Photography Shoots, Classes and Lectures

      * Beginners Photo Walk June 17 - Sunday

    *Digital Photography Post Processing June 23 - Saturday

Beginners' Camera Settings and Photo Walk
Sunday June 17
9:00 a.m. in the lecture room
> RSVP by email or phone to MiMi , see below

Valley artists MiMi and Mark arranged a special
guest speaker for the recent meetup here - read more in their Enewsletter
These experienced artists have photographed landscapes, events and people across the continent, and volunteer a morning each month coaching Arboretum photographers. The venue is outdoors and informal, and the goal is to share a few basic camera lessons while photographing thegardens.
There's no additional charge to attend; as with most Arboretum nature walks, this continuing series of photography walks is included with daily admission of $12.50; free to Arboretum annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders. Spacesare limited, though. participants are asked to RSVPby email to MiMi Paris at
or phone 480.319.2229 to be added to her list for announcement of these walks through the Fall, Winter and Spring.
Sessions begin indoors with short presentations in the air-conditioned Lecture Room of the Smith Building. After about 30-60 minutes indoors, participants head outside to practice basic camera functions ranging from composition and exposure, to white balance and depth of field. It’s a small group with friendly camera coaches whose goal is to put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners.
Participants are encouraged to ask specific questions about your camera
Connect with instructors and participants on Facebook

Lightroom, PhotoShop & Digital Image Post Processing
June 23 , July 21, August 18, September 22
10:00 a.m. in the lecture room

Photographers of all skill levels who enjoy digital image post processing are invited to meet at 10:00 a.m. in the Smith Building Lecture room, beginners are definitely welcome to attend this popular once-a-month meetup, which includes programs and platforms beyond just Photoshop and LightRoom.
Planning to attend? This brief survey helps organizers plan their agenda each month
These once-a-month forums are free to Arboretum annual members; and included with $12.50 daily admission for non-members.
Tim Wohlever coordinates the meeting this month; new participants and anyone who has questions are welcome to email
and let Tim know about your preferred post-processing software, equipment and skill level with digital editing. meetings are tailored to address a wide array of topics and skill levels

Special Access Night Shoot For Photographers
Lisa Langell hosts a specialevening of after-hours access to the park during a dark skies night scheduled to be optimal for astro-photography. Email Lisa to be on her Waiting List for the Next Date.
scheduled for dark skies under the new moon (not the full moon), making lighting conditions for nocturnal photography optimal.
This session does not have an indoor classroom portion -participants meet in the Arboretum parking lot; possibly walking up to Ayer Lake for the second or third hour of the shoot.
Clear conditions bring opportunities for
• Light painting
• Slow shutter / night shots
• Milky Way rising
Enroll online and read more

Creating Beautiful Decorative Art with your Nature Images
$49/person - please note Class fee does not include $12.50 daily Arboretum Admission

Read a complete description, Enroll and Pre-pay
You've seen the "make-and-take" painting classes; here's an innovative spin on the concept - for your photography!
This class will help you create a vision--and turn it into outstanding art for your home - in one day. Images of wildlife and nature are beautiful, but are not always suitable from a decorative standpoint for hanging on your living room or bedroom wall. They might not match the color palate of your room, or fit your decorative style. We will conquer the challenge of transformating nature photography into art during this fun and innovative class.
What will you learn?
What's 'in' with decorative trends today; We will choose a well composed series or gallery collage you prefer. You'll learn techniques for creating a well balanced, visually attractive series of images perfect for your home. We'll then spend time in the field shooting for the collage you've chosen to create. Or, you can mix in your own images from your archives!
Lastly, we'll come back into the classroom and learn how to size and process those images to fit the gallery.
Read a complete description, Enroll and Pre-pay
Enrollees will not have a finished print to take home following the class -- but Lisa has arranged a discount from a professional print shop for that service; details and a specific coupon code will be provided to enrollees.

