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 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.

2022 Winter Class Schedule

Getting More from Your Digital Camera

NC4611 – Naples Center


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!

February 8, Tuesday, 1:30-3:30 pm

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Taking Amazing Travel Photos

NC4612 – Naples Center

BR4613 – Brooks Commons Club, Bonita Springs

February 17, Thursday, 1:30–3:30 pm

May 5, Thursday, 10am-12pm



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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SL4614 – Siena Lakes, North Naples

MP4615 – Moorings Park, South Naples

AR4616 – The Arlington, Southeast Naples

March 1, Tuesday, 10 am-12 pm

March 9, Wednesday, 10 am-12 pm

March 22, Tuesday, 2:30-4:30 pm



If you love taking photos with your iPhone but can't figure out how to capture anything more than snapshots, and you'd like to take incredible photos with the camera that you have in your pocket at all times, then this course is for your. We discuss the features of the camera and how to use them properly along with how to do with the myriad ways to edit and organize your photos.

Making Better Photos

NC4618 – Naples Center

March 11, Friday, 10 am–12 pm


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

NC4619 – Naples Center

March 16, Wednesday, 10 am-12 pm


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.


Improve Your Photography the Easy Way!

NC4620– Naples Center

March 18, Friday, 10 am-12 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.


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

NC4621– Naples Center

April 4, 6, 8, Mon/Wed/Fri, 10 am-12 pm


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.

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