Photography Shoots, Classes and Lectures
                                * LightRoom users' Group February 14, Saturday
           * Michael Madsen And Patty Van Herpen Camera Basics February 15
 * Sue Tatterson Basics March 6  

Sunday February 15 from 10:00am to 3:00 pm
    $30 BTA annual members, $40 non-members call 520-689-2723
Gilbert pro photographers Michael Madsen and Patty Van Herpen will teach camera basics and more -- here's a chance to learn camera functions and to practice what you have learned in the Demonstration Garden alongside two professionals, a Canon and a Nikon expert. "Teaching photography over the past few years Patty and I have noticed more women in our classes. Why? Maybe due to improvements in camera technology over the past decade as they've become smaller, portable and affordable. If you are interested in the art of photography, and the technical side of how a camera works - a class at the Arboretum presents a great opportunity to
learn and also practice your craft at one of the most scenic, picturesque and camera-ready places we know: the colorful, peaceful gardens at Boyce Thompson Arboretum."
Gilbert professional photographer Michael Madsen was a featured artist in our Visitor Center Gallery and, by popular demand, 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. This special workshop includes the chance to learn from two different photographers: Madsen, an expert with Nikon cameras and lenses and Patty Van Herpen, who shoots with Canon gear.
Classes with Michael and Patty 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 chargeof 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 10:00 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 1:30-3:00 pm spent outside, shooting and practicing alongside Michael Madsen in Arboretum gardens.
Madsen has photographed Fall at the best spots in Arizona, from Oak Creek Canyon to the San Francisco peaks and majestic mountains from Escudilla to Graham, Lemon, and Galiuros wilderness, and Pinal Mountains near Globe -- and along the Mogollon Rim Read an interview with Michael about Fall, and his favorite spots around AZ for foliage photography
See more of the photographer's work
One special recent class with Michael included the chance to learn from two different photographers: Madsen, an expert with Nikon cameras and lenses
and Patty Van Herpen, who shoots with Canon gear

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Users Group Meeting
SATURDAY - February14
10 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room

No Additional Fee or registration -- attendance of this informal monthly users group is included with daily admission of $10; free to BTA annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders. No sign-up or pre-registration required. Questions about this digital photo post-processing workshop? Email
At the most recent LightRoom users' group meetup, Rim and Jack gave a tutorial and demonstration of studio lighting for headshots and portraiture; also demonstrating 'tethered' shooting using Lightroom.
Bring your laptop and a USB cable to connect your camera to your laptop; bring your camera, too. One of the most popular photography software packages, Adobe Lightroom, is described by the company as: "Photo editing software built for photographers, by photographers. From first look to final image, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes everything about digital photography easier, faster and more amazing. Perfect your shots with powerful new adjustment tools, efficiently organize all your photos and share them almost anywhere." Rimgaudas “Rim” Vidziunas and Scottsdale artist Jack Haskell invite photographers who use ADOBE Photoshop Lightroom for the next users group meeting.
The group is usually open to reviewing any other images; there is no right or wrong approach, and our focus will be on positivity. At the meeting Rim and other participants will lead the group in discussing the software and its applications -- their photos, discussing likenesses and differences, and help each other clarify and achieve their objectives. Bring a friend, your laptop -- and images to share. Bring your camera, too; you'll want to stay after the workshop and photograph the gardens and trails.Flex your creativity - and view participants images on Dropbox.

Behind-The-Scene Photography Class with Sue Tatterson
January 18, Sunday -- from 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Photography instructor Sue Tatterson is an artist who tells stories through each subject captured in her lens. An Australian expat (with a charming accent to match), the Gold Canyon resident loves the giant eucalyptus trees and the Drover's Wool Shed at Boyce Thompson Arboretum - and she has photographed these familiar subjects in novel ways that evoke her original home Down Under. She relocated to AZ, from Baltimore in 2013 to take up a teaching position at Central Arizona College, where she heads the design and photography program - and is also among annual members at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where she decided to kick-off 2015 by enrolling as a volunteer and begin sharing her unique eye and passion for photography. On January 18 she'll teach a workshop from 1- 4pm with a focus on 'behind the scenes' 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. Every picture should tell a story; truly memorable photos will spark a conversation."
Enrollment is $40; or $30 for Arboretum annual members. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to pre-register and reserve your space.
See Tatterson's website, which 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

Smartphone, 'mirror-less' and Point-n-Shoot Pointers with Tom Boggan
date to be announced

$20 enrollment for Arboretum annual members - $30 for nonmembers
Call 520.689.2723

