Rock Valley College
Rockford, Illinois

Chicago Photo Safaris

Chicago Photo Safaris

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Your Photo Studio    Be ready for the great sites    be a part of that special moment

Chicago Photo Safaris is the leading provider of photographic workshops in the Chicagoland area, and conducts frequent photo safaris in local and international venues. The Chicago Photo Safaris Foundation sponsors the popular 'Camera for Kids' Program, and also supports area conservation and sustainable programs. Information about Chicago Photo Safaris: CLICK HERE

    Photography Certificate of Completion - Required 26 hours
  • Basic Digital Photography 
  • Digital Photography II
  • Developing Your Portfolio
  • Photoshop Elements
Electives (Prerequisite: Basic Digital Photography) Total: 50 hours Choose from 14 elective classes (vary by semester) to best fit your personal goals and objectives. Portfolio Submission Requirements: Best photos from each completed class must be submitted in a portfolio for approval, prior to receiving a Certificate of Completion in Digital Photography. Any type of camera is acceptable, with an SLR providing best results. Completion includes $10 voucher for any future CE class. 
PHO 800 CERT   Chicago Photo Safaris $20  
(does not include cost of individual classes)         


chicago bean Photo taken by Kruti ParikhBasic Digital Photography
(Adult) This action packed four week class will show you how to create and care for interesting digital photos! We will cover the basics of digital photography. You will learn elements of exposure control, photographing people, close-up, action and low-light  photography. We will also spend time on the 'how to' of sharing images and storing your photos. Bring your camera and gain the confidence you need to take great photos time and again! *Required for Photography Certificate of Completion.
PHO 802 SCCE2    Chicago Photo Safaris              $109
2/13-2/27             TH 6:00-8:30 pm            3 Sessions
STENSTROM CTR   4151 Samuelson Rd.         Room 129

4/15-4/29            T 6:00-8:30 pm               3 Sessions
STENSTROM CTR   4151 Samuelson Rd.         Room 129

Digital Photography II
(HS-Adult) Know the basic camera controls, but want to improve the other aspects of your photography? This class will explore several elements of the next level, including histograms, developing your photographic philosophy, using filters , nature photography, advanced composition, and more. Required for Photography Certificate  of Completion.
PHO 802 SCCE6     Chicago Photo Safaris            $109
5/7-5/21              W 6:00-8:30 pm             3 Sessions

Photoshop ElementsRob Martin street
(HS-Adult) Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are programs that can take a lifetime to learn. But there are fundamental elements and some "tricks of the trade: that make this program extremely valuable to your photography. Once these basics are built, the rest of the program will be easier to learn. These hands-on classes will get you on track to be productive today, and introduce the tools you need to move to the next level in your photography.
PHO 802 BLL      Chicago Photo Safaris                        $129
2/14-2/28          F 6:00-8:30 pm                       3 Sessions
Bell School Road Ctr  3350 N. Bell School Rd.       Room 005  
PHO 802 BLL2     Chicago Photo Safaris                      $129
4/4-4/25            T 6:00-8:30 pm                      3 Sessions
BELL SCHOOL ROAD CTR 3350 N. Bell School Rd.  Room 005

Video With Your Camera
(HS-Adult) MUST BRING YOUR LAPTOP. The video possibilities for today's cameras are endless, and you can easily give your video a professional look with this class. Learn shortcuts of how to shoot, edit, add music, and all the other tricks to make your videos classy and easy to produce. Family and business video has never been better, and learn how to upload your video to You-Tube or a website. Bring your laptop and we will get you a trial version of the software for the class. PREREQUISITE: Basic Digital Photography Class or have a basic understanding of your camera controls. 
PHO 802 SCCE5   Chicago Photo Safaris                    $99
4/10-5/1             Th  6:00-8:00 pm               3 Sessions
RVC Classroom Bldg II                                  Room 129

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography Photoshop Elements II
(HS-Adult) Now you know the basics, but how do you use that knowledge to move to the next level of post-processing, and incorporate that into your photography? This class has the answers, and these ideas will make good photography GREAT. Advanced concepts like HDR (High Dynamic Range) and others will be taught. This is for the computer literate, and students should have a fundamental knowledge of the program from our Photoshop Elements class.
PHO 802 BLL3     Chicago Photo Safaris                        $129
5/9-5/23             F 6:00-8:30 pm                       3 Sessions
BELL SCHOOL ROAD CTR 3350 N. Bell School Rd.   Room 005

Developing Your Portfolio
(HS-Adult) Portfolio management is the key to displaying your work. Do you want to just have fun, or maybe even sell your services? A great portfolio adds credibility, and allows you to make a statement. The class will review options for portfolios, and students will create a plan to develop a suitable body of workto showcase your abilities. Bring three photos to the first  class (soft or hard copies acceptable). 
PHO 802 SCCE    Chicago Photo Safaris                     $109
3/4-3/18            T 6:00-8:00 pm                     2 Sessions
RVC Classroom Bldg II                                    Room 129
Taken by Chicago Photo Safaris
Boudoir Photography
(Adult) Boudoir Photography is both fun and popular in today's environment. This photography can include tattoos, a pregnant mother, or maybe something sensual. Join the excitement as you learn tips to make your model look great. This class includes two twenty-minute private modeling sessions with the model and your instructor to perfect your techniques. Modeling fees included.

