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.

Capturing Holiday Lights
Regular Price: $55.00
Member Price: $40.00
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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   (7 AVAIL)

The Art of Wildlife Silhouette
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday | Jan. 6 | 4 – 7 p.m. 

Learn how to maximize your shooting day, add diversity to your portfolio, and create powerful emotion with your photography through silhouette, back-lit and rim-lit photography. Students should bring their camera, charged batteries, memory cards, 1-3 lenses that range from wide-angle to 200mm+ zoom (longer for bird photography, if possible), a tripod is optional but recommended for low-light twilight photography and camera manual. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 12.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Jan 6, 2020 4:00PM - 7:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Photography for Beginners
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday | Jan. 7 | 10 – 11:30 a.m. 

Through interactive activities, this fun and engaging session will introduce you seven powerful, but simple, techniques to help you first identify important qualities in “good” photographs, then avoid common mistakes, recognize a subject’s potential, and ultimately capture it beautifully through your lens - all on "Auto." No complex settings required. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 12.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 7, 2020 10:00AM - 11:30PM   (7 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 22 | 5 - 7:30 p.m. OR
Sunday | Feb. 9 | 10 a.m. - 12:30 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.

iPhone and iPad Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 8 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. OR
Saturday | Jan. 25 | 10 a.m. -  1 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 mobile photography and editing. Instructed by Ashley Lowery. Limit 15.
 

A Friendly Introduction to Manual Settings
Regular Price: $73.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Thursday | Jan. 9 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Participants will learn how to first identify characteristics that make for “good” images and then identify their own personal preferences. Also covered, the purpose of ISO, aperture and shutter speed, how to visually deconstruct an image to identify what types of settings may have been used to create it, using aperture priority, shutter priority and auto ISO as alternatives to “full manual settings.” Finally, students will learn how to visualize your final image before you photograph it – and how to prioritize what setting to set first, second and third. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 12. 
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Jan 9, 2020 9:00AM - 1:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Package Deal: Digital Desert Photography
Regular Price: $170.00
Member Price: $130.00
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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. 2 for a 10% discount

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

Getting Started
Friday | Jan. 10 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND Jan. 17 | 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 | Jan. 31 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND Feb. 7 | 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 Winter 2019-2020: Fri, Jan 10, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Digital Desert Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Friday | Jan. 10 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Friday | Jan. 17 | 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 Winter 2019-2020: Fri, Jan 10, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Let There Be Light!
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Monday | Jan. 13 | 2 – 4 p.m.

Seeing and identifying the seven primary types of natural light is quintessential to mastering wildlife and nature photography. Learn how to identify various types of light and the strategies for finding that light. Discover and experiment with different types and qualities of light, including front light, side light, back light, rim light, silhouettes and even using reflectors, scrims, diffusers. Instructed by Lisa Langell. Limit 12.  
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Jan 13, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Galaxy Smartphone Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 15 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Go above and beyond the basics of your Samsung Galaxy® smartphone and unlock the hidden potential of advanced features to create stunning 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 2019-2020: Wed, Jan 15, 2020 5:30PM - 8:30PM   (9 AVAIL)

Package Deal: Photographing Nature in Winter
Regular Price: $280.00
Member Price: $215.00
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Explore the tools and techniques to photograph winter landscapes and wildlife. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 12.

PACKAGE DEAL: Register for Photographing Nature in Winter and In the Field by the Jan. 2 and receive a 10 percent discount.

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

Photographing Nature in Winter
Tuesday | Jan. 21 | 6 - 8 p.m.


The stark, white landscape in the wintertime can be breathtaking, but hard to capture. Join Robert McBride in this classroom session 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.

Photographing Nature in Winter: In the Field
Saturday | Jan. 25 | 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 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 21, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (7 AVAIL)

Photographing Nature in Winter: An Introduction
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday | January 21 | 6 – 8 p.m.

