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I am a pioneer in the field of photo workshops and tours, offering programs since 1979. Each is carefully crafted and well planned. By limiting the number of participants per program (primarily 3-8), I am able to offer personalized instruction.

Workshops are short and last from 1 to 3 days, often offered over a weekend. Photo sessions in the field are followed by image editing and critiques. My preparation for each workshop includes scouting out the photo opportunities at each location.

Photo Tours on the other hand, last from one to three weeks. They are custom designed and cover multiple locations. Sites are chosen for their natural beauty and relatively accessible wildlife. These can include wildlife refuges, eco-friendly ranches, private wildlife sanctuaries, and state and national parks. As per weekend programs, each location is carefully scouted. For international programs, an English speaking local guide accompanies the group. Past tours have included South Florida, South Dakota, NWT, Bryce/Zion/Arces Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Newfoundland, and the Falkland Islands.

Nature photography is the focus of the majority of programs with attention paid to composition, lighting, exposure, perspective, creativity, and attracting, locating, and photographing wildlife.

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Joy of Garden Photography at The Hermitage Museum and Gardens

May 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - May 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

| $145
Red rose center

Joy of Garden Photography

 at The Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Taught by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Sponsored by the Hermitage Museum & Gardens


11, 12 May 2018

Discover the Joy of Garden Photography at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens.  Formerly the home to the Sloane family, it is an early 20th century Arts-and-Crafts estate located on the shore of the Lafayette River in Norfolk.  It is known for its beautiful grounds, which include twelve acres of semi-formal gardens, courtyards, forest and wetlands. The Lafayette River wraps around the Hermitage on three sides, providing an elegant backdrop to walks through the gardens, weddings, and outdoor events. Both the wetlands and woodlands provide a natural habitat for hundreds of plants and animals, including a variety of waterfowl, herons, and migrating birds.

The Hermitage Museum’s gardens feature a mixture of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees. Roses, daffodils, peonies, Japanese anemones, sage, Black-eyed Susans, and other sun-loving perennials surround bronze sculptures, quiet benches, brick and cobblestone footpaths, and stoned terraces. From a shady alcove filled with camellias and ferns, a large wisteria covers the entrance at the Millstone Courtyard formed by 47 millstones arranged in a compass-like pattern at the west entrance of the Hermitage.  The East Garden overlooks the Lafayette River. Its slated patios and cobblestone walkways are surrounded by brick walls and wrought iron fences. Plants that can be found in the East Garden include viburnums, lilacs, hydrangeas, daffodils, tulips, irises, peonies, daylilies, columbines, camellias, asters, poppies, tiger lilies, and ferns.  A beautiful Rose Garden sits in the open lawn directly in front of the Museum. A stone pathway winds around a small fountain which is surrounded by roses and leads to a small pergola.

Red Rose center

Orange tulip center
Orange Tulip Center

In 2006, a large-scale wetlands restoration project was begun. Over 5,000 native marsh grasses were planted, creating a ½-acre Living Shoreline on the east end of the Hermitage grounds. This project assists in controlling erosion and has effectively created a safe and clean habitat for many species of fish and wildlife. A boardwalk provides access to the area with educational markers explaining the value of wetlands.


Snowy egret fishing in shallow pond.
Snowy Egret Fishing


During this photo workshop you will discover the Joy of Garden Photography at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens.  With camera in hand we will explore the museum grounds photographing the flowers, pathways, statues, fountains, and museum architecture as well as local wildlife.  With the limited class size of 12, the instructor will spend time with each participant in the field.  Maximum number of participants 12.

Spring flower brilliant yellow


Fri, 11 May 2018:  6:30-8:30 PM (Orientation, PowerPoint presentation, & goal setting)

Sat, 12 May 2018:

Dawn – 9:30 a.m. (photography instruction on the grounds of the Hermitage)

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (bag lunch, image prep & submission)

Noon – 2:00 p.m. (discussion & critique of images)


Members: $130

Non-members: $145

For details contact:http://thehermitagemuseum.org/photography/


This course is designed for those who wish to advance their photographic skills, creating images that are imaginative, distinctive, and visually exciting in a garden setting.  Discussions will include subject selection, equipment, camera settings, composition, lighting, spatial relationships, and utilization of graphic elements. Includes an instructional PowerPoint program, class discussions, field practice, and image critiques.  A handout will be provided prior to the class with info on what to bring to class and the field and suggested photo exercise that will encourage creativity and reinforce concepts discussed during the workshop.

Dragonfly resting on leaf
Brown thrasher on bush.
Brown Thrasher

What to Bring:

For Friday p.m. classroom session: bring your camera and manual if you have questions about your equipment and setting. We will also discuss camera operation and features in the field. 








For the field portion: bring your digital camera that has the ability to either exchange lenses or with the capability of zooming from wide angle to telephoto focal lengths. However, a D-SLR with exchangeable lenses and the ability to adjust f-stops, ISOs, and shutter speeds is preferable and will offer you more flexibility and control over your images.  If you have a polarizing filter, bring it.  A macro lens or other close-up accessories such as extension tubes or close-up filters could be helpful when desiring to take photographs using high magnification. Bring your camera manual, freshly charged battery and spare (if you have one), memory cards, and a tripod.



For editing and the critique session: students should have a laptop computer or tablet such as an Apple I-PAD, a basic image editing program, and a means of transferring images via thumb/flash drive to the instructor’s computer for discussion.  Instructor will be available to provide assistance during the editing period.  Participants should bring a bag lunch

Assumes a basic knowledge of your camera operation and photographic terms such as depth of field, exposure, ISO, and f-stop.  You should also have a rudimentary understanding of the operation of their laptop computer and editing software.

Osprey reflection in the water
Osprey Reflection




May 11, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
May 12, 2018 @ 2:00 pm
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Hermitage Museum and Gardens


Hermitage Museum and Gardens
7637 North Shore Road
Norfolk, VA 23505 United States
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