Photography Workshop

"Blossom Bonanza – Working Your Way to Prize-winning Flower Photography"
Susan Bailey and Budd Titlow, Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association – Triangle Region

  • Saturday, April 28, 2007 – 8:00 am4:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 3, 2007 – 7:00 pm10:00 pm

Most photograph workshops feature only beautiful shots. This often hinders the learning process. The tendency is to admire images while thinking, "Wow, I'll never be able to do that." What participants don't realize is that preceding many winning shots is a whole series of shots that didn't make the grade and ended up in the "circular file." This workshop will feature a technique that has proven most effective in workshops we've taught for the past 25 years. Picking up on the theme of Budd's photo-essay published in the October 2005 issue of Outdoor Photographer, we'll show workshop participants how creative thought combined with patience and willingness to "work a subject" can turn ordinary shots into prize-winning images. To accomplish this, we'll show a step-by-step series of "out-takes" (including the problems and corrections for each) that led to some of our most successful images. We find that this technique really inspires participants, since you see that behind each finished image is often a series of shots that failed.


April 28, 2007 (Saturday)

8:00 AM-10:00 AM – Susan and Budd will begin Saturday's session by demonstrating how to "work" subjects, from finding subjects that catch your eye to using different angles, techniques, and equipment to nail the shots.

10:00 AM-12:00 PM – We'll spend the next two hours exploring, finding, and capturing the artistic beauty of the Arboretum in spring. While each of your work, Susan and Budd will be helping you with tips and techniques for transferring your selected subjects from visualization to finished images. We'll have all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to help you control lighting and other natural elements – like a gentle breeze – that can get in the way of that perfect shot – or can enhance it further.

12:00 PM-1:00 PM – Lunch (provided).

2:00 PM-4:00 PM – More shooting to explore the many possibilities in building great shots.

3:00 PM-4:00 PM – We'll spend the last hour talking about the day – what worked, what didn't, and the "whys" behind the results. You are welcome to stay and shoot in the beautiful late afternoon sun.

May 3, 2007 (Thursday)

7:00 PM-10:00 PM – Now it's your turn. Each participant will demonstrate two examples of working subjects taken during the Saturday field session. As we go through each example, we'll critique the process and the result. Then we'll decide who did the best job. The top three vote getters will receive prizes.

Requirements and Recommendations

Workshop attendees should plan on bringing the following to the workshop:


  • Camera

  • Tripod
  • Notepad for lecture and in the garden


  • Laptop

  • Macro lens and/or close-focusing zooms – some method of taking close-up shots

  • Zoom (lens(es)
  • Wide-angle zoom (e.g., 28-80 mm) is especially nice for garden workAccessories such as LiteDiscs, diffusion screens, off-camera flashes, reflectors, plamps to hold flowers, etc.
  • Tarp, trash bag, or garden pad in case the ground is wet

  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

$100.00 for Friends of the JC Raulston Arboretum members, all others $130.00 ($30.00 membership included).
Advance registration is required and is limited to 15 people. Please call (919) 513-7005 to register.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this event.