Adobe Lightroom

1/24/2017 - 2/16/2017


During this six-session class – and in plain English – Forest explains how Lightroom works in order to help you make sense of your digital photo library, while introducing you to the landscape of this time-saving software. Starting by importing your images from your memory card to your computer or external hard drive, Forest then walks you through the process of managing them in the Library module. Once you have your bearings here, you will rate, keyword, sort, group and organize your images. Jumping over to the Develop module you will learn how to make simple edits such as cropping, adjusting the brightness, contrast and saturation of your images. Then you will advance to making localized edits to individual images including dust spot removal and portrait retouching. You will love the organizational and time-saving aspects of using Adobe Lightroom.

Students should bring a laptop computer with the latest version of Lightroom installed, a memory card reader for the type of memory card their camera uses, and a power cord for their laptops.

This course runs from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on the evenings of January 24, 31 and February 7, 9, 14, 16.

** Upon registration for this course you will be eligible for 20% off Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which includes subscriptions to their Photoshop and Lightroom software.

Photography Basics

1/30/2017 - 2/13/2017


You spent good money on your DSLR. You researched the brand, the model and the lens it came with. You know that it is a powerful tool capable of creating great images. But every time you pick it up, you are still a bit unsure of yourself and confused by all the dials, buttons and menu options.

So what ends up happening?

You set it to "Auto" mode and move on, telling yourself you will figure it out next time. Or later. Or once you are back home. Or when you get a chance to read the manual. Or, or, or ...

ENOUGH!!! It's time to stop the cycle! No more blaming the camera. No more procrastinating. No more excuses. It's finally time to invest in educating yourself on how your camera works. Lucky for you this intro course will get you pointed in the right direction AND offers you a fun environment in which to do it.

This six-session course covers topics including how to use f-stops, shutter speeds and ISO to achieve proper exposure, the basics of composition, photo equipment including cameras, lenses and tripods, as well as techniques for creating better nature images and photographs of people. Classes will include lectures, demonstrations, Q & A, assignments, and image critique. One of the sessions will be a field shoot at a location to be determined.

You will need a digital SLR camera (or an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera) for this class as well as a way to edit and view your images.

This course runs from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. on the evenings of January 30, February 1, 6, 8, 13. On February 4, class will meet from 8 - 11 a.m. for a field shoot.

Flash 101

2/15/2017 - 2/25/2017


If you’re like most photographers, you think of your flash as a mystical little critter that pops its head up from your camera like a gopher in a field, giving you hope that your photos will suddenly be well lit and look “like they’re supposed to.” Or maybe the simple act of reaching into your camera bag to grab your flash unit makes you feel like you are Babe Ruth reaching for the bat that will knock it outta the park.

Well, we hate to break it to you, but your flash is just another tool that, until you spend some time learning how to use it properly, will continue to mystify you. Enter Jesse Boone and this Flash 101 class. Broken into four parts, this class will work wonders to bridge the gap between you and your flash. In each class you will have time to experiment with your flash and some guided trial and error learning.

In part one Jesse will cover the basics. He’ll talk about when and why you might need to use your flash and how the decision to use flash impacts your ISO, f-stop and shutter speed settings. Part two will be dedicated to using a flash indoors and cover topics such as bouncing light, white balance and learning to notice the color of various light sources. Part three will be all about introducing you to ways to modify your flash with diffusers, grids, snoots, mini-soft boxes and a host of modifiers that can produce creative effects. The final class will be dedicated to using your flash outdoors and mixing it with ambient light. Jesse will take the class on a photowalk to search for various challenges and demonstrate ways to overcome each.

Please bring your DSLR and flash unit (with charged batteries!) to each class. If you use pop-up flash on your camera, you are welcome to attend this class, but Jesse will only be teaching about flashes that can be mounted to a hot shoe on your camera.

This course runs from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. on February 15, 20, 22 and from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. on February 25.

Capturing Winter Landscapes

2/17/2017 - 2/19/2017


When you purchased your camera, where in the manual did it say that it was only to be used in summer months? Did it mention anything about your camera needing to hibernate? 

Of course it didn’t!

