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University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

In 2023, I will be offering 15 classes at the Arboretum.

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is an amazing location for photography.
At any time of year, there are all sorts of amazing subject matter just waiting to be photographed.


Click on the photos below for more information.
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Winter Light Photography Program

Lecture - January 4, 2024

Practicum - January 6, 2024

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Winter Macro Photography

January 27, 2024

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Focus Stacking - From Concept to Completion

January 27, 2024

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Winter Bird Photography

Lecture - February 8, 2024

Practicum - February 10, 2024

Intro to Camera Techniques for Nature Photography

Lecture - March 14, 2024

Practicum - March 16, 2024

Photographing Spring Bulbs in Bloom (Online) & Optional In-Person Practicum

Lecture - Tentative - May 8, 2024

Practicum - Tentative - May 10, 2024

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Pollinator Photography:

Butterflies, Bees & More

Lecture and Field Shoot

September 9, 2023

Shooting the Light

Dusk to Dawn Field Shoot

September 15 - 16, 2023

Photographing Fall Color

Lecture & Field Shoot

October 8, 2022

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Fall Sandhill Crane Migration

October 28, 2023

To register for one of these classes visit https://www.arboretum.umn.edu/PhotoWorkshops.aspx

Winter Light Photography Program

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Webinar:

January 4, 2024 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Field Shoot:

January 6, 2024: 2:30pm - 5:30pm

Winter is my favorite time of year to be out with my camera.  The dry crisp air combined with snowy scenes makes for some amazing photos of wildlife, landscapes, and even urban scenes.  I can also access areas that other times of the year are inaccessible. 

This program is offered in two parts.  The first part is an on-line lecture where I discuss camera settings, composition, challenges, and how to protect both you and your equipment.  The second part is an optional field shoot.  There are two to choose from.  The first gives us the opportunity to capture a winter sunrise and take advantage of the morning light.  The second gives us the opportunity to capture the late afternoon light.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Winter Macro Photography

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Lecture, Hands-on Lab & Field Shoot:

January 27, 2024: 9:00am - Noon

Macro Photography is fun anytime of the year.  With winter, comes some additional subject matter that we cannot get any other time of the year.  This can be everything from frost on windows, to snow covered seed heads.  When using snow as out backdrop, colors really pop making shooting macro outdoors really fun and interesting.

Of course, there are those days where perhaps we prefer to stay inside.  This class also provides a number of interesting approaches to shooting macro photos indoors. 

In both cases, the challenges are the same.  We will cover techniques for managing depth of field, focus, and composition.  

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Focus Stacking from Concept to Completion

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Lecture, & Hands-on Lab:

January 27, 2024: 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Focus stacking allows us to take advantage of longer focal lengths and wider apertures when capturing images and still provide the appropriate depth of field for the subject.  While this can be very helpful when used in conjunction with macro photography, it can also for other types of photography such as landscape photography.

This class with provide techniques for capturing a set of images that make up "the stack."  It will also cover the post processing steps required in order to combine the stack of images into a single image.  Two different software programs will be demonstrated during the class, Adobe Photoshop, and Helicon Focus.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Winter Bird Photography

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Webinar:

February 8, 2024: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Field Shoot:

February 10, 2024: 9:30am - 11:30am

Not all birds so south for the winter, and for some birds, going south means migrating to Minnesota.  Winter provides a time where locating and photographing birds becomes quite a bit easier.  This is due to the availability of open water, food sources, and protection from predators.  Another advantage to photographing birds in winter is one very cold days, birds fluff up their feathers in order to stay warm.

This class covers techniques for photographing birds in trees and around feeders, capturing birds in flight, anticipating action, camera settings, and tips for locating birds in the winter months.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Introduction to Camera Techniques for Nature Photography

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Webinar:

March 14, 2024: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Field Shoot:

March 16, 2024: 10:00am - 1:00pm

Today's cameras are incredibly complex devices.  This is true whether you are using one of the more advanced DSLR or Mirrorless cameras or even the camera that is part of you phone.  They are all basically computers that have the ability to also capture images.  The good news is that understanding the features of the camera along with how to effectively use those features will allow you to capture some amazing nature photos.

