The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is one of six parks in Boston’s famed Emerald Necklace, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Arboretum features thousands of species of flora from around the world. photo opportunities abound all year long, but especially in the spring when the park’s famed lilacs are blooming.

Lilac Sunday (occurring this year on May 12) is the Arboretum’s signature event, drawing many thousands of visitors to view the collection and walk the grounds. On this workshop, we will visit the Lilac collection and then other parts of the park like the nearby Maples collection. You opt to join us for an optional sunrise shoot at nearby Jamaica Pond from 5:15 – 6:15 am at the boathouse. This is not an Arnold Arboretum sponsored event. $5 donation to the Friends of the Arnold Arboretum is included for all registrants.

What You'll Learn
  • Composition

  • Importance of Lighting and Timing

  • Exposure refresher

  • Exposure compensation

  • White balance

Recommended Equipment
Physical Difficulty

Standing and walking on grass, gravel paths, and pavement.

Meeting Details

We will meet at the Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130 at 8 AM and take a 10 minute walk to the lilacs.
If you would like to join for an optional sunrise shoot, meet at nearby Jamaica Pond between 5:15 – 6:15 AM at the boathouse on Jamaicaway/Pond Street (sunrise is at 5:35 AM).

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Erik is a freelance photographer who specializes in trees and natural landscapes.  He is the current Education Coordinator at the Hyde Park Art Association, and he is a past President of the Boston Camera Club.  He lives in Roslindale with his wife Julie and sons Carl and William.  Although Erik enjoys photographing natural environments all over New England, his favorite destination is Boston’s Arnold Arboretum.

Erik’s work has appeared in Yankee Magazine, AMC’s Outdoors, Northern Woodlands, The Boston Globe, The Boston Metro, The Cape Cod Times, E the Environmental Magazine, and other publications.  He has shown his fine art prints in galleries throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Erik also has lectured and taught classes at the Arboretum, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, the Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, the Concord Art Association, the Hyde Park Art Association, and many different camera clubs throughout New England. You can visit him online at