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.
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.

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   (1 AVAIL)

Patterns in Nature
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Saturday | Jan. 5 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Look to wildlife and nature as you learn quintessential elements of composition. Discussion includes the rule of thirds, the Fibonacci sequence, leading lines, color harmony, tension, positive and negative space, journalistic photography styles, power points, post-processing concepts and more. Open to all digital cameras that can shoot in manual mode. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 5, 2019 10:00AM - 1:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Painting Electric Desert
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday l Jan. 7 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 monopod only. This class is designed for beginner-level photographers and no prior experience is required. Limit 10.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Jan 7, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   (5 AVAIL)

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

Nature Photography as Art
Regular Price: $105.00
Member Price: $84.00
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Thursday and Wednesday l Jan. 10, 16 l 3 - 6 p.m.

Artistic photographer Joanne West will share ways to use composition, color theory and creative post-processing techniques to dramatically increase the impact of your photos. These classes include guided photography practice in the Garden, digital post processing tips and a final review of your images. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Thu, Jan 10, 2019 3:00PM - 6:00PM   OPEN

Package Deal: Digital Desert Photography
Regular Price: $160.00
Member Price: $128.00
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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 Jan. 1 and receive a 15 percent discount.

Offer expires Jan. 2. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Getting Started
Saturday and Tuesday | Jan. 12, 15
Saturday | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Tuesday | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


This two-session introductory class is ideal for those who are new to digital photography or are simply interested in learning which settings to use and when. Joanne West will go over 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. Participants should bring DSLR camera and manual. Some photography practice in the Garden is included.

Next Steps
Saturday and Wednesday | Feb. 9, 13
Saturday | 1 - 5 p.m. | Wednesday | 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. This class is most appropriate for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Participants should bring DSLR camera and manual. Some photography practice in the Garden is included.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 12, 2019 9:00AM - 1:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

Digital Desert Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Saturday and Tuesday | Jan. 12, 15
Saturday | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Tuesday | 10 a.m. - 1 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 Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 12, 2019 9:00AM - 1:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Saturday and Wednesday | Feb. 9, 13
Saturday | 1 - 5 p.m.
Wednesday | 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. 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 Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Feb 9, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

Galaxy Smartphone Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Saturday l Jan. 12 l 9 a.m. - 12 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 Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 12, 2019 9:00AM - 12:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Understanding Your Camera
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Sunday l Jan. 13 l 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 Winter 2018-2019: Sun, Jan 13, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Motion Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday l Jan. 14 l 5 - 8 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. Monopod recommended. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Jan 14, 2019 5:00PM - 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.

Package Deal - Nature in Winter
Regular Price: $325.00
Member Price: $260.00
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Let your photography skills snowball into mastery. Explore the tools and techniques to photograph winter landscapes and wildlife. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for Nature in Winter: Introduction and In the Field by the Jan. 1 and receive a 10 percent discount!

Offer expires Jan. 2. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Nature in Winter: An Introduction
Monday | Jan. 21 | 6 - 8 p.m.


The stark, white landscape in the wintertime can be breathtaking, but hard to capture. Join Robert McBride to learn what it takes to become a digital landscape photographer, from taking advantage of the soft winter light to creating images that are beautifully exposed amid bright conditions. This class is open to all digital photographers. Participants should bring camera and manual.

Nature in Winter: In the Field
Saturday | Jan. 26 | 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Explore the winter wonderland of Sedona's Red Rocks with Robert McBride. Discover techniques to capture winter scenes, from general photographic skills, to equipment, to composition and the use of natural light. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. This is an offsite program and transportation from the Garden is included. Click here for required equipment.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Jan 21, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Nature in Winter: An Introduction
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Monday | Jan. 21 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The stark, white landscape in the wintertime can be breathtaking, but hard to capture. Join Robert McBride to learn what it takes to become a digital landscape photographer, from taking advantage of the soft winter light to creating images that are beautifully exposed amid bright conditions. This class is open to all digital photographers. Participants should bring camera and manual.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Jan 21, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Nature in Winter: In the Field
Regular Price: $312.00
Member Price: $250.00
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Saturday | Jan. 26 | 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Explore the winter wonderland of Sedona's Red Rocks with Robert McBride. Discover techniques to capture winter scenes, from general photographic skills, to equipment, to composition and the use of natural light. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras.This is an offsite program, and transportation from the Garden is included. Click here for required equipment.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Jan 26, 2019 9:30AM - 7:30PM   OPEN

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. Limit 15.

