Calling All Bird, Art, & Book Lovers!

On Wednesday, April 24 from 7-8:30pm we're celebrating Amy Tan's new book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles! Every ticket purchase includes a book copy. Find details and tickets here.

The Wish to Photograph

The Wish to Photograph

May 9, 2021
How does taking pictures change the way we encounter the world around us? Reflect on perception and desire for photos that connect.

In this course, we will reflect on the experiences of desire, perception and strategy in the pursuit of images that connect us with our surroundings.

Dive into what’s behind the pictures we take, and the ones we wish we could take, in a class that explores the wish to capture the world in still images. This is not a technical course but one in which we reflect on our mental, emotional and perceptual processes in the pursuit of images that engage the environment.

Through exercises and experiments with and without a camera, we’ll explore how photography brings us into dialogue with our surroundings. We’ll consider how unbounded nature is framed and pictures “taken,” consider the role of composition and photographic morality, how to take up and when to put the camera down. There will be short, easy walks, time for writing, discussion and, of course, taking pictures. Throughout the day we will discover and articulate our own photographic goals and challenges.

Both beginning and advanced photographers are welcome, as well as those curious about photography. Come prepared with a camera of some kind, a willingness to share experiences and to take creative risks. Readings, reference images and a short bibliography will be provided for further inquiry.

Todd Gilens is a visual artist and garden designer based in the East Bay, using writing, drawing and photography to explore the ecology of natural spaces, with a focus on water. His work has been seen and published in the United States and abroad and his website is


-We will be meeting at the Limantour Beach Parking Lot

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– 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:

Camera of your choice and materials for writing

Day Pack

Lunch Bag

Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

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 guidelines for public health and safety, 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

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.

During class all participants will be required to do the following

Wear a protective face covering

Maintain a 6 foot physical distance from other participants not belonging to your household

Bring your own food and water

Current group sizes are 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

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