Capturing the World Around You With Your Smartphone

Capturing the World Around You With Your Smartphone

June 27, 2021
The smartphone has become the camera of choice for many. Learn how new apps can unlock your full potential to take breathtaking photos!

With excellent image quality, portability, and easy images sharing, the smartphone has become the camera of choice for many, and for many it’s their only camera.

While you can get captivating images with the native camera app, to unlock the full potential of the camera, third-party apps excel at bringing out the most your camera can offer. But with the literally thousand’s of apps available, how do to you which are the best?

I’ve combed the app stores and found apps that excel at pushing the boundaries of what your smartphone can do and are easy to use. In addition to exploring apps, you’ll learn the techniques and settings to get consistently sharp images and optimize them with tone and color adjustments in Adobe Lightroom for Smartphone. You’ll gain more control for capturing better images and optimizing them with its extensive toolset for bring out the most your image has to offer.

After we get comfortable with using our phone cameras and making image adjustments, we will concentrate on the most important aspect of photography: composition. You’ll learn why good composition is more important then almost anything else in photography, and how it entices viewers to spend more time exploring your images.

Finally, we’ll explore how you can easily get your images off your phone and backed up on your computer. Whether you are an avid shutterbug, or merely want to take more interesting photos, this class offers something to everyone that wants to take their smartphone photography to the next level.

Note: We plan to meet for this class in person, but it can be optimized for online instruction so you can safely shelter in place and still practice your craft of smartphone photography if we are unable to meet in person due to unanticipated changes in COVID regulations.

Reid J. Thaler is one of the best-known digital photography educators in the Bay Area, having taught at local colleges, universities and other community venues. He helps students take their photographic skills to the next level. His patient and innovative teaching style has inspired students to achieve professional quality work.


– This class will meet at the Red Barn classroom in Bear Valley and will be held outdoors.

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID cancellation policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring:

Smartphone Camera

Folding or camp chair (if desired) for added comfort and distancing

Day Pack

Lunch Bag

Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Notebook and Pen/Field Journal

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

Binoculars (Optional)

About the PRNSA Field Institute:

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute facilitator? Want to take classes for FREE while helping out a great cause? Give us a call!

Are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Shoot us an Email!

For any questions, please email us at

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

In accordance with Marin County and CDC guidelines for public health, we will require all participants to respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

• Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

• Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, suspect you have been exposed to the virus, or are suffering from any other flu-like or respiratory illness.

• Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

During class all participants will be required to do the following

• We recommend that all participants continue to wear masks at this time, however, in accordance with CDC guidelines, exceptions can be made for fully vaccinated individuals if desired.

Fully vaccinated individuals may remove masks for outdoor classes if they continue to maintain a 6’ distance from other participants.

• Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering unless farther than 6’ from other participants in an outdoor class.

• Continue to maintain a 6 foot physical distance from other participants not belonging to your household

• Bring your own food and water

• Current group sizes are still limited, there will be no physical contact or sharing of food and drink, and no shared physical equipment or materials unless they are sanitized before and after use, and used by only one person for the duration of class

NOTE: Refund policy exceptions will be made for participants cancelling last minute due to COVID-19 infection or symptoms. Please contact us in this case.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.