Photography Shoots, Classes and Lectures
    *Improve Your Photography > Photo Essentials with Alex Coleman June 30
      * Digital Post Processing JuLY 21

    * Macro Close-Up Techniques with Paul Landau

Improve Your Photography - Photo Essentials at the Arboretum JUNE 30
$40 - does not include $12.50 Arboretum admission

Want to learn more about photography and how to create amazing images? Attend this hands-on class, combining an outdoor shoot on the grounds of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum with an indoor, air-conditioned post-processing session demonstrating the essential tips to import and edit images in Adobe Lightroom. Class will be lead by Alex Coleman, an award winning nature and travel photographer; Coleman donates part of the proceeds to benefit the Arboretum.
Designed for beginner and intermediate photographers, Alex's class provides a clear understanding of how to approach landscape and nature photography. Class will include direct instruction and interaction to answer any questions.
Concepts covered include composition, exposure, focus, and the best practices when photographing; the post-processing class will include tips on how to unlock all the potential of your images through adjustments, as well as tips and tricks related to Lightroom, many of which are also applicable to Photoshop or other image editors.
The class will begin at 10am with a photowalk through the grounds of the Arboretum, and shift to the classroom session around 11am, featuring live edits of the photos taken during the session. A camera is recommended, particpants may bring a laptop with image editing software to follow along in the post processing demonstration. Tickets are $40, non-members will also pay separate $12.50 for daily admission to the Arboretum (admission is free to BTA members and Az State Parks pass-holders). Alex Coleman spent over a specializing in nature, landscape and travel photography. His work has been published by the Arizona Republic, ESPN, and featured as a 500px Popular Photographer. E
nroll online

Lightroom, PhotoShop & Digital Image Post Processing
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

Macro Photography Class with Paul Landau June 23
Special After-Hours Access Saturday Evening
With a credit card ready, call 520-689-2723 to enroll
During business hours 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A specialized photography class exploring ‘Macros’ with Scottsdale artist Paul Landau and allowing exclusive after-hours Saturday evening access from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Limited to 15 photographers and pre-regiStration required; fees are $30 for BTA members, $42.50 for nonmembers. With a credit card ready, call 520-689-2723 to enroll.
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. He’ll share techniques during a late afternoon and evening spent in search of tiny creatures and plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and photographing them along with 15 participants.
Connect with Paul Landau on Facebook
“You’ll 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.”
Read a few more quotes
See more of Paul Landau's art
Connect with Paul Landau
on Facebook

Ten Tips For Better Smartphone Photos
$15 (non-members also pay $12.50 BTA admission)

So you love taking pictures on your iPhone, Galaxy, Droid or other model, but are you only using the most basic "auto" settings? You'll be surprised at your camera-phone's creative settings that empower you to compose even more striking images: portrait modes and panoramas; creative compositions, time-lapse. There are even post-processing apps and techniques available for your camera-phone so you can edit and improve your photos immediately - without having to download them. Valley photographer Alex Coleman invites you to learn 'Ten Tips For Better Smartphone Photos' with an informal Memorial Day Weekend class he'll coach here ON A DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED from 11:00 - 1:00 as a fundraiser for the Arboretum, donating his time and enrollment proceeds to benefit the gardens. Enrollment is $15 for Arboretum annual members and AZ State Parks pass-holders; all others pay $12.50 admission to enter the Arboretum. Have a credit Card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Beginners' Camera Class and Photo Walk: Close-Ups
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the lecture room
> RSVP by email to MiMi
or phone 480.319.2229

There's no separate fee to attend - these informal sessions are included with $12.50 daily admission; free to Arboretum annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders.
Valley photographers MiMi and Mark volunteer a day here at the Arboretum each month -- sharing their camera skills and coaching beginners.
Read more in MiMi's E-news email to participants
The goal is to share a few basic camera lessons while photographing the gardens. These photo walks include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance. In addition, participants will be able to ask their specific questions answered in a supportive small groups, each with a friendly camera coach whose goal is to "put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners."

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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