fbpx Photographing Intimate Landscapes in Fall Color | The Morton Arboretum

Photographing Intimate Landscapes in Fall Color

Schedule and Location

Two days: Saturday, October 20, 2018, 1:00 to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 21, 2018, 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Thornhill Education Center

Fees and Registration

$138.00 member
$162.00 nonmember

Nonmembers: Fees include admission to the Arboretum. 

Course Description


Photograph the autumn season in a bold and impactful way through the art of simplicity in this weekend workshop with photographer Josh Merrill. The Morton Arboretum is an incredible place throughout the year, but never is it more photogenic than when its trees take on their autumn attire.

Learn to capture the essence of the season through intimate landscapes in both evening and morning light. Our study will emphasize composition, as we learn to distill the landscape down to its most basic graphic elements. Learn how to creatively use textures, patterns, repetition, lines, and colors to create stunning nature photographs. We will revisit key ways that exposure length and depth of field can be used as tools to simplify chaotic landscapes. We will solidify simple focusing strategies, while also adding some advanced tools, such as focus stacking, to your photographer’s toolkit.

We will explore the unique autumn opportunities that the Arboretum has to offer by spending much of our time together in the field, where we will practice the strategies that we discuss in the classroom. The weekend will end with time for image review and instruction in digital darkroom techniques.

Josh Merrill (www.joshmerrillphoto.com) is an award-winning, fine-art nature photographer based out of Chicago, Illinois. He creates compelling photographs of the natural world through a unique vision, eye for composition, and skilled use of color. Josh’s photography has brought him to many incredible locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Over the years, Josh has developed a portfolio of images that celebrate the beauty of nature and inspire joy in the viewer. His photographs make use of digital technology, but undergo only minor adjustments, like those that would be done in a traditional chemical darkroom. The image quality and unique colors that he achieves in-camera are a testament to his determination and knowledge of the natural world.

Instructor: Josh Merrill, nature photographer
Notes: Held indoors and outdoors. Bring a beverage and snacks or a light meal. Limit 12
Prerequisite: This is an intermediate/advanced workshop. Previous photography experience required.
Equipment: A DSLR (or another camera capable of manual control) and a tripod are required. Lenses that cover a focal range from 24mm-200mm recommended.

Course number


Course Details

BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 (or to be waitlisted, M-F, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
IN PERSON: Stop by Visitor Center during open hours.

Weather Cancellation Hotline
Classes run rain or shine unless there is a threat of server weather. If severe weather is forecast please call 630-719-7979 for updates on weather related cancellations.