Just because the temperatures are a bit lower, the light is different, and snow covers much of our landscape doesn’t mean your camera – or your creativity – get a vacation. Join winter-landscape-lover Sarah Ehlen for a full weekend dedicated to helping you learn to love the photographic possibilities that surround us all winter in Missoula.

During this course Sarah will teach you how to get proper exposure when surrounded by white snow, and will help you understand how light differs between summer and winter months. She will challenge you to try some new creative camera techniques and introduce you to compositional ideas for winter landscapes. She will introduce you to, and discuss valuable considerations for how to deal with your equipment in the cold.

This course begins with an evening session from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. on Friday, February 17.  The next day, February 18, the class meets from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and again on Sunday, February 19, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  (In addition, there will be an optional sunset shoot at Caras Park from 5:00 - 6:30 pm on Saturday evening.)


From modest single family homes to office buildings that create their own light and shadow, man-made structures might possibly be the best photographic subjects ever. You don’t have to worry about their hair or makeup, they don’t talk back, and they can hold a pose for centuries!

If you have ever caught yourself going out of your way to get a glimpse of a certain house you totally adore, or zoned out while staring at the reflection of the clouds in a glass building, this class is for you. This entry-level architecture photography class is ideal for real estate agents wanting to better photograph a space or those who are simply drawn to the scenes of the urban landscape. From the aesthetic to the technical, day to night, Claire will discuss the ins and out of this genre. She’ll start by introducing you to gear commonly used (but not always necessary!) when photographing buildings, and will move on to talk about capturing exteriors, dealing with angles and how to counteract lens distortion. Photographing indoors, she will discuss composition, exposure considerations, light temperature and how HDR can boost your photo quality. As a grand finale, you will gain experience photographing the buildings of downtown Missoula at night.

This is an intermediate level class. It is recommended that you have taken the Adult Ed Photography Basics class or have comparable knowledge. Adobe Lightroom experience will be helpful, but is not required.

This class meets from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. on February 27, March 1, 6, 8 and 13.  In addition, on March 11 there is a field shoot from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.


Picture the models in the high-end fashion magazines. Or the over-the-top scenes presented in clothing catalogs. And the exaggerated hair and make up looks we are bombarded with every day by advertisers. Now, run the other direction – fast and far – right into this class geared toward a more human approach to posing your subjects. 

Over the course of eight Wednesday night sessions, wedding and portrait photographer Jesse Boone will teach you the basics of posing models, so you know just enough to begin to break the rules and bring out your subjects’ true personality. Through demonstrations and lectures he will teach you communication skills to use in directing your subjects, the importance of having confidence in your understanding of your equipment, the basics of storytelling through imagery, and embracing people for who they are in order to encourage them to express themselves. 

Four of this class’ sessions will consist of lectures and critiques, while the other four will include field shoots at various locations in downtown Missoula with models on-hand for you to work with.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

The Art of the Selfie

3/21/2017 - 3/28/2017


A handful of years ago, the word didn’t even exist. Then, just five years ago in 2012, the Oxford English Dictionary chose it as its Word of the Year. Soon enough everyone from school kids to world leaders were getting in on the selfie action. The rest as they say, is history. Albeit, very modern history. 

Now is your chance to own up to your selfie fascination, and take your game to the next level. This three-session class isn’t about awkwardly holding your phone at the end of an outstretched arm while mashing your face against someone else’s and rocking the cheesiest smile you are capable of. Rather, this mini course is meant to move you closer to being a well-informed portrait photographer who notices, and actually cares about the quality of light, technical aspects, and overall message delivered via their self portraits. Instructor Sarah Chaput de Saintonge will help you overcome the technical hurdles of self-portraiture, help you generate ideas, teach you to notice how light and shadow impact your face, and edit your photos using the Brenizer method of expansion in order to achieve an unreal shallow depth of field.

So, um … yeah … this isn’t your average selfie class.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.


