Photography by Jim Doty

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Total Immersion Nature Photography Weekend
Lamoni Iowa
May 10-12, 2019


There are still openings for the
Michigan workshop
and the
Colorado Photo Safari

Capture nature's wonders in stunning photographs!

Come spend a fun-filled, high energy, action-packed¬  weekend!

Learn how to take your photography to the next level!¬ 

Discover the photo secrets of the professionals!


Friday - May 10, 2019
6:00 pm - check in
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm - First Exploration Session

Saturday - May 11, 2019
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Explorations Session and Field Trips

Sunday - May 12, 2019
5:45 am - 6:00 pm
Explorations Session and Field Trips

 8:00 - 10:00 pm
Final Field Trip for those staying overnight:


*This is a flex schedule. Other than the check in time and first session at 7:00 pm Friday,  everything on this schedule is subject to change  depending on the weather and shooting conditions.

This is an action-packed, fun-filled, fast-paced weekend. It is the ideal  combination of intensive  exploration sessions, photo activities right outside the classroom door, and lively field trips where you receive "real  time" help and guidance . In the exploration sessions, you will learn the skills and techniques that make the difference between ordinary snapshots and dynamic images. Minutes later you will be outside  practicing those steps in a variety of photo activities . On the field trips  you will apply everything you are learning in the beauty of Northern Michigan.

Best of all, you will go home knowing how to create beautiful, memorable images!

To see what this workshop has done for other photographers, read the testimonials (in blue) scattered through the rest of this page!

I was so impressed by how many "trade secrets" he freely shared. I couldn't learn as much as I did in this workshop on my own, if I worked hard for years. - Besma A


Jim Doty, Jr. has the ideal combination of extensive photography experience and practical teaching skills to provide an inspiring workshop experience that will improve your photography.

Jim is a photography instructor with 24 years experience on the adult and  University level. He  taught at The Ohio State University for seven years and at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan for seven years. He taught special winter term classes at Graceland University in Iowa  and does workshops, seminars, and field trips for a variety of organizations. He has worked with hundreds of photographers  at all skill levels. He also does one-on-one, "shoot with a pro" sessions for people who want the ultimate in personal guidance.

Jim's images can be found in magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, tourist brochures, corporate reports, and on web sites for corporations and not-for-profit organizations.

Jim's nature, portrait, event, and commercial work has been published by the National Wildlife Federation, Black & White Magazine, Nebraska Magazine,, The Akron Beacon Journal, The  Ohio State University, Ohio Sea Grant, Stone  Laboratory, Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, San Francisco Bay National  Wildlife Refuge, The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), UNCF (United Negro  College Fund), Hunt's Guide to the Upper Peninsula, Heartland Tours and Travel, Graceland University, Midwest Photo  Exchange, Wiley Publishing, Inc., The MichMatist, The Yukon Review, Magic 106.3, The Herald, Community of Christ, Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Kirtland Temple  Historic Site, Restoration Voice, Terrapin World Imports, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Hotels, Best Western Hotels, Park of the Pines, KOA Campgrounds, Camp Bountiful, Camp Manitou, and dozens of other businesses and organizations too numerous to list here.

Jim is the author of Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies,¬ one of the highest rated photography books at More information is here.


The exploration sessions will give you the skills you need to create exciting images. You will learn  what turns boring into beautiful. Bring your camera  gear to the exploration sessions because you will be using it.

You will explore:

Professional Secrets to Great Color

How Your Digital Camera Works, and Why It Matters

Metering - The First Big Step Toward Great Images

Depth of Field - The Doorway to Dramatic Images

It's all about the Light - How to "read" and work "with" the light to put magic in your images

Playing with Time - Creating Images That Your Eyes Can't See

Grand to Intimate - Dynamic Landscapes Great and Small

Wildlife Photography - How to Find, Get Close To, and Photograph Wildlife

Petals in the Wind - How to Create Beautiful Flower Images

Closeup Photography - Making Little Things Big In Your Images

Starry Starry Night - Night and Low Light Photography

Simplifying Tricky Situations - It's Only Hard Until You Know How



The photo activities reinforce the exploration sessions. One minute you are inside learning new  techniques. The next minute you are right outside the classroom door practicing those techniques. Practicing with camera in hand develops the "muscle memory" that leads to quick responses for  those no second chance, "shoot it or lose it" photo opportunities.


