Expand your skills and fine tune your vision for making better, more-creative images in natural light.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

From landscapes to close ups to wildlife, explore the advanced principles and practices essential for making creative photographs outdoors. Learn to use a digital SLR camera, assorted lenses and specialized techniques to consistently create better images of the subjects, light and weather conditions we encounter in nature.

Through the combination of classroom sessions, field trips and image reviews, expect to improve your skills and expand your understanding of the technical and artistic aspects of outdoor and nature photography.

During our field sessions, we will explore nearby wild and not-so-wild places for scenes and subjects we’ll photograph in natural light. Expect to rise before sunrise several days, so we can get to our morning locations before the light does.

Consider this an intermediate to advanced level course. First, we will review the important elements of good photographic practices. Then we’ll step into the next levels of skills and techniques. Students are requested to know how to use their digital cameras in Manual and Aperture-Priority exposure modes; and to have at least a beginner’s familiarity with Adobe Lightroom.

Anticipate that you will confirm some of your current practices and challenge others as you fine tune your photographic skills and vision during our week together. What you learn will improve how you approach your outdoor adventures in nature, in the garden, and on your travels.

Workshop objectives include:

  • Learn the best techniques for photographing landscapes, close ups and wildlife subjects.
  • Understand proper exposure and how to rely on histograms to consistently get good exposures. 
  • Anticipate the different perspectives of wide-angle and telephoto lenses and know when to use them.
  • Expand your ability to control depth of field and motion consistently and identify when each of these aspects is most important in your composition.
  • Explore the elements of composition and how they help us make creative photographs.
  • See how backgrounds can be just as important as the subjects.
  • Understand how to make both descriptive and artistic images of the same subject.
  • Examine the specialized equipment designed for successful field work with wildlife and close ups.
  • Use advanced methods including focus stacking, panoramas and HDR.
  • Improve your workflow procedure in Adobe Lightroom.
  • Discover a simple way to catalog and retrieve your images.
  • Learn about additional software programs that offer an expanded array of image-improving tools.
  • And discuss how to keep your energy and explorations going close to home and on far-off photo adventures.

Suggested equipment includes: a laptop computer for processing images with Adobe Lightroom, a digital SLR camera, several lenses, and a tripod (one may be borrowed from the school). 

All image credit © Cliff Zenor

Past student work (left to right): Norma Levett, Barbara Buss, Nyoli Connor, Jane Mackay

Share This

Instructor: Cliff Zenor

Cliff Zenor is a nature and garden photographer, tour leader and workshop teacher. For more than 20 years he has photographed, toured and taught in parks and preserves across the continental US and in other wild places like Kenya, the Galapagos Islands, the Pantanal Brazilian wetlands, Alaska and Canada. His photographs have appeared in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, picture books, textbooks, children’s books and greeting cards. Cliff has led tours and taught workshops for highly-regarded providers. He has presented programs for the Professional Photographers of America and the North American Nature Photography Association. And he has appeared in segments of Public Television shows about exploring and photographing nature. Cliff is a natural, enthusiastic teacher. And he enjoys exploring the wild and not-so-wild world with like-minded photographers. He and his wife, Mary, live in northern Indiana in a historic house which they are slowly and lovingly restoring.