Welcome to The Garden Photographic Society!

The Garden Photographic Society is a friendly “general photography” club for anyone interested in a wide range of photography. Beginners, Advanced, and Pro photographers are equally welcome! Whatever your skill level, you will benefit from our programs and activities. You don’t need to own an expensive camera, mobile phone photographers are also welcome! The club typically meets twice per month on the first and third Thursday evenings, sometimes at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. Regular monthly educational Program Meetings are now both live at the Garden and on Zoom.

Working together we build friendships, enjoy members’ images, share ideas, and participate in club outings and activities that help members advance their skills and learn new photographic techniques. Society members have held their meetings at the Botanic Garden for more than 30 years, appreciating it as a special place to perfect their craft. We are proud members of the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association (CACCA).

Please see our Events Calendar and this Homepage for program information and the competition schedule. Each month we typically have one educational program meeting (third Thursday, online & live) and one Competition/Club (Zoom) Meeting (first Thursday). Members can submit Digital Projected Images, (“DPI”, image files in .jpg format) online through our competition portal site, 411-Vision (link below in the Competition Season Information section). If you are interested in giving a photography-related presentation at one of our meetings, please use our Contact Form to get in touch with the web admins. There are many opportunities to volunteer, and volunteers can participate in our annual photography exhibit, the “Nature In View” show at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

TO JOIN OUR CLUB: Dues are $30 single member/$45 family/year. Fill out the New Member Form and send that and the dues to Howard Frank (howard@tcscorp.com) at 8338 Monticello, Skokie, IL,  60076. Checks made out to “Garden Photographic Society”. You can also send the dues online via Zelle to: payments@gardenphoto.org, or via your bank/other online service, or US Mail a check (is that still a thing?)


•Next Zoom Club Meeting/Competition #5 is March 7th, (ZoomLink in Members email). Uploads are OPEN!
Garden website article on “Photographing The Garden In Winter”

•Congrats members Barbara Dunn/Carlos Cardona, winners in IGPOTY 2022 Int’l Garden Competition (CBG) (Winning shots on display at Garden/Regenstein Lobby)

•Watch our archived educational programs for free on our Garden YouTube Channel

Upcoming Programs/Photowalks

Mar 21: Zoom Program from Karen Hirsch-“What I Look For When Making Images”:
I will give a little of my own history, and present some common characteristics found in my work. If there is time, I will present a taste of some of the bodies of work that I have produced.
Karen I. Hirsch is an award-winning photographer whose photography has been published internationally. From her early days doing black and white documentary photography to her current creations of abstracts, alterations of reality and mixed media, she uses recurrent elements that define her work. She will be illustrating the principals behind her imagery with a number of examples. Karen’s images have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, Palm Beach as well as in Chicago. She has received art grants from the Illinois Arts Council and from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. She won the grand prize in a Daily News Kodak competition and in an ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) competition. Karen has photographed corporate moguls including Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, Olympic athletes, iconic musicians, movie stars and even U.S. presidents. The government of China invited her as a VIP guest to photograph the city of Rizhao. Karen is co-president of Fort Dearborn-Chicago Photo Forum.

May 16: Live/Zoom Program John Gerlach “Landscape”


2023-24 Competition Season Information

The four Photo Club Revolution! categories are:
1) MONOCHROME. Images can be any subject, but must be Monochrome (Black & White or One Color).
2) OPEN COLOR (NON NATURE). All subjects, but no Nature images. Image types may include Landscape, Travel, Architecture, Street, Portrait, Sports, Abstract, Photojournalism, Non-Nature Macros, Still Life, Astro, Creative, just to name a few subject types! No nature or monochrome images allowed. Any sky replacement MUST use your own image.
3) “PICTORIAL” NATURE. Color images may be any non-Human living thing, wild or captive animal, plant, wild flower or hybrid garden flower. Images may be edited, there are NO restrictions on post-processing. This category is referred to as Pictorial Nature, to differentiate it from the “no-edits, pure ‘Nature’ category” of some other club competitions, (so like “Hand of Man” is allowed).
4) SPECIAL SUBJECT. Each monthly competition will include a special assigned subject challenge. Only images that fit the assigned subject will be allowed. For example, if the assignment is “A Touch of Red”, you may submit a red apple, a red feather, anything as long as there’s some red in it. The themes follow the CACCA Special Themes, and are published below, so you have plenty of time to shoot and can submit to both competitions.

