Special Access: Photography Workshops


photo Mike Shaw

Arboretum Winter Lights Display: Photographers' Special Access Evening

Thursday, December 5, 2019
4 p.m.-9 p.m. (Arrive and depart as desired between these times)

Avoid pesky crowds that are always in the way of your dazzling shot! The Arboretum's mesmerizing Winter Lights display will be opened this evening (normally closed on Thursdays) for a special-access opportunity just for photographers! Bring-your-own equipment, explore the displays at your own pace, and photograph at your leisure as you: 
  • Have ample "photographers-only" time and space to get beautiful pictures of our winter light show, as well as the beautifully lit plants and displays inside
  • Interact with acclaimed Arboretum photography instructors Mike Shaw and Frank Meuschke as well as the Arboretum Photographers' Society to get tips and tricks for just the right shot
  • Meet other photographers and photography enthusiasts
  • Available for purchase on-site til 8:30pm: Hot cocoa, hot cider, tea, coffee, chips & cookies
  • Submit your favorite image from the evening to win a prize!
  • NOTE This unstructured program will be open between 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.. You can arrive and depart as desired within these times.
Limit 300, Oswald Visitor Center - Great Hall

SOLD OUT. Add your name to the waitlist
$20 member/$35 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Special Access Field Trip: Macro Photography in a Biome Conservatory

Saturday, January 25, 2020
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Frank Meuschke, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Staff/Photographer

All levels, Beginner to Advanced 

Join us for an exclusive opportunity to hone your macro photography skills with some rare and unusual plants! Begin at the Arboretum for classroom tips for successful macro flower and plant photography. Grab lunch at the Arboretum Cafe (or bring your own) before convenient Arboretum transportation brings you to the BRAND NEW CBS Conservatory in Saint Paul.
Explore macro concepts in the classroom

  • Focus points
  • Depth of field
  • Composition
  • Equipment choices
  • Lighting

At the St Paul Conservatory

  • Get a private tour with Conservatory curator Lisa Aston Philander
  • Spend time in your favorite biomes honing your macro photography skills

You will return to the Arboretum with beautiful images of rare plants!


  • DSLR or Mirrorless camera
  • Macro lens
  • Monopod or tripod
  • Timer or cabled or wireless shutter release
  • Wide angle lens (optional)
  • Extension tubes, light ring (optional)

Limit 14, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Tree Place

register $189 member/$209 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

photo Mike Shaw

Full Moon Photography at the Arb 2-Day Workshop

Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. AND Sunday, February 9, 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Mike Shaw, photographer, author and workshop leader

Beginner to Intermediate 

Come howl at the moon! Here's your chance to learn the secrets of photographing the full moon and other night sky treasures over the winter scenery of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Exclusive night access to the Arboretum with night photography expert Dr. Mike Shaw. 
  • Two evenings to refine your moon photography techniques
  • Two afternoon sessions learning night photography and astronomy
  • Moderate to long focal length lenses will be most useful for moonscapes (50 - 200 mm)
  • Telephoto lenses for moon close-ups (200 mm and up)
  • A sturdy tripod is essential
  • Cable or wireless remote shutter release
  • Headlamp with a red bulb or small flashlight is important to protect your night vision
  • Operating manual for your camera
  • Spare batteries
  • Proper clothing, winter hat & winter gloves, hand warmers and footwear

You may be doing some walking along 3-Mile Drive.
Class will be held in any safe weather conditions, rain, snow or shine. In case of inclement conditions, the instructor will engage the class in hands-on activities to develop photographic skills and knowledge on astronomy/field planning/photography, so that you will be prepared to leverage your knowledge and skills when a clear night opportunity arises. 
Served with potato chips, Craveworthy Cookies® and beverage, you will have your choice of sandwiches (select your preference for each night at registration): Thai Beef Wrap (280 CAL EACH) Mozzarella, Red Pepper, Balsamic & kale ciabatta (470 CAL EACH) Turkey, feta, spinach & sundried tomato ciabatta (670 CAL EACH)

Limit 12, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab

$175 member/$190 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

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Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

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