Tim Ernst Photo Workshops

in the beautiful Buffalo National River area of Arkansas

(Tim is the only photographer authorized by the National Park Service with the required permit to have photo workshops within Buffalo National River park)

2015 Workshops

* October 24 (Saturday) One Day Fall Color Workshop, $399(class full)

• October 25-28 (Sun-Wed) Fall Color Shooting Workshop based at Harmony Mtn. Lodge, $1,299(class full)

* October 31 (Saturday) One Day Fall Color Workshop, $399 (only ONE space available)

Class sizes are small with only 6-8 students per class to insure plenty of individual attention.

Our guarantee is simple—if you don’t love the workshop, we will refund your workshop fee.

Registration form (pdf file)

Gift Certificates or Pay Online


ONE-DAY WORKSHOP FOR DIGITAL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS. These workshops are especially suited for novice shooters and those who want to learn how to set up and use their digital camera. Intermediate photographers are also welcome. We meet very early in the morning - before sunrise - and spend some time getting all cameras set up correctly to get the most image quality out of whatever camera you happen to have. Then we shoot for a couple of hours at a scenic location nearby. (The exact location won’t be known until a few days before the workshop because it will depend on water levels.)

Once everyone is comfortable with how their camera is working, we’ll make the drive to the gallery classroom next to our Cloudland cabin up on Cave Mountain near Boxley. We’ll have lunch, then spend the rest of the day going through my personal digital darkroom workflow - using your images. I’ll be working with Photoshop CC, but you are welcome to bring your own computer and use whatever processing software you like - OR just let me process your image on my computer - either way is fine. Our goal is to make a beautiful 11 x 14 print from one of your images for you to take home. We try to end the workshop by 5pm.

All types of digital cameras are welcome, including point-and-shoots, but most folks have either a more advanced point-and-shoot (4/3rds camera or mirrorless camera are PERFECT), or a dSLR with at least one zoom lens (you do not need an expensive camera and bag full of lenses for this workshop). We do require a sturdy, tall tripod - most tripods used by most novice photographers are not large/tall enough for the type of photography that I will be teaching, so you probably should plan on spending several hundred bucks getting a good tripod and ball head if you are serious about producing really good nature photographs.

Lunch, drinks, and an autographed copy of one of my picture books or guidebooks is included with this workshop.



SPRING AND FALL MULTI-DAY WORKSHOPS based at the Harmony Mountain Retreat. These workshops will be held at the Harmony Mountain Retreat, which is located just south of the Buffalo River area and is surrounded by great scenic places to photograph. The facility is roomy with plenty of space for us to spread out and process images, and to relax and socialize in when we need to. PLUS everyone gets their own private room with full bath.

We will meet the evening of the first day and have a light dinner, then spend several hours in class going over equipment setup and shooting techniques. We'll have early-morning shoots each day, then class time during the day back at the retreat, with an afternoon shoot, and more class time in the evening - we will try to fill up all your time! We'll have meals either at the retreat or in local restaurants - all food is provided from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, plus snacks, soft drinks and water (booze is OK but not provided). We will carpool as much as possible so you may need to drive some - we will spend a fair amount of time on the road going to and from the scenic areas we will photograph.

We'll make short hikes up to a mile as needed, so you need to be able to pack all of your camera gear for several hours at a time, but no all-day marathon hikes. (You do need to be in good physical condition and be able to carry all that stuff.) We will shoot when the light is best - which is the single most important factor in getting really great images (what equipment you have is far down the list). Spring workshops will concentrate on waterfalls and "spring" scenes; fall workshops we'll seek out the best color. The amount of locations we visit and shooting techniques we learn are unlimited and tailored to the needs and wants of the students. Our groups will be small and I will always be available to make sure your every question is answered.

These workshops are for all skill levels but are best suited to intermediate shooters who want to get out and shoot with like-minded photographers and advance their skill level notch or three. Our goal is to make world-class images rather than snapshots, and teach you how to do so on your own long after the workshop ends. You don't need the most expensive equipment - a modern digital camera with kit zoom lens, polarizer, and LARGE tripod are all that are required (more lenses are better, but not required). You are welcome to bring all the gear you have and we'll show you how to get the most out of it - that is key to these workshops - teaching you how to get the best possible images out of whatever equipment you have.

We will go through my digital darkroom processing workflow using the latest version of Photoshop CC, then make an 11x14 color print of one of your images to take home. Most folks bring their own laptop or desktop computer to use during class. You are welcome to use whatever software you like, but I will only be demonstrating Photoshop CC (same RAW processing can be done with Lightroom if that is what you use).

All food, a private room, instruction in class and in the field, an 11x14 print, and an autographed copy of one of my picture books or guidebooks is included in this workshop.



NIGHTTIME MULTI-DAY WORKSHOP based at the Harmony Mountain Retreat. This workshop will be held at the Harmony Mountain Retreat, which is located just south of the Buffalo River area and is surrounded by great scenic places to photograph. The facility is roomy with plenty of space for us to spread out and process images, and to relax and socialize in when we need to. PLUS everyone gets their own private room with full bath.

