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Frank Berna has been a photography instructor at FGCU Academy for ten years, and has taught over 200 classes to thousands of students during this period.

FGCU Academy (formerly the Renaissance Academy) of Florida Gulf Coast University programs promote personal revitalization for adults through learning, creativity and social engagement.

The main campus, Naples Center, is located at 1010 Fifth Ave. South in downtown Naples. Certain courses may be offered at other locations as noted. To register, or for additional information, visit or call (239) 434-4737.

For the 2021 Winter session, classes are being offered on-line as well as in-person. Pricing for classes is listed for members/non-members of  FGCU Academy.

2021 Winter Class Schedule

Getting More from Your Digital Camera

January 27, Wednesday 3–5 pm

NC3554 – Naples Center

OL3555 – Online



Everyone owns a camera and if you are like most people, you can turn it on and press the shutter and that is about it. Perplexed by all those strange symbols? Afraid to touch a button or worse yet, touch one by accident and can’t undo what you have just done? Do not be embarrassed! Gain control of your digital camera in this easy-to-understand lecture-style class, learn what all of those buttons do, when to use them, how to use them and why to use them. Impress your family, friends and yourself by making the camera do what you want it to do!

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Making Better Photos

February 10, Wednesday 3–5 pm

NC3557 – Naples Center

OL3558 – Online



Ansel Adams said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make a photograph.” Photography is a very subjective endeavor. There are no hard-and-fast rules to follow that always assure your picture will be, well, “picture perfect.” However, an understanding of light, exposure and compositional guidelines that can be applied to virtually any scene will enhance its impact and quality. Understanding these principles will help you to capture more compelling images, turning your snapshots into works of art. This lecture is for all photographers, regardless of the camera they use. 

Taking Amazing Travel Photos

February 17, Wednesday 3–5 pm

NC3560 – Naples Center

OL3561– Online



We all love to travel and capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments to share with friends and family, or for personal memories, is part of the experience. Our photographs need to bring the sensations of sight, sound and smell back to trigger our memories and to communicate how we felt to others. To do this, we need to think and feel, as much as look, when setting out to take photographs. Travel photography expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state and has no geographical limitations. Learn how to create the images that are only seen in magazines.  

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Improve Your Photography the Easy Way!

NC3565 – Naples Center

OL3566 – Online



March 22, Monday 3–5 pm

Improvement is incremental and gradual, not instantaneous. And while it’s true that we all learn in different ways, all creative growth starts with an idea. How one perceives and applies an idea will vary considerably and that’s the point of this class. Allowing yourself to be exposed to the ideas of others and then use these ideas in a way that fits your own style is one of the most consistently effective means of avoiding creative stagnation. This class is ideal for any photographer, using any type of equipment.

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Photographing Urban Landscapes (Cityscapes)

NC3568 – Naples Center

OL3569 – Online



April 7, Wednesday 3–4:30 pm

There are many things that make cities great and capturing the true essence of urban landscapes is the basis of this class. Learn not only how to capture the majesty of the majestic buildings in the heart of a city, but also showcase some of the more enthralling aspects and delights that day-to-day city life has to offer.


Photographing Cities at Night

May 4, Tuesday 3–4:30 pm

NC3570 – Naples Center

OL3571 – Online



Are you someone who thrives on being out and about while most are sleeping, or someone who likes to capture things that just can’t be seen while the sun is up? Perhaps you have a day job and family commitments, but would still like to get out and photograph? This lecture helps you plan for a successful night shoot, discuss what gear you need, what to look for while shooting and post processing your images to create incredibly beautiful images of night landscapes.

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