Sonoran Desert Photo Workshop

April 7-8, 2018 Workshops limited to 4 participants    SOLD OUT


  • Workshop/Photo Tour

    Two day workshop at Desert Photo Retreat a 10 acre saguaro studded property nestled in the Tortolita Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. With emphasis on instruction and putting you in the best places at the best times.

  • Amazing Desert Landscapes

    We will concentrate on landscapes, birds, blooming cactus, wildflowers and wildlife. Everything from close-ups of individual flowers to broad landscapes. I have choosen this time of year for a couple of reasons, one being the migrating birds that pass through the area and the cactus should be in full bloom.

  • Photo Instruction

    I will be concentrating on teaching and will not be photographing myself. Sure I will have my gear there to demonstrate gear and techniques, but my time will be spent teaching, looking through view finders and talking all things photography.

  • Price

    2 days, $345


I am excited to be offering a short, small group (limited to 5) workshop/photo tour at Desert Photo Retreat my 10 acre property in the Tortolita Mountains in Tucson, AZ.

I call this a workshop because I will be concentrating on teaching and won’t be photographing myself.

I also call this a tour because I will be putting us in the best places at the best times.  I have spent this winter developing an enclosed photo blind with reflective glass offering the ability to intimately photograph the birds and wildlife that visit a water feature and perches designed to put the birds and animals in the perfect position for photography. great photos.

We will concentrate on desert landscapes, blooming cactus, wildflowers, birds and wildlife.

Flowers and mammals are unpredictable, but I have timed this tour to fall when the cactus blooms should be at their peak based on past years experience.  And this is also the peak for bird migration. Last year we saw several unusual species.

I emphasize teaching in this workshop and I will be available for any questions that may arise.  I will tailor the instruction to the ability of the group.  With 5 guests, it won’t be the one on one individual attention that you would receive from a private tour, but it is small enough for plenty of individual interaction.  Here are some of the topics I intend to cover.

  • Composition and the creative aspects of photography – this is the most important!
  • Light-the direction, quality and advantages of different light.
  • Exposure, histograms, metering methods and when to use aperture priority, shutter priority or full manual.
  • Focus-manual, servo and one-shot and hyper focus distance.
  • I will demonstrate tripod and ballhead use, along with various camera plates and even specialized panoramic heads.
  • Lenses.  I will have with me and can demonstrate and discuss the advantages of a variety of lenses including tilt/shift, fish eye, macro and telephotos.
  • Use of reflectors and diffusers-especially valuable for daytime wildflower close-ups.
  • Filter use- polarizer and graduated neutral density filters along with discussions on the trade offs between filters and digital tools such as HDR.  I will also discuss my techniques for capturing images to be used for HDR and panoramics.
  • Camera feature usage, mirror lockup, Live View self timer, etc.

What gear do I need?  A 35mm style digital camera with a normal to wide-angle lens is a must.  A tripod, a close focusing or macro lens, and a small reflector diffuser or two would be very valuable and would add to your overall experience.

What do I need to know?  A working understanding of the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture would be very helpful.  I can review these things and will talk about how I utilize these settings depending on the situation.  Prior knowledge of these concepts will help you get more out of the workshop.  In addition, you should have a working understanding of your camera and I would suggest bringing along your manual.  While I have worked with many cameras, I do not know how to work them all.