Beginner and novice photographers, this one’s for you – and it’s a bargain at $20 for BTA members ($30 nonmembers). As Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Boggan describes it:
“the best camera is the one you have with you. Even if you'reshooting with your cellphone or apoint-n-shot, you can still make great photos. In this two-hours class I'll demonstrate ways to capture better photos using compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, point-n-shoot cameras, and especially your smartphone. We'll spend about 45 minutes in the classroom talking about gear, apps for shooting and editing on your smartphone, capturing light and methods of composing a shot -- then head into the garden to practice together. “ Connect with Tom Boggan on Facebook
Wish you were more confident with your camera? Tom generously volunteers a morning or afternoon each month here helping our visitors improve their camera skills, donating his time so enrollments benefit BTA. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students; we challenge you to find a better opportunity – and value - than Tom Boggan's recurring workshop. Consider this email we received after one of Tom's classes; Cave Creek resident and BTA member Carol wrote: "Tom - thank you so much for the great photography class, you have a gift for taking something complex and bringing it down to a level that the average person can understand! I tried with books and magazines to make sense of the dizzying array of counter-intuitive settings on my camera such as ISO, F-stop etc. but things just continued to be confusing. With your concise handout and your class, I actually feel as though a light bulb has come on and I am beginning to understand these concepts for the first time! I now enjoy the challenge of creating a photo and taking photos feels more about my artistic efforts vs. the camera's magical workings. Thank you again for helping me move to a new level in my enjoyment of photography and (by extension) my real passion: natur."

John Aho 'Painting With Light' High-Power LED Night Shoot


6 - 8 pm. $40 ( BTA members $30 )
You may have photographed our Drover's Shed, the old Dodge Power Wagon and gardens – but here’s a chance to see them under a totally different light, and at night – our 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 Tempe luminary John Aho. Can’t quite picture how surreal these scenes can be? Here’s a preview:
The $30 fee for these special-access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ($40 for nonmembers); have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; and its important to slowly 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 a few days ahead of the Saturday night 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 January or February shoots when the next date is added. Still wondering if you’d enjoy one of these exclusive access photo shoots?
Preview our Nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshops on YouTube.

Scottsdale Photographer Lisa Langell's Fine Art Photography with Botanicals (Limit 15)

This unique course will help you create stunning fine art-style photography by focusing on the Fibonnaci Sequence. Found throughout nature, the Fibonnaci Sequence is a mathematical pattern that presents itself in agave, sunflowers, snails, cacti, certain flowers, and so much more. Discover "the golden spiral" and how Fibonnaci are so closely connected with composition and design elements critical to photography.Boyce Thompson's botanicals offer an incredible opportunity for you to better understand why and how photographing this sequence properly results in powerful, eye-pleasing images.
This class combines instruction and hands-on field work so that you will be able to recognize the sequence, photograph it artistically, and leave with a completely refreshing respect for your photography and nature, combined! This class offers something for every level of photographer and equipment--and no math expertise is required! NOTE: Class is lecture and hands-on based. Participants will later be
able to email instructor with photo(s) for participation in an optional follow-up Q&A session offered via live webinar ON A DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED. That means you may participate from the comfort of your own home via your computer.) All participants are invited, free of charge, for discussion and learning. Participation details will be provided in class.)
Connect with Lisa on Facebook, see more of the artist's work at

John Aho "Painting With Light" High-Power LED Night Shoot
Saturday night November 15

             $30 BTA members, $40 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 Saturday night painting-with-light nighttime shoots are 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 ( $40 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; pleasemake 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

Shooting on the Dark Side
Backlight & Silhouette Photography
with Lisa Langell
date to be announced

        $30 for Arboretum annual members, $40 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 6PM-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 see more examples of her work at

date and time TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 BTA members or $40 nonmembers
Have a Credit Card ready And Call 520-689-2723 to enroll

Check out the scenes in this filmstrip arrangement at right -- they make it obvious why photographer San Tan Valley photographer Jabon Eagar has earned a reputation for creative portraits that put his subjects in the best light. Jabon volunteers here at BTA, sharing his time and expertise as a camera class instructor -- and he also accepts clients for private portrait shoots, specializing in family and high school senior portraits, such as the eye-catching photos at right of Ashlyn, Jacky, Serenity and Skylee. On Saturday morning September 28 from 10am to Noon he'll share some of his techniques and secrets during a new
'Portraits In The Park' workshop and outdoor shoot here. The first hour of class will be a discussion and a PowerPoint presentation in the air-conditioned lecture room of the historic Smith Building, followed by an outdoor shoot in the beautiful gardens in BTA.

And, says Jabon "we will have an experienced model or two to demonstrate the key points of capturing a portrait.
Class participants such as Kathleen got great shots! See more, check out Tami's Album from the August shoot. Discussion over strobe lighting and reflectors for fill lighting will show how to avoid harsh shadows. Bring your DSLR and medium telephoto lens from the 50-200mm range with the lowest numerical aperture you have. If you have an external flash, bring it too!"
Jabon's "9-to-5" is as a tool automation expert for Intel; he lives in San Tan Valley with his wife and three sons.

Connect with Jabon on Facebook

"I've been serious about photography for about five years and have built Jabon Eagar Photography into a business specializing in portraits like these, also product photography and landscape photography. I also volunteer at the Arboretum and with both the state and national parks, offering my images for use in promotional brochures, newsletters, web sites and park history archives. My choic of camera? The pro Nikon platform, and I favor D3 bodies for low-light capability and dynamic range. My lens assortment runs the gamut from 10-400mm ... and the incredible Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 is my landscape lens of choice. For top notch portraits, I use the Nikkor micro 105mm f2.8 which is an unusual use for a ‘macro’ lens but the sharpness and bokeh have no equal.

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) 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!