2018 Photo Walks

_1040448 watercolor

For anyone who lives in the Raleigh area I teach at the JC Raulston Arboretum and the 2018 Photo Walks have just opened for  registration.

Next year 3 of them are indoor workshops and the other 9 are part lecture, part shooting in the garden.

Here is the complete listing with times and costs – limit 12 attendees each.

Register at:  http://www.jcra.ncsu.edu      Events – Calendar   

Go to the month you want and register.


JC Raulston Arboretum

Photo Walks 2018

Thursday, January 18   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Black and White

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: any camera including the iPhone that has a way to set black and white

Any lens

We will explore the possibilities in the winter garden during this session using black and white.

Thursday, February 15   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers I

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

We have 3 sessions on indoor photography of flowers and other natural subjects this year. Each class will cover a unique area of indoor photography. This first class will cover some basics and emphasize setting up simple subjects and a variety of backgrounds. A macro lens is suggested but you can use other lenses. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, March 15   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Wide angle

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with wide angle lens.

You can do this class with a smartphone but a DSLR is recommended with a wide angle lens for best results. You will find new perspectives for your photographs.

Thursday, April 19   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Backgrounds

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Camera and lens in the 35mm – 135mm range. Smartphone can be used.

Tripod recommended.

Your subject is very important, but this class will emphasize making the background work for you too.

Thursday, May 17   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Macro

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro lens or the ability to focus close and tripod

A long lens option will be explained if you do not have close-up equipment:

Exploring the close-up world in the garden is an exciting experience and you can achieve strong compositions and fun abstracts.

Thursday, June 21   10am – 11:30am

Topic: Composition   

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera DSLR preferred but can use a smartphone, macro or normal lens – zooms okay

Tripod recommended

This class will expand on the traditional ideas of composition as you really work with each subject beyond the standard “snapshot”.

Thursday, July 19        10am – 11:30am

Topic: Lighting

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro or normal lens, tripod

Optional: white foamcore or reflector and diffuser – some will be available

Lighting is the center of the photographic experience and this short class will introduce some easy controls to greatly improve your flower photographs.

Thursday, August 16   10am – 12pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers II

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This class will emphasize a variety of lighting ideas for indoor flower photography. A macro lens is great but not required. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, September 20      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Color 

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones.

Tripod recommended.

It may seem obvious to think about color when photographing in a garden setting. However, thoughtful consideration of the colors before pressing the shutter button will lead to better images. We will discuss monochromatic color schemes, interaction between certain colors to set a mood along with the impact of certain colors.

Thursday, October 18    2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Textures

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones can be used.

Tripod recommended.

We will search out various textures in the garden and notice how the light accents or diffuses the texture of different plants.

Thursday, November 15      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Depth of Field

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with adjustable settings, ISO, aperture, shutter

Tripod encouraged

If you usually use Automatic or Program modes, you will especially enjoy this class. You will learn how to get sharp focus… and how to control areas you want to soften too.

Thursday, December 12   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Macro

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This is 3rd in the series of indoor classes.  Various subjects will be available in addition to flowers. A variety of surfaces for your subjects will be discussed and provided for the hands on portion.  A tripod is highly recommended.


Square Greeting Cards

Double ScrollIrisSquare cards

Red River Paper has greeting card stock of 10.5 x5.25 that is 5.25 x 5.25 folded. The square format gives you extra possibilities in cropping and adding corner flourishes (see example).

My greeting card online class shows you many ways to take photographs especially for cards, how to work with text, and Photoshop techniques. http://www.esunrisedesigns.com for details

When sending a square card, I use the 5.25 x 7.25 envelope which is normal postage. If you use square envelopes, there is a 20 cent surcharge as they do not go through the USPS machine.  At least that is my understanding of the surcharge.


Thank you for following my blog where you have seen many entries about greeting card design and other information. I offer a class online that will show you ways to make truly unique cards. Following is the outline for the class with information on sign up. It has 4 lessons and can be done at your own pace.



Sign up at www.esunrisedesigns.com

 $75 for full course with critiques and ability to send questions

$45 to receive all the materials but no assignment critiques or interaction

Brighten your day and everybody else’s too with your own specially designed greeting cards. This course uses screen shots from Photoshop Elements 12 and will work for users of Photoshop CS, CC and Elements 9 and above versions.

You will receive all 4 lessons upon ordering the class.

Lesson 1 – BEGINNINGS starts with a discussion of the benefits of greeting cards. There are ideas for occasions and subjects, formatting, resizing for cards, and organizing your files. You will learn the basics of shooting for cards.

Lesson 2 – PHOTO TECHNIQUES explains all the elements of shooting great cards. It’s easy to just drag and drop an image you already have into a card template, but to make great cards, it is best to plan your shoot. This includes light, composition, creating a mood, brainstorming exercise, impact of color and exposure plus panoramic triptychs.

Lesson 3 – TEXT will give you lots of instruction and ideas for choosing and placing your text along with styling tips. You will also find places to research quotes.

Lesson 4 – PHOTOSHOP is based on using Elements 12 but will work for and version in the CS, CC or Elements 9 and up family. You will learn many ways to enhance your photos with borders, filters, making your own templates and more!

See some of my cards on my website: http://sunrisedesigns.smugmug.com/ and click on Greeting Cards

Greeting Card Design Online Class



Greeting cards have been my passion for many years and are so much fun for photographers and Photoshop users. My two ebooks on greeting cards have been popular and give a variety of techniques. So I developed this online class to cover all aspects of greeting card design and offer critiques on your assignments.

The Photoshop instruction shows screen captures from Elements 12, but any version above Elements 9 or Photoshop CS and CC versions will work fine. You can use any camera!


1 – Basics

2 – Shooting Techniques for cards

3 – Text Effects

4 – Photoshop Enhancements

See complete details at http://www.esunrisedesigns.com