Lectures and Presentations

Steve Gettle is an inspiring and entertaining speaker. Each year Steve presents his lecture series at various regional and national photography conventions and gatherings. He is available to speak with your group on a variety of photographic and creative topics. Depending on the size of your group, sponsorship funds may even be available to bring Steve in to give a presentation to your organization.
See below for information about Steve’s all-day nature photography seminar The Art of Nature Photography

Educational Programs

Building an Image
Most great images are not spontaneous. They are more often well thought out and carefully crafted, taking in to consideration such things as, what you choose to include in the frame, lighting, the background, perspective and many other elements. In this talk Steve goes through his entire process. From seeing and identifying the image, to choosing the message, and the step by step progression of building the final composition.

The Art of Visual Language
One of the greatest things about photography is its ability to communicate something to the viewer. Your images are very powerful tools which have the ability to reach out and touch people, crossing all language and age barriers. Every color, line, and shape you choose to include in your final image has an emotional effect on the viewer. During this lecture, Steve will talk about how all these different elements within your image can more effectively communicate your chosen message to your audience.

Birds and Mammals
Creating photographs of the birds and mammals of our world can be a challenge. Steve will discuss proven ways to find your subjects, as well as many methods on how to attract wildlife to you and your camera. During the course of this talk, he will cover special compositional considerations for wildlife images, fine tuning your auto-focus, going beyond basic portraits, and how to properly introduce and use a photographic blind.

***New for 2018! A New World Opens – Getting Started in Macro Photography
In this talk Steve will speak about how to use basic equipment to make beautiful images of things in the realm of the small, from the size of a butterfly to as small as a tiny flower. He will cover the specific equipment needed for this type of photography. We will also discuss the specialized techniques used in this challenging genre of nature photography. Including such things as, maximizing depth of field, controlling light, controlling the background, and using flash.

***New for 2018! Moving in Closer – Advanced macro Photography
A beautiful new world opens up when we move in beyond 1:1 (1:1 = a full frame shot of a nickel). During this course we will explore the exciting world of more extreme macro photography. You will learn how to use special techniques and equipment to peer into the world of the truly tiny. We will explore some simple things like extension tubes and close-up diopters to get in close, as well as more specialized techniques and equipment like microscope objectives and focusing rails. We will also discover the creative doors kicked open through the use of focus-stacking and high-speed flash.

Frozen Moments
Technological advances have now made stop action photography accessible to virtually every photographer. This all new two hour program starts off with using just your camera and auto-focus for subjects on the move such as, birds in flight and running animals. We will discuss acquiring initial focus-lock, tracking your subject, optimizing your auto focus, and the creative doors opened by adding a simple infrared trigger system. We will then move onto using off the shelf electronic flash for true high speed photography for such subjects as hummingbirds in flight and other fast moving subjects. Lastly, we put it all together kicking open a whole new set of possibilities using high speed flash, infrared trigger systems, and even electro-magnetic shutters to create a whole new world of exciting imagery!

Inspirational Programs

A Wilderness Year
In this 30 minute multimedia program take a journey through the four seasons with nature photographer Steve Gettle – The journey begins in a meadow at sunrise on a summer’s morning and takes the viewer through a visual feast of the four seasons with hundreds of Steve’s images set to music.

Brave New Worlds – Coming Summer 2020
Photography has made significant changes in the last decade. This all new inspirational program celebrates those changes. “Brave New Worlds” will be a true multimedia program created with an exciting combination of music, video, time-lapse, and traditional digital photography. The program will showcase much of Steve’s recent favorite imagery produced during his travels around the world and close to home.

The Art Of Nature Photography - A One-Day Seminar


Join Steve for an intensive one day nature photography seminar. Steve will share the knowledge he’s gained from over thirty years experience creating stunning images of the natural world. During this seminar, we will cover all aspects of nature photography, from capturing grand sweeping vistas, to the tiny world of macro photography. We will also discuss how and where to photograph the beautiful flora and fauna of the natural world.

Attendees from beginners to advanced shooters will learn tips, tricks, and techniques to help them take their photography to the next level. The entire seminar will be illustrated using hundreds of Steve’s images which highlight and reinforce the topics being discussed.

Fund Raising Opportunities

Is your organization looking for a fun and easy fund raiser to generate revenue for your camera club or group? How about joining forces with Steve to host an “Art of Nature Photography” seminar in your area.

More info (49.21 KB)

From past hosts

“Working with Steve Gettle is a “win-win-win” situation. Bringing Steve in for a program is a quality addition to any venue or event, and raises important revenue that supports other programming efforts. And he’s easy to work with to boot. Participants in his seminar “The Art of Nature Photography” found him informing, entertaining, and more than meeting their expectations. For the Center, our reputation for offering quality programs was enhanced; and the financial folks who watch our bottom line were thrilled. We’ll be bringing Steve back”

Art Weber, Director, The National Center for Nature Photography

From past attendees

“I have attended three of these seminars in the past year or so and to be honest I wasn’t sure I was going to learn anything new but I was sadly mistaken. You really opened my eyes to what it means to 'make' a photograph instead of 'taking' a photograph.“

“It was like going to see a great magician and then having him show you how to do all the tricks after the show. I believe my photos are really going to improve after your seminar.“

Todd B, Flint, MI

“When it comes to teaching nature photography with a digital camera you are destined to be this generations John Shaw.”

Bob J, Toledo, OH

An overview of the topics covered

Equipment for Nature Photography

Learn what equipment you need for the different types of nature photography. This section will help you to buy the right equipment the first time.

  • Camera bodies
  • Lenses
  • Tripods/tripod heads
  • Electronic Flash
  • Camera Bags
  • Filters and other accessories

Get the exposure you Want Every Time

Understand how your camera sees light. Learn how to shoot perfect exposures every time. You will also learn how and why to read the histogram and more importantly how to bend it to your will.

  • Exposure theory
  • The different exposure modes and when to use them
  • Understanding the Histogram
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Controlling Depth of field
  • Shutter speed and motion effects
  • jpeg vs raw shooting
  • ISO’s effect on exposure
  • How exposure affects the image

It’s All About the Light

Attendees will learn about light and how it affects the final image. You will also learn how to read the light, and how the light should affect your choice of subject matter.

  • Quality of light
  • Direction of light
  • Color of light
  • Filters to control light
  • Flash and fill flash

Composing Stunning Images of the Natural World

We will focus on the many elements that make up the composition of a beautiful image. In this section, you will learn how to use balance, symmetry, and visual harmony to create pleasing compositions.

  • The “rules” and when to break them
  • Finding the picture
  • Working the subject
  • Visual paths
  • Vertical vs horizontal
  • Balance
  • Pre-visualization
  • Positive and negative space
  • Shooting panorama’s

Different Types of Nature Photography

In this section, we will discuss in detail all of the different genres of nature photography as well as when and where to find subject matter to photograph.

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles and amphibians
  • Landscapes
  • Plants and flowers
  • Macro