blue vervain in the iowa prairie
Blue Vervain

Hey nature photographers! Join me for a full day of nature photography field education, while we photograph summer prairie wildflowers, plants, insects and other fauna, and the classic Midwest prairie landscape!  June 18 in beautiful rural Central Iowa!

This workshop meets early-morning (before sunrise!) at one of my favorite “hidden gem” locations for amazing Midwest summer prairie  photography.  The focus will be on macro, nature “portraits,” and prairie landscape images.

The objective of this workshop is to help photographers build solid field macro and landscape photography techniques.  We’ll photograph wildflowers such as Purple Coneflower, Prairie Phlox, Prairie Blazing Star, Blue Vervain, White Campion, and numerous others [*see note].  Likewise, in the morning, opportunities to photograph dew-laden insects will likely abound.  We’ll photograph the classic summer prairie, and oak savannah natural landscapes.  Additionally, those who photograph birds may want to bring their bird lens, as well – finches and other prairie birds are common here.

The exact location of this Workshop will be chosen from among my favorite “hidden gem” prairie locations in beautiful rural Story or Marshall County, depending on local conditions and wildflower blossoms the week of the event.  Exact meeting location and maps will be emailed to participants prior to the event.  Both locations are within 45 minutes of Des Moines.

Please note that the prospective locations we will work may be drenched with summer dew in the morning, and contain a few hazards like burrs and mosquitos – come prepared with comfortable hiking shoes/boots and long pants (or rubber hunting boots), long sleeves, a sun hat, rain gear, and insect repellant!

[*note: there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to photograph each of these wildflower species, but all are regularly found at these locations during this general timeframe.  Actual blossoms the week of our workshop, of course, will depend on local conditions which vary year-to-year]


For the Summer Prairie workshop, depending on the location from which you are arriving, you may wish to either meet in Ames and carpool to the event, or meet at the workshop location.  Both options will be available to you with details worked out prior to the event.  We will shoot and explore nature photography technique throughout the day.  As with most nature photography, the best shooting times are morning and late-afternoon/evening; the middle of the day will be used for discussion, hands-on education, and technique practice.

What to bring

Photo Gear: A Digital SLR camera, normal- , wide-angle, and telephoto- lenses, and a dedicated macro lens if you have one!  A sturdy tripod and plenty of media cards for a full day of shooting are also essential.  If you do not own a tripod, you will want one, but please contact me before purchasing one!

Appropriate clothing and safety gear: dress in layers. You’ll probably want long pants and long sleeves due to brush, bugs, and burrs part of the day.  Hiking boots or rubber hunting boots (we will be off-trail much/most of the time, and the prairie floor can be very wet).  Bug spray.  A hat.  Sunblock.  Plenty of water.

Some snacks and bottled water will be provided. An option will be available to pre-order a fantastic boxed lunch at nominal cost.

Workshop Cost

$99 per person

See the Workshop Series overview information here, and contact me for complete information and registration materials!

In past years, this workshop has filled quickly, and the date is fast approaching – register now to reserve your spot!


Email Mark

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your interest in the Midwest Nature Photography Field Workshop Series!  See you in the Field!


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Image © Mark S. Peterson Photography