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.

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Monday l Jan. 28 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 Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Jan 28, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Automatic Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Friday | Feb. 1 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Do you ever wish you could take high-quality photographs without mastering numerous complicated settings? If so, this fun and engaging session will teach you seven powerful but simple techniques to help you avoid common mistakes while capturing beautiful images-all while keeping the camera on "auto." Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Fri, Feb 1, 2019 10:00AM - 1:00PM   OPEN

Introduction to Macro Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Saturday | Feb. 2 | 9 a.m. - Noon

Explore the art of the up-close and personal: macro photography. Discuss ways to get close, equipment, focusing, lighting and steadying the camera. 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 Winter 2018-2019: Sat, Feb 2, 2019 9:00AM - 12:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Ordinary to Extraordinary
Regular Price: $93.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Monday and Wednesday | Feb. 4, 6 | 5 - 7 p.m.

Often it is not what you shoot, but how and when you shoot it, that makes for an extraordinary photograph. Learn to use the elements of design, camera settings, lighting and cropping techniques to enhance composition. All photography levels welcome but students should have working knowledge of basic camera settings. Click here for required equipment. Instructed by Joanne West and John Marino. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Feb 4, 2019 5:00PM - 7:00PM   OPEN

Pollinator Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Tuesday | Feb. 5 | 9 a.m. - Noon

Many of the Sonoran Desert's pollinating species burst with as much color as the plants they assist. Lisa Langell demonstrates how to capture these colorful critters after discussing camera settings, flash setups and more. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Feb 5, 2019 9:00AM - 11:00AM   (8 AVAIL)

Package Deal: Mastering the Tools of Photography
Regular Price: $191.00
Member Price: $153.00
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The Mastering Series is recommended for DSLR camera owners only. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for all three classes by Jan. 1 and receive a 15 percent discount.

Offer expires Jan. 2. Programs may be purchased separately at the regular price, subject to availability.

Mastering Exposure
Tuesday | Feb. 5 | 1 - 4:30 p.m.

You will examine your camera's various metering systems and learn why different systems can produce better results under different conditions. Click here for required equipment.

The Secret of Lighting
Wednesday | Feb. 20 | 1 - 4:30 p.m.

This class will cover the most important aspects of light and how it can be used to turn snapshots into stunning photos. Click here for required equipment.

Composition
Wednesday | Feb. 27 | 1 - 4 p.m.
Learn rules for composing photographs and how they work in unison with exposure and subject selection to produce visually compelling images. Click here for required equipment.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Feb 5, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (7 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: Mastering Exposure
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Tuesday l Feb. 5 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 Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Feb 5, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (7 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: The Secret of Lighting
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday l Feb. 20 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 Winter 2018-2019: Wed, Feb 20, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (7 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: Composition
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday l Feb. 27 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 Winter 2018-2019: Wed, Feb 27, 2019 1:00PM - 4:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Master Your Point-and-Shoot Camera
Regular Price: $106.00
Member Price: $85.00
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Monday l Feb. 11 l 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Rediscover the versatility of point-and-shoot cameras to snap family portraits, landscapes, close-ups of nature and even tough subjects like fireworks and night scenes. Joanne West and John Marino shows when to use scene modes, macro, flash modes and manual settings. Head into the Garden to learn to recognize and respond to various lighting situations along with ways to compose for more powerful images. After a short break for lunch, review your photos and discuss composition and framing. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Feb 11, 2019 8:00AM - 4:00PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $56.00
Member Price: $45.00
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Monday l Feb. 11 l 5:30 - 8:30 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.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Mon, Feb 11, 2019 5:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Moonscape Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Tuesday | Feb. 19 | 6 - 9 p.m.

Enjoy a fantastic evening of shooting moon-illuminated landscapes in this class designed for amateur photographers. With hands-on guidance, participants use creative experiments to learn elements of lighting, exposure, camera settings and nighttime considerations. Participants should bring digital or film SLR camera, wide-angle or medium zoom lens, tripod, cable or remote shutter release (optional) and flashlight. Instructed by Ashley Lowery. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2018-2019: Tue, Feb 19, 2019 6:00PM - 9:00PM   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.