— In Search of the Expressive Image —
Photographing the UCSC Arboretum,
Wilder Ranch,
and Big Basin Redwoods State Park



James Katz

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In Search of the Expressive Image Photographing UCSC Arboretum, Wilder Ranch and Big Basin Redwoods State Park

ucsc arboretum_santa cruz photography workshops_protea_abstract photographyThis workshop is dedicated to further developing students' technical and aesthetic skills in landscape and close-up photography. Through hands-on work in the field, the instructor will help students gain a greater appreciation for using natural light as a tool for finding inspired subject matter to create an expressive image. Other topics that will be explored include understanding the digital sensor and how to expose for it, designing a composition, choosing lenses, and using warming, polarizing, and graduated neutral density filters. In Big Basin, time will also be devoted to taking more impressionistic photographs; ie. slightly blurring our images.

Over the weekend, we will explore four unique
habitats that are situated veryCalifornia photography workshops_bean hollow state park  close to Santa
Cruz: The UCSC Arboretum, Wilder Ranch and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks, all of which provide unrivaled eco-diversity. The UC Arboretum is known for a remarkable array of plants collected from around the world. Spring is the best time of the year for South African pincushions (Leucospermum) and for the Australia and New Zealand Gardens. Wilder Ranch is known for its two miles of spectacular rugged coastline, beaches, steep coastal mountains adorned with spring wildflowers and 150-year-old ranch buildings and historical artifacts. Big Basin is California's oldest State Park and is home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco. The park has numerous trails, waterfalls, a wide variety of environments from lush canyon bottoms to sparse chaparral-covered hillsides.

Students should have a solid working knowledge of their camera (especially on all-manual) so that group and individual energy can be focused on the joys of discovery and the refinement of personal expression through aesthetic choices. Photographers working in any format are welcome and should be prepared for gentle walks of up to two miles round trip on both days.

Saturday morning we’ll take advantage of the morning light to explore, with camera in hand, the UCSC Arboretum. We’ll then drive down to Wilder Ranch for the afternoon. Sunday will be spent in Big Basin State Park exploring the redwood groves and streambeds.

Sharing our work and getting feedback is an essential part of learning and of opening our doors of perception. Students are encouraged to bring prints, slides, or digital images for projection to the workshop.

Photographers working in any format are welcome and should be prepared for gentle walks of up to two miles round trip
on both days. Saturday has less hiking than Sunday. Participants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals.

big basin photography workshops_california_redwoods_photography
: 1 weekend; April 24-25

10:00 am-6:00 pm (field); UCSC Arboretum and Wilder Ranch
Sunday, 9:30 am-5:30 pm (field); Big Basin

UCSC Arb and Big Basin: Directions and workshop details will be sent to enrollees.
Meeting place is UCSC Arboretum on Saturday and Big Basin State Park on Sunday.

Course Fee:$140 for either day or $260 for 2 days. Enrollment limited. No accommodations are included in this fee. Park fees at UCSC Arboretum, Wilder Ranch and Big Basin are not included.

wilder ranch state park_photography workshops




To enroll in the class, call (415) 717-4570, Tues-Fri, 11:00 am-4:00 pm or print out the
Photography Reservation Form available on our website and mail or E-mail it in with your deposit in full.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 415-717-4570 or email at

To access the photo gallery of James Katz's work relating to images of Wilder Ranch and Big Basin go to: Wilder Ranch/Big Basin Gallery

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 For reservations and other information, contact:


 James Katz
P.O. Box 807
Bolinas, CA 94924


 Business Hours:
11:00 A.M. to 4 P.M., Pacific Time

  E-MAIL: photo@riverjourneys.com  wilder_ranch_big_basin_state_parks_photography_workshops

S.F. Bay Area


Photography within this web site is copyrighted by James Katz of
James Henry River Journeys and may not be reproduced
without permission of the photographer.

Copyright ©2009. Revised June, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
James H. Katz/James Henry River Journeys/Wilderness Journeys.