The Artful Garden

with Lev L. Spiro

May 7 – 24, 2024

Tuesdays and Fridays; 12:30 – 2:30 pm (Mountain Time)
  • Tuition $595.00

Course Description

How can you bring your garden photography to the next level?  Is it by learning to harness light, focus, motion, and composition to push your aesthetic vision?  Or by taking a fine-art approach, using metaphor, story, gesture, and emotion to create meaning? The answer is yes and yes!

This three-week online workshop led by fine-art photographer Lev L. Spiro begins with an overview of the history of garden photography, after which we discover untried ways to explore light, perspective, focus, and motion.  We then embark on a new and exciting set of challenges: recognizing and employing gesture, creating mood and emotion, working with metaphor, and engaging the power of narrative.

Along the way, we learn about conceptual and intuitive approaches to photography and how to benefit from each; and we are inspired by Lev’s presentations on contemporary photographers of the genre. Lev gently encourages you to experiment, embrace mistakes and learn from them, and expand your photographic and artistic vocabulary.

With each assignment, Lev address topics including how to work a subject, conceive of composition, and see the world around us with fresh eyes – all designed to change the way you create images of the natural world in your backyard, and beyond.

Whether you want to create botanical fine-art pieces or simply make your garden images more unusual, compelling, and delightful, Lev presents you with the tools to move beyond simple representation of a subject so that your work truly embodies artistic and creative vision. Your garden photography may never be the same!


Additional Information

Amateurs, Advanced Amateurs
What You Should Know:

Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using image editing software for class sessions.

Special Notes:

Class will meet 12:30 – 2:30 pm (Mountain Time) on Tuesdays and Fridays starting May 7 and ending May 24 (six online group sessions). Enrollment is limited to 12 participants.

Zoom Video Conferencing software (available for no charge from will be used to facilitate the class sessions. Further details will be emailed to registrants.

Santa Fe Workshops always aims to produce a high-quality experience for our online attendees. That said, variables including regional and local internet provider speeds, traffic on Zoom's servers, and your own computing hardware can contribute to a less than ideal streaming event. While we do our best to minimize the impact of these variables, they are outside the control of Santa Fe Workshops.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Creative Vision, Fine Art, Nature & Landscape
Lev L. Spiro

Lev L. Spiro is an award-winning filmmaker and fine-art photographer with more than 40 years of experience creating film and photography, as well as guiding and eliciting creative work from other artists. With his directing work paused during the pandemic, Lev focused his creativity on the intimate landscape of his gardens, where he worked to express the sense of mystery and wonder he finds in the natural world through fine-art photography. His series “Fugitive Light” and “Night Creatures” have been selected for dozens of juried exhibitions, as well as published as features in Art Ascent, Black + White Photography and Shadow and Light Magazine.  His work is also represented by La Botega Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA.

In “Fugitive Light” Lev delved into the figurative and literal concepts of darkness in light, exploring the tension between the surface beauty of the natural world and darker emotions underneath. In the series “Night Creatures” he conjured a fantastical world in which plants are sentient creatures, as they move about, converse, fight, and make love in a highly anthropomorphized set of portraits referring to mythological archetypes.

Lev is also well known for his work directing over 160 television episodes, pilots, and features, including series such as Orange is the New Black, Modern Family, Weeds and Arrested Development. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two dogs, who often accompany him and make helpful suggestions as he creates images.


Instagram: @llspiro

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