The stark, white landscape in the wintertime can be breathtaking, but hard to capture. Join Robert McBride in this classroom session 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. Limit 10. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 21, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Photographing Nature in Winter: In the Field
Regular Price: $249.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Saturday | Jan. 25 | 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. Participants should bring DSLR camera, lenses, and tripod. This is an offsite program and transportation from the Garden is included. Limit 10. Click here for required equipment.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sat, Jan 25, 2020 9:30AM - 7:30PM   (6 AVAIL)

Capturing the Desert in Black and White
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday | Jan. 27 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

Black and white photography forces the viewer to focus on an image. Without the distraction of color, composition becomes more important, and the contrast between light and dark, subject and angle creates photographs of magnitude. Learn to use your camera and your eye to take beautiful black and white photographs. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Participants should bring camera and lenses. Some photography practice in the Garden is included. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Jan 27, 2020 5:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 29 | 6 - 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. Limit 15.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Jan 29, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Galaxy Smartphone Photography 2: Editing
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday | Jan. 30 | 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Take your Galaxy smartphone photography skills to the next level by fine-tuning your photos with a swipe of your thumb using a variety of editing apps. Learn to fix compositional and lighting errors or enhance your photos with artistic effects. This is a follow-up class for participants who have already taken Galaxy Smartphone Photography. We will continue editing using Snapseed, Instagram, and additional editing apps. Instructed by Lori A. Johnson. Limit 12.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Jan 30, 2020 5:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $95.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Friday | Jan. 31 | 1 - 5 p.m. AND
Friday | Feb. 7 | 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 Winter 2019-2020: Fri, Jan 31, 2020 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (5 AVAIL)

Package Deal: Wildlife Photography
Regular Price: $257.00
Member Price: $204.00
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PACKAGE DEAL: Register for Wildlife Photography: An Introduction and Wildlife Photography: In the Field by Jan. 2 and receive an exclusive 10% discount.
Offer expires on Jan 3. Programs may be purchased separately at regular price, subject to availability.

Wildlife Photography: An Introduction
Monday | Feb. 3 | 10 a.m. - Noon


Wildlife presents a photographer with a unique opportunity to capture a vibrant, living creature in the moment. In this classroom session, examine the types of equipment needed, proper camera settings, mastering exposure and settings to achieve maximum color, composition and design, how and when to approach your subject and more. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 10.

Wildlife Photography: In the Field
Saturday | Feb. 8 | 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Join Robert McBride on a field excursion to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world renowned zoo featuring more than 200 animal species exhibited in simulated natural habitats. This trip expands upon Photographing Wildlife: An Introduction and provides additional guidance for nature photographers. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Participants should bring DSLR camera, tripod and 200m lens or greater. This is an offsite program and transportation is included. Price includes admission into the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Lunch is not included. Limit 10.

Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Feb 3, 2020 10:00AM - 12:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Wildlife Photography: An Introduction
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Monday | Feb. 3 | 10 a.m. – Noon

Wildlife presents a photographer with unique challenges when it comes to capturing a vibrant, living creature in the moment. In this classroom session, learn what equipment is needed, mastering exposure, composition and design to achieve maximum color, composition and design, how and when to approach your subject and more. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Instructed by Robert McBride. Limit 10.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Feb 3, 2020 10:00AM - 12:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Instagram for Gardeners
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Saturday | Feb. 8 | 2 – 4 p.m.

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 Winter 2019-2020: Sat, Feb 8, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

Wildlife Photography: In the Field
Regular Price: $249.00
Member Price: $199.00
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Saturday | Feb. 8 | 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Join Robert McBride on a field excursion to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world renowned zoo featuring more than 200 animal species exhibited in simulated natural habitats. This trip expands upon Photographing Wildlife: An Introduction and provides additional guidance for nature photographers. While all digital camera owners are welcome, this class is most appropriate for DSLR cameras. Participants should bring DSLR camera, tripod and 200m lens or greater. This is an offsite program and transportation is included. Price includes admission into the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Lunch is not included. Limit 10. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sat, Feb 8, 2020 9:30AM - 7:30PM   (5 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $53.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | Feb. 12 | 7:15 - 9:15 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 Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Feb 12, 2020 7:15PM - 9:15PM   OPEN

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, composition, and other tips to capture powerful wildflower images. Limit 12. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Feb 26, 2020 8:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

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   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. 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 and both must pay fees. Those 15 and older may attend without an adu