2023-24 Season “SPECIAL SUBJECT” Monthly Themes (the same as CACCA schedule)
Oct: Fireworks

Nov: Blue 
Dec: Alone
Jan: No Competition this month
Feb: B&W with a touch of color – this is a repeat
Mar: From the Heart (think Valentine’s Day)
Apr: ICM Intentional Camera Movements (including zooming)

Our monthly DPI competitions take place on the 411 Vision website, and are online at the monthly club meeting on Zoom. Tutorials and entry into the competition portal site are at https://www.411-vision.com/411ClientLogin.html. All member accounts have been created, and you must use the email address we have for you (and passcode: 12345). You are then asked to create your own personal password. After you login, select “Garden Photographic Society” in the initial dropdown menu, go to “Upload”, select the first category, and upload your images one at a time (3 per category, 1400X1050 maximum size). We’ll have the competition at our monthly club meeting, with judges present to provide feedback.

Past Recorded Programs on the Garden YouTube Channel

Our Thursday, April 20, 2023 @ 7:00 PM Zoom program was from Kathleen Reeder-“Post Processing Wildlife Images”
About this webinar: The primary objective of post processing is to maximize the impact of what you saw or felt in that defining moment when you pressed the shutter. The changes and improvements you choose to make to a photo are largely a personal choice, but there are basic changes to keep in mind that can increase a wildlife photo’s impact. Kathleen Reeder will present the post processing considerations and steps to maximize the impact of your wildlife photos. https://kathleenreeder.com/

Our Thursday, January 19, 2023 @ 7:00 PM Zoom program was from Hank Erdmann-“Abstracting Nature in a Photograph”
About this webinar: What makes an Abstract? What is an Abstract? These questions and many more are answered in my program on creating abstract images in nature and of natural and other objects. The great thing is that your imagination is the only block in the creative process and nowhere more so than in abstraction. I look at the various meanings of the word, how it pertains to photography, and show many of the techniques and much of the equipment I use to make interesting and eye-catching images inspired by nature and more.

Our Thursday, Nov. 3rd, 7:00-8:30PM Zoom Program was from John Pedersen: “Wide Angle Photography”
About This Webinar: Covering the challenges and tips for using wide angle lenses, this presentation will cover some of the basic techniques of wide angle photography and how we as photographers can use the wider focal ranges to create more compelling images. John Pedersen is a full time photographer, workshop leader and creative educator based in the Pacific Northwest. He is dedicated to helping others see the world around them in new and interesting ways while building up their creative skills and artistic visions through focused workshops, education and speaking engagements. https://johnpedersenphoto.com

Our Thursday, September 8, 2022 @ 7:00 PM Zoom program was from Howard Frank – “Post Processing from Camera RAW to plugins”.
About This Webinar: Camera Raw (which is in Lightroom) is also in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, and has several new exciting enhancements. Learn my workflow along with several tips and tricks. We will also spend some time on several plugins, how and when to use them.

Our Thursday, June 16, 2022 @ 7:00 PM program was from Brent Paull – “Shooting in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks”.
About This Webinar: Tactics, Techniques, and Locations to go in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks for the best wildlife photography in North America. https://amwestphoto.com/BrentBio/Brentsbiography.htm

Our Thursday, May 12, 2022 @ 7:00 PM program was from Michael Kirkland – “Long Exposure Photography”.
About This Webinar: Using long exposures to add interest and creativity to our image. Creating long exposures night and day for a fraction of a second to minutes. See why using filters can allow you keep capturing images past sunrise, when you would normally pack up your gear. When you understand how and when to use filters, you can control the dynamic range of your scene or increase your exposure time. https://www.mjkirkland.com/bio

Our Thursday, February 24, 2022 @ 7:00 PM program was from Joseph Rossbach – “Utah Badlands/Death Valley”.
About This Webinar: On this webinar I will be showing my favorite images from this past Utah Badlands/Death Valley trip and discussing all that went into capturing them. I’ll be discussing the unique locations themselves, how to use apps and maps to plan the best places to shoot, using a drone for unique perspectives, techniques I used in the field such as filters, exposure and choice of focal length and much more. https://www.josephrossbach.com

Our Thursday, January 20, 2022 @ 7:00 PM program was from Sheri Sparks – “Seize The Moment”.
About This Webinar: This program will look at different photo techniques and three main photography strategies by examining three different vignettes, “Illinois Beach State Park;” “The Foxes of Winthrop Harbor Marina;” and “Song of the Trees.”

