top of page

Frank Berna has been a photography instructor at FGCU Academy for over 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 704 Goodlette-Frank Rd, Suite 330, 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.

2023 Winter Class Schedule

Getting More from Your Digital Camera

NC5569 – Naples Center/OL5570 – Online via Zoom

$35/$45 non-member

February 13, Monday, 9:30am-12:30pm

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!

product_a100 copy.png
Taking Amazing Travel Photos

NC5565 – Naples Center/OL5566 – Online via Zoom

January 31, Tuesday, 9:30am-12:30pm

$35/$45 non-member

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.  

Photog 12.jpg

Making Better Photos

NC5569– Naples Center/OL5570 Online via Zoom

February 20, Monday, 9:30am-12:30pm

$35/$45 non-member

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. 


Download, Save and Share Your Photos

NC5571 – Naples Center/OL5572 – Online via Zoom

March 1, Wednesday, 9:30am-12:30pm

$35/$45 non-member

You love to take photos, but after you press the shutter, what do you do next? What is the best way to get them into your computer? Do you have a ton of photos on your computer, but can never find the one you want? Did your computer ever crash and you lost everything, including your precious memories? Do you understand all of the printing options that are available to you that have never been possible before? This lecture is designed to teach you how to handle all of those organizational tasks that you may not fully understand, but that can save you time and money if properly implemented. Students with laptops should bring them to class.


Understanding Your Digital Mirrorless and SLR Camera (3-part series)

NC5575 – Naples Center/OL5576 – Online via Zoom

March 6, 8, 10, Mon/Wed/Fri, 9:30am-12:30pm

$75/$90 non-member

For those wanting to explore their creative side with digital photography, nothing compares to the choices available with mirrorless or single lens reflex cameras. But learning the numerous alternatives can be daunting. This course is designed tome sense of these options: how, when, and why to use them. Topics will include understanding exposure, white balance, file formats, better flash photography focus and shooting options.

photog 11.jpg

Beyond Snapshots: Taking the Best Photo

NC5577 – Naples Center/OL5578 – Online via Zoom

March 16, Thursday, 9:30am-12:30pm

$35/$45 non-member

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why do all of those other photographs look better than mine?" While it is easy to tell the difference between a snapshot and a real photograph, it is not always easy to pinpoint what qualities made your picture one or the other. This composition lecture helps you identify the attributes to turn your photos into works of art.


Nature and Wildlife Photography

NC5573 – Naples Center/OL5574 – Online via Zoom

March 3, Friday, 9:30am-12:30pm

$35/$45 non-member

There is likely no more challenging subject for photographers than wildlife. Whether it's a polar bear or pelican, orchid or orca, the quest for the perfect shot is endless. The quarry is invariably erratic, endangered and elusive. However, the pursuit of this precious image is what makes it fun and rewarding. Learn the tricks and tips to make photos that you'll be proud to show! This lecture is especially geared towards capturing the flora and fauna of Southwest Florida.

Introduction to Photoshop

NC5579 – Naples Center/OL5580 – Online via Zoom

March 20, 22, 24, Mon/Wed/Fri, 9:30am-12:30pm

$75/$90 non-member

Participants must have a working knowledge of computers and must bring their own laptops with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements installed. In this hands-on lecture, basic and advanced Photoshop techniques are explored. Topics include RAW conversions, rotating photographs, layers, straightening horizons, color adjustments, removing or minimizing wrinkles and blemishes, adding or eliminating items from a scene, changing the color oof a particular object in a scene, changing from color to black and white or sepia, moving parts of one photos to another, and adding text.

bottom of page