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.
Lifelong Learning
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, science, travel and wellness.
Desert Landscape School
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.
Children, Family & Educators
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.

Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Saturday and Tuesday l Sept. 22, 25
Saturday l 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. l Tuesday l 5:30 - 8:30 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. While all digital or mirrorless camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Sat, Sep 22, 2018 10:00AM - 2:00PM   WAIT LIST

Adobe Photoshop Elements: Next Steps
Regular Price: $69.00
Member Price: $55.00
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Thursday | Sept. 20 | 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Unlock the editing and organizing power of the more advanced Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor. Topics include the use of layers, selections and tools to take images to the next level. Students need a basic working knowledge of computers. Windows-based, but Mac users are welcome. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Thu, Sep 20, 2018 5:30PM - 8:00PM   WAIT LIST

Adobe Photoshop Elements: Finishing Touches
Regular Price: $69.00
Member Price: $55.00
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Thursday | Sept. 27 | 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Build on your editing skills to start producing sophisticated, professional-quality prints and digital images that you will be proud to share. Focus on how to use the more advanced Editor workspace to fine-tune your images, fix exposure problems and add creative touches to finish your photos. Students need a basic working knowledge of computers. Windows-based, but Mac users are welcome. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Thu, Sep 27, 2018 5:30PM - 8:00PM   (1 AVAIL)

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

Artistic Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday l Sept. 24 l 6 - 8 p.m.

Lisa Langell helps intermediate photographers gain new skills with lenses, light, settings and more to capture images that are more artistic, creative, emotionally evocative and inspiring. Discover how to photograph wildlife beautifully without a telephoto lens, key composition techniques for an added "wow factor," new ways of using natural light and how to see and seize the moment in an imaginative image. Participants should have a working knowledge of their camera operation modes and settings. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Sep 24, 2018 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Saturday l Oct. 13 l Noon - 3 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.
Session Fall 2018 - Session B: Sat, Oct 13, 2018 12:00PM - 3:00PM   (4 AVAIL)

Understanding Your Camera
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Sunday | Oct. 14 | 1 - 5 p.m.

Your camera's many buttons and dials might recall an airplane cockpit, but with a little guidance, your confidence using them will soar. 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 2018: Sun, Oct 14, 2018 1:00PM - 5:00PM   WAIT LIST

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Monday l Oct. 15 l 6 - 8 p.m.

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.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Oct 15, 2018 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Electric Desert Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Learn to capture the intriguing nuances and depths of your favorite landscapes at nightfall. Robert McBride guides you through your camera's settings for reducing grain and maximizing subtle light sources. As a bonus, this timely class also includes practice shooting the artistic light displays in the Electric Desert exhibition. Limit 10.

Mastering the Tools: Mastering Exposure
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday l Oct. 15 l 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. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Oct 15, 2018 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (3 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: The Secret of Lighting
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday l Oct. 22 l 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. Mastering Exposure is a prerequisite for this class. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Oct 22, 2018 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (4 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: Composition
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Monday l Nov. 5 l 1 - 4 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 2018: Mon, Nov 5, 2018 1:00PM - 4:00PM   (5 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Video
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Take advantage of the stellar video features of your iPhone or iPad to become a mobile cinematographer. In this program, you will use the sights and sounds of the Garden's Electric Desert exhibition as a muse as you learn to create artistic videos and master skills to capture all sorts of memorable events. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Instructed by Deanna Dent.

Photography Foundations
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday | Oct. 17 | 3 - 7 p.m.

Tracy Battaglia guides you through simple exercises to begin mastering a perfect exposure while shooting manually. Forget auto-settings and learn her three pillars technique. Tracy will show you how to understnad aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Understanding these elements, their functions and how they work together is important to achieve your photography goals. All DSLR photographers welcome. Students should have a working knowledge of their camera settings. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Click here for required equipment. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2018: Wed, Oct 17, 2018 3:00PM - 7:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Motion Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday l Oct. 17 l 6 - 9 p.m.

