Welcome
The Garden classroom stays open year-round and hosts an array of programs led by experts who draw inspiration from our plant collections and the desert environment. Mobile users: Find the members login in the menu to the right.

To redeem a LEARN Gift Certificate with a promo code, click here.
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, history, science, travel and wellness.
Gain skills and confidence to get the job done in all aspects of desert landscaping, plus earn a credential after you successfully complete all the certificate programs.
Families engage in hands-on, nature-based experiences in a fun and safe environment, and teachers can participate in professional development opportunities.
Photography
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an experienced professional, the Garden provides photography classes for all skill levels taught by qualified professionals. We offer introductory classes that guide beginner photographers to acquire the basic principles and techniques of photography. For the experienced professional, we provide classes that build upon their skills and how to master new techniques. Whatever level of your experience or camera you use, we have a class for you! Many of the classes are supported with hands-on sessions in the Garden's digital classroom, along the Garden's trails or to Arizona destinations.

Wildflower Photography
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday | Feb. 26 | 8 a.m. - Noon

Join Joanne West to learn how to capture the iconic desert wildflowers. Discover which camera settings and appropriate gear to use, understand composition and other tips to capture powerful wildflower images. Practice in the Garden is included. Bring a water, a hat and dress for the weather. Limit 12. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Feb 26, 2020 8:00AM - 12:00PM   (1 AVAIL)

Introduction to Macro Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Friday | Feb. 28 | 9 a.m. - Noon

Explore the art of the up-close and personal: macro photography. Discuss composition, proper equipment, focusing, lighting and how to steady the camera at close range. While this introductory class is open to all camera owners, it is best suited for those who are proficient in operating a DSLR camera. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Fri, Feb 28, 2020 9:00AM - 12:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Motion Photography
Regular Price: $65.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday l Mar. 4 l 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Discover how to capture motion in your photos. Joanne West discusses basic shooting techniques for freezing action, creating blur and how to deal with moving subjects creatively. Examine the importance of focus, shutter speeds and how proper equipment is essential for taking great action shots. This class is open to all digital or mirrorless camera owners. All photography levels welcome but students should have working knowledge of basic camera settings. Click here for suggested materials list  Limit 10.

 
Session Spring 2020: Wed, Mar 4, 2020 5:30PM - 8:30PM   (6 AVAIL)

Mastering Exposure
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday | Mar. 9 | 1 - 4:30 p.m.

Establishing a correct exposure involves much more than simply setting your ISO, shutter speed and aperture. This class examines your camera's various shooting modes and why different metering systems produce better results under varying conditions. Discuss how to ensure the accuracy of every exposure using the digital camera's histograms and highlight alert. Students should have a good working knowledge of their camera's functions and settings. Click here for required materials list. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Mar 9, 2020 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (10 AVAIL)

The Secrets of Lighting
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday l Mar. 16 | 1 - 4 p.m.

This class covers the most important aspects of light and how it can be used to turn snapshots into stunning photos. Mastering Exposure is a prerequisite for this class. Click here for required equipment listInstructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Mar 16, 2020 1:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday l Mar. 18 l 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. OR
Monday | April 13 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


The best camera is often the one you have with you when something spectacular happens right before your eyes. Learn how to stabilize, hold and shoot using your iPhone or iPad, and choose the best apps for smart photography and editing. Instructed by Ashley Lowery. Limit 15.

Butterfly Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday | Mar. 23 | 7 - 10 a.m.

Butterfly wings burst with color, and capturing them all is an art form filled with challenges and rewards. Participants will have exclusive access to the Garden's seasonal butterfly pavilion. Learn to control the depth of field, color and light, isolate a subject from the background, exposure and composition. Participants should have a working knowledge of their camera operation modes and settings. Participants should bring a digital camera and a mid-range to telephoto lens. We also recommend bringing a macro lens. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Click here for suggested materials list
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Mar 23, 2020 7:00AM - 10:00AM   (9 AVAIL)

Composition
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday l Mar. 23 | 1 - 4:30 p.m.

Where to stand? What to crop? How to focus? Composition consists of answering these tough questions. Examine the rules for composing a photograph and how they work in unison with exposure and subject selection to produce visually compelling images. Mastering Exposure and The Secret of Lighting are prerequisites for this class. Click here for required materials list. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Mar 23, 2020 1:00PM - 4:30PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Sunday | March 29 | 2 - 5 p.m. OR
Tuesday | April 28 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Continue building your iPhone and iPad photography skills to create better photos using a range of settings. Learn how to improve your device photography and editing techniques with different lighting scenarios and compositions, and how to add creative touches to "finish" your photos. Time is allotted for guided help on the Garden trails. Instructed by Ashley Lowery. Limit 15.

Package Deal: Spring Digital Desert Photography
Regular Price: $171.00
Member Price: $135.00
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Take guided steps to photographic excellence using digital cameras. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for Getting Started and Next Steps by Mar. 5 for a 10% discount

Offer expires March 6. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Getting Started
Monday | April 6 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND April 13 | 1-4 p.m.

This two-session introductory class is ideal for those who are new to digital photography or simply interested in learning about camera settings and when to use them. Joanne West covers basic camera functions and controls, exposure techniques, shooting modes, basic composition and tips about how to create better-looking images.
This class is most appropriate for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Some photography practice in the Garden
is included.


Next Steps
Friday | May 15 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND May. 22 | 1 - 4 p.m.
Learn to take your camera off automatic and use the more advanced creative exposure settings to produce compelling photographs. Topics include advanced exposure techniques, metering, how to achieve sharp focus and merge technical and creative aspects of photography. This class is most appropriate for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Some photography practice in the Garden is included.
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Apr 6, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00AM   (9 AVAIL)

Spring Digital Desert Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Monday  | April 6 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Monday | April 13 | 1 - 4 p.m.


This two-session introductory class is ideal for those who are new to digital photography or simply interested in learning about camera settings and when to use them. Joanne West covers basic camera functions and controls, exposure techniques, shooting modes, basic composition and tips on how to create better-looking images. This class is most appropriate for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Mon, Apr 6, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

Understanding Your Camera
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday | April 15 | 4 - 8 p.m.

Learn about different features, functions and proper setup to create perfectly exposed photographs, with balanced shutter speeds, apertures and ISO. Learn how to use your newly acquired photography skills by practicing in the Garden. Participants should bring DSLR or mirrorless camera and manual (manual optional). Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Wed, Apr 15, 2020 4:00PM - 8:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Travel Photography
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday | May 5 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn to document your next travel adventure like a pro. Discover which equipment will get the job done without taking up valuable space in your luggage. With Robert McBride’s world-wise guidance, you will head into your next trip with new skills and a more artful eye. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2020: Tue, May 5, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | May 6 | 7 - 9 p.m.

Nighttime brings out a different set of creatures, candid moments and new photography challenges. Learn the essential techniques that will reduce the graininess from iPhone® or iPad® photos taken in dark settings and produce stunning results. Explore lighting, exposure levels and the best apps for nighttime photography. Instructed by Ashley Lowery. Bring a flashlight or selfie ring light for a light source.
Limit 15.
Session Spring 2020: Wed, May 6, 2020 7:00PM - 9:00PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Saturday | May 9 | 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Tweak your photos to perfection with the editing app Snapseed on your iPhone or iPad. Ashley Lowery will walk you through the amazing transformations you can make with the touch of your finger! Students should download the free app Snapseed onto device before class. Limit 15.
Session Spring 2020: Sat, May 9, 2020 10:00AM - 12:30PM   (9 AVAIL)

Spring Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Friday | May 15 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Friday | May 22 | 1 - 4 p.m.


Learn to take your camera off automatic and use the more advanced creative exposure settings to produce compelling photographs. Topics include advanced exposure techniques, metering, how to achieve sharp focus and merge technical and creative aspects of photography. This class is most appropriate for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Participants should bring camera and manual. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.

Session Spring 2020: Fri, May 15, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Package Deal - Chasing the Milky Way
Regular Price: $234.00
Member Price: $189.00
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The Milky Way is only visible in the Northern Hemisphere from March to October, and it takes certain skills and camera tricks to capture its depth and beauty. This new series will get you on track for a summer of great galactic shots. Instructed by Joanne West and John Marino.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for Chasing the Milky Way and Chasing the Milky Way: In the Field by April 19 and receive an exclusive 10 percent discount.

Offer expires April 20. Programs may be purchased separately at regular price, subject to availability.

Chasing the Milky Way
Tuesday | May 19 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Use your camera like a telescope as you track down the ethereal swath of gases, stars and planets we call the Milky Way. Learn when and where our galactic backyard can be sighted, and which camera settings will best capture its beauty. Discover the right equipment, exposure and metering, and specific techniques to shoot the night sky. Limit 12.

Chasing the Milky Way: In the Field
Wednesday | May 20 | 11 p.m. - 6 a.m.

Take a trip out to Picketpost Mountain-and away from the city's light pollution-to get unrivaled shots of the Milky Way in all of its glowing grandeur. This trip expands upon Chasing the Milky Way: An Introduction and provides additional guidance for experienced photographers. Participants should have a working knowledge of their camera operation modes and settings. Participants should also bring DSLR camera, wide-angle lens, tripod and flashlight. This is an offsite program and transportation is provided. Limit 10.
Session Spring 2020: Tue, May 19, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (3 AVAIL)

Chasing the Milky Way
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday | May 19 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Use your camera like a telescope as you track down the ethereal swath of gases, stars and planets we call the Milky Way. Learn when and where our galactic backyard can be sighted, and which camera settings will best capture its beauty. Discover the right equipment, exposure and metering, and specific techniques to shoot the night sky. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 10.
Session Spring 2020: Tue, May 19, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (5 AVAIL)

Chasing the Milky Way: In the Field
Regular Price: $210.00
Member Price: $175.00
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Wednesday | May 20 | 11 p.m. - 6 a.m.

Take a trip out to Picketpost Mountain—and away from the city’s light pollution—to get unrivaled shots of the Milky Way in all of its glowing grandeur. This trip expands upon Chasing the Milky Way: An Introduction and provides additional guidance for experienced photographers. Participants should have a working knowledge of their camera operation modes and settings. Participants should also bring DSLR camera, wide-angle lens, tripod and flashlight. This is an offsite program and transportation is provided. Meet at Desert Botanical Garden at 11 p.m. on May 20 and return at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 21. Trip led by Joanne West and John Marino. Limit 10.
Session Spring 2020: Wed, May 20, 2020 11:00PM - 6:00AM   (4 AVAIL)

CLASS CANCELLATIONS | Desert Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel programs at its discretion. Programs will run as scheduled, regardless of weather, unless participants are contacted directly by Garden staff. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors.
REFUND POLICY | To receive a refund, you must send a written request at least 14 days before the scheduled date of your class or program. Please send your written request to registrar@dbg.org. For more information call 480.481.8146/480.481.8121.
AGE REQUIREMENTS | Children under 10 may not attend. Ages 10-14 may attend education programs with an adult. Both must pay fees. Those 15 and older may attend without an adult.