Photography Shoots, Classes and Lectures
Continue May 19, and Sunday May 26
PAUL LANDAU MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY
May 19, Sunday, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
$30 for BTA annual members, $39 non-members - call 520.689.2723
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, $39 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 http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/paullandau.html
SWITCHING TO MANUAL - WITH MICHAEL MADSEN
May 26, Sunday
from 9:00 a.m. TO 2:00 p.m.
$30 BTA annual members, $39 non-members
Gilbert professional photographer Michael Madsen was our featured artist in the Visitor Center Gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum this winter and, by popular demand, he 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; on Sunday or Memorial Day Weekend he'll 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 charge of 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 to apply techniques we have learned in the classroom and experiment with camera settings together and one-on-one." Two hours in the classroom from 9:00 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 12:30-2:30 pm spent outside, shooting and practicing alongside Michael Madsen in Arboretum gardens. See more of the photographer's work at http://heartsrock.org/1/Home.html
TOM BOGGAN CAMERA BASICS
June 29, Saturday from 7:00-9:00am
$20 enrollment for Arboretum annual members - $29 for nonmembers
Do you have a new digital SLR, or even a simple digital point-and-shoot camera that you're eager to learn to use more effectively? Our monthly 'walk-a-bout' photo workshopwith Scottsdale artist Tom Boggan offers that chance. Tom's once-a-month outdoor shoots help improve your camera skills on a relaxed outing surrounded by beautiful gardens and alongside a pro -- and with plenty of chances to ask questions about the dials, settings and controls on your own camera.
Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Bogganhas a talent for portraits and a passion for nature photography, and he generously volunteers by dedicating a morning or afternoon each month to be here helping our visitors improve their camera skills. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students. Pre-payment of $29 is required ($20 for BTA annual members). Enroll by phone, have your credit card ready and call our staff at 520-689-2723. Check out this gallery of images from Tom Boggan Photo Classes at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Join us for a chance to improve your basic photography skills, including composition, lighting and exposure -- and for one-on-one time with Tom helping students understand thedifferent between aperture, exposure and light balance. View other workshop images on the Tom Boggan Arboretum Flickr Gallery.
Shooting on the Dark Side: Backlight & Silhouette Photography with Lisa Langell
Sunday, April 21, 3:30-5:00pm (lecture); Break/snack time; 5:30-7:00pm (field)
$30 for Arboretum annual members, $39 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 7pm-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 http://www.facebook.com/LisaLangellPhotographyor see more examples of her work at www.langellphotography.com
John Aho "PAINTING WITH LIGHT" High-Power LED Night Shoot
DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED , from 7:00 - 9:00 PM
$30 BTA members, $39 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 painting-with-light nighttime shoot March 30, Saturday, is 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 ( $39 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; please make 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.
Pete Rendek Star Trails And Light Painting Nighttime Class and Shoot
Date TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 for Arboretum annual members -- $39 nonmembers.
Learn approaches to nocturnal landscape photography from award-winning Chandler photographer Pete Rendek during a special evening which includes after-hours access. $30 pre-registration for members -- or $39 nonmembers -- includes an indoor presentation and discussion in the lecture room from 4:00-5:30 on night landscapes, lightning and monsoon photography. The discussion will be followed by a field session shooting after-dark landscapes on the arboretum grounds under moonlight, ending around 8:00. Bring your camera, tripod and cable release, and try your hand at something new -- photography after dark.
See more Pete Rendek Arboretum Photography
"This workshop will teach techniques applicable whether you have a high-end DSLR or an advanced digital point-and-shoot, approaches to photographing long-exposure photos after darkness such as star trails and nighttime landscapes." The workshop will be offered indoors and will include discussion of equipment and techniques, followed by a photo shoot in the gardens. Photographers may want to bring their cameras and arrive early, though; the workshop fee of $30 for Arboretum members and $39 for non-members includes BTA admission for the day, so Rendek suggests arriving early and shooting the gardens and trails before the workshop. Call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours to register. Essential equipment required for class includes your camera, a tripod and cable release or digital remote. 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 facebook.com/boycethompsonarboretum .
INTRODUCTION TO 'HDR' PHOTOGRAPHY
date to be announced
$30 to Arboretum annual members, $39 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 hdrsoft.com); Adobe Lightroom (either version 3 or 4) 30 day trial version available( https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop_lightroom ) ; their camera (and with the ability to bracket exposures) and tripod. Optional software include Nik HDR Efex Pro 2(http://www.niksoftware.com/hdrefexpro/usa/index.php?view=intro%2Fmain.shtml ) . "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 Facebook.com/PhotographybyRimgaudas; if you're wondering if this workshop is for you, or have questions about the required software, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To enroll in this class have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime business hours from8am-5pm at 520.689.2723
SmartPhone / Cellphone Photography Class
Date To Be announced
$25 or $16 for BTA Annual Members - Have a Credit Card ready And Call 520-689-2723 to enroll
Learn how to take better pictures with the camera you always have with you! The pictures at left and at right were both taken on SmartPhones -- and it was big news in Ireland this year when a close-up shot taken on a smartphone bested 5,700 entries in a photography contest. Chances are that your cellphone has a built-in camera. And with settings ranging from zoom to exposure, its also likely that you're not using that camera to its full potential. Phoenix photographer John Aho has captured everything from macros to landscapes on his Droid Razr and on A DATE TO BE ANNOUCED will teach a pre-registered class of 15 how to get the most out of cellphone and SmartPhone cameras during an outdoor workshop from__________ am TO _______________PM. Aho will share composition tips and advice about lighting and scene selection, too. The best part? The shoot takes place outdoors around the colorful gardens at Boyce Thompson Arboretum where Aho is a volunteer. The $25 fee (or $16 for BTA annual members) is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Arboretum near the scenic copper-mining town of Superior, about 45-minutes drive due east of Mesa on Highway 60. Enroll by phone, have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723; read about other camera classes and weekend nature walks at ag.arizona.edu/bta, or connect with Aho and more than 3,500 other fans at facebook.com/boycethompsonarboretum
FLOWER MACROS WITH PETE RENDEK -- date is to be announced
$30 BTA annual members, $39 non-members
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.
Wildlife Photography Presentation With Stan Cunningham
DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED slideshow and lecture at 10:30 am
fall foliage photo walk 1:30-3:00pm
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 & 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. Nov. 19 (Saturday) he will show some of his most breathtaking wildlife photography during a slide show and presentation in the lecture room here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum from 10:30 a.m. til noon.
"I plan to talk about wildlife, primarily bears, and photographing them -- and 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 that day; then following a lunch break he will guide a Fall Foliage photo walk for 10 pre-registered participants seeking just-before-peak color in BTA's famous grove of Chinese Pistachio trees."I have been taking pictures throughout my career," said Cunningham, "but only in the past five 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." Sign up for the photo walking tour and shoot with a call to 520-689-2723; the fee is $30 for BTA annual members, $39 for nonmembers. See more of Stan's award-winning photography at Cunninghamoutdoors.com
Halloween Creepy Crawly Critters Night Shoot with Paul Landau and Dave Oberpriller
2013 DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 for BTA annual members, $39 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 http://www.flickr.com/groups/1570273@N24/
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)
........re: 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!