Discover how to capture motion in your photos using the Garden's new exhibition Electric Desert as your muse. Joanne West discusses basic shooting techniques for freezing action, creating blur and how to deal with moving subjects creatively. You will 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. Tripod recommended. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Wed, Oct 17, 2018 6:00PM - 9:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Painting Electric Desert
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday l Oct. 18 l 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Create unique photographs through light painting using the Garden's Electric Desert as inspiration. Join Ashley Lowery to learn ways the exhibition's wild lightshow can become photographic brushstrokes through long exposures. Class time will be spent in the Garden, where participants will "paint" the desert scene and plants with light. For DSLR cameras with a tripod only. This class is designed for beginner-level photographers and no prior experience is required. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2018: Thu, Oct 18, 2018 6:30PM - 8:30PM   (2 AVAIL)

Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend Photography
Regular Price: $2,124.00
Member Price: $1,699.00
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Friday - Sunday l Oct. 26 - 28

Be inspired with amazing views from the Little Colorado River Gorge and get professional photography advice to capture the stunning beauty of Horseshoe Bend. Celebrated for her photography skill and instruction,Joanne West guides you on this trip, sharing her techniques to render the perfect picture. Enjoy a boat ride through the lower end of Lake Powell and marvel at Rainbow Bridge National Monument-the largest natural arch in the U.S. Brace yourself for awe-inspiring views as you wind through Antelope Canyon's "corkscrew" and slot canyons. Join us on a journey to the photogenic wilds of Arizona and cross off a few bucket-list landmarks, like Rainbow Bridge, along the way. Open to all camera owners, including cell phone cameras. Participants must be able to walk at least two miles at high elevation on uneven terrain.

Three-day trip includes:
  • Roundtrip transportation from the Garden
  • Expert photographer advice
  • Professional guide services
  • Meals during the program
  • Lodging for two nights at Lake Powell Resort and Marina
Not included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
Session Fall 2018: Fri, Oct 26, 2018 - Sun, Oct 28, 2018 9:00AM - 5:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

Samsung Galaxy Smartphone Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday | Nov. 1 | 5 - 8 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 S5-S8 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 2018: Thu, Nov 1, 2018 5:00PM - 8:00PM   (3 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $56.00
Member Price: $45.00
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Monday l Nov. 5 l 5:30 - 8 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.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Nov 5, 2018 5:30PM - 8:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Tombstone: An Introduction
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday l Nov. 7 l 6 - 8 p.m.

From boom and bust to point and shoot, the old silver mining town of Tombstone has appreciated into a photographic goldmine. Renowned for its appearances in Westerns, Tombstone offers a preserved historical aesthetic found nowhere else in the Southwest. Learn a bit about its storied past and what to look for when you visit. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Wed, Nov 7, 2018 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Tombstone: In the Field
Regular Price: $248.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Friday l Nov. 9 l 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Make like a Wild West gunslinger as you shoot Tombstone up and down with your camera of choice.Explore the historic town with one finger on the shutter release, ready to quick draw at the spur of the moment as reenactors spring to life like ghosts from the past. And partner, make sure you have plenty of film or memory cards so you can get in plenty of shots on both sides of high noon. This is an offsite program,and transportation from the Garden is included. Lunch not included. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 10.
Session Fall 2018: Fri, Nov 9, 2018 6:00AM - 6:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Portrait Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday l Nov. 12 l 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Since the advent of photography, humans have been a common subject for artistic photography. Capturing an expression or mood and framing it perfectly in a natural setting can be both challenging and rewarding. Although the common problems associated with long exposures have vanished with modern cameras, there are still tricks of the trade utilized to create iconic portraits of your favorite people. This class is open to all digital camera owners. All photography levels welcome but students should have working knowledge of basic camera settings. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Mon, Nov 12, 2018 3:30PM - 6:30PM   (10 AVAIL)

Travel Photography
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday l Nov. 14 l 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn to document your next travel adventure like a pro. Discover which eqiupment 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. All photography levels and camera types welcome. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2018: Wed, Nov 14, 2018 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (7 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 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.