Butterfly Photography Tips
with Lisa Langell
More than 250 species of butterflies have been recorded in the Sonoran Desert - and durig fall months many migrate through Boyce Thompson Arboretum and can be photographed in the scenic gardens. Whether you shoot with a phone camera or a high-end digital model, turn your interest in learning how to both identify and photograph these beautiful creatures, then join this class designed for the beginner to intermediate photographer and/or nature enthusiast.
Lisa Langell hosts a colorful slideshow loaded with creative tips explaining how to photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. Her lecture will last about an hour, followed by a guided walk around the colorful gardens for hands-on practice and coaching - seeking and photographing butterflies attracted to flowers in the Children's Garden, Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden and Demonstration Garden.
Lisa's workshop is limited to 20 participants; enrollment is $46.92. Enrollment does not include $12.50 daily admission to BTA, which must be paid to enter the Arboretum if you're not among our annual members - or don't have an Arizona State Parks pass. The workshop was arranged in partnership with the Central Arizona Butterfly Association (, and additional coaching is likely from skilled nature photographers Marceline Vandewater - possibly also Paul Kinslow, Laura Miller and other CAZBA butterfly experts. to be added to Lisa Langell's email list for NEW CLASS DATE announcements,

"Painting With Light" High-Power LED Night Shoot

* Special After Hours Access
to an email alert when the next is scheduled, contact
You may have photographed our Clevenger House at the herb garden or the Drover's Shed and nearby old Dodge Power Wagon - but here's a chance to see them under a totally different light, and at night - when familiar plants and scenery will be rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after dark by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by Phoenix artist and luminary John Aho. Can't quite picture how surreal these scenes can be? Here's a preview:
please email to be added to out alert list for the next date.
Still wondering if you'd enjoy one of these rare shoots? Preview our Nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshops on YouTube.

Camera Basics - Level 1: Learning Manual Settings the easy way (ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture)
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Instructor: Lisa Langell

Learn not just the how--but the "why" of Manual Settings on your DSLR or manual-ready compact or bridge camera. Through this fun, yet carefully designed course, you will begun to understandhow, why and when to use manual exposure settings such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, aperture priority, shutter priority, and more.
Sound daunting? Lisa employs a warm, friendly, supportive approach during an interactive, lecture and hands-on class that introduces you to the most basic three settings that help you control your camera to design and capture exceptional photographs. Be introduced to how these settings are used to allow light into your camera and also create artistic effects, including depth-of-field, ‘bokeh,’ motion-blur, stopping action and more.
This beginner-level class will include lecture, interactive activities, and hands-on practice in-the-field at BTA.
Or Check out

Camera Basics - Level 2: Learning Manual Settings Intensive
Instructor: Lisa Langell
You've taken Lisa's "Camera Basics - Level 1" (or similar) and have a good understanding of the purpose and differences between how aperture, shutter speed and ISO let in light and also give you creative effects. You may not be perfect at shooting in full manual yet, but you've learned the basic functions, are reasonably comfortable with where to find them on your camera. If this is you, you are now ready to grow even further, learn even more, and begin truly applying manual settings in specific photographic scenarios! .
This class takes you to the next level. This class is taught predominately outdoors in a hands-on setting. You'll be putting your camera to the test with specific field assignments designed to help you master these skills in a semi-controlled environment, supportive assistance, and additional instruction--beyond what you experienced in Level 1.
You will advance your understanding of how to:
•Demonstrate a solid understanding of aperture to create shallow and deep depth of field in close-up and landscape settings.
•Demonstrate how to apply ISO settings so as to maximize image quality while enabling proper exposure --- Read a more complete description -
and signup online

Beautiful Hummingbird Photography with Lisa Langell & Kim Gray
$30 for Arboretum (BTA) Members / $40 for non-members  (plus ticket processing fee)

During this 3-hour class from 8-11am, learn about using manual exposure settings to capture hummingbird images beautfully. 
You'll need a camera with a lens that offers magnification/zoom, but we will show you how to capture images of them in both natural light and with special flash setups (provided). 
This session is part-lecture and part-field work.  You will be provided with instruction on how to improve  your nature photography in general, plus specific focus will be provided on hummingbird photography. Read a much more complete description, and signup online
Or Check out

