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Nature Photography: Intro to Composition

Schedule and Location

Four days: Three Thursdays, May 2, 9, and 16, 2019, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, 2019, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Thornhill Education Center 

Fees and Registration

$138.00 member
$162.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Description

“Composition is the strongest way of seeing.”  - Edward Weston

Develop your skills as a photographer by seeing nature through thoughtful compositions. Learn tools of composition and how to use your camera to make an image that captures the moment, feeling or experience in nature.

Through classroom instruction, in-field photography, and critique sessions, you will learn and apply a number of composition tools including:

  • Four corners
  • Thirds
  • “FMB” (foreground, middle ground and background)
  • Leading lines

Composition is a key aspect of powerful photographs. Understanding the principles of composition will allow you to create images that reflect what you see--and what you want others to see-- in nature.

Course number



Will Clay, nature photographer

"Former Professor of Botany, Willard Clay has been a full-time photographer since 1982.  Specializing in large format photography, he has been the primary photographer for nine coffee table books and has been published in a myriad of calendars, magazines, books, and advertising agencies.  Portfolio consists of large format film and high-resolution digital files ready for publication.  Teaching credits include teaching at The Morton Arboretum since 2005 as well as The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont since 1985 and classes/seminars at many venues in the country.

Course Details

  • Notes: Held indoors and outdoors. Limit 15
  • Supplies: Bring your fully charged DSLR camera.
  • Prerequisite: Basic Nature Photography (P000) or a solid understanding of shooting in manual mode