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 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.

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
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.

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Nighttime brings out a different set of creatures, candid moments and, unfortunately, new photography challenges. Learn the essential techniques that will erase 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. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Limit 15.

Capturing Sunsets and Lightning
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
Product Image
Saturday | July 27 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

During the summer monsoon season sunsets glow with vibrant colors that photographers dream about and the Garden offers a great vantage point to capture them. Learn the best settings and techniques for photographing sunsets with instructor Joanne West and then use the Garden for a hands-on sunset shoot session. Weather permitting we may be fortunate to capture lightning as well. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Summer 2019: Sat, Jul 27, 2019 5:30PM - 8:30PM   WAIT LIST

Beyond Postcard Snapshots
Regular Price: $56.00
Member Price: $45.00
Product Image
Saturday | Aug. 31 | 8 - 10:30 a.m.

Take your nature photography to new artistic levels with techniques and coaching from professional art photographer Joanne West. Learn how to use reflections, shadows, leading lines, color combinations and other tips to help your vision stand out. Class includes some practice in the Garden. All camera users welcome. Experience with your basic camera settings is required. Limit 12.
Session Summer 2019: Sat, Aug 31, 2019 8:00AM - 10:30AM   WAIT LIST

iPhone and iPad Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
Product Image
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.

Photographing Fall Colors
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Saturday | Sept. 7 | 2 - 4 p.m.

This class will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to capture the fall season’s palette in beautiful images. Topics will include mastering exposure to achieve maximum color, composition and design, and how to get the most from your camera, lenses and filters. This class is open to all digital camera owners. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 7, 2019 2:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

Manual Photography 101
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $80.00
Product Image
Sunday | Sept. 8 | 1 - 5 p.m.

Tracy Battaglia guides you through simple exercises to begin mastering the perfect exposure while shooting manually. Forget auto-settings and learn her three pillars technique. Tracy will teach you how to understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO. All DSLR photographers welcome. Students should have a working knowledge of their camera settings. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Formal instruction ends at 4 p.m. Instructor will be available for questions and extra help until 5 p.m. Click here for required equipment. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Sep 8, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Package Deal: Sunsets and Full Moon Photography
Regular Price: $355.00
Member Price: $280.00
Product Image
Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 8.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for both classes by Sept. 2 and receive a discounted rate.

Offer expires Sept. 3. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Sunset and Moonrise Photography
Monday | Sept. 9 | 6 - 8 p.m.

It is not every day that we have the opportunity to photograph both the setting sun and a full moon rise on the same evening. In this classroom session, learn what it takes to capture them both from equipment and camera mechanics to exposure and shot composition. While this class is open to all camera owners, it is most appropriate for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Participants should bring camera and manual.

Sunset and Moonrise in the Four Peaks Wilderness Area
Thursday | Sept. 12 | 5 - 8 p.m.

Rising from desert foothills northeast of Phoenix, a major mountain with four peaks stands out from others in Tonto National Forest. Join us in the field as we capture both the setting sun and full moon as they rise over this dramatic mountain area. This is an excellent opportunity to use skill and techniques gained in this series’ introductory class. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Participants’ should bring camera, user guide, tripod, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. A cable release and flashlight are highly recommended. Transportation from the Garden is included. Van leaves promptly at 5 p.m. and returns at 8 p.m. Limit 8.
Session Fall 2019: Mon, Sep 9, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Sunset and Moonrise Photography
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Monday | Sept. 9 | 6 - 8 p.m.

It is not every day that we have the opportunity to photograph both the setting sun and a full moon rise on the same evening. In this classroom session, learn what it takes to capture them both from equipment and camera mechanics to exposure and shot composition. While this class is open to all camera owners, it is most appropriate for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Participants should bring camera and manual. Limit 8.
Session Fall 2019: Mon, Sep 9, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Sunset and Moonrise in the Four Peaks Wilderness
Regular Price: $325.00
Member Price: $260.00
Product Image
Thursday | Sept. 12 | 5 - 8 p.m.

Rising from desert foothills northeast of Phoenix, a major mountain with four peaks stands out from others in Tonto National Forest. Join us in the field as we capture both the setting sun and full moon as they rise over this dramatic mountain area. This is an excellent opportunity to use skill and techniques gained in this series’ introductory class. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Participants’ should bring camera, user guide, tripod, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. A cable release and flashlight are highly recommended. Transportation from the Garden is included. Van leaves promptly at 5 p.m. and returns at 8 p.m. Limit 8.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Sep 12, 2019 5:00PM - 8:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Package Deal - Mastering the Tools of Photography
Regular Price: $205.00
Member Price: $160.00
Product Image
Mastering the appropriate use of your camera's tools ensures success in every situation. This series is recommended for DSLR camera owners only. Students should have a good working knowledge of their camera's functions and settings. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.

Mastering Exposure
Wednesday | Sept. 11 | 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. Participants should bring DSLR camera and manual.

The Secret of Lighting
Wednesday | Sept. 18 | 1 - 4:30 p.m.
Let there be light, the essential ingredient in all photography. Light is too often unknown, unstudied and abused by today's photographers. This class covers the most important aspects of light and how it can be used to turn snapshots into stunning photos. Participants should bring DSLR camera and manual. Mastering Exposure is a prerequisite for this class.

Composition
Wednesday | Sept. 25 | 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.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Sep 11, 2019 1:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

Mastering the Tools: Mastering Exposure
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Wednesday | Sept. 11 | 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 equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Sep 11, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   OPEN

Mastering the Tools: The Secret of Lighting
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Wednesday l Sept. 18 | 1 - 4:30 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. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Sep 18, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   OPEN

Mastering the Tools: Composition
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Wednesday l Sept. 25 | 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 equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Sep 25, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   OPEN

Package Deal: Digital Desert Photography
Regular Price: $170.00
Member Price: $130.00
Product Image
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 Sept. 2 and receive a discounted rate.