"Behind-The-Scene" Photo Class and Shoot With Sue Tatterson
$30 for BTA members, $40 non-members
with credit card ready call 520.689.2723

Gold Canyon photography instructor Sue Tatterson strives to tell new stories with each subject captured in her lens. An Australian expat, she loves the giant eucalyptus trees and Drover's Wool Shed at Boyce Thompson Arboretum - and has photographed these familiar subjects in novel ways that evoke her original home in the land Down Under. Her early morning workshops here are timed to optimal natural light -- and will focus on 'behind the scene' photography, which she describes as: "getting to a deeper and more artistic truth of your subject, for example - not just capturing that beautiful façade of your favorite old weathered building - but inviting the viewer to think about the age and origin of the structure - who built it, who may have lived or raised a family there. It's said that every picture tells a story; my take is that truly memorable photos will spark a conversation."
Read more and Connect with Sue on Facebook
Enrollment includes Arboretum daily admission - spend the morning composing landscapes around the colorful gardens and grounds, or attend a meetup with photographers who gather here each month to explore LightRoom digital editing software -- they also meet June 18 in the Lecture, and at 9:00am. Read more about that below. Participants praise Sue's relaxed, low-key instructional style.
Kimberly described Sue as a “great teacher with knowledge and enthusiasm. Thoroughly enjoyed her class!” While Marge wrote: “She’s easy to work with, extremely helpful, fun and interesting,” and Richard said she’s “a natural teacher and a delight to spend time with in the field.”
Sue's website, covers much of her work shooting abandoned buildings up and down the east coast, where she lived for twelve years before moving to AZ in 2013.She’s published a book Spirits of the Abandoned, Maryland and her work has been exhibited in galleries in MD, DE, PA and NJ. Connect with her on facebook via

Comments from students:

Boris wrote (about Rim) "Your eye for color amazes me. You see things the rest of us don't, and then through your work, you make them visible. During my training to become an educational psychologist, I learned that artists develop a keener sense of sight for form and color than the rest of us. Through work and practice over many years, they "wire" their brains in a way that makes it possible for them to perceive what the rest of us can't."

Kimberly wrote: (about Sue Tatterson)
Thoroughly enjoyed Sue's class. Great teacher with knowledge and enthusiasm. Looking forward to more classes with her.

Marge wrote (about Sue Tatterson)
Sue's class was another winner!! She's easy to work with, extremely helpful, and fun and interesting. She'll be a great addition to the BTA photographer instructors roster. Hope I can make it to her next class to gain a new perspective of creativity.

Richard wrote (about Sue )
Glad I was able to attend Sue's workshop and hope to participate in her future sessions. She's a natural teacher and a delight to spend time with in the field. I was surprised at how quickly the time passed.

........"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!

Kirk wrote (about Michael Madsen & Patty Van Herpen)
"I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this class, it was extremely helpful to me. The instructors, specially Michael, were professional, knowledgable and were able to relate well to the group. Thanks so much."

Jeanne wrote (about Michael & Patty)
I loved the camera class given by Michael & Patty! Information was presented very well and the hands-on shoot that afternoon very helpful. An informative, and also fun class as well. BTA is one of my favorite places to go for learning."

Carlyn wrote (about Michael & Patty)
Just wanted to let you know that I thought this photography class was so informative and Mike and Patty were so patient and gracious. Sandy and her son and my husband and I joined the Arboretum last year after taking a class up there and are so glad we did. I will definitely be renewing my membership this year. I hope that Mike and Patty will be doing more classes in the future. You can be sure I will sign up for them. Sandy and I loved the lunch idea. It gave us a chance to get to know the teachers and other members in our class. The Arboretum is so beautiful; we've participated in the margarita night lst year and at the winter concert in December. My husband and I look forward to many years of enjoyment visiting and taking classes here. Again, thank you Mike and Patty, for all your help.

.........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 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)

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