Many Arboretum Adult Classes & Programs Postponed or Canceled

Please check the COVID-19 Arb Classes Updates Webpage for the latest updates.

Programs that remain on this page are still open for registration!

Special Access: Photography Workshops


Photographer silhouette against a full moon, photo SantiPhotoSS/Shutterstock

Special Access Photography: Full Moon at the Arboretum

Sunday, November 29, 2020

This class has moved online!
View this class in new webinar-format class listing at Arboretum Photography Classes

People exploring a light tunnel at night, photo Mike Shaw

Special Access Photographer's Evening: Arboretum Winter Lights Display

Select a session:
Thursday, December 3, 4:30- 6 p.m., 6- 7:30 p.m., 7:30- 9 p.m.
Thursday, December 10, 4:30- 6 p.m., 6- 7:30 p.m., 7:30- 9 p.m.


The Arboretum's mesmerizing Winter Lights display, normally closed on Thursday evenings, will be opened only for photographers. This experience includes a live webinar to prepare you to make the most of your onsite photography experience!

At the Special Access Photographer's Evening:
The Arboretum's mesmerizing Winter Lights display, normally closed on Thursday evenings, will be opened only for photographers.

  • Our normal "no-tripods" rule is suspended for these two nights only!
  • We've also greatly reduced the number of participants to clear crowded vistas!
  • This premier experience provides ample time for long exposures!
  • Bring your equipment, explore the displays at your own pace, and photograph at your leisure.
  • Shoot among other photographers and photography enthusiasts
  • Instagram hashtag #mnarbwinterlightsphotonights a favorite image of yours from the evening for a chance to win exposure on the Arb's social media platform!

NOTE: This evening will be structured to allow comfortable spacing between photographers by limiting the number of participants within three, 1.5 hour periods between 4:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. In order to ensure proper social distancing and ease pressure at popular vistas, please arrive and depart within your scheduled session.

Required Equipment for the Arboretum Photo Shoot:

  • High quality Bridge, DSLR or Mirrorless camera
  • Tripod
  • Various Lenses (Optional)
  • Sturdy shoes for walking and shooting over uneven ground
  • Headlamp with a red bulb or small flashlight to protect your night vision (Optional)
  • Warm Clothing
  • Hand Warmers (Optional)
  • Personal snack/beverage (Optional)

COVID-19 Guidelines During Your Program

  • We encourage you to take your temperature and stay home if you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, shortness of breath, or persistent coughing. You will receive a full refund.
  • You must wear a mask at all times during this event, even when outside.
  • Please maintain a distance of at least six feet from others (except those you are with, such as family members)
  • If you do not observe these guidelines, staff may ask you to leave.
  • Bring your own water and snack; no food or drinking fountains will be available.


Before You Go, Participate or Watch:
Arboretum Winter Lights: Photography Tips and Best Locations Webinar

Tuesday, December 1, 7 - 8pm and Recorded for On-Demand Viewing

Dr. Mike Shaw, professional astrophotographer and author of "The Complete Guide to Landscape Astrophotography" and "Creative Nightscapes," will show you how to maximize your Winter Lights photography experience in a hour-long, virtual presentation and Q&A you can participate live or watch on-demand before coming to the Winter Lights Display.

In this webinar you will:

  • Learn what cameras, lenses and gear is recommended for lights-at-night photography
  • Review special Winter Lights photography techniques and tips
  • Discover pro-tips for keeping you and your camera warm on a cold night
  • Explore some of the best locations at the Arboretum to capture that special shot
  • See photographs from past Winter Light seasons for ideas and inspiration
  • Ample time for Q&A after the presentation.
  • This webinar will be recorded for viewing anytime before your session.

Required Equipment for the Live Webinar:
Internet, Computer or Tablet, up-to-date Chrome, Firefox, or Safari Web browser, and downloaded Zoom software (free).

Participation in this online course requires that you use the free Zoom video conferencing service. You must install Zoom on your computer to experience this webinar. Click here for a tutorial on how to join a Zoom meeting and much more.

Watch LIVE and participate in the Q&A with the instructor, or view a recording of the webinar anytime before your Winter Lights session!

  • To watch a recording on-demand: a link to view a recording of the webinar will be sent via email within 1 day after the live webinar. Watch and review the recording as often as you wish before your Winter Lights photo shoot!


How registration works: Register 1 person with 1 email at a time (you will be asked which email you want the webinar link invitation sent to at checkout). If you would like to register multiple people in different locations, please register them each separately with separate emails. Registered attendees will receive the link needed to join in their initial purchase confirmation by email. The Arboretum will also send a reminder email with the link 2 days prior to the start date.

Weather: Class will take place snow or shine, please dress for the weather.

Questions? Send class-related questions to the Arboretum Workshop host, Frank Meuschke, at

Limit 70 per session, Oswald Visitor Center - Great Hall

Thursday, December 3, 4:30-6p.m.
$20 member/$35 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission 

Thursday, December 3, 6-7:30 p.m..
$20 member/$35 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission 

Thursday, December 3, 7:30-9 p.m.
$20 member/$35 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission 

Thursday, December 10, 4:30-6 p.m.
$20 member/$35 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission 
Thursday, December 10, 6-7:30 p.m.
$20 member/$35 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission 
Thursday, December 10, 7:30-9 p.m.
$20 member/$35 non-member,
 includes Arboretum admission 

Special Access Photography: Full Moon at the Arb 2-Day Workshop

Thursday, January 28, 4-8 p.m. AND
Friday, January 29, 4-8 p.m.

Mike Shaw, acclaimed Astrophotographer, Author of "The Complete Guide to Landscape Astrophotography" and "Creative Nightscapes"

Level 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 afternoon sessions learning night photography and astronomy
  • Two evenings to practice and refine your moon photography techniques
  • 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
NOTES You may be doing some walking along 3-Mile Drive. 
WEATHER PLAN 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. 

Limit 12, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab
$189 member/$204 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 

Get an email notification when new Photography classes are added!
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Arboretum Education Office
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.*
*We are temporarily working from home during Covid-19, we may return phone messages from a home phone 

Cancellations & Exchanges
Cancellation policy
COVID-19 Class Updates

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

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