Adult Opportunities

Composition in Nature Photography

Capture nature using principles of composition.

Content Detail

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

Develop your skills as a photographer by seeing nature through thoughtful compositions. In this class at The Morton Arboretum for beginning to intermediate-level photographers who are experienced with the functions of their DSLR camera, participants will practice and apply tools of composition in nature photography. They will learn how to use their cameras to make images that capture the moment, feeling, or the experience of being in nature.

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

  • four corners
  • thirds
  • foreground, middle ground, and background
  • leading lines

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

This program meets in person at the Arboretum. Please see What to Know for equipment and previous experience requirements.

Instructor: Will Clay, photographer

Age: 16 and older

Course number: P110

Will Clay, photographer

Formerly a 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  myriad  calendars, magazines, books, and advertisements. Teaching credits include teaching at The Morton Arboretum since 2005 as well as The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont since 1985 and classes and seminars at many venues in the country.

What to Know

A DSLR camera is required. This class will not cover point-and-shoot or smartphone photography.

Basic Nature Photography (P000) or equivalent is required. If you have a foundational understanding of how to use the manual settings on your camera, this is the right class for you.

Program Schedule

Thursday, November 9, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 11, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 18, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 30, 2023, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Thornhill Education Center


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