Boyce Thompson Arboretum has a seemingly limitless variety of subject matter for a photographer to hone their skills on. Zen principles that I teach allow the photographer to focus on what is in front of them without being distracted with what is not there, or should be there, or could be there -- instead seeing what truly is there."
Sign up for this class by calling Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723, and have your credit card ready to prepay.
Got specific questions about Zen photography? Email [ andrewhenryphotography AT gmail DOT com ]
See work by this artist and also student works from Andrew's prior classes at

Photo Class comments from students:

........following Pete Rendek's August Night shoot, David wrote "the class was GREAT...Pete always does a nice job. His classes are always informative and I always get at least one very useful 'nugget' of information from each class I take from him. Please thank Pete and feel free to share my comments with Pete.

........also following Pete Rendek's August 2011 Night shoot, Kathy wrote "Pete Rendek's class last weekend is one of the best I have taken - anywhere. His presentation was very informative. Pete was organized, accommodating and very willing to share his knowledge and experience. He didn't make anyone feel that they were 'in over their heads' which was really nice for the beginners. I got a lot more that I expected from his class. I will be keeping watch on your website for upcoming events and classes. See you soon!

........ re: Pete Rendek's January Night Shoot "I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed your Night Photography workshop last Saturday. I found it to be very information and enjoyable. It exceeded my expectations and I've recommended it to several friends. Thanks a bunch!" (Clif) Andrew Henry's November Zen-Of-Autumn-Color Shoot " Hi Andrew, I so enjoyed our fall color workshop. I am sending you two of my favorites photos from the day. (Karen)

........"We had an awesome time with Tom Boggan at the photography class today. He is so good at making sure that he takes time with everybody individually. My friends and I all had a great time and learned a few new tricks about our cameras (thanks Tom)! What a beautiful setting to learn in! And both of my friends became members today" (Jennifer Mathus, June 6, 2010 post on BTA's facebook page)

........"Tom knows photography. He is able to teach principles of this art form in a relaxed manner," ( Andrew Henry, Nov. 12 on BTA's facebook page)

........"I took two of Maggie Leef's classes last fall -- a beginning class and a class on photographing fall colors. Maggie is a special teacher, who makes her classes both informative and enjoyable. Her best tip: 'Read the camera manual!" The money I spent on an annual membership to BTA is the best money I've ever spent. The arboretum itself, with its beautiful setting and great staff, are exceptional. The events are interesting and well-done. I especially enjoy listening to music in such a beautiful setting. Great job, BTA!" (Stephanie, February 26, 2009)

........"I took Maggie's basic photography class on February 19th and finally understand what I had been troubled with for years! Maggie made the class fun and I now have a better understanding of what I can do to obtain better photos. Thank you Maggie! Also, some of us had an idea that we put to Maggie and she seemed willing to do a class. The class would be for beginners, but rather than classroom, it would be like a followup to the basic photography class only in the field. We could go out on the grounds of BTA and choose different things to photograph and Maggie could talk about the proper camera settings, etc. It would be applying what was learned in the classroom to actual field use. What do you think?" (Cindy; February 24, 2009)

........"I loved the photography class. I really got a lot out of the class and think she is a whiz at teaching photography. Her explanations of some of the phrasing (in the Nikon Manual) made it so that I could actually understand the manual. I look forward to her classes in March -- I will call and
pay for them tomorrow!! (Millie, February 23, 2009)

........"Bob Rice's workshop was very helpful and extremely practical. I appreciate the opportunity to meet other photographers, most of whom are way more experienced than I am. It sure is inspiring! Thank you for these opportunities."

........"Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciated and enjoyed the May 18 photography workshop. The information was clearly presented with examples and demonstrations. I am now more knowledgeable of Photoshop and more confident to use it."

........"We did join as annual members because of the class and future classes. We are excited to be connected to the Arboretum and we are looking forward to more classes with Sue. We really enjoyed Sue's class and learned a lot. We thought the class fee was a good price and it was good to require the pre-payment to remind us to show up."

........"We did enjoy the class/photo shoot Thursday. I have been actively shooting pictures and had my own darkroom for 50 years or so but still got some good tips at Sue's class. I signed up mostly for my wife who is more of a beginner and uses a fully automatic camera. She did quite well with her pictures. We joined the BTA both to support it and to enable us to come back again and again to see the blooms as they happen in the spring. It's a bargain!