Our November 18, 2021 @ 7:00 PM, program was from Mike Trahan-“Composition”.
About This Webinar: We’ll discuss and show proven composition guidelines. But rather than just show pretty images, we’ll take snapshot examples and show how they can be changed through those guidelines into much better images. The guidelines will cover every genre of photography with examples from many of them, including nature, architecture, and portraiture. https://www.trahan.photos

Our October 21, 2021 @ 7:00 PM program was from Mike Matthews-“Macro Photography: The Amazing World of Close Up Photography”
About This Webinar: Exploring this small world can be simply amazing, seeing detail that is not visible to the naked eye. Join me as we explore the this small but beautiful world of insects and more. I will also review the best choices for a macro lens, and how to get tack sharp images every time. Plus, we will discuss image stacking for incredible high magnification photography greater than one to one. Mike offers a variety of guided Nature Photography Tours, Birding Workshops, Floral workshops, and Extreme Macro. https://mikematthewsphotography.com.

Our June 17, 2021 @ 7:00 PM program was from  Jim Frazier, presenting “Some Insights on Social Media For Photographers”.
About This Webinar: Jim talked about how to get the most from Instagram, Facebook and Flickr, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each platform, and how professionals use them. https://jimfrazierphotography.blogspot.com.

Our May 20, 2021 @ 7:00 PM program was from Keith French, presenting “Photographing Abandoned Buildings (and getting the most out of their environment).”
About This Webinar: Finding and photographing abandoned buildings in a pleasing way covers several aspects of research, timing, decision making, execution, and post production. In this presentation we will discuss all the above as it applies to photography from a sensible stand point and from an enjoyment standpoint. https://kfrenchphoto.com.

Our April 15, 2021 program was from John Gerlach, presenting “Professional Wildlife Photography Techniques.”
About This Webinar: The program covers the latest techniques in wildlife photography with examples from Kenya, Iceland, Tetons, his home in Idaho where he does feeder, water drip, and floating blind photography.

Our February 18, 2021 program was from  Jerry Hug, presenting “Phone Photography Workshop”.
About This Webinar: Jerry Hug is an award-winning photographer, educator, and “go-to” phone photography expert. He uses an extensive collection of applications for creating and editing unique images right on the iPhone or iPad. jerryhug.com. Link to Jerry Hug Speaker’s Notes

Our December 12, 2020 program was from Anthony Epes, presenting “11 Tips for Awesome Abstract Photos” –from his Petapixel article
About This Webinar: I will take you through some key ideas on how to develop and deepen your experiences of abstract photography.

Our October 29, 2020 program was from Rich Fisher, presenting “Lightroom: Beyond the Basics”.
About This Webinar: Lightroom is a very powerful program for image management, image processes, and sharing of images. In this talk Rich will focus on the desktop or “Lightroom Classic” version.

Our July 16, 2020 Program was from Sarah Marino“Composition for Nature Photographers”.
About This Webinar: “Light, subject selection, and composition are three of the most important elements of creating impactful photographs of nature, with the photographer having the most control over composition. In this session, Sarah will share her essential lessons about how to create more powerful compositions of both grand landscapes and nature’s small scenes. Visit her website at: https://www.naturephotoguides.com.

Our June 4, 2020 Program was from Karthika Gupta, “The Art Of Storytelling in Travel Photography.”
About This Webinar: I am a culture, people, editorial and travel photographer based in Chicago – home to deep dish pizzas and Cubs baseball. For more about Karthika Gupta, visit her website at: https://karthikagupta.com

Our May 21, 2020 Program was from John Williams, “Architectural Photography”.
About This Webinar: Whether you’re looking to improve your architecture photography or want to give it a shot for the first time, this online session with John will help provide you with a good idea of what you need to know. Website: www.williamspix.com.

Our  April 16, 2020 Program was from Nick Sinnott of Chicago Photography Classes. The online meeting featured a “Live Editing Session (Using Lightroom, Photoshop & Luminar)”. Here’s the recording of the program: https://vimeo.com/408806699/2757a41402

Annual “Nature in View” Gallery Show at Chicago Botanic Garden

Watch the 2022 Nature In View walkthrough video on our Garden YouTube Channel

The 2022 Nature In View show ran from November 27th, 2021 through January 2nd, 2022. The show took place in the Greenhouse Galleries (Regenstein Ctr), Chicago Botanic Garden, and a walk-through video (by GPS President Carlos Cardona) is now on our Garden YouTube Channel. Any club member who regularly volunteers can be in the show! We look forward to another beautiful exhibit in 2024!

You can also see our 2021 Nature in View images, visit Nature In View 2021 Gallery on this website to see the images. In this exhibition, photographs of the natural world feature the work of Garden Photographic Society members.

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