Master the Artistry of Nature Photography

Professional Photographer, Tom Croce, Author of Ohio Landscape

April 12-14, 2019 at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary

Friday Evening – Sunday afternoon 

Event concurrent with the Wildflower Pilgrimage with shared meals and shared evening programs.
Indoor Instruction and photo review at Whispering Springs
Apply principles and techniques during two day of guided field trips
$190/person: cost for entire weekend, all meals & instruction

In Tom’s own words…

With modern technology, anyone with a moderate investment can own a technologically sophisticated camera capable of taking award-winning photos. While capturing gorgeous photos has never been more in reach of the average citizen, cameras have never been so inscrutable. With each year’s release of models offering increasingly complex options, figuring out how to make your camera produce those winning photos in a variety of environmental conditions is rarely immediately intuitive.

My goal in coming to the Sanctuary is to help you master the camera in your hands and help you make the most of your shooting adventures. The weekend curriculum will include grasping your camera’s basic hardware, mastering exposure options, refining photo composition, selecting worthy subjects, and most important of all, creating a picture that has emotional and aesthetic impact. The technical stuff is pretty straight forward, and that’s what most courses, including our own, will teach. But we won’t stop there. If a photo is to achieve greatness, it must stir the soul of the beholder. So, if you are registering for this course, prepare to engage both hemispheres of your brain!

“There is a power in a still photograph to engage the viewer. I
have always been drawn to that. We can actively participate with
a still image; it engages our imagination.”

We will hold our workshop’s indoor sessions in the comfortable ambiance of beautiful Whispering Springs, a new facility that was recently donated to the Arc of Appalachia, located roughly one mile south of the Appalachian Forest Museum and within walking distance of the Barrett Rim trailhead. We will be partaking of all of the meals and evening programs associated with the Wildflower Pilgrimage and spending our two days of field trips together – visiting various field trips destinations within the 2600 acre Highlands Nature Sanctuary. 

“I think the pivotal moment in my own development was when I
merged with the camera, and I began seeing the world the way a
camera sees it.”

You probably want to know a little about me. I have been self-employed for almost 20 years as a professional photographer. Though self-taught, my abilities were undoubtedly influenced by my academic training in architecture. I have always taught workshops on location, and have sponsored events at such wonderful places as Hocking Hills and the Smoky Mountains. Keeping photography as my vocation is a bit of a necessity, even though it hasn’t always been easy. Frankly, it’s my passion.

I was raised in Brook Park, Ohio, in a suburb of Cleveland. I fondly recall my first camera as a kid – a little Kodak compact. Later, in the mid-70’s, I bought my first SLR. That was a magical moment for me. Even as a kid I loved nature. I remember eagerly watching Mutual Of Omaha’s’ Wild Kingdom every Sunday. Of course, I loved other things as well, mainly baseball; and I played that sport all the way through my first two years of college.

Tom Croce Photography Photo Gallery

2018 Photography Course Participants Photo Gallery

In Nancy Stranahan’s own words, Arc of Appalachia Director…

I can’t tell you how delighted we are to bring Tom Croce to you here at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. Back in 2015, Tom “found” us at the Arc and offered over a phone conversation to share his photos with us. I took one look at his website and rushed to make a face to face appointment with him. At our meeting, I told Tom how important visuals were in the Arc’s quest to share with the public stories of our existing preserves as well as new campaign properties. But I warned him, “Some of our properties, especially those with limestone features such as the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, have proved nearly impossible to photograph. All that gray rock might look majestic to our admiring eyes, but to the camera lens, it’s like shooting a gray basement.”

I am thrilled to tell you just how wrong I was. Tom’s first Arc visit was to the Rocky Fork Gorge and henceforth provided us with dozens of high resolution jaw-dropping photos. From there he went to Chaparral Prairie and Ohio River Bluffs. At Junction Earthworks he managed to catch photos of a newly established rare bird in our parts, the Dickcissel, and helped put Junction on the map of premier birding destinations. “Thank you, Tom, for helping reveal to the world the Arc of Appalachia’s intrinsic beauty.”

To see more of Tom Croce’s photographs, visit his website, and/or click on Pilgrimage Schedule