PHO 802 RV        Chicago Photo Safaris                    $190
3/17-3/31          M 6:00-8:00 pm                   3 Sessions
RVC Classroom Bldg II                                  Room G24

B&W by Chicago Photo Safaris Student Work

Course offerings change from semester to semester. Below courses may be offered during other semesters.

Aerial Photography
(HS-Adult) Aerial photography is an important commercial and artistic skill. Many of the world's most interesting patterns are only apparent from the air. What are the best aircraft to use? Best time of day? How do you control vibration and motion blur? What is the appropriate lens? Learn these answers, and other tips to help your aerial photography skills. Students will have an option to participate in a free flight after taking the class to help practice their new found techniques.

Candid Outdoor Photography of Kids
(Adult) How do you get those GREAT shots of the kids before they are all grown up? These memories fade all too soon, and the time to really get the good shots in NOW! Make your kids look their best with these tips and techniques. Techniques you will learn include:
  • How to stop action using shutter speed
  • How to control the background for softness and sharpness
  • How to get low and close for tight, compelling head shots
  • How to use flash to 'fill' in the light in bright sun or deep shade
  • How to dress your child for successful photos
  • Bring your child with sitter for class instruction time. No charge for accompanying sitter
  • Weather permitting, class held on-location at local park.
F-Stops & Shutter Speeds
(HS-Adult) You love your camera, BUT – out of fear of doing the wrong thing – you always keep it on a nice, safe "Auto" setting and let the camera do the thinking. Or you put it on "M" because you see the pros doing that and STILL your pictures come out poorly exposed! Are you intimidated by the letters "A", "S", "M", or "ASM", or "Av" and "TV"? As a result you only use $100 worth of the $500 worth of features on your camera! Learn to finally use those settings on your cameras to get the results YOU want! (Note: This material is also covered in the Basic Digital Photography Class, but if you only have one day to spend, this class is for you.)

How to Construct Your Own Photo Website
(HS-Adult) This is really the 'how to' of designing your own photo website, and we show you a no-cost, easy solution to display your photos online. We will review options for templates, hosting sites, and educate you on things to consider when designing your website. We layout the variables, and you choose the path that makes sense for you. With this class, you will be up and running the same week. Heck, we make it so easy, even a cave man can do it!
Intra-Oral Dental Photography
(HS-Adult) This class will help you develop an efficient  and easy protocol for patient photos with true color rendition. We  will explain the camera controls in easy to understand language, and you will actually practice these methods in this class. We will discuss lenses, metering, white balance, and effective use of fl ash to get the shots you need. This class is for dentists or auxiliaries.

Macro Photography
(HS-Adult) Macro (also called extreme close-up photography) will open your eyes to the world around us. There are so many things that deserve a closer look, and we will explore the methods and techniques for stunning macro photography. The mix of color, pattern, and design all contribute to truly memorable images. We will also discuss equipment that helps to maximize macro photography, but any type of camera will do for this class. Bring your creativity, and be ready to have some fun!

Make Money with Digital Photos
bridge and white farmhouse(HS-Adult) If you can take a photo, you can quickly and easily make money! You don't need anything more than your camera, and a computer with an Internet connection. All over the Internet, there are thousands who need images for their website. We show you all the secrets of getting the right photo to the right place so you can turn your photos to hundreds or thousands of dollars each month. You don't need exotic equipment for this. We untangle the confusion and make it simple. We will show you how to take photos people want, and then how to get those photos in front of thousands of potential buyers. This class fills fast, so register today!

Make Stunning Photo Books
(HS-Adult) This class will give you the tips and tricks to really snazz up those photos, and put them into a presentation that will WOW your friends and family! These books make a treasured keepsake. The time you will save learning how to do this will pay for itself. We walk you through each step, and help with the little known details that make a good book GREAT. (And we actually do it in class, so you come away with a book you create and the practical knowledge that will serve you for years to come.) And if you wish, we also show you how to sell your book.