Offer expires Sept. 3. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Getting Started
Saturday | Sept. 14 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Tuesday | Sept. 17 | 3 - 7 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
Sunday | Sept. 29 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Sunday | Oct. 6 | 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 Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 14, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Digital Desert Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
Product Image
Saturday | Sept. 14 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Tuesday | Sept. 17 | 3 - 7 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 Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 14, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
Product Image
Sunday | Sept. 29 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Sunday | Oct. 6 | 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 Fall 2019: Sun, Sep 29, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Introduction to Macro Photography
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Saturday | Sept. 21 | 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. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 21, 2019 9:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Accessories
Regular Price: $73.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Saturday | Sept. 28 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Learn more about the photo-enhancing accessories discussed in Getting Started and Next Steps. In this class instructor Ashley Lowery discusses extra tools and equipment that help enhance smartphone photos and lets participants put them to the test. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 28, 2019 9:00AM - 11:00AM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
Product Image
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.

Creative Flat Lay Photography
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Tuesday | Oct. 1 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Flat lay photography involves shooting custom displays against a flat surface–usually from above. This fun and trendy photography style has infinite creative and practical possibilities. A great activity for indoor sessions and low light days, flat lay photography can produce stock imagery, greeting cards, business cards, posters, advertising, marketing, wall art and more. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Tue, Oct 1, 2019 5:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Dramatically Lit Botanical Photography
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $80.00
Product Image
Thursday | Oct. 3 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Join Lisa Langell to discover DIY methods of lighting using everyday tools and materials like flashlights, lamps, foam core and paper. Come get creative and resourceful as you learn to produce beautiful shots in the shade and on a budget. Participants should bring camera and its manual, charged batteries, memory cards, lenses ideal for close-up photography and a tripod (optional). Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Oct 3, 2019 9:00AM - 1:00PM   OPEN

Writing with Light and Words
Regular Price: $85.00
Member Price: $70.00
Product Image
Friday | Oct. 4 | 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Explore incorporating the written word as a means of setting your photography apart. This interactive session is all about inspiration and fine-tuning to add inspirational words, titles, light, polish and presentation to your processing. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Fri, Oct 4, 2019 9:00AM - 12:30PM   OPEN

Instagram for Gardeners
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Saturday | Oct. 5 | 10 a.m. - Noon

It can take months or even years to produce flowers that bloom for just a week, or vegetables that make a single meal. Learn to capture and share those special, hard-earned moments with your friends and Instagram® followers in a perfectly curated picture. Instructed by Lori A. Johnson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Sat, Oct 5, 2019 10:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

Butterfly Photography
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Wednesday | Oct. 9 | 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.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Oct 9, 2019 7:00AM - 10:00AM   OPEN

Galaxy Smartphone Photography
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Wednesday | Oct. 9 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Go beyond the basics of your Samsung Galaxy smartphone by unlocking the hidden potential of advanced features to create stunning nature photographs with a few swipes of your thumb. Learn to compose, crop and edit in a variety of apps to enhance your photos and develop your own artistic style. Participants should bring their Samsung Galaxy smartphone, plus charging cable or backup battery. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Students should download the free Snapseed and Instagram apps onto device before class. Instructed by Lori A. Johnson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Oct 9, 2019 5:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

'Wild Rising' Photography
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Tuesday | Oct. 22 | 3 - 5 p.m.

Take advantage of the arrival of bright, plastic animals in the Garden for Wild Rising by Cracking Art. Explore ways of balancing natural colors and textures with the bright hues and patterns of the different sculptural displays. Take home photographic souvenirs of this limited exhibition, and reflect on ways that your photography work can be used to make larger artistic and environmental statements. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Tue, Oct 22, 2019 3:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Photographing Abstracts in Nature
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
Product Image
Tuesday | Oct. 29 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Through instruction, hands-on work and inspiration from your instructor and fellow participants, you will learn how to apply basic compositional guidelines while using a variety of lenses. Explore motion blur, patterning, contrast, shadows, color theory, textures, edges and more to design images that are artistic, ethereal and fun. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 10:00AM - 1:00PM   OPEN

Nature Photography and Negative Space
Regular Price: $85.00
Member Price: $70.00
Product Image
Wednesday | Oct. 30 | 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Whether or not you have long lenses, this class will inspire you to up the artistry of your bird photography and push you to think beyond tight, close-up shots. Focusing on key elements of composition with an emphasis on using positive and negative space, we will create emotionally evocative images that leave lasting impressions with your audience and potentially open up new markets for your work. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 15.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Oct 30, 2019 9:00AM - 12:30PM   OPEN

Instagram Yourself at the Garden
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Sunday | Nov. 17 | 1 - 3 p.m.

At the Garden, your selfie might depict you among saguaros, agaves, hummingbirds or classic midcentury desert architecture. Join acclaimed nature photographer Lori A. Johnson to get a few insights on taking Instagram®-worthy shots that celebrate your next epic day at the Garden. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Nov 17, 2019 1:00PM - 3:00PM   OPEN

Understanding Your Camera
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $80.00
Product Image
Sunday | Nov. 17 | 1 - 5 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 camera and manual. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Nov 17, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Capturing Holiday Lights
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
Product Image
Thursday | Dec. 12 | 6 - 8 p.m.

From the giant light garlands strung across Tempe’s bridges to the Garden’s famed luminarias, the Phoenix area delivers lots of holiday luminescence for spirited photographers to capture. Learn the best approaches, camera settings and vantage points for capturing end-of-year light displays. Customize your holiday cards or simply enhance your photographic prowess. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Dec 12, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

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 either by phone or email. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

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.