Willard Clay

Art of Composing Photo Images

June 5-10, 2016 (Four Teaching Days)

The Northwood's landscape of forests, trees, flowers, ponds, lakes, and bogs offers many photographic opportunities. The Art of Composing Photo Images workshop being offered at Dillman's Bay Resort will offer opportunities to explore this unique landscape. The workshop will include formal presentations to discuss basic techniques to maximize the compositional elements in creating effective landscape photographs. The techniques will include how to create the illusion of three dimensionality to emphasize the main element of interest by balancing the corners, using lead in lines, framing techniques, the use of repetitive elements, among other techniques.

The workshop will also discuss more advanced compositional techniques; the use of power shapes popularized by the advertising industry such as integrating S-curves, C-curves, circles, lines, zig-zag features, among others. More advanced compositional techniques will include the use of physical and/or color elements that create effective contrasting relationships, a technique known as "point-counterpoint". The sophisticated philosophy of capturing a "decisive moment", a concept and term attributed to the great photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, is effective at elevating a photograph from a documentary picture to a photograph.

In addition to formal presentations discussing compositional techniques, there will be morning field shooting sessions with assignments. Time will also be spent on techniques in processing the digital images taken during the field sessions. It will be helpful if each participant has use of a laptop with appropriate software for processing RAW files. The workshop will culminate with each participant presenting a portfolio of their work for critique. Handouts will be provided for each presentation and Internet references will be provided for more in depth study.


Former Professor of Botany, Willard Clay has been a full-time photographer since 1982. Specializing in large format photography, Willard Clay has been the primary photographer for nine coffee table books and has been published in a myriad of calendars, magazines, books, and advertising agencies. Portfolio consists of large format film and high-resolution digital files ready for publication. Credits include doing the photography for coffee table books on Illinois (2), Texas (2), Colorado, California, Oregon, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Kentucky/ West Virginia.  Published credits include National Geographic, Arizona Highways, Sierra Club, Audubon, Smithsonian, Teldon, Brown & Bigelow, among others.  Will is also represented at the Moondeer Gallery in Boulder Junction featuring his Northwoods photography.

Willard is currently teaching photography classes at The Morton Arboretum near Chicago and workshops in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


  1. DSLR camera
  2. Sturdy tripod
  3. Laptop computer
  4. Software for processing RAW images. Willard will be helping teach each participant how process RAW images.
  5. Flash drive to record images to be critiqued
  6. Good footwear. We will be visiting Willard'sfavorite bog and it may be wet footing. Also, if participants are capable of doing short hikes, we will visit a pristine backcountry lake.


Studio: Something for all levels.

Workshop Fee plus tax per student: 
If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $320
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $335
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $375
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $385
(There are 5 nights' accommodations included in the "Room & One Dinner Fee" listed above.)
NEW Cancellation Policy, Class Fees and Tiered Pricing Explained
A partial tuition scholarship is offered
Workshop Itinerary


REGISTER NOW for Willard Clay


Workshop Itinerary

Sunday, 6/5
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception (included in package)
6:00 Dinner at Dillman's (included in Room and Meal Package. $25 additional for day students.)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 6/6-6/9
Breakfast On Own
9:00 a.m. - Noon Class in Session
Lunch On Own

Meals are on your own. All accommodations have cooking facilities. You may preorder box lunches and dinners for meals to be taken alone or with your group in: your studio, the lodge deck, cafe, or your accommodation. (Pre-ordering for lunches and dinners is required.)

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

Thursday, 6/9
NOON Farewell Champagne Toast (included in package)

Friday, 6/10
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events - Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
    Monday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)
    Monday 7:00 p.m. S'more Roast (no charge)

    Tuesday 7:30 a.m. Yoga
    Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Wednesday Noon & 4:00 p.m. Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Wednesday 5:00 p.m. Moondeer & Friends Gallery Tour (no charge)
    Wednesday 6:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Thursday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

Dine-Around Dinners: Registration required at the front desk, meet at 5:00pm in the main lobby for carpooling.

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’sfor $45 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.