Jen’s Digi-Photo Workshops


In March 2013, I offered four workshops for the residents of Sun Village, in Surprise, Arizona. For specific details about each workshop, see below.

Gambel's Quail female, Sun Village, Surprise, Arizona
Gambel’s Quail female, Sun Village, Surprise, Arizona

As an instructor, I specialize in working with Senior students and enjoy sharing experiences from 25-plus years as a photographer (National Geographic, New York Times, numerous books, and more). My classes are hands-on, interactive workshops—we dive right in and improve our picture-making skills right away. We move along at a reasonable pace and questions are encouraged. Class sizes are limited so that students get plenty of hands-on attention. My workshops often sell-out quickly and student evaluations consistently rank them as two thumbs-up.

I would be honored if you would join me for one of my upcoming workshops—we always have a great time and learn loads about photography from each other! If you’d like to join my mailing list to find out about upcoming workshops, please click here.

Sun Village Digi-Photo Workshops & Information

Digi-Photo IDigi-Photo IIiPhone/iPad/iPod Photo WorkshopPhotography in the Park Workshop

Digi-Photo I Workshop

Jen helps a Digi-Photo I student
Jen helps a Digi-Photo I student

Date: Monday, March 11
Location: Meet at the Resident Lounge, Sun Village Rec Center
Time: 9:30 a.m – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $25
Class Size: 15 students

What to bring to class:
• Digital camera
• Fully-charged batteries
• Camera manual
• Laptop (optional)
• USB camera cable or USB memory card reader (if your laptop doesn’t have a card slot)
• Bag lunch and a drink
• A sense of adventure!

Class description:
In this lively, one-day workshop designed as an introduction for digital camera owners, the focus will be on the basics:

  • Working with camera settings and features (such as landscape, action, and macro—or close-up—modes)
  • Learning the mechanics of making better pictures (framing and composition)
  • Finding out how to download images onto computers

In the morning we’ll review the general principles of making good photographs and practice our skills taking pictures (in the classroom and outdoors). After lunch Jen will demonstrate how to download pictures using Picasa (a free photo program for PCs and Macs).

A student shoots a close-up (or macro) photograph of a wildflower during class.
A student shoots a close-up (or macro) photograph of a wildflower during class.

By the end of class, students will have gained a greater understanding of their camera settings, attained better framing skills, and be comfortable downloading their pictures onto their own computers at home. Plus they will learn where to find the answers to new questions.

NOTE: Students must have a basic working knowledge of their digital camera and their home computer or laptop, and should be familiar with their camera manual.

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Digi-Photo II Workshop

A student checks his digital camera settings. A student checks his digital camera settings.
A student checks his digital camera settings.

Date: Tuesday, March 12
Location: Meet at the Kachina Ballroom (KBR), Sun Village Rec Center
Time: 9:30 a.m – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $25
Class Size: 15 students

What to bring to class:
• Digital camera
• Fully-charged batteries
• Tripod (optional)
• Camera manual
• Laptop (optional)
• USB camera cable or USB memory card reader (if your laptop doesn’t have a card slot)
• Bag lunch and a drink
• A sense of adventure!

Class Description:
In this lively, one-day advanced workshop designed for digital camera owners who already have a strong foundation in the basics, the focus will be on:

  • Honing your framing skills
  • Understanding depth-of-field (aperture)
  • Learning techniques to achieve freeze-frame and panning effects (shutter speed)
  • Using auto-focus and selective-focus modes
  • Making corrections in Picasa to improve image quality

In the morning we’ll review the principles of making more sophisticated photographs and practice our skills taking pictures (in the classroom and outdoors). After lunch we’ll download our pictures onto our laptops and work on our images in Picasa. By the end of class, students will have gained a greater understanding of how to control the camera to achieve better picture-making results and will have improved their post-production (editing) skills. Plus students will learn where to find the answers to new questions.

NOTE: This class is not for beginners! Students must have a real working knowledge of their digital camera, their laptop or home computer, and a photo-editing program such as Picasa, iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom.

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iPhone/iPad/iPod Photo Workshop

Grand Tetons, Wyoming. Shot by Jen with the iPhone camera app.
Grand Tetons, Wyoming. Shot by Jen with the iPhone camera app.