On the field trips you put it all together. It is a fun and energetic time to expand your photography  skills and explore new photographic possibilities.  The field trips are your golden opportunity to shooting with a select group of photographers with the help and guidance of an accomplished  professional.

There is also a wonderful camaraderie that develops  as a group of photographers spend a weekend learning, eating, and  shooting together.

The timing and location of field trips will depend on lighting conditions and the weather.

I can't believe how much I learned the second time around! - Winnie J



Depending on the weather and other circumstances we might have one or two movie nights. We spend movie nights with world class National Geographic photographers.

I really had no idea how much you could manipulate a camera to get such great images without using Photoshop. I found it amazing! - Melissa D





The workshop registration is $350 which includes all exploration sessions, photo activities and field trips. There is an early bird discount. If payment in full is received by April 5 the cost is $325.

To register,
send Jim an email.

More Information

The workshop is limited to 10 people to maximize your time with Jim. You are tentatively registered  when you give us your name. You are officially registered when your payment in full is received. It is not unusual for Jim's workshops to book full and paid registrations get priority over tentative registrations.


Your registration is refunded in full if you cancel by April 26. After April 26 you will receive a refund only if someone else registers to take your place.

Waiting List

If the workshop is already booked full when you want to register, you can  be placed on a priority waiting list in case someone else cancels.

We have learned so much more about photography than we ever dreamed existed. Thank you so  much for teaching us so much with such enthusiasm. - Pat D

Jim Doty gives the most warm, intense, wonderful photographic digital  workshop. He is truly a gift to those who choose to attend. - Win M


Bloomington Community of Christ
25658 Elk Chapel Rd
Lamoni Iowa 50140

Lamoni is just west of I-35 at exit 4 which is U.S. 69.

From downtown Lamoni Iowa go west on main street one mile to Elk Chapel Road. Go north on Elk Chapel Rd (R-18) 3 1/2 miles. The church will be on the right.


Jim Doty's workshop is excellent. Very down to earth and not so technical to the point of being intimidating. - Steve S

About Lamoni

Lamoni is a charming and friendly little town (population 2,000+) in southern Iowa. It is convenient to Des Moines (one hour north) and Kansas City (2 hours south).

Lamoni is surrounded by rolling hills, small lakes, and corn fields. Suthern Iowa is known for clear dark skies so we should be able to get nice photos of the night sky and Milky Way on our night time field trips.


Lamoni is also home to Graceland University where I taught a "winter intensive" photography class several years ago.


Lamoni has three motels and a B&B. The Cobblestone Inn, Super 8 Motel, and Chief Lamoni Motel are just off I-35 on either side of U.S. 69. The Maple Street Bed and Breakfast is in downtown Lamini on Main Street (U.S. 69).

I had NO IDEA my camera was capable of so much. - Vickie R


There are several places to eat in Lamoni, We will break for lunch and dinner to go eat.

When great things are happening on a field trip things can run a little long. Depending on your particular needs, it is a good idea to put some protein bars/energy bars/snacks in your camera bag or backpack and have some water to stay hydrated.

Great Workshop! I can use your material to quickly become a better photographer. - Jim T


A digital or film camera (*see the important note below) and the manual for your camera. You will be using your camera during the weekend.

A tripod if you have one. If you don't, see if you can borrow or rent one. If you are planning on buying a tripod, there is tripod head advice here and tripod (legs) advice here.

An 18% Gray Card that is no smaller than 4x6 inches in size. You can get them at your local camera store or
order them here. There are collapsible fabric gray cards for about $10 that I really  like. If you want to buy one at the workshop, let me know 2 or 3 weeks ahead of time so I can get an order in.

A notebook or paper to take notes.

A red headlamp for night shoots. Get the right kind: read this article. A bright flashlight is fine for  walking to night time locations but please use a red headlamp at all times when we are shooting at night.

A laptop to share your favorite weekend photos on Sunday afternoon.

The companion book for the workshop, Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies (see the next section).

This is a campground with indoor lodging, bathrooms, and showers in the lodge. Bring bedding, a  towel, and other personal items. There is also trailer and RV space also. Contact Winnie for details.

*Important camera note.To get the most out of this workshop you will need a camera that allows  you to manually control apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings. You  will need a lens that allows you to turn off autofocus anf focus  manually. Any recent model DLSR (digital single lens reflex),  film SLR, or ILC (digital interchangeable lens compact), will be fine.  If you  have a full featured point and shoot camera that has the four basic PASM modes (Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Manual) and makes them easy to use, you will do just fine.


