We started with reading a picture book “Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams, a Life in Nature.” We discussed how Ansel Adams found beauty in nature in large picturesque scenes as well as in the tiny beauty of a single leaf. We read, as a kid, Ansel had a hard time sitting indoors or in a classroom, and that nature is where he found respite. He took ordinary objects in nature such as lines, shapes, color, textures and through his lens made beautiful images. Luckily, Ananda was there to share the unique way his techniques were just as much about the shot as they were about what he did in the dark room. He essentially was editing as we do in Photoshop but with his camera and the dark room only.
We challenged the kids to find beauty in small and large things on our nature hike. We didn’t make it very far because shortly into the hike we found a tree stump with a deep pit and that turned into some fun nature exploring. Each kiddo found different parts of nature to get excited about. Some wanted to record in their nature journals, some wanted to take the leader’s phones, and others were just fine to take it all in with their eyes.