Date: Thursday, March 14
Location: Meet at the Kachina Ballroom (KBR), Sun Village Rec Center
Time: 9:30 a.m – 2:30 p.m.
Fee: $25
Class Size: 15 students

What to bring to class:
• Fully-charged iPad, iPhone or iPod
• Laptop (optional)
• Apple cable used for charging and syncing (optional)
• Bag lunch and a drink
• A sense of adventure!

Class description:
In this lively, one-day photo workshop designed as an introduction for folks who own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod (recent models with built-in camera), our focus will be on:

  • Best practices for making good photographs with your device
  • Top-rated photo apps (cool picture-taking and processing apps)
  • iCloud’s PhotoStream
  • How to download photos to a computer
Children in a mountain village, North Kivu Province, DR Congo. By Jen with an iPhone using the Hipstamatic app.
Children in a mountain village, North Kivu Province, DR Congo. By Jen with an iPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

In the morning we’ll discuss some of the best-rated picture-taking apps (and some of the wackiest!) and learn how to improve our picture-taking skills. We’ll work on improving our focusing and exposure techniques and our composition (framing) skills.

We’ll break for lunch and then in the afternoon we’ll talk about a variety of top-rated photo-editing apps, some tips on editing your photos on your device, and how to download our photos onto our computers.

NOTE: Students must have a basic working knowledge of their iPad/iPhone/iPod and their laptop or home computer (if applicable).

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Photography in the Park Workshop

White Tank Mountain Regional Park in November, Waddell, Arizona.
White Tank Mountain Regional Park in November, Waddell, Arizona.

Date: Fri., March 15, 2013
Time: 9 a.m to 2:30 p.m.
Park Entrance Location: White Tank Mtn. Regional Park
20304 West White Tank Mountain Road
Waddell, AZ 85355
Website: www.maricopa.gov/parks/white_tank/

Class Meets at:
 Ramada 4C near the Black Rock Loop Trail off White Tank Mountain Road
Fee: $25 (includes Jen’s Digi-Photo Tips booklet).
Park Entrance Fee: $6 per car (Carpooling encouraged!)
Class Size: 20 students

What to bring to class:
GEAR:
• Digital Camera (including iPhones/iPads/iPods!)
• Fully charged batteries or device (plus an extra set of camera batteries if available!)
• Extra camera memory cards
• Tripod (if you have one)
• Camera manual

ESSENTIALS:
• Bag lunch and bottled water
• Sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
• Dress in layers and wear sensible footgear (we’ll be walking on dirt trails)
• A zest for adventure and photography!

Cacti race! White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona
Cacti race! White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona

Class description:
In this lively digital photography workshop, we’ll practice and refine our picture-making skills entirely on-location at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, one of Surprise’s best-kept secrets!

At 9 a.m. sharp, we’ll meet at Area 4, Ramada 4C, near the Black Rock Short Loop Trail. First we’ll meet with a Park Ranger to learn about the Park and how to enjoy it safely. Then we’ll have a short info session about camera settings, modes, and composition. We’ll tackle a few assignments as we explore our first location: The Black Rock Short Loop. This barrier-free, half-mile loop offers rugged Sonoran Desert vistas, a variety of cacti (including Saguaros, Prickly Pears, and Chollas), wildflowers, birds, critters, and so much more! It’s ideal for making photographs of all kinds, from dramatic desert landscapes and portraits of people in action to intriguing close-ups of desert flora and fauna.

At lunch we’ll hold a Q&A session and discuss tips and tricks for better exposure and framing techniques.

Petroglyphs at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona
Petroglyphs at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, Arizona

In the afternoon, we’ll hike a half-mile on the barrier-free section of Waterfall Trail to Petroglyph Plaza to photograph some of the ancient rock panels. Afterwards, we’ll meet for a group discussion to sum up what we have learned during the day.

Prerequisites: The class is open to photographers of all levels of ability, but our primary focus will be on the basics. Students must have a basic working knowledge of their digital camera. Those who have completed one of Jen’s digital photo workshops will find this course a good refresher and a logical next step, and more advanced photographers will find ample challenges and support. Some general tips will be repeated and demonstrated.

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