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 and advanced professional 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 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL. (Live meetings will resume September 2nd at the Garden).

Working together we build friendships, enjoy members’ images, share ideas, and participate in 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.

Please see our Events Calendar and this HOMEPAGE for program information and the competition schedule. Each month we typically have one educational program and one competition meeting. 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 section), or color & monochrome prints (when live meetings resume). 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 show at the Garden, “Nature In View”.

The Chicago Botanic Garden has reopened with some restrictions. Please visit the Garden’s “Know Before You Go” page for all of the details.

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

Photo News Page / Club News Page

2021-22 Competition Season Information

DPI Competition #1: Thursday Sept. 23rd, 7PM, upload Deadline: Monday, Sept. 20th, 12 Noon


The five new 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.

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” (so “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.

5) ABSTRACT/CREATIVE. A “non-judged” experimental DPI-only category to encourage creativity and experimentation among members. Note: all editing is OK, EXCEPT COMPOSITING. All images must be made “IN CAMERA”, not pieced together from multiple images. Images will be displayed after the other categories, and all attending (including judges) may then provide constructive criticism.

2021-22 Season “SPECIAL SUBJECT” Monthly Themes (same as CACCA schedule)
Sep – Grunge (like an HDR with massive structure)
Nov – Two Of A Kind
Dec – (No competition)
Jan – Old Things
Feb – Abstracts Created In The Camera
Mar – Stormy
Apr – Panoramas (one axis must be at least 2.5X longer than the other). Example: 1400X560 in landscape, 420X1050 in portrait orientation.

We are continuing to have monthly Zoom DPI competitions on the 411 Vision website. 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, (it takes a few seconds to show up), go to “Upload”, select the category, and upload your images one at a time. Login during the club meeting to the same site to view the competition results in real time.

Join Competition #1 Zoom Meeting: ZOOM LINK

Upcoming Online Programs

Our October Zoom program is, Thursday, October 21, 2021 @ 7:00 PM, 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. Let me show you how you can free yourself from the use of a tripod by using flash. 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’s passion for nature photography began over forty-five years ago and he has been shooting professionally for twenty years. His images have been published in numerous national publications like Birds and Blooms, Gulfshore Life, Bassmaster’s, and more. Many of his images have also been published by universities for articles relating to specific topics like human/wildlife interaction. Being an avid outdoorsman, his passion for photographing wildlife is ever present when he is in the field. In addition, one of Mike’s favorite topics is Herpetology, (the study of reptiles and amphibians). This is an area that has led Mike to be one of the premier macro photographers in the U.S. He is best known for his macro photography workshops where he brings exotic reptiles and amphibians for participants to photograph. Mike also offers a variety of guided Nature Photography Tours, Birding Workshops, Floral workshops, and Extreme Macro. He has been a Keynote speaker throughout the USA on these topics. https://mikematthewsphotography.com

Join Zoom Meeting

Our November Zoom program is, Thursday, November 18, 2021 @ 7:00 PM, 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.

Join Zoom Meeting

Most recorded Zoom Programs are on the Garden Photo YouTube Channel

Our June 17, 2021 @ 7:00 PM program was from  Jim Frazier, presenting “Some Insights on Social Media For Photographers”.
About This Webinar
Jim will talk about how to get the most from Instagram, Facebook and Flickr, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each platform, and how professionals use them. Jim Frazier has been using Flickr for 16 years, Facebook for over 10 years and Instagram since 2015. https://jimfrazierphotography.blogspot.comHere’s the recording of the program: HERE

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. There are many tools available and there are some good practices to put in place to ensure your ability to continue is not hampered or illuminated by an “outside” force. https://kfrenchphoto.com. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

Our April 15, 2021 program was from John Gerlach, presenting “Professional Wildlife Photography Techniques.”
About This Webinar
John Gerlach earned his wildlife ecology degree from Central Michigan University in 1977. After graduation he followed his burning passion to become a professional nature photographer and photo educator. With his in-depth science background and dedication to nature photography, he quickly mastered close-up, landscape and wildlife photography. 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, and now South Texas. He will show a lot of photos, talk about gear, how he gets sharp photos, and proper exposure. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

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, including his latest venture into shooting black and white infrared on the iPhone. His website is jerryhug.com.
Here’s the recording of the program: HERE. 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
In this informative and fun workshop I will take you through some key ideas on how to develop and deepen your experiences of abstract photography. I will show you the techniques I use to approach this photo style, and give you takeaway tips and ideas that will inspire you to explore this exciting genre. “Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” -Wassily Kandinsky. I feel the same is true of abstract photography. It seems easy and simple – but in fact requires real attention, a ‘heightened sensitivity’ to both composition and to the world around you. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

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. He will guide us through many of the features to help you process your images faster, create more dynamic changes to them, and share compelling stories with your friends and family. A basic understand of Lightroom is suggested; while the seminar will touch on some of the basic functionality of Lightroom. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

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. The session will include a discussion about the creative process as it relates to composition, improving your observational skills to help recognize opportunities in the field, learning to see a landscape through its abstract elements, and key concepts for organizing nature’s chaos into cohesive compositions. Sarah will also share her steps for refining a composition in the field and will provide some practical activities to help you immediately apply these ideas in your photography”. Visit her website at: https://www.naturephotoguides.com. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

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. I have always been fascinated with photography as a medium of expression, but it wasn’t until I became a mom for the first time, that I found myself having an insane desire to capture every minute of my beautiful life as a parent. Forever an adventurer, I dove head first into this creative life and haven’t had a moment’s regret ever since.” For more about Karthika Gupta, visit her website at: https://karthikagupta.com Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

Our May 21, 2020 Program was from John Williams, “Architectural Photography”, (attended by 100 people)!

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. John Williams is a passionate and accomplished photographer. While photography is not his primary profession, he does have many of his Chicago area Architectural prints hanging now in professional offices and homes. John lives in Algonquin and is a member and past president of Lake County Camera Club and member of the Crystal Lake Camera Club as well as the CACCA community. For more about John Williams, visit his website at: www.williamspix.com. Here’s the recording of the program: HERE

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

2021 Nature in View Gallery Show

According to The Garden, the 2021 Nature In View show is rescheduled to “late Fall 2021 through January 2022”, exact dates TBD. The show will take place in the Greenhouse Galleries (Regenstein Ctr), and may run concurrently with the “Fine Art of Fiber” exhibit. Updated guidelines to be posted on the this website when announced. Any club member who regularly volunteers can be in the show! We look forward to another beautiful exhibit!

Did you miss the 2019 Nature in View show at the Greenhouse Galleries in Regenstein Center? You now have another chance to see it! Visit the Nature In View Gallery on our website. In this exhibition, photographs of the natural world feature the work of Garden Photographic Society members. Their remarkable images capture fleeting moments of beauty—from the morning mist to the first spring bloom.

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