Photography by Jim Doty

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Home > About > Workshops & Classes > Park of the Pines 2015 Nature Photography Workshop


Photography Workshop
"Capturing Nature's Wonders"
with Jim Doty, Jr.

August 14-16, 2015

Park of the Pines on
Lake Charlevoix near
Boyne City, Michigan


Friday - Aug. 14, 2015
Check In: 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
Exploration Session: 6:45 pm - 7:15 pm
Meet at the Recreation Building at 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: 7:15 pm - 11:30 pm

Saturday - Aug. 15, 2015
Get Acquainted: 8:45 am.
Explorations (Recreation Building): 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Field Trip: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Meet at the Recreation Building at 6:45 pm.

Sunday - Aug. 16, 2015
Field Trips, Explorations, and Review: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Meet at the Recreation Building at 5:45 am.

Details of the weekend schedule will be adjusted as necessary
based on the lighting conditions and the weather.


Come spend a fun and exciting weekend at Park of the Pines,
a campground on beautiful Lake Charlevoix!

Learn how to take your photography to the next level! 

Discover the secrets of the pros!

You'll receive "real time" help and guidance on the field trips plus faced-paced, intensive exploration sessions in the classroom.

In the exploration sessions, you will learn the steps that make the difference between ordinary snapshots and dynamic images. Minutes later you will be outside practicing those steps. This is a very active workshop. On the field trips you will apply everything you are learning in the exploration sessions in the beauty of Northern Michigan.

Best of all, you will go home knowing how to create eye-catching images!

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

Exploration Sessions

The exploration sessions will give you the skills you need to create exciting images. You will learn what turns boring in beautiful and how to change dull into dynamic. Bring your camera gear to the exploration sessions because you will be using it in practical exercises.

You will learn:

Professional Secrets to Great Color

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 

From Grand to Intimate - 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

Starry Starry Night - Night and Low Light Photography

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

Photography Field Trips

This is a fun and energetic way to expand your photography skills and explore new photographic possibilities. The field trips are your golden opportunity to spend time shooting with a select group of photographers with the help and guidance of an accomplished professional. The field trips will reinforce what you are learning in the exploration sessions. Field trips will be at Park of the Pines with the possibility of other locations in Northern Michigan. The timing and location of field trips will depend on lighting conditions and the weather. You can use your own transportation on the field trips away from the campground but most participants will probably choose to car pool.

Mobility Issues

This is an active workshop. To get the most out of the field trips you will need to be able to walk around in a typical campground setting. The main area of the campground is fairly level but you will need to be able to navigate stairs down to the beach. For field trips away from the campground the terrain will be rougher and you will need to be able to walk 1/4 mile from your vehicle.



Movie Nights

Depending on the weather and other circumstances (we won't shoot after dark if it is raining, or if clouds are hiding the stars), you might get to take pictures with some world class photographers via documentary movies. If you want to go to bed early and skip the movies, you can do that too.

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 Leader

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

Jim is a photography instructor with 20 years experience on the adult and University level. He currently teaches photography at The Ohio State University. He has also taught at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan and Graceland University in Iowa. During his workshops, seminars, and field trips 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, The Ohio State University, Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Laboratory, Ohio Woodland Stewards Program, Graceland University, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Crowne Plaza Hotels, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Hotels, Best Western Hotels, Hunt's Guide to the Upper Peninsula, Heartland Tours and Travel, Midwest Photo Exchange, Wiley Publishing, Inc., The MichMatist, Yukon Review, Magic 106.3, The Herald, Community of Christ, Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Kirtland Temple Historic Site, KOA Campgrounds, Restoration Voice, Terrapin World Imports, and dozens of other businesses and organizaions too numerous to list here.

Jim is the author of Digital Photography Exposure for Dummiesone of the highest rated photography books at More information is here.

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

Workshop Location and Lodging

Park of the Pines
4094 Springwater Beach Rd.
Boyne City, Michigan 49712
(231) 582-7661

Website: Park of the Pines

More about lodging below. A map and directions are at the bottom of the page. Check in Friday with Winnie, the registrar, and move in. Meet us at the Recreation Building at 6:45 pm. Bring your camera gear and a flashlight.

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




Registration for the workshop is $350.

The weekend workshop is limited to 10 people to maximize your time with Jim. You are officially registered when your payment is received, and registration is on a first come first served basis.

Registration covers all exploration and field trip sessions, Friday through Sunday, meals Saturday and Sunday plus lodging at the campground.

Registration fees are refunded in full if you cancel by July 14. After July 14 you will receive a refund only if someone else registers to take your place.

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.

To register, send an email to Winnie at:  She is the registrar for the weekend. She will give you payment options to register for the workshop.



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



All meals Saturday and Sunday will be provided at the campground as part of your registration fee.

On the field trips away from the campground, 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. This has nothing to do with food, but it is also a good idea to carry a small bottle of chewable aspirin in your camera bag/backpack.

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


Lodging for workshop participants is at Park of the Pines. If a campground setting is not suitable for your personal situation you can make arrangements for your own lodging in nearby Boyne City. If you have questions about lodging, ask Winnie, the registrar for the retreat.

Website: Park of the Pines

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


Bring to the Workshop

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

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.

A notebook or paper to take notes.

A small flashlight or headlamp for the evening/night field trips.

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

*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



Recommended Companion Book for the Workshop

If you have my book Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies, bring it to the workshop. If you don't, you can order it here or you can buy it at the workshop for $35. If you want to buy it at the workshop, let me know a couple of weeks before the workshop so I have enough copies with me. 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



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 August it can get chilly at night at Park of the Pines. Bring a sweater or light jacket for cool evenings.

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


Before The Workshop

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. Try out the other modes too.

If your camera has "mirror lock up", "depth of field preview", or a "live view" mode, 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).

Find and learn how to use the Exposure Compensation Scale. It will have a series of tick marks with numbers from -2 to +2 (or -3 to +3).

In some cameras, the Exposure Compensation Scale is always visible inside the viewfinder. In others it is visible on an external LCD if you have that option turned on. With some cameras you have to find it in the menu system to access it or turn it on. 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.

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

If you have Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies, look through chapters 2, 3, and 4 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


Map & Directions

Park of the Pines
4094 Springwater Beach Rd.
Boyne City, Michigan 49712
(231) 582-7661

Website: Park of the Pines

Alternate Website:

Park of the Pines is about 4 miles northwest of Boyne City. Drive north on Boyne City - Charlevois Rd (C-56) and turn left (west) at Park Street. Drive west on Park Street until you see the entrance on your right.



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


Jeremy took my photography classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts back in the 1990s.

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 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 love of photography with the natural world. Jeremy and Jim team up each summer to do an outdoor photography weekend for OSU's prestigious Stone Lab at Gibraltar Island, Lake Erie. More information here.

More testimonials, including longer versions of the above testimonials.

February 28, 2015
Updated July 8, 2015

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