Portraiture, Posing and Lighting
(HS-Adult) Do you need access to a studio periodically, but can't justify owning your own? This class will cover the basics of portraiture, and introduce you to a local business studio that may be used on a rental basis. We will cover candid as well as studio portraits. This class will give your photos the professional look you need to set your photography apart from everyone else. You will have access to models in one of the sessions, and will be able to photography per your posing

Realtor Photography
(Adult) Taking a series of photos to maximize the sale value of property is an art, and knowing these tips will help get your property noticed. This class will help you maximize value and sales volume! You owe it to yourself AND the client to make inspirational property photos. Sell more and become the envy of the office by employing these simple techniques.

Sports Photography
(HS-Adult) From soccer to basketball, this class covers the basics of sport photography. Every moment can be special, and captured memories will last a lifetime! We will cover the 'how-to' of both action shots, and team or individual sport portraits. Techniques you will learn include: how to control the background for softness and sharpness; how to stop or show action using shutter speed; how to get low and close for tight, compelling head shots; how to shoot in difficult light and get great results; how to use flash to 'fill' in the light in bright sun or deep shade; how to take team or individual shots.

Visual Poetry
(HS-Adult) Who you are as a person has a direct impact on what you capture as a photographer. How do you use less to say more, and make lasting memories in the process? There are simple techniques to boost your creative process and improve your digital images. This teaches you how to be more effective using natural light without adding gear. Reduce and simplify, participate rather than critique, and capture a story. Give your photography the benefit of these insights.
Wedding Photography for the Amateur
(HS-Adult) Have a wedding coming up? This single class session will be held on-location, and will discuss candid photos as well as more traditional poses. Know how and when to use the settings on your camera to get the best photos. Keep out of the way of the professional photographer and come up with your own great shots!


Alaska: The Final Frontier
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
(Adult) Alaska - where glaciers abound. Where oceans are born, fed and sustained. Where mountains do not rise from the horizon, they are thrust up with such force that they tear a ragged scar across the sky. Standing guard between the soaring mountains and the cold ocean depths is the ancient Chugach National Forest, the northern most rainforest on the planet. Sheer cliff faces tower hundreds of feet above the protected ocean waters of the Kenai Fjords and Prince William Sound. You will see colors so vivid, varied and lush that you may initially doubt their authenticity. But just like you, they are here - real, alive, and basking in all of Alaska's majesty. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Diverse, beautiful landscapes and a wide variety of wildlife will surround you at every turn on this 10 day adventure.

Chicago Botanical Gardens
This safari will include a presentation at the Botanical Center. This is one of the premiere gardens in the United States, and you will have an opportunity to capture significantly diverse species in a wonderful setting.

Chicago Motor Coach Bus Safari
(HS-Adult) We see the highlights of Chicago, And do it in style. This motor coach takes us to great photographic venues, and you don't have to worry about the hassles of parking, tolls, or traffic ! We get great day and night shots. Lunch and a snack included.

Digital Photography Camp 
(4 day overnight workshop for high school students. Meals and overnight accommodations included in this Rockford Area retreat.) This action packed class will show you how to create and care for interesting digital photos! We will cover the basics of digital photography. You will learn elements of exposure control, photographing people, close-up, action and low-light photography. We will also spend time on the "how to" of sharing images. Bring your camera and gain the confidence you need to have the best Facebook page ever! Any kind of digital camera welcome.

Eagle Safari
(HS-Adult) Join us for some spectacular eagle viewing and photography on the Mississippi. Bundle up, and let's celebrate the New Year with some truly great shots of our national bird!

Galena and the Northwest Territory
(HS-Adult) If breathtaking scenery is your thing, then this safari is for you! We will be visiting a winery, Farmer's Market, pottery studios, and watch an alpaca fleece  demonstration. There are pumpkins, cobblestone streets, a fall art show, and even an old stockade. The drive through the Northwest Territory is beautiful any time of year, and this trip will really have a lasting impression. This safari promises to produce some of the most stunning photos of the year.
National Hot Air Balloon Adventure Safari
(Adult) We depart from Rockford and visit the Kalona, Iowa, Amish community in route. We will continue to Indianola, Iowa and join the National Hot Air Balloon Festival. The night glow and mass ascension are two highlights, with stunning colors. We will tour the National Hot Air Balloon museum, and have a guided tour of the covered bridges of Madison County, This safari also includes stops at the Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy a tour through the bison elk enclosures, which allow visitors to photograph the large animals up close. NOTE: Participants can also ride in one of the Hot Air Balloons for an additional fee. $380 price includes transportation, double occupancy hotel, and all admittance to tall events. Not included: meals and balloon ride. Balloon ride must be arranged in advance, contact