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.
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, 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: 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.

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.

Understanding Your Camera
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday l April 3 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 Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 3, 2019 1:00PM - 5:00PM   (3 AVAIL)

Chasing the Milky Way
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Wednesday | April 3 | 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 and John Marino. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 3, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   WAIT LIST

Chasing the Milky Way: In the Field
Regular Price: $206.00
Member Price: $165.00
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Friday | April 5 | 1 - 7 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. Instructed by Joanne West and John Marino. Limit 15.
Session Spring 2019: Fri, Apr 5, 2019 1:00AM - 7:00AM   WAIT LIST

iPhone and iPad Photography: Nighttime
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday l April 2 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 Spring 2019: Tue, Apr 2, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Digital Desert Photography: Getting Started
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Saturday and Wednesday l April 6, 10
Saturday l 10 a.m. - 2 p .m.
Wednesday l 5:30 - 8:30 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 2019: Sat, Apr 6, 2019 10:00AM - 2:00PM   (2 AVAIL)

Digital Desert Photography: Next Steps
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Saturday and Wednesday l May 4, 8
Saturday l 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. l Wednesday 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. 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 2019: Sat, May 4, 2019 10:00AM - 2:00PM   (4 AVAIL)

Galaxy Smartphone Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Sunday l April 7 l 1 - 4 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 Spring 2019: Sun, Apr 7, 2019 1:00PM - 4:00PM   (4 AVAIL)

Butterfly Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday | April 8 | 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 and a monopod. Instructed by Joanne West. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Mon, Apr 8, 2019 7:00AM - 10:00AM   (6 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Editing
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Saturday l April 13 l 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.
Session Spring 2019: Sat, Apr 13, 2019 10:00AM - 12:30PM   (8 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: Mastering Exposure
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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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 Spring 2019: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   WAIT LIST

Mastering the Tools: The Secret of Lighting
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday l May 1 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 Spring 2019: Wed, May 1, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (1 AVAIL)

Mastering the Tools: Composition
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Wednesday l May 15 l 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 Spring 2019: Wed, May 15, 2019 1:00PM - 4:30PM   (2 AVAIL)

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

Create 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 Spring 2019: Thu, Apr 18, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   (4 AVAIL)

iPhone and iPad Photography: Video
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Tuesday l April 30 l 3 - 5 p.m.

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 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.
Session Spring 2019: Tue, Apr 30, 2019 3:00PM - 5:00PM   OPEN

Electric Desert Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday l May 2  l 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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.
Session Spring 2019: Thu, May 2, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   (6 AVAIL)

Motion Photography
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Thursday l May 9 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. Monopod recommended. Click here for required equipment. Limit 12.
Session Spring 2019: Thu, May 9, 2019 6:00PM - 9:00PM   (6 AVAIL)

Manual Photography 101
Regular Price: $75.00
Member Price: $60.00
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Saturday | May 11 | 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 Spring 2019: Sat, May 11, 2019 3:00PM - 7:00PM   (8 AVAIL)

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Elements
Regular Price: $69.00
Member Price: $55.00
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Thursday | May 16 | 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Use the Garden's digital classroom to explore Adobe Photoshop Elements, a handy software toolbox that all beginner photographers should know how to use. Upload images from your camera and memory card, review and select individual images, and sort, organize, enhance and share photos. Topics include use of tools, palettes and image manipulation. Students need a basic working knowledge of computers. Windows-based, but users are welcome. Click here for required equipment.
Session Spring 2019: Thu, May 16, 2019 5:30PM - 8:00PM   WAIT LIST

Adobe Photoshop Elements: Next Steps
Regular Price: $69.00
Member Price: $55.00
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Thursday | May 23 | 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 Spring 2019: Thu, May 23, 2019 5:30PM - 8:00PM   WAIT LIST

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

Build on your editing skills to create 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 Spring 2019: Thu, May 30, 2019 5:30PM - 8:00PM   (1 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.