This workshop is for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of shooting landscape photos at night, and some advanced stuff too. Some of the topics covered during the workshop will include: equipment selection and camera setup; shooting and processing pinpoint stars (especially the Milky Way for our summer workshop!), star trails, lightpainting and light drawing, moons with detail, moonlit landscapes, and twilight and predawn color; choosing subjects and how to figure out the night sky. We will also talk about shooting timelapse sequences, and have some fun using burning steel wool as a light source and subject. Processing topics will include color balance, noise reduction and sharpening; plus layering, masking, stacking, and blending in Photoshop to get the most out of your layered digital images. We'll even learn how to use some FREE software to create super star trails with just a couple of clicks!

A working knowledge of your camera controls is helpful, but not required. A working knowledge of Photoshop CS6 or CSCC is helpful but not required. Students can bring their own computer and use whatever RAW process they choose, or let me do all the processing on my computer using the latest versions of Photoshop. In general, fullframe cameras work better for nighttime photography, although some of the newer crop cameras work pretty well too. Ultra-wideangle lenses work best. I will be using both Canon and Nikon cameras, and students are welcome to try them. Camera and lens rentals are available from several sources online. A suggested equipment list will be provided.

Clear or cloudy skies, water levels, and the weather will all determine what subjects and where we are able to shoot. We will have moonless nights and dark skies during this workshop for star trails and pinpoint stars (if the sky is clear we'll see and photograph a terrific Milky Way!). Lightpainted subjects might include old barns, creeks/waterfalls, bluffs, tree silhouettes, and maybe bigfoot. The workshop begins at 3pm on the first day with several hours of class time before heading out to shoot during the night. After some nap time the next morning we’ll spend the afternoon processing before heading out again for more nighttime shooting. We’ll process a little more on the final morning if needed morning before the workshop ends at 10am. All meals, lots of coffee, and lodging are provided (we will carpool to locations as much as possible).

This workshop is best suited for folks who are already comfortable using their digital camera and want to venture into the night to learn some new and really exciting possibilities - you do not have to be an expert with your camera though! (The techniques we will learn are pretty simple.) The workshop is not suited for folks who are already nighttime shooters and want to learn advanced techniques since we’ll mostly be covering the fundamentals. At the end of the workshop students will be exhausted, inspired, and ready to order a lot more equipment!


Tim Ernst has been a professional wilderness photographer since 1975. His credits include: National Geographic, Audubon, Backpacker, Outside, Outdoor Photographer, American Hiker, Natural History, Country, Chevy Outdoors, Country Living, Farm Woman, Travel South, Walking, American Forestry, and Arkansas Times magazines, Sierra Club Calendars, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service maps and brochures, Readers Digest Books, The New York Times, and dozens of other national, regional and local publications. Fifteen collections of his wilderness images have been published as coffee table picture books - Arkansas Nightscapes, Buffalo River Beauty, Arkansas Landscapes II, Arkansas Portfolio III, Arkansas Autumn, Arkansas Wildlife, Arkansas Landscapes, Arkansas Waterfalls: Scenic Icons of The Natural State, Buffalo River Dreams, Arkansas Portfolio II, Arkansas Wilderness, Arkansas Spring, Arkansas Portfolio, Wilderness Reflections, and Buffalo River Wilderness. He has been shooting digital for many years using several different camera systems including Pentax and Phase One medium format, Nikon, Canon and Sony digital SLR 35mm, also Minolta, Canon, and Olympus point-and-shoot cameras. Tim has attended specialized digital printing and Photoshop training at the Epson Academy and other seminars, and with master digital printers Charles Cramer and Bill Atkinson, with Photoshop guru Seth Resnick, and other nature photographer legends like George Lepp, John Shaw, Jim Zuckerman, Carlin Tapp, Brad Goldpaint, Harold Ross, and David Muench. You will leave these intense workshops a tired but happy camper!

DEPOSIT AND REFUND POLICY A non-refundable $100 deposit will reserve you a spot in one of the above workshops. The balance of your workshop fee is due 30 days before the start of your workshop (if we don't get your balance in time your spot may be given to someone else and you will lose your deposit). If you have paid the full amount of the workshop and have to cancel, the full amount less the $100 non-refundable deposit is refundable up to 30 days before the start of the workshop. If you have to cancel after this time, your fee may be applied to a future workshop or it may be refunded if we fill your space (less the $100 non-refundable deposit) - if we can't fill your space, your workshop fee is not refundable. The $100 deposit is non-refundable if you cancel (even if your spot is filled), but may be transferred to another workshop (if your spot is filled).

 Gift Certificates or Pay Online

E-mail FIRST for space available, and more information, or call 870-861-5536


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 A photographer was invited to dinner with friends and took along afew pictures to show the hostess. She looked at the photos and commented - "These are very good - you must have a good CAMERA." He didn't make any comment, but, as he was leaving to go home he said - "That was a really delicious meal - you must have some very good POTS!"


item7photo by Ray Scott