This class is designed for the beginner photographer.  We begin with the basics of exposure triangle, and discuss the settings that work for the different types of nature photography.  We also cover lens selection, focus modes, histograms, white balance, and depth of field.

For more information and to register, click the button below.

Photographing Spring Bulbs in Bloom (Online) & Optional On-line Practicum

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Tentative Date/Time

Webinar:

May 9, 2024: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Field Shoot:

May 11, 2024: 8:00am - 10:00am

We have all heard that April Showers bring May Flowers.  Nowhere is this more true than at the arboretum.  The tulips, daffodils, and other spring flower displays provide an abundance of great subject matter.  Of course, these displays also provide their share of challenges.

This class consists of two parts. The first part is an online webinar wher we will cover the different styles of flower photography, managing depth of field, composition, camera settings, equipment, and dealing with the elements. 

The second part is an optional field shoot where you can put the techniques discussed during the webinar to use.

For more information and to register, click on the button below:

Pollinator Photography: Butterflies, Bees & More

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Date/Time:

Lecture and Field Shoot:

September 9, 2023: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Minnesota has a wide variety of pollinators.  Some can be rather cautious and others can be quite aggressive.  In either case, they make fantastic photography subjects.  The goal is to be able to capture photos of them while they are busy collecting and distributing pollen.  

This class will begin with a lecture where we will discuss techniques associated with focus and composition, camera settings, equipment, and some tips for holding your camera steady.  After the lecture, we will spend time in the gardens of the arboretum photographing butterflies and bees.  

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Special Access: Shooting the Light - Dusk to Dawn

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Date/Time:

Special Access Times:

September 15, 2023: 5:00pm - 8:00pm

September 16, 2023: 6:00am - 8:00am

A two day, in the field shooting experience at the arboretum.  Normally, the grounds of the arboretum are off limits at both sunset and sunrise.  This event gives attendees access to the grounds as the sun is setting and then the next morning just before sunrise.

During the photo shoot, Don will be available to offer tips and make suggestions to help you get the best photos possible.  In the past this event has included everything from sunrises and sunsets to light painting.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Photographing Fall Color

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Date/Time:

Lecture and Field Shoot:

October 8, 2023: 9:00am - 1:00pm

Here in Minnesota, there are so many great locations for fall photography.  What is even better is that due to the size of the state, the fall season lasts a really long time.  In the northern part of the state, the leaves start turning in mid-September but in the southern part of the state, the peak is often in mid and sometimes late October.

During this class, you will learn how to capture the fall colors in all of their glory.  This includes the use of polarizers, understanding the affect of light on fall colors, composition, and subject isolation.  We will also discuss other fall subjects associated with harvest time and Halloween.   After the lecture, we will explore the grounds of the arboretum looking for fall subjects.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Fall Sandhill Crane Migration

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Tentative Date/Time:

Lecture: October 26, 2023: 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Field Trip: October 28, 2023: 7:00am - 11:00am

Adobe's Lightroom is a great tool for both organizing and editing photos.  The capabilities of this software program can seem overwhelming at first.  The secret is understanding a basic workflow that will get you up and going in no time.

This class will provide the building blocks to help you import, edit and then export your photos.  We will discuss tools for quickly locating photos in the catalog, and exactly what is in the catalog.  We will also work through the panels in the Develop Module in order to provide a straight forward set of repeatable steps that will enable to you pull out the details in your photos without going overboard.

For more information or to register, click on the button below:

Winter Light
Winter Macro
Focus Stacking
Winter Birds
Intro Camera
Spring Flowers
Pollinator
Dusk
FallColor
Sandhill
Photoshop
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