Art of Landscape Photography


Scenic & Landscape Photography Course in Chicago Area

Conveniently Located in Downers Grove



TedStonePreserve-0120For: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Equipment Requirements: Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera with Ultra-Wide Lens, Sturdy Tripod & Head, etc.   (View Course Requirements for complete list)

Prerequisites: At a minimum, experience with photo composition and confidence using your camera

Note: Learn how to bring what you see and feel from outside the viewfinder into your images and into the hearts of others.

Internationally published landscape photographer Mike MacDonald teaches his unique ideas and techniques for creating emotionally evocative images in this 2-session hands-on landscape photography workshop. And, you will also receive a beautiful book of the lecture materials with color illustrations.

Charlie from San Francisco writes, “Mike has identified many of the photographic elements and techniques which have contributed to his own personal success, and has integrated these into the Creative Eye Workshops. This professional insight coupled which his unbridled enthusiasm and passion make these workshops both a rewarding and exhilarating experience. Regardless of your level of experience, you can’t wait to grab your camera and to try these shared techniques and ideas out.”

The natural landscape is the most difficult subject to photograph. Why? Because, the landscape does not consist of just one subject in a single plane of focus. The landscape is a complex, three-dimensional drama filled with a diverse cast of characters. You must become the producer, director, casting agent, and the photographer. It is your job to assemble a poignant, compelling, and emotionally evocative story out of the sublime world of chaos before your eyes. And, this story must be conveyed through a single, well-organized, two-dimensional image.  (Gift Cards for this class are available.)

You must determine what the story is, and you must decide on which characters to cast and which roles they’ll play. Your characters can be flowers and trees, the sky and the clouds, and the ripples in the sand. But just as often, your characters are color, texture, light and shadows, This is what makes natural landscape photography so challenging and rewarding. And these are the topics that Mike addresses in this ground-breaking workshop. He provides solutions to the problems that he’s faced in telling the visual story of the challenging, flat natural landscapes of the Chicago region.

Mike MacDonald is the creator of a form of a new form of landscape photography that he calls “The Chicago Prairie Style.” His photographs provide an immersive perspective that give viewers a heightened (or hyper-realistic) experience of that breathtaking scene. This unique approach is a fusion of macro and landscape photography that transforms seemingly flat prairie landscapes into rich, three-dimensional panoramas. It has been said that a Mike MacDonald photograph allows the viewer to enter the scene and to share his experience. And you’ll learn how to do it, too.

Topics include Mike’s “Seven Essential Rules of Landscape Composition,” how to compose with light, the fundamentals of visual storytelling, the three main pieces of the landscape puzzle, how to communicating intimacy, and much more.

Course Agenda

The initial session begin at Mike’s home and studio in Downers Grove, Illinois (a Chicago suburb). You will receive a presentation that will teach you the various concepts. And, you will be given a comprehensive book of the presentation featuring color illustrations.

After the lecture, we will then head out to a local natural area to capture the late afternoon light and to practice the ideas that you learned. You will be guided as you take pictures using these new principles. This field session will last until about 30 to 45 minutes after the sun has set or, if there is no sun, until the light is gone.

And that’s not all. There will be a follow-up classroom session on a separate date which is designed to give you a chance to show off your newest work and to provide you with valuable feedback and ideas.

The class will be limited to a small number of participants so you can get the attention you require. The cutoff will be 6 students, so please register quickly to insure a spot.

If you have further questions about Mike MacDonald photography workshops just email or phone 630-852-8448.