Loading Events

« All Events

Nature Photography 4-Part Course

April 9, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Friday, repeating until April 30, 2021

$195 – $205

DATES: April 2021

TIME: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


  • Meet at the Montana Natural History Center for the first 3 classes.
  • Meet at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography for  the last class on the 23, 216 N. Higgins Ave.
  • We will travel to field sites in the MNHC bus.

Learn nature photography techniques from the masters and take your skills to the next level in this 4-part, 16 hour course. You will travel to beautiful locations including Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, The Moon-Randolph Homestead in the North Hills, and Kelly Island. Your instructors are Neil Chaput de Saintonge, founder of the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, instructor, and photographer, Jessica Carter, program director and core instructor at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and Hobie Hare, naturalist guide and photographer. You will learn tips for shooting the best compositions, techniques for photographing birds, wildlife and landscapes, and how to make the most of available light conditions. Students must be familiar with their camera and it’s functions. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses is required.

 Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge with Neil Chaput de Saintonge, 9:00-1:00 or 2:00 p.m. Neil Chaput de Saintonge will start the course with an informative lecture before we board the bus for the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge. At the refuge we will take advantage of the beautiful Bitterroot mountain backdrop and migrating waterfowl to practice a variety of shooting and composition techniques. We will also walk the nature trail to the river looking for more birds and photographic opportunities along the riparian corridor. Naturalist Christine Morris will interpret breeding bird behavior and landscape features as we go. This is a longer class due to the destination. We will eat lunch in the field.

There are only a handful of people in the world who can say they studied photography under a guy named Ansel Adams. Neil Chaput de Saintonge is one of them. After teaching and running photography schools in Atlanta, GA for about ten years, Neil and his wife Jeanne decided to pack up the U-Haul and head West. In 1989 they landed in Missoula, MT, where they created RMSP. Neil has taught photography for 50 years to up to 20,000 students. He has taught classes and workshops in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. Neil is a Reiki Master, too.

Kelly Island with Hobie Hare, 9:00-1:00 We will meet at the Montana Natural History Center and ride the MNHC bus out to Kelly Island with Hobie Hare. Hobie will guide our photographic eye through a variety of exercises designed to increase our perception. Learn new approaches to landscape and nature photography as we walk along the river viewing mountains in the distance and wander through the cottonwoods. Hobie will also discuss display options such as matting, framing, and printing greeting cards of your work.

Helping people bring more of nature’s contemplative power, energy and stories into their lives through photography is just one of the ways Hobie helps people sustain and revitalize their connections to the natural world.His experiences as an interpretive seasonal ranger in Yellowstone for eight seasons, including a winter season at Fishing Bridge (which is over 50 miles from a paved road during this season) ultimately led him to helping people connect with nature no matter where their feet are. 

Moon-Randolph Homestead with Jessica Carter, 9:00-1:00 This class meets at the Montana Natural History Center and then we will take the bus to the Moon-Randolph Homestead in the North Hills. Jessica Carter will bring your attention to textures, light, and overall image making as you wander the homestead. This is a wonderful location to find inspiration in the rolling north hills, the grasses, flowers, and trees, as well as the inclusion of a human element in the landscape- homestead buildings and animals.

Jessica Carter is a full-hearted nature lover and collector of experiences. Some of her favorites: standing on a black sand beach, hearing the wind rush through the woods, watching orcas silently swim in the fog, and feeling the tiny paws of a flying squirrel on her hand. Her love of nature led her to photography and to Rocky Mountain School of Photography; she is an alum of the Summer Intensive program and currently serves as program director and core instructor. She enjoys helping others discover their own abilities, passions, and ways of seeing and capturing the world.

Rocky Mountain School of Photography with Neil and Jessica, 9:00-11:30 Meet at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography for a photo critique. Each student can exhibit photographs taken during the course for critique with Neil and Jessica. This is a wonderful way to share work and learn what resonates with viewers.Find out how a different exposure or crop can elevate your piece and develop your critical eye as you look at color and composition. We will use the classroom at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography to view our work. Work will be shown on a screen; no need to print photos.

What to Bring:

  • A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses
  • Clothing and layers appropriate for changing Montana weather conditions
  • Good walking shoes or boots
  • Water and snacks
  • Lunch
  • Journal and writing implement to take notes
  • Tripod (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional- we have pairs to borrow)

COST: $195 MNHC members, $205 non-members.   Registration is required. Registration coming soon.

FAQs What’s the refund policy? The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


April 9, 2021
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
$195 – $205
Event Category:


Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory Street, Suite A
Missoula, MT 59801 United States