July 24, 2011: I went to a free nature photography class offered through the Bridle Trails Park Foundation.
The class was taught by Andy Held, who has a photography studio based in Kirkland. His work is in portraits, but he loves nature photography, or, as he joked, "things that don't talk back."
Here he used this makeshift white board to capture the thoughts of the class on what makes a good photograph.
We then went out into the Park to put his lessons into practice.
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). I have to admit that I am so used to only taking pictures to convey specific information, it was hard to settle into thinking only about aesthetics.
Fortunately, the Bridle Trails State Park encourages one to be focused on beauty. (Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini on Himalayan blackberry)
After playing around with exposure, Andy discussed composition, teaching us about the Rule of Thirds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
I was trying to take solid, pretty photos, but I still couldn't resist trying to identify more plants. I learned this is St. John's-wort.
I also learned from a fellow sorta forager: this is pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea) and it smells exactly like pineapple. It's also hard to take a good photo of.