Your workshop renewed and re-excited my interest in photography. I have some new ideas and ways to "up my game." - Don M


If you have my book Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies, bring it to the workshop. If you don't, you can order it here. Some of the presentations during the workshop will be page keyed to  additional information in the book. You will get more out of the workshop and you can spend less  time taking notes.

If you are ordering from Amazon, it is a good idea to order 3-4 weeks in advance of the workshop. Why? Read
Order Early from Amazon: A Cautionary Tale.


The amount and quality of information was more than I had hoped for. - Alan M

Jim's workshop showed me the way to put my DSLR's features to use and the advantages of  knowing why and how they function. Easy to follow and understand - Gene S




This is an active, "go outside and do things" kind of workshop. You might  end up sitting, kneeling, or laying down on the ground to get the best photo angle so dress accordingly. Even in June it can get chilly at night at Park of the Pines. Bring a sweater or light jacket for cool evenings.



This is an active workshop. To participate in the field trips you will need to be able to walk around on uneven ground and as far as 1/4 mile from your vehicle. uneven ground. The exploration session will be held in a wheel chair accessible church building.




Learn how your camera works.

Go through your camera's manual prior to the workshop so you are well acquainted with the PASM modes (Program, Aperture priority, S hutter priority, and Manual) and learn how to use them. Before the workshop it is especially important to learn how to change apertures, shutter speeds, and ISO settings in the "Manual"  exposure mode.

If your camera has "mirror lock up" or "depth of field preview", be sure you know how to use them.  If your camera has a B (for bulb) mode, learn how to access it and use it (it might be hidden in the camera's menu section).

Learn how to use the Exposure Compensation Scale in manual exposure mode.
This article will help.

If your camera gives you a choice between seeing the Exposure Compensation Scale inside the  viewfinder or on the LCD on back of the camera, it  is faster, better, and more accurate to use the one inside your viewfinder. With some cameras you have to find it in the menu system to  access it or turn it on. Check your manual. The amount of  exposure compensation in this illustration is set to +1 (Plus One).  Learn how to set yours for anything from -2 to +2 while you are in manual exposure mode.

Learn how to turn on "Live View" mode (if you have it) and learn how to manually focus the lens using a magnified image. Read this article.

If your camera allows you to set a "custom white balance", check your camera manual and learn how to do that too.

A Cautionary Tale

On a typical night photography field trip I am calling out camera modes  and ever changing camera  settings to help everyone capture the stars,  planets, meteorites, ISS, satellites, the Milky Way, and (if we are lucky) the Northern Lights. When I am busy calling out camera settings to everyone, I can't have my face at the back of one person's camera, helping them look through the menu system to find a feature they can't find and access. At almost every workshop someone misses out  on some precious picture taking time because they don't know how to change the camera's modes and settings and how to access their camera's features. They end up back at the campground later on , reading the camera manual to figure everything out. (At the last workshop one person was up half the night reading  their camera's manual, trying to find a couple of features that were buried deep in the camera's menu system). Every camera model has a different menu system, even cameras made by the same manufacturer, so no one knows all the features for every camera model . It is important to figure out how to use all of  the above listed camera features before the workshop. I will try and  help you when we aren't in the middle of an exploration session, photo  activity, or field trip, but it is best if you learn your camera before the workshop.

I will never look at a white colonial style house the same again without thinking of you. Thank you  for having a workshop that was anything but boring. - Trish L


Hi Jim - I can't wait to get to get out into the field and put what I  learned into practice. As you say, Happy Shooting! - Becky W

Amazing Workshop - Don't miss the next one. - Bob W

I began to read every book about photography that I could get my hands on. I also enrolled in a nature photography class taught by Jim Doty. Jim's class proved incredibly helpful, covering many specific techniques employed by professional photographers that weren't in any of the dozens of  books I owned. Jim's class helped me to develop technically, and the results were instantly apparent.  - Jeremy Bruskotter

Jeremy took Jim's photography classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts back  in the 1990s. He is now shooting professionally and specializes in  large, fine art prints. He has a PhD in natural resources and he teaches in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University where he combines his photography skills  with his profession. Jeremy and Jim teamed up for a series of outdoor photography weekends for OSU's prestigious Stone Lab at Gibraltar Island, Lake Erie.


More testimonials, including longer versions of the above testimonials.

The photos on this page were taken at workshops in Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, and Iowa.

Posted March 12, 2019. Updated April 16, 2019.

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