Beyond the Basics

4/10/2017 - 4/24/2017


It clicks. You get it. You've experienced the "lightbulb moment" of photography. You know how to manipulate your aperture, ISO and shutter speed to achieve a proper exposure in a variety of situations. However there is still so much more you want to do with your camera, but you just aren't quite sure how to make it happen. The good news here is that you are already in the ballpark. Now it's simply time to push yourself and your capabilities by furthering your education.

How do people achieve those "streaky" night time shots you see all over Instagram? How come your landscape images never have the depth or vibrancy as the images your friend posts? What's the secret behind all those images you see in magazines every month?

This six-session course begins with a brief review of photography basics including ISO, f-stops, and shutter speeds. Then you will move on to more advanced topics such as the Zone System of exposure, techniques for landscape photography, and an intro to night, portrait and documentary photography. Each meeting will include lectures, demonstrations, assignments, and (except for the first meeting) image critiques by Claire and Quinn. One of the sessions will also include time in the field with your instructors.

Students will need a digital SLR camera (or an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera) for this class as well as a way to edit and view images.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

Take Better Photos

4/14/2017 - 4/16/2017


Sometimes don’t you just want to ignore all of photography’s technical jargon? Or pretend like the confusing menus on your camera didn’t exist? You are definitely not alone. Every time we hear about these hurdles stopping people from really diving into their photography, we cringe. 

And then we create a class to make it better!

This weekend-long class is your chance to revel in every aspect of photography EXCEPT the technical; to create images WITHOUT worrying about megapixels; to use WHATEVER camera you have. Beginning with introductions and a discussion on Friday evening, Sarah Ehlen will get you thinking about creative compositions that can be created when looking through the viewfinder. She finishes the discussion on Saturday morning, and then takes you into the field to play and practice at different locations. Peppered in are additional lectures, breaks for meals and an evening sunset shoot. Sunday is all about critiquing Saturday’s work and beginning to see how post-processing can add a bit of “wow” factor to your images. She will also dedicate time to talking about mobile photography and answering any and all of your questions.

Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.

Barnyard Safari

4/21/2017 - 4/23/2017


Photographing lions while on safari in the Serengeti?
Pointing your lens toward a grizzly with Glacier National Park as your backdrop?
Hauling your 500mm lens to the tallest peak around?

Nope! Not in this class!

Instead, this weekend-long course taught by professional photographer Pam Voth will keep you a bit closer to home and have you photographing animals of a much more approachable nature. Goats, pigs, chickens, cows, dogs, and maybe even some birds, bees, and frogs will command center stage while photographing on an 80-acre permaculture farm near Hamilton, Montana with river access and gorgeous views of the Bitterroot Mountains. Here, Pam will teach you to embrace the delicate balance between infinite patience and lightning speed that is required when photographing animals. You will learn to look for the the decisive moment with animals, and work on capturing the ones that stand out from the crowd. Pam will teach you to use shallow depth of field to isolate a subject as well as capturing action three different ways: freezing movement, blurring action and panning with a subject. All the while you will learn to tell a visual story about the human / animal bond.

This course starts on Friday evening in Missoula with a brief lecture on safety (for photographers and animals alike!) when photographing on a farm or ranch. A short discussion on camera gear will make sure all participants feel comfortable with the tools they have to work with. Saturday is spent at ABC Acres near Hamilton gaining experience photographing the animals while also picking up pointers from Pam as she moves around to offer one-on-one help and the occasional group lesson. After returning to Missoula in the afternoon, the group will reconvene for a critique of the day's work. On Sunday morning the class will follow a similar format. But this time, you will visit the Wild Rose Emu Ranch outside of Hamilton to photograph emus, in all of their cute and goofy splendor! The afternoon is reserved for downloading and editing images and will be followed by an image critique session and discussion at RMSP's facilities in Missoula.


Some topics Pam will cover over the weekend include:

The Decisive Moment: Behavior and interactions between individuals

Photographing close ups

Showing animals in their environment

Capturing expressions: did that chicken just smile?

Focusing on the details: Furry, feathery, scaly, slimy

Standing out in a crowd - how do you photograph a group, flock, gaggle, or herd?

Capturing the human-animal connection

How our own movements and actions affect the behavior of the animals we are photographing

Telling a story through images


Please scroll down to see a schedule for this course.