While the Garden offers well-known, top-notch Desert Landscape School classes, it also offers a wide array of other educational programs, including a host of photography classes for all skill levels, from the casual iPhone® photographer to the professional looking to master composition and editing techniques. In addition to attracting diverse students, the Garden’s picture-perfect setting has drawn some of Arizona’s best photographers to become instructors and exhibitors—currently Dr. John P. Schaefer’s “Flowers & Form” photography exhibit is on display in Ottosen Gallery. As a special spring treat, we asked three of our instructors to share a few tips.
- carefully about the foreground of your shots. By placing a point of interest in your foreground, you give those viewing your images both a way into your shots as well as creating a sense of depth.
- Good landscapes will have either a dominant foreground or sky—unless you have one or the other, your shot can end up being fairly boring.
- Every photo needs a focal point to hold the viewer’s interest. This can be anything—an interesting tree, building, an animal, etc. No photograph is complete without a clearly defined subject.
- It has been said that photography is the art of exclusion. It is just as important, when making a compelling photograph, to exclude what we do not want within the frame of our image as it is to include what we want.
- Telling a story is powerful in a photograph, and learning to tell or imply a great visual story in each and every photo is as important in photography as it is in literature.
PHOTO CREDIT: ROBERT MCBRIDE
Robert is teaching Four Peaks and Full Moon Photography, the Adobe® Photoshop® Elements series, Hummingbird Photography,Understanding Your Camera, Capturing Desert City Lights and the Mastering the Tools series.
- Abstract images make great contemporary art that is further enhanced by splitting the image into a triptych configuration and mounting natural elements—such as branches, vines and flower arrangements—to tie the look together.
- Bored with single shots? Shoot a series of related or sequential images and combine them into a single impactful, artistic design.
PHOTO CREDIT: LISA LANGELL
Lisa is teaching Seven Types of Natural Light, Abstract Photography and Automatic Photography.
- Shoot during the golden light of early morning and late afternoon. The low angle of sunlight makes the shadows longer, the texture show up and the colors warmer.
- When you find an interesting subject, try photographing it from many different angles of view. Looking at a common subject in a unique way can make a much more interesting photo.
PHOTO CREDIT: JOANNE WEST
Joanne is teaching Wildflower Photography, Butterfly Photography, Chasing the Milky